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Author Topic: Ideas for things to do in England
Zargof McBain
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Icon 5 posted April 20, 2005 11:14      Profile for Zargof McBain     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OK, so in a couple of months I've got an American friend coming over to visit me for two weeks. This is the first time she has been abroad, and I want to make sure she has a good time.

So I'm looking for some ideas of what would be interesting for an American in England. She's sort of a geek, but more interested in art, history, politics etc.

I'm thinking of a few days in London taking in the usual stuff, Tower of London, British Museum, Houses of Parliament, Buck Palace. Maybe go to the opera, Globe Theatre.

Also thinking of a couple of days in York as well.

So where else would be good to visit?

TIA.

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Posts: 75 | From: A dark place | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Unclear_Physicist
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2005 11:33      Profile for Unclear_Physicist     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmmm, difficult to know exactly what to suggest. I know that there are plenty of online tourist information centres (national, regional, cities and towns, all of which can be googled) which could yield something with more relevance, as to what you both like.

If you have chance, a relaxing day in Cambridge or Canterbury is nice or a day at the seaside (if you are based in London, Portsmouth, Brighton or Southampton might be feasible options)

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2005 11:50      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Stonehenge, of course! Now, for me, it was pretty much a bunch of rocks out in the middle of a windy field, but for many people it is an incredible experience. I might have enjoyed it more if I weren't so cold! Tower of London is definitely a good idea. I also enjoyed Bath Abbey and St. Paul's cathedral when I was there.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2005 11:53      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Zargof McBain:
OK, so in a couple of months I've got an American friend coming over to visit me for two weeks. This is the first time she has been abroad, and I want to make sure she has a good time.

Show up at the airport to pick her up naked...

with beer.

</WWCVD>

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2005 12:32      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, my favourite thing is the many computer shops along Tottenham Court Road. [Smile] Now there's also the Apple store on Regent Street. The Tate Modern's suppose to be good, but I ain't never been there.

You may think this is strange - but a truly wonderful place is the inside of Westminster tube station - quite a thing to see with its criss-crossing escalators and such. If you're anywhere near Big Ben, check it out.

Obviously, boating in Hyde/Regents Park is a nice way to relax/get attacked by ducks. You can also throw stones at the yuppies playing baseball. [Wink]

edit: oh, and if you're into that culture thing, the lunchtime concerts at St Martins-in-the-Fields (near Trafalgar Sq) are well worth it. The British Museum is interesting - if only for the new and impressive Great Court. For food, you can't wrong with Chinatown (Soho - Gerrard St area). Wong Kei is a particularly odd experience.

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Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Zargof McBain
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2005 12:57      Profile for Zargof McBain     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
quote:
Originally posted by Zargof McBain:
OK, so in a couple of months I've got an American friend coming over to visit me for two weeks. This is the first time she has been abroad, and I want to make sure she has a good time.

Show up at the airport to pick her up naked...

with beer.

</WWCVD>

I don't know, but I get the feeling you have a thing for being naked with beer. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I mean everyone has their idiosyncrasies. [Wink]

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Posts: 75 | From: A dark place | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2005 14:51      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If I were visiting in England I'd want to go to a pub with great Celtic/folk musicians. There are some excellent instrument shops over there that I'd want to see too.

Make sure you take her to one of the Oxford colleges (Kings would be a good one) so she can say she's been to Oxford-- 'tis a great conversation starter. Oh! Go see the body of the rhetorician. It's preserved and (was) in a closet somewhere in one of the Oxford colleges.

Horseback riding or bicycling on the moors would be fun. Is the heather blooming yet? Daytrip to Hadrian's Wall?

Where do YOU like to go? Visiting your haunts will be enjoyable for her, I'm sure, if for nothing more than now she knows where you like to hang out.

Oh yeah, when is she visiting? If you can get tickets to a Manchester United game or a local cricket match or polo game, that'd be be fun. I, for one, am curious to see how sports are played/watched in England.

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
spungo
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2005 17:10      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I forgot - the Globe theatre is worth giving a go, and Camden Market, and Portobello Road, and the Trocadero (for arcade games)...
Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2005 18:08      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's the first time she's been a broad? Those could be interesting times indeed.

Hmm...so I've been playing with Google Maps today, given that it now works across the pond - kind of makes me wish I could take another holiday over there again. There's something about leaving the country that gives one a hell of a lot of peace. That, and some good chips. [Razz]

The NYer in me, a long time fan of Rockefeller Center, has a very deep appreciation of Covent Gardens - very nice place to hang out for awhile. Off the top of my head, I can't make any other really good recommendations now - the British Museum is also a pretty nice place to go...but I have a tendency to avoid major sightseeing attractions, and just roam about, so I'll probably be of very little help. *shrug*

Oh well, that's my 2p.

Cheers,
dragon

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2005 18:12      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Did you really mean "a broad"? Or was that just a slip of the finger? Interesting connotations that sentence inspires... [Eek!]

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NOP
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2005 01:00      Profile for NOP     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Bletchley Park ?
Posts: 46 | From: TL050227 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
TechToys
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2005 01:56      Profile for TechToys   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you go to York then visit the Jorvik Centre - it is a recreation of a viking settlement, complete with smells! The York Dungeon is good too, and for a quaint shopping experience visit the Shambles.
It might be fun to visit Edinburgh and Cardiff too if you get a chance - Cardiff Castle is good, and Edinburgh is a great city. If budget allows then a weekend in Dublin is also a memorable experience - and if you go that far you might hire a car and go round the Ring of Kerry - hell of a drive for a day, but awe inspiring scenery.
Coming back to merry old England, the lake district is always good, especially a pub called the Drunken Duck in Ambleside - although I haven't been there is years.
You can get a good overview of the size of London from the London Eye, and see how walkable the distances between the landmarks are.
Hope she enjoys her visit!

