This past September, I made my first trip to England (and to Europe, for that matter). I volunteered to help out the events team at my work with staffing for ThemeConf – an EU conference put on by a couple of my coworkers. This year the conference was held in Keswick – England’s Lake District.
Since it was my first time visiting England, I decided to take a few extra days on each end of the conference to visit London, as well. I felt like I couldn’t go to England and not explore London, at least a little bit.
I’m really glad I took the extra time because London and Keswick are both very different from one another.
Keswick, which is located up in the Lake District just a bit South of the Scotland border, is a beautiful part of England surrounded by green hills and countryside. All of the buildings were older and made of brick. It reminded me of something right out of Downton Abby. Most of my time there was spent doing conference-related stuff but there was still plenty of time to get to walk around and see the town. Jack and Tammie, the conference organizers (and my coworkers) also did a really great job scheduling dinners in locations that allowed us to get a good feel for Keswick.
London, on the other hand, is … well … a big city. A very awesome big city. I tried to see as much as I possibly could there in the few days I had to explore. I think I did a pretty decent job with that.
On my first day, I walked over to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Then I walked around a bit in that area before jumping on The Tube over to see Big Ben. From there, I walked over to the Piccadilly Circus area and jumped back on The Tube over to The Queen’s Arms in the Hyde Park neighborhood (which ended up being my favorite pub).
On my second day, I started off at the Natural History Museum. Then I took The Tube over to St Stephen’s Tavern Pub, across from Big Ben, for a Sunday roast. From there, I walked along the river down to The Tower Bridge, crossed the bridge, then walked back up on the other side. For dinner, I stopped in at Founder’s Arms for a pint and some bangers and mash. Before crossing over the Westminster Bridge, I took an evening ride on The London Eye.
On my last day in London (after the week in Keswick), I checked out the British Museum and walked over to see Buckingham Palace.
I really enjoyed both parts of England, I really couldn’t say which one I liked more. I’m really glad I got to experience two very different parts of the country during my short visit there. I absolutely loved it there and I hope to get to visit again in the future!