We give you the itinerary and the necessary tips to start the trip to England on your own for 7 days.
We had already visited this nation of the United Kingdom before, but only the capital London and for periods of maximum 3 days. This time we would be there a whole week. Perfect to absorb even more the English vibe and get to know other places. In this post we bring you the details of the activities, itinerary and the necessary tips to travel to England on your own.
England: much more than London
When we start traveling, of course, the first destination for Great Britain is London. But then we realize that we have to accept that it is difficult to cover everything in London (it is a city with a lot to offer) but that in the same way we need to go to other cities to soak up the “english” well 🙂
Lest there be confusion: definitions of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom
I must confess that at some point in my life I had doubts about the difference between England and the United Kingdom, before I believed that all British people were English, but it is not like that 🙂
England: It is a country whose capital is London. Its demonym is English and it should only be used for the inhabitants of this country. England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland make up the United Kingdom.
United Kingdom: That name refers to a country of countries. The flag of the United Kingdom, called the Union Jack, symbolizes the union of the kingdoms (except Wales).
Great Britain: Why the demonym British? Officially the name of the United Kingdom is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which should not lead us to confusion. Great Britain is the geographical, not political, name of the island made up of England, Scotland and Wales.
Visa for the United Kingdom?
Can Mexicans travel to England (and thus the United Kingdom) without a visa? Can Europeans travel to the UK without a visa?
Mexicans who wish to travel to the United Kingdom are exempt from the visa requirement in any of the following activities (Visitor) for a maximum period of 6 months:
- general visitor
- child visitor
- family visitor
- business visitor
- student visitor duration less than 6 months
- visitor in transit
With France / Spain the time difference is 1:00 hour. From Mexico (Baja California time) the difference is 8:00 hours, be careful with the Jet Lag!
The official currency is the British Pound (GBP).
To give you an idea here are some exchange rates:
1 mexican peso = 0.041 GBP
1 euro = 0.89 GBP
Since we handle the euros we made the conversion quickly adding 20% to the prices we were looking at.
All the banknotes have the face of Queen Elizabeth II.
Note: the coins in the photo are already out of date, now they have new ones in circulation;) (so if you take your coins from a few years ago they probably won’t accept them)
To get to England: we traveled by plane arriving at London Heathrow airport (with British Airways), in Economy class. It was a short flight as we flew from Nice, France. We will bring the review soon but in the meantime you can see this one about British Airways in World Traveler Plus class on a long flight.
Within England: to move to other cities we rented a car. Driving on the “opposite” side has been quite an experience for Vincent (who was the one who gave his driver’s license to get the car out). Even for me as a co-pilot it was quite an adventure 😮
It may interest you: How to rent a car at the best price?
In the cities we moved with:
- Metro: the transportation par excellence in London, I recommend that you have your Oyster Cards ready from the beginning. They can be purchased on the Visit Britain site and with different pre-loaded options, they arrived very quickly. The card cost £ 5 plus the pounds contained in the card. The cost of the “oyster”, as I nicknamed it, pays off very quickly since a subway ticket costs £ 2.40 with Oyster or £ 4.90 in cash so in two trips it is already amortized. If you have balance left on the card when leaving the city you can request a refund at the machines, but beware, the card will be deactivated and will only serve as a souvenir ^^ so that step must be done only when we are sure that we will not return for a long time.
- Tourist bus: In Bath we did not stay overnight so we had to make the most of the day. Taking advantage of the fact that the center is relatively small, we decided to take the tourist bus, the classic City Sightseeing.
- With this we managed to turn around the most important points and, although we could not visit everything, we could have a complete vision of the historical places (also the stories included during the journey were very good).
- Ferry: in Bristol we took the ferry to get around quickly. It is a very popular means of transport among visitors. The only drawback is that you have to look closely at the schedules (especially to see what time the last one is) 😀
By the way, as you can see in the photos I show you, in the London Underground you can see everything: even a wedding couple taking their wedding photos O_O
Hotels in England
During this travel to England we stayed in several hotels:
London: The Tower Hotel, Point A Hotel
Bristol: Future Inn Bristol
Stratford-Upon-Avon:The Arden Hotel
Soon I will review our accommodations 🙂
Book your hotel for England here:
What suitcase should I bring?
We were going at the end of summer, so for example for Vincent, his shirts and a light jacket were enough for him. I brought blouses with a denim jacket, blue jeans, and skirts with stockings. Of course: closed shoes because you never know when it will rain. Luckily it only rained one day.
You have to take this in mind when you travel to England: rain can happen no matter what!
That said, we had enough with a cabin-size suitcase for each one and that to be able to go with ease.
Itinerary in England
We stayed a total of: 7 days. Our goals were to visit Shakespeare’s city, look for street art and where Banksy started, and see UK Roman vestiges. In addition to what we already had pending to do in London, our itinerary was like this:
Day 1 – London: London Bridge, visit Carnaby street
Day 2 – London: St James Park
Day 3 – London: changing of the guard, visit to Buckingham Palace, going to Bristol
Day 4 – Bristol: street art tour with Where the Wall, Bristol Cathedral, SS Great Britain ship visit
Day 5 – Bath: Arriving in Bath, Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, hop-on, hop-off bus and return through the city, No. 1 Royal Crescent, going to Stratford-Upon-Avon
Day 6 – Stratford-Upon-Avon: visit of the 5 houses of Shakespeare (where he was born, where he lived as an adult, where his wife grew up, where his mother grew up and what was the house of his daughter), visit of the Church of the Holy Trinity of Stratford-upon-Avon which is where he is buried with his family.
Day 7 – London: street art in London, tea tasting at Fortnum & Mason.
Day 8 – London: supermarket and departure
When you travel to England, don’t forget to check out these activities as well:
Our itinerary in the London part was much “slower”, it was on purpose, but here we leave you more ideas of what to do in the city on our birthday getaway in London.
- Food: If you are a fan of eating eggs and beans for breakfast then you will love the Full English Breakfast. Breakfast is served in all pubs. Likewise, if you are not a fan, do not worry, there are also sweet or lighter options. You can imagine what we had for breakfast almost every day, the exception was one day we had breakfast in a hotel that did not offer it and the next day we went to the nearest pub for our succulent breakfast. Another dish that will be everywhere is fish and chips (breaded fish with french fries), you have to eat it with tartar sauce, lemon and sometimes it is served with ground peas, a delight.
- Crossing the street: Do not forget to turn to THE OPPOSITE SIDE of the one we usually do. It is something that comes by itself and can be quite confusing.
- Big Ben: To this day (2019) it is still under construction and nothing can be seen. We already knew it so we were not looking for it 🙂 but I want to leave it here so that everyone knows and is not disappointed. In any case there are many more things to see.