What to see in England

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mr friendly guy
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What to see in England

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-12-20 04:51am

I am going to have plenty of free time by mid April of next year. Basically I won't be seeking employment until maybe July as I plan to travel. The plan is to have a mixture of tour groups and independent travel. As such I have tentatively arranged tours into Eastern Europe and also Ireland and Scotland. I will however have free time in London between tours from 3 may to 9 may 2020. I also finish a second tour in Edinburgh on 23 May, so I have time to visit parts of England, which aren't London. Apparently I need to get out of London to see the "real UK." I am thinking of spending up to two weeks (although 10 days would be more realistic) exploring England further.

I hoping for advise by members who live in England about where to see. I think I can arrange tours in London such as Sherlock Holmes tour, Jack the ripper tours which appeal to me. Also I think from watching various youtube travel videos I have an idea of restaurants I want to try, and most probably will also do afternoon tea on the river Thames.

But I not sure what to see outside of London. Tentatively I am thinking of Bath and Castle Comb Village (since they are nearby) and York. Its pretty flexible. I think around maybe 2 weeks to see other parts of England, although I am thinking 10 days is more realistic. The other possibility is to see parts of Hadrians wall with a short tour.

Also if any members want to meet up to show me some English cuisine and alcoholic beverages that's cool too. :D
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Zaune » 2019-12-20 08:14am

Smartarse answer: Bude tunnel. Strong contender for the silliest meme on /r/CasualUK.

More seriously, you can't go far wrong with visiting York (I recommend the National Railway Museum and the Jorvik Centre especially), and the surrounding countryside has some of the best hiking trails in the country if you like that sort of thing. Just make sure you don't try tackling the Pennines in jeans, trainers and a hoodie unless you want to star in a Mountain Rescue volunteer's anecdote about reckless idiot tourists.

As for cuisine, it's hard to make specific recommendations because the best places are invariably small local restaurants. Your best bet is probably to look for anywhere with a Michelin or AA star rating, or just ask the hotel staff. And when perusing the beers on tap, my advice is that if in doubt, pick the one with the funniest name.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-12-20 01:08pm

While you specified England, I would strongly recommend taking a day or two to visit Wales, specifically Cardiff. There's a lot of cool stuff here, including the Castle, Cardiff Bay and the locations for a whole ton of Doctor Who episodes. It's also only just under two hours by train from central London, so easily doable in a day.

If you did come to Cardiff, and I'm free, I'd happily show you around.

I would also second York and the railway museum, that place is freaking awesome. I'd also suggest Portsmouth, the historic dockyards and HMS Victory.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Bedlam » 2019-12-20 02:23pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2019-12-20 01:08pm
While you specified England, I would strongly recommend taking a day or two to visit Wales, specifically Cardiff. There's a lot of cool stuff here, including the Castle, Cardiff Bay and the locations for a whole ton of Doctor Who episodes. It's also only just under two hours by train from central London, so easily doable in a day.

If you did come to Cardiff, and I'm free, I'd happily show you around.

I would also second York and the railway museum, that place is freaking awesome. I'd also suggest Portsmouth, the historic dockyards and HMS Victory.
Given that he's considering Bath, Cardiff isn't that far from there.

Bristol's not that bad a place in the same general area, it more industrial (at least historically) compared to the gentrified Bath, the canal tour gives a nice leisurely ride through the city.

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Re: What to see in England

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-12-20 09:12pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2019-12-20 01:08pm
While you specified England, I would strongly recommend taking a day or two to visit Wales, specifically Cardiff. There's a lot of cool stuff here, including the Castle, Cardiff Bay and the locations for a whole ton of Doctor Who episodes. It's also only just under two hours by train from central London, so easily doable in a day.

If you did come to Cardiff, and I'm free, I'd happily show you around.

I would also second York and the railway museum, that place is freaking awesome. I'd also suggest Portsmouth, the historic dockyards and HMS Victory.
I could possibly do it between tours while I am in London for 6 days, but I am thinking if you're free to come to Cardiff on my way back. That's because Ray has generously agreed to show me around his neck of the woods while I am in London so thats a day trip, also thinking to arranging someone to take me to Castle Arundel in West Sussex (those pictures look amazing), so that's another day trip. I should have enough time to see London via tours in a relaxed manner so if I am tired, I can just chill in the hotel.

