London is simply wonderful. There are a million things to see, do, and experience. It’s packed with culture, art, history, theatre, shops, museums, and people from all corners of the globe. There’s an energy to London you don’t find anywhere else. It’s the place everyone goes to when they go to England. Of course, it’s the capital!
As a child, I remember moving to Switzerland and telling my new friends I was English, and they’d say “Where in London are you from?” As if London IS England. And in some ways, it is. It is what people think of when they think of England. It represents the best of our culture, all crammed into one city. Much like any capital, I suppose.
I live in a capital now: Prague. And I absolutely love it. It, too, is packed with culture and marvellous things to see and do. But, when I first moved to the Czech Republic, I didn’t move straight to Prague, I first moved to Jeseník, way up in the north east of the country. And then I spent three years in Brno before moving to my now home. And I’m so glad I did. Because Prague, though a wonderful city that the Czechs are rightfully proud of and tourists flock to from the farthest reaches of the world, is not the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic is so much more than Prague. If I had moved straight here, I would have missed the mountains steeped in mist on an early winter’s morning, and the sparkling streams racing each other through the lush forests in Spring. I wouldn’t have collected my own wild garlic, mushrooms, or blueberries, or made elderflower cordial. I would never have learned to make real apple strudl or bábovka just like Babička or stopped to hear the music and rhythms of village life. Nor would I have met the wonderful people I did in Brno or discovered their love for countryside, early mornings, super-fast lunches, and long sporty summer afternoons.
Having not raced straight to Prague, I feel that I know this country and its people a little better. I understand where all the fabulous culture that the capital shows off comes from. So, though the capital city is the best of the best from the country, it’s not the whole picture.
So if you’re planning a trip to England, think about getting a train ticket to somewhere outside of London.
Roam the villages of the Cotswolds, explore the beaches and afternoon teas of Devon, take in the incredible views of the Lake District, try one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in Yorkshire, travel back in time amongst the Norfolk castles and ruins, uncover the delights of historical Bath, and collect some quirky culture (and some sea-side fish and chips) from Brighton.
England is so much more than London. Watch the video to learn what tickets you need, then go explore! 🙂