Trip to England: highlights

Here are some of the highlights of our recent trip to England. Although it was family-centred, we managed to visit some interesting places.

Temple Church

I’ve always wanted to see the Temple Church. My first attempt was a few years ago when I had a few hours to kill in London before my flight back home, I can’t remember whether it was to Dallas or to Buenos Aires. Anyway, I walked and walked trying to find this historic church ensconced in the middle of the Inns of Court.  I eventually found it but, to my chagrin, it was closed for repairs.

Cut to July 2011. My friends Romina and Anibal were in London on holiday. Together we visited Westminster Cathedral and had nothing planned for later. However, I had a secret agenda. Mwahahaha! I played on my friend’s interest in history and very innocently suggested we could have a look at this church built by the Knights Templars. Nothing special, only medieval, you know. We asked a guy for directions and he said “Oh, the Da Vinci Code church?” That was a bit embarrassing. I wanted to explain that I ‘m not a Dan Brown fan I knew about this church way before he made it famous but somehow I don’t think this passer-by would have cared.

We were like kids in a candy store!

Fish and chips with mushy peas and tartar sauce

Those who know me know that I don’t care for fish. I managed to avoid Britain’s national dish for years until last week. We met up with some friends in Brighton whom we hadn’t seen in years. It was a glorious summer day, the seagulls were dancing in the sky, the musicians were playing in the square, wine and conversation were flowing easily. One thing led to another and I found myself ordering fish and chips with mushy peas. The haddock was so fresh that I’d like to think it was caught that morning off the coast of Brighton.

HMS Victory

HMS Victory was launched in 1765 and was Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. It is a museum now, placed in a dry dock in Portsmouth. I walked about the decks trying to imagine the noises of battle, the roar of the cannon and the shouts of the gunners manning it, the heartrending screams of the wounded, the smell of fear. It wasn’t a very successful evocation, the trappings of modern life and other tourists got in the way.

Guildford Castle

Guildford Castle dates back to Saxon times and was rebuilt by William the Conqueror in the Norman style. Nowadays, only the keep and sections of the wall remain. But my favourite place were the gardens: the design of the flowerbeds, the variety and quantity of flowers, the sweet smells. It was absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t ideal but it could have been worse.

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Ana

Hi, I'm Ana. I'm originally from Argentina but I'm currently living in Dallas (USA) with my British husband. I'd like to share my experiences as an expat and as a traveller.

10 thoughts on “Trip to England: highlights”

  1. Beautiful trip! I envy you so much – It’s been 12 years since I was in London last. We keep saying that we can go there any time we want, because it’s very close – but because of that, we keep postponing going there.

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  2. OK, the fish and chips look amazing…but mushy peas? They’re not really my cup of tea. 😉

    The gardens at that castle are stunning! I visited England in 2005, and I was completely enamored with both London and the countryside. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be heading back anytime soon. 😦

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    1. It doesn’t look very appetizing, does it? But I like peas 🙂
      The countryside is gorgeous and London is such an interesting city, it takes a lifetime to know it well.

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  3. I just came back from England as well! Beach? Check. Fish and chips and mushy peas? Check. A little sightseeing (timed around my sister’s wedding)? Check. Looking forward to more of yours post – wanna see how much we experienced the same 🙂

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  4. Hi Ana! Not so far to travel as you (I’m on the North East coast of England) but I spent a few celebratory days in London with some lady friends this summer. Our Westminster to Greenwich boat trip was a wonderful day out,especially the guided walking tour of Greenwich. Could visualise myself jousting with Henry VIII in Greenwich Park. (I’d have let him win!)

    Nice to find your blog. I have a friend who’s lived in Dallas for many years so I know this year’s been a hot one! Decidedly cool here!

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    1. Hi Johanna! It indeed was long, hot summer, with 71 straight days of triple digit temperatures. I’ll be in England again soon and I’ll try to do the Greenwich walking tour, it sounds interesting.

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