Have you been to Great Britain? If not, this could be your summer programme. If yes, you could also go there again. There is so much to see and do in the different regions. In this travel report you find some interesting ideas what you could do on your journey.
My family and I have been to Great Britain many times. This travel report follows the tour we did in 2012, our longest stay in Britain. As usual, we travelled with our car and caravan. We stayed at campsites.
You cannot drive very fast with a caravan. Because of this we stayed in Germany for one night and then in France, near Calais, for another night. Then we went from Calais to Dover by ferry.
You can also take a ferry at night when it is a bit cheaper. We took one of the P&O ferries and booked it online. Take a look at their website by clicking here and find a good offer for your journey. You can also go by train, but we didn’t want to do that.
Don’t forget that Great Britain is in a different time zone. In Great Britain it is an hour earlier than here in Austria. This means that if it is nine o’clock in Austria, it is eight o’clock in Great Britain. You need to turn your watch back one hour.
Not far away, there are also windmills that you could have a look at. Located near Clayton, you can reach the windmills ‘Jack & Jill’ via the A23 if you come from Brighton, and the A273 coming from Pyecombe. It is not possible to go inside, but they are really impressive.
It has got many attractions and one of the most famous of them is the pier. On the pier are casinos and it is like an amusement park.
Another important sight of Brighton is the Brighton Royal Pavilion. The first parts of it were built in the 18th century. It looks like an Oriental palace. During the First World War it was a military hospital.
Near Brighton there is a nice lighthouse to see at Beachy Head. When we went there the wind was very cold and we almost didn’t get out of the car. However, nature is extremely beautiful there and we were happy that we had seen it.
Our next campsite (http://www.summerlandscaravanpark.co.uk/) was located near Salisbury. It was not easy to reach. The street we had to take to get there was full of holes and narrow. The campsite itself was lovely to look at and we were happy to be there in the end.
Salisbury has a nice cathedral and is full of life.
We went there three times because we were so fascinated by these enormous stones. There is a kind of magic at this place. It is best to go there shortly before they close. During the day there are so many tourists there that you cannot really enjoy the feeling of the location.
Take a look at the left picture above. You can see a man and how small he is in comparison to the stones. It is really impressive. Stonehenge is still a mystery. It is a ring of tall stones and there have been many different theories about its function and age. Archaeologists today believe that it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The letters BC in English mean ‘before Christ’ that is before Jesus Christ was born. The opposite is AD. This means ‘anno Domini’ and is used for the years after Christ’s birth. Stonehenge is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Some people think that burials took place here.
We continued our journey and stopped at the Fox and Hounds Campsite, near Lydford, in the Dartmoor region (http://www.foxandhoundshotel.com/index.html). The campsite was quite funny. It was just a meadow behind the hotel and the shower and toilets were extremely small. The people there were very friendly. There was no place to wash our dishes, so they offered us to go to the kitchen of the hotel and put them into the dishwasher.
The Dartmoor region has an outstanding landscape and nature.
An extremely beautiful part of Great Britain is Cornwall. Have you ever seen a Rosamunde Pilcher movie or been forced to watch it with you partner? Only for the landscape? Well, this is the landscape that you usually see in those movies. It is a region full of charming seaside sights, high cliffs and outstanding nature.
What you should definitely see is Tintagel. Tintagel is the name of a little village which also has ruins of a castle out on the rocks. According to a famous legend, those are the ruins of King Arthur’s castle. There are many legends about King Arthur and the knights of his round table. The brave knights of King Arthur and their power are well-known and their stories are famous all over the world.
Go up to the castle and also walk along the edge of the cliffs. The views are very nice.
On the picture on the right side above you see a small bell. The swans have learnt to ring the bell themselves so that they get food. Below you see a picture of Wells Cathedral.
The luxurious city of Roman baths is called … Bath! The perfect name. There is a large pedestrian area with many shops and extraordinary buildings.
William Shakespeare calling! Of course, the city where the famous British writer was born was on our list of things to see. Stratford-upon-Avon is a city located on the River Avon. There are many boats and swans to see. Most tourists go there to see the different places associated with Shakespeare. There is also the Royal Shakespeare Theatre where you can watch famous Shakespeare production.
On the left you see Shakespeare’s birth place and on the right the theatre where the Royal Shakespeare Company performs today.
Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbeare
To dig the dust enclosed heare;
Bleste be the man that speares thes stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.
In more modern and easy English: Keep your fingers away from my bones or something bad will happen to you!
Shakespeare wrote many plays. Comedies, tragedies, history plays, … You certainly know some of them. Here is a little list.
Enough of Shakespeare for us. We decided to go to Gloucester. A special place to see in Gloucester is the cathedral. In this cathedral some of the scenes for the popular Harry Potter film series were filmed. Just take a look at the lovely cloister!
The end of our trip was fast approaching. Oxford, the famous university city, should also not be missed when you’re travelling in Great Britain, and this is what we also went to see. For our stay near Oxford we went to Benson’s Waterfront Campsite. If you click on the name you will be directed to their website. There you can put up your tent or your caravan directly at the riverside. This is very nice and many ships pass, which is fascinating to watch.
Just walk around the city centre and you will see a lot of impressive buildings and nice architecture.
A very special building is the Radcliffe Camera at Oxford University. Above you can compare it in real life and in cake form.
Cambridge was the last city we went to before we made a trip to the capital, London. Cambridge, like Oxford, is an extremely famous university city with huge old university buildings and a special atmosphere. The most famous college is King’s College, which you see on the right side below.
We stayed at a pleasant campsite with very beautiful English lawn. It was called the Traveller’s Rest and is located between Ely and Cambridge. (http://www.travellersrestcampsite.co.uk/)
For our day trip to London, we took the train from Waterbeach and arrived back at the campsite in the evening. For an overview and tips about London, click here.
After so many weeks and attractions we had finally reached our last day in Britain. We had seen a lot of different sights and cities – what a nice country to travel to!
We did not book any accommodation in advance, because we went to Great Britain by car and took our caravan with us. In the text you can see some links to websites of campsites that we stayed at.
If you plan to stay at campsites, try to find them when you’re still at home because that is a lot easier than having to search for them on the way. We often went to libraries to search the Internet to find our next campsite. That was not always easy.
There are many very beautiful campsites in Great Britain and you are flexible if you can just leave the caravan and tent there. However, many of them are quite expensive – especially the ones near London or Brighton.
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