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my trip to england : part 1


It's been weeks since I got home, but at last I have some photos ready to share from my trip to England! I was there visiting my friend Katie, her boyfriend Luke, and seeing Katie's friends and family too. My trip was split into two sections, the first in Bristol (where Katie lives) and the second half in London (where her family lives). To keep myself sane (you too!), I'm splitting the photos into two posts, and today we start by visiting Bristol.

I flew into London (on a buddy pass, thanks to a helpful friend!), and although I was really tired (midnight Chicago time), it was early in the day, so there was lots to be seen and done!


While still in the London area, we started out with a little stop in the village of Denham. We walked through, saw some very charming houses and such, and I think this was Katie's way of warming me up for more walking.

Great Western

We then traveled by train to Bristol. I really can't remember the last time I was on a real train (unless you count monorails at Disney...), but of course, this was the first of many train rides on my trip.

Bristol Buildings
Bristol Buildings

The rest of my first day, and all of day 2 were spent enjoying the city. On foot. I thought my legs were going to turn into rubber. But it was worth it, because Bristol is so beautiful. Colorful buildings, lovely shops, and a really spectacular suspension bridge.

Bristol Buildings
Suspension Bridge

Katie and Luke had a surprise trip planned for day 3, so we left the house at 6am, and hopped on a bus:

My view on the bus to Hay on Wye
Scones and tea

We arrived in Hay-on-Wye, a town in Wales known for its book shops. As in, there are 31 book shops in this little place. Amazing! After some breakfast, we explored, and I managed to only buy a few things.

A bit of shopping
So Many Books in Hay on Wye!
Pub from 1600

The book shop in and around the castle was pretty special, but I was so very charmed by the pub we ate lunch at. It was built in 1600, and the building looked just as it would have. (At least, as far as my knowledge of 15th century pubs goes...)

Katie and Mollie in Bath

The next day, we headed to Bath. Everyone who's ever been there has the same reaction: Isn't it beautiful?!?. Yes. Yes, it really is a beautiful city.

Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey Diptych

I think that Bath Abbey was my favorite part of the day. Not only is the church stunning, but they had on display a series of 35 diptychs made by Sue Symons. The exhibition is called One Man's Journey to Heaven (also Bath Abbey Diptychs), and tells the story of Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection. One side is calligraphy and the other is embroidery. In just one year, she did all of the work for this...a full time job! Between the environment and the devotion it took to create these, I was a little emotional.

Bath Crescent

And apparently, when visiting Bath, you're supposed to take jumping photos in front of the Royal Crescent. I just took pictures of other people doing this. It saved some energy. Although, after several days of walking, walking, walking, I was now used to it, and I'm missing it now that I'm back at my computer for working.

St. Stephens Church Bristol

Our last day in the Bristol area was a Sunday, and so we visited a very nice church called St. Stephens. It was fairly different from what I'm used to (which I expected it to be), but the people were so welcoming. After church we walked along the harbor, saw a steam engine, and took a self-portrait of our rained-upon selves.

Boat on the Harbor in Bristol
Game Night!

That night we played games at home, and had a really lovely time. There were several mini game nights throughout the trip, and all were such fun. They taught me Carcassonne, and I brought Apples to Apples. Seeing all of the sights was wonderful, but being with friends (and making new ones!) made the trip perfect.

Did you make it through all of those photos? That was the short version! I have more pictures in my still-expanding Flickr set, and when London pics get edited, I'll have another post to share!


  1. I love Bath! It was my favorite place when I went to England a few years ago!

  2. You didn't jump??? LOL
    Great pics!! :D

  3. Lovely post. It is nice to see familiar sights through your eyes :)

  4. wow, I have never heard of that town in Wales, my sister would love it there!

    I still haven't been to Bristol but its on my list of places to explore definitely, wonderful photos.

  5. I wonder whether the walking is an English thing. I always walk everywhere whenever I'm in a new city (or revisiting an old one) - its the very best way to see the sights. I'm glad you had such an enjoyable time, I'm always ever so envious of people taking trips back to the UK (even though I was there in September)

  6. Amazing pictures! I wish I was there!

  7. so very lovely
    thanks for sharing
    the b&w book shot...love!

  8. Oh, it looks beautiful!! England is high on my list of places to travel, and this just made me want to be there NOW!

  9. a whole town of bookshops!? Mollie that sounds awesome!!

  10. Thank-you, Mollie! This is so fun. I love that you brought a board game all the way to England! We love to have board game nights. Our favorite right now is Catan.

  11. Great photos! Bath is beautiful and London is fantastic! Next trip, though, you have to head North! Coastal Yorkshire is one of my favorite places on earth!

  12. Beautiful images. I really love what you noticed.

  13. Love the pics! Wish I could go to Europe. I love the game Carcassonne, I played it lots when I was a teenager!!

  14. Anonymous4:38 AM

    Oh it's so sweet reading about your own country through the eyes of a visitor. Sometimes you can stop appreciating the beauty that's on your doorstep. England is great isn't it! =)

  15. I live near Bristol!! & I love the shops in Bath too! Glad you enjoyed England ;)
    Louise xo

  16. This looks so fun!

  17. oh! Im an American who lives in Bristol! Its a lovely place.

  18. I live in Oxford so have ventured to Bath & Bristol a couple of times... they're beautiful cities aren't they??!

  19. I live in Bath :)


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