As you may know I LOVE trips, I love vacations with my family. I love travel. I could travel every month to a different place in the world. I have a long list of so many reasons why I love traveling and visiting new cities. One of the reasons is because I’m always craving new experiences and challenges in my life and I think traveling always makes me test myself to get out of my comfort zone. I also love learning new things, which is great because every time I travel I always experience something new and interesting. On top of that it always makes me open my mind by exploring new places, people, culture (language, music, food and so on). And that’s why our family vacation isn’t something negotiable for me. I think it’s the best gift I can give to my son and it’s definitely a great way to spend time together as a family.
This isn’t the first time we went to UK. In fact, last year we spent two weeks travelling in England, Scotland and Ireland. It was an awesome trip and you can read all about it here. This time my husband had to go to England for work and we decided to take advantage of this opportunity and visit again England and then Portugal. But after being a week and a half in England, our flights to Portugal were cancelled last minute due to the France strike. So, we decided to stay in the UK. It was a stressful moment I have to say, because it’s not something you want to deal with during your vacation, right? When the flights were cancelled, we had only few hours to decide where to go now, to book new hotels and buy train tickets. So, long story short, we decided to visited Wales and Liverpool instead of Portugal. It was the best decision.
When we arrived in London my sister, brother-in-law and nephew were on vacation there too. So, we met them for few days before heading over to the England countryside. It was such a special moment for us. Everybody together as a big family and the kids (my son and my nephew) had a blast playing together.
What I can say about London? Oh Gosh… I LOVE that city so much. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world along with New York and Toronto (all multicultural cities). Everyone should visit London at least once in their lifetime. Everyone should experience visiting all of the most recognisable sights in the world such as Big Ben, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye (the list goes on and on) at least once in their lives. And let’s not forget to mention the great diversity of fascinating people that live there. It’s just incredible!
This time in London we visited more parks and kid’s attractions for obvious reasons. We went the Science Museum and The London Transport Museum and the kids loved them. I highly recommend these places for your children. We also had lunch at Eat Tokyo. Amazing! It is one of the best Japanese restaurants I’ve ever been.
Then, we went to a BEAUTIFUL village called Warmington in the district of Warwickshire, England. It’s about 1 hour from London. My husband had to work around this area, so we stayed in a little and cozy cottage there. We were so happy close to nature, breathing some fresh air and listening to the silence around us. The only thing we could hear was the birds and the leaves swaying in the wind (and kids cartoons on TV… hahahaha). Thomas loved that place. He ran everywhere and enjoyed all the open spaces. I think it’s so important when living in a big city like us (we live in Toronto), to find some time to spend in the countryside. We had a great time there!
WALES – CARDIFF
After one week and a half in England we went to Wales, Cardiff. This country is a place with such breathtaking landscapes. So beautiful! If you don’t know Cardiff, it’s the capital of Wales and a great place to spend 3 to 4 days. One of the things that we loved about this city is the series of beautifully renovated Edwardian-era arcades. For me this is like a gallery where you can find amazing store for antique, second-hand bookshops, cheese stores, great restaurants, even clothes shops and art galleries.
I would say that Wales is definitely a place of historical houses and castles. We visited quite a few historical castles there and the first one is called Cardiff Castle. It’s gorgeous and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Wales. How couldn’t it be?! It is full of over 2,000 years of history. Then, just less than 30 minutes by train from Cardiff you could visit two more castles. One is called Carephilly Castle. It incredible and the second largest castle in Britain. It has one tower, which is a little bit leaning just like the more famous wonky tower of Pisa! This castle is incredible and totally worth a visit especially because of the fantastic reconstruction they did to preserve the history alive.
We also visited another pretty castle called Castell Coch and it’s known as a castle of fairy tales. I can see why. It was built and designed in the 19th century, but it has a very romantic medieval style. I loved the courtyard and main banqueting hall they created there.
And finally but not least we visited the most incredible castle ruins you can possible see. It’s called Chepstow Castle. We had a blast visiting this castle built in the 12th century full of history and memories. The wooden door on the picture below is the oldest door in all of Europe which is 800 years old. Isn’t this incredible? This place is amazing especially because the views over the river Wye. Absolutely fantastic! I feel so so so grateful for being able to visit this stunning place with my family. Visiting all these castles was an unforgettable experience for us.
Our final stop was Liverpool, the city known for being the birthplace of The Beatles. But I got to say that there is so much more to this city than just The Beatles (not that is not amazing). We LOVED this city so much! My husband even said he wish he could be more days there. This city has such a vibrant atmosphere and people are just so so so friendly like Canadians. I also loved the mixture of modern and historical/old buildings. That really attracts me.
I also can’t forget to mention the Albert Docks, which is one of the most stunning places to visit in Liverpool. There are lots of restaurants, bars, galleries and museums around. You definitely have lots of things to do and explore there. Talking about restaurants we found that this city has lots of delicious choices when it comes to food since it has a wide range of different cuisines. Where did we eat there?
- Viva Brazil: we went to this restaurant few times. First, because I’m Brazilian and I miss Brazilian food a lot; second, the food was really good and had lots of salads and delicious meat to eat; and third because it was located very close to the place we rented.
- Jamie’s Italian Restaurant: I’m a huge fan of Jamie Oliver and every time I’m in a city where Jamie has his restaurant I want to try it. We’ve been in Jamie’s restaurant in São Paulo, Montreal and now Liverpool. We ordered a yummy carbonara and I just wished the dish could be bigger because it was amazing.
Of course if you are in Liverpool you have to visit the Beatles attractions too, right? I’m a huge fan of them and I had a great time visiting “all things Beatles”. I even got a little bit emotional at some point. So, this is for you to see how nice it was being there. We visited The Cavern Club and watched a live singer performing The Beatles songs. We also went to The Beatles Story which was very interesting to learn about all the Beatles history. You also can take the tour bus and visit the John and Paul’s childhood homes and neighbourhood! Definitely it’s a great city to visit.
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