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Jolly Ol-England, HERE I COME!
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SOLIDAge
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Nov 10, 2004, 07:01 PM
 
Today was a very exciting day for me.
on a COMPLETE spur of the moment thing, me and my best friend decided that we are coming to England!

We purchased Tickets for one of Oasis' shows at the Manchester Stadium and decided that we are going to be making a full 2 weeks of our stay in the UK.

So being the natural worrier that I am, I was hoping that some of you UK residents would help me out. Info on Transportation, things to do etc, you can post them here, or feel free to IM me with iChat (SOLIDAge)

we are very excited, now we just have to sit back, save money, and wait for June to come!

Thanks for all the help in advanced.
     
fireside
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Nov 10, 2004, 07:06 PM
 
see the queen.
     
FulcrumPilot
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Nov 10, 2004, 08:56 PM
 
Avoid Eltie.
_,.
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BlueSky
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Nov 10, 2004, 09:13 PM
 
A pint at the pub.
     
brapper
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Nov 10, 2004, 10:47 PM
 
you're going to need a lot of money...dropped more in London in 4 days than I did in almost 2 weeks in other places on my Euro trip.
But yeah, go to a pub, and enjoy yourself.
     
Xeo
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Nov 10, 2004, 10:53 PM
 
Originally posted by SOLIDAge:
Today was a very exciting day for me.
on a COMPLETE spur of the moment thing, me and my best friend decided that we are coming to England!

We purchased Tickets for one of Oasis' shows at the Manchester Stadium and decided that we are going to be making a full 2 weeks of our stay in the UK.

So being the natural worrier that I am, I was hoping that some of you UK residents would help me out. Info on Transportation, things to do etc, you can post them here, or feel free to IM me with iChat (SOLIDAge)

we are very excited, now we just have to sit back, save money, and wait for June to come!

Thanks for all the help in advanced.
Wow, by spur of the moment I was thinking you were leaving next week or something. I guess the spur of the moment part was buying the tickets eh? Good luck. I've never been across the Atlantic so I have no advice.
     
MacGorilla
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Nov 10, 2004, 10:59 PM
 
Recently return from England and I can tell you it is quite wonderful. I went to York, Cambridge and London. Do York if you can. Its a compact city with great pubs, the Yorvick, where you can see viking stuff and the Castle Museum, where you can explore the history of the north of England. Nearby Clifford's Tower is a nice little hike. Oh and walk the wall around York. Its several miles but worth it.

London is expensive, much more than York but has sites worth seeing. The Tower of London is excellent. The Globe Theater and the British Museum are great. Oh and Westminster Abbey is must.

Cambridge is interesting. It isn't so much a college town but a town inside a college. The Kings College Chapel is certainly one of the most beautiful holy places I have ever been to.
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m a d r a
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Nov 10, 2004, 11:09 PM
 
well. i have the unfortunate honour of residing in manchester at the moment - and boy! is it a ****-hole. however, that said. here is my advice.

1. bring an umbrella - it always feckin rains here.
2. the local bus company's website is here
3. the local tram company website is here
4. if you're in the least bit unusual or alternative, avoid north manchester and salford like the plague. we're talking redneck central - issued with a shellsuit at birth here!
5. south manchester is more 'studenty' and cosmopolitan - but still a bit redneck compared to london, so be careful.
6. a few places i go out in manc - they might not be your kind of thing but i'm assuming if you're into oasis you're more into rock than crappy disco music, so i'll list them anyway. besides, they're the only places who'll tolerate the likes of me!;

pubs
salisbury pub - near the BBC and the universities on oxford road. manchester's best known alternative pub. tends to be full of businessmen doing lunch during the day, but night-times it's the preferred haunt of m/cr's punks, bikers, metallers, goths and weirdos. fri and saturday nights are especially packed. convenience-wise, it's a mere nanosecond's stagger from oxford road train station.

retro bar - another bar which is pretty quiet during the day but attracts the weirdos on certain nights [usually fri and sat]. has a club downstairs which hosts various punk/70's/80's/goth nights etc. there are always plenty of flyers lying around in the bar upstairs which will tell you what's on when.

