We returned to the Cotswolds for the remainder of our trip for a second round of rolling hills and sunny weather. Our base was a bed and breakfast in Gloucester, a town with fantastic pubs, easy access to nature, and an impressive cathedral.
The highlight of the Gloucestershire region was the Forest of Dean, an ancient woodland said to have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien while writing Lord of the Rings. Wandering among the trees, you could almost sense the motivation for the Ents. We made our way to Woorgreens Lake, but had to take a detour when we came across a wild boar and her piglets scavenging for food.
The next day, Marcus and I visited several nearby towns, such as Cheltenham and Painswick, centerpieces of the Cotswolds charm. In the morning, we slowly made our way to Bath to return the rental car and then took the train to London for the last night. For as much as we saw, there is still much more to explore.
Our fantastic UK road trip has been over for about a month now. I spend a lot of time planning for each holiday and when it’s over, I can’t help but start planning for the next. What are you upcoming travel plans?
The Lake District. The land of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter greeted us with a downpour as we headed to the northernmost point of our trip. Marcus and I stayed in the bustling town of Keswick, which sits on the shores of Derwentwater Lake. When the sun came out on our second day, we made our way around the lake and picnicked on the shore with a flock of ducks. The unpredictable weather prevented us from hiking, but we did get the chance to visit the prehistoric Castlerigg stone circle.
During our last night in Keswick, the rain came in torrents. We were lucky to have such good weather for most of the trip, but when we woke in the morning, we quickly packed the car, grabbed coffee to go, and headed back south for a second round of the Cotswolds’ sunshine.
During our visit to North Wales, we climbed Mount Snowdon, the highest point in the British Isles outside Scotland at 1,085 meters (3,560 feet). My hiking boots were quite dusty from years of living in the Netherlands, one of the world’s flattest countries, but we planned to take one of the easier trails past the lakes and waterfalls.
Due to a series of circumstances, we ended up taking the Watkins trail, deemed the most difficult route to the summit. It was very difficult. The first part of the trail had a moderate incline and an abundance of beauty. Most of the photos are from the first 1.5 hours of the hike. About the point where I took the photo of the cairn, the incline steepened and clouds rolled in. I put away the camera and we focused on the summit. There were moments I felt daunted, when the wind whipped and the fog was so dense that you could only see several meters ahead. Not to mention the 45 degree incline. Reaching the summit made it all worth it though and we basked in the glory before beginning the descent.