Study Abroad Blog by Pavel Vassiljev

Monday, May 16, 2011

Traveling in UK

During hard thesis writing days I changed the design a bit to make it brighter :). I also decided to take a break and write a post here about the good old days traveling within UK. 

To be honest when I was living in Luton I thought that there is nothing to see outside London. (How English of me :D) However, after moving to Portsmouth and meeting two great French house-mates that were amazing enough to take me road-tripping I completely changed my mind. Bare in mind that I only traveled within UK's south coast so it doesn't mean there is nothing to see up north. 

Firstly, some tips when traveling in UK. 
  • Rent a car
It's not only cheaper but also gives you the power to control everything. Some amazing places are hard to reach by train. So it would take you ages to try getting to places like Boscastle or Cheddar. Highways are also good so you reach places fast unless you get stuck in a small country road!!! :)

Every student traveler knows that hostels are fun and cheap. Hostels in South England are around 15 GBP per person per night. And the standards are pretty good for road-tripping. Most of them also have pubs inside (Of course, its England) so a nice pint will relax you after an exciting day. Most of tehm are centrally located so you can park the car and enjoy a walk exploring the city.

  • Engage in communicating with the locals
Being friendly is always good and its even better in England. People from South of England love their part and are always willing to share a story or help out if you are lost. For example we met Roger Wilkins (OFFICIALLY THE KING OF CIDER) with whom we had a great conversation and ended up buying 20 liters of farm cider. (Did I mention I love cider? Well, I do!) 

  • Try everything you can (I mean legal)
Engage in tasting and sampling local specialties. I have never tasted better Cheddar cheese, than in Cheddar. (Did I mention I love cheese? Well, I do!) And never tasted better cider than in Somerset. Oh, and Cornish Pasties are much better in Cornwall :) 

  • Don't be afraid to leave the planned route (If you do not have a work shift to come back to)
If you can extend your road-trip and don't have a work shift or uni deadline right after coming back, do not hesitate to leave the planned route. There are so many cool things in UK that you would not discover if you wouldn't dare to take a turn. For example you can find great sea-view roads in Cornwall, that are not the bigger ones. However it is worth it. 

  • Ask locals for interesting spots
Don't hesitate to ask locals to recommend you places to see. They know it better than any guide book. Simple as that.

  • Buy souvenirs and local products
It will be a nice memory and you also support locals which is a nice thing to do. 

I guess this is my top 7 tips about road-tripping in South of England. Follow them and you will have a great time traveling and discovering new things.

In my next thesis break I will write about the actual road-trip we did last Spring. Meanwhile you could check my flickr set and get the feel of South England.

p.s. I would appreciate if you follow the blog and share it with your friends. 


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