Our 2015 trip to UK was ten full and very intense days. We were journeying from South (London) to North (Loch Ness) and back to London. We made more stops than those on the map below, but I have chosen those I liked most.
Unfortunate for us there was raining on the day we planned for London. We managed to make a long walk through the City of Westminster (>>>) location of the Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Westminster Palace (the seat of the UK Parliament) but also of famous Soho and the China Town as well as Piccadilly circus. Earlier in the morning, before the rain started we also stopped at the Tower and to take a look at the Tower Bridge (>>>).
The next day was about Windsor castle. As in many castles at the entrance you can get an audio guide that leads you through the outside and inside of the premises. You cannot make shots inside unfortunately. But walking around the premises (the castle is widespread) you can enjoy the old walls and much greenery, including the Queen’s garden.
A real highlight is the guard change (>>>), which accompanied by an orchestra is a quite entertaining event.
As we left Windsor we went North. We went by the famous Stonehenge. The picture below was done from the road. You cannot stop there (unless you want to see it at close and stay longer), but you can slow down a bit and make some shots.
We took a walk in Bath, a city famous for its Roman-built baths. Many buildings in the old parts of the town are built of a kind of yellow/honey limestone (called Bath limestone), which gives the city a quite special look. The next morning we went to Chester, a very old city famous for its Chester Rows. Two cities not far from each other, but so much different.
For a short while we stopped in Liverpool to see the city of the Beatles. We made obligatory shots near the Cavern Club where the band used to play. We went also to see the old port. Liverpool was once a very busy harbour, but the old docks were fully rebuilt into living and commercial zones as it happens nowadays in many old ports in Europe (>>>).
We spent only altogether two hours in Liverpool. Looking back I think that our planning was wrong. A short guided tour around the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City (it is the official name of the old port mercantile and administrative complex, by the way on the UNESCO world heritage list) would be quite interesting. We should have stayed overnight there. The same mistake we did in Glasgow, the first Scottish city on our itinerary. After a long day on the road we spent the night on the Stirling University campus. The location of this place is a real dream but we did not enjoy it much. We were simply too tired.
The next days was all about Scotland and the Highlands. First in the morning we visited the Stirling castle. It was the only castle in our plan, where it is possible to move around freely and take as much pictures as one wants. Quite much effort has been done by the Scottish authorities to reconstruct this place and the interiors. If you are there do not skip the castle kitchen – it is a really great reconstruction with wax figures as well as wax food (>>>).
In front of us was however an absolute highlight of the whole journey – a couple of hours road trip through the Scottish Highlands, including the famous Glen of Weeping (>>>).
The same road (A82) leads you North alongside the right bank of the Caledonian Canal. The road crosses the canal in Fort Augustus (>>>). Then for many miles on your right hand side you can enjoy the famous Loch Ness. It is a bit hidden by trees. We stayed the night in Loch Ness village. The next day or two was about castles (including Glamis castle >>>) and distilleries of Scotch Whiskey. Finally we got to Edinburgh. It was the time of the Fringe Festival so we simply enjoyed the street performances on a street called the Royal Mile (>>>).
I also learned a new word ‘jetties‘ (>>>) which stands for 1st floor overhangs that allowed people to increase their houses located at narrow medieval streets.
As I had to leave my company earlier than planned on our way back I stopped in London at St. Pancras International station. It was a reasonable choice as the station has a direct and quite quick connection to Luton airport. I had around six hours of waiting before me. Thinking of what to do I went to a nearby King’s Cross station. As a Harry Potter fan it was a reasonable choice to look for the Platform 9 and 3/4. To a great surprise I found it as well as saw many kids but also elder people who queued to make a photo of them crossing the wall (>>>).
The St. Pancras International station turned also to be a very interesting place to sight see. It is a huge Victorian building, fully renovated and very nicely arranged with some pieces of art. One of them is the Meeting Place, a huge sculpture of a couple in love in a farewell or welcoming embrace (>>>).