On the way back after my second tour (Ireland and Scotland) which ends in Edinburgh, I would like to make my way down to Beamish/Stanley which has museums (the Beamish museum where staff dress up in period costume seems like something I would really like doing) and nature walks (2 -3 days), then York (2- 3 days). So I could potentially go from York to some other area between York and Cardiff, then make my way down to Cardiff. So this would tentatively be June 1 onwards where I would make it to Cardiff. Now Cardiff wasn't on my initial plans, but you have kind of convince me to look into it, and obviously it will be more awesome if you were also free. Plus I guess where they filmed Doctor Who can't hurt. :D

After Cardiff its Bath and Castle comb for another 2 days, and then I guess if nothing else catches my eye, head back to London and fly out. Of course I am flexible, so if something else is a must see, I can always stay back a bit longer. I mean under current rules Australians are allowed 90 days visa free stay in the UK.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Darth Yan » 2019-12-21 02:08am

Tower of London is great; PIcadilly Circus is divine. Same with Leicster square and Trafalgar Square. My sister used to work at the British Museum and that's worth a look.

Mount Snowden is also fantastic. If you have the time make it. The welsh countryside is beautiful

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Re: What to see in England

Post by SpottedKitty » 2019-12-21 08:39pm

Darth Yan wrote:
2019-12-21 02:08am
My sister used to work at the British Museum and that's worth a look.
Don't forget, it's huge. I spent a whole day in there the last time I was in London (many years ago) and I still didn't manage to see everything I wanted to.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2019-12-22 11:08am

If you do go to Castle Combe and you like motor racing I'd recommend you check out the racing circuit, for my birthday I did a single seater experience there which was really good fun. And if you like museum ships and you're in Bristol you can't go wrong with the SS Great Britain, because it's climate controlled to prevent further rusting the atmosphere it's a bit warmer and a lot drier than normal British weather.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Starglider » 2019-12-22 11:56am

Beamish is excellent, I take the family every year. If you're going near the Peak District I'd suggest Ladybower / Hope Valley (frequent winner of 'most beautiful bit of the UK photography contests) and in particular the Hope Valley caverns (Peak, Speedwell etc).

If you're around the Tower of London area, I suggest the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street. It's not as high as the Shard but it's free and a lot more pleasant inside, and the views are actually better, whenever I go in with the kids I try to stop there for lunch. HMS Belfast is also good if you have any interest in military history.

We also do Emirates Air Line whenever I take the kids on the underground network; it's a heartwarming vision of the steady march of global capital (as realised in absentee-owner faux-modern ultra-luxury apartment towers) steadily marching over and consuming the legacy social housing estates still squatting in the middle of the Isle of Dogs. Although I think the kids mostly like counting all the different construction vehicles visible from the ride.

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Re: What to see in England

Post by Zor » 2019-12-22 07:13pm

Museums. The British are great at museums.

The British Museum and the Royal Navy in particular.

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Re: What to see in England

Post by Gandalf » 2019-12-23 10:23am

See the British Museum. Ask for your ancestors' stuff back.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-12-23 02:35pm

Well, he's not wrong.

Im half guessing based on what you said, half stereotyping aussies, but theres a distinct thene of 'old stuff'.

So bath is a great choice. Edignburgh over london, for the drama of the hill, but honestly you could wander london for a day or two if yiu like old buildings. Gotta be an architectural tour option.

Stratford on avon is a tourist trap, but really pretty and deserves its rep.

If you can take train from york to chester to cardiff its picture postcard all the way. *citation needed

Cardiff has some of the best arborteral parks in the uk, but do try and fit a few national trust gardens in. The uk is green and lush and tender with established gardens in a way few countries are.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Bedlam » 2019-12-24 04:12am

How long are you in Edinburgh?

I'm not all that impressed by castle and most of the royal mile is just a tourist trap but the peoples museum of Edinburgh is worth as visit. The gallery in the palace of Holyrood house is currently showing an collect of Leonardo De vinci sketches (might have changed by the time you get here, it runs to just before Easter) which I enjoyed although it is a fairly small collection and tries to give an overview of his whole life which makes it seems somewhat unfocused (I preferred the collection of his anatomical work from a few years back). There also the botanical gardens and maybe the zoo.

