The Travel Bug – Off to the UK


Like all my trips these past few years, they almost materialize out of nowhere. Not like on a whim or anything…

but more like my friend and I get together for an afternoon and the next thing I know I am headed somewhere fun and different. I think we both value experiences over buying loads of new things.


We really had our hearts set on visiting Tuscany, Rome, Pisa, and all the highlights of Italy, but that trip was not to be for this year. Plan, plan, plan, then get ready for a change of plans and see the bright side of change.


One good thing, the summer weather might be a bit more comfortable in the UK compared to Italy in August, but in this era of summers getting hotter and drier around the world, one never knows what lies ahead.

Here are the beautiful photos, with epic scenery one always expects when traveling. In the last scheduled post showing photos from Eastern Europe, all places one visits are not necessarily “pretty”. Some places make one think deeply or show past tragedies. Each time I set off on travel, like here in Prague, I do ponder how things will go, and whether I will miss anything of interest or importance – or if something that makes world news will happen. Seems to be happening more often too.


Excited to see England and Scotland, I am bringing my rain gear just in case the rumors are true of frequent rain. I almost forget what rain is, having so little since April 4th. I am beginning to really fear this climate change upon us.


A blogger and bee keeper from London, Emily from Adventures in Beeland, just passed on a few links on things not to miss at Kew. With five days in London, we really hope to get to Kew.


No boat this trip, just buses and rail taking us from place to place. I so love the small river ships we have been taking, but this trip will be covering less square miles and far fewer countries.


Every trip I took, I always worried a bit on liking the food. I just loved the food on every trip I took to Europe (like here in Prague and along the Danube in these images), but hear people often complain about food in the UK as bland and boring. That might not bother me at all, if true. Spicy food or dishes made with green peppers (allergic to them) is something I cannot eat and plagued me visiting New Orleans, Costa Rica and Mexico.


In Europe, I sampled many things I never touch at home, like olives, and was delighted I enjoyed them. Of course I did not know the dish was made with olives mind you until after I ate it. I did read the Brits like sandwiches made with butter (not me) rather than mayo, and salads are quite different, but that is not such a big stretch to get used to. I’ll have to let you know how I enjoyed the English food.


The bags were packed, the passport in hand, and the European vacation was all mapped out.


I will see you across the pond for new sights, sounds and adventures. That is me above after I just got my hair cut a lot shorter for the trip. I was outside, so the bangs blew to the side. I hate selfies (and photos of me in general), but wanted to update my photo from 2012 on the blog. So if you see me wandering around London… you can say hi!

Sniff, sniff, the trip will be over in a flash, back in my own bed wondering if I dreamed up my trip abroad. Just too darn quick every time… photos of my trip to follow after the first week in England.  Not sure I will have the time to post, but maybe I’ll do the unlikely and post photos on FB. I do like to keep up on FB politics! This post was scheduled, as is the last and next one too. Too much travel…NOT!

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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40 Responses to The Travel Bug – Off to the UK

  1. Bon voyage and looking forward to your UK pictures and musings.

  2. lucindalines says:

    Oh so looking forward to your post, and hope your trip is wonderful. God Speed!!

  3. swo8 says:

    Donna those photos are like paintings. The scenery is gorgeous!

  4. Søren says:

    The food in the UK is far better than it’s reputation, actually, and buttered sandwiches is something people might make at home – not the ones you buy in a sandwich shop. Do try to avoid ready-made sandwiches, though – they’re as bad in the UK as anywhere else, so go for places where they are made to order on good bread.

    You should go for high tea in London; I think you’d enjoy that. Fortnum & Mason is good, or you could go for one of the classic hotels like the Ritz, the Savoy or the Park Lane. It’s a bit pricey, but it really is a full meal so you can probably skip either dinner or lunch or both if you do it…

    And Kew is easy to get to, so you mustn’t miss it. On a sunny day it’s absolutely amazing – and on a drizzly day it’s still very good!

    (I should go to London soon… I haven’t been there in over a year now.)

