The historic city of York has barely changed throughout the years. During this time, the York City Walls have remained in a remarkable condition, almost intact centuries after they were first built. And they can now be walked, free of charge! Taking a stroll along the York Bar Walls (you’ll get to know more about this peculiar name later) is a must for both locals and tourists. And of course, a great way to get to know more about the rich history of York.
The York Walls stand as the longest medieval town walls in England (they’re 3.4km or 2 miles long!), and also the best preserved. They can be accessed through four main and two secondary gates. But before we dwell on these, let me tell you all about the amazing history of the York City Walls.
When it comes to travel, one of my favourite things is familiarising myself with the trendiest spots, cultural musts and most exciting places to eat in whatever our next destination is. As someone who is constantly on the lookout for new places to add to my little travel book, I can’t bear lazying around. I absolutely have to visit as many different spots as humanly possible! A control freak, I know.
There aren’t many cities that I fall head over heels for at first sight. But I have to admit Edinburgh won me over from the very beginning. Having never been to Scotland before, I was really excited to see bagpipers in person – something that had been on my travel bucket list for quite a while! Thankfully, they were far better than Ross’ bagpipe performance in Friends! That being said, how could I possibly not include a bunch of recommendations to make your time in the Scottish capital far more enjoyable? Shall we go ahead with my best things to do in Edinburgh?
Bath is one of the most picturesque corners in the UK. Located in the county of Somerset, in the southwest of England, Bath somehow evokes a mix between a metropolitan, urban feel and an idyllic English countryside atmosphere. Being an hour an a half train ride from London and an even shorter drive from Bristol, it’s become a preferred destination for those seeking a natural spa treatment, a short getaway from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke and quite charmingly, Christmas markets lovers.
From the Romans to its world class Palladian and Georgian architecture, honey-coloured Bath stone buildings and winding cobbled streets, it’s no wonder the whole city is a UNESCO Heritage site. Its rather small size also means you can easily see it in a day or two. And yes, I mean by foot! Who needs public transport when you have 2,000 year old Roman Baths waiting to be explored?
More than half a century since its accidental discovery, the Terracotta Army is still one of the most important archaeological findings in history. And I am not surprised at all. Who would’ve thought that there was a hidden 76m tall underground tomb in a remote area of China? Sounds bonkers, right? Unsurprisingly, visiting the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor has always been on my travel bucket list. I often find myself astonished at this wonder. How is it possible to build an underground city filled with thousands of warriors to serve and protect the self-proclaimed First Emperor of China in his afterlife? The perseverance of humankind never ceases to amaze me.
Naturally, when I learnt that the World Museum in Liverpool was temporarily exhibiting part of of the collection of this archaeological complex, I immediately had to add it to my Liverpool itinerary.
Undoubtedly, Christmas markets are one of the best things to get you feeling festive in the build up to Christmas day. I, for one, have a seriously soft spot for all things jolly. Also, the festive period is my favourite time of the year. When the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful, I am far from a Grinch and more of a Buddy and want to surround myself with all things Christmas.
There’s nothing better than a great Christmas Market to help feed one’s festive appetite. The best part? You don’t need to travel to another country to find a good one (if you live in the UK, that is!). Just an hour and a half train ride from London, Bath is home to the ultimate Christmas Market. And guess what? The Bath Christmas Market is considered one of the best in the UK and perhaps even in the world!
Liverpool is best known for being the birthplace of one of the greatest Rock’n’Roll bands of all time – The Beatles. However, there’s much more to this city than the Fab Four and their incredible rise to worldwide fame and recognition. A leader in maritime trade and transport during the Industrial Revolution, this city in the North of England has achieved a UNESCO World Heritage Site status in six of its locations, known as the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City. Home to Aintree Racecourse and the famous Grand National, as well as two of the biggest football teams in the UK (Liverpool FC and Everton FC), no wonder Liverpool was named European Capital of Culture in 2008!
Either by plane to the John Lennon International Airport, or by train to Liverpool Lime Street Station like we did, The Pool is definitely worth visiting. There are so many things to do in Liverpool that it’s hard to know where to start. Luckily our “How to spend a weekend in Liverpool” travel guide is here to help!
Cambridge is one of the most charming and quintessentially British places you can visit. Set on the banks of the River Cam, this picturesque historic city has it all. Cobbled labyrinthine streets, honey-coloured buildings and old bridges…Not to mention the quirky shops and boutiques and an infinite number of pubs and coffee houses. And of course, a total of 31 colleges that make up the world-renowned university and its very own gondola-like experience – punting!
Founded in 1209 by a group of scholars from the University of Oxford who settled in Cambridge after a dispute with Oxford’s townspeople, the University of Cambridge is one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world. It’s also the second oldest University in the UK after Oxford. After exploring Oxford on a day trip last year, we couldn’t resist checking the other half of the Oxford-Cambridge rivalry. This time, however, we had the help and recommendations of our friends acting as our own private local guides.