Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The UK and my missed chances

I've lived in London for two years, I can say I know the city quite well, went out day and night, explored it, enjoyed events, museums, demonstrations, conferences, seminars and anything the English capital can offer.

So what's bothering me?

I didn't travel throughout the UK as I would have liked. In London I was working, the city was expensive so the little I managed to save was spent in trips outside the country, whenever I could take some time off

First of all, I would have loved to visit Scotland, Edinburgh is possibly my biggest regret. Actually I had already started making some plans of going there, and since I doubt I would have gone around by car, first of all because I'm a big fan of public transport, and also because I'm not really a great driver, I would have organized in a way to leave the car at the Edinburgh airport parking and hang around by bus.

I would love dawdling around the city's castles, exploring its fascinating history, experiencing its lively society, discovering little by little the UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on the very heart of the city such as the medieval Old Town, the Georgian New Town and the famous modern architecture.

I have by all means enjoyed my stay in London, but other than that, I didn't visit much. I went to Swansea and Cardiff, Wales, for a weekend, unfortunately only once and needless to say, it was pouring. Ok, I also went to Oxford, but for a conference, so I didn't get to see the city much, only a small walk at night just to have the time to see it's a lovely town.

Admittedly, in the public mind the UK is not a dream tourist destination, and weather-wise it's kind of understandable, but nevertheless, Scotland has always captivated me. Apart from Edinburgh, another city I would like to visit is Glasgow. Of course here too I would travel by bus so I would leave my car at the Glasgow airport parking.

Although the Scottish capital is Edinburgh, Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and one of the most cosmopolitan in the country. Situated on the River Clyde, it developed from the medieval Bishopric of Glasgow, becoming a major center of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century.

Even if little of the old medieval Glasgow is still available to visitors, there are many places I would love to see (and take photo of), such as the fascinating Provand's Lordship, commissioned in 1471 by Andrew Muirhead, Bishop of Glasgow, as part of St Nicholas' Hospital, today's oldest remaining house in Glasgow, while the nearby Cathedral is the oldest building.

Edinburgh and Glasgow are some of my biggest regrets of my two years in the UK, but now that I'm back to Europe after a year in China I'm planning some trips around the Old Continent and certainly Scotland will be included.

Photo credits kevgibbo.


Monument Curtains said...

there are just so many what if's with those missed chances.

Andrea said...

I never looked at the UK as a dream destination until our recent trip there. We had terrible weather in Edinburgh but I really want to go back and highly recommend you get there someday. Scotland, in general, has lots to see. I really enjoyed our time in the UK.

Abhijit said...

I'd definitely encourage you to travel around UK, and not just Edinburgh, Glasgow at that.

I moved to UK 8 months back.. and have been travelling around a bit (always by public transport) - Northern Ireland (Giant's Causeway), Lake District, Liverpool, and in a previous trip to Scottish Highlands as well. And looking at the photos, quiet a few people here have told me that they didn't know their own country was so beautiful!

AngelaCorrias said...

Andrea, the weather probably was the main reason that discouraged me from traveling, next time I'll go just for a trip instead of moving there, probably it's the motivation I need!

Abhijit, your blog is one of the sites that made me think I haven't traveled enough in the UK, I believe there are great monumuents, landscapes and places to photograph!

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salesroles said...

Sounds like you enjoyed london, shame you were not able to visit other areas


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Erica said...

I hear you. There are so much to England besides London. Feel the same as you. I lived there for a few months but didn't go any further than zone 4. Like you, I'd love to see Glasgow, Edinburgh, also Liverpool, Manchester and the Cornwall region. The coast there looks stunning!

Brett said...

Haven traveled to the UK many times over the past 30 years, visitors will get a different sense of the UK if they travel outside of London.

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