  5. Have a great time over here, lots of wonderful places and gardens to visit. We are not a nation of sandwich eaters, you are more likely to find wraps and chiabatta bread, we have a very international palate these days. Afternoon tea is a real treat, Fortnums do a great one – expensive but you pay for the experience. The Fountain within Hampton Court Palace do excellent afternoon teas and you get to see the gardens and historical palace on the Thames. Bon Voyage!

  6. So glad you are visiting goode olde London and I hope you will be pleasantly surprised by the food. What a pity though that you won’t be seeing some of the many beautiful little villages in the various counties. The weather has been fine and sunny of late! Have a great time. ( your pics here, as always, are super – I especially like the horses).

  7. Have a great trip! I grew up on traditional English food so I do like it. It may not be spicy but it has lovely textures and food combinations. Look forward to see where you visit…

  8. Karen says:

    Hope you’re having a wonderful time. 🙂

  9. Denise says:

    When we visited Kew Gardens a few years ago, we took a boat to Hampton Court Palace. Beautiful foto opportunities!

  10. Have a wonderful time. Looking forward to seeing your pictures. These are excellent.

  11. Emily Scott says:

    Hope you like our food! The thing about eating out in London is that there’s a restaurant serving nearly every national cuisine there is. And most British people eat a real mix of food from different cultures. When I was in Italy the supermarkets sold only Italian food, whereas here you can buy Polish, Mexican, Asian etc speciality foods in most supermarkets. Classic British food is really comfort food, like pies, roast dinners, shepherds pie, hotpot, apple crumble, rhubarb and custard – food to keep you warm over winter. Not necessarily what you’ll want for an August visit! Perhaps try Victoria sponge and scones with jam & cream if you haven’t already.

    • I grew up on comfort food, like you mentioned. German parents, so lots of comfort food. I am willing to try any food that is typical of the region. All my travels the last few years, I have tried new foods with success. Funny on the Italian markets. I bet the Italians think they are the best at creating good food.

  12. I always love your photos and they never cease to amaze me. Have fun on your trip to England! We might be going there next year so you’ll have to share with me sites I’ll need to visit.

    • Thanks, Sue. That is great you might go to England. I am sure you will find so much to see and do. I hope the photos will be OK. I took some with the iPad and iPhone that turned out fine. Left big camera at home. Did not use it much visiting Germany. Wanted it for the boat, but we were on buses like here in the UK.

  13. debsgarden says:

    Gorgeous photos! I look forward to seeing ones from the UK. You look so young in your new picture!

    • Ha, the iPad was hard to hold for a selfie. I kept moving and blurred which maybe helped with my youthful appearance. Carolyn said it did not look like me, but she has not seen me in years. I gave her a link to a photo of me in Maui this year. I pretty much look the same, but wearing my glasses.

  14. Ethnic food is great in London, although I think you don’t like it. Try Rules for traditional English fare, and there are great fish and chip joints. We love all the parks, Churchill’ s War Rooms, afternoon tea at Harrods, Hampton Court, Windsor Castle, and Shakespeare plays at the Barbican. That photo doesn’t look like you at all unless you have really changed since the last time we got together!

  15. Sounds like a great adventure – have fun!

  16. David says:

    These photos are really fantastic. I admire your abilities not only on the artistic side but the technicality side as well. Hope everything goes smoothly on your trip.

  17. Paula Simon says:

    Congratulations Donna. I’m jealous because for all my visits to UK gardens I have never been to Kew. But on the other hand, I have been to Hampton Court at least 3 times and have yet to see the inside of the castle. When I go again I want to try to visit the new and innovative gardens that I read about in Gardens Illustrated. England is for gardeners what the Alps are for motorcycle riders – Disneyland! Have a wonderful and safe trip.

  18. bittster says:

    Beautiful photos and I hope you have an excellent trip. I like how you just switch your destinations around, so much more fun.

  19. Enjoy your trip, Donna. You will love Kew! Seriously, I would have been happy to spend my entire UK trip at Kew. I hope the weather is pleasant for you, too.

  20. Steve says:

    Hi Donna, have a great trip. London is not the best place for good English food if you are in the big tourist areas. If you can get out a bit. Even just to Hampstead or Highgate you will find some good pubs with reasonable food. If you get out to Leicestershire (where we found king Richard III ) then get in touch and we will find some good food and maybe a garden to visit.

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