Great Britain


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.

GB_01You 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.

GB_05You 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.

May­be the sun is alrea­dy up when you arri­ve in Gre­at Bri­tain. Then the beau­ti­ful white cliffs of Dover are the first thing that you see.

GB_06Don’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.

The next day we dro­ve to the so-cal­led Long Man of Wilming­ton. It is the drawing of a white man that has been made into the stone.

GB_07The drawing is on a hill near East­bourne and it is 72 metres tall. In his hands, the man holds two staves. The land­s­cape near this drawing is also won­der­ful and very idyl­lic.

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.

GB_08On the same day we went to Brigh­ton, too. Brigh­ton is a city next to the sea. Many peop­le go the­re to impro­ve their health.

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.

GB_14Ano­t­her 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.

GB_15Near 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.

GB_16Our 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.

GB_17Near Salis­bu­ry is the loca­ti­on of one of the high­lights of every trip to Gre­at Bri­tain – Stone­henge.

GB_18We 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.

Old Sar­um is ano­t­her site to see in this regi­on. It was pro­bab­ly built in about 500 BC by Iron Age sett­lers. Romans, Saxons, and Normans all came to this place and built a cast­le.

Our next stop was Win­ches­ter.

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.

GB_25The ani­mals the­re run around free­ly and very often sheep are lying next to or even on the road.

GB_26In Post­bridge we had a look at a so-cal­led Clap­per Bridge. This is a bridge built from stones which are piled onto each other.

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.

GB_31Nobo­dy knows if the king even exis­ted or if Tin­ta­gel was his cast­le. But many tou­rists go the­re becau­se of the legends.

Go up to the cast­le and also walk along the edge of the cliffs. The views are very nice.

Wells: Next, we went to Wells. Wells is famous for its cathe­dral, Bishop’s Palace, and also the many swans which live the­re.

GB_35In 2012 many sculp­tures of swans were instal­led all around the city.

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.
GB_38The 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.

GB_43Above you see the Holy Tri­ni­ty Church whe­re Shakespeare’s gra­ve lies. On it you can read the fol­lo­wing words:

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!

GB_47The 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.

Ely is ano­t­her city you could go to with a small but nice city cent­re and an impres­si­ve cathe­dral. The con­struc­tion of the cathe­dral alrea­dy star­ted in the ele­venth cen­tu­ry.

GB_51Cam­bridge 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.

GB_54The last stop befo­re we went back home was Can­ter­bu­ry.

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!

GB_57

Accommodation

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.

Important Information

Use­ful num­bers

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