My husband, Jacob, and I have been actively planning this vacation for months, but we have been dreaming and saving up for it for years! Two weeks ago we left the United States for our very first international vacation together–to England and Scotland. England has always had a very special place in my heart my entire life strictly because of my love for British literature (the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen, anyone?!). I went to these two countries in college with a large group of college students and two professors, and we focused on locations that were specific to Brit Lit. It was an amazing trip–hanging out with friends (I met one of my dearest friends and bridesmaid on this trip!), exploring the country, eating new foods, staying in sketchy hostels (ok, that part was NOT amazing!).
But this time around, almost 5 years later, I got to explore it in an entirely different light: as a “grown-up,” business owner, and wife. And it was even more amazing than the first time I went…because I got to go with Jacob!
We spent 2 days in London and 5 days in Scotland, which was the perfect ratio for us since we are pretty introverted and there was a little too much hustle and bustle in London. We LOVED the slower pace of Scotland and the outdoors! However, we packed our days full while we were in London and we saw: the Tower of London (this was Jacob’s favorite!), Churchill War Rooms, Buckingham Palace, The Royal Mews, St. Paul’s Cathedral, toured the HMS Belfast, saw a show at the Globe Theatre, spent a good chunk of an afternoon soaking in the sun and eating ice cream cones in Hyde Park, and a LOT of time exploring and eating! We were SO sad but due to bad planning on our part, we did not get to go inside Westminster Abbey this time.
I’m so excited to share some of my pictures with you (I apologize for any grainy-ness! These were all taken on our phones!).
HMS Belfast! This is now a branch of the Imperial War Museum and we got to tour the entire ship.
We spent several hours in the Churchill War Rooms (thankfully, Jacob and I have a shared interest in history!!) and it was SO worth it. I couldn’t remember much of this from my first visit, but I think I appreciated it much more this go around.
A small bit of Hyde Park! We were NOT planning on the crazy beautiful weather we got while we were there–70 and sunny. I was not expecting to return from our London vacation with a sunburn.
A view of St. Paul’s cathedral along with the Millenium Bridge (better known as the “Wobbly Bridge” due to some engineering errors on it’s opening day).
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater! This might be the MOST shameful moment of my life…but we had to leave after intermission. We were so excited to see Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” but unfortunately, our bodies didn’t care. After 36 hours of being awake (a full day’s work, no sleep on the plane over night, and exploring London for an entire day), we literally couldn’t handle it any longer and I could NOT keep my eyes open. I told you–it was shameful!!! The play was amazing (from what we saw), but we knew it would be better for us to leave at intermission than have one of us truly pass out in the audience.
View of the Tower Bridge from inside the Tower of London.
Inside the Royal Mews (it’s a collection of the royal families carriages, horses, and vehicles).
Leaving England and on our way to Inverness on a Sleeper train!! As much as I wanted to sing a song from the movie White Christmas, this sleeper train did NOT feel as glamorous as the train Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye were on!
I can’t wait to share the second half of our vacation in Scotland!
If you’re in the midst of planning a vacation and you’re newly married (or if you’re planning your honeymoon!), check out some of my planning tips here!!