After spending 3 and a half months wandering about the beautiful countries of Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, I took off from Bangkok to meet my boyfriend in the UK to road trip through England and Wales, as well as explore around Europe for a while.
Making the journey from Bangkok to London was a long one, as I had a rough 11 hour layover in Kuala Lumpur and then another 13 hour flight from there to London Heathrow. Safe to say, I was a bit jet-lagged the next few days after I landed.
Although, as I wanted to make the most of my time here in the United Kingdom, I pushed through the exhaustion and we set off on our road trip through England and Wales!
After he graciously picked me up from the bustling London-Heathrow airport, we set off towards the small town of Maidstone, which was near our first destination: the White Cliffs of Dover.
When we reached Maidstone, we checked into our hotel and set off to find some food. As we were walking down the street, I just about cried at the sight of the European architecture. Having spent the last three or so months in Asia, I had missed it so much.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my time in Southeast Asia but my goodness, I missed Europe. I also missed my beloved western amenities… like being able to flush toilet paper and the ability to drink tap water. It’s the little things in life, ya know?
That night, we ended up munching on some amazing Mexican food like vegan mini tacos and chips with guac. I also slept like the dead in a very comfortable bed, which was glorious considering I maybe slept for about 2 hours on my horrendous 13 hour flight.
You could definitely say it was a great start to our road trip through England and Wales!
The following day, we packed up our stuff and headed further south towards the small town of Dover. About 30 minutes from Maidstone, Dover is known for it’s gorgeous white cliffs.
With steep sides that’ll make your breath quicken and your heart palpitate, the White Cliffs of Dover are quite a sight to behold.
After we thoroughly explored the area of Dover for a couple hours, we decided to make a move and head towards our second stop on our road trip. Off to the city of Brighton we went!
Only a short drive away from the White Cliffs of Dover, Brighton was more of a drive-thru “stop” rather than an actual stop on our road trip through England and Wales.
Since we were making our way towards the small city of Newport, just outside of Cardiff, we figured we didn’t really have enough time to thoroughly explore Brighton. Although, we did drive past the well known pier with its picturesque Ferris wheel and tempting food stands, as well as the city center; it all looked cool as hell and an awesome place to spend a few days.
After making our way through Brighton, the next destination was Bristol to grab some dinner. I did a little research on the place and we found a completely vegan and vegetarian cafe known for their fantastic burgers… according to reviewers that is.
We figured we’d give Cafe Kino a try and see how the place stood up to our taste test. Low and behold, they completely blew our minds.
The burgers – loaded with vegan cheese, lettuce, vegan mayo, flavorful spices and more – were like fireworks on our tastebuds.
It was amazing. Even my carnivorous (but slowly becoming herbivorous) boyfriend was bewildered by the deliciousness of the burger. I’d say it was an avalanche of a win by the vegan community. 😉
Life seriously couldn’t get any better. Except then, for dessert, I got to try a vegan cinnamon peach cake… I was in heaven. Unbeknownst to me at the time, life could get better!
After chowing down on those fantastic vegan burgers, we hopped across the bridge from England to Wales and made our way to our Airbnb in Newport. We checked in to a beautiful Victorian house with our lovely host Tracey and settled in for the night.
The next day, we packed up our things, hopped in the car, and headed towards the area of Pembrokeshire in south Wales. Our current point of interest was the Blue Lagoon on the southern coast.
From the city of Newport, just outside of Cardiff, to the Welsh county of Pembrokeshire where Abereiddy’s Blue Lagoon is located was about a 2 and a half hour journey.
Although, with my boyfriend’s driving, we made it there in about an hour; you’d think his dream were to be a race car driver on those tiny, little narrow lanes in Wales… or to slowly drown me in my own anxiety?
When we finally made it to the Blue Lagoon – alive, I should add – it was absolutely breathtaking. We walked up to the view point and I got my first peek of the surrounding coastline, all while the wind was nearly blowing me off the cliff.
It was at this moment in our road trip through England and Wales that this small, overlooked country completely won me over.
As we walked around the area, we noticed a strange ruin/rubbled building off in the distance. As curiosity got the best of us, we made it our goal to explore it… and as you can see in the picture below, my boyfriend ran away from me to do it on his own!
Nevertheless, I quickly followed!
I scampered up a steep cliff of rubble and loose rocks, nearly falling to my death, to make my way up to the fascinating ruins. As I wandered across the grassy green paths, my surroundings completely took my breath away.
I had missed these sorts of views so much.
The vibrant greens of the grass, deep blues of the sea, and the heart-stopping cliffs were stunning.
And the beach nearby wasn’t too shabby either!
Even though it was windy as hellllll and I kept getting sand in my eyes.
Can you spot that little building up on top of the cliff? That’s where we went! It was awesome.
And even better?
Though there must have been at least 40 or so people at the beach, we were literally the only people who ventured up there to explore.
After exploring the area of the blue lagoon on the Pembrokeshire coast, it was time for us to continue our road trip.
Although, we didn’t really have a “next” destination in mind… as we completely left finding a place to stay to the last minute.
So, as my boyfriend once again attempted to drown me in my anxiety by speeding through the narrow lanes of Wales, I scavenged the web for places to stay. We finally found a small, family-owned hotel in the coastal town of Aberystwyth.
Although it was our last day on our 4-day road trip through England and Wales, we made a few quick stops at some beautiful locations.
Not far from Aberystwyth lies the Black Rock Sands beach in Portmadog. Even though the name implies it’s a black beach, it was really more just a dark-ish tan beach.
But still beautiful, nonetheless.
And the coolest part of this beach?
When it’s low tide, the beach is dotted with jellyfish that didn’t quite manage to make it back to the sea! At first glance, I had absolutely no idea what they were. Just strange, alien bubble-looking things on the beach.
They were so fun to poke; it was like prodding a jiggly jelly mold.
I know, I know. It’s the littlest things that entertain me.
After I was finished playing around with the beached jellyfish, we jumped back in the car and continued north.
As we drove along the twisting and turning Welsh lanes, my boyfriend decided to stop at a nearby forest. Even though it was slightly drizzling when we pulled into the parking lot, it seemed to stop just long enough for us to explore.
As we walked through the lush, green forest, I was in heaven. Breathing in the clean, unpolluted air; admiring the flourishing vegetation. There’s nothing better… and then, of course, my clumsiness got the best of me.
To the left of the house ruins above, you can see a small path going up into the trees. Well, as I was walking down that, attempting to be graceful (nice try, Sophie), I completely fell on my ass.
And got extremely wet.
And extremely cold.
It literally looked like I peed my pants; my entire butt and the back of my legs were soaked.
Looking past the fact that I was cold and wet, it was absolutely hilarious. And even though I’m sure my boyfriend was laughing at me rather than with me, I was shaking with laughter.
Like of course this would only happen to me!
Just the other day, I ran into a countertop and it now looks like I was shot in the hip.
Once I gathered my dignity and changed into clean clothes, we started to head to north Wales.
Our road trip through England and Wales had come to end, but it was more memorable than ever.
Admiring the Cliffs of Dover, nearly stopping my heart by exploring the rocky coast line of Pembrokeshire, and wandering the mossy forests of central Wales was amazing.
Have you ever experienced a road trip around England and Wales? Or visited any places I mentioned? Let me know in the comments!
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