From Roman Londinium to Jacobite Highlands

UKitinerary

Although my first visit to London early this year was a short one, I saw many of its iconic landmarks in less than 24 hours and had a quick taste of what it’s like to live in the city that has the best of almost everything. Of course, two days aren’t enough. I just had to come back! Fortunately, my UK visa had a 6-month validity. So I started planning for the next one as soon as I got back home. This time, I made sure I’d come away totally satisfied. I went beyond the medieval boundaries of Londinium and crossed the English borders to Wales and Scotland. Sounds like a tremendous and tedious task to put together, doesn’t it? Well, I’d say YES and NO. YES because careful planning and research are needed. And NO because traveling has become a lot easier with today’s internet access. The world is just at the tip of our fingers!

So here’s the complete 16-Day itinerary of my UK spring trip:

BathAccommodation: St. Christopher’s Inn Bath

DAY 1:
Arrival at London Heathrow and travel to Bath by National Express bus
Quick stroll around the area and first glimpse of Bath Abbey
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat at Theater Royal Bath

DAY 2:
Saint John the Evangelist morning mass
Tourist Information Center
Jane Austen and World Heritage Sites Walking Tour with Audio Guide
Pulteney Bridge twilight photo shoot

DAY 3:
Morning Mass at St. John’s
The Roman Baths, Museum and Shop
Victoria Art Gallery
Thermae Bath Spa (Twilight Package)

DAY 4:
Morning Mass at St. John’s
Good Buy Bookstore
Joint Catholic and Anglican Stations of the Cross at St. Mary’s
View of Bath Skyline on The National Trust Widcombe Hills
Travel to Cardiff by National Express bus

Cardiff

Wales is blessed with some truly magnificent castles, full of history, and a must see for visitors. ~Luke Evans

Accommodation: The River House Backpackers (Riverside)

DAY 5:
Tourist Information Center
The Cardiff Story Museum
National Museum
Vigil Mass at St. David’s
The Sound of Music at the New Theater

DAY 6:
Caerphilly Castle
Cardiff Bay
Sophia Gardens and Bute Park

DAY 7:
Cardiff Castle
Victorian Arcades and souvenir shopping
Travel to Edinburgh by National Express bus

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is so cultural and such a beautiful place to walk around. ~Rupert Friend

Accommodation: High Street Hostel (Blackfriars Street)

DAY 8:
Walk through The Royal Mile
St. Gile’s Cathedral including The Thistle Room
and a free midday concert by The Mormon Missionary Choir
Museum of Childhood
Princes Street and Scott Monument
Calton Hill

DAY 9:
Sottish Highlands Day Trip

DAY 10:
Palace of Holyrood House and The Queen’s Gallery
Edinburgh Castle
Climbed up Arthur’s Seat

DAY 11:
St. Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral and surrounding area
Souvenir shopping at Princes Street and Royal Mile
Travel to London by East Coast train

London

If you’re curious, London’s an amazing place. ~David Bailey

Accommodation: The White Ferry House (Victoria)

DAY 12:
Windsor Castle
Tate Modern

DAY 13:
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace
All Hallows by the Tower
Tower of London
Easter Sunday Mass at Brompton Oratory
Dinner at a Filipino eatery in Earl’s Court

DAY 14:
Shakespeare’s Globe
Westminster Abbey
Tower Bridge Exhibition
explored Greenwich area
London Eye and 3D experience

DAY 15:
Downton Abbey Film Location Tour with International Friends
Miss Saigon at Prince Edward Theater

DAY 16:
Flight back to Japan

It is a fascinating experience to see a plan come to fruition. I feel a great sense of accomplishment browsing through my travel notes and mentally marking it with a been-there-done-that seal. Excuse the vanity there. But it isn’t really about what I’ve seen or where I’ve been. It is about those little nuggets of truth and growth opportunities I pick up along the way that stay with me and flourish. It is that unmistakable sense of being connected with the world and humanity. And if only for that, I know I will never stop moving. I’ve come to realize now that great travels have no end. It is a continuous journey of exploration and discovery of one’s inner self and the world around, and building a bridge in between. At least that’s how I feel with what I’m doing. I may spend all of my hard-earned money in this endeavor, but I gain more than it will ever be worth in any currency… because then I will have learned to embrace life and LIVED!

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights;
it is a change that  goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.
~Mary Ritter Beard~

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miSyel’s quotes

"The beauty of the truth is that it need not be proclaimed or believed. It skips from soul to soul, changing form each time it touches, but it is what it is."— Mark Helprin