7 Things You Must Do When An American Visits The UK

October 24, 2016

Before I went on backpacking trip number two, at the end of the summer, I had myself a little visitor. This little visitor came in the form of a Wisconsinite I’d met on the America Part One trip back in January 2015 (which feels like a lifetime ago now – SLOW DOWN, life)!

This Wisconsinite had never ventured outside of the States, never mind gone as far as Europe, therefore I felt under pressure to ensure he made the most of his time over here so he could gain a better understanding of why this little island we live on is called GREAT Britain.

Here’s what to do when an American visits the UK:

1) Show them around your hometown.

This first one’s a pretty obvious place to start. Don’t forget that they are travelling to see YOU and where YOU are from first and foremost, as well as see the cool places that surround you.

Nathan and I spent a good day and evening mooching around Wetherby, the nearest town to where I live, dipping in and out of cafes and bars before enjoying fish and chips on a bench by the river.

It’s so fun to be a tourist in your hometown, as the novelty of where you live soon wears off and you forget just how beautiful and amazing it is. It’s nice to see it through a fresh pair of eyes as it makes you fully appreciate your surroundings and try harder not to take it for granted.

(Photo credit: Nathan Thuerwachter.) 

(Photo credit: Nathan Thuerwachter.)

2) Venture to a nearby big city.

With the population in Wetherby being around 20,000, I thought it would be a good idea to take Nathan to a city where the population is ten times that amount so he could experience the contrast.

York is a half an hour drive away from where I live – a city rich in history, culture and the arts.

We spent a day there wandering around, exploring and getting lost (one of my favourite travelling pastimes)! I also took Nathan down the Shambles, by the river and to the York Minster as, being a history fanatic, I knew he would love to see one of the oldest and largest gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe. And MY GOD, did he love it! (I know this because he took 43472 photos of it. Not actually 43472, but still – it was a huge amount!)

 (Photo credit: Nathan Thuerwachter.)

3) Book afternoon tea for two.

It’s important for your American visitor to partake in quintessentially British activities while they’re over here, such as going for afternoon tea.

It’s shocking to think that in other countries they don’t drink English Breakfast Tea?! I know, right – IT BLOWS MY MIND. How a person can go all day without having a good ol’ Yorkshire brew and a biccy, is totally beyond me. How do they survive?! SRSLY.

Anywho, anyone who’s British tends to enjoy the afternoon tea experience, never mind anyone who’s NOT British. Then it’s on a whole new level.

It’s amazing what a few teeny weeny sandwiches, a cake selection and a teapot will do for a foreigner. They’ll be talking about it for days, trust me.

4) Go on a night out where they can meet your friends.

What’s better than visiting you, an English person, in their natural environment? I’ll answer that one for you: meeting a BUNCH of English people in their natural environment. (If they’re DRUNK English people – even better!)

I took Nathan on a night out in Harrogate where we met up with my sister and our friend Selina and Nathan got to see how lairy Britons get when they binge drink and party. HIGH FIVE!

(He will never see us in the same way again.)

5) Road trip somewhere new.

If you’re dragging your American visitor everywhere you can possibly think of and all the places you’ve been to before, you’re bound to get a little bored eventually. Why not road trip somewhere that’s going to be completely new for the both of you?

That way, you both get to visit somewhere different, and share a brand new experience together, that you can reminisce about in years to come.

Following Harrogate, Nathan drove us to Alnwick where we visited the town, castle and gardens. It was a beautiful, sunny day which it made it evermore pleasant, as well as educational (for instance, did you know that the first parts of Alnwick Castle were erected in 1096? *GEEK EMOJI*)

6) Take them for a traditional pub carvery.

This is more a Yorkshire essential, rather than anything else. Us Yorkshire folk love a good carvery on a Sunday with meat, mash taties, veg, Yorkshire puddings and (to top it off) GRAAAVY – honestly, nothing beats it!

Not only will you please the American with the general premise of it all (“OMG it’s like Thanksgiving every Sunday!”) but you will also astound them with the ridiculous amount of meat choice (“what, you can have turkey AND gammon?! Together?! This is AWESOME”).

Indeed, the whole experience is awesome.

(Photo credit: Nathan Thuerwachter.)

7) Travel to a nearby country.

England’s all well and good, but can you imagine your visitor’s delight if they could visit TWO countries for the price of ONE on their trip to see you?!

I’d never actually been to Scotland, so when Nathan suggested heading up to Edinburgh, I’d never been more game for it. That’s because everyone I spoke to about it said that Edinburgh was incredible – POSITIVE REVIEWS ALL AROUND – and man, they weren’t wrong.

There’s so much history in Edinburgh, and everything looks so pretty; the castle is perched on Castle Rock overlooking the city and dominates the skyline. You can wander around the Old Town down all the little side and cobbled back streets, or do some shopping in the New Town, as well as venture to the coast where you will find little pebbled beaches and plenty of fresh sea air.

Princes Street Gardens are also gorgeous, where the Ferris Wheel is situated, and you’ll find plenty of watering holes and eating places down the Royal Mile.

I only spent three nights there in total, but I definitely fell a little bit in love with Edinburgh and I know for a fact that Nathan did too.


(Photo credit: Nathan Thuerwachter.)

(Photo credit: Nathan Thuerwachter.)

All in all, we had a fabulous six nights/seven days together and I was genuinely so sad when it was time for Nathan to disappear off on his solo travels to London.

(SIDE NOTE: Every American visitor must experience London when they come to the UK. Always encourage this.)

It’s been almost two months since Nathan’s visit, but the exciting news is that I am hoping to visit him in his hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin, before Christmas. So – WATCH THIS SPACE.

In the mean time, I can dwell on what an amazing time we had together and I feel lucky to be able to say that I’ve got those amazing memories for life.

(Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

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