Ultimate Girl’s Guide to England Travel
Once upon a time, I got deported from Germany…..someone actually stole my passport on the plane! And I was sent back to London, without a passport, by very officious German authorities; I’ll never forget my friend Kathleen looking at me through “detention bars” in the Munich airport! Because London is so expensive: this turned out to be a very pricey detour. But I don’t dislike England any the less for it. If you love history, the countryside, castles, & gardens ~ then England will delight you. And whether you’re traveling solo or with friends, this “Ultimate Girl’s Guide to England Travel” will show you the best spots to visit…
Map of England
From downtown London to the stunning English countryside, in places like the Cotswolds, & perhaps even a visit to the real-life “Downton Abbey” ~ England will take you on a sumptuous & highly rewarding travel journey. Shown on the map below are highlights of a trip to Great Britain…
Highclere Castle (DOwnton Abbey)
The Lake District
- Safety = Generally Very Safe 95% 95%
- Cost = Expensive! London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. 90% 90%
- Adventures = Think more along the lines of architecture & long walks in the countryside… 50% 50%
- How Safe I Felt as a Solo Traveler = Very Safe 95% 95%
- British Accents = 100% Intoxicating!! 100% 100%
- Drivers = LEFT SIDE of the road!!!! 100% 100%
England Travel Quick Facts
- England in One Word = Royalty.
- England in One More Word = Castles.
- Wi-Fi = Wi-Fi is England is among some of the best in the world, particularly in city centers such as London, Bath, & Manchester. If you travel more rurally, you may occasionally lose Wi-Fi ~ but that shouldn’t last too long.
- Global Peace Ranking = #34 out of 163 countries (U.S. is #103) = The United Kingdom is in the top 1/3 of the safest countries in the world, & is far safer than the United States, for instance. As a solo traveler, you’ll probably feel even safer in rural spots like the Cotswolds than in London: though I walked solo all around London, & there are so many people about, I felt quite safe ~ particularly by all the major sites like Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, etc.
- Hotels = London hotels can be amongst some of the most EXPENSIVE in the world ~ & similar to Paris, many rooms are quite small. As you move out of London, hotels get slightly cheaper, but this will also depend on the current exchange rate.
- Must-Do’s = Take a stroll all around the heart of London ~ from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey & the Tower Bridge. Visit some of the country’s famous gardens…especially in the Cotswolds. Take a tour of at least one famous British castle ~ & try to stay in one if you can! In the summertime, rent a car & drive down to the southern coast of England & stay right on the water. If you’re a poetry-lover, head north to the Lake District: into Wordsworth territory…
- Is England Good for Solo Travelers = YES: but only if you have money to spend! If you’re an English speaker, the lack of a language barrier makes for a pretty easy travel transition. BUT, England is extremely expensive, so if you’re traveling solo on a budget ~ this could make for a quick trip. On a budget, you may want to check out lesser-traveled countries such as Portugal, or Eastern European nations such as Croatia & Budapest.
- What to Expect as a Female Traveler = Unlike in Italy, I had ZERO problems as a solo female traveler in England. There is no machismo culture here, & the British stoicism & “stiff upper lip” make for pleasant & cordial encounters. Similar to Paris, as you move out of London to more rural areas: I noticed the people got a little friendlier, & were more likely to spend time chatting with you & helping out with directions, etc.
- Would I Go Back = YES!!! Now that I’m so into gardening, I want to return to the Cotswolds specifically so that I can tour more of its famous gardens ~ including King Charles’ at Highgrove!
Photos of London, England
Most visits to Great Britain start in the great city of London. Almost everyone I know who’s visited this city solo says the same thing: “I walked for HOURS in London!!” Taking a stroll from Buckingham Palace up towards tony Mayfair & Hyde Park, then over to Kensington Gardens ~ popping into famous department store Harrod’s, followed by a walk along the River Thames: past the Palace of Westminster, the London Eye, & eventually London Bridge & Tower Bridges is ne of the great pleasures of a trip to England.
Great Place to Stay in London: Stay where Julia Robert’s character did in “Notting Hill” ~ at The Ritz, darling. And even if you can’t afford to stay there: try their famous Afternoon Tea.
Photos of Cornwall & South England
If you’re an Agatha Christie fan: a trip south to Cornwall is a MUST. Her famous home “Greenway” is located here, & it’s where much of the David Suchet TV series was filmed. Even if you’re not a mystery fan, the beautiful Cliffs of Dover & charming seaside towns will have you reaching for your camera….
Great Place to Stay in Cornwall: The Headland Cornwall is a 5-star hotel with a first-class spa, chic cottages to stay in, tennis courts, & even a surf school! Located in the pretty coastal enclave: Fistral Beach.
Photos of the Cotswolds
The Cotswolds was one of my first trips as a solo female traveler ~ & I have to say: the only real trouble I had there was driving on the left side of the road! Seriously though, this is such a good spot for either solo trips, romantic getaways, or girl’s trips: especially if you love gardens. This is where most of the country’s most famous gardens are, including Sissinghurst & Highgrove.
If you plan to stay a few days in the area (which I recommend), read about some of the best bed & breakfasts in the Cotswolds….
Amazing Castle Stays in England…
One of England’s most distinctive features is of course, its castles. And staying in one will elevate your visit ~ making for a stay to remember. One of the closest castles to London where you can stay is located just 90 minutes south: at Amberley Castle. Here you’ll find a sumptuous restaurant with gorgeous vaulted ceilings, peacocks & alpacas wandering the ample grounds, tennis courts, & an 18-hole putting green ~ all set behind high castle walls that will make you feel like royalty…
Stay overnight on the Warwick grounds at Knight’s Village Lodges. This is where my friend stayed with her kids: she says the medieval decor, cool glamping tents, & mess hall fit-for-a-Knight were ALL hits with them!
Sink into a sumptuous bed fit for a Queen: at Hever Castle Luxury Bed & Breakfast.