Category Archives: England

One day in Oxford

After our stay in the Lake District we started our trip down to Cornwall. On our way there we stayed another two nights on a really nice campsite near Oxford. Again, I was astonished by the friendliness of the campsite owners and the ease with which the arrival and everything was done. The facilities were simple but always clean. So we really enjoyed our stay at Heyford Leys Camping Park and I can just recommend staying there if you want to explore the area around Oxford.

Arrival on the campsite

When we arrived, we were greated by sunshine and enjoyed our last Scones outside our campervan. The next day we headed to Oxford very early. There is a bus running every hour or so, directly in front of the campsite which brings you to Oxford. It’s a fourty minute drive and the day ticket was six pounds. Because we had just one day in Oxford we pretty much followed the recommendations of a friend of mine who studied in Oxford for her Bachelor. Thank you, Ruth!

So here is our itinerary of the day, I loved every part of it:

Bodleian Library

The famous library in Oxford is worth a visit. It’s the largest library in Birtain and one of the oldest ones, too. The best way to visit the library is to book a guided tour. We booked the standard tour which included the old library and the Divinity School. In both places scenes of the Harry Potter series were shot. Our guide was very knowledgable and made the tour pass very quickly. You can even book your tickets in advance online or buy it on the day on a first come first served basis.

Ceiling of the Divinity School, OxfordIt was such a great feeling to walk around the old library and just taking in all the stored knowledge there. I just love books and felt like in heaven ;).

St. Mary’s church

My friend also recommended to climb up the tower of St. Mary’s church which was definitely worth the small fee. You have a great view over the town and into the old colleges. Besides on our way up I spotted some mystical gargoyles and sculptures. I am always very fasctinated by the architecture and decoration of old churches.

College in OxfordchurchOxford

Coffee Jericho

After we climed up St. Mary’s and visited the tour we were ready for a break. I would recommend coffee Jericho for every coffee lover like I am. It’s a small café mainly occupied by students serving fair traded coffee and some sweet treats which just arrived from the bakery when we entered the shop.

Coffee and cupcakes at coffee jericho OxfordOn top of serving coffee you can also buy fair traded coffee beans in the shop or online.

Covered Market

After our break we headed out to further explore the town. I always love to  walk around and see where my steps take me. Oxford was very nice and had a very relaxed atmosphere. On top of that you kind of could feel on every corner the history and knowledge of this place.

We accidentially walked into the covered market which I would add onto the list of things you should visit on your one day in Oxford. I love markets and their atmosphere. The shops were all quite unique and the food sold there made me want to try everything.

Covered Market in OxfordOne day in Oxford

Natural History Museum

Our last stop before dinner, was the Natural History Museum. The museum is a bit off the center of the city but worth the walk. Entering it, I felt thrown back in time. The museum felt very unique to me. It was kind of unorganised in one way but then there was just so much stuff to see and explore that the room was just not big enough, I guess. This feeling of crowded showcases made it even more enjoyable and nice. It really invites you to explore in your own pace follwoing your own tastes and interests.

Natural History Museum OxfordIf you are not that much interested in natural history just go there to look around. The building itslef is astonishing in my opinion and it’s simply fun to wander around.

The Eagle and Child

After our day in Oxford we were ready for a warming, hearty meal in a local pub. My friend recommended The Eagle and Child which turned out to be the pub were C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien met when they were students in Oxford. The pub belongs to Nicholson’s now. We had pie and burger for dinner and enjoyed the fact to eat in the same pub as some of the most famous writers.

All in all, one day in Oxford might not be enough to see and do everything the town has to offer, but I think with the itinerary I described here you get a quite good impression.
Please feel free to add any tips regarding sightseeing or eating in the comments. I am looking forward to it, so I have a reason to come back and visit this beautiful and historical town again.

Lake District – Hike around Derwent Water

On our last day in the Lakes we wanted to visit the nearby town Keswick and combined this with a hike around Derwent Water. We took our campervan and drove down into the town. The parking situation was a bit difficult especially with our big car. However, we found a cheap parking space near the lake with the local rugby team. From there we started our hike around the lake. The walk was quite easy due to a lack of ascents. It took us around 5 hours to walk the 15km (9.5miles). You can find an outline of the route here.

Derwent waterI think this tour was one of my favourites just because the scenery was so beautiful and changed every time I looked up. I always love to walk near water or a river. It has something calming and I am reminded of my childhood when my parents took us on a hike and we played in the lakes or rivers we passed.

HarbourThe good thing of hiking along Derwent Water is also that you can always shorten your walk by taking the boat which runs across the lake in an regurlary manner. It’s good to have the possibility to stop whenever you feel too tired to continue.

Dewernt Water 2Derwent Water 3Dewernt Water 4When we hit the other end of the lake we crossed a moorland with these stunning looking mountains in the background. Because of the weather it all looked very mystical to me.

Having a break

Shortly before we could finish the walk it started to rain, so we finally got wet on our last day. Entering Keswick, we then went into the first café along the road and enjoyed some warming hot chocolate with some cake. The Saddleback Café turned out to be a very nice location for homemade cake. You should definitely give it a go when your are in Keswick.

