Category: England

London, England


The UK Tour (London)

This was our third tour through the UK and surrounding area but the first time as the Travelin’ Man. We were here with our good friends, Bryan and Melissa. They came all the way from Los Angeles. That’s a whopping eight hours of jet lag! Being that Jana and I are living in Sweden, we struggled with our own one hour of jet lag…

We arrived in London, where we stayed for six days. There is so much to see and do here. And we did A LOT! But London wasn’t the end of the tour. We then rode the train to Bath, where we spent the day taking in the sites, then we flew from there to Edinburgh, Scotland. Bath and Edinburgh are covered in separate articles. This article covers our stay in London.

The Food in London



Some people may not care for the food in England. As The Travelin’ Man, I have been extremely lucky to have been to so many places, seen so many amazing things, and eaten so much good food.


But honestly, I LOVE THE FOOD HERE! I love fish and chips, bangers and mash, hamburgers, and all the great pies here!


We even did a food tour through SOHO. Check this out, a fish and chips taco!


This place shaves the ham right off the flank while you watch – love it!


And what’s not to love about “afternoon tea”?

Buckingham Palace

Yeah, so the Queen wasn’t able to see us while we were in town, but we were in the neighborhood anyway, so we thought we would drop by. The place is only open eight weeks out of the year, and today was the first day, so a lot of other folks were also in the neighborhood.




But at least they threw us a small parade while we there.

The London Eye



This was spectacular! It offers a magnificent view of London. It’s not a scary ride at all. In fact, the thing moves so slow that you hardly even notice. Buy your tickets online and you get fast-tracked in with no waiting (thanks Jana!). Otherwise, plan on an hour or two standing in line.

Here are a few of the pictures I took while on the ride:



The Churchill Bunkers



This is another MUST SEE attraction in London. This is, of course, where Churchill continued his coordination of the war against Hitler while London was being bombed. The entire place is preserved nearly “as is” from when they abandoned the bunkers following the end of the war. I must apologize for the photo quality; everything is behind a wall of glass, creating a terrible, unavoidable glare on some of the pictures. I included them anyway because I wanted to give you a feel for what the place is like.





Shakespeare at the Globe

Ah yes, to be or not to be…. This was a fantastic production of Hamlet. The Globe presents it as it was back in the day.


That is to say, the people that are standing out in front of the stage, the tiered seating, minimal props, and no electronics such as lighting or microphones used during the performance. It was a good show – highly recommend.


The Royal Observatory, Greenwich

We swung over to Greenwich to see the observatory, museum, and of course the world famous Meridian Line (aka Prime Meridian). The point is known as Zero Longitude and it is the line from which all other lines of longitude are measured.


And there’s our friends, Melissa and Bryan sharing a zero degrees kiss. 🙂

This is also the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This is THE time zone of all time zones, this is ground zero.


The observatory sits atop a big hill just east of London and south of the Thames river. And it affords quite a nice view of London (above). Except of course, the grass is supposed to be green this time of year. Horrible heatwave and drought in Europe this summer.


How does one even begin to summarize London? The list of things to see and do seems endless.


It’s definitely more unique in the sense that it does a beautiful job of melding the old with the new. Even just that one picture, above, the hi-tech architecture of the Shard offset with medieval church.


Here’s another great example. This is located almost in the middle of this great, modern city (see above). This is the ruins of one of the most important buildings of medieval London. It was the palace of the Bishops of Winchester. Many great events occurred here throughout history. For example, James I of Scotland and Joan Beaufort were married in almost this exact spot in 1424.

Oh and I almost forgot…the last night we were in London, they started filming scenes from an upcoming Men in Black movie. It was awesome. This was literally right outside the door of our hotel:


Once we left London, we went to a ton of other places, like Wimbledon, Edinburgh, and Stirling Castle just to name a few. On the site, just click on DESTINATIONS then select either ENGLAND or SCOTLAND to see the places we went. We really enjoyed our UK tour with our good friends Bryan and Melissa. It was a heck of a vacation, and lasted a full two weeks. We did a lot. And I have to say, even The Travelin’ Man is a wee bit tired after this one, but it’s a good kind of tired, ya know?


Our next adventure will be in a couple of weeks on an island a little west of here; we will be traveling with our good friend Brandie as we tour through Ireland! We are even renting a car and doing the Great Irish Road Trip. So stay tuned to The Travelin’ Man at



Cheltenham and the Cotswolds of England





As part of our 2018 UK tour, we spent a couple of days in Cheltenham, England and surrounding area. As the home of the flagship race of British steeplechase horse racing, the Gold Cup is the main event of the Cheltenham Festival, held every March.


Fortunately, we missed all that hooplah, and it was a quaint, peaceful, cozy town, or borough, as they call them in England.


We stayed at the most adorable bed & breakfast you ever saw (above). In all honesty, they sold themselves as a hotel (The Beaumont House Hotel), but it had a very B & B feel to it.


Checkout the view from our bedroom window. That’s Jana relaxing out back at the table.


As part of our time here, we took an excursion out into the beautiful Cotswolds. The Cotswolds is a rural area of south central England covering 2,038 km2 (504,000 acres). It’s roughly 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (140 km) long. The area of the Cotswolds is the second largest protected landscape in England (second to the Lake District).


