Right now, I'm back at BYU - Idaho for Fall semester! This is my last semester as a sophomore, but also kind of my first semester as a junior? Online classes make things weird. Anyway, I'm excited and nervous, and I have a small cat jumping all over and being crazy.
All of that is good reminder of how I'm not much of a traveler. Going between college and home drives me nuts. I am perfectly happy sitting in my room on my computer or reading, because I am social like that. When I do travel, it's usually for a writing or music retreat/conference, which I do absolutely love! But one place I would really love to travel, on an actual just-for-fun vacation, is to Britain.
It was Doctor Who that made me realize how much I loved British culture and Sherlock that reinforced it. I already had many favorite authors from England, but I'd never really thought about how much it would be a fangirl's mecca until I got into those BBC shows. Now, I am dying to go there! My dear friend Julia was just there this summer, studying abroad at Oxford, and I am terribly, terribly jealous. I think I spend half my time being jealous of her, haha! But it's okay, 'cause I also love her and her writerly face. 😊
Today, I thought I'd plan out an ideal (literary-themed) trip to Britain. This is a very vague itinerary. I don't have a particular order because I don't have a central location (i.e. hotel) to map out from. I do know, however, that I would be using trains. Lots of trains. And buses. Because England.
The Bronte Parsonage Museum
The Bronte sisters are legendary authors of classic literature, and I'm especially a fan of Charlotte's Wuthering Heights. Stopping by the house in West Yorkshire where they grew up sounds pretty cool to me. I'm not sure what all you can do there without having to pay an extra tour fee, but I feel like just being at the house would be pretty darn awesome. They have new exhibitions and lectures every once and a while. There's also a classic Bronte-themed library attached.
The Doctor Who Experience
Doctor Who counts as literary, okay? It's an awesome story that I have to include here.. This is a family-friendly exhibition in Cardiff, where first you go on a "action-packed, multi-sensory journey", as they call it, with the Doctor, presumably something along the lines of the Harry Potter theme park stuff in Florida, and then you can look around at a lot of props and costumes and go through a bunch of hands-on exhibits that show how Doctor Who is filmed and created. It's designed for children, but no way am I letting that stop me. It's the Doctor!
Obviously, in a literary-themed look through England, Shakespeare has to be included. His birthplace is only one of many places associated with him, but I think it's the most interesting and accessible. The house in Stratford-Upon-Avon is maintained by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which also runs most other touristy things associated with Shakespeare. Similar to the Bronte Parsonage Museum, here you can walk in the footsteps of literary giants!
The Bodleian Library at Oxford University
It's Oxford, it's a big fancy old library, and some of Harry Potter was filmed in it. I don't know how you could skip it on a trip like this. There are tours, there are exhibitions and lectures, and there are all kinds of literary stuff. Mostly, I'd just want to look around and see what is up and possibly smell some books. Because book-sniffing is what cool people do. I bet Oxford is an epic place to be.
The Sherlock Holmes Museum
As a Sherlock fan, I can't miss going to 221B Baker Street, where a small museum in honor of Sherlock Holmes is maintained. I know that's a bit cheap, going to it on the basis of a TV show, but I am in the process of reading the Sherlock works by Arthur Conan Doyle... because of the TV show. LOL, truly, Sherlock rocks my socks.
King's Cross Station
Last but never least, I would absolutely have to visit the famous train station where Harry Potter (and all other Hogwarts wizards/witches) cross over to get to the Hogwarts train by running straight through a wall. Fun fact: Rowling put this in the book because it's where her parents met! Today, the station has a trolley placed halfway through the wall where the entrance to Station 9 3/4 would be. I have to see it.
Other Optional Destinations
There are a few other places I'd love to see while I'm in England, pending time and means.
I'd also like to go to the Deep Sea World, which is an aquarium with a legendary amount of sharks, but that's in Scotland, which is even more north.
Thanks for reading! Tell me about your own ideal vacation. If you haven't yet voted about my upcoming Wordy Wednesday post, please do so now! (Polling period is now closed.)
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Images via bronte.co.uk, shakespeare.org.uk, tennantnews.blogspot.com, humanities.blogs.ie.edu, budgettravel.com, and Wikipedia.
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