Brighton

For my last day (ahhhh!) we decided to go to the seaside town of Brighton.  It was so lovely there! I can’t imagine how full it must be when the sun’s really out and it’s swimming weather, but it was just perfect for us.

We went to the beach, walked along the pier, checked out the lanes, hung out in the gardens and browsed in a bookstore.  Literally the perfect day trip to end my travels.

London

Today we actually went around London!  I got lottery tickets to see Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, so our evening plans were set, and we set off to be London tourists. We’d both been London tourists before, and it was fun to revisit the sites without any pressure of having ‘must sees’. I didn’t take many photos, but it was a great day.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour & Platform 9 3/4

After a fantastic time at Cursed Child, I got to spend today exploring the Warner Bros. Studio Tour with tons of fantastic sets and props from the films. I took A LOT of pictures, but in case you don’t want to spoil yourself for a visit of your own in the future, you’ll have to click below to see them.

It was amazing, so make sure to book ahead of time if you’re going to be in London!

And non-spoiler pictures – after the tour I met Ashley in King’s Cross station, cause we had to go to platform 9 3/4.

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London

I spend the morning walking around London.  I heard great things about the national portrait gallery so I checked it out, and just generally kept myself busy in the city because I had big plans in the afternoon.

After more than a year of waiting, I was finally going to see Harry Potter & The Cursed Child. I’ll #keepthesecret and not spoil anything about the production, but it was the absolute best thing I’ve ever seen on stage.  When it comes to NYC, you all better go see it!

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Windsor & London

This morning I left bright and early to go to Windsor.  Somehow I missed Windsor on my last trip to England, so I thought I’d check it out now.  The line was very long, but it was pretty cool to be in the castle where the Queen actually lives some of the time. I just wish you could take photos inside, especially of the seriously giant, and detailed doll house.

Since the train took me right by it, I decided to drop by the British Library.  They had a great exhibition on during my last visit, and so I thought I’d see what they had now.  It was on the Russian Revolution and was very interesting! They do such great work there.

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It was starting to rain at this point, so I met up with Ashley for a low key evening.

London

After a many hour flight delay last night, only to find the express train in London had closed, we eventually made it to Ashley’s apartment at around 3am.  So we were exhausted this morning!  But with limited time before I had to leave for home we still wanted to fit in as much as possible.

So we went to the west end, and got matinee tickets to School of Rock! Ash had seen is many times before and raved about it, as did my family in Malta, so I knew I had to see it.  One, it was fantastic, and two, they let us take pictures of them at the end like we were at a real concert.  SO MUCH FUN.

And because we were in the theatre district, I also got to check out where I’d be in just a few short days … woo!!!!

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And we also went to the House of MinaLima, which is the design team behind the Harry Potter films.  They have showrooms featuring all the graphic art they’ve designed for the films, which you can also purchase.  Usually you can just walk in yourself, but apparently on Mondays they do guided tours, so we got to learn some behind the scenes knowledge which was kinda cool.

And then we were wiped! So off we went to the apartment for an early night of binge watching, in preparation for a longer day out for me tomorrow.

Bath

I could tell my mom was getting tired of the big city, so for day 3 we headed to Bath. I think this may have ended up as her favourite place for the whole 2 weeks we spent together!

Our first stop was the Roman Baths. Constructed around 70AD as a grand bathing and socializing complex, it is now one of the best preserved Roman remains in the world.

We had afternoon tea in the Pump Room restaurant, stopped by the Jane Austen centre, then hopped on a bus to get a tour of the surrounding countryside.

Back in Bath, we did a tour of Bath Abbey. Fun facts about the Abbey:

  • Three different churches have occupied the site of today’s Abbey since 757 AD. First, an Anglo-Saxon monastery which was pulled down by the Norman conquerors of England; then a massive Norman cathedral which was begun about 1090 but lay in ruins by late 15th century; and finally, the present Abbey Church as we now know it.
  • The first King of all England, King Edgar was crowned on this site in 973 (as shown above). The service set the precedent for the coronation of all future Kings and Queens of England including Elizabeth II.
  • The first sight most visitors have of Bath Abbey is the West front, with its unique ladders of Angels. The story behind this is that the Bishop of Bath, Oliver King, is said to have had a dream of angels ascending and descending into heaven which inspired the design and which also inspired him to build a new Abbey church – the last great medieval cathedral to have been built in England.

If you sign up for it, you can climb the bell tower, and get gorgeous views from the roof.  Now, I knew my mom was scared of heights, but it wasn’t until we were climbing 212 steps arranged in 2 spiral staircases that I realized quite how nervous she was.  I was pretty sure she wasn’t going to make it, but she surprised the both of us and climbed her way to the top.  What a lady!

Finally we explored some gardens across from the abbey, and caught the train back to London.

London, Day 1

Today’s the day my mom arrived! I met her at the airport, and then we travelled together to our hotel.  It was nice to see a familiar face after traveling alone for so long, and it was even nicer to get out of a hostel.

We started the day with a two and a half hour walking tour in London, which gave us a good overview of the city.

After grabbing some food (fish and chips of course), we decided to do an evening bus tour.  It had been a long day for my mom, what with just flying in this afternoon, so it was a good way to keep us busy and still see the sights.

Oxford

I took a break  yesterday and spent most of the day in the hostel on my computer, and it was a wonderful.  Sometimes you just need to catch up with your family and friends, and  have a day to yourself.  The only reason I left the hostel was to do a short tour of Harry Potter movie sites around the city, as I figured my mom wouldn’t be too interested in doing that with

I only had one more day before she arrived, so I decided to go to Oxford. I took a tour of the campus, venturing into the various colleges (and various Harry Potter sites), and then wandered around the town on my own.

I felt like I could have stayed there for much longer.  Too bad I’m not more academically inclined; I think I would have been happy to be a student or professor here.