Spring Break – UK Style
April 5th-April 11, 2013
Most students in the US count down the days to getting to sunshine over Spring Break. It’s the same in the UK, only instead of hitting up Florida, Brit students look to Spain or Moracco. Casual, right?
Spain wasn’t on the agenda for me, but instead a friend of mine and I decided to check out England’s south coast. On the list: Eastbourne, Brighton, Bournemouth, Southampton, and Swanage. We chose these places hoping to get away from tourists and really see some proper English countryside – and that we did!
He’s a briefing of what we did in each place:
Eastbourne – Biked 19 miles (I can’t believe we actually did it either) to to see Pevensey castle and then to the top of one of England’s most famous cliffs: Beachy Head. They call it “the end of the world” because once you’re up there, it literally looks like the cliff falls into nothingness!
Brighton – In this cute carnival town, we visited the famous Brighton pier, which is set up like a mini amusement park with rides, an arcade, and carnival food. Next it was a visit to Brighton’s famous shopping area, the Lanes, which are full of tiny cafes and shops. Brighton reminded me of Santa Monica pier in California.
Bournemouth – A friend of mine told me to come here for it’s beautiful beach, and she was right! It was nice, but I must admit England’s not known for its beaches. They’re there, but don’t look appealing enough to swim in and many of the shores are made up of small pebbles instead of sand. It depends where you go of course, but you have to remember that England’s weather doesn’t provide too many beach days, anyway!
Southampton – Here we spend the day exploring the town a bit and met up with a friend. Southampton has shopping, but that’s about it – not too much to do. * Fun fact: Southampton is where the Titanic left from!
Swanage – This was my favorite place we visited! It’s a beachy area known for its huge collection of dinosaur fossils (it’s along what’s known as the Jurassic Coast). There’s a famous natural bridge called Durdle door that we were dying to get to! We walked for about 2 hours in the rain, only to find out that it was still a good 8 miles away. So, sadly, we had to give up on that goal, but we met an incredibly nice British couple on our way back, which made the walk back in the rain a piece of cake. Swanage, like most little English towns, has rows and rows of little shops, so we were lucky to warm up over some tea and a steaming bowl of leek and potato soup.
That’s all for our trip! Here’s what I learned:
1. England isn’t a great beach place, so don’t go there expecting to find one. However, if you’re with the right people, you can have a great time along the south coast. Just plan it so that you’re only in each town for a short amount of time – you have to dig a bit to find things to do!
2. You can do a lot in England on a budget. We took coach buses and stayed in hostels. It’s not the most fabulous life, but it allows you to see a lot of places in the cheapest way possible!