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Re: What to see in England

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-12-24 10:32pm

Starglider wrote:
2019-12-22 11:56am
Beamish is excellent, I take the family every year. If you're going near the Peak District I'd suggest Ladybower / Hope Valley (frequent winner of 'most beautiful bit of the UK photography contests) and in particular the Hope Valley caverns (Peak, Speedwell etc).

If you're around the Tower of London area, I suggest the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street. It's not as high as the Shard but it's free and a lot more pleasant inside, and the views are actually better, whenever I go in with the kids I try to stop there for lunch. HMS Belfast is also good if you have any interest in military history.

We also do Emirates Air Line whenever I take the kids on the underground network; it's a heartwarming vision of the steady march of global capital (as realised in absentee-owner faux-modern ultra-luxury apartment towers) steadily marching over and consuming the legacy social housing estates still squatting in the middle of the Isle of Dogs. Although I think the kids mostly like counting all the different construction vehicles visible from the ride.
Sky Garden was on my to do list. I am going to check out the emirates air line cable car. Thanks.
madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-12-23 02:35pm
Well, he's not wrong.

Im half guessing based on what you said, half stereotyping aussies, but theres a distinct thene of 'old stuff'.

So bath is a great choice. Edignburgh over london, for the drama of the hill, but honestly you could wander london for a day or two if yiu like old buildings. Gotta be an architectural tour option.

Stratford on avon is a tourist trap, but really pretty and deserves its rep.

If you can take train from york to chester to cardiff its picture postcard all the way. *citation needed

Cardiff has some of the best arborteral parks in the uk, but do try and fit a few national trust gardens in. The uk is green and lush and tender with established gardens in a way few countries are.
York to Cardiff looks like a long train journey. Maybe I should stop over in Chester for a day or two. I am going to check out what to see in Chester.
Bedlam wrote:
2019-12-24 04:12am
How long are you in Edinburgh?

I'm not all that impressed by castle and most of the royal mile is just a tourist trap but the peoples museum of Edinburgh is worth as visit. The gallery in the palace of Holyrood house is currently showing an collect of Leonardo De vinci sketches (might have changed by the time you get here, it runs to just before Easter) which I enjoyed although it is a fairly small collection and tries to give an overview of his whole life which makes it seems somewhat unfocused (I preferred the collection of his anatomical work from a few years back). There also the botanical gardens and maybe the zoo.
Will arrive on 22 May, and I had plan to leave on 23, although I can leave whenever I like. I believe the tour already covers castles.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Zaune » 2019-12-25 11:21am

Oh, yeah, a quick addendum to my earlier post: You might see people telling you that you must give somewhere called "Gregg's" a try, it's part of the authentic British experience. This is... not exactly untrue, but manage your expectations; Greggs (which may or may not have an apostrophe) is a chain of bakeries/coffee shops that has achieved a similar status to Tim Horton's in Canada, in that they're ridiculously popular and absolutely everywhere. Manage your expectations if you decide to give them a go: They're good if you want a hot savoury snack for not much money but they're hardly gourmet, and the coffee isn't anything to write home about either.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Bedlam » 2019-12-27 04:39pm

Another possibility for Edinburgh is the Surgeon's Hall Museum which has quite the collection of antique medical equipment and various anatomical oddities including Burke's skeleton (quick background if you don't know about Burke and Hare, back in the 19th century medical students needed cadavers to dissect, the only legal source was executed convicts so there was quite a black market for body snatchers digging up the recently deceased and selling them on to doctors and students. Burke and Hare were local thugs who decided to make things simple and just murder a bunch of people and sell their bodies to a Doctor called Robert Knox (his house is a tourist spot now) when the law caught up with them Knox claimed to know nothing about where all the bodies were from and got off scot free (mostly because he was rich), Hare claimed it was all Burke's fault and got off and Burke was hung by the neck until dead. Then, to add some irony to the proceedings) his body was sold off to a medical student for dissection, and is still in the museum today although with his death mask and a book that is supposed to be bound in his skin).

