York’s guide for ordinary travelers

Wanderlust Wonderland brings you: a travel guide for ordinary travelers, with must-sees, tips and tricks and the most delicious food, for ordinary travelers, like you and me.

York is a lovely little city in the United Kingdom and it’s the perfect weekend getaway. The city has some impressive highlights, but it’s small enough to wander around and enjoy the parks without having to run from one highlight to another. Time for a city guide!

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Highlights of London and Squirrels

Our first trip together was a blast. We went to London for two days. On our first day we had explored the city a bit and saw a play in Shakespeare’s theatre. On our second day we decided to visit all of London’s highlights and while doing that, we came across a delighful little squirrel…

We started our day with breakfast at Costa. We could have gone for a full English breakfast, but on this trip we where on a budget and this simple breakfast was pretty good as well.

After breakfast we set out for London’s highlights. First stop: Tower Bridge, and on our way we came across Southwark Cathedral, which was also really pretty.

I love how this city uses color. The red busses, red mailboxen and of course the red phone booths are iconic. I didn’t know there was blue in the Tower Bridge, but here it is. It makes it really pretty, don’t you think?

We decided to have a little picnic for lunch so we gathered some sandwiches, scones, donuts and cookies at a supermarket and lunched on the church steps.

After lunch we jumped on one of the lovely red busses and to explore another part of the city and it’s main highlights.

Our bus stopped right next to the Big Ben so we walked in that area for a bit. We saw Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the House of Parliament. We could check off a lot of highlights of our list. It was really cool to see them as we’ve seen them in films and movies so much. But we didn’t want to be that kind of tourists, who only see the highlights and then jump on a bus to the next one. That’s not what traveling is about, if you ask me. So when we wanted to go see Buckinham Palace, we decided to walk instead of taking a bus or subway. And I’m so happy we did, because…

SQUIRRELS! Can you believe I never had seen squirrels before I went on this trip?
So we were walking towards Buckingham Palace when we came across St. James Park. We hadn’t planned to go there but we decided it would be fun to go in, since we were there after all. And there were squirrels everywhere! We fed them some bread and they just kept on coming, it was  so lovely!

I loved these little things. They were a bit cheeky, even running up and down my legs to get the bread, but omg they were so cute! So an hour and 120 pictures of squirrels later, (I really love the word squirrel by the way, in Dutch they are called ‘Eekhoorns’ but that just does not sound as cute as squirrel, don’t you think?) we left the park and went on our way again.

When we got to Buckingham Palace it was getting dark again. The palace was grand and beautiful. Unfortunately, we didn’t see the changing of the guards, and the ones we did see where dressed in grey instead of red. Not sure why that was, maybe a winter outfit? Anyway, that’s something we will need to go back for, one day…

We decided to have dinner at East Street, an Asian restaurant boyfriend went to the first time he went to London. I knew he’d love to go there again, so we did. I have to say, the food I got wasn’t very good so I don’t think I’ll be going there again.

By then, our trip was over and we had to go back to Victoria Station for our ride home. It was a short trip, but such a lovely one and I can’t wait to go back to the squirrels this city one day ♥

First time in London

I was letting my mind wander to all the glorious places I still want to visit and then I saw some pictures of London. It got me thinking; what would be a better place to spend Christmas? Now, I have some family obligations so actually celebrating the holidays abroad would be a no-go, but I’d love to spend a few days in december there, to get in the holiday spirit! All I have got to do now is convince the Boyfriend to go!

I’ve been to London once before, it was actually the first trip Boyfriend and I took together. We only spent one night there in a crappy hostel, but we did have a lovely time in the city where we saw all the highlights, went to a play and stood in line for over an hour to take a picture with a wall…

iT was four years ago, when we went on this trip and had a marvelous time in the city. It’s funny to see how far we’ve come, because we were really on a budget on this trip and it showed. We took a bus and a boat to get there overnight (which was horrible because we had to get out of the bus, onto the boat in the middle of the night and we were already sleeping) and we had the smallest hotel room I have ever seen. The hostel itself, Restup London, was fine, we just booked a tinytiny room with accidental bunkbeds…

Anyway, our short first day here was lovely. We kept the highlights for our second day and decided to just explore the city a bit. We walked through Hyde Park, did some window shopping and went to the store of the Sherlock Holmes museum. We didn’t go in because we hadn’t read the books yet, plus we were on a budget. But I’m planning on going in the next time we visit!

