Before I dive into a more in-depth look at each of our destinations and ALL OF THE THINGS that we did, I wanted to do a brief outline of how I planned this trip, where all we went, and how I even decided on the destinations for our Christmas adventure. We had SO much fun and I can’t wait to share all of the nitty gritty details with you all and show you lots of pictures! I’ve struggled with how to post about this trip, but I think doing this first general post followed by each individual location’s travel guide will be the most organized and comprehensive way to get the info out to you all.
Before we go into detail, I wanted to explain that I’ve always wanted to go to London. I ended up studying abroad in Paris during college, but I remember that London was also on my list and I always thought it would be so cool to live there. Once Rob and I got on our international traveling kick I was always trying to get him to go there with me but he had already been and didn’t want to go go again (he’s really weird about going to the same place more than once). I was starting to think my dream of visiting England would never happen, but this year I somehow talked him into going over Christmas and we decided to tack on a village in the Cotswolds (the adorable area from The Holiday movie) and Edinburgh, Scotland. I think the deciding factor was when I did my 23 and Me Analysis and found out that I was 90 something percent British and I was like ROB I HAVE TO GO VISIT MY HOMELAND! 😛
Some people probably think it’s bizarre to travel during Christmas, but we usually just spend the day sitting around staring at each other after eating 16 times, so in 2017 we decided that we’d go somewhere fun the next year and that’s exactly what we did. I’ll go into more detail when I do the detailed travel guides for each city we visited, but overall my favorite city was most definitely London. Rob actually preferred Edinburgh more than London because he loved the history and old world charm over the busy and bustling city of London. We both really loved the small town of Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds, but it was so sleepy and quiet and places closed so early. I think visiting the Cotswolds in the summer when you could do more outdoor activities would be ideal. I really do want to go back to the English countryside when it’s warmer and there are more hours of daylight to explore.
There was really no rhyme or reason in choosing what city we went to first or last, but I knew that we would probably need to be somewhere busy during Christmas so we could have options to eat and activities to do since most things would be closed around that time in smaller cities. It was a lot easier and cheaper to fly into London so that is where we booked our arrival and departure. The train adventure is a whole other story and I’ll go into more detail in a later post. We were able to use airline points for both of our flights, so it was nice to not have that added expense. I’m planning to do a whole post on how we use rewards points to take care of a lot of our travel expenses so be looking for that in the new year!
As far as the planning goes, you all know that I get really into planning our trips and will spend hours upon hours researching hotels and activities. However, this trip came at such a busy time of the year and I actually decided that hiring someone to help me plan our trip would be such a tremendous burden lifted off my shoulders. I already followed Whitney of The Blonde Atlas and always saw her posts about London, so I figured who better to plan our trip than someone who has traveled and lived in London? She was great to work with and helped me build our itinerary for all three destinations. It made our trip so easy and I will definitely use her again in the future if I need help with our travel planning.
Have you all been to England or Scotland? Let me know in the comments!