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I Really Miss England

It might be hard to believe, since I’m constantly writing about it , but I haven’t set foot in England in nearly three years. In that time I’ve visited many continents and countries and seen so many amazing things. I’ve lived in places as far flung as China and Argentina, yet England is always there in in the back of my mind.

Today I’m staring out the window at the Buenos Aires skyline, trying to come up with an article to write about this energetic city. In my mind though I’m thousands of miles away, thinking of spring time in Hyde Park.

Some people overlook England for more glamorous European locales like Italy or France, but here’s why England will always be #1 in my heart:

 The History

Everything in England is just so very OLD. In the United States when something is considered historic, it’s usually 200, 300 years old, 400 tops. The really old stuff in England dates back to the Ancient Romans. We’re talking 2000+ years of history.

In London you can dine in a tavern that is nearly 350 years old (this is the new building they rebuilt after the great fire, the actual history dates back even further. Or stroll on down to the imposing Tower of London constructed in 1078. Further north you can hike Hadrian’s Wall, built in AD 122. To leap even further back in history visit the standing stones at Stonehenge, they are estimate to have been erected between four and five THOUSAND years ago.

 

Now that is old.

The Culture (Okay the Books)

This may be my English major nerdiness showing, but England is like my holy land for cultural richness. Not only did this country produce the Beatles, Alfred Hitchcock and Dr. Who, it spawned an immense amount of amazing literature and poetry.

I mean look at all of these amazing writers that have come out of the country: Ian McEwan, Neil Gaiman, Martin Amis, Roald Dahl, CS Lewis, Douglas Adams, Agatha Christie, Virginia Woolf, DH Lawrence, Evelyn Waugh, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, HG Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Austen, Jonathan Swift and Geoffrey Chaucer to name a very few. Plus poets like Edmund Spenser, Lord Byron, Bryce Shelley, William Wordsworth, Alfred Tennyson, AE Housman, Wilfred Owen, Ted Hughes and more. And then there’s Shakespeare. I can keep going all day.

You can’t accuse me of exaggerating. This is the country that gave us the Lord of the Rings, James Bond, Peter Pan AND Harry Potter. And Sherlock Holmes. Okay I need to go take a cold shower now.

The Landscapes

England has some of the most scenery in the world. It’s very diverse, from the windswept coasts to the rolling countrysides to beautiful mountains. Because of the excellent train system in the UK and the availability of last minute holiday cottages, exploring the country-side is easy even for international visitors.

Some of my favorite spots for natural beauty in England include the rugged windswept coasts of the southwest (see: Cornwall and Devon) and the rolling hills of the Cotswolds with their tiny little hamlets.

There are also a lot of bits I haven’t yet seen, such as the magnificently crumbling Hadrian’s Wall and the iconic Lake District. The Lake District in particular holds a lot of interest for me with it’s gorgeous mountains, sparkling lakes and surrounding B&B’s and Lake District cottages. The area was also a major inspiration for poets like William Wordsworth, but I won’t go into all that again…

London

Most of all, I miss my city. MY city, my favorite city in the world. Of all of the thousands of places I’ve seen on all of my travels, I’ve never connected with anywhere the way I did with London (San Francisco might be a distant second).

I’ve tried in the past to capture what I love about London so I won’t try again, except it has to do with all the things listed above and more.

Maybe I’ll always miss my first home away from home. The good news is that, while nothing has been settled on yet, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll get to visit England again later this year…

 

This post was written by me, brought to you by Sykes Holiday Cottages.

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14 Responses to I Really Miss England

  1. Jill April 23, 2012 at 4:06 PM #

    My first big solo trip was to a small village outside London when I was 16. So I suspect England will always hold a special spot in my heart as well… except I haven’t been back (besides a layover) in 11 years! I need to do that.

