England on the Road: The CountrySide Must visit Attractions.

Up, up on the feet again we were off to explore the attractions which the countryside of England had to offer! The family of seven was now extended to the family of eleven as five more amazing and fun humans joined us on the trip hosted by the lovely organisers of Golden Tours.

We left early in the morning with the enthusiastic travel guides of the Golden Tours. Our first travel guides view out of the window was the 22B, Baker Street the house of the famous and beloved detective Sherlock Holmes. Heading out the city our very first stop was the Warwick Castle. It is a defence castle built in 1608.

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The castle is located in a beautiful location and the preservation department has done an absolutely wonderful job in keeping the castle intact with the rugged walls telling the history of the castle. The rooms of the castle are filled with furniture demonstrating the life inside the different rooms in this castle. The wax statues everywhere showed us the different kinds of people who lived and worked in the castle.

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The ambience of the castle kept things interesting for the kids, a very lovely day could be spent in the gardens by just relaxing or watching the show which the staff of the castle put up everyday! A show of canon shooting is displayed by five people working constantly to make the canon work, its old so…. Another interesting show is the Eagle show. All these shows are free to watch and take place on particular timings so make sure you attend them if you are a curious soul.

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After spending ample amount of time in the beautiful Warwick castle, we all moved on to our next destination, which was the beautiful town of Stratford-upon-Avon! The main attraction other than reminiscing in this beautiful town was the small house of our very own William Shakespeare.

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He was one of the eight siblings and lived and died there. He spent a very dramatic life of which you can read all about on Wikipedia! 😛  The unknown fact about the compound of the Shakespeare house is the statute of Rabindranath Tagore, commonly known as the Indian Shakespeare in England.

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After enjoying the house of this writer we headed out to our last destination of the trip, which was the city of Oxford! We were fortunate enough to visit some of the campuses of the most renowned Oxford University.  Tired as we all were we still had some bit of energy left here and there to explore and shop! Souvenirs from the prestigious university of Oxford were not only a must buy, but a necessity!

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We headed back to London, and had the most delicious cuisine on Edqware Street in the restaurant called Al-Mubarika!

The next day came again with driving outside London city, and up in the morning we headed out to visit the wonderful Windsor Castle! Oh what a lovely castle!

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The castle is not a museum but some halls which are open for public are also being used by the Queen and the rest of the family. One particular area was quarden off where no visitor was allowed was the residential area for the Royals.

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The compound of Windsor castle had the Doll house which was sadly under renovation so was closed for visitors. The State Apartments were up for display. These rooms flaunted the royalty of the Royals! The beautiful crockery displayed the luxury they enjoyed and the weapon display showed off their power! They were all operational rooms. The compound also included St. George’s Chapel where the lovely Royal couple, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married.

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Tip time:

The entrance of the Windsor castle has more security check than on an international airport, so make sure you either book a fast track ticket or reach super early if you have a normal ticket.

On entering the premises, bang opposite the gate is where you can pick up your audio books, make sure before heading inside that it’s working and proper, because there are no other exchange stations once you are inside the castle.

Have a fun day at castle because people who work there are super friendly and nice!

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After we finished our visit of the castle, we headed out into the Windsor city, which was as lovely as the castle itself! Our hunger pans found us an Italian restaurant called “Clarence” and oh my what food! Our stomachs were full but our tastes buds weren’t a least bit satisfied!

Fortunately, as we were sitting for lunch we we’re lucky enough to witness the “Catapult” which is a display of English Airforce. The main function was held in London and Donald Trump was also there. But we did catch a glimpse of it! It was a hundred years display, and the aircrafts formed the shape of 100 and flew over our heads and also they diplayed the colors of England when they flew! It was absolutely amazing!

You ask, but you were sitting inside the restaurant how did you know they are coming? The secret to know is, if the restaurant is playing songs on radio or wifi, it will stop when the plains are passing because they put signal jammers.

After spending a lovely day in Windsor, we headed back to London and started packing our bags!


 

Thank you all for taking the time and reading!

I hope you all like it and find useful at some point!

THANK YOU and have a lovely day!

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Charming Canterbury

The tiredness of the day prior had not even worn out and we were back on our feet to explore the Charming Canterbury!

Our beloved Captain, Araf Ali took up the responsibility to drive us to the town of Canterbury, which was about 2 hours from the vibrant city of London.

Our prime motive for visiting the town of Canterbury was to visit the Canterbury Cathedral which is a renowned cathedral because of the famous Saint Thomas Becket, around whose name mystery still revolves. And we were there for a special purpose and met 20 other familiar people with the same purpose!