After walking around and windowshopping a bit, we had lunch at Pret a Manger and then took the underground to King’s Cross station. This was actually the one thing I really wanted to do: To visit Hogwarts! Unfortunately, my camera didn’t work there so I only have a picture of me passing through. But I’ll tell you, Hogwarts was amazing 😉

After King’s Cross we went back to the hotel to rest a bit, and it was getting dark when we went out for an amazing evening. We had fish and chips for dinner and then set out to The Globe.

It was on this trip that we started our little tradition of going to see a play on vacations. We had booked a show in Shakespeare’s theatre the Globe called The Changeling. Not one of Shakespeare’s plays, but it was really amazing to actually see a tragedy in his theatre. The show was in Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and the theatre itself was absolutely gorgeous. We had booked tickets in the Yard, which meant we didn’t have seats. That was okay, though my feet hurt a bit. But luckily, after the intermission, the people that had seats in front of us didn’t come back so we could take theirs. It was a lovely play and a start of a great tradition.

Time for traditions

Our trip to England had almost come to an end. We had visited York, Leeds, Durham Castle & Cathedral and now we would spend the last couple of hours in Newcastle.

After an amazing half-day walking around in Hogwarts, it was time to go back to Newcastle. We took the bus back and it drove across some lovely little cities and landmarks, like the Angel of the North.

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After we had spent some time in both York and Leeds, it was time for a change of scenery. This day, we would go to Newcastle. I hadn’t planned much to in this city, except from a daytour I really have been dreaming about: a trip to Hogwarts!

Durham castle with lightpost and trees

We woke up early on our final morning in York to be able to catch the train to Newcastle, for another Harry Potter Day. We grabbed some breakfast at the station and ate it on the hour and a half trainride to Newcastle. Traveling by train always makes me tired, but luckily our hotel (on Neville street!) was nearby. Our room wasn’t ready yet, but luckily, we could leave our suitcases at the front desk. Then we decided to not waste any time, so we got on a bus that would take us to Durham, to go visit Durham Castle.

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Leeds & the Kitty Cafe

After two amazing days in York, it was time for another city. On our third day, we got up early to take the train from York to Leeds, a small city where we spent a brief time in on our very first day. It was a short day in which we visited the kitty cafe and the Art Gallery.

Boyfriend was invited to present his master thesis at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, which was the reason we visited England in the first place. He wanted to spend the day at the congress, visiting other lectures, while I spent the day discovering Leeds with his mum, who was also there to see his presentation at the end of the day.

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A quiet day in York

When traveling to England last year, our first stop was York. We would spend two days here but we decided we didn’t want to run from highlight to highlight. Also, being York, there weren’t that many highlights we wanted to see, we would rather feel the atmosphere of the city. We saw a great deal of this lovely town on our first day, and decided on a quiet second day with just a few of the city’s main attractions.

We started our day with a lovely English breakfast at Chloes of York. I chose a breakfast muffin; eggs, sausage and bacon. What more could you ask for breakfast? It was a lovely little restaurant that I would definitely recommend!

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The wizarding world of York

I always love visiting the UK. The food is amazing (You can wake me up any time for an English breakfast!), the people are so nice and overall, it just really has a lovely atmosphere. For our last summer vacation, we decided to visit a couple of cities in England, namely York, Leeds and Newcastle. Let’s start at the beginning: our first day in York!

As you might know, York doesn’t have an airport so our flight went from Amsterdam to Leeds. When we arrived, we decided to have lunch before jumping on a train to the city we were planning to go to. It was warm and Leeds was bustling with shoppers. We had lunch at Distinto where I decided on a clubsandwich and the most amazing Oreo Milkshake I ever tasted.

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