Life is short.
There is no getting around it. We tend to think that things will go on like this forever, the work, the people, the house, the hobbies, but in the back of our minds where we shove all our childhood trauma and 80s apparel, we know it won’t.
Yet it’s all too easy to fall into a mundane pattern of life, putting off wild adventures until “next time.” That is why the bucket list was invented.
A phrase only about 10 years old, it’s a vivid catchall term for life goals. What do you want to do before you “kick the bucket”? What are your wildest dreams, those things that, if left undone, would lead to regrets on your deathbed? As Britophiles obsessed with all things British, of course we have Pinterest boards full of beautiful places we’d love to experience for ourselves, but what about making concrete goals with a due date?
Swim in the Fairy Pools
Pictured above, these mysteriously crystal-clear pools are found on the Isle of Skye, near Glenbrittle. The water is cold, but what is it worth to say you swam here?
Hike Hadrian’s Wall
This is one that I’ve actually done. I didn’t hike the whole thing, but a portion of it was enough to impress me with the genius of the ancient Romans and the gorgeous countryside of North East England.
Pet a Shetland Pony (in the Shetland Islands, of course)
I’ve done this one too. Unforgettable experience.
Attend Evensong at Westminster Abbey
Truly wild places are hard to find in England, but Dartmoor is as mysterious and isolated as ever.
Watch a Shakespeare Play at the Globe
The Bard’s art, as it was meant to be seen.
See inside the Houses of Parliament
We’ve all seen the outside of Westminster Palace over and over again, but what about the inside? For only £25 you can tour the inside of Britain’s most famous government building. Unfortunately, only permanent UK residents can tour the Elizabeth Tower and see Big Ben.
Climb Ben Nevis
As the tallest mountain in the British Isles, this highpoint of the Scottish Highlands is a must for any mountaineering Britophile.
Get Married at a Castle
Anyone can visit Stonehenge, but sightseers are generally kept far away from the ancient stone circle. However, by filling out an application and paying far in advance, it’s possible to be one of 26 people to enter inside the circle, either at dawn or late in the evening.
Shop at Portobello Market
Perhaps London’s most iconic market (Notting Hill, anyone?), Portobello Road is your one-stop shop for fashion, second-hand goods, and hot food.
Touted as the most famous maze in the world, it was commissioned by William III (of “William and Mary” fame) around 1700 at the glorious Hampton Court Palace.