My second trip to England felt different than our first and it also made me more aware — aware of two dramatically different homes that Andrew and I now share.
Here I finally have a chance to explore Sheffield, Andy’s home, though he hates it when I say that. So maybe Sheffield isn’t his home currently but it is his first home — the home that made him who he is, and there is something powerful to be said for that.
Situated next to Windermere Lake in the Lake District, here is England’s tiny town of Windermere. Don’t be scared to fall in love — I am smitten and if I could have moved there, I would never have returned to the US.
Locals and the English as a whole talk of Cleethorpes’s past as if embarrassed at what it has become now. As an outsider though, I saw beauty: boutiques, book stores, antique shops, baskets of overflowing flowers, and classic buildings.
What was even more breathtaking than Derwent Valley though was the Peak District’s forest, where wild raspberry bushes grew massive and where clusters of purple heather bloomed.
Sure, overall maybe Castleton is “stereotypical” if stereotypical is also a synonym for beautiful. The village holds not only unique shops and pubs but also little cottages that sleep beside a bubbling stream. And behind that, ruins of an eleventh-century castle sit atop a hill dotted with grass-munching sheep. And, as if to protect the area, cavern walls stretch high above the village. This, in it’s picture-perfect glory, is Castleton.
It was a warm July day in England so what better way to explore than walking around Sheffield and stopping in its quaint and charming pubs…
We were here, finally, scuba diving in the Galápagos Islands. Deeper and deeper we dove until I watched as our instructor’s eyes suddenly went wide, as he pointed directly below me. Nervous, I glanced down to find a large five-foot shark a few feet under my fins.
“L. You were already going to kill yourself. Now you’re going to kill me too. This is just bloody great.” That’s Andy, which perfectly sums up how our first trip together somewhere new wasn’t necessarily all paradise. Though most of it was. Or maybe that depends on who you ask.
Prepare yourself: My first trip to Europe! Here’s more on a trip to the Peak District where we took in its breathtaking landscape and stopped in quaint towns including Bakewell, Castleton, and Matlock Bath . . .
Prepare yourself: My first trip to Europe! Here’s more on a trip to Derbyshire . . .
Prepare yourself: My first trip to Europe! Here’s more on my stop in London . . .
Prepare yourself: My first trip to Europe! And it wouldn’t be complete without some Harry Potter love . . .
Prepare yourself: My first trip to Europe! Here’s more on my visit to Shakespeare’s hometown, Statford-upon-Avon!
Prepare yourself: My first trip to Europe! Since I was in elementary school, seeing England has been my number one travel goal. Looking back though, I’m glad I never went before now because being able to go with Andy — to visit the country he was born and raised in — that made it immensely more special. Here’s a summary on our journey . . .