January was quite a packed month for me. I had two trips planned and one half planned trip which is the trip we are going to talk about today: My 5 days in the UK!
I had planned to go to Bristol with my brothers but in the end, none of them could make it.
After some hesitations and a few tweaks to suit my wishes better, I ended up taking the trip as a solo trip. This travel diary is not going to be equal in length, as some days were, for obvious reasons, much longer than the other but it’s still a nice insight into what a 5 days trip in the UK can be like!
I won’t go in depth about the things to do about the different places I visited as I plan to do separate posts for each of them, they will be
5 Days Trip In The UK: Travel Diary
DAY 1: PARIS -> LONDON -> BRISTOL
On the 15th of January I boarded on a night bus to London. I know some people travel by day but when it’s a 8 hours ride I rather do it by night, sure it’s not the best to sleep or anything, although I rather not waste day time where I could do actual things, so, I much rather travel by night.
If you get lucky you won’t have any neighbour next to you, which means you can set the way you want. At least you can somewhat “rest properly” because if you’re like me and can’t really sleep straight up on your seat and need to have a window or something to lay on, well, it’s tough.
Unluckily for me, the bus was super PACKED. I thought I had showed up early enough, but, nope. The lady who I was seated next to was super nice, but that meant no window for me. It was quite a long night.
Technically, the ride from Paris to London isn’t that long, the longest part is the wait to get into the train shuttle to cross the Channel. However, it’s cool to have a nice break to stretch your legs, and have a snack.
This day is probably going to be the more
Never underestimate the need for downtime when you travel, especially with little to no sleep. Don’t be like me, don’t be stupid.
Aro6 am we made it to London Victoria coaches station, an hour ahead of time. Yay, finally off the bus!
As we arrived ahead of time I decided to walk all the way to Kensington from Victoria, passing through Harrods instead of taking the tube. I got to say the colourful windows displays in the morning looked much nicer than I expected.
Walking instead of taking the tube was really pleasant, I got to see a bunch of streets I didn’t know, spots some cute coffee and so on. Besides, that helped me save a bit of money and shaved off some time as nothing was opened yet so early in the morning.
Except Starbucks, which was my first stop. Yes, not the most atypical choice, but, oh well. It started raining and it was there, so tada.
As soon as the rain stopped I headed towards the Royal Albert Hall, mostly because I was curious about the display they would have put on for the Cirque Du Soleil show as I had worked for the show in Paris under a big top.
A bit further of the Royal Albert Hall you can find Kensington Garden, I stayed in Kensington Garden for quite a while almost 3 hours to be precise.
Once I was done with the park I moved on onto the next stop on my bucket list for the day which was the Natural History Museum. I’ve been to London a couple of times before, for some reasons though I had never made it to the museum.
I was running low by then, however, I still really enjoyed my visit even if I think I might have missed a couple of things.
After I decided it was time for me to head to Bristol. Funny thing is on my way to Victoria Coach Station I accidentally stumbled onto Peggy Porschen. This place is always all over my Instagram feed, so, it made me chuckle.
Things I did in London:
- Royal Albert Hall
- Kensington Garden
- Natural History Museum
At first I was supposed to spend a few more hours in London and do more, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was glad I hadn’t booked my bus ticket to Bristol prior to my arriving in London, this way my zombie self could make it to Bristol earlier.
That made me think again on how important down time is even when you’re only travelling for a couple of days.
DAY 2: GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND
Initially, the plan for this day was to go to Cardiff but I had to switch day has the forecast was announcing rain in Cardiff but not in Gloucester. Although that was a lie because I did get rained on. But, anyway.
I wasn’t quite sure on Gloucester, not because that I thought I wouldn’t like it but because I was hesitant between Gloucester to see the cathedral where some part of Harry Potter was shot and Lacock village which is also a Harry Potter shooting location (and other famous movies). Saving Lacock for next time!
I took an off-peak morning train from Bristol Temple Meads.
If you’re ever in Bristol this is a nice and short day trip. The first thing I did after a quick stroll around what is the centre of the city I guess was heading toward the cathedral as it was my main reason to visit this city.
What I did in Gloucester:
– World of Beatrix Potter
-St Oswald’s Priory
– St Michael Tower
DAY 3: CARDIFF, WALES
Cardiff has always been on my day trip list when I was living in Bristol but for some reasons it never happened. So, this time I was decided to make it happen!
