During our 2-week trip to the UK, we stayed in a lot of hotels, and yet, one of the hotels that I really liked would have to be Mercure Warwickshire. After spending the whole day touring around Chester and Stratford upon Avon (blogging about that soon!), we headed to Mercure, which is just 8 miles from Shakespeare’s Birthplace.
The view from our hotel room. It overlooks the parking lot actually, but you can also see Walton Hall from here.
For our last lunch in London, we ate at a Spanish restaurant. Weird, I know, I mean, shouldn’t we be binging on fish and chips and other English delicacies? Well, not that we could help it – that’s what’s included in our itinerary. So, before heading off to Leavesden to visit the Warner Bros Studios (will write a post about this soon!), we stopped by La Tasca first.
La Tasca’s a chain of restaurants in the UK that serves traditional Spanish tapas, paellas and desserts. I love the quirky and colourful walls.
Madame Tussauds is a wax museum that has a lot of other branches in other parts of the world, although, the only other Madame Tussauds I’ve ever been to was the one they have in Hong Kong – but that was ages ago and I could barely remember our visit to be honest. Anyway, Madame Tussauds was included in our itinerary and it’s one of the attractions in London that we visited before we headed off to the airport and back home.
Fashion Week at Madame Tussauds. There’s also a makeshift runway in this part of the museum where you can have your photos taken. Anyway, a not so good photo of the wax figure of Kendall Jenner. 😀
Aside from the Big Ben and the iconic red telephone booths, one of the most famous icons of London would be the London Eye.
The London Eye, or also known as the Millennium Wheel, is a giant Ferris wheel located on the South Bank of the River Thames. Back in 1999, it was considered to be the world’s tallest Ferris wheel as it is 443 feet tall and the wheel has a diameter of 394 feet. Though these days it does not hold that title any longer, it still is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, and according to its operators the Eye is still ‘the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel’, as unlike the taller wheels built in Singapore and Nanchang, it is supported by an A-frame on one side only.
On our first day in the UK, we visited various places, one being the Palace of Holyroodhouse, or what is more commonly known as the Holyrood Palace. It’s the official residence of the monarch whenever she comes to Edinburgh, and it has been the home of royalty for over 500 years.
The entrance to Holyrood Palace – we spotted Merida, haha!
Around less than an hour’s drive from Edinburgh, we arrived early in Glasgow. Our coach driver said we were lucky as according to him, there’s usually quite a traffic jam from Edinburgh to Glasgow.
We were off to a pretty early start, and we began our short walking tour at around 9 AM. The streets in Glasgow was almost deserted, save for a handful of people that crossed our path. I almost thought that this was the norm until we headed to George Square and there were tons of people everywhere.
Another food review post! This time of our dinner at Hard Rock Cafe our last night in London. 😀
Hard Rock Cafe’s located in a really pretty building. As we waited for our turn to be seated, I couldn’t help but notice the long lines – and the fact that the place was really full of locals too.
Saw this quirky sign and couldn’t help but snap a photo of it. 😀 Anyway, we didn’t go in the front entrance – there didn’t seem to be any seats left there, but we went inside the side entrance that had a set of stairs leading down to the basement level – which was pretty cool. Although, even there, the place was jam packed! Seeing so many people there, I can’t help but look forward to our dinner. 🙂
If you love reading cheesy English period romance novels, then you’ve probably read of Gretna Green where heroines of these types of novels are often swept away by their suitors and would head off to Gretna Green – often this is done in haste, and in secret of course. Growing up, I’ve read a lot of these types of novels (Hello, Lisa Kleypas novels! I still vaguely remember a character called Daisy lol), and when I saw that Gretna Green was part of the places we were going to see during our trip to the UK, I have to admit that I was a tad bit excited to finally see the famous Gretna Green often mentioned in the really cheesy novels that I read years back!
This is one of the sculptures that you can see when you arrive at Gretna Green. It’s a 13 foot sculpture of clasped hands and its called the ‘Big Dance’. This can be found in the sculpture garden of the World Famous Blacksmith Shop. The meaning of the sculpture is more or less open to interpretation, but with Gretna Green being known for marriages, I think that most people would interpret it as the coming together of a couple. Well, this is how I see it anyway.
The last stop to end our first full day in the UK before heading to our hotel in Penrith (you can read my review of our hotel, the North Lakes Hotel & Spa here), would be the Birdoswald Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall. Along the way, we got a little lost as the Sat Nav pointed our coach driver onto the wrong direction + the fact that there seemed to be road works when we went.
On the way to our destination. Rolling hills, the occasional farmhouses, and tons of sheep greeted us to and from Hadrian’s Wall.
Straight from Edinburgh International Airport, we headed off to Rosslyn Chapel – one of the places that’s included in our itinerary. Rosslyn Chapel, a 15th century chapel which was formally called as the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew, is located at the small village of Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland. It’s actually just a pretty short drive away from Edinburgh.
It’s rise to fame is mainly due to the movie adaptation of the book, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Some parts of the movie was shot here in Rosslyn (particularly the basement), and Tom Hanks actually stayed in the village during the shooting of the movie.