"UK...It was so...'"Where I wanted to be "" United Kingdom by lou31

United Kingdom Travel Guide: 95,267 reviews and 229,131 photos

Dream come true.

I came to Britain alone. By choice really. I knew what I wanted to see and do and really didn't need anyone else to enjoy it with. I needed to be free to go where I wanted, see what I wanted and enjoy what I wanted. Sounds selfish but I could not have done it any other way.
It was the first time I had really gone overseas apart from a P&O cruise and felt extremely confident doing so. In fact I haven’t really travelled much at all in my lifetime. With Australia being such a large country I have never gone too far from home.
Family and friends were very concerned about me. "Are you going alone?...You must be mad!" was what people kept saying. It got to the stage where I started to think maybe I was being a bit foolish but the thought of doing it all never really bothered me.

The lone traveller

So within my UK pages I hope to help any lone travellers with my experiences. Travelling solo had it's advantages and disadvantages. Some things I could do more easily by myself and some I could not do alone. Like going out to a pub in the evenings. I learnt be extra watchful of my surroundings. Somehow city streets or mountain trails take on a different look when suddenly you find yourself alone. I avoided noisy pubs and tended to eat earlier in the evenings so I would be back in my room before dark. When wandering round a town or city I tried not to look too lost or confused. A bit hard though, the night I arrived in Edinburgh. Middle of the city, late, dark, raining and me with two ports trying to wave down a taxi. I didn't half look the part of a lost individual!
So many things happened along the way. From the bizarre to the hilarious! I had some classic moments and met some interesting people. I think because I was alone I struck up conversations more readily with strangers and was usually pleasantly surprised. Like the two adorable Scottish ladies I met at the bus stop in Stirling. And the old man who chatted to me over the front fence for ages when I got lost in Pitlochry. A lovely old man in Ireland actually took my hand in both of his and told me I was most welcomed in his country and hoped I had a good holiday. Moments like these are nice memories now and contributed to the wonderful time I had.
I never felt threatened or scared. I had planned well and just went with the flow if things went a bit awry. I always found that things panned out eventually.

From start to finish.

The first part of the trip was a week doing a tour of Ireland [ Which I know isn’t part of Britain } and Wales. Starting off in London and ending for me in Stratford upon Avon.
The tour with Cosmos was wonderful. We had a great tour guide - Henry, who really was the best! He obviously loved his job and his attitude transfered on to us which ensured a pleasant journey. He was a walking encylopedia on Britain in general and it's history and there was not one question he could not answer.
There were only 29 on board which gave us lots of room on the bus. There were 19 Aussies, 8 of which were from Queensland where I hale from. The lady Pam [ a talented artist ] whom I shared a room with was from Rockhampton [ practically next door to my home town}. So things got off to a good start right away. I made many other friends. I must mention Rena from Canberra who was lots of fun, and Carol [ New Zealand ] who had been on many adventures before joining us. Us four single travellers really had some good times. Jean and her grand daughter Kristy from USA were very special. I can't mention them all!!
I said a sad goodbye to all on board and stayed in Stratford for 3 days. What an experience! From the B&B I stayed in to the town itself [ not to mention the countryside! ] was just a piece of paradise.
My next stop was Scotland where I stayed in Edinburgh, Inverness [ from where I did a day trip to Skye ] and the gem of all towns...Pitlochry. Oh my Pitlochry pages will be good I must have taken a hundred photos!
I then moved down to York for 2 days before going on to London where I spent 2 more days before flying home.
Hopefully my pages of all the places I visited will be of some help to others. It will keep me busy getting them all written up! I took over a thousand photos and most of them turned out beautifully...As good as all those picture books!!!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:So many places to enjoy. All types of scenery, weather and people. There is something for everyone!
  • Cons:Expensive. Very expensive for Australians. The exchange rate is enough to make you cry!
  • In a nutshell:I am going back! That says it all!
  • Last visit to United Kingdom: May 2005
  • Intro Updated May 28, 2006
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Reviews (24)

Comments (7)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2008 at 5:16 PM

    Hi Lou how r u!See ur online.just back from fantastic Jordan!&a repeat visit to Israel tho Avi....Disgusting how he/things turned out!Had a fab visit to see Ursule&met up with xlnt friends of hers in Petra!what a difference to know good people!x

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Oct 2, 2008 at 11:11 PM

    Great pages here Lou. The Avon region is one place I want to visit....one day :o) Oh and your dunny story made me laugh lol. Hugs xx

  • amandajayne81's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2008 at 1:29 AM

    I have just spent a lovely hour or so reading several of your pages. What great tips you have included. Very helpful. Hope mum and my trip goes as well as yours appeared to. Looking forward to meeting some sheep as we cross some paddocks.

  • Galahad's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2006 at 2:12 AM

    I loved reading about my own country through the eyes of such an articulate visitor. Thanks

  • stevezero's Profile Photo
    Jun 15, 2005 at 11:03 AM

    Glad you enjoyed your trip to ours. We like it here too! Look forward to your pages on Scotland.

  • sandysmith's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2005 at 12:07 AM

    sounds a wonderful trip and looking forward to those pics

  • Jun 6, 2005 at 8:31 AM

    Hi Lou! Great start here with very helpful tips! Errrm... Just one thing - *thongs* are something else here so you might want to use a different word! Maria :))

lou31

“'Life is not a dress rehearsal.......live it now!!"”

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