It is a truth universally acknowledged that an English major in possession of a British literature specialization must be in want of an England study abroad opportunity.
Wait, wrong story. As much as I love Jane Austen, this isn’t Pride and Prejudice. I’m not in search of my Mr. Darcy or any other single, wealthy young man who is unknowingly in desperate need of a wife. However, I am very pleased to once again announce my May study abroad trip to England. When I last posted about traveling to England, the plans were rather tentative. Now they’ve taken on some shape and some destinations, so I’m more eager than ever to hop across the pond and roam about the English countryside while studying British literature.
As every good England study abroad trip, things will start off in Heathrow Airport, London before leaving us to wander the city’s streets for a few days. Words can scarcely express the sacredness of such a journey. London has been home to my favorite authors, and it is where they found inspiration for their most passionate and moving works. My feet long to walk the bank of William Blake’s “chartered Thames” and to sit in the corner of The Eagle and The Child pub (Oxford) where Tolkien and Lewis so often sat.
After our brief introduction to London, we will travel north the the eerie town of Whitby, North Yorkshire. I’d never considered visiting the town, but after reading up on its history and finding pictures of the crumbling Whitby Abbey, my curiosity was peaked. Fog rolling in from the ocean and echoes of the past haunting ruins of something that was once great may have played an inspirational role for Bram Stoker’s timeless novel Dracula. In fact, the town hosts a museum dedicated to the literary phenomenon. Even if the experience isn’t wonderfully chilling, I’m eager to spend a week along the ocean cliffs and enjoy the brisk Yorkshire air.
Once our explorations of the northern shires are complete, we will travel by train Bath, Somerset. To be honest, I’m probably more excited to spend a week in here than I am London. To start things off, this is the location of the Jane Austen Center where the Jane Austen Festival is based each September — ‘Tis a shame I’ll miss the madness. I won’t be dissuaded, though. I still plan to bring one of my Regency ball gowns and take a stroll through Jane’s old sightings. Furthermore, we will be within short traveling distance of Stonehenge and Wales, and I hope to visit both during our stay.
To end our stay, we will return to London with some excitement and some hesitancy. While I’ll be happy to have a second go of the city, it will also signify the end to a wonderful nineteen days. Then again, I might just decide to stay in England….
I know this post is short and mostly consists of my strange literary musings, but I do hope you enjoyed hearing about my adventures to come. As May grows closer, I’ll likely be adding “must see” and “bucket list” posts for each destination, so keep an eye out.
Have you ever visited any of these destinations? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. If not, let me know what you would like to read more of.