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  • Planning a trip through UK: Any tips?

    Folks, I am planning a trip through UK for this summer, using public transit (driving is out of the question) with a couple of short tours thrown in, and here is what I came up with. Tips for anything interesting/within easy reach are very welcome! Stonehenge/Bath/Salisbury area are excluded on purpose. We are interested in all things castle, Harry Potter (we have a 7.5 yo!), and easy walking around (again, the kid).

    Day Things to See Sleep in (home base)
    1 Nothing Ross-On-Wye
    2 Gloucester Ross-On-Wye
    3 Tinterton Abbey Ross-On-Wye
    4 Penzance Penzance
    5 Penzance, Falmouth Penzance
    6 Oxford Oxford
    7 Oxford
    Warwick Moreton-in-Marsh
    8 Cotswold (Chipping Campden) Moreton-in-Marsh
    9 Wales Liverpool
    10 Liverpool Liverpool
    11 Hadrian Wall/Carslile Carslile
    12 Hadrian Wall/Carslile Glasgow?
    13 Scotland Tour ?
    14 Scotland Tour Glasgow
    15 Edinburgh Edingburgh
    16 Edinburgh York
    17 York London
    18 HP Studio Tour + HP sights in London (walking tour) London
    19 Windsor, Greenwich, Stafford-upon-Avon etc London
    20 Windsor, Greenwich, Stafford-upon-Avon etc London
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

  • #2
    As of my last trip about 4 years ago ...

    Warwick Castle is excellent. Most museums are closed on Mondays in Oxford.

    When in Cornwall eat a real Cornish Pasty - they are worth the glutin.

    Drink the beer.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Leida View Post
      Folks, I am planning a trip through UK for this summer, using public transit (driving is out of the question) with a couple of short tours thrown in, and here is what I came up with. Tips for anything interesting/within easy reach are very welcome! Stonehenge/Bath/Salisbury area are excluded on purpose. We are interested in all things castle, Harry Potter (we have a 7.5 yo!), and easy walking around (again, the kid).

      Day Things to See Sleep in (home base)
      1 Nothing Ross-On-Wye
      2 Gloucester Ross-On-Wye
      3 Tinterton Abbey Ross-On-Wye
      4 Penzance Penzance
      5 Penzance, Falmouth Penzance
      6 Oxford Oxford
      7 Oxford
      Warwick Moreton-in-Marsh
      8 Cotswold (Chipping Campden) Moreton-in-Marsh
      9 Wales Liverpool
      10 Liverpool Liverpool
      11 Hadrian Wall/Carslile Carslile
      12 Hadrian Wall/Carslile Glasgow?
      13 Scotland Tour ?
      14 Scotland Tour Glasgow
      15 Edinburgh Edingburgh
      16 Edinburgh York
      17 York London
      18 HP Studio Tour + HP sights in London (walking tour) London
      19 Windsor, Greenwich, Stafford-upon-Avon etc London
      20 Windsor, Greenwich, Stafford-upon-Avon etc London
      Seems a lot of time spent in Ross-on-Wye. How about Hay-on-Wye? I haven't checked how close, but it has got what's reputed to be the largest secondhand bookshop in the world:

      Richard Booth Bookshop

      In Oxford there's the Ashmolean Museum:

      The Ashmolean Museum: Home page of the Museum

      It has the Alfred Jewel amongst other things -- a marvel of the Anglo-Saxon metalworkers' art:

      id is - Ashmolean Museum

      For a drink, you could maybe stop into the "Eagle and Child" where Lewis and Tolkien used to go:

      The Eagle and Child in Oxford - Home


      Greenwich has the National Maritime Museum -- but if you mentioned Greenwich you probably know that ...



      In Central London, the pubs that might be worth a look include:

      The Cittie of Yorke (Victorian notion of a mediaeval German hunting-lodge, good Sam Smith's beer)

      Cittie of Yorke | 22 High Holborn WC1V 6BN | Bars and pubs | Time Out London


      The Princess Louise -- all 19th century tiles and mirrors:

      Princess Louise | 208-209 High Holborn WC1V 7BW | Bars and pubs | Time Out London


      The Blackfriars -- an Arts and Crafts gem saved by John Betjeman (they wanted to bulldoze it.):

      The Blackfriar in Blackfriars London - Home


      And the Cheshire Cheese, where English and Irish literary men like Johnson, Burke, Goldsmith, etc. used to go:

      Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, 145 Fleet Street, City of London, London EC4A 2BU - Pubs.com Passionate about Pubs


      Oh, dear, I got onto pubs ...



      Any reason you missed out the Lake District and the Peak District?

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      • #4
        Heya, thank you. We've missed Warwick last time, so I am very determined to fit it in this time.

        We are visiting family in Ross & getting over the jet-lag - the first day is basically transit from London-H.

        Cool ideas on Oxford, thank you

        I am not sure one can do Lake District without a car. It was a toss-up between Cotswold and Lake District as both sounds like a nightmare without a car with a kid... which one is better?
        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
        When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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        • #5
          I used to work in Ross-on-Wye. Eastnor Deer Park is very close by. A stunning castle and grounds.
          I'm just starting to believe that anything is possible.

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          • #6
            I'm also from Scotland originally and I suggest you take in Oban (Nr Glasgow) and The Birks of Aberfeldy (Salmon jumping etc). St Andrews. Be aware that Edinburgh is just one big building site right now and could be a nightmare.
            I'm just starting to believe that anything is possible.