kro bars - there are a few of them dotted round manc. not really my scene, as they're a bit too studenty and 'trying-desperately-to-be-trendy' for my liking, but they're a good 'neutral' kind of place to go for a pint if you're in a mixed group of people. kro bar 2 is about 30 seconds walk from the BBC.

sandbar - another painfully trendy student bar. located just behind MMU [manchester metropolitan university] on oxford road. attracts a mixed bohemian/student crowd, as they tend to host exhibitions of local artists' work from time to time.

clubs
rockworld - the main rock nightclub in manchester. also on oxford road, about ten mins walk from the train stn. open thurs, fri and sat. friday nights is the all-nighter when it's open till 6am, but the bar shuts at 3, so make sure you drink enough by then to last you til chucking out time. plays [depending on the night] everything from eighties crap like the cure to blink 182 [and everything in between]. they do also have the distinction of featuring myself and my good lady on their gallery page [we used to be on the rock kitchen website as well, but they seem to have airbrushed us out of history in favour of younger modesl ]

rock kitchen - the local university student union rock night. again ten mins walk from oxford road train stn, but in the opposite direction from rockworld. not as big as rockworld, but a younger more 'studenty' crowd and the draught beer is only 1 a pint [which is dirt cheap!]. rock kitchen is only on on saturdays.

if you're not into any of the above, you should still head for oxford road [ask the cabbie to drop you at the BBC] as it's the main road running through the university area and is probably the most relaxed and cosmopolitan bit of manc. there are plenty of trendy, studenty, and alternative bars and clubs to choose from.

well. those are a few of my haunts. i hope that's of some use to you. let me know how you get on - and if you see a red dreddlocked punk in the salisbury or rockworld, buy him a pint of guinness - it might be me!

oh... and enjoy the rain and the cold!
     
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Nov 10, 2004, 11:12 PM
 
hold on to your wallet in liverpool.
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willed
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Nov 11, 2004, 07:14 AM
 
.
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Diggory Laycock
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Nov 11, 2004, 08:19 AM
 
     
i_rooster
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Nov 11, 2004, 09:14 AM
 
Feed the pigehons corn in tranflagar square.

waky waky!
     
Randman
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Nov 11, 2004, 09:24 AM
 
Actually, you and your friend are GOING to England, not coming. Sorry, grammar police in me came out.

Check out a Lonely Planet guide. And search the web for deals on hotels as they can be pricey. The Underground is a good way to get around for a relatively cheap price. Otherwise, it can be pricey.

Even though it's going to see Oasis, enjoy the trip.

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lil'babykitten
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Nov 11, 2004, 09:31 AM
 
Originally posted by i_rooster:
Feed the pigehons corn in tranflagar square.
Feed what? and where?


     
Randman
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Nov 11, 2004, 09:44 AM
 
Get a Manchester City jersey and go around asking where the hell are Posh and Becks. You'll make lots of friends. If not, give them the Robbie Fowler salute.

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SimeyTheLimey
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Nov 11, 2004, 10:11 AM
 
Don't listen to any of these people telling you to go to touristy places. See the real England. I have your itinerary for you:

Wolverhampton,
Coventry,
Luton,
Slough,
Croydon,
Romford, Essex.

All hidden gems.
     
Diggory Laycock
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Nov 11, 2004, 10:18 AM
 
Originally posted by i_rooster:
Feed the pigehons corn in tranflagar square.
No - don't.

The pigeons were crapping too much, costing the council too much money in cleaning - and considered a health problem - so the seed sellers in Trafalgar Square were banned.

Flying vermin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafalgar_Square
http://www.ibiblio.org/scott-free/mu...a/pigeons.html
http://www.savethepigeons.org/
     
Amorya
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Nov 11, 2004, 11:06 AM
 
Originally posted by brapper:
you're going to need a lot of money...dropped more in London in 4 days than I did in almost 2 weeks in other places on my Euro trip.
But yeah, go to a pub, and enjoy yourself.
Manchester's cheaper than London. Manchester has a sizeable student population, so there are cheap pubs if you know where to look.

Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Don't listen to any of these people telling you to go to touristy places. See the real England. I have your itinerary for you:

Wolverhampton,
Coventry,
Luton,
Slough,
Croydon,
Romford, Essex.

All hidden gems.
You forgot Milton Keynes!

I go to a university in Coventry, and half my friends live there. It's kinda ugly because it was pretty much all destroyed in the war - so all the architecture is 60s and there's concrete everywhere. The ruins of the old cathedral are nice though, and I suppose it's not too bad for shopping and stuff. (I live in Leamington - much nicer, although further from the uni, annoyingly.)


Amorya
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Sherwin
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Nov 11, 2004, 11:35 AM
 
1) Sell the tickets for the Manchester venue and buy tickets for the Birmingham one instead. Did Rush at both recently and the Manchester one sucks large plums.

2) Don't assume everything interesting is in London.

3) Do a bit of North Wales.

4) Make sure you're aware of security issues at all times. This is a derelict spiv nation full of geezers who'll try to rip you off at every available opportunity. Fighting is a national pastime here, so bring a big gun.

5) Enjoy.
     
wdlove
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Nov 11, 2004, 12:00 PM
 
SOLIDAge, I wish for you and your friend a great trip. Hope that it will meet all your expectations.

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." Winston Churchill
     
mitchell_pgh
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Nov 11, 2004, 12:05 PM
 
Don't forget to take a tone of photos!
     
MacGorilla
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Nov 11, 2004, 12:38 PM
 
Originally posted by willed:
Cambridge? Don't want to be going there, mate! Horrible place. Don't they have a polytechnic there or something?

[ see my location / university ]
I went to Oxford many years ago..I don't remember much about it to make any suggestions. I do remember doing to a book store built underground which was fairly cool.
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winwintoo
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Nov 11, 2004, 12:57 PM
 
Originally posted by i_rooster:
Feed the pigehons corn in tranflagar square.
And then duck real quick 'cuz the locals will stone you!

Assuming you're going to end up in London Heathrow airport sometime in your journey - probably land there - be prepared to stand in line for about an hour at passport clearance.

While in London if you're going to see anything, buy a tube map or print one off the net - the tube map is NOT a street map and don't try to use it as a street map and vice versa, but without a tube map you'll be lost on the tube.

Tip: if you're looking at Big Ben, that's the Houses of Parliament right there We stood on that corner and asked a bunch of people and nobody knew LOL

Tip: wear comfortable shoes.

Tip: Take your own supply of coffee. Nobody in the UK knows how to make coffee - and that includes StarBuck$

There is no "circus" at Picadilly Circus - it's a point where 6 roads meet. I think that's the tube stop you want if you're going to the Apple store - am I right?

Watch your step. They make staircases all different sizes so nobody can sneak up on them - or so I'm told.

You can stand in line for the London Eye, or you can spend the afternoon in a pub talking to some locals and sopping up some local color - do the latter if you have a choice. If you must stand in line, make sure you have an umbrella or a poncho.

Don't grind your cigarette butt out on the base of that statue, he/she might just box your ears.

Margaret

My trip to London
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Nov 11, 2004, 01:02 PM
 
Originally posted by Amorya:
Manchester's cheaper than London. Manchester has a sizeable student population, so there are cheap pubs if you know where to look.



You forgot Milton Keynes!

I go to a university in Coventry, and half my friends live there. It's kinda ugly because it was pretty much all destroyed in the war - so all the architecture is 60s and there's concrete everywhere. The ruins of the old cathedral are nice though, and I suppose it's not too bad for shopping and stuff. (I live in Leamington - much nicer, although further from the uni, annoyingly.)


Amorya
I know Coventry quite well, my brother lives in Wyken.
     
turtle777
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Nov 11, 2004, 01:17 PM
 
Originally posted by i_rooster:
pigehons
Spelling ?

-t
     
turtle777
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Nov 11, 2004, 01:19 PM
 
Originally posted by winwintoo:
There is no "circus" at Picadilly Circus
WHAT ? I think I'm gonna kill myself now...

