Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein. Tina enjoyed an advance copy of The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell. Jean read Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War by Lynne Olson, a nonfiction book about the European governments in exile in the UK during WWII.
The big news for those of us who hope to travel to the UK again, some day, is that, starting this week, vaccinated people from the US can travel to the UK without quarantine.
Here’s the story from the BBC: Covid: No quarantine for fully jabbed US and EU travellers
Travelers from the US will need COVID tests both before the flight and after arrival. That’s a big improvement over isolating in a hotel room for several days, which makes a tourist visit impractical.
The answer is that it’s mixed. The British Library is open, but with shorter hours and pre-booking required to access some areas. The London Walks company has re-started their outdoor walks, but not the walks that require guides and patrons to be indoors or share transportation. So, they don’t have any day trips or tours like The Lure of the Underground where you travel on the Tube while learning about the history.
Since London is such a big city, I’m sure we’d find plenty to do there.
I did a random check on sites elsewhere. It looks like it might require a bit more planning ahead, but most sites are ready and eager to welcome visitors again.
- Ely Cathedral is open for visitors, but requests masks and social distancing.
- Blenheim Palace says that pre–purchased tickets are essential.
- To visit Cardiff Castle, you need to book tickets on the Monday of the week you plan to attend and you’ll be required to check in with the NHS app in case contact tracing becomes necessary.
- The National Museum of Scotland asks visitors to book your tickets in advance
We’re not planning to travel in the foreseeable future, between Rick’s ongoing medical needs and COVID, but it was fun to do a bit of fantasy travel while writing this post. Are you tempted to get on a plane and head to Heathrow today?