My Happy Holiday!

Thursday 23 July 2020

Every time Britain comes to mind, fond memories of my first trip to London and Birmingham are still afresh as if it was just yesterday. Travelling with your loved ones during Christmas season can be nothing less than a happy holiday!

Christmas Market - Image: Harjinder Singh Kukreja

Christmas Market - Image: Harjinder Singh Kukreja

Our Britain journey began with the British Deputy High Commissioner to Chandigarh Mr. Andrew Ayre, hosting us for a high tea at his residence. Our London trip commenced at the House of Commons with the Hon’ble Tan Dhesi hosting us for a private tour, followed by a visit to the British Museum. This houses more than two million years of history and culture. These two attractions were a brilliant mix of culture and heritage with their visual appeal and a great learning experience for children.

Covent Garden - Image: Harjinder Singh Kukreja

Covent Garden - Image: Harjinder Singh Kukreja

Christmas and London are inseparable with the brightly lit Christmas markets and Winter Wonderland.  The visit to the market in Covent Garden and the iconic annual Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park have been one of the kids’ favourite moments of the trip.They are a complete family experience – ranging from food, shopping, games, sights and experiences that transport you back to your childhood.

The next day, we headed to watch the legendary Lion King at Lyceum theatre that left us awestruck. The Disney's multi award-winning musical is a visual treat for all age groups.

A quick tip: do book your tickets in advance as the shows fill in quickly!

London Eye - Image: Harjinder Singh Kukreja

London Eye - Image: Harjinder Singh Kukreja

I love being a part of the quintessential with my family and so the next stop would be the iconic Madame Tussauds followed by The London Eye.

London Zoo - Image: Harjinder Singh Kukreja

London Zoo - Image: Harjinder Singh Kukreja

London also houses the world’s oldest scientific Zoo, the ZSL London Zoo which is an extraordinary place for families to get up close to nature and wildlife.

Christmas day started with the Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, followed by the city cruise viewing the iconic Christmas lights of London.But, no trip is complete without the local shopping for friends and family. Bicester Village, is one such heaven for luxury shopping and a complete family experience. A whole day can be spent without realising it is already over.There is lots at offer here to satiate your gastronomical desires, with ample options for the kids to have a ball. The deals are simply unbelievable throughout the year, especially during Christmas time!

A perfect way to end our London trip and continue our journey to Birmingham. We took the comfortable and scenic National Express Coach to Birmingham. A great way to travel with family and enjoy the network of canals.

National Sea Life, Birmingham – Image: Harjinder Singh Kukreja

National Sea Life, Birmingham – Image: Harjinder Singh Kukreja

On arrival, we spent some time at the National Sea Life Centre learning about diverse sea lives, coupled with some shopping around Bullring and dinner in the Mailbox area. 

Our trip to the UK ended with the sweetest thing we could have thought of. As they say in Hindi-  ‘Kuch Meetha ho jaye’?  We visited the iconic Cadbury’s World. As a child, it was my dream to experience the fun and frolic there. It all came together, when I could live the dream with my children, it left us enchanted and fascinated beyond imagination.

I have to be honest; the city does give you a feeling of being at home maybe because the city has the highest number of Indians staying in the UK. Maybe the next trip could be in 2022 to support my country during the Commonwealth Games being hosted in Birmingham?!

The UK has so much to offer...... more than what my family experienced in London and Birmingham. As a family, now with our lovely daughter as well, we plan to explore Northern Ireland and other beautiful parts of the UK in the near future.

Untill then.. I keep dreaming...of my next perfect family holiday to the UK.

 

Blog contributed by Mr. Harjinder Singh Kukreja, Restaurateur and social media influencer

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