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Recommend stuff to do in the U.K. and surrounding area
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besson3c
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Jul 22, 2008, 03:38 PM
 
Hello,

My wife and I are planning a trip to the U.K. in Oct... Do any of you have any travel recommendations for us? We haven't really set anything in our itineraries yet, but without knowing what we are like, I'm wondering if there is anything that really stands out to you in terms of a generic sort of recommendation?

Thanks in advance for your advice and feedback!
     
seanc
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Jul 22, 2008, 03:57 PM
 
Wherever you're going, take an umbrella.

Where are you staying?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jul 22, 2008, 03:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
Wherever you're going, take an umbrella.

Where are you staying?

My cousin's house, although I haven't Google Mapped it yet to know exactly where in England it is... Our plans are pretty preliminary, which is why I was hoping for some basic ideas to contribute to our brainstorming.
     
Andrew Stephens
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Jul 22, 2008, 04:03 PM
 
We live in the Cotswolds. That's very rural, rolling hills, Cheltenham, Gloucester (we live in Cirencester), which was the Roman capital of Britain at one point. It's all very very english. You'll love it.
     
seanc
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Jul 22, 2008, 04:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
My cousin's house, although I haven't Google Mapped it yet to know exactly where in England it is... Our plans are pretty preliminary, which is why I was hoping for some basic ideas to contribute to our brainstorming.
Got a location for that? E.g. Cambridge, Essex, etc.



Well there's London and the associated sights to see there. Being an outsider to London, I can only suggest things I can think of; london eye, madame tussauds (wax works), big ben, houses of parliament, the tube? Not really a 'sight' (unless you like other people's armpits) but an experience. There is Buckingham Palace of course.

There's also Cambridge, I live here, so it's not interesting to me . The tourists seem to flock around kings college and the others, there's punting as well, if you get a guide (AKA local student at one of the colleges) they'll tell you about Cambridge and the associated surroundings and the colleges.
There are some stately homes you could visit, such as Audley end House and Wimpole Hall.

I can't think of anything else.


Into theme parks?
     
Mastrap
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Jul 22, 2008, 05:23 PM
 
It would be really useful to know just where you'll be staying. The north is very different from the south, Wales isn't Essex, etc.

Disclaimer: I left the UK six years ago, so what do I know.
     
All_Insane
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Jul 22, 2008, 05:24 PM
 
Please do take some time to visit the rest of the UK. England does not equal the UK. England is just England, and while it's a lovely country, there's so much more to the area. Scotland, and especially the Highlands, are breathtakingly beautiful. I rode the Jacobite steam train along the West Highlands (Fort William to Mallaig), and it was one of the best parts of my 10-month trip.

Of course, this all depends on what your timeline is like and how long you want to spend travelling versus in each specific location.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jul 22, 2008, 05:30 PM
 
I'll share with you guys the area where I'm staying ASAP, but we are leaning towards being there for two weeks, and traveling around and taking in as much as possible...

Thanks for all of your feedback and ideas thus far!
     
Paco500
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Jul 22, 2008, 05:38 PM
 
Really depends on your interests. London is a great city, but I'm not much of a city person. I go there to work and come home as quickly as possible. If you can go to the north, the Yorkshire Dales are my favorite place in England right now. But then the Lake District is great as well. Of course Cornwall is amazing. And if you come out to West Berkshire/South Oxfordshire, you can come meet me at my local for an excellent pint.
     
philm
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Jul 22, 2008, 07:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Hello,

My wife and I are planning a trip to the U.K. in Oct... Do any of you have any travel recommendations for us? We haven't really set anything in our itineraries yet, but without knowing what we are like, I'm wondering if there is anything that really stands out to you in terms of a generic sort of recommendation?

Thanks in advance for your advice and feedback!
With great respect, this is a pretty vague query.
     
Oisín
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Jul 22, 2008, 08:02 PM
 
Recommend stuff to do in the U.K. and surrounding area
In the U.K.: Travel around seeing stuff and do touristy things.

Surrounding area: Swim.
     
Atomic Rooster
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Jul 22, 2008, 10:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Hello,

My wife and I are planning a trip to the U.K. in Oct... Do any of you have any travel recommendations for us? We haven't really set anything in our itineraries yet, but without knowing what we are like, I'm wondering if there is anything that really stands out to you in terms of a generic sort of recommendation?

