UK Travel: Kissick Weddings goes international! In what felt like a situation right out of a movie, we were traveling to the UK to photo Ann and David’s wedding with the bonus that we were spending Christmas in Scotland! While making arrangements we decided we were going to take advantage of this incredible opportunity and spend a little extra time exploring England.
We took the red eye from JFK to Heathrow and spent four wonderful days exploring and experiencing all that London has to offer. We decided to treat ourselves to a stay in the chic Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, where we met the nicest doorman ever! After a brief conversation where we told him we were excited to some of the Christmas markets and events in London he came back with a hand written list of some recommendations for us. You’ve got to love customer service like that!
We spent our days visiting all of the must-see sights in London and at night we got caught up in the spirit of the season by visiting Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and being serenaded with carols by the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. We spontaneously decided to take in a show on the West End and were lucky to get standing only tickets for Les Miserables, which was a really affordable way to see such a fantastic musical! In between all of the sight seeing we couldn’t help but photograph all of the wonder that is London, from street lights to stunning department store window displays to a delightfully adorable Paddington Bear found in Notting Hill.
In keeping with our ever adventurous spirits we decided we would rent a car to drive north to Scotland for the wedding. This was definitely one of the more stressful moments of the trip, but when we came out on the other side of it we were pretty pleased about what we accomplished! But first we had to get out of central London! It definitely took some time to get used to driving on the other side of the road and even sitting on the other side of the car. The narrow London streets paired with roundabout after roundabout made it all the more tricky! The drive north was beautiful and we arrived at the Tontine Hotel in Greenock Scotland at 11:30 pm on Christmas Eve, just in time to get to bed before Santa arrived!
We spent Christmas Day together at the hotel. After opening presents that were purchased at gift shops in London (note the amazing coffee cup with Princess Charlotte’s birth announcement!), we enjoyed a lovely dinner at the hotel with the bride, Ann, and her family and friends. After Skyping with both of our families back in the US to wish them a Merry Christmas (thank goodness for technology!) we got ready for the big day…Ann’s wedding complete with a photo shoot at Loch Lomond.
The last two days of our trip were spent driving through the countryside. We didn’t have a plan, we just knew where we needed to end up at night. The rest was left up to chance! As we headed south away from Greenock we saw a sign for a castle, so we decided to turn left off the main road and see what we could find. Favorite features of driving through the countryside were the rolling hills, stone walls that seemed to go on forever and sheep everywhere!
Our last day we drove the the English countryside and found our way to Stratford-upon-Avon. It was a charming little town! We went to Holy Trinity Church to see the church where William Shakespeare attended and was later buried. It was a beautiful church with gorgeous stained glass windows and so much history! We also picked up a cute little souvenir, Sir William Mousespeare, as a keepsake to remember our stop.
We absolutely loved driving through the countryside, going from small town to small town and seeing all of the serene landscapes and beautiful architecture. Our favorite part of the last few days was walking around the town, stopping in the local shops and chatting with the friendly store owners. It was tough to leave knowing that there was still so much to be seen, but we had such an amazing week in the UK!