A Literary Tour of Europe

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A picture from my trip in England

The Trip and Destination(s)

For this trip, I wanted to go see the key areas that mattered most to me. These destinations were London, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Paris.

London in a Weekend

We bought the London Pass before we got to London because we figured we’d either break even or save some money in the long run. It was cool because we ended up doing some things that we probably normally wouldn’t have done. For example, we got to take a city sightseeing bus which ended up being not only really fun, but also convenient. You’ve probably heard about London’s Tube – it’s great in terms of getting around but you don’t see the city in the process because the routes are all underground. The first thing we did after arriving jet lagged and dazzled in Kensington and Chelsea was to simply get used to where we would be staying up front. We got a nice little rental right off the high street in Kensington near a Starbucks and a Saintsbury (that’s one of the grocery stores in England and it’s pretty nice with great sandwiches).

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The useless, iconic phone booth.

The Next Leg of the Journey — Onwards to Oxford!

With London behind us, it was time to go to Oxford. Oxford is definitely worth a day trip or two. We arrived on the scene a little after noon and were still able to see the Bodleian library, climb to the top of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, tour Christ Church (where scenes from Harry Potter were filmed, you’ll recognize the dinning hall as well), and settle in for an evening dinner at the pub where CS Lewis, Tolkien and the other Inklings hung out and shared their stories with one another.

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The dining hall that inspired the “Harry Potter” filmmakers

Stratford-upon-Avon

I bought tickets to see the Bard’s home before even leaving for England. You can take a direct train straight from Oxford to Stratford, however, I opted for the cheaper and less direct train route. It’s a bit longer, but I liked seeing the English countryside and saving money. In Stratford, we walked through Shakespeare’s childhood home, saw the very spot where Shakespeare was born, and even visited Shakespeare’s grave.

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A monument to Shakespeare in his garden.

The Cotswolds

Another region of England, perhaps lesser known, is the Cotswolds. It’s also a reasonable distance away from Oxford so since we were in the area we figured we’d check it out. If you are a BBC fan, you might recognize the Cotswolds from the hit TV show, Father Brown.

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Broadway Tower in the Cotswolds –a proper folly!

The City of Love — A Train Ride Away

The final leg of our journey was Paris. We had to take a relatively short train ride back into London before we could get on the Eurostar train that takes you under the channel and into France. Don’t worry — the underwater part of the journey is actually really quick — just twenty minutes. It’s probably the best way to go from London to Paris and make sure you upgrade to premier seats — you get a more comfortable and enjoyable experience, excellent service, and meals plus tea and drinks!

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Written by

Content Guru in Chief of www.josephwriteranderson.com

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