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Re: What to see in England

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-12-27 09:20pm

When I was in London, I was out in the evening with my Mum and Sis-in-law. After exploring for a bit, we all started getting hungry, and they looked at me to decide what we should eat. My answer? "Well... something traditional?"
Mum looks to her daughter and they both exclaim "INDIAN!"

They took me to Masala Zone, a very nice Indian restaurant with great food, but the best part was the decoration. Above our heads, puppets hung from the ceiling, a winding brightly-colored Royal Wedding Parade. There were the Nobles in rich garments, riding on horses, camels, or elephants. There were musicians and tumblers and dancers. There was everything that would be in a huge celebration, all winding snake-like through the dining room overhead.

If I ever get to go back, this is where I'd eat.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Batman » 2019-12-28 12:03am

When staff cautions you to NOT take the 'hot' variant of the food-listen to them.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by SpottedKitty » 2019-12-28 12:58pm

LadyTevar wrote:
2019-12-27 09:20pm
When I was in London, I was out in the evening with my Mum and Sis-in-law. After exploring for a bit, we all started getting hungry, and they looked at me to decide what we should eat. My answer? "Well... something traditional?"
Mum looks to her daughter and they both exclaim "INDIAN!"
Alternatively, if your palate's anything like mine* there's Chinatown (north of Trafalgar Square and off Charing Cross Road) with lots of Chinese and Japanese restaurants. Every one I've been in has been good quality, with excellent food. Although that's not the only place to find them; I once discovered a very nice little Japanese place across from Victoria Coach Station.

* Odd thing; I can eat and enjoy even the spiciest of Chinese food, even the ones with intact slices of chilli floating in the sauce, but while I like the smell, I can't take more than the very mildest of Indian food.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Zaune » 2019-12-28 01:36pm

Batman wrote:
2019-12-28 12:03am
When staff cautions you to NOT take the 'hot' variant of the food-listen to them.
This is sound advice. And don't order anything called "vindaloo" or "phall", or especially not a "magmaloo", unless you like your chilli so hot you're legally obliged to possess a concealed carry permit to take it to potlucks.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2019-12-28 06:29pm

Zaune wrote:
2019-12-25 11:21am
Oh, yeah, a quick addendum to my earlier post: You might see people telling you that you must give somewhere called "Gregg's" a try, it's part of the authentic British experience. This is... not exactly untrue, but manage your expectations; Greggs (which may or may not have an apostrophe) is a chain of bakeries/coffee shops that has achieved a similar status to Tim Horton's in Canada, in that they're ridiculously popular and absolutely everywhere. Manage your expectations if you decide to give them a go: They're good if you want a hot savoury snack for not much money but they're hardly gourmet, and the coffee isn't anything to write home about either.
If you want gourmet, try Costa Coffee- it's every bit as ubiquitous as Greggs, offering both sweet and savory food. It's a bit more expensive but you get what you pay for. I personally recommend their milkshakes, part of their 'Frostino' range.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Zaune » 2019-12-28 08:19pm

That is a matter for opinion, to say the least. The last time I ordered anything from them I got a liquid almost, but not quite, entirely unlike coffee that gave me literal heartburn.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by mr friendly guy » 2019-12-28 09:00pm

I am not a big coffee drinker, plus I already tried coffee several times in Colombia. But I am a big tea drinker and I stock up on various tea varieties when I am in Asia. Is there any place where I can experience English teas?
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Re: What to see in England

Post by LadyTevar » 2019-12-28 09:07pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2019-12-28 09:00pm
I am not a big coffee drinker, plus I already tried coffee several times in Colombia. But I am a big tea drinker and I stock up on various tea varieties when I am in Asia. Is there any place where I can experience English teas?
Twinnings has a tea shop on the Strand. Can't get more British than that.
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Re: What to see in England

Post by Zaune » 2019-12-28 09:19pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2019-12-28 09:00pm
I am not a big coffee drinker, plus I already tried coffee several times in Colombia. But I am a big tea drinker and I stock up on various tea varieties when I am in Asia. Is there any place where I can experience English teas?
Hundreds, but whether or not they're any good is a lottery. We don't have chain teashops the way we do for coffee, fast food etc so you're stuck with whatever independent places you can find locally. But as a general rule of thumb, look for somewhere full of hipsters.
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