After relaxing a bit, we went off to explore Keswick a bit further. The town is very nice with lots of old buildings, narrow streets and lovely little local shops. In one backyard we discovered a cheese shop were we bought two delicious local sorts of cheese.

Keswick Keswick 2

Unfortunately it was very rainy on that day so we just walked along the main roads and soon headed back to our campsite were we enjoyed our last evening in the Lakes.

I hope you got a good impression of our time in the Lakes and got some inspiration what to do there. What are your favourite spots in the Lake District? Any tips?

Lake District – High Rigg to Castlerigg Stone Circle

Our second day in the Lakes started again with great sunny weather and we decided after the tiring tour the day before to take it easier and climb High Rigg passing Low Rigg and ending our tour at the Castlerigg Stone Circle near our campsite. The tour was roughly 8km long and it took us 3 hours. However, you probably can finish it faster becasue we made a lot of breaks and were just tired from the hike the day before. You can find a detailed description and an outline of the tour here

We were able to start our route directly from the Campsite and climbed up Low Rigg passing Terwet Tarn a small lake beautifully laid in front of the mountains.

Tree with mountains

Lake near Keswick

After having climbed up Low Rigg we went down again and started our way up High Rigg. Here the signposting got pretty messy and again my map wasn’t detailed enough to really be sure about which way to take. However, there was a straightforward way to climb up High Rigg. When we arrived at the top we ate our self-packed lunch. I always like to do some nice sandwiches with cheese, ham and tomatoes. They survive low and high temperatures and are quite filling but not too heavy for continuing ;).

High Rigg top

The view on top of High Rigg was nice despite the slightly foggy weather. After a good rest we went down following less a path than a track of a farming vehicle. However, we hit the road we were ment to hid in the end and could continue our planned way to the Stone Circle.

Stonewall Sheeps

On our way there we crossed some sheep who kindly let us pass through their herd. Our final stop was at the Castlerigg Stone Circle. The Stone Circle belongs to the English Heritage but entrance is free of charge which is pretty great. I haven’t been to Stonehenge but this Circle was amazing in tis own. I guess this was the moment when I ticked off ‘visiting a Stone Circle (Stonehenge)’ from my England Bucket List, just because this one was satisfying enough. Especially with the mountains in the backgroud the view was stunning.

Stone Circle

According to the English Heritage this Stone Circle is one of the oldest in whole Britain. The Castlerigg Stone Circle was not used for formal burials but was probably either a trading place or a place for religious meetings.

We enjoyed the view for a while and watched the families play around the stones until we finally went back to our campsite. There we arrived just in time before the rain started to pour down. Well it wouldn’t be England if there would be no rain and as I was told especially in the Lake District ;).

Lake District – Hike around Blencathra


SchuheOn our first day in the Lakes we wake up to a beautiful sunshine and could enjoy our breakfast in front of our van. We decided to do a tougher tour at the beginning and see how it will go to decide what to do the coming days.

We started directly from our campsite and walked to the small village Threlkeld where we literally were saved by a nice lady who adviced us to take a route we originally didn’t plan to take. We  planned to do this tour but ended up doing a similiar route to this hike around Blencathra instead.

However, we changed it slightly and didn’t take the way over Sharp Edge but followed the Saddleback leading us over the different tops along the edge. It made the route shorter and gave us a really nice view over the valley. Our tour was then roughly 14km long and it took us 5 hours to complete it.

I am glad we didn’t do the  long one because I was quite exhausted anyways after the shorter one ;). Generally I can recommend the websites as a good platform for finding short and longer hikes within the Lake District.

Bild 1Bild 2The tour started off along a beautiful enchanted waterfall on which end we turned right to walk along the chain of mountain tops crossing some nice water streams and having a pretty good view into the valley.


After maybe an hour and half we started climbing up the mountain. I am actually not sure if we really followed the route. I must admit that our map was not detailed enough and so we went more or less with our guts which I know is not the proper way but in the end we hit the path we wanted to reach. I bought this map. It was fine for most of the hikes we did but sometimes just wasn’t detaied enough. I also took the waterproofed one just because I didn’t want to buy an additional map case to protect it from rain. I would always recommend a waterproofed map or a map case when hiking in Enland.  The ascend was  steep and we needed to take some breaks. We had such nice weather that we could walk in shorts which I never had in England before on one of my hikes.

As a side note, after this hike I was amazed about how steep the ascends and descends were. As someone who is used to hiking in the lower Alps it is irritating to go up a mountain straight instead of follwoing nicely laid out serpentines. However in this way we could enjoy the amazing views and did something for our fitness.

The path led us over the three tops up to the highest point of the saddleback. We passed by really nice views and fells and enjoyed the amazing views we got. We even could spot Derwent Water and our campsite.

DSCN5803view into the valleyLandschaft mit Schaf

The way down was again pretty steep and straight forward. In the end we again reached the little waterfall. In the village Threlkeld we rewarded ourselves with some coffee and local ice cream before we headed back to our campsite.

In general, I really enjoyed the hike which had great views and a changing scenery to walk through. We finished the whole hike in around 5 hours so we didn’t rush at all. The ascend is challenging for people with an avarage fitness like me but with some breaks definitely doable.