FAMILY: London Calling (Europe 2018)

We've made it! We're in England. Yay!

After a stressful few days leading up to our trip, it all magically seemed to fall into place and we arrived in London early on a foggy, drizzly, cold Wednesday morning.

I used my pretty Sue Daley print bag as carry-on luggage.
It certainly won't get mixed up with anyone else's luggage.

I must have a dodgy face because both times we went through security, I was stopped for the explosive residue test... or maybe it was because my Sue Daley print bag was too pretty :-)

With hubby working for the airline, we travelled on stand-by reservations. A few weeks out from our departure, the certainty of getting seats on board the 2 legs of our journey were excellent. With a week to go, seats were quickly disappearing. And the day before we departed, we knew we'd make it to Singapore, but still weren't sure we'd be able to get on a flight from Singapore to London. 

After that initial 8 hour flight, we arrived in Singapore. We rushed over to the transfer desk and waited... there were 15 seats available (we needed 4 of those seats) and 40 other staff listed to try to board that flight (presumably along with their families). With an hour before the flight was due to depart, the lady behind the desk called our names and handed over boarding passes. Oh my gosh, the relief!!!

An A380 holds around 450 people and every single one of those seats was filled. A very long 13 hours later we arrived. 

We collected our rental car, loaded our suitcases (which after a lot of researching of European cars and their boot-space, thankfully fit) and joined the peak hour traffic. 

Holiday Inn - North Ashford, Kent

We drove to Ashford (Kent), which is a couple of hours south east of London. Driving along the motorway, it looked like any other road, but as we got further away from the city and traffic became lighter, we began to see lovely green fields and old buildings. I watch a lot of English police detective shows on television and it's as I'd imagined England to look. I can just envision Vera or Inspector Morse solving crimes in this backdrop.

It's now 5am and we've been awake for a couple of hours. It might take a few days for our body clocks to adjust. We're waiting for breakfast service to start in the hotel so we can eat and get on the road to have our first full day of doing touristy things. 

We're heading East to see Dover Castle and the chalky White Cliffs of Dover. It'll be our first castle in England, but undoubtedly will only be the first of many. If the weather is clear enough, we might even see France, right across the channel.

TIP: If travelling on a family holiday to England, I suggest purchasing an overseas English Heritage membership pass which will get you into many of the attractions at a MUCH lower rate than if you were paying admittance for each place individually. 


  1. Oh so envious! I hope to get to England/Scotland someday. Enjoy

  2. Huzzah! Another airline person. I retired after 34 years with a major American airline (hint). Of course, I have spent the past 5 years in a state not readily served by any airline, much less mine. But moving where I will be near a big airport and I am planning several 'weekend' trips if nothing else. I understand the perils and tension of traveling standby, especially with kids. Have fun.

  3. Enjoy Dover Castle, such a historical castle, have been told the tunnels are amazing. Next week the weather is set to improve, enjoy that while the rest of us head back to school.

  4. glad you got there fine, I do love the English country and I'm sure you will too.... we had a lovely day at Dover once - hope you do too...


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