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Thread: Planning a trip through UK: Any tips? page

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    Leida's Avatar
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    Planning a trip through UK: Any tips?

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    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
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    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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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    Leida's Avatar
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    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?
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    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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    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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    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.
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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    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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    Leida's Avatar
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    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?
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