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England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-21-2007, 10:20 PM   #1
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England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

Looking for experiences and ideas for a week in England in May. We are taking a Rick Steves tour of London in late May (one week that covers most of the tourist things like Crown Jewels/Museums/etc)and plan on adding a week or so for independent travel.
Certainly would appreciate the benefit of the forum's experience and any suggestions.
Thanks
nwsteve
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-21-2007, 10:43 PM   #2
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

You can spend a whole vacation going to historical locations managed by
the national trust in england. especially if you are a garden enthusiast.

check out this web site for more info.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/

additionally , you can stay at cottages , apartments in manor houses, etc..
for reasonable prices.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main...y_cottages.htm
http://www.nationaltrustcottages.co.uk/

ok i'm sounding like a commercial now , so i'll stop...

-mike
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-21-2007, 10:48 PM   #3
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

I like Oxford, Cambridge, York, Canterbury and Chester. It really depends on whether you want a castle & church tour, beer tour, cultural, or outdoorsy. I usually have some kind of theme to a trip and it becomes a naturally organizing principle.
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 12:55 AM   #4
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

I agree with a bit from yakers... but did not see all of them... but it is according to what you want to see...

Bath is a great place for the Roman ruins and a nice town also...

Dover is a nice place.. and if I remember there was a nice castle there...

Cambridge is another interesting college town... and there is a US veteran cemetary there that is a good visit to see how much people gave for us to be free...

Pay for the tour bus in all the small cities... it is 'expensive', but they go to all the interesting places and you can get on and off all day... lots of places you would have to walk if you don't do it...

My sister went to the Kews garden (might be misspelled).. they are just outside London... she loved them... talked about it for a couple of years...

Someone tell me the name of the Castle that is a bit south of London I went for a day trip there and it was great... just a short walk from the train station, or you could take some boat to get there... a friend to me there without telling me and I don't remember much of how we got there or the name... sorry..

PS... London Eye is nice... but you need a ticket before you go...
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 01:43 AM   #5
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

The Olimpick Games in Chipping, Camden (Cotswolds) recently went on my list of must-do's. It's usually in May or June. They started holding it in the 1600's as a copy of the real games - it seems like a giant country fair with contests, fireworks, and then a torchlight procession into the village where the locals get tanked and sing and dance the night away. Looked like a blast.
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 01:58 AM   #6
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

Hop on the train north to Scotland and play the old course at St Andrews and have a wee dram in the pubs.
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 06:57 AM   #7
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

We liked Canterbury and Bath pretty well, and they make easy day trips from London via the train.
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 07:36 AM   #8
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
We liked Canterbury and Bath pretty well, and they make easy day trips from London via the train.
Ahhh yes, Canterbury... it has a nice cathedral... and it is also a nice little tourist town, all the small shops etc. that most tourist like to see... and if you plan it right, you can get off the train at one of the stations, strool through town seeing all the sights you might like and then board the train from the other train station... the southern one is the one that is closest to the church, so it is the one I would go to...
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 08:27 AM   #9
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

The castle Texas Proud is trying to think of is Windsor Castle. Less than an hour by train from either Paddington or Waterloo Stations. The Queen lives there most of the time when she is not in London. If you time it right you could probably see the Changing of the Guards at the same time which is always fun.
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 08:49 AM   #10
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

COnsider renting a car; the "wrong side" thing can be a challenge, but the added mobility is worth it. Driving on the back roads is great, especially up in the north - it's amazing how empty & wild some of it is. We had good luck at B&B's in the first week of May.

One of my favorite things was Hadrian's wall and associated ruins.
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 08:57 AM   #11
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

Bath first came to my mind as well.

Salisbury Cathedral is worth the time.

http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/

Also Stonehenge if you're into it. When I was there (1974?) you could still walk between and on the stones, kind of eerie.
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 11:04 AM   #12
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

You might want to visit York. Rick Steve's has a Great Britain book -- check it out (library?) for ideas and details on places mentioned in other posts here.

