Summer travel tips (from someone who has been to over 35 countries in the world!)
Just booked a Language course at Bloomsbury International? Want to make the most of your experience in the UK? So why not do a bit of travelling while you are here?
Nobody can deny that there are so many things to see and do in London. You can visit museums, historical sites and our parks, as well as stroll around markets, take a walk along the Regent’s canal, go to the theatre and gigs, and take advantage of our incredible nightlife!
But the summer is quickly approaching and there are so many wonderful places that are a stone’s throw away from the city.
Here are some of my favourites:
Seven Sisters Country Park
This wonderful country park is named after the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs located close to Brighton, on the South coast of England. Covered in lush green rolling fields, speckled with sheep and cows, you can walk along the coastline, along the cliffs, all the way from Seaford to Eastbourne (20 Km) if you feel like it. If you don’t fancy such a hike, just travel to Seaford and walk around the area there. It’s truly worth it! A personal tip: try not to visit the park on a rainy day or when it’s too windy. It’s a long drop if you fall!
Experience quintessential British country and rural living. The Cotswolds covers a large area to the north-west of London, running over 5 counties. It is scattered with beautiful villages, each with their own identity, and all built in the golden Cotswold stone.
Cities worth visiting close to London
Everyone wants to visit Cambridge, Oxford and Brighton, and rightly so, as they are truly beautiful! But there are so many other wonderful cities a short journey away from London that are worth visiting.
Lewes: nestled amongst the rolling hills of the South Downs, one hour from London, this small parish town is steeped in history. The castle and Anne of Cleves House are worth a visit.
St Albans: a cathedral city dating back to Roman times. Loads of ruins and historical buildings to visit and, a fun fact, St Albans has the most number of pubs per square mile! (20 minutes from Kings Cross Station).
Royal Tunbridge Wells: (50 mins from Charing Cross or London Bridge) a market town that has a thriving shopping district called the Lanes (a series cobbled winding roads, lined with shops and art galleries). The city was granted its official “Royal” title by King Edward VII to acknowledge its popularity over the centuries among members of the royal family.
Cheap ways to get round the UK
British rail discount cards: you can save up to 1/3 off rail journeys, using one of the many railcards available.
Mega Bus: Purchase tickets to Birmingham, Manchester, York, Liverpool and many, many other destinations for only £1.
National Express Coach Services: cheaper than the train but more expensive than Mega Bus.
Travelling around Europe
Ever thought how wonderful it would be to come over to London to learn English and then travel around Europe to practice it? There are many options available. Here are some of my best suggestions:
Inter Rail: fancy visiting Rome, Florence and Milan? Or Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich? Well you can buy a One Country 8 day pass for as little as £50 pounds to travel around one of the 37 countries listed on the website. If, on the other hand you have more time on your hands, you can purchase a Global pass, where you can travel to up to 30 counties in Europe by train. There are different options up to a month’s worth of travel. A wonderful way to travel and meet people from all over the world!
For both types of passes you will get a discount if you are 27-years-old or under. So get travelling!
Eurostar: good prices to France, Holland and Belgium if you book early. Sign up for email notifications to find out when cheap tickets are released.
Budget airlines: find cheap flights and accommodation for most destinations around Europe: easyjet.com, ryanair.com, germanwings.com, flybe.com, airberlin.com, norwegian.com and iberia.com (to name but a few).
Cheap international travel
How about travelling further afield? How does 2 weeks in Thailand, or 10 days in Cuba sound? Remember London has 5 airports you can take full advantage of!
STA Travel: excellent prices, student discounts for travel all over the world. One of the cheapest places to get a ticket!
The Flight Centre: another good place to find deals on flights and accommodation.
Trail Finders: a UK based travel agency – lots of deals to be found here.
Gendai Travel: excellent deals for holidays and flights all over the world, but if Japan or The Philippines is what you are really interested in, then this is the best company for you!
Last but not least
Many young British people take 6 months or a year out to backpack around the world doing a Round the World Trip. The travel agencies listed above provide cheap round the world tickets. For instance, you can get 12 stops (London > Toronto > Buenos Aires – make your own way to – Bogota > Fort Lauderdale > Los Angeles – make your own way to – Las Vegas > Vancouver > Tokyo > Manila > Hong Kong > Bangkok > Dubai > London) for just £1,699. What a bargain!
**** Please remember to check your visa restrictions when travelling to a foreign country.