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As soon as we stepped into the town of Canterbury our eyes were left in awe-struck! The town probably had the least people but it also could be because it was a Sunday and we reached quite early in the morning. After walking a while we decided to get a cup of coffee. We stopped at Cafe Nero the cafe which probably serves the best coffee in all of United Kingdom. In that cafe we got acquainted with a couple who came into town every Sunday. They lived a little outside the town of Canterbury, for more than 30 years. This kind couple pointed us in the direction of the best offset and the most unplanned places we went to, Herne Bay!

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Let me come to that a little later.

We had our coffee’s said our goodbyes’ to the wonderful couple and headed to the Canterbury Cathedral as we were there to attend the service and it was time. Standing at the gates of the Cathedral we greeted the ones who had reached us, and as we turned around we saw some more familiar faces. We greeted them and walking from far away were some more familiar faces approaching us. Every face that we greeted had a smile ear to ear and we were all delighted to be in each other’s company. We weren’t family, but it was the best family reunion one could every imagine or ask for.

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After catching up with our beloved familiar faces we headed inside the Cathedral. The magnificence of the Cathedral left us all in awe! The beautiful Canterbury Cathedral surprised us with every step we took. The service was a beautiful setting with soulful prayers being sung in chorus. We sang too!

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After leaving the service we all headed to explore the Cathedral. It possess too much history and mystery! You have got to visit it to believe it! The most fascinating story of all was of the Saint Thomas Becket. He was given the title of ‘Saint’ after his assassination which was apparently falsely been ordered by King Henry the second of England. The exact order of the events are still under speculation.

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After exploring the beauty and the mystery of the Cathedral we all headed out to our different respective destinations. The wonderful couple had suggested us to visit Herne Bay. Initially we were supposed to go to Cliffs of Dover but we decided to take the advise of the aged couple. And thank God we did! Taking the advise felt like serendipity because we cruised into a place which was the least touristy and the most jaw-dropping of all! The beach couldn’t be more pure and the wind in our hair just re-assured of our moments there. We calmed our heads and rested our eyes beholding the vision which was in front of us!

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The voices of our stomach broke our meditative state, and our captain showed us the was to Mushy Pea which was probably the place where we had the best Fish and Chips!

The wonderful day ended on an amazing note when we came back to London with memories which will definitely have a special place in my autobiography!


 

Hello all. Thank you for taking the time to read!

I hope you all like it! Do visit my other blogs if you have not read yet!

Comments are most welcome and sharing the link is encouraged!

Thank you all, have an amazing day ahead! 🙂

Pictures: Taken by Shaheen (the Author of the blog) and Zainuddin Aarif (the authors uncle)

All there is to see in a city: London

London.

Its the the city you cannot describe in one word, I guess you need a whole dictionary. Yes, everyone has different experiences in London, everyone sees things differently in London, but what is common is, everyone loves the city London!

The culture of London is basically more or less like Mumbai but cleaner. You will find people from everywhere in London, that’s what makes it unique and super interesting. Apart from roaming in this most interesting city and taking in the basic culture, there is a lot to see as well. So here in this blog I have compiled for you the places to definitely see, how to go around, where to shop and what to eat!

PLACES TO SEE IN LONDON:

