English Countryside: Wrap Around the World
February 12th, 2015 · · · Comments
February 12th, 2015 · · · Comments
This is Solly Baby’s family traveling series “Wrap Around the World with Solly Baby”. Here you’ll find our traveling tips & notes from our five-week adventure across Europe with my husband and three children (ages 5, 3, and 6 months). Planning our locations and activities as we went along, as well as asking for suggestions from locals and other traveling families on our Instagram, we learned a lot and are sharing in hopes of encouraging other families to plan their own “babywearing adventure”. See more pics on our Instagram account @sollybabywrap and with the hashtag #wraparoundtheworldwithsollybaby.
Stop ii: Oxford & The English Countryside WHY Besides watching an absurd amount of BBC series over the years and always wanting to experience the English countryside firsthand, we chose this as our second stop for another major reason. Although I love the pace of big cities, Jared and I knew our little ones would burn out quickly if we didn’t give them space to breathe and run after each city. For this reason, we made the pacing of the trip: big city, rural, big city, rural… It made all the difference for such a long trip and this turned out to be one of their favorite stops. Also, the Cotswolds, specifically, are BEAUTIFUL. Like, Downton Abbey, everywhere you look, stunning.
STAY We stayed in a hotel in Oxford overnight, which we loved and wished we’d planned more time for. Besides touring the campus, which is a trip in and of itself, there are lots of fun restaurants, shopping, and sites surrounding. The bulk of our time was spent in a cottage in the little town of Pershore that we booked on Home Away. It was built in the 1600s and although it wasn’t super luxurious, it was such a charming experience and really gave us a feel for the area. It was also very inexpensive (around $100/night), which was a nice break from London. TIP: If you’re staying > 3 nights, book a house through Kid & Coe, Airbnb, or Home Away. If you’re staying < 3 nights get a hotel. Homes were key for traveling for such a long time. We could all stretch out, do laundry, go to the grocery store and you get a totally different feel for each city. We loved using Orbitz for hotels because we kept earning Orbucks throughout the trip, which helped pay for the next hotel, flight, or car rental.
TRANSPORTATION + Train + Rental Car TIP: If you haven’t driven on the right side of the car before, it’s not the easiest transition to make! It made us pretty hesitant to go out exploring, but there’s really no other way to really see the beautiful, rural spots since public transport only takes you so far and taxis are far and few between. TIP: Upgrade to first-class for about $5/adult and you will usually get a train car all to yourself! Absolutely worth it for any rides over half an hour.
DO & SHOP + Stratford Upon Avon: Shakespeare’s hometown full of charming shops, historical tours, tea rooms, and a Harry Potter inspired shop that is just like walking into Diagon Alley. *Try the butter beer! + Castle tours: Check hours and admission costs before going as costs and hours vary greatly. + Picnics and parks
( What most of our photos look like! )
+ Oxford: Harry Potter haunts, incredible architecture, darling shops and the best food we had in England
+ Hikes + Quaint bookstores + Armory Museum ( of course my 3 year old loved this! )
+ Antique stores + Quaint children's boutiques and toy stores
EAT TIP: Don’t forget the grocery store! Rural areas are the best for eating at home. We would buy some food specific to the area we were in and our kids’ favorites to give them a taste of home while we were away. Macaroni and cheese never tasted so good. + Bakeries ( always and forever, amen ) + Local favorites: Ask around and find out the locals’ favorites + Candy shops: So fun for the little ones and great to stop by before a traveling day
WOULD’VE / COULD’VE / SHOULD’VE We should’ve kept it shorter. We stayed for 7 days but 4 would’ve been perfect! REFERENCES Check out our Pinterest Board, Traveling with Kids, for our favorite websites and articles on traveling with little ones! London is toward the bottom!