  2. Stephanie April 23, 2012 at 7:40 PM #

    I know how you feel! I’ve travelled around a fair bit (though not nearly as much as you =P ), but my home away from home will always be Florence. Even though it’s been several months since I left, I can still give people directions to my favorite gelaterie =)

  3. SuzeMars April 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM #

    I LOVE this post Stephanie! I think you hit the nail on the head with it, especially the cultural part (wonderful argument about HP and LOTR, so valid). I haven’t traveled nearly as much as you, but London and San Fran are the two spots that I adore the most from my travels. I think part of it was because SF was my first solo trip, and at a time I had a lot going on in my life and needed to get away alone to clear my head and soak up some beautiful surroundings. I’ll always be indebted to that city and have a strong connection to it.
    I’ve been to London twice and have a third trip planned for the Olympics, but I’ve held back on too much exploring the rest of the country since I keep telling myself I’m working on my goal of moving there. Its often dismissed as being greatly simply for its proximity to the rest of Europe, which is true, but I love the cultural and historical offerings. Prince Harry doesn’t hurt either 😉

  4. Andrea April 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM #

    Everyone seems to have their special place they really connected with while traveling 🙂 Mine is Rome (I’m so obsessed), but I have a special spot in my heart for England as well, mainly due to all the amazing history.

  5. Audrey | That Backpacker April 24, 2012 at 12:03 AM #

    I didn’t love England the first time around, but it really grew on me during my second and third visits. And what can I say about London – I love the mix of old, new, art, culture, pubs and bars! 😀

  6. Anne Standing April 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM #

    I completely know what you mean! I did a year and a half trip around South America and really missed London. Especially my favourite pubs and hidden corners! After being home for a few month, though, I was soon ready to go travelling again 🙂

  7. Amanda April 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM #

    Can’t WAIT to finally explore London this summer!!

  8. Clayton June 9, 2012 at 4:38 PM #

    I spent 4 months in England and I’ve been back once since then. Some of my favorite memories of my life have been in that country, and Scotland. I keep a travel journal everywhere I go and I’m surprised how many times I’ve opened that book back up to relive my memories and also to help others with their travels. I encourage anybody who thinks about traveling to go travel.

    My wife and I are planning on some major long term travel soon, don’t tell my current job! Your site is inspiring, especially since we graduated college in the same year.

  9. Nigel July 29, 2012 at 3:29 PM #

    I know what you mean, I left england nearly ten years ago. I live in the USA with my american wife i think of england every day.

  10. serap August 28, 2012 at 9:17 AM #

    Hi..
    I agree you about London.. I lived 7 months in London. 4 years ago.. but still missing.. so much.. sometimes.. Sometimes I am feelling pain in my heart 🙁
    I couldn’t forget London.. actually I don’t want to forget london.. whoknows.. maybe someday I may live in London..

  11. Art October 24, 2012 at 9:42 PM #

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I’m a Canadian who was fortunate enough to study in England for a couple of years. I found the time to fly to(thanks Ryanair) and drive most of Europe. I’ve been to Spain, France, Italy, , Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. I came back home to Toronto three months ago and decided to pursue my education further in Vancouver, so I spent the last month in Vancouver. What I know for sure is that I left my heart in England. I will never EVER forget the beautiful rolling hills of Cotswold, beautiful beaches of Cornwall, and small, seemingly forgotten, fishing towns like Padstow. I barely remember Stockholm, Budapest and so on, but I DO remember Leicester, Chester and of course London. I will never forget them.

  12. Jon December 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM #

    I couldn’t agree more with your post! I am from the U.S., and spent 1.5 months in England this past fall (mainly in the Cornwall area), and it really grew on me. I visited about 6 years before, and I didn’t feel this way. Apparently, it took the second time around for things to sink in. I fell in love with the British culture, architecture, and countryside. The coasts of Cornwall are wonderful, and have so many things do do, ranging from outdoor recreation to sitting in a pub having some fish an chips. London is a whole new story completely. It is difficult to describe how that city can make a person feel. It really feels like a home away from home. Reading some of the posts above, I completely understand what you all mean. Hope you all get where you want to be some day!

  13. Yvonne August 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM #

    I’m sorry you miss England. Is there anything we can do to help?

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