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            • #7
              Gloucester Cathedral has a copy of the Magna Carta...forerunner of the Constitution. Stroud has an excellent farmer's market on Saturdays and Cirencester is an ancient Roman town. The International Bird of Prey Centre at Newent near Gloucester is a big hit with my 5yr old son. The Cotswold's way is great for hiking or trail running. I live in the Cotswolds so come and say hi.
              Man seeks to change the foods available in nature to suit his tastes, thereby putting an end to the very essence of life contained in them.
              www.primaljoy.co.uk

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Leida View Post
                I am not sure one can do Lake District without a car. It was a toss-up between Cotswold and Lake District as both sounds like a nightmare without a car with a kid... which one is better?
                You're probably right.


                Maybe you could visit Hereford, if you're in the Welsh borders. I thought of that, when I saw MaceyUK's post, mentioning the Magna Carta. Hereford Cathedral has a famous mediaeval map: the Mappa Mundi. And doubtless there are other buildings in Hereford worth seeing I've forgotten.


                Scotland I know less of. I've only been to Edinburgh once and didn't get time to see the castle. I'm told the National Galleries of Scotland are good:

                Home − National Galleries of Scotland

                Sorry to mention drink again, but maybe a tour around a Scottish distillery would be fun ...


                York is somewhere that Time passed by a little. It used to be an important city, but later got overshadowed by other places and so is fairly unspoilt. Many people go there to see the National Railway Museum, which I'd gladly pass on ... but it's nice just to wander around, and the city walls are still fairly intact. York was Eboracum to the Romans, Eoferwic to the Anglo-Saxons, and Jorvik (pron. Yorvik) to the Danes.

                York was in the part of England that used to be known as "The Danelaw". The Northmen controlled the North and East of the country at that time. There's been quite of a lot of archaeological investigation into Anglo-Scandinavian society in York and some of the fruits of that are displayed at the Jorvik Centre along with some reconstructed interiors of craftsmen's workshops and whatnot that you can go past on a little railway thing:

                Jorvik

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                • #9
                  There is a lot of Scotland north of Glasgow & Edinburgh, and things are more spread out. One thing to consider is that you can go direct from Glasgow to Edinburgh on public transport, and from Glasgow you can go up the West coast (worth considering the train ride to Oban or better yet Fort William or best of all past Fort William to the end of the lind at Mallaig). From Edinburgh you can go up the East Coast (St Andrews, Dundee, Aberdeen) but it's hard to cut across east to west once you are beyone Glasgow & Edinburgh.

                  Another consideration is that if you finish your trip in Scotland you can get the amazing "Caledonian Sleeper" overnight train to London direct from Aberdeen or Inverness or Fort William. It is a great experience with a dining/lounge car and individual cabins to sleep in.

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                  • #10
                    Hi folks, yep, we will be seeing Gloucester from Ross (heh, Harry Potter site!), and we had been to Hereford before.

                    I plan to by a short tour of Scottish highlands for the two days out of Glasgow (to take care of the transportation), and then take NE bus to Edinburgh and spend a day there. With the construction, is it worth it to spend a day there, or should we by-pass it and do a 3-day tour through Scotland instead to include the Islands?
                    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                    • #11
                      Oh, sorry, one more question: I left out Canterbury and Dover, is it a mistake? Is it a good option from London as a day trip, or too far by public transportation?
                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                      • #12
                        Depends on what kinda "stuff" you enjoy but i highly recomend visiting Mull & Iona if you can manage,
                        I live about 15 minutes north of Dunnotter but aside from that theres not that much to see around Aberdeen without hiring a car (and even then...) West coast of Scotland has a lot better scenery and all the wee villages and castle ruins and awsome beaches etc.
                        Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

                        http://primaldog.blogspot.co.uk/

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                        • #13
                          The Harry Potter-ish place in Oxford is Christ Church, as you probably know. I think they turned the hall there into Hogwarts. Oxford Castle is actually the old prison, but has lots of castle-y appeal. The Ashmolean has certainly become a lot more 7.5-year-old-friendly since it was revamped - but if shrunken heads and unexpected discoveries are more his/her thing, try the Pitt Rivers - Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford - which is not quite like any museum you can find anywhere else.

                          I know you didn't ask about food, but anyway... Primal food in central Oxford at lunch time is stupidly hard to find - unless it's a Farmers' Market Thursday, in which case head to Gloucester Green and ask the man with the pig roast for 'pork roll without the roll' - he's used to it . Apart from that... Gourmet Burger Kitchen on George Street, highly recommended.

                          If you want one classically Cotswold-y Cotswold town, Burford might be best. It has that nonchalant 'hasn't fallen down in 500 years so why worry?' feel - and lots of pubs - and excellent ice cream from the delicatessen at the bottom of the hill. Famously cute villages include Bibury and Bourton on the Water. Bourton is more set up for tourists, with specific attractions (model village, Birdland...) rather than just the 'wow, these shops are expensive, let's look at the church' experience - but does get a bit swamped in coach parties. I know there are buses to Burford - better ask Google about the other two, sorry.

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                          • #14
                            Stirling Castle is a really fun visit in Scotland too. The Castle Story
                            Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
                            Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at around 100lbs much better weight for me at my age.
                            Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

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                            • #15
                              And if you do decide to visit Edinburgh, then I can thoroughly recommend (as being very child friendly) the Toy Museum on the Royal Mile (which is free!) and the Whisky Heritage Centre up by the Castle. The Castle is lovely, but exceedingly expensive and a long climb for young legs.

                              You could also take a train to North Berwick and check out the Scottish Seabird Centre, which is extremely child friendly (my children used to love it when we lived near there), and you can take a boat trip around the Bass Rock, which is great fun. A picnic on the beach always goes down well, too, and it's a safe beach for children to paddle about in the water.

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