This past June, I had the trip of a lifetime and was able to spend almost 2 weeks in Europe with some of the greatest gals I know. We split our time between the U.K. and Greece (check out our full Europe itinerary here), and today I wanted to give you a peek into our time in Great Britain. If you’re headed over the pond anytime soon, I hope that you find this post helpful! Here’s what I experienced during my 3 days in England.
3 Days in England
Mary Kay and I arrived around 10 AM and were so happy to be reunited with our ex-pat friends, Rachel and Jared. They picked us up from Gatwick airport and we headed back to their town of Reading. After having some snacks and catching up, we headed out to explore their city of the past 2 years.
Reading is located southwest of London on the river Thames and is about a 30 minute train ride away from the city. It has a really cute main street with lots of shops, restaurants and pubs. We stopped at Bill’s for a quick dinner and tried fried haloumi…aka the British version of mozzarella sticks.
While Jared went to work (sorry, Jared!), the three of us girls took the train to London. Both Mary Kay and I loved this mode of transportation! Pro tip: Wait until 10 AM to take the train to the city. The prices drastically drop after the morning commute.
We walked around Buckingham Palace, said hi to Big Ben, paused for a cliché photo in a telephone booth and loved every minute of it! Something we noticed was that everyone dressed so well. The tourists in shorts, t-shirts and caps stuck out like sore thumbs!
The highlight of this day was definitely afternoon tea at sketch. We sipped on champagne, tried to be classy while almost gagging on caviar and ate a weeks worth of sugar all while sipping delicious tea. (I chose fresh mint!) The decor alone in sketch will keep you amused but there was also a four-string quartet playing some of my favorite songs. This is an experience I will never forget! You will drop a pricey penny here but it’s worth it.
After tea, we did a bit of shopping. London has thee cutest and most beautiful shops. Watch yourself, it’s easy to spend a lot of money here! I would definitely recommend stopping in Selfridges and Harrods.
Next we headed over tower bridge to go to the South Bank to meet Jared for dinner. We were really hoping to visit Borough Market but the attacks had happened only 2 weeks before and it was still closed. While this city has been hit by a lot recently, the vibe is still positive and bustling. My heart goes out to all of the victims and their families.
We went back on the train and headed to Windsor to visit the Queen’s castle. It was so fun to walk the grounds and truly see where she lives.
After our educational tour, we walked around charming Oxford and saw a lot of grads. It was especially fun for me because I went to college at Miami University located in Oxford, OH! 🙂 While Oxford, OH is darling, I’m not sure it tops Oxford, England.
If I had to do this portion of our trip over again, I would’ve tried to fly into Heathrow airport. It was cheaper to fly into Gatwick but Heathrow is closer. I just happen to have sweet friends that were willing to come pick me up! (Thanks, Rachel & Jared!) I would also probably spend a full day in both Oxford and Windsor.
Next up, I’ll be covering the second country of my European adventure…GREECE! Get ready for unbelievable blue waters and jaw-dropping views.