Thanks in advance for your advice and feedback!
I'd recommend hijacking the plane somewhere else.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Jul 23, 2008, 12:06 AM
 
I realize that the original request was vague, my apologies... We are going to be close to Hampstead, London. My cousin lives in London.
     
zro
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Jul 23, 2008, 12:58 AM
 
Knock back a pint with your old pal Doofy.
     
Strix
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Jul 23, 2008, 07:58 AM
 
Things to do from Hampstead:

1) Walk the Heath (but not in the dark....)
2) Go west to Windsor and see Her Majesties house.
3) Whilst in Windsor go north to Slough and see the office block from the original series of The Office.
4) Go south to Brighton (but perhaps not in October)
5) Avoid the M25 Monday mornings and Friday afternoons
     
Peter
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Jul 23, 2008, 08:12 AM
 
come visit me in Cambridge.
Beautiful city too
we don't have time to stop for gas
     
Paco500
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Jul 23, 2008, 09:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by Strix View Post
5) Avoid the M25 Monday mornings and Friday afternoons
And any time in-between if possible. Oh, and avoid it weekends as well.
     
richwig83
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Jul 23, 2008, 09:15 AM
 
London Eye is worth 15quid if its a clear day!

Stonehendge isnt to far away if your into that kind of thing!

Id recommend a trip to the lake-district if time allows... its a beautiful walk around derwent water!!
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BlueSky
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Jul 23, 2008, 12:16 PM
 
Don't forget to sample a kidney pie and bangers and mash and all that ****.
     
coreythemagnificent46
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Jul 23, 2008, 12:22 PM
 
Make sure you visit platform 9 and 3/4 while your there. I know i will be when I visit england
     
besson3c  (op)
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Sep 17, 2008, 08:49 PM
 
So, who wants to hang out with me and my wife? We'll be in London between Oct. 2 - 14...
     
Dual Porpoise
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Sep 17, 2008, 09:29 PM
 
"surrounding area"? You mean coastal waters?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Sep 17, 2008, 10:58 PM
 
Heh, I wrote my original message when I knew nothing about England and had nothing fleshed out. I probably should have waited some more, but we have a pretty good sketch of our itinerary now.

Here is our basic sketch:


IN LONDON

Buckingham Palace
Trafalgar Square
changing of the guard
Picadilly Circus
National Gallery (R)
(Whitehall, Downing Street)


Tower of London
Tower Bridge
St. Paul's Cathedral (evensong, check website for times)
Museum of London (p. 82, R)
(Bank Museum)


pp. 90-93 - all of it (Westminster and South Bank, incl. Globe)


Harrod's
Kensington Palace
gardens in the area
Royal College of Music - wander through
Royal Albert Hall - wander past


British Museum - Rosetta Stone, Elgin Marbles (R)
British Library (R)
Covent Garden (St. Paul's Church garden)


OUTSIDE LONDON

Windsor - Castle, Eton College


Oxford - town, College, hillside chalk figures


Canterbury
Hastings - battle site


Dover - white cliffs


Stonehenge (near Salisbury and its Cathedral) and barrows, Bath - take train from London?

Any suggestions?
     
zro
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Sep 18, 2008, 12:56 AM
 
ProTip™ - Picadilly Circus: Not an actual circus.

I don't know what the hell language they speak over there, but WTF?
     
Peter
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Sep 18, 2008, 04:12 AM
 
Cambridge!!

Colleges, Art Gallery, Punting ...
we don't have time to stop for gas
     
Doofy
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Sep 18, 2008, 04:59 AM
 
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
richwig83
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Sep 18, 2008, 08:49 AM
 
Just a warning.. St Pauls in mostly covered in scaffolding at the moment!!

The British Museum is a absolute MUST its an incredible building... the Tate Modern is also worth a look even if modern art isnt your thing!!

Rich
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Andrew Stephens
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Sep 18, 2008, 10:59 AM
 
Leave Harrods out. It's just a shop and it's a pain in the arse to get to as well.

edit oh and it's much shitter than you'd think it would be too
     
besson3c  (op)
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Sep 18, 2008, 11:08 AM
 
Thanks for the tips guy, keep 'em coming!

Harrods was pretty far down our list anyway. The only reason why it was there was because it was a walkable distance from another site we were thinking of seeing.
     
Gee4orce
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Sep 18, 2008, 11:09 AM
 
Get the heck out of London as soon as you possibly can. It's a city. It's a big city. It has more in common with other big capital cities that it does with the rest of the country. London ≠ England ≠ Britain.

