Travelling Means Leaving The U.K – Right?
If you’ve read the ‘about me’ section then you’ll know that I work full time and earn a pretty average wage, this means I have limited resources to travel with…and…more annoyingly…limited annual leave to use to travel! But does travelling mean having to leave the U.K? For me travelling is all about awesome experiences, discovering somewhere new, visiting somewhere you’ve maybe been before and love, having an adventure! There are so many places around the U.K to do this which are incredible, remember millions of tourists come to travel here from abroad too!
The major cities are amazing and are up there with the best in the world and is there really anywhere else in the world like London? With the history, the tradition, the attractions, and it’s own personality, London is special! It’s sights instantly recognisable to 99.9% of people around the world but there are so many hidden stories within. Up until recently I had never been inside the houses of parliament, it was a visit I really enjoyed and brought the history to life. We also recently visited the Hipster Heaven of Shoreditch and Brick Lane, visited the old traditional markets, Old Spitalfields, Leadenhall and Borough Markets…amazing creative individuality on show!
There are the famous university cities of Cambridge and Oxford to explore, two of the most pleasant cities in the world to visit, steeped in history and tradition. These cities really are England!
But, there is loads more to the U.K than the cities, the coastline has everything! O.K apart from amazing weather all year round, but you can find secluded sandy beaches, rugged wave battered coasts and dramatic cliff faces, as well as the traditions of the old coastal towns with amusement arcades, fair grounds and lighthouses. The picture at the top is a photograph I took at a place called Holme-Next-The-Sea, a small village in Norfolk (where I grew up) and has miles of sandy beach with rolling sand dunes, sometimes you can go there and not see another person! It’s something I took it for granted growing up there but now when I head back, I have to take a trip there or feel as if I have missed out!
I recently took a trip to Exmoor, Devon and hiked part of the South West Coastal Path, we went up to see the highest cliffs in England. Great Hangman was a summit of 318 metres looking over the sea and the cliff face is 244 metres high (putting this into perspective, the Eiffel Tower is 300 metres tall!), we did this in driving rain and gale force winds, winds so strong I was struggling to keep my balance, but it was awe inspiring! It’s moments like those that make you feel alive!
There is just so much variety in the U.K. You may have seen my recent post on my tales from Snowdonia and know how much I love hiking the mountains and hills around the U.K. Snowdonia national park is one of my favourite areas in the, I just can’t get enough of the views as you’re climbing up. I love the way as well that the place looks totally different during the winter months covered in snow and takes on another personality.
Hiking in the Lake District, with the views, you could be anywhere in the world. The lakes offer a scenic laid back feeling, but hiking through the hills around Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England at 978 metres, with the views of valleys and summits all around you, for me it’s an adventure playground, I get that feeling you got when you were a kid running to the swings! Days finish all to soon for me there and I want to see what the view is like from just one more summit before I leave!! Each time I return here it’s like someone is nudging me reminding me that this is here, right here in England! My home country!
The Scottish Highlands are something else again, the Lochs of The Trossachs being right up there as one of the most naturally beautiful places I’ve seen. It can also be bleak and is the sort of place which really puts your ego in check and makes you understand how big the world is! I’ve climbed Ben Nevis once…in 70 mph gale force winds…it was a challenge, involving sheltering at the survival shack at the top to change out of our soaking freezing clothes! We jogged almost the whole way down to keep warm, we had a real sense of achievement after that, even if we hadn’t taken as much in as I would of liked with the difficulty of the challenge!
This brings me to a future challenge I’m going to be taking part in. 13th June I’m going to be attempting the 3 peaks challenge, tackling the highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland within 24 hours! I’m doing this with one of my best buddies Daniel Holiday in order to raise awareness, and some money for the Down’s Syndrome Association. If you would like to sponsor us please go ahead here on the just giving page Daniel has set up, every little helps!
There is so much more in the U.K to see with all of the historic sights that are so varied, so many of the world’s great civilisations have left their foot prints here, it’s amazing!
Plus I am still discovering great new places and experiences, only recently have I really explored the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley for the first time! There are so many awesome activities here, canoeing, kayaking, caving, mountain biking, hiking…the list is endless! All within 2 hours drive of so many major cities with some great places to stay!
So yeah, I’ve answered the question which had been going round in my head, you don’t have to leave the U.K, some of the best travel is right on our doorsteps!