lone traveler at sunset

Level Up!

The last time I lived in England, I simply took it as it was. I took the opportunities that arose to visit places and tried to embrace the culture, and that worked fine. I definitely developed a deep love for this beautiful country, its people, language, and culture.

But this time, I want to be more intentional about my stay here. I don’t know just how long I’ll be here—at least three years, presumably, but possibly longer, depending on circumstances—and I want to make sure that I experience certain things while I’m here, to make the most of that time, however much time it is.

To that end, I have developed a list of things I want to do while I am here. It is organized into “levels,” and each level or item is assigned points. The goal is simply to complete as many levels and amass as many points as possible. It was inspired by Steve Kamb’s Epic Quest of Awesome.

You can follow along with my adventures by visited my Epic Quest page (courtesy of Steve Kamb and the awesome Nerd Fitness team!). On that page, you can see all of my Britain quests, along with some other life quests I’m working on, as well as the points I’ve assigned for all of them and my current progress. Below, I have also listed the Britain quests, and for those I’ve completed I have linked to the blog post where I’ve written about each quest.


Britain Epic Quest List

Nottingham Level

  • Goose Fair
  • caves beneath Nottingham [read this post]
  • Nottingham Castle
  • “Robin Hood” oubliette
  • Sherwood Forest
  • walk from Nottingham Castle to Black Wood
  • Newstead Abbey (Lord Byron’s estate)
  • Wollaton Hall [read this post]
  • Robin Hood statue
  • Major Oak (Sherwood Forest)
  • St Mary’s Church
  • Lace Market (Carlton Building)
  • attend an event at MotorSport Arena
  • watch the cricket at Trent Bridge
  • play tennis at Nottingham Tennis Centre
  • watch world-class tennis in the pre-Wimbledon season
  • the Exchange Building / Old Market Square
  • 200 Degrees
  • Aubrey’s Traditional Creperie

Places Level

  • Steventon, Hampshire (Jane Austen’s birthplace)
  • Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire
  • Grosvenor Square, London [read this post]
  • The Peak District
  • Cardiff, Wales
  • Chatsworth House, Derbyshire [read this post]
  • Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
  • Lyme Park, Cheshire
  • Derby, Derbyshire
  • Ireland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Shetland Islands, Scotland
  • as far north as I can get within the UK
  • Wimbledon, London
  • Greenwich Observatory, London
  • Manresa House, London
  • London LDS temple
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, London [read this post]
  • white cliffs of Dover
  • the Cotswolds
  • Brighton, East Sussex
  • British Library, London [read this post]
  • Oxford, Oxfordshire
  • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
  • Caernarfon Castle, Wales

Anglo-Saxon Level

  • Sutton Hoo archaeological site, Suffolk
  • Whitby Abbey, Yorkshire
  • Canterbury Cathedral, Kent
  • St Augustine’s Abbey, Kent
  • Offa’s Dyke (border of Wales and England)
  • Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire [read this post]
  • Hastings battlefield site, East Sussex
  • Wantage, Oxfordshire
  • Eynsham, Oxfordshire
  • Lindisfarne Castle & Priory, Northumbria
  • Durham Cathedral, Durham [read this post]

Events Level

  • the Proms
  • a new(ish) show in the West End
  • Phantom of the Opera in the West End (on time, this time)
  • a Shakespeare play at The Globe, London
  • HMS Pinafore performed live
  • a panto
  • a Muse concert
  • something at the Royal Albert Hall, London

People Level

Food Level

  • fried Mars bar
  • spotted dick
  • toad in the hole
  • cream tea – with scones with cream and jam
  • Devonshire cream
  • Pizza Express
  • Wagamama
  • Nando’s
  • Pret a Manger

Photography

  • Pied Beauty photos
  • birthplaces for all of my ancestors back to 1750
  • an actual blue police box (10 pts)
  • Robin Hood photos

Experience Level

Bonus Level

These are things that either are “leftovers” from previous lists or things that I think are rather unlikely or particularly difficult. They’re things that I’m not working toward with determination and deliberation, but that would be pretty awesome if I can manage them, so I’ll give myself bonus points if I accomplish any of them.

  • meet or watch in person:
    • anyone from Horrible Histories
    • Jack Dee [read this post]
    • Stephen Fry
    • Alan Davies
    • Jimmy Carr
    • Richard Ayoade
    • Katherine Parkinson
    • Michael Crawford
    • Martin Freeman
    • Benedict Cumberbatch
    • Jo Rowling
    • Alexander Armstrong
    • Richard Osman
    • anyone from the Royal Family (the Queen, the Duke, Prince Charles, Prince William, Duchess Kate, Prince Harry—no one else counts)
    • the current Prime Minister
  • visit:
    • Cadbury’s factory/HQ
    • Cardigan
    • Fair Isle
    • Isle of Man
    • Isle of Wight
    • Jersey
    • Guernsey

Europe Level (15 pts each)

  • Berlin, Germany
  • Belgium
  • Rome, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
  • Venice, Italy
  • Poland
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Greece
  • Croatia
  • Hungary
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