-t
     
Simon X
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Nov 11, 2004, 01:41 PM
 
!!!!!!!!!
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Simon X
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Nov 11, 2004, 01:43 PM
 
!!!!!!!!!
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d4nth3m4n
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Nov 11, 2004, 01:57 PM
 
Originally posted by mitchell_pgh:
Don't forget to take a tonne of photos!
Fixed
     
tomdavidson69
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Nov 11, 2004, 04:04 PM
 
I've gotta vouch for for visiting Oxford having lived there for a couple of years.. sure it's busy as hell with tourists going "ooh" but it is nice AND not far from London (Take the Oxford Tube bus from London Victoria Bus Station, it goes every 15-20 mins and is roughly 10 return). It sounds daft but go on a tour bus, I did and much to my surpise it was really good, it will also show you the Oxford people know and love rather than the over-crowded mistake that is the city/town centre... you will only need a day in Ox...P.S. there are some amazing pubs to relax in:

One by the original Blackwells (with the underground room thingy)... it's featured on the TV show "Morse" if you know it, I think it's The White Horse but too many beers have clouded the memory....

Turf Tavern... a legend in Oxford but you'll have to find it by yourself coz then'll you'll have earnt the right to drink the beer....

Check out Bath if you get the time and don't mind "lefties" (and I don't mean left handers), it's really nice...

And finally to echo someone's earlier post.. don't go near Luton, really not even for a laugh... I've recently had the misfortune to move into the area (not quite Luton luckily) and there isn't a more cheerless, miserable place in the UK and that's including a place called Didcot...

Oh yeah bring lots of money! It's expensive here coz and so cheap for us over your way... I was tempted to buy a PB in Las Vegas recently but didn't fancy smuggling it back through customs...
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wolfen
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Nov 11, 2004, 04:34 PM
 
One thing a recent friend told me: places don't stay open late at night in England. So whereas you could do virtually anything at 2am in New York that you could do at 5pm, this is far from the case in England. Apparently they're all lightweights over there.

Have fun, and don't forget to post pics!
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philm
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Nov 11, 2004, 06:40 PM
 
Originally posted by m a d r a:
1. bring an umbrella - it always feckin rains here.
A good example of the exaggeration of UK weather endemic within UK residents. The June rainfall in Manchester is about a third less than that in Connecticut. My advice is to ignore what British people say about their weather. Enjoy Oasis and our city.
     
Gee4orce
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Nov 12, 2004, 06:24 AM
 
Gee4orce's top tips for Americans visiting the UK:

* don't wear shorts. Especially don't wear checked shorts. Extra-especially don't wear shorts and sandals with white socks - I'm not sure immigration will even let you in the country like that.

* British cities used to be complete shitholes. In recent years they have largely been dragged into the 20th century (100 years too late), so the city centres can be quite pleasant and modern (Birmingham, Manchester), but whatever you do don't wander too far into the outlying areas. This can range from depressing to physically dangerous (Nottingham, anyone ?).

* You'll no doubt have a good idea where to go in London. Jump on the train at Kings Cross and go to York - see the minster (forget Jorvik, it's crap). Really, all the big cities in Britain are much the same, it's the smaller cities like York and Bath and Wells that have the interesting features. Avoid places like Birmingham, Manchester (sorry), Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol - once you've seen one of them you've seen them all.

* if you like castles, the finest ones to be found are on the North coast of Wales. Conwy, Caernarfon, Harlech. Closeby is Snowdownia, which you must see.

* above all, visit Cumbria (the English Lakes). Avoid Windermere, but go to places like Keswick and Langdale. It's one of the most beautiful parts of the country. If you feel fit & brave hike up one of the fells, but do not underestimate how dangerous this can be. The British weather is a killer, but you should be Ok in June.