  1. Buckingham Palace:    This may sound a bit cheesy that the first place on my list is the obvious, but its because you have to visit this place no matter what! On my first day in London, I spent a good 2 hours going around the palace. If you are lucky you can attend the guard change ceremony as well, its unique and something to see once in a lifetime.DSCN5436.JPG
  2. City Tour, Hop on Hop Off Bus:   Basically when you take this tour it takes you around all the major attractions in London. You are given a written guide and also for your convenience there are audio tapes which you can listen to when the bus goes around the city, stating all the major attractions and their history.  Why is it convenient? You get to see all the major attractions, like literally all in half a day, you can get off at any stop, you don’t have to worry even if your bus leaves you know there is a bus coming every ten minutes, lastly their last stop need not be you last stop, get off at any place and you can continue your tour on foot.DSCN5458.JPG
  3. London’s Tower Bridge:    It is the most iconic bridge and everybody knows about it. You can walk on the bridge, under it whatever pleases you. We got off from the bus tour at the Tower Bridge at around Lunch time. Under the bridge on the sidewalks of River Thames was a food flee market which is only mostly on the weekends with amazing and the most reasonable food.DSCN5507.JPG
  4. River Thames Cruise:     This a boat ride on the River Thames, a beautiful ride with some water splashing on your face if you are sitting in the front row.
  5. London Eye:   A mighty giant wheel beyond the reach of your eyes! This ride is a must if you want a birds-eye view of the the ravishing London! The ride is thrilling but the lines are more thrilling….. a tip coming your way.. make sure you pre-book the tickets to your ride of London Eye because when you reach there you really don’t want to get stuck in the long queues. Also make sure your tickets are fast-track they are much easy to get and there is no hassle. Don’t look down though if you have height issues, just enjoy the ride!DSCN5517.JPGDSCN5554
  6.  Westminster Abbey:   Where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate Middleton) got married. The Church is exceptional and it should definitely be on your list if you are visiting London. Also I would advise to attend the service. Trust me it is worth it!dscn5534.jpg
  7.  Harrods: Its a huge mall, its very beautiful! You can definitely go to visit, but DO NOT SHOP. Its crazy expensive! You can buy if you can afford it!DSCN5560.JPG
  8. National Art Gallery:   Yes, also a must visit destination. The entry is free and you can go around the Gallery admiring the works of some great artists, including Van Gogh’s Sunflower painting, 2 of Michelangelo’s unfinished work, though no one knows why they are not completed and many more such great artists. Buy a map of around 2 pounds, and you will know where to go because it can get a little confusing, if the map is not clear as well ask around, the people working there are very helpful.DSCN5727.JPG
  9. Trafalghar Square:   If you are visiting the National Art Gallery you automatically are on the Trafalghar Square. It is one the most iconic places in London, and you just can not miss it. Trafalghar Square is a must see place and you can easily spend your evening there because its entertaining as well. You can just sit and observe the London culture and look at people go by. Its lovely to sit and contemplate.dscn5711.jpg
  10. Piccadilly Circus- Oxford Circus- Covent Garden-China Town:  If you really want to see the weekend culture pay a visit to these 3 streets. They are very close to each other. You can just literally walk from one street to another and you won’t even need a guide. Piccadilly Street and Oxford Street are one of a kind you can see people dancing on the streets, shows happening on the streets, people singing, playing different instruments and much more. Its the typical city culture on the streets. When you visit the Covent Garden, its not actually a garden its a street, go to Somerset Palace. Unfortunately I couldn’t go there, but apparently it has water fountains coming out of the ground so.. you should pay a visit.DSC03046
  11. Broadway Show:   For art and music lovers, its a once in a lifetime experience. Actually my message to everybody, you should attend a Broadway show, if you are in London or New York! Its absolutely amazing. We visited Mamma Mia musical show and it was a scene I can never forget!DSC03237

PLACES TO SHOP IN, WHEN IN LONDON:

If your not earning in pounds, its quite expensive to shop in London.

But if you really want to shop for some good products shop at airports.. hahaha..

So, there are 4 shopping streets which you have to visit is you are a shopaholic.

Oxford Circus and Piccadilly are on of the most expensive street but to visit them once does one no harm. Camden street on the other hand is reasonable and you get good stuff there. And last but the not the least Covent Garden, good stuff some ate expensive, some are reasonable.

I am no shopper so this is the best advice I could give you. (sorry)

HOW TO GET AROUND ON LONDON:

Trains are hands down the best way to get around London. The train connects you to most of the place, if not exact then to a walk able distance. There is not much hassle in the trains, the only confusion thing is the usage of oyster cards and which line to take. The trains lines are denoted by colours. You will find a map on the station, pick-up the map and you are good to go, else the people in London are quite helpful, ask anybody and they will point you in the right direction.

Disclaimer: this is my preference, you may find other transport easy as well

Buses are also quite simple once you get to know the system. I personally found the bus system very complicated, yes there are direct buses form point A to point B but that depends on what bus stop you are on etc etc.. frankly I never warned up to the system of the buses so I did not even understand how to exactly make use of them.

Taxi and walking are another 2 options. Walking is great to explore if the places you want to go to are close by.

WHAT TO EAT:

So now this is very important. If you are in a group, don’t order one dish per person, its a waste if money and waste of your appetite. The food is great every where. Whatever you order you will enjoy it, but don’t order too much because each portion is quite huge and expensive as well.


 

All the above pictures are taken by me or the people who were with me. There is no copy-right or piracy here. I am honest.

All what is written is in my opinion, and i have experienced and seen everything firsthand. Trust me, I wouldn’t lie.

Thank you for giving your time to read it, I really hope you enjoyed it, if you did please leave a comment on what you liked, if you did not enjoy it please leave a comment.

Thank you once again.

Have a great day ahead and keep reading! 🙂