I’m Off to Europe Today!

Hey guys, I’m off to Europe today! Words cannot express how excited and happy I am. It’s been way too long.

I’m headed to France, Belgium and England for two whole weeks (!!!) to see friends and family, and also to revisit places very dear to my heart.

I have a weird fascination with other people’s travel itineraries so I thought I’d share with you guys where I’m going. And as always, I would love your advice on what to do, see and eat while I’m in these places (mainly what to eat though).



First stop, Paris. I’m so happy to revisit my former home where I’ve made some of my happiest memories.

While in Paris I plan to see my au pair family, party with friends from my Paris days and rent an Airbnb with Edna in Le Marais.

I’m also staying with a French friend who has vowed to only speak French to me – god help me.

Beyond that I’m just planning on eating well, walking around and taking photos – I’ve actually been to almost all of Paris’ tourist attractions, so just want to enjoy Paris itself.

Paris bucket list: Rue Cremieux (for the ‘gram, duh), the Sinking House (ditto), Catacombes, climb Arc de Triomphe, Red House, Au Passage



While in Paris, I’m taking a short train ride up to Brussels to see my aunt. This will be my second time in Belgium and I plan to eat as many Belgian waffles, chocolates and mussels with fries as my stomach will allow. I’m also a sucker for Flemish architecture so plan to photograph it extensively.


After Paris and Brussels, I head to Old Blighty. First stop? Essex, where I’m visiting a friend I met at yoga school in India. Honestly, I have no idea what to expect of Essex. All I know is that I want to go out, meet boys with cute accents, and eat lots of seafood.

Essex bucket list: Leeds Castle, Audley End House, suburb of Leigh, Canterbury Cathedral, lots of seafood



After Essex, I head to my beloved London. My itinerary for London is pretty loose, but I have two nights booked in a beautiful Airbnb in Shoreditch, my favorite neighborhood. I’m also meeting Brenna from This Battered Suitcase at Sketch, an incredibly adorable tea room.

Also, my company just opened an office in London so I’m going to pop in and see the office.

London bucket list: Churchill War Rooms, Postman’s Park (from Closer), British Museum, Globe Theatre

Lake District

And then, the north of England! I’m spending two nights in the Lake District! I was inspired to go here after reading Adventurous Kate’s posts about it.

A friend and I are staying in a quaint B&B in the countryside. Basically I just want to wander around and pretend I’m in the shire. I am hoping it will be super adorable and English: think quiet pubs, beautiful farmland, men in tweed.


After the Lake District, we are popping by Liverpool to see The Beatle Museum. But if there’s anything else I should see in Liverpool, let me know in the comments!


To cap off my trip, I’m spending the night in Manchester. I’m meeting Beverley from Pack Your Passport for dinner and then heading out on a 13-pub tour. Yes, I’m going to be very hungover on the plane right home.

North of England bucket list: Samlesbury Hall, Chatsworth, Cheshire (the Roman walled city!), Hadrian’s Wall

So that’s my trip! And while I’ve been to many of these destinations before, I am so stoked to revisit them.

Your turn! Is there anything else I have to see while in Paris, Brussels and England?

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

36 thoughts on “I’m Off to Europe Today!”

  1. Dear Ashley,
    It sounds as though you have covereth all so all I can add is to say
    Bon voyage and enjoy it all as I know you will. Say hello to Angela.



  2. I was just in London, we played indoor mini golf in Shoreditch at this place called Junkyard Golf Club. It’s in this basement adjacent to Brick Lane and all of the golf holes are made out of trash. Worth checking out – so fun!

  3. Such an awesome itinerary! I love taking the train but haven’t done much besides within England and Italy. I hope your ride from Paris to Brussels is delightful!
    Sketch looks amazing, I’ll have to put it on my to do list! :)

  4. Ride the Big Wheel in Liverpool! It’s actually really great. Looks like an amazing itinerary. It’s always important to me to allow for time to wander and hang with friends. Safe travels!

  5. Yes for the Lake District!! It’s one of those places that everyone in the UK knows about, but people from abroad don’t tend to visit as much – unless you’re Japanese and are headed for Beatrix Potter’s house. Whereabouts are you staying up here? I can probably give you some good cafe recommendations :-D

  6. Happy traveling! Sounds like an awesome trip you’ve got planned. Looking forward to hearing about the catacombs, those are on my Paris bucket list too..!

    • I just got back from my trip and am sad to report I didn’t make it to the catacombes, AGAIN! I think it’s because deep-down I’m scared of them, ha. One day I will definitely go though!

  7. Sounds like a great trip! If you have time in London, check out Tayyab’s near Whitechapel for dinner — it’s some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot considering I grew up on it and lived in India for the better part of 10 years. I won’t lie, I sometimes dream about it. Have fun! xx

  8. Sounds like a really packed itinerary! I live in Shoreditch, London and absolutely love it here. So quirky and arty, plus great night life. I recommend The Princess of Shoreditch pub if you fancy the best Sunday roast of your life! Also, when you go to Sketch you have to visit the loos, they are hilarious ;)

  9. Whoop whoop – Essex girl over here! If it’s a nice sunny day while you’re in Essex, head over to Dedham and rent a row boat. Gorgeous :-). Have the most amazing time in Europe!

  10. In the Lakes District, Ashness Bridge is a lovely sight. Also Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth sights are well worth visiting.

  11. ‘Sounds like you’ve got it all covered Ashley. I’m from Manchester so if you go into “town” remember that the trams in the city centre are free of charge.

    Also, don’t forget to visit the TV studio of “Coronation Street” – it’s a British soap and a cultural icon. I believe it’s the world’s longest-running TV soap opera in production and started in 1960!

    Also Cheshire is great for horse-riding, cheese and Alice in Wonderland!

  12. Sounds like such an amazing trip! London is my favorite and Brussels is so fun too! Be sure to go to Maison Dandoy for the the BEST waffles!

  13. It was *so* good to see you! How far we’ve come from those 2013 Paris days, hey? Let’s not wait three years for the next trip :)

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