I like to ask friends and family before they visit me, “What do you want to get out of the trip?” After my parents booked their flights to London, I asked them this question. Their answer: “We just want to spend time with you.”
A big sigh. What do you do when your travel style is to head to the mountains or do quick budget trips? I wanted to still be budget-friendly since city travel can add up fast, especially in London.
Living away from my hometown and state means I don’t see my parents as often as I should, so I was excited to have some alone time with them.
Below are a few highlights from their visit to the United Kingdom:
While staying at our flat in London, I took them on long walks to see the city. It was an adjustment for them to walk in the city for miles, but in my opinion, it’s the best way to see a new area. I usually wait for visitors to do touristy things with that cost money because I only want to pay the entrance fee once.
A little jetlagged but they made it!
Tower of London.
We found lunch and picked up groceries for dinner at the Borough Market.
Where we went: Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Parliament and Big Ben, St. James Park, Buckingham Palace, Green Park, Tower Hill, Tower Bridge, and Borough Market.
Peak District National Park
In this case, travel and the outdoors make me happy. If I combine them, it’s even better. We headed north from London on the train and rented a car outside of the city. The Peak District National Park isn’t what I was expecting–most parks I’m used to don’t have villages throughout them. I took them walking in the park, and we even visited a cave.
We stayed in a quaint little AirBnB rental in Belper, England.
Ending the walk around the Derwent Reservoir.
We took a tour of Poole’s Cavern.
Having fun skipping across the Dovedale Stepping Stones.
Where we went: Train to Birmingham, rental car to Belper (and AirBnB), walking around Derwent Reservoir, Buxton, Poole’s Cavern, and Dovedale Stepping Stones.
JCB Factory Tour
The one thing my dad expressed interest in was a JCB Factory Tour. It was in the middle of nowhere (from public transportation), so we rented a car and planned the weekend leading up to the tour around it. Watching my dad as we walked through the tour made it worth the extra logistics.
Where we went: Rocester to the JCB headquarters.
It’s always hard to say good-bye to them, but I’m glad they made the journey out to see me.