What are your travel plans for 2021? The chance to stay in a hotel, a change from these four walls is high on my wishlist. I’ve been thinking about a couple of places I’d like to revisit next year. For familiarity, I want to head to London, to experience the city with fewer tourists. My other choice is Oxford, we visited a few years ago and found it really family-friendly.
None of us know how travel in 2021 might look, but for me staying within the UK presents the best option. While the current advice is to stay at home, I love the idea of planning travel. Something to look forward to, a sweetener that makes any short term restrictions slightly easier to manage. My Pinterest boards for travel are here: London and Oxford.
Staying within the UK means I can check the website of the appropriate local authority or GOV.UK before traveling and be confident that I am following local guidelines and restrictions. Many hotels are offering flexible bookings, and travel insurance is more important than ever. No one should travel if experiencing Coronavirus symptoms.
Springtime in London and the capital’s parks are their best. Hiring a Transport for London bike to nip between places is one of my most favored ways to get around. There are 800 docking stations, and it’s a very affordable way to cover a lot of ground.
When we can travel, the coming year would be the perfect time to visit some of the capital’s star attractions, while visitor numbers are managed more carefully to keep everyone safe. The National Gallery is reducing crowds with timed slots booked in advance.
From the National Gallery step outside into Trafalgar Square. I’d see what’s on the Fourth Plinth, (I Googled it and it’s currently a big ice cream!). Walk down The Mall to St James Park, there is a pod of feisty Pelicans that live on the lake. Cut across to Green Park and up to Piccadilly, turn right towards Eros, via Fortnum and Mason. I had afternoon tea at The Café Royal last year, The Oscar Wilde lounge is all gilded gold and red furnishings, it bristles with history. The tea and service were impeccable, I’d love to repeat that.
I’ve been watching His Dark Materials on BBC, set in Oxford, it reminded me what a lovely city it is. We visited a few years ago. Very easy to explore on foot, many of Oxford’s central streets are traffic-free or limited traffic, there is lots of space to maintain distance. It is a great place to just wander and discover the various colleges, their beautiful buildings, and manicured quadrangles. The Oxford Botanic Garden is very special, one of the oldest in the UK. If it rains, Oxford has various museums, my preferences are Pitt Rivers and Natural History museum. Stop in one of the many independent cafes and restaurants (Check-in with the App). Small businesses have been adept at modifying and creating safe environments. I really want to support them in 2021 and I’m looking forward to reacquainting myself with favourite places.
Check the current travel advice for your nation before you travel: UK Government Guidance travel advice. At home or away follow the simple message: wash hands, cover face, make space.
Disclosure: In collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.