Rachel Lewis is a student at St. Ambrose University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in London, England.
Studying abroad on Europe’s doorstep (aka England and the whole of the UK) can come with a lot of expectations to travel outside of the UK. Weekend trips to Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Dublin and so on and so forth can be especially tempting if you haven’t traveled outside of the States much. But for those that would like to spend either an adventurous, quiet, or just plain inexpensive (forgoing the price of an airline ticket!) weekend away from their studies, these are a few places that I have had an absolute blast at without truly leaving the UK. If you’re looking for adventure, look no further than Crickhowell, Wales or Brighton or Bath, England!
Crickhowell, Wales – Not many people would immediately pick a small town nestled in southeastern Wales. However, if you’re looking to relax in a quiet place and explore a bit of nature and Welsh countryside, Crickhowell, Wales is a great destination. What’s in Crickhowell, you may ask? None other than the Brecon Beacons. The Brecon Beacons is a national park with a mountain range called the Black Mountains. Of the Black Mountains, I had the opportunity to climb the few miles to the summit of Table Top mountain (in wellies and a wind-proof jacket alone).
Brighton, England – If you’re an artsy person that loves the seaside (cue The Kooks’ song Do You Want to go to the Seaside?), Brighton, England is for you. With themed restaurants like Pinocchio (a Disney’s Pinocchio themed Italian family restaurant) and independent shops, there’s a lot to explore. The Brighton Pier is also an awesome way to spend the afternoon with the haunted house, roller coasters, and electronic bulls all with the luxury of being (literally) on top of the sea. I watched the sunset from a roller coaster on a seaside pier… not many people can say that! I should also mention that the pier is Victorian and original, so it’s a bit scary to know you’re riding a roller coaster on wood that’s 150 years old. Very worth it, though.
Lastly, there is Bath, England – For what may seem an obvious reason, the Roman Baths are in Bath! Apart from that, Bath actually has a spa that it is known for (unfortunately I decided to skip that luxury). I did, however, visit the Roman Baths and bought a glass bottle of some Bath water. You could spend hours learning about the history of the Roman Baths and I did just that. The architecture in Bath is also very beautiful in a cohesive way – the buildings are all made of limestone. One particular limestone building also holds the famous Jane Austen Centre if you’re a fan of literature like I am.
Want to know more about being a student in the UK? Check out “The Innocent Abroad in London”