Have you finished your planning for next year? Desperate to take your mind off the ongoing pressures of being a teacher? Need a break from the hustle and bustle of your city? The worries of that one particular student getting you down? There are still a few days left of half term and there are some amazing UK day trips that are just a short journey from London that promote great mental health and allow us teachers to unwind and relax (that you won’t read about in standard travel blogs).
With a journey under and hour by either public transport or car, Henley-On-Thames is the perfect destination for those looking for a crowd-free, aesthetically pleasing British small town. Located very near to the banks of the Thames river, the main street is lined with small gift stores and a range of cafes and places to eat. My favourite has to be the Coppa Club (https://www.coppaclub.co.uk/henley-on-thames/) serving fabulous food in an extremely well styled, cosy environment. I would recommend the brunch selection and cocktails! Ensure you make a booking as it does get busy over the weekend. After you have eaten ensure you take a walk down to the river. The stunning houses line the banks of the Thames and prove for lovely photos.
Nothing makes you feel happier than the smile of an alpaca. I know this for sure following my recent visit to one of the first alpaca herds in the UK. Leave your worries at home and walk one of Pennybridge Farm’s furry friends. Based in North Hampshire near the Surrey/Berkshire Borders, the staff provide an informative and entertaining afternoon or morning of fun. At the moment the experience can be found on Groupon for half of the cost.
The Cotswolds runs through five counties (Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire). If you are looking to visit for just one day, I suggest visiting Bourton-On-The-Water and Bilbury. These are two of the cutest English villages of honey-coloured stone country houses I have seen. Of course if you are in need of some R and R and want to stay a few days, there are many hotels and bed and breakfasts in all of the towns. Bilbury has what would be the most famous street of cottages in the Cotswolds and you will find images of it on most tourism merchandise. As it is quite a tourist spot, I would suggest arriving early to avoid the crowds for optimal relaxation. You won’t need to spend more than an hour or so here unless you want to walk the trails, so I advise driving to Burton-On-The-Water for your lunch.
Once there you will find many options for lunch. We chose to have afternoon tea at Smiths of Bourton Tea Room which was lovely. Would highly recommend! After you have eaten allow an hour or so to explore the town. If you have time and the sun is shining, have a drink at one of the pubs on the river’s edge.