Reminiscing About Fun in the UK

I have this problem. After I’ve left a place, I start to forget about it.

Korea, for example. I lived there for two years. Five months ago today, we left. And now it seems like a weird, distant dream. Jared and I are currently wading through the paperwork required for my Australian De Facto Partner visa application, so we’re spending a lot of time digging into the past.

For example, our time in the UK. All up, I lived in the UK for 2 1/2 years. Two and a half years. That’s a long time. And it’s barely reflected in this blog. It’s almost like it never happened.

Although I prefer to write about what’s happening now, I’m feeling a little nostalgic. So I’m going to go back, occasionally, and touch on some of those places that have very nearly disappeared from my memory.

In the summer of 2009, Jared and I rented a camper van and drove around the UK and Ireland for 3 weeks. The freedom of having our own car allowed us to go where we wouldn’t have otherwise, and we found a lot of little gems. If you’re living in the UK, they’re great spots to have a weekend break on a budget.

England

Bowness-on-Windermere

Bowness-on-Windermere, England

I suppose this is why they call it the Lake District.

In the tourist region of the Lake District, this town stands out because it’s home to Europe’s only Beatrix Potter museum.

Let’s say that one more time for emphasis – only.

Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Beatrix Potter Museum

Tell me I’m not the only one who thinks it looks like Mrs. Tiggywinkle has just murdered someone.

If that doesn’t suck you in, I don’t know what else to tell you.

Scotland

St. Andrews

Glencoe, Scotland

For the record, that’s not St. Andrews. It’s Glencoe, also recommended for a short break.

It rained the whole time we were here, and maxed out at 14 degrees celsius. This was in the height of summer. But this is where the Princes went to school – the place is dripping with a royal aura.

Okay, not really, but it’s still small and charming and if it rains, there are plenty of pubs that do a decent burger/craft beer combo. Also, I took literally one picture of St. Andrews because of the rain, so if you want to know what it looks like you’ll have to go there. Or I guess there’s always the internet.

Northern Ireland

Derry

Derry, Northern Ireland

I have a whole crop of terrible pictures from this trip. Please accept my apologies.

I loved Derry. It’s an old walled city with tons of murals reflecting Northern Ireland’s contentious history. We only spent half a day there and could definitely have stayed longer.

As further incentive, in 2013 Derry is set to be the first city to be designated a UK City of Culture. So there you go. It’s not just me who thinks it’s good.

Ireland

Kilkenny

Kells Priory, Ireland

The gorgeous Kells Priory, nearly impossible to access without your own transport.

Kilkenny’s a cool town, period. It has a castle, pubs, and vibe.

That’s right. Vibe.

How many towns can you be drafted into an impossible drinking competition just because you’re wearing a Wombles shirt? And how many towns are within driving distance of the Kells Priory, a completely abandoned old monastery where you are likely to be the only tourists?

One town. Kilkenny.

Wales

Swansea

Cartoon Art Museum, Swansea, Wales

I was really into the date stamp in 2004. And, apparently, Wonder Woman.

I’ll go ahead and say it – Wales is the UK’s red-headed stepchild. We spent very little time in Wales, opting instead to drive on through back to England. But in 2004 I went to Swansea for a girl’s weekend from London (mainly to say that I’d been to Wales) and it wasn’t all bad.

There’s a castle, a Cartoon Art Museum, and a statue of poet Dylan Thomas. You might recognize him for the immortal line, “Do not go gentle into that good night.”

Dylan Thomas, Swansea, Wales

I don’t think this is what he meant.

Bet he won’t forget that anytime soon.

Do you forget about places after you leave or am I the only one suffering from memory loss?

2 Responses to “Reminiscing About Fun in the UK”

  1. I always knew Mrs Tiggywinkle had a sinister side. As for you and Dylan – get a room! Good luck with the visa application. Sounds like a total nightmare….

    • I know. She looks like she’s been savagely devouring a wild beast or something. As for Dylan – so disrespectful, right?! Thanks, we’re hoping to submit the app by the end of the week…

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