I’ve long dreamed of having the opportunity to explore the United Kingdom, but until recently the cost of traveling there and the ridiculous cost of virtually everything in the country has made it a pretty hard sell for me. That’s saying something when you consider Australia isn’t exactly an affordable place to live.

Last year, though, my dear friends David and Keturah announced they’d be tying the knot in the Old Dart, and I wouldn’t miss their wedding for the world. Even if I had to beg, borrow, or steal to make it happen – I’d be there for their big day. Thankfully, I’m getting a little help along the way. Thanks to WebJet and Hostelsclub, my trip is a wee bit more affordable than it might otherwise have been.

London

My first port of call, naturally, will be London – where Hostelsclub has been kind enough to comp my accommodation for four nights so that I can use my money for what it was intended for: seeing things, eating things, and drinking warm beer.

London offers a wealth of options when it comes to things to do, from the traditional stuff like Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, the Globe Theatre, Madam Tussaud’s; to sporting stuff like the Premier League or catching a London Broncos game; to quirky stuff like those on my list of Different Things to do in London.

London's iconic Tower Bridge. Can't wait to snap an almost identical photo. Photo by Ian Halsey.

London’s iconic Tower Bridge. Can’t wait to snap an almost identical photo. Photo by Ian Halsey.

One I’m very excited to be attempting is the 24 pub Monopoly Pub Crawl. I’m even wrangling up a posse of professional wrestling fans from Extreme Warfare Battleground so I don’t have to be that weird Aussie doing it all on his lonesome. But 26 pints in a single day? Methinks you’ll need to pray for me.

Derby

A family friend’s parents have been kind enough to offer me accommodation in Derby for a few nights, and who am I to pass up the opportunity to spend some time with locals rather than spending 100% of my time with fellow travelers in a hostel?

While I have absolutely zero idea what there is to do in Derby, I’m sure I can find something to occupy a couple of days.

Maybe I’ll even try out a Derbyshire Treasure Trail and do a bit of exploring on foot?

Retford

The next stop on my whirlwind (two week) visit to the United Kingdom? Idyllic Retford in Nottinghamshire. Not only is this going to be the venue for the wedding, the bachelor party, and Dave’s birthday – but it’s also going to be super fun catching up with old friends and spending time in an authentic English cottage.

A cottage! Squee! Photo courtesy of ironmanix

A cottage! Squee! Photo courtesy of ironmanix

My mates and I already have a couple of potential plans in the works for our time here, including heading up to Leeds to see them play in the European Super League against Wigan, and potentially taking part in a zombie experience.

Edinburgh

The last stop on my trip has been made possible by Webjet, who were kind enough to contribute towards my accommodation fund and make it possible for me to stay in this rather pricey city.

I’ve found a slew of classy looking bed & breakfasts to choose from while I’m in Scotland. The front-runner right now is the No 45 B&B, and while I only have four days to see as much as possible – I’m excited about the possibilities.

How can I say no to this? Photo by Doug88888

How can I say no to this? Photo by Doug88888

Bucket List Checklist

Visiting the UK also affords me the opportunity to check off a few of the below from my ever expanding bucket list. I’m most excited about #4, but they’d all be rad to check off the big list.

  • #4 – Give a speech at a good friend’s wedding
  • #19 – See the sun rise over Stone Henge
  • #76 – Spend a night in a castle
  • #127 – Spend a weekend at a country estate
  • #131 – Have a debauched boys weekend in a country other than the one I’m living in
  • #155 – Eat haggis in Scotland
  • #240 – Party at the Castle in London
  • #241 – Attend a live polo match
  • #261 – Visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • #305 – Attend a live European Super League game
  • #306 – Attend a live English Premier League game
  • #308 – Complete the Monopoly Pub Crawl in London
  • #309 – Participate in a zombie experience

I Need You!

As this is my first trip to the United Kingdom and I’m very tight on time, I’d love any recommendations or advice you’d care to share when it comes to things to do or how to make it all affordable!

Are you based in the UK and want to meet up? I’d love to grab a bite or a pint or just hang out!