Panthers Around The World: Sofia’s Trip to England and Scotland

Sofia Strohmeier, Copy Editor

Over spring break, my family and I road-tripped around the beautiful countries of England and Scotland. Beginning in London, we went to Scotland. On this trip, I saw architectural masterpieces in bustling cities, mountainous regions and beaches. Here are a few highlights: 

Oxford, England — On the first stop of our road trip, Oxford, known for its prestigious University, was a charming city that had unique streets and tons of restaurants and shops. The city, filled with history, serves as a home to British royalty and scholars.
Cotswolds, England — Beginning our road trip across England to Scotland, we stopped at Cotswolds, a region in southwest England that consists of numerous small villages with a famously fairytale feel. We drove by some cottages and eventually stopped at Bourton-on-the-water, a beautiful village filled with greenery, a lake in the center and tan limestone buildings from the 17th century.
York, England — As our final stop before reaching Scotland, we visited York, a beautiful city in northeast England, originally founded by the Romans. The York Minster sits right in the heart of the central district. The limestone cathedral opened in 637 A.D., and its highest point stands at 200 feet tall, 500 feet in length and 100 feet in width, containing impressive gothic architecture.
Edinburgh, Scotland — On our first full day in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, we visited Edinburgh Castle. The castle, built on an extinct volcano, has served as a residence for Scottish royalty, a military garrison and a prison through the Seven Years’ War, Napoleonic Wars and more. After walking uphill and downhill touring the castle, we entered the interior where the most interesting room showed visitors how the prisoners stayed within those grounds for years. One room had a recreated display of the circumstances in which prisoners slept, ate and lived, with minor details such as a game of dominoes making the experience feel real and immersive.
Edinburgh, Scotland — Victoria Street, known as the most photographed street in the country, inspired “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling in the creation of Diagon Alley, the wizardly shopping plaza in the books and movies. The street contains tons of shops that stand out by their colorful exteriors.
Edinburgh, Scotland — The Witchery, a famous hotel in the city, lies on Castle Hill, an area in which the burnings of hundreds of “witches” during the 16th and 17th centuries took place. The hotel as a whole and the restaurants inside often exert an eerie feel, yet the light that came in from the windows contrasted the ghostly atmosphere during the night. The restaurant had an antique feel with candles, unique decoration and delicious food.
Edinburgh, Scotland — Just outside the city, one can find Holyrood Park, where Arthur’s Seat lies — a mountainous area that many hike to receive the best nature and city views. Although we did not reach the top, we climbed up high enough to feel like we were completely surrounded by the bright yellow flowers and tall hills around us.
Glasgow, Scotland — Pollok Country Park contains a grassland area with the native Scottish animal, the Highland Cattle. These cattle are known for their long, shaggy fur which keeps them warm in the cold weather. They live on the Scottish Highlands, hence their name, and seeing them up close remains a highlight of my trip.
Glasgow, Scotland — Known as one of the most beautiful university campuses, famously known to look like Hogwarts from Harry Potter, the University of Glasgow has incredible Gothic architecture that dates back to its founding in 1451, making it the fourth oldest university in the United Kingdom.
Oban, Scotland — Oban, known as the seafood capital of Scotland, is a small coastal town along the west coast. Up on Battery Hill, McCaig’s Tower had panoramic views of the entire town, as well as the numerous islands surrounding it.