The Great Britain

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England is not only always about London, there are many other cities that can be visited by tourists, even some of the small towns have a fairly thick British culture. Traveling around the UK from the southern city to the northern part is a must while having the opportunity and time. The distance between cities that can be reached via road trip by car or inter-city bus or train makes things easier. Every city in the UK has its own uniqueness so it's a shame if you miss, and the traditional English atmosphere will be felt when you are in the small town.

Some areas of the UK I would visit include Bath, Oxford and Cambridge, Liverpool and York.

GREATER LONDON
Looking for information about London, is certainly not a difficult thing. Hearing the word London, definitely all referring to Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Parliament Building, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, and many more. These places are indeed a must-go place if you are in London, especially for those who love to tour the museum and art. Here you can visit Art Gallery and Museum, from free to the paid museum. London is such a big city that it is impossible to walk around all the places. Using public transport such as tubes (London underground) or bus (double decker bus) is a cheaper way than using a taxi.


London is one of the pedestrian-friendly countries. For example, walk on the banks of the Thames while enjoying the beauty of London's landmarks such as Tower Bridge, Tower of London and London City Hall with the backdrop of one of the tallest buildings in the world, The Shark.

After enjoying the beauty of London from the banks of the River Thames, there are other interesting places such as: National Gallery where many of the world's famous artist paintings are kept, Natural History Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, TATE Modern, Science Museum and many more. Enjoy the beauty of the park while enjoying lunch or just sitting in Green Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Garden or St. James's Park also went into the list "been there done" that its London.

In addition to being a heaven for museum lovers, London is also a heaven for shopping lovers. The number of shopping centers from high street fashion along the Bond Street, Oxford Circus and Picadilly Circus to designer brands along Old Bond Street, Selfridges to Harrods.

Lovers of vintage goods certainly will not miss the weekend market that opens on every Saturday and Sunday such as Portobello Market, Bricklane Market, Old Spittalfield Market. Ranging from handicraft to unique items and used clothes as well as street food you can find it here.


For photography lovers, you can capture the beauty of the city of London is increasingly visible from city lights and the hustle and bustle of vehicles that pass on the streets of London at night.


INFORMATION
  • We can not buy bus tickets directly to the bus drivers, so all must use travel card or oyster card.
  • English people really appreciate the queue in public places, so do not ever try to cut the queue.
  • All the shops in London are open until 8 or 9 pm (from Monday-Saturday), but for other cities in the UK it is only open at 6 to 7 pm.


BATH
I went on to Bath. Bath is a city in Somerset County, South West England and is on the World Heritage Site list. Perhaps some people outside of Europe have never heard the word Bath and do not know where it is, but for those who have read a book or watched a movie about Jane Austen, will surely know it. Yes, Jane Austen, a famous writer, came from Bath.

The train to Bath departs from Marylebone Train Station and it takes 1.5 hour to Bath Spa Central. The town is not too big, we only need to walk less than 15 minutes to get to the city centre. Renowned for its natural hot springs, Bath is home to the Roman Baths. The museum explains all about the history of the Roman baths and the life of the Romans in the past. The remains of a hot spring bath is still exist and the temperature of hot water here can reach 46 ° C. I saw museum staffs dressed in Roman walking around the hot spring area, like we were taken to a machine machine back to  thousands years ago. We can also take a picture with them.

Other places worth visiting here are the Bath Abbey, the Bath Postal Museum, The Fashion Museum, and The Jane Austen Center. Walking away from the city center, some of the historic buildings that can be seen include The Royal Crescent which is a row of 30 Georgian-style house whose area is designed in a semicircle like a crescent moon and was built between 1767 and 1774 with a garden area of 57 hectares in front of it Royal Victoria Park. One of the buildings in this complex is the No 1 Royal Crescent, which has been turned into a museum.


