Loves going out and about, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing about her adventures!
Published April 24th 2020
Explore the UK from the comfort of your home
Getting out of Australia and travelling to faraway places was one of the things many of us did before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Whether we travelled on our own or with a group of fellow travellers on a coach bus tour or on a cruise ship, we all loved visiting and exploring faraway and exotic places.
Then coronavirus hit our shores and forced the closures of our borders and our airports, and popular tourist places in Australia and around the world became eerily silent.
While we are in lockdown, we won't be able to head overseas and seek adventures. However, reading Weekend Notes is the next best thing, right?! Because WeekendNotes is full of exciting adventures, and if we can't go on them physically, for now, we can still always read about them from the comfort and isolation of our own Canberra homes.
HOLIDAYING IN THE UK WITHOUT LEAVING CANBERRA Late last year on September 9, my little family and I boarded an Emirates flight out of Sydney airport and headed to Rome for the beginning of a six-week-long European adventure. During those six weeks, we visited the United Kingdom, taking in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Here are eight of the places that we visited in the UK and that I've written about for Weekend Notes. You may have been to these places already yourself or perhaps you may want to visit these places when the global lockdowns lift and coronavirus is contained. In the meantime, whether you're walking down memory lane or exploring anew, read on and enjoy exploring these eight popular UK tourist sites without having to leave the comfort of your Canberra home.
1. LOCH NESS You go to Loch Ness because of one thing, and one thing only: your chance to see the famous, mysterious, enigmatic, and forever in isolation, Loch Ness Monster! Over the centuries, there have been thousands of sightings of a monster inhabiting the dark, frigid waters of Loch Ness in Inverness, Scotland. Even today in the time of coronavirus, the Loch Ness Monster continues to fascinate us all. There have also been plenty of funny memes on the internet about Nessie, like this one:
The best place to learn about the famous Nessie is at the site of the Drumnadrochit Hotel in Inverness, where the modern legend of the monster began. The building in all its Victorian glory still stands today but it's no longer a hotel. It is now the wonderful Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition where you will learn everything there is to know about the Loch and its most mysterious underwater inhabitant. The Loch Ness Centre also offers deep scan cruises of the lake so you can get your chance to search for the monster yourself. So did we see the famous monster? Yes, we did, and we saw hundreds of them! Read Loch Ness to find out more.
2. YORK I LOVE York. It's the city of Romans, Vikings, and Normans. A city of chocolate, trains, highwaymen, wizards and cats. It's the city of King Richard the III and one of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world. It's a city that's rich in English history, and one that you and your family will absolutely fall in love with. There's Yorkminster, York's magnificent cathedral; the Shambles, York's medieval street that was once home to many butchers but is now full of magic and Harry Potter; the amazing Jorvik Viking Centre which takes you back in time to when York was a Viking town, the York Castle Museum where that famous highwayman Dick Turpin was said to have been hung, and so much more! For all the wonderful places in York, you can visit one day, go here.
Europe's best known prehistoric monuments, and also the most mysterious that continues to bewilder and mystify us all. Stonehenge evolved in several construction phases spanning at least 1500 years, from the Neolithic period (New Stone Age from about 4000 BCE-2500 BCE) right up the period known as the Bronze Age when the first metal tools and weapons were made. But despite all the exciting recent developments on Stonehenge, the stones continue to guard their secrets. Read more about this fascinating UNESCO World Heritage site here.
4. TITANIC MUSEUM, BELFAST In the early morning hours of April 15 in the year 1912, a British passenger liner that was one of the largest ships afloat at the time, hit an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. More than 1500 people perished. The ship's name was the RMS Titanic. The Titanic is one of the most famous ships in history, and its sinking one of the worst maritime disasters of all time. You can learn everything that there is to know about the Titanic and so much more at the amazing Titanic Museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
5. BEATLES LIVERPOOL
If you're a Beatles fan, then this is where you need to go! Liverpool is the home city of four men who burst onto the music scene in the 1960s and changed it forever. They were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They were the Beatles, and they are the best-selling, most influential music act of all time. One of the best ways to experience Beatles' Liverpool is on a tour such as the Magical Mystery Tour. Read more about it here.
6. JORVIK VIKING CENTRE
In the tenth century CE (900s), York was a Viking city. You can step back in time and experience life in Viking York at the Jorvik Viking Centre. The Jorvik Viking Centre stands on the site of the Coppergate Dig, an archaeological excavation by the York Archaeological Trust. It's a groundbreaking visitor experience where you take a journey through the reconstruction of Viking-age streets and experience life as it would have been in 10th century York. If you love Vikings (and let's face it-who doesn't?!) then you can find out more about this amazing, award-winning museum here.
7. CULLODEN BATTLEFIELD AND VISITOR CENTRE
Over the centuries there have been many bloody battles fought on the land that is now Britain. On 16 April 1746, a battle that was no less bloody and no less ferocious was fought on a wild, lonely moor near Inverness, Scotland. The battle was fought between the Jacobite army of Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) and a British government force under William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and the son of the reigning Hanoverian King, George II. Known as the Battle of Culloden, this was the last major battle to be ever fought on British soil. If you love military history, then this is the perfect place to visit. Read more here.
8. LEGOLAND WINDSOR
It's a place where everything is awesome! A must for all Lego fans, young and not so young! Located in Windsor on land that was once a safari park, Legoland was one of the top most-visited theme parks in the UK and Europe before coronavirus hit. Here are ten reasons why you should put Legoland Windsor on your UK bucket list.
We may be stuck in our homes and neighborhoods during this time, and we really won't know for a long time yet when the lockdown will eventually be lifted and the coronavirus pandemic finally contained. But even if we can't travel overseas right now, we can still dream and imagine and read all about all the exciting places we can visit via Weekend Notes. And all without having to leave Canberra.
Happy travelling from the comfort and isolation of your Canberra home!