Posts: 3 | From: London, Old England | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2005 04:43      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Big Museums can be exhausting and time consuming, nevertheless my favourite London Museum is probably the V & A, because it is so diverse. You never know what you are going to run into around the next corner, and of course it is next door to the Science Museum and the very beautiful Natural History Museum, so you can cater for a number of tastes there. From among the many excellent smaller musems, may I also commend Sir John Soane's Museum. It won't take more than an hour or so to visit, but it marvellous, very eccentric, and very British. One of London's hidden gems.

I live in Brighton, so am biased, but I think it too is a great place for a day out, if that's not too difficult for you, and the Royal Pavillion is the most glorious, decadent, and over the top piece of kitsch you will find anywhere in the UK.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2005 05:43      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
It's the first time she's been a broad? Those could be interesting times indeed.

I'd imagine if she's a broad now, she's been a broad all her life.

[Big Grin]

quote:
Originally posted by Zargof McBain:
I don't know, but I get the feeling you have a thing for being naked with beer. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I mean everyone has their idiosyncrasies. [Wink]

Don't worry, one day you'll understand. [Wink]
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Swiss Mercenary

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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2005 06:20      Profile for Swiss Mercenary     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why York? Why not take her down to the south-west, I have always liked Cornwall. On the way, as to PB's suggestion stop by Stonehenge, after all it is on the main road (A303).
Or you could take her to the Norfolk Broads [Wink] [Razz] [shake head]

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nit
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2005 06:54      Profile for nit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I found the York dungeon to be a little lackluster, although the shambles and jorvik was good.

also if their into quaint englishness then try chester, a walk on the city walls and rows will impress.

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2005 07:07      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd second the Brighton thing (again, with heavy bias) for a day-trip. The Palace Pier is a good for amusement - and fish & chips. The Laines (close by) is an intersting spot to shop for trinkets & general posh crap - and has some splendid Italian restaurants (mmm... banoffee pie... ) There's some neat bookshops there, too. Young folk may like the nightlife - Brighton is teeming with trendy clubs that play loud so-called dance music (which always sounds to me like someone's car alarm, accompanied by a chainsaw hitting a nail - and people saying 'yeah'). [Wink]

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Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
toobe

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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2005 08:03      Profile for toobe   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
It's the first time she's been a broad? Those could be interesting times indeed.

I'd imagine if she's a broad now, she's been a broad all her life.

[Big Grin]


Not necessarily the case! Never assume... [Wink]

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NOP
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2005 08:42      Profile for NOP     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nit:
a walk on the city walls and rows will impress.

How is having a quarrel whilst strolling on the city defences going to impress?
Posts: 46 | From: TL050227 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Alephcat
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2005 14:52      Profile for Alephcat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
it is rows (pronunced like the thing you do in boats with oars) and talking of quarrels, the is still a law in force that you can shoot a Welshman in the leg with a bow if he is inside the walls after dark. Or you could always meet me (see location)

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Aditu
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Icon 1 posted April 21, 2005 18:24      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I vote for visiting York too. I really liked it. I've been twice to Edinburgh, but would have liked to get to Glasgow as it has been really revitalized and has a great new art museum. There are also some restored MacIntosh tea rooms.
When I went with my brother, he really wanted to go to the Imperial War Museum http://www.iwm.org.uk/ I went along as a good sport, but really liked it. It wasn't all guns and tanks.
For a travel guide I would recommend Rick Steves. He is willing to say what stinks and also prioritzes lists of things to see based on the time you have to spend. He also has some good B&Bs listed for someone on a budget. He actually stays at them, so he knows what they are really like. Lonely Planet guides are great for history; they also have good tips on public transport when going to more rural spots.

Posts: 1355 | From: Osten Ard | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
fishd
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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2005 04:44      Profile for fishd     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just a small thought, I wouldn't have thought that given a) the bad US Dollar to Pound exchange rate and b) The UK's notoriously high prices that tottenham court road wouldn't be that appealing for her or you.

She probably won't want to pay the silly prices and you'd get sick of hearing "best buy has that much cheaper after rebates"

If you've the ability to travel comfortably in this god-forsaken country of ours, why not the lake district? Lovely views, excellent tea and cakes and if, IF, the weather plays nice... good days out.

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted April 22, 2005 05:27      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Really there is so much to choose from but to some extent it depends on your geographic location and how easy travelling is (i.e. whether or not you have a car/motorbike or have to use public transport).

If you can't afford the time/expense of long journeys I suggest a trip to your local Tourist Information Centre - they will be able to advise you on local places of interest... Ask at the library or your TIC for a copy of "Great Days Out" which lists hundreds of attractions from little local museums etc. right up to the big commercial attractions (Alton Towers etc.) broken down into regions (and well worth the £10 or so to buy).

Also I recommend looking out for "events" at castles and stately homes... Re-enactment societies, plays, opera, music days, etc.

Hope you find something you'll both enjoy and remember with pleasure for a long time to come...

[Smile]

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Posts: 1937 | From: Suffolk England | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged


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