Les
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 11:33 AM   #13
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

I wouldn't miss Bath .Stonehedge ? Well you should see it .
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 01:25 PM   #14
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

I had Hampton Court Palace on my list for years and never went there until our last visit - it was really worth it with the gardens and palace tours (people in period costume giving the tours as if it were still 100 years ago, etc). Its a bit over an hour by tube then train. Also, Wimbledon now gives tours - worth it if you are into tennis and interesting even if you are not.
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 01:27 PM   #15
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobot
COnsider renting a car
Brit here. Think very carefully about renting a car: the roads are often narrow with parked cars both sides of the streets, parking is difficult in towns, cities and some villages, and trying to change gear with the door handle is disconcerting. : I agree though that if you're going to see the places in the north of England/Borders (well worth it) that Bobot mentioned you would need a car. But, public transport is good and you can plan a stress-free itinerary around it.

There is so much to see in England that a week is only scratching the surface. Have fun on these winter days planning destinations according to your interests from the numerous guide books found at your local library.

All the schools in England get a week off the same week as Memorial Day here. If your extra week takes you into the first week in June you should have reasonable weather and be able to avoid the crowds.

I wouldn't disagree with any of the destinations suggested so far.

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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-22-2007, 03:55 PM   #16
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiny
I had Hampton Court Palace on my list for years and never went there until our last visit - it was really worth it with the gardens and palace tours (people in period costume giving the tours as if it were still 100 years ago, etc). Its a bit over an hour by tube then train. Also, Wimbledon now gives tours - worth it if you are into tennis and interesting even if you are not.
AH.. this is the one... not Windsor Castle... I never made Windsor while I was there...

Never made Wimbledon though...
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-23-2007, 12:56 AM   #17
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbcal
You might want to visit York. Rick Steve's has a Great Britain book -- check it out (library?) for ideas and details on places mentioned in other posts here.

Les
Yes, York is cool, On the way you could hit Snowdownia (nice hiking) and the lake district which is
really nice.
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-25-2007, 05:47 PM   #18
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

I really enjoyed a day tour from London to Stonehenge, Salisbury, and then to Avebury with its ancient stone circles. The driver told us all about the crop circles. Fascinating. Wish I could remember the tour company.
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-25-2007, 06:32 PM   #19
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

I don't know your age, but if you are a Beatles fan, Liverpool is a 3 hour train ride from London. The Liverpool train station is a nice 10 minute walk (all downhill!) to the Mersey River where there is a nice Beatles museum and then you can take the "Magical Mystery Tour" bus ride and see where all 4 lived as kids and adults, Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, etc and the bus drops you off downtown at the new Cavern Club. The bus drivers and tour guides grew up in Liverpool with the Beatles, same schools, were in unsuccessful bands and had great stories to tell.

Liverpool had declined in the 70's and 80's but the downtown and riverfront areas have been redeveloped and are very nice- safe and pedestrian friendly.

Stratford on Avon is a real tourist trap and not recommended. Oxford University was great, lots of history and architecture. Warwick Castle is a 20 to 30 minute drive from Oxford and is also worth a 3 hour visit. It is owned by the Madame Tussouds (sp?) company but they do a nice job of it.

Bath and Stonehenge are great. Kew Gardens in London are fantastic and you can get there by train. The London Eye is wonderful on a good weather day and very close to the reconstructed Globe Theater. The Globe was much better than Stratford on Avon.
If you are a history fan or WWII buff, the Churchill War Rooms are not to be missed.

Edinburgh Scotland is worth a trip and I recommend flying there from London. The Castle (especially the POW section where American Sailors were imprisoned during the American Revolution), the Royal Mile and ,at the foot of the Castle, the Scotch Whisky Heritage center is informative if you like the beverage.

We went back to London in August just to take the Buckingham Palace tour. Her Majesty spends August and September in Scotland and therefore Buckingham Palace is open for tours. Well worth it and puts our White House to shame by comparision.

Another suggestion that will sound completely bonkers- The west coast of England (Cornwall and vicinty) is a wonderful beach vacation spot. The Gulf Stream is there and it is the warm part of England.

Bon Voyage!
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)
Old 01-25-2007, 06:50 PM   #20
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Re: England--Places to See/Things to (beside London)

I went on the Rick Steve's France tour last May. His tours are well organized and the "back door" approach allows for culture interaction not always accommodated with other tour packages. Plus Rick Steves limits the participants to 20-24 travelers. A few folks with us on the France tour had been on the Rick Steve's England tours in the past and said that they enjoyed the York and Lake District most.

By the way, how about the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth near York? Has anyone been there?

Enjoy your trip.
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