Ahhh... a trip to the UK is still a dream that probably won't be fulfilled for years, but this thread is making me want to go there even more! I'm obsessed with the UK (especially England) and have wanted to go to London for as long as I remember.
France- well I've been to Paris twice (though once only for two days) and it was a few years ago, but it was amazing. We mostly did the regular touristy things- the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, l'Arc de Triomphe, etc.- and they're beautiful, but lots of tourists especially in summer. My family took a hop-on, hop-off boat cruise along the Seine and it's a great way to see all the monuments if you don't want to go in. Versailles is a ways out of the city, lovely and grand but personally I didn't find it that different from other palaces I've seen (not that many, but one was Schonbrunn in Vienna). And Paris is one of those cities that just walking around or sitting in a park with a coffee is an experience. :)
Paris' reputation for good shopping is well-deserved but quite expensive (same with food); you definitely want to save up ahead of time! I haven't actually been there but I'd love to see the bookstore Shakespeare & Company. I love macarons and Ladurée is a great place to get them. Fresh baguettes from the bakeries are surprisingly inexpensive and a great cheap breakfast.
I'm sure you'll have an amazing trip- have fun (and have fun planning! haha)!
Thanks for the ideas, everyone! I'll start looking into some of these places. Any more suggestions?? Any general advice for traveling in the region?
It depends what kind of things you want to see while you are here really southern.maple as there is a bit of something for everyone.
London is a definite - there are so many free museums and lovely sights to be seen there too that it doesn't have to cost a fortune.
I second renrose shout for Liverpool - I never really thought about telling anybody to come visit Liverpool, but when you lay down what we have to see and do up here it is worth a visit.
If you're wanting to see some castles and old English history stuff etc it may be worth a trip up north to see Alnwick Castle (It was the set for Hogwarts in the first Harry Potter movie, has amazing treehouse structures and some lovely gardens) but there are plenty littered around pretty much everywhere.
Wales has some truly beautiful places and sites to see. Someone above mentioned Snowdonia and I second that.
Also Cornwall. Cannot recommend Cornwall enough. It is beautiful! Some of the best beaches and scenery in the UK and the people down there are just lovely.
As far as general travelling advice, the easiest way to access the more remote sights (ie. any that aren't in cities!) is by hiring a car and driving yourself if you can get your head around driving on the left! There's plenty of public transport within and between cities though. My opinion is that the countryside is far superior to the cities anyway - hehe! I second others suggestions of visiting York (Harrogate is also lovely and the surrounding countryside really is stunning), Edinburgh and Liverpool. Chester is also a beautiful old city with plenty to do, if you're into shopping there's the biggest outlet shopping centre in Europe just North in Ellesmere Port. There is also easy access into the Wirral (lovely countryside/coastline) North Wales and Liverpool. I lived Chester/Liverpool for several years while studying and I miss it! As far as countryside goes, it's everywhere if you look! Cornwall is lovely and commercially set up for tourists, If you're not too bothered about that then the countryside and villages in Northamptonshire are lovely - the towns leave a lot to be desired though!
All the best in planning your adventure! Jessie
You're all fantastic. Thanks!
Anyone else feel free to chime in. :)