England, I’ll Be There Soon, Chapter One…

At last!

In August 2018, I’ll fulfill my number one travel ambition; thirty days in England.

My friends, family, and fellow journalist have heard lots about this trip. I’ve said many times, “This year I’m going to England for a month.”, only to be a ‘no-go’ for one reason or another.

2018 is the year I’m finally going to make it. REALLY!

A British Airways ticket, for seat 83D in the upper level of an Airbus A380, is in my pocket. The A380 is the world’s largest passenger plane. It’s a double-decker, wide-bodied jet, with four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. 525 passengers share 5,920 square feet of usable floor space. While A380s have been in service since 2007, this is my first experience with a behemoth jet.

A380 my seat
Seat 83D ~ my ride to London. I like the back of the bus.

Black Friday smiled on me with an early morning alert and a large reduction in airfare. I’d been tracking San Francisco to London for over a year. The holiday shopping frenzy saved me enough to pay the extra fee for an aisle seat in the upper deck. The top deck is a little quieter, with 188 seats, compared to 337 on the lower level.

Yes, I’m traveling economy, but from what I’ve seen, econ on British Airways is far better than domestic 1st class. For example, roomy reclining seats, complimentary full-service bar, on the house meals, help yourself snacks, personal entertainment system, two checked bags and a carry-on, no charge. All this and my roundtrip ticket cost just $32 more than a round trip San Francisco to DC last September.

My flight is non-stop from San Francisco to London. What a treat. No plane changing on the east coast. With a 7:30 PM departure, I plan to have dinner, wander and photograph the aircraft a bit, then sleep on the way to Heathrow.

st ermins lobby
St Ermin’s lobby, London England

I’ll arrive in the early afternoon in time for tea at my hotel, St Ermin’s. St Ermin’s has a ‘secret’ reputation. The top two floors were used as an annex by UK’s secret intelligence. MI5, MI6, MI9, and others conducted operations there and used the Caxton Bar as a meeting place for over 60-years. Some say they still do, wink, wink.

I’m fiercely working on plans for my trip and have found lots of destinations. I’ll wander Cornwall and the southern coast, visit the Isle of Wight, take a ferry to Calais, and cruise inland waterways and canals in a narrow boat.

Phever castle
Hever Castle, Ann Boleyn’s childhood home

I’m spending a couple of days at Hever Castle, Ann Boleyn’s childhood home. I’m not a golfer, but while there, I’ll check out the historical golf course for a story I’m writing for Links & Libations.

Here are some of the working titles for my journalist assignments I’ve gathered so far~ Cornwall Backroads by Bus – Dover to Calais, a Day Trip – The Isle of Wight, Only by Boat – English Waterways Via Narrow Boat, Learning to Operate a Lock – The South Coast of England, Exploring Via Ferry – Tea with Brits, 5 Classic Tea Rooms in Cornwall and Hever, A Queens Castle.

I’m researching content and looking for publishers for several stories. Among them, London’s Luxury Cinderella Rooms, Indulging the Solo Traveler, a story about single rooms in luxurious London hotels, and Rooftop London, Above the Madding Crowd, an article about rooftop locations to eat, sleep, and play in Central London.

stargazy pie
Stargazy Pie, a Cornish tradition.


Cornish food such as Stargazy Pie, Cornish Pasties and other delights will take up a bit of time. I hope to meet some local cooks and chefs that will help me master the art of Cornish cooking.

More adventures will make the itinerary. Stay tuned for chapter two in March.

Glad you stopped by, MaryGo

15 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you.

  1. Dawn says:

    Oh MaryGo, this sounds like an incredible adventure. I can’t wait to read all about it!

    1. Thank you Dawn. It is an adventure I’ve dreamed of for a long time.

  2. Have a great time! I loved London but would love to spend 30 days there instead of just 2.

    1. Thanks Rebecca. Maybe you can return soon. –MaryGo

  3. Lovely to hear you will take a trip to the Isle of Wight, my Uk home town! Hope you have a great time and get to see all you want to during your 30 days!

    1. Thank you Zoe. What would you suggest I ‘not miss’ while on the Isle of Wight? –MaryGo

      1. A walk at Osborne House is so relaxing and a bit of royal history 🙂 I’d recommend checking trip advisor to see the top highlights as I’m not sure what you would like 🙂

      2. Thanks Zoe

  4. Mike Young says:

    The transportation options in the UK are awesome. We spent 3 weeks in London and were able to do day trips to Edinburgh, Oxford and yes, even to Paris and back. Leave your hotel in the morning and back at night. You are going to have an awesome time.

    1. Thanks for your tips Mike. What was your favorite area when you were there? –MaryGo

      1. Mike Young says:

        Well, I have lived in Canada since I was 3 (retired now) and was born in Dover, Kent, so… But I really enjoyed our day trip by bus from London to Oxford. Stopped at Shakespeare’s House, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and a lovely wool town called Burwash on the same trip. The day trip to Edinburgh, by train, was long, 6am start and back around midnight, but worth it. You get all day in the town. We walked all over London – Notting Hill is a must see. From the movie with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. A river cruise on the Thames – down to Greenwich so you can stand at 0 degrees longitude – one foot in the east and one in the west. There really is soooooo much to see.

  5. Thanks Mike. I’ll try some of your suggestions. I love the 0 degrees longitude idea. I’ll definately want a photo standing over the line. –MaryGo

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