Our Honeymoon in England

Published: 06/15/15 10:36 PM in Europe, Merevin Wedding, Travel.
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To literature and history enthusiasts everywhere, the country of England is one of those pinnacle locations that holds the foundations so many things you love, you can’t imagine life without visiting these iconic places. This is exactly how I have felt about England throughout my entire life. As I grew up and learned more about the stories and landscapes that captured my heart, it became increasingly apparent that England was at the heart of them all. Every direction that peaked my interest had England, in some form or another, at the start of it.

Even Kevin and I’s passion for America’s National Parks can be linked with the respect and admiration the British Isles have for their outdoors. Whether it is the wilds of the Scottish moors or the controlled views of an English garden, the people of the place are brought up with a reverence for the natural world that has been lacking in other countries. Therefore when the time came to plan our honeymoon, we decided to reach for the dream of finally visiting England and Scotland to try to see as much as we could in the span of 2 glorious weeks.

Visiting Buckingham Palace during your honeymoon in England is a must.

The large black and gold gates of Buckingham Palace is an iconic stop on a honeymoon in England.

The Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace.

The start of the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace during our honeymoon in England.


Planning Our Honeymoon in England

When you begin planning your honeymoon, there are two routes you can take; either you go the relaxing resort route or the hopping around adventure route. While both of these routes contain little aspects of each other, they also each have their own unique set of benefits. Kevin and I decided to go the hopping around adventure route for our honeymoon in England so that we could see and experience as much as possible in our two week timeframe.

As we sat down to plan this trip of trips, we first had to decide what the ultimate goal of the trip was so that we could determine what stops we were able to include. Since there is too much that we wanted to experience during our time in England, we knew we would NEVER be able to fit it all in on this one trip. So our resolve became two-fold; in England get a general introduction and see the well known sights, while in Scotland it was to see the wild and unpopulated reaches of the country.

The actual act of planning our honeymoon was an excellent post marriage exercise. Even though we had been together for 11 years before getting married and had taken a number of trips, large and small, together in that time, this was the longest trip we would take with just the two of us. Most of our other trips have involved visiting or traveling with friends or family, but this one we would leave together and come back together without another familiar face along the way. So as we came together to plan the trip, we pulled out all the stops and truly created an itinerary that exemplified both of our planning styles.


The statues that surround the Queen Victoria Memorial stand tall with lions.

Kevin Banogon and Meredith Lambert Banogon visit Westminster Abbey during their honeymoon in England.

Looking at the London Eye over the River Thames during a bus ride around London.


Sight Seeing on a Tour Bus through London

Upon first arriving in England, we had one full day in London before we set off to our next location to visit the Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour. So in order to see the most of London within that 24-hour period, we decided to ride the tourist bus route as an introduction to the iconic landmarks throughout the city. While this route is an rather touristy way of seeing the city we have become fans of using these bus tours as an introduction or as a farewell to remarkable cities. Other times we have used the tourist buses were to say goodbye to the city of Miami and as a first look at the city of Barcelona.

One of the best parts of these tourist buses is the live commentary given by the tour guides. We have never really had a bad one, but we have definitely had outstanding ones! While touring through London one of our guides was extremely dramatic in the delivery of his commentary and had an accent very similar to Sir Ian McKellan. So we enjoyed a tour through London while Gandalf regaled us with tales of history and lore of the surrounding areas.


The clock tower of Big Ben is an iconic tourist stop during a trip to London, England.

Kevin Banogon stands in front of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament during his honeymoon in England.

Meredith Lambert stands in front of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament during her honeymoon in England.

A black and white photo of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London, England.

St. Paul's Cathedral at the heart of the city of ancient London.


Scratching the Historical Surface of London

A city as old and grand as London has a million stories to tell. Each one filled with the traditions and nuances that make up the culture of the day. And each one contributing to the overall creation and development of this unique city. It is a lifelong undertaking to create an intimacy with these stories and it is a daunting task to even begin your introduction with them. So it is obvious why I was particularly nervous to begin my trip around London.

After spending a great portion of my life idolizing certain cultural traditions of England and being fascinated by the history of the place, I found it extremely overwhelming to finally visit. There is too much to see and learn to someone so enthralled by it all.

So on this first day, we scratched surface. We allowed ourselves a chance to take in as much as we could in one day without trying to dig deeper. We hopped from Buckingham Palace to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. We walked around Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral without entering no matter how much we wanted to. We allowed ourselves to familiarize with the place before we looked closer at the components so that we could truly hone in on the specific places we wanted to start delving deeper. And that’s when we arrived at the Tower of London.


A view over the River Thames and Tower Bridge during a honeymoon in England.

Meredith Lambert poses in front of Tower Bridge and the Thames River.

Meredith Lambert Banogon and Kevin Banogon pose in front of the Thames River and Tower Bridge.

The White Tower is the first structure of the Tower of London.


The Rich History of the Tower of London

Of all the historically iconic places in London, none other contain more blood shed, scandal, and historical significance than the Tower of London. Founded toward the end of 1066, this structure has served as a royal residence, an army barracks, an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, the home of the Crown Jewels of England, and as a prison. All of these past uses are on display during the modern day tour however it is fascinating to note that the Tower of London still serves as a royal residence to this day and that the Yeomen Warders are posted here to safe guard the Crown Jewels.

A tour through the Tower of London is a truly fascinating look at some of the city’s most well known history. These aged walls held some very notable prisons, most of which arrived through the Traitor Gate and exited only to be marched up to Tower Hill and beheaded for their crimes. Only 7 prisons were actually beheaded inside the Tower of London on the Tower Green and they were individuals with a connection to the crown. These individuals included William Hastings, Anne Boleyn, Margaret Pole, Catherine Howard, Jane Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, and Robert Devereux. A circular monument marks the spot these poignant deaths occurred.

The Tower of London is also the current home of the Crown Jewels of England. This is a piece of fascinating history that will dazzle even the most uninterested visitors. Actually seeing the wealthy and tradition behind the English monarchy is astounding. Because it is one thing seeing the crown jewels in painting and pictures, it is an entirely different experience seeing that big of a diamond and those many jewels in person.


Kevin Banogon and Meredith Lambert Banogon tour the Tower of London and pose with a Yeomen Warder on their honeymoon in England.

A blue door marks the home of one of the Yeomen Warders inside the Tower of London.

The Crown Jewels of England are housed within the Tower of London.

The Tower of London is an amazing stop during any trip to London England.

The memorial to the 7 individuals beheaded in the Tower of London including Anne Boleyn.

Meredith Lambert Banogon and Kevin Banogon enjoy the first day of their honeymoon in England.


Enjoy a Short Video of Our Honeymoon in England


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