It’s a little late as this is for our trip from September 2018, but I had 15 days off over Christmas, got bored and needed something to do. Because it is a year and a half ago, I haven’t focused on restaurants and hotels because so much can change in a year.
London has been a bucket list item for my wife and I for years, but an important purpose of this trip was to bring my Mother-In-Law along so she could visit relatives she’s never met. Her Dad came from Brightlingsea in Essex and she has always wanted to see where he grew up and also visit her Grandparent’s graves. She has communicated via mail over the years with some cousins, but never face to face.
This was our 3rd visit to Europe in 4 years but our first land vacation as we’d done cruises previously. We loved the cruises but as we got more comfortable with foreign countries we realized just getting a quick snapshot of the daily port visits just wasn’t cutting it anymore, we really wanted extended stays where we could visit in the evening and move at our own pace. Having said that, our vacation pace is usually pretty intense, and this trip was no exception.
My wife and I are planners and love to research. This trip was planned about a year in advance which not only includes the basics such as what to see and where to stay but also researching the area history so when we visit a site, we have a working knowledge of its significance. The research can take many forms from guidebooks to historical fiction/movies to something as simple as Google.
Through our research we decided on a week in London then a couple nights in Bath and 3 nights in the Cotswolds.
Choosing a home base in a place as large as London is a challenge but we finally settled on Covent Garden for our first week as we liked the location and the wide selection of restaurants within walking distance after an intense day of exploring. Typical for us is to be up at 7, out the door and 8 and not back until evening. Thanks to this Forum we found a place via London Connection https://londonconnection.com/.
Travel tip #1. London and the Cotswolds apparently fill up fast in September, we had tentatively decided where to stay about 10 months in advance but didn’t book as we hadn’t found a flight price to our liking and by the time we did book our flight; about 8 months in advance, some of our first choice accommodations were no longer available.
Choosing the flight was simple as WestJet flies direct from Calgary to Gatwick, it was just the price I was waiting for before booking.
To save time, and personalize this report, my wife’s name is Carla and my Mother-in-Law’s name is Gladys. Glady’s maiden name is Addison and so the family we meet will all be Addisons.
Continued below in the comments section