When you close your eyes and think of the rolling hills of rural England, this is it! Grassland harbour thatched medieval villages, churches and stately homes built of distinctive local yellow limestone. Time seems to stand still here.





I half expected to see Frodo and Gandalf emerge from this house (above).


Some of you may actually recognize this house, above. Try and picture the scene covered in snow. This was Bridget Jone’s parent’s house in Bridget Jone’s Diary. Parts of Braveheart were also filmed near here.


But be sure to book a professional tour guide if you want to find all the most beautiful and interesting spots. We really enjoyed our time here.


Bath, England


Beautiful and historic Bath. Known for it’s 18th century Georgian architecture, hot springs, and of course Roman-built baths. It’s located about a hundred miles west of London and is situated in the valley of the River Avon.

The Baths of Bath


These extremely well preserved baths were built around 70 A.D. and are a must see attraction. The presentation goes well beyond just the main bath area itself.

All of the ancient artifacts that were uncovered are also displayed here. Wander through caves where the springs and private bath areas were.


You also need to swing by the Royal Crescent. Amazing architecture by John Wood built in the 18th century. Oh yeah, that grass is supposed to be green this time of year. It’s been an unusually hot, dry summer in Europe.


The No.1 Royal Cresscent (above) is the very first one that was completed and it’s open to the public. It is decorated in the style of the time to give you an idea how the wealthy lived in downtown style back then. Definitely worth an hour or so to visit.

The city of Bath just seems to have a natural, inherent beauty:


And of course, being on the River Avon is a big help:


With all this, plus great restaurants and shopping, this is a no-brainer if you’re ever looking to escape London for a day or two.

Spend some time just wandering around this beautiful, relaxing town as you take in all the sites and shops. This was our second visit to Bath, and we wouldn’t hesitate to go again.




Kew Gardens


The Royal Botanical Gardens, located in Kew Park are the “largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world”. Founded in 1840, the exotic garden at Kew Park in Middlesex, London, is a beautiful 300 sprawling acres of greenhouses and gardens.


Each of the greenhouses is meticulously maintained and elegantly presented. There are a dozen plant houses in total.


Unbelievably beautiful and immaculate interior gardens. And well documented with detailed descriptions of each presentation. But who reads that crap anyway? Oh wait, is that Bryan down there reading the plaque?


And is that Melissa photo bombing me?! You see her there? What a punk!


And speaking of photo bombing, if you look closely in these great pics, above, you should be able to see the giant koi fish.

And it’s not just the greenhouses that are beautiful. The entire 300 acre park is absolutely amazing. It takes 750 employees to maintain it all.



That’s the pagoda tower in the backdrop, above. We didn’t go to it, but supposedly you can climb up it and get a great view of the surrounding area. But the Treetop Walkway also offers a great view, and we did go up there:


The pictures kind of speak for themselves. And the view was just incredible!

In addition to the dozen or so greenhouses, there were also another dozen buildings that weren’t greenhouses. The pagoda tower, restaurants, museums… you could easily spend an entire day here. We really enjoyed it.


St Albans, England


The Cathedral

St Albans is a small town in  the commuter belt north of London. It is also the sight of a famous cathedral, you guessed it, St Albans Cathedral. St Albans, the man, was executed on this site about 1700 years ago for proudly standing up in the name of Christianity.


Let me start by saying this place is a photographers dream. The cathedral is probably the most photogenic place I have ever been to. The cathedral  and grounds are absolutely beautiful.

Inside are breathtaking art presentations and architectural wonders.


The Roman Theatre of Verulamium



Not far from the cathedral is the amazing ruins of the 2nd century Roman theatre.


You can see in the artists rendition, above, how the theatre would have looked back then.


You can still hear the ancient clapping and feel the ghosts wandering around this rare excavation. In addition to theatre, it is believed the site was also used for sporting events and public executions.


Right behind the ruins is a huge park. Within the park are remnants of the old Roman city wall, a museum displaying ancient artifacts uncovered at the site, and a beautiful lake. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon.



Wimbledon, England


The Town

We stayed in the quaint town of Wimbledon for our first six days in the London area. We found a very nice condo via Airbnb. The town of Wimbledon is small and cozy. There was a grocery store and a couple of typical British pubs within walking distance of our condo.

We rode the bus and metro to all the places we went. The bus stop was very convenient to our condo, although the ride into London was around 45 minutes.

The Club


I am not a big tennis fan. Seriously, John McEnroe was the last tennis player I ever watched. I remember seeing him throwing his tennis racket around and yelling at the judges all the time.


But even so, you cannot deny the historical significance of Wimbledon. We took the grounds tour of the club, and even though I am not a big fan, it was really fascinating to see all the behind the scenes stuff.


I enjoyed our tour. The court, above, needs a little love to get it back in shape. It has been record-breaking hot and dry in London this summer (all of Europe). But rest assured, it will be pristine by the time the next championships come next year.


Of course if you are a fan, like our friend Melissa (above), then this place is even more special. Sorry about the blurry picture, but we didn’t take it, the tour guide did. It’s so hard to get good pictures of celebrities.


And here’s a nice view of London from Wimbledon (above).