The purpose of life is to live it, to taste it, to experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Welcome to Part 2 of our Europe adventure! Next on our travel agenda: London!
Double decker buses, Big Ben, fish and chips, afternoon tea and scones….we did it all!
So many fun memories. We packed our days full in order to have time to hit all the destinations on our wish list, and also to just have time to stop and soak in the essence of another place and another time. This is a place with history so old and so rich, mixed right in with some of the trendiest stuff I’ve ever seen. I loved seeing the old and the new intertwined together like a a glistening thread.
Done being poetic now. Back to the epic phone booths!
The Tower of London was a fascinating place to explore. It has a horrible history of death and fear, but it is also home to the crown jewels and evokes the pride of royalty.
Tower Bridge, of course. I always thought this was London Bridge, but it’s not! London Bridge is a very practical, normal bridge with a busy road and a couple of sidewalks. Tower Bridge was definitely more awe-inspiring.
Now for one of my favorite destinations of our entire trip: Windsor Castle. We took a relaxing little train ride up to Windsor, which is a super cute little town and home to this castle. The Queen comes here sometimes – I totally would, too! The castle itself was one of the most realistic castles we toured on this trip (and we toured every one we found!). The grounds are beautiful and I totally fell in love. This is also my favorite picture of the entire trip. The light was perfect, the scene was perfect. Loved, loved, loved this place.
After our tour of Windsor Castle, we explored the tiny beautiful town of Windsor and stopped for some tea and scones at a character-filled little tea room! It was the perfect end to a perfect morning.
Remember last week when I said that I had a slight castle obsession? Well, we went to every palace and castle we could find! We toured Buckingham Palace…
We stopped to explore Kensington Palace. I had high hopes of running into Catherine or little Prince George, but no such luck.
No royalty, but we did run into a movie star! Rosamund Pike, who just happens to be in two of my all-time favorite movies ever! Pride & Prejudice and Wives & Daughters. This was an epic moment.
We can’t forget about the food. After sweets in Belgium and fancy little bites in Paris, we were happy to enter the land of down home cooking in classic British pubs! We had lots of pot pies (Joel’s favorite was the steak and ale pie. I think he had it 3 nights in a row!), fish and chips, and beef stew with Yorkshire Pudding. Not to mention a cup of tea every afternoon! We also managed to snag a few exceptional macaroons in the little bakeries there.
So, now on to one of my very favorite parts of this entire trip! We took a break from the big city life to spend our last couple of days in a beautiful little town in the Peak District called Bakewell. If you ever have a chance to go to Europe, we highly recommend the Peak District. It is everything romantic and beautiful that I ever dreamed Europe would be. Green rolling hills and jutting peaks, rocky ridges and fields of sheep. We fell in love from the first moment.
I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. I have read all the books multiple times, and I’ve watched every version of every Jane Austen movie. Over and over. So Bakewell is in Derbyshire – Jane Austen territory!!…thus the reason my sweet husband took me there! It’s near the Chadsworth House, which is none other than PEMBERLY in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie.
Do you remember the scene in the movie where Elizabeth is wandering around that statue room in Pemberly? We were there! This was one of the most epic parts of my trip. Can you tell I love everything Jane Austen?
They had extensive grounds that you could wander around. This farm girl found a field of sheep, and it made her heart happy! So much gorgeous, unspoiled, natural beauty.
There were so many places we were dying to do an engagement session! Like this one…
So then! I was drooling over absolutely everything in the gift shop and was conspiring how to fit something more into our backpacks coming home when I turned around and saw this. Mr Darcy! The best part? The statue had a little sign underneath that said “Please do not kiss.” Haha!
This is the hotel in Bakewell where Jane Austen stayed and revised Pride and Prejudice to incorporate parts of the Peak District. This hotel was her inspiration for the Crown and Rose, and Lambton was inspired by Bakewell. We also came through Matlock on our way to Bakewell. We also visited the nearby Haddon Hall – another location used in the Pride and Prejudice movie, as well as the Princess Bride and all 3 versions of Jane Eyre! Swoon!
Isn’t this place amazing?
After a most amazing stay in Bakewell, we headed across the Irish Sea to spend our last European day in Dublin, Ireland. Our incredible host gave us a personal tour of Dublin, including another awesome castle. I just can’t get enough castles! But by that point in our trip, I took less pictures! :)
So that was our adventure across Europe! We created so many memories and added so many stories to our “life adventures” collection. We’re so thankful that God gave us the opportunity to explore the world together!
“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher
Do you have any European adventures? What was your favorite thing you ate while traveling in another country? Comment below!