I had the pleasure of spending 6 months in England and got to know the UK on a very unique level that allowed me to immerse myself in the culture and really get a feel for it. There are so many beautiful and very life-earth-bloodplaces in the UK that I only hope to capture a fragment of what this Country is and what it has to offer the average traveler. When I arrived in the UK at Kings cross, one of the major hub underground stations, I was immediately blown away at a visceral level by how many people there are. Immediately you notice the close quarters that everybody in England is very well versed at maneuvering around. People breezing by you, shaving your shoulders with their's and not the slightest notice of it. It is as if somehow they have extrasensory perception on how far away you are without even looking at you. They are used to the very small amount of space they have to work with.
The vibe is very much big city and very alive. Buses, traffic noise and the feeling of productivity is in the air. You notice the overcast that gives London that grey and gloomy feel that you will eventually come to find out is the way London is most of the time. It is not an unpleasant feel, it more becomes the backdrop to how the city looks and eventually you stop noticing the grey. The grey makes the buildings seem a bit more mysterious, a bit more like the cathedrals and the buildings that are thousands of years old seem as though they are made to bear this light, or lack of light. You will know who is British by who is carrying an umbrella, those are the ones you can trust to point you in the right direction if you lose your way.
I saw many buildings and art galleries that were very impressive with the intricate detail they use. Paying particular attention to the beauty of a building is something to behold and that is one of the UK's finest forms of art. They have massive, incredible buildings that have had so much thought and work put into them that is unparalleled to any other place that I have been. When I first saw Big Ben, I did not know that a building could stir up such a feeling in mysoul like I have just been shown the archives to a lost city. It is breathtaking! With the London eye, Trafalgar Square, and many other museums and art galleries close in that vicinity it is very easy to see most tourist attractions.
The underground train system is like a vein that is running under London and very easy to navigate. You go down some steps, jump on the big vein and voila... you have arrived and fast! A very unique and curious thing about London is the Royal family. The idea of having a Queen makes you somehow feel like the place is full of old traditions and gives you a thirst to know more about how it all works. To see the changing of the guards and to see them make such a wonderful spectacle of love and loyalty to their queen is very impressive. The people seem to have a lot of respect and Love for this Elderly lady who has seen a lot of years on her mighty thrown.
When you are traveling through England a common theme that you notice is there is a pub in every little town. Even the smallest little English village has their town pub. The English love to drink beer or a "pint". They love to have a few after work, sometimes during the working day there will be meetings held in the local pub which is a pretty amazing idea! The English are very reserved until it hits 6pm and its pub time, that’s when the English like to throw back a few. The English countryside is full of rolling green hills. It is very beautiful and a part of you feels like you are in the movie "The sound of music" . The incredible thing about England is you will be driving along and run into yet another little village in the middle of nowhere with an old cathedral that dates back before Jesus ever thought of being born. It gives you the feeling that somehow even though you missed history class, it really doesn't matter. Because now you get it. Walking into a store you will hear the common Phrase from the English " you alright", and that means hello, not wow... are you alright there?
Cambridge is a must on anybody's list to see in England. It is the epitome of what most people from the USA think they may have seen somewhere on TV. To describe Cambridge would be like stepping back in history thousands of years to the time when you saw men wearing armor and shields. I would not have been surprised to see horses and carriages. This part of England is known for the famous University Cambridge and is a student town with a feel of being inspired by the smarter people of the world. I felt as though I should get a sweater and smoke a pipe, to be among the great minds. It does not have a hint of snobbish culture, rather a very open feel to it. It is as though anybody with a great mind and great ideas are instantly part of the community.
The cobblestone streets, college buildings and museums are all so well constructed and created for a true feeling of being surrounded by beauty and incredible architecture. The Eagle pub is a must for visiting Cambridge. It is in a small little nook in Cambridge that could be easily missed if you didn’t know it was there, but is a true salt of the earth pub. It is always packed and was where Watson and Crick discovered DNA. For some reason the fact that those great minds were enjoying a pint in this little pub while uncovering the mysteries of the universe speaks volumes more than I ever could about the culture that permeates England.
We also visited a little teahouse and had proper tea and crumpets at Harriet's Tea House I sat there with my napkin in my lap and watched what the other ladies were doing as I didn’t have a clue. Being proper takes a lot of work! But alas I was up for the challenge and partook of the most delicious little cakes and sandwiches. I felt like I somehow knew the queen and we had been invited to a little tea party. It felt very proper and was a very English experience as the English do love their tea and little cakes.
We also visited a place in England called Glastonbury, if you have even a hint of a hippie vibe in you this place is going to blast you out of the water. I am a spiritual person thru and thru and this place was very much a place that I had been looking forward too. This place is known as one of the spiritual vortexes on the planet if you have ever studied the earth and energy grids. The town itself is very cool and has a hippie-ish vibe. The stores are full of rainbow items and fairies dazzling away in the windows. This was all very cool and mystical.
We were walking along and noticed a very old wooden door that lead to a medieval hotel/ restaurant. It was called George and Pilgrims hotel. Let me tell you, if you ever feel like winding back the hands of time, this is your place. The place is like a dark little cave, low ceilings and old wooden tables. It felt like the oldest place my human body had ever placed its skin on. I felt like I went to another place in time, not anywhere close to the fairies and sparkles that were outside the door. The food was delicious and tasted like the recipe had been passed along so many generations that it felt like grandpa George made the shepherds pie himself. It was a true experience!
Last but by far not least in Glastonbury was our hike up to the Glastonbury Tor. This is a hike up thousands of steps on a green hill and with every fiber in my soul, I felt like we were ascending the steps of heaven. That is until we got to the 3,600th step. I think at that point I was a little lightheaded from the lack of oxygen, but regardless, we stood on the top of that hill and could see all across the land for eternity. The wind was blowing fiercely which gave it a magical feeling of being on top of the world. This is where the Energy vortex must come to a point. I felt it in my soul, I also felt it in my legs and calves as the days went on from the grueling hike up the stairway!
Bathe was another place in England that tops the charts for me. It is a beautiful town that has magical well... baths. It is what I imagine in my mind that the Romans used for their tireless pamperings. It has large bodies of hot springs that were once used by the Romans to have a little R&R. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you see it, you will pick up what I am putting down. When you see the hot springs it is hard to take your eyes off of the beauty of how they tamed these waters down and made it into such an aesthetically pleasing place. There are restaurants overlooking the baths and beautiful Gardens in the middle of the town. We did not spend a great deal of time there, but it was definitely worth seeing.
There are many many more amazing spots in the United Kingdom that makes this place a truly unique and must see on anybody's travel "bucket list". Cheers!
Written by: B. Rose