It really saddens me that the vast majority of tourists to the UK only ever really see London, and maybe a daytrip to Stonehenge. Not that I blame them, because I'd probably do the same if I were a foreigner here, but there's just SO much more to see. Kudos for actually asking advice before your trip though.

So, I can't give you an itinerary, but the list of must see site are something like this:

1) Cumbria. The 'English Lake District' is stunningly beautiful. Avoid tourist traps like Windermere and Ambleside - head out to Langdale or Borrowdale. Put your boots on and take a walk up the 'fells'. Oh. Take a raincoat too, because it's the wettest part of the UK.

2) North Yorkshire. England's largest county, home of the quitensential 'no nonsense northerner' - you'll actually find the people here are the most warm, generous and welcoming anywhere. Just don't expect small-talk .

3) York - one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in the UK. Local planning rules mean the no building is allowed to be as tall as the 1000 year old 'minster' (cathedral), so it still dominates the city. Viking's and Roman's both had settlements here. Castle + Yorkshire museums are worth a visit, the Shambles is a street of half-timber houses that almost touch in the middle - must see.

Other cities of a similar appeal are Durham, Lincoln, Cambridge, Oxford, Bath.

4) Take a drive in the contryside. It doesn't really matter where - 10-20 miles outside any of the major cities will see you in quality English countryside, rolling hills, green fields, cows. That kind of thing. The Costwolds or Derbyshire Peak District are perfect locations for this.

5) Castles ! There are castles EVERYWHERE. The best are probably Conwy & Caernarfon in Wales, and Leeds castle (not in Leeds, in Kent). But you need to visit at least 1/2 a dozen.

6) Cornwall. This is a ruggedly beautiful peninsula that's got the bluest seas in the UK. It also takes a long time to get to, and it rains A LOT, but it's worth it.

7) North Wales: Snowdonia and the north coast especially. Pembrokeshire and the Brecon Beacons too.

8) Scotland. You could spends weeks here - it's huge, empty, impressive. See the West Highlands, Glencoe especially.
     
grayware
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Sep 18, 2008, 10:24 PM
 
Beware the moors.
     
Mastrap
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Sep 18, 2008, 10:26 PM
 
London rocks. While the rest of the UK can be beautiful, you need to see London first.
     
mattyb
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Sep 19, 2008, 12:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gee4orce View Post
5) Castles ! There are castles EVERYWHERE. The best are probably Conwy & Caernarfon in Wales, and Leeds castle (not in Leeds, in Kent). But you need to visit at least 1/2 a dozen.

6) Cornwall. This is a ruggedly beautiful peninsula that's got the bluest seas in the UK. It also takes a long time to get to, and it rains A LOT, but it's worth it.

7) North Wales: Snowdonia and the north coast especially. Pembrokeshire and the Brecon Beacons too.
I very much second the North Wales coast. I grew up in Conwy : old castle, town surrounded by walls, little fishing port, reasonably priced eating. When its nice weather it really is superb. Betws-y-Coed is also very nice which isn't far from Conwy. Go and have an afternoon tea in the Bodysgallen Hotel. If you've got the money, have an evening meal there - you won't regret it.

Snowdonia was my backyard as a kid, if you're into walking or even climbing then you can be well tested.

Cornwall is also great, I like The Lizard most. Lands End has turned into a mini theme park, but further up the Atlantic coast the scenery is great and if you're a surfer then you can take a plunge. REAL surfers, so I've been told whilst on holiday in Cornwall, surf on Christmas Day off the Cornish coast. It does take a long time to get there though.

Recommendation : if you are going to drive, hire an automatic car. Everyone that I know who learned to drive on the right-hand side of the road that I've recommended this too has thanked me afterwards.

Second recommendation : Try and get £20 notes and not £50 notes - people don't really like £50 notes. If you goto Scotland, get rid of your Scottish Pound notes before leaving - the Scottish have funny money

Third recommendation : When visiting, for example Windsor Castle, DON'T say stuff like "Why did they build a castle underneath a flight path?".

     
moonmonkey
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Sep 20, 2008, 10:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Thanks for the tips guy, keep 'em coming!

Harrods was pretty far down our list anyway. The only reason why it was there was because it was a walkable distance from another site we were thinking of seeing.
The Harrods food halls are amazing, worth the visit.
     
   
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