Not far from here is another row of townhouses, The Circus taken from the Latin, it means a circle. Historically, the inspiration behind the design of this building is the Colosseum in Rome. The complex also has a circular garden and is located in the center of the building complex. Although not as wide as Royal Victoria Park near the Royal Crescent, but the big tree in the middle of the park makes the atmosphere becomes more shady.


PLACES TO VISIT
  • London Eye : A giant ferris wheel located in Jubilee Garden in South Bank.
  • Victoria & Albert Museum :  The largest decorative arts museum in the world.


OXFORD
From London, Oxford can be reached for 1 hour 40 minutes by bus or for an hour if using the train. Whatever the transport options, you should buy a ticket in advanced if you do not want to get a higher price. Then, I just walk for less than 10 minutes from the bus station and train station to downtown Oxford.

Just like in Cambridge, joining walking tour is the best way to see every corner of the city and the old buildings of Oxford University spread across the city.

Remember the movie Alice in Wonderland? The history of this movie story begins in the city of Oxford. So is the lamp-post in the Chronicle of Narnia film, taking the example of one of the streetlights in Oxford; the city whose name is known as the student city.

The Bodleian Library is one of Europe's oldest and second oldest libraries in the UK, dating back to 1602, which has seven floors down and one of the rooms in this library, Divinity Hall once used as a filming location for Harry Potter movies; The Philosopher's stone.


One of the favorite photo locations for tourists in this city is a bridge that is located on the right side of The Sheldonian Theater. The bridge connects two opposite buildings through New College Lane, between the Hertford College administration office and the student residence from the Hertford campus. Hertford Bridge itself is better known as the Bridge of Sighs because of its resemblance to the bridge and the same name in Venice, Italy. No intention to imitate the bridge, but there are similarities with the shape of the Rialto Bridge that also exist in Venice.

Remember the lion detail on the door and the lamp post in the Chronicle of Narnia movie? If you cross the little alley of St. Marry's Passage beside St Mary the Virgin Church, there is a main door with lion detail in its center which is an inspiration for the writer of C.S. Lewis to make it the door to the land of Narnia in the wardrobe of his storybook.

This door is originally part of Brasenose College's architecture. A few steps from the door was a streetlight that inspired the street lamps in the film when Lucy Pevensie first met Mr. Tumnus, who also indicated that the lights marked the beginning of Narnia.

One of the most famous campuses in the city is Christ Church College which has a fairly large yard on several sides to the canals that are part of the River Thames.

Some of the rooms on this campus have been the filming location of Harry Potter movies, among them; The stairway; when Harry, Ron, Hermione and others in 'first year', they walk up the big stairs to Hogwarts to meet Professor McGonagall under the majestic gothic domed roof.


In addition, The Great Hall was changed to Hogwarts Dining Hall in all Harry Potter movies. There is also The Cloister (the monastery), the place where Hermione showed Harry a trophy when his father triumphed as a hunter in Quidditch. Unfortunately when I was there, all the rooms could not be visited because they were being repaired.

Some of the settings in the Alice in Wonderland story are also inspired from several locations on this campus area. One of them is a park called Cathedral Garden in the campus area. It has a small wooden door on a narrow stone wall between a campus park and a church park that is told as a small door behind a curtain, which is in the hallway to the "wonderland" in Alice's story.

There was a shop across from the Christ Church campus, which was not too big with a red door with the number 83 on the door and written Alice's Shop.

This store is not to be missed because here are all souvenirs related to Alice in Wonderland story. According to the story, the store is a store where Alice and her siblings love to buy candy.

In addition, the store is described as a grocery store with an old sheep as a shopkeeper in Alice's story "Through the Looking-Glass".


CAMBRIDGE
The city that is the background of the movie Theory of Everything about Stephen Hawking is a city where the world famous figures ever attended school. Located in eastern England and crossed by the 64-mile River Cam along the back of the campus which is a building with this architectural style of the past offers a unique blend of traditional and modern culture. It only takes about 1.5 hours by train from London to arrive at Cambridge Central Station.

