Just came back from 10 days in England and thought I would share my experiences with the people, places and travel equipment I used. This was my first overseas trip and I will never forget the experiences that I had. I packed my Aeronaut 45 with my clothes (4 button up shirts, 2 t-shirts, underwear, socks, 2 pairs of pants) umbrella, toiletries, day bag, and iPad. My girlfriend used the RS Classic Convertible with a small Bagillini purse. The Allett nylon was perfect for the front pocket and was large enough for my driver’s license, ATM card and credit card. I ditched the waist security wallet after the first day. I pre-ordered 300 pounds from AAA and that lasted the entire trip along with using my Chase Sapphire Card.
We stayed in an Air B&B (VRBO) in West Kensington less than a block from the W/K tube station and a block away from the Barons Court station. We were in Premium Economy on the flight over and flew coach on the way back. To be honest, Premium Economy was not worth the money. The seat’s padding wasn’t any better. Only a little more leg room. We hit the ground running once we got our Oyster Cards at around 7:30am. First stop was the South Ken station and three free museums (V&A, National Science, and Natural History). We stowed our bags at the Natural Science Museum for a small fee until the apartment was ready for check-in. We then went to the Grenadier Pub for a late lunch/early supper, then went to Harrod’s. Tons of American bills were stapled to the ceiling. BTW, this place was VERY hard to find. Without too much detail, here is a list of the other places visited during our stay: Harry Potter Studio tour, British Library, British Museum, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s, Borough Market, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, day trip to York to see Yorkminster and the National Train Museum, day trip to Cambridge, Westminster, Big Ben, Parliament, Temple Church, Buckingham Palace, bus tour (International Friends) to Stonehenge, Bath and Lacock.
Visiting York was my favorite part of the entire trip. I could have spent 3 days there. Yorkminster was gorgeous, the small restaurants and specialty shops were great. When you think of small English cities, York is your place. The best fish & chip and mushy peas are there (Drakes). The city is surrounded with a walkable Roman wall, a Roman tower that allows you great views of the city. Unique church ruins and a great train museum that offered a live demonstration of a train accident using large scale models of both the trains and switch controls. The day trip to Cambridge was pleasant, though I don’t think you need to spend an entire day there. Perhaps 4 hours. The area around the college is beautiful, but you will be ‘harassed’ about punting tours in every direction you step. The International Friends tour gave us a nice taste of the Cotswolds, Bath and Stonehenge. Antonio (Tony) was our guide and he was absolutely perfect. Great knowledge and a spot on sense of humor. Our driver was able to get us around horrible traffic and into Bath ahead of schedule. So we attempted to go to Parliament on a Wednesday due to the presence of the Prime Minister to watch the House of Commons in action. The entire area, including Westminster, was shut down and had a lot of Constables in dress uniform surround the area. We enquired with one of them and to much of our surprise, the Queen was soon to arrive to open Parliament. So we decided to stick around for another hour and a half to see her. Every “Bobby” that we spoke with was completely professional, friendly, engaging and far more approachable than American cops (in general). So we did get to see the entire royal ‘parade’ including the arrival of the international ambassadors, the royal band, guards, horse patrol, and of course, Prince Charles, Lady Camilla, and the Queen.
I'm limited on the characters remaining, but message me for my complete review.