UK Recs Fit for a Queen // Places

Today, I'm in my favorite place, the United Kingdom, with my favorite adventurer, Kelly from Belle of the Literati. This trip started as a dream that I honestly didn't think would come true, so I'm totally pinching myself. Happy birthday to us! I'm so thankful that my husband and family are making it possible for this mama to pop across the pond.

In between booking trains and researching hotels, Kelly and I decided to commemorate on our adventure on our blogs with UK Recs Fit for a Queen. Throughout the week, we'll be recommending our favorite books, movies and shows set in the UK before chatting about our love for the place itself. To wrap it up, let's talk about my love for the place itself.

Kelly and I could easily get carried away talking about our favorite places in the UK. I think the obsession started young for both of us, and it's shown no signs of waning since. When we were chatting about the places we could go together, we both kept coming back to the UK. It doesn't matter how many times I've been, I will always want to go back! To give this discussion a little direction, we're answering four specific questions today:

1. When/how did your love for the UK begin? 
Well, it all began with my love for historical fiction. Growing up, I adored the American Girls and Dear America series. And from Dear America I moved to the Royal Diaries where I read about Elizabeth, Mary, Queen of Scots and Victoria. My obsession with history and royalty was the starting point, but reading Pride and Prejudice in middle school turned me into a dedicated Anglophile. It's one of my few obsessions that's lasted almost my entire life.

At 17, I had the opportunity to visit London for the first time through my high school. It was an unforgettable trip! I quickly realized that I didn't just love the place because it was the setting in all my favorite books and movies. There was so much to experience and discover, and I was bummed that I had so little time to spend in the city and was dying to go back.

And so, the summer before my junior year of college, I signed up for a six-week summer study abroad program in Oxford. It was one of the best -- and most challenging -- things I did during college. It was challenging because you had to work, and I'm a Type A perfectionist who cared way too much about her grades to slack off. But it was the best because I WAS IN OXFORD. FOR SIX WEEKS. I still can't believe it!

2. What's your favorite thing you've done in the UK?
Living in Oxford is probably at the top of my list, but there's something else I did there that I have to mention. I signed up for the study abroad with my best friend at the time (who ditched me the second we got there, but that's a story for another day...) but didn't know anyone else going. Well, it turned out that there was a girl, Alexandra, from my sorority there that I didn't know very well. We ended up hitting it off and traveling together on the weekends.

Near the end of the trip, we knew we wanted to do something extra special before it was time to go home. Alexandra and I both loved horses -- I'd taken riding lessons for eight years and she was still an active equestrian. And so, we signed up for a horseback riding weekend in Wales. We spent two nights at an adorable bed & breakfast and were able to explore the Welsh beaches and countryside on horseback during the day. It was so much fun! We made great memories, took beautiful photos and loved that we'd done something off the beaten track. My favorite thing about studying abroad was that I was able to take the time for this kind of random adventure!

3. What's your favorite place in the UK?
Ahhh, I don't know! It's too hard for me to choose because there's still so much I haven't seen yet. I've stayed in that small Welsh town I mentioned, spent a long time in Oxford, visited Bath and Stonehenge and, of  course, explored London a few times. But I've never even been to Scotland or Ireland! So, how can I pick a favorite when I feel like I've got so much left to discover?

So, keeping in mind that I'm choosing with that disclaimer, I think Bath might be my favorite place I've been so far. It felt steeped in history! I could just imagine Jane Austen walking down the streets, lamenting the day she had to leave her beloved home for this social city. As silly as it sounds, it felt like I was walking on a movie set. This place I'd always read about was right there before my eyes! Of course, I enjoyed walking around the Roman Baths, touring the Jane Austen Centre, walking across Pulteney Bridge, gazing in awe at the Royal Crescent, and being legitimately confused by the existence of Stonehenge. My weekend there was a delight!

4. What are you most looking forward to on this trip?
Is it really cheesy if I say spending a week with Kelly? If so, TOO BAD because it's the truth. I'd be excited about this trip regardless, but going with her is the cherry on top. I love that we get to be in our favorite place together. What could be better? She visited me twice in 2017, and I was so bummed every time I had to put her back on a plane. How lucky am I to get another seven days of adventures, laughter and sass?! 

Setting aside the sappiness, I'm torn on whether I'm more excited for Edinburgh or the Lake District. Probably Edinburgh because I'll get to say I've been to Scotland and will use the visit to spur me to come back in the future. But I won't lie -- I'm really excited for the tour we're going to take of the Lake District! I've wanted to see more of the English countryside, and this will be the perfect opportunity. I'll do a recap post once I'm home, so check back in to see which one was my favorite!

What's your favorite place in the UK?


  1. I am so excited to hear about your adventures on this trip! I did a two week travel course to London when I was in college (it was Harry Potter themed!) and though I haven't been back since, it resonated with me on such a deep level and it's my favorite city I've been to. Have an amazing time!

    -Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

  2. I've finally made it to the UK in the last two years, but I know I have to definitely go back because there's so much I haven't done! It's so wonderful hearing about your favorite experiences, and how much they and all these places mean to you.


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