Your best bet for transport is to get trains into and between the big city centres, but hire a car to see the countryside. Don't underestimate just how bad our transport system is, and how long it will take you to get anywhere. When I do a long distance car journey now, I try to set off about 8-9 pm, just to avoid the traffic.
     
bygimis
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Nov 12, 2004, 06:39 AM
 
1. Rent a car. GET THE HECK OUT OF LONDON a.s.a.p.
2. Drive to Leicester, go to the Retribution Nightclub on a Saturday night.
3. Continue north to Manchester - it is a great night out.
4. Now drive north and east to York - walk the walls, visit the Travelling Man comic shop and spend some cash. Say hello to Al for me.
5. Go further North, to Newcastle. This place is an amazing night out.
6. Go STILL FURTHER NORTH to Northumbria, Handrians Wall and the Scottish Borders.
7. If you continue going north you will find yourself in the south... of Scotland. Go to Edinburough.
8. ...PROFIT!

P.S. You missed the Diwali celebrations in Leicester. Never mind.
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Randman
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Nov 12, 2004, 06:45 AM
 
Originally posted by Gee4orce:
British cities used to be complete shitholes. In recent years they have largely been dragged into the 20th century (100 years too late).
20th? That's sooo last century.

Anyway, depending on your age and interests, a show in the West End (such as Queen's We Will Rock You, if still on) is nice. And if you have time, it's worth it to go to Paris for a few days.

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bells0
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Nov 12, 2004, 07:58 AM
 
Originally posted by wolfen:
One thing a recent friend told me: places don't stay open late at night in England. So whereas you could do virtually anything at 2am in New York that you could do at 5pm, this is far from the case in England. Apparently they're all lightweights over there.

Have fun, and don't forget to post pics!
HEHEHE
Pubs open at 11am and shut at 11pm, Clubs are licensed till approx 2am, but can stay open all night. My Sis, who likes her dancing, goes to a club in Leeds that doesn't finish till 6am!

The problem with the pubs shutting at 11pm is that everyone goes out at 7 and gets tanked out of there skulls before they are chucked out, this is what tends to lead to the large queue's outside clubs and the scrapping that nearly always happens

As for being lightweights, couldn't be further from the truth mate, i reckon the majority of women in the UK can outdrink any Yank male
     
Chris O'Brien
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Nov 12, 2004, 08:35 AM
 
Originally posted by bells0:
As for being lightweights, couldn't be further from the truth mate, i reckon the majority of women in the UK can outdrink any Yank male
I'll second that. The missus tanned two bottles of wine and copious amounts of vodka, before we even went to the pub last night. And she's a skinny/slight girl who only drinks very occassionally... Have a look at some of the heffers you see inhabiting your local and you'll get the impression of how non-lightweight us brits are

I thought it was an accepted fact that we're all huge drinkers and yanks can barely sniff a proper pint before falling over?

SOLIDAge - all the travelling might not be to your taste (although, I understand we have a warped sense of what travelling means here, since it's such a small island, so it might not be a problem) but you should definitely visit the north-east and some parts of Scotland. Durham is a great wee city and Newcastle is definitely a great night out (and only 10 mins from Durham on a Virgin train).

There's some great suggestions in this thread. One idea might be to get Bill Brysons book Notes from a Small Island. Not only is it informative, but it's a good read too.

Hope you enjoy your stay, and the Oasis concert.
Just who are Britain? What do they? Who is them? And why?

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i_rooster
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Nov 12, 2004, 09:00 AM
 
dont forgit to give tha queens a fotopod. she wont aske it but she expeckts it neverdeless. you could be in trouble if they finded out that you curried no gifts for the queen.

waky waky!
     
bells0
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Nov 12, 2004, 09:13 AM
 
Originally posted by i_rooster:
dont forgit to give tha queens a fotopod. she wont aske it but she expeckts it neverdeless. you could be in trouble if they finded out that you curried no gifts for the queen.
Squeeze me????
     
Randman
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Nov 12, 2004, 09:21 AM
 
Originally posted by i_rooster:
dont forgit to give tha queens a fotopod. she wont aske it but she expeckts it neverdeless. you could be in trouble if they finded out that you curried no gifts for the queen.
No one could spell so terribly without trying to. ... I hope.