Following the punting river cruise and joining the free walking tour are activities to do while in Cambridge. Sitting on the boat for 45 minutes across the Cam River enjoying the magnificent views of Cambridge city with views of the eight backs of the campus and seven well-known bridges.

joining a free walking tour is the best way to see every corner of this city. Traveling for about two hours while being guided by a part-time student from Cambridge University is very exciting because it is delivered in a language style that is easy to understand and occasionally interspersed with jokes that make the tourists laugh. Passing every corner of the city street, the buildings and campuses of Cambridge University scattered throughout the city each have stories and history behind them. Not all campuses can be visited freely, some can only see the front page or the main gate only.


LIVERPOOL
The train to Liverpool takes approximately 2.5 hours from London and arrives at Liverpool Lime Street Station. Liverpool is located in the Merseyside area which was once a port city with many foreign ships from European Countries anchored in the harbor of Albert Dock. According to the story, most crew of the Titanic ship is a native of the city of Liverpool, often referred to as the 'scouse' of British society. In addition to port, Liverpool is also famous for its football club that is Liverpool FC and Everton FC.

Once out of the station, already seen a few buildings ranging from the St. George's Hall, Empire Theater and several museums such as Walker Art Gallery and World Museum Liverpool are located close to each other. Try walking about 20 minutes from downtown Liverpool to Albert Dock Liverpool which has now been transformed into a family recreation area with restaurants around it as well as galleries and souvenir shops for tourists to buy knick knacks for souvenirs. There are also several museums worth visiting here: the Tate Museum of Liverpool, The Beatles Museum, the International Maritime & International Slavery Museum.


In addition, interesting attractions such as the Liverpool Eye, The Yellow Duckmarine Tour and The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour will take us around the city of Liverpool to see the historic places of the band The Beatles for approximately two hours like to see the home of each personnel, Penny street Lane is famous in one of their title tracks, as well as the Strawberry field that inspired the band The Beatles to compose songs of the same title. Listening to the stories spoken by the guides from this tour, as well as the secret stories of The Beatles music group.

The tour ends at The Cavern Pub, a small underground club where the Beatles band performed for the first time in this club, a club that is still used by musicians from England and other parts of the world to hold concerts. Outside of the Cavern Pub, I can see a list of the names of artists who once held a concert here. If lucky, maybe I can see Sir Elton John in this club.


YORK
The journey to York from London is taken for 1 hour 48 minutes. Arriving in York, there is the National Rail Museum which is about 10 minutes walk from the station. This museum contains a collection of various trains from the 19th century or 20. Here I can see the history of the railways in England and is the largest museum in the UK even in the world.

Before entering York city center, there is a large park, Garden Museum which is a 10 acre botanical garden stretching from the Ouse River to the back of the York Art Gallery. Inside are the ruins of the ancient relics of ancient buildings. Mary's Abbey, built in 1088, includes the Yorkshire Museum in which there is the history of the city of York, archeology, rare animal fossils, astronomy, and everything related to biology and geology.

In the city center, there is Yorkminster Cathedral, one of the oldest and largest churches in England and in the world built between the seventh and 11th centuries during the Anglo Saxon occupation. Until now, this church is still used and often visited by the royal family to perform mass with the surrounding community. Visitors can feel the splendor of Yorkminster by paying a £ 15 entrance fee which I feel is commensurate with the sights inside Yorkminster which amazed me for its architectural beauty.


I could also see the whole city of York from over Yorkminster Tower. Apparently my arrival to Yorkminster was very precise, because shortly after I left Yorkminster, an Inauguration was made from the Yorkshire Regiment by Prince Andrew, Duke of York, third son of Queen Elizabeth II.


Not far from there, a long queue was spotted at Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms in between shops. This cafe serves afternoon tea, a tradition of drinking tea in the afternoon of British society while accompanied by snacks such as sandwiches, scones, cake and pastry. Although always queued, the visitors are willing to wait long just to be able to drink tea at this cafe.

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