October 30th: Day 3, London -> Lancashire / Greater Manchester
We took a National Rail train up to the northern part of England where we’d be staying for a few days with Matt‘s parents. As both Louie and I were in the wedding party (he on the groom’s side and myself on the bride’s) being there early was a requirement. (Louie needed to be there for the Stag Do!)
However, before boarding our train we had breakfast with our AirBNB host at a place called Brown’s where I was able to order a french toast (despite that not being common in England, or so I am told). Louie had Eggs Benedict but his eggs weren’t runny enough to his liking. Then our host took us to M&S and Tesco to get snacks/candy for the train… which ended up being: 2 Cadbury chocolate bars, 1 bag of chocolate covered strawberries, 1 tin of chocolate covered macadamia nuts, 2 scones with strawberry jam & cream, and I think something else as well that I cannot recall. Continue Reading
We woke up at 9 am and had breakfast with our AirBNB host at a local pub, which was super cheap. I had teacakes (which are somewhere in between an English muffin and a raisin/cinnamon muffin) and a cup of tea, Louie had a breakfast wrap. Afterwards we went to Pret a Manger and our host bought us each cups of coffee and a chocolate croissant, which he insisted were made in France and then brought over to Pret daily. (Not sure if that’s true or not, can anyone confirm?) Either way, the coffee at Pret was much better than the drinks we had at Starbucks in Piccadilly the day prior. (Starbucks is truly awful here.)
Then we walked across the Hungerford Bridge (pictured above) on our way to the South Bank to visit the London Eye. The queue was a bit long, it took about 45 minutes from the time we lined up to boarding. Continue Reading
We arrived in London at around 11 am on Sunday morning—after landing, going through border control, collecting our luggage, and taking the Tube to Covent Garden. From there we met up with our AirBNB host (who has been absolutely wonderful) and we got keys to the apartment. After that we explored Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. We ate lunch at a local pub and I ordered a pear cider, which was delicious. Louie had bangers & mash. Then it was back to our AirBNB for a short nap and relaxing before dinner. We chose a random Italian restaurant in the area, Bella Italia, not realizing it’s a chain. Then it was back to our room for sleeping, as we were exhausted from the jetlag.
Tomorrow Louie & I embark on a 2-week trip to England for our friends’ wedding. It’s my second time to England (I went when I was 17) but Louie’s first time abroad at all. He’s never flown over water or for more than 6 hours! So that’ll be fun… ish.
Our flight leaves at 4:30 pm PST and arrives in London at 8:40 am on Sunday. We’re looking at a whomping 8 hour time difference, and I’m hoping the jetlag isn’t super derailing. If I remember correctly, the secret to jetlag is just powering through it. (Which, I’m sure, is a lot easier to do when you’re still in high school.) I also hope we can sleep okay on the plane.
We’re flying Virgin Atlantic and it’s a direct flight straight to Heathrow, so I’m glad we don’t have to worry about transfers. After two nights in London we’ll be taking a train up to Manchester for the wedding shenanigans. Can’t wait! This is my third time being a bridesmaid, too. Kinda crazy!
I have this goal to write a blog post every day for the duration of the trip about what we’ve experienced, though I’m notorious for being lazy when it comes to this sort of thing. Let’s see how well I can discipline myself and keep a decent travel journal!
If you’ve been to London or live around, feel free to give us recommendations! I’ve got a Google map pinned with a myriad of things to do, so we’ll definitely be keeping busy and traversing all over the place, but a few more options won’t hurt. ;)