It was planned and nothing was going to change this! Well, actually it was planned for Friday, although, the forecast showcased rain so I decided to postpone it to Saturday. as I said above.
I made it to Cardiff around 10 am. I could have arrived earlier but I missed the first train I attended to took.
Cardiff is only a short distance of Bristol, only 50min by train. You don’t exactly break the bank if you buy an off-peak return ticket.
My first stop of the day, after a light but yummy breakfast and exploring a few passages I found along the way, was Cardiff Castle.
I spent the biggest chunk of my day as there is a lot to see and to read about. It’s always fun to explore castle that has so much history, also, the site is pretty big so it takes some time. if you do read display and listen to the audio guide app.
After that, I headed towards Bute Park passing by the Bute Animals Wall, which is nicer and cute that I thought it would be when I saw it on the map. Bute Park is as well just nice, besides it always feels nice to get a bit of nature in a city.
Once I was done I went inside the city centre to check out some more landmarks (Pierhead clock, Cardiff Story Museum, Cardiff Market…) before heading to the next thing on my itinerary.
The next stop on my itinerary was Cardiff Bay. Cardiff Bay is located about 20min of the centre of the city on foot. I can’t say the streets I walked to get there were particularly thrilling or anything interesting aside from a few ornaments on the street at some point. It was still nice nonetheless to enjoy the fresh crisp winter air.
It’s funny because whenever I do this part of me think I lost a tremendous amount of time and the other one thinks that it’s amazing because I get to see a lot more things a lot more freely if I ever want to change the path of my itinerary if I see something interesting before reaching my end destination.
I guess that’s why I like walking so much, that and because it’s free.
I spent the rest of my afternoon exploring Cardiff Bay and the differents things it offers after a quick break eating my lunch facing the harbour. After that it was time for me to headback to the city centre do a bit more of exploration before I headed back to the train station to go back to Bristol.
I didn’t do much in the evening as I had my dose of walking already, although, something worth writing about is that I did try Nando’s for the first time. While it’s good I still don’t get the excitement about it?
What I did in Cardiff:
– Cardiff Castle
– Bute Park Animal Wall
– Bute Park
– Cardiff Market
– Cardiff Bay / Mermaid Quay
– Cardiff Museum
DAY 4: BRISTOL, ENGLAND
I never felt more in my life like a grandma with constant back pain by this point, which genuinely made me regret my packing options and apprehending the next day as I would have to go through a pretty much similar day as day one if I wanted to follow my schedule
Carrying that damn HEAVY backpack.
I battled a bit with myself wondering if yes or no it was worth it to push myself a little to go to Castle Combe as it was a place I also wanted to check out, but every step I took during this thinking process reminded me that no, it definitely wasn’t worth it to push myself more than I already had
Instead, I enjoyed a chill and chilly day in Bristol redoing some of my favourite activities and checking some of my favourite places. I love discovering new places but I also love coming back to places I loved and are dear to my heart.
There is such a nice feeling about coming back to a place where you have a lot of memories.
I had a stroll around the city centre and the harbour where you can find the M Shed, which I totally recommend to visit if you go to Bristol. And a bit further the S.S Great Britain, another landmark of Bristol’s history.
Then I headed towards Brandon Hill catching some noodles from Walk to Wok on my way there. Weather was nice, I had a nice cup of noodles and a good view of the city. Nothing to complain about!
Brandon Hill is one of my favourite place of the city as you can see the whole city. It’s also one of the best spots to see the fireworks all over the city and further during bonfire night in November!
I spent the rest of the afternoon at the museum and spotting some street art in various places before I called it a day and headed back to the hotel after some shopping.
DAY 5: BRISTOL -> LONDON -> PARIS
Last day of the trip!
Prior to the trip, I thought I’d check out early and head back to London to explore and do some more stuff there.
But, I didn’t, I checked out around noon, which was the latest you could check out and just worked on my laptop during the morning and tried to efficiently pack my backpack.
I didn’t feel like I had a boring day, a long one yes but not boring to experience, however, it is nothing thrilling that would be worth doing some detailed storytelling about it.
That being said, I do have something worth mentioning.
Mrs Potts! A chocolate house where I had my dessert later in the afternoon that day. I also had a sugar hype after my stay there, or maybe it is just me who’s not used to sugar being more of a savoury person. I still loved the place and the hot choc’ though!
If you’re ever in Bristol looking for a nice dessert place or to have a hot choc’ you should definitely check it out!
In conclusion minus my real painful that kind of slowed me