Ok, no one that is registered on a computer forum could.

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MacGorilla
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Nov 12, 2004, 08:26 PM
 
I liked Yorkminster. It was great--I went to a service there. The Yorvik I mentioned becuse not only is it about Vikings--but they have 'authentic' smells. A Ghost walk in York is excellent as well. There are several pubs there that are worth your time.
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willed
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Nov 12, 2004, 09:52 PM
 
.
( Last edited by willed; Jan 31, 2005 at 02:34 PM. )
     
wolfen
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Nov 12, 2004, 10:57 PM
 
Originally posted by willed:
Hey, when all you're sipping all evening are Bud Lights of course you can go on til 2am Pubs do close at 11 here (1am in Scotland I think) but clubs stay open until 2 at least, sometimes later.
I'm a mixed drink kind've person, myself.

We Americans may have a reputation in England for not holding our alcohol. The English Pub is an icon of western civilization. That's why I was so surprised to hear they close at 11pm. You can talk about "clubs" all you want, it doesn't make any sense that I gotta get up off the bar stool and find a noisy night club. Sick as I am, I was excited about visiting England until I found out.

So those Welsh castles better be damn good.
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chrisford
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Nov 13, 2004, 12:28 PM
 
Originally posted by willed:
However, speaking as a southerner, remember, DO NOT ON ANY ACOUNT GO UP NORTH (i.e. north of Birmingham,). Scotland is exempt from this rule as it's foreign. But still, be careful.
I agree with Willed. Although - to be honest - anything above London is pretty much The North. As are most things either side of it. It's generally best to play it safe and travel no further upwards than Portsmouth. England is pretty much a strip of land running from Plymouth to Dover. Anything else is 'somewhere else'.

Do go to Brighton tho' - it's like London, but cheaper, cleaner and with less American tourists.

...

Oops.

Have a great time!

c
     
Chris O'Brien
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Nov 13, 2004, 12:42 PM
 
Originally posted by wolfen:
We Americans may have a reputation in England for not holding our alcohol. The English Pub is an icon of western civilization. That's why I was so surprised to hear they close at 11pm. You can talk about "clubs" all you want, it doesn't make any sense that I gotta get up off the bar stool and find a noisy night club. Sick as I am, I was excited about visiting England until I found out.
There's a secret I'll let you into, because I'm feeling nice. Find a nice local pub, go there as often as you can and get to know the landlord. Soon you'll be staying in the pub as long as you want - I generally leave my local at around half 12 on weekdays and a lot later on weekends... This wont work for big chain pubs like Wetherspoons of course, and it's hit or miss as to how the landlord takes to you.

That, or go to snooker clubs etc. The one up the road from me has a 24 hour license.
Just who are Britain? What do they? Who is them? And why?

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as2
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Nov 13, 2004, 02:52 PM
 
If you go to the wonderfull cathedral city of Peterborough (siht hole) i'll buy you a pint...


On a better note, check out Canterbury.. it's full of culture and, oh, a Cathedral, but most importantly, there are more pubs per square mile in Canterbury than anywhere else in the UK. And shepards neam, britians oldest brewery is just down the road in Faversham, so all the beer is local!
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Jellytussle
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Nov 13, 2004, 04:42 PM
 
Originally posted by as2:
...shepards neam, britians oldest brewery is just down the road in Faversham, so all the beer is local!
That would be ALL the beer, too, since Shepherd Neame brew Sam Adams, Holsten and Kingfisher for the UK market. Truly the whore of brewers . And they've stopped selling bottle-conditioned Spitfire - bastards!

Don't be too afraid to the 'touristy' stuff though - a lot of it is famous for a reason. And however cool it sounds now, you'll kick yourself in a few years if you missed out on, say, the Changing of the Guard for a night of lager-fuelled aggro in Watford.
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Jellytussle
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Nov 13, 2004, 04:44 PM
 
Of course, i write this while stuck at home with the kids while the missus is out on a night of lager-fuelled aggro in Watford - damn flaky babysitter!
You see, my friends, pirates are the key. - thalo
     
   
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