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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Where To Go In England?

    For a number of reasons, Iím thinking of making a trip to England. Iíve been before, on a working trip, and managed to see a few things while I was there; but Iíd like a longer trip this time, with less mad rush and more calm enjoyment.

    Iím not a city person, and I was working in London last time, so I donít need to spend more time there. I also visited Oxford and enjoyed it, but I feel like Iíve done Oxford.

    I have a vague notion of the Lake Country, in that it probably has some lakes, but I couldnít say more than that. Highclere Castle is a must. Cornwall also seems lovely.

    Beyond thatÖIím open to suggestions. I like woodsy areas, lakes and streams, anything to do with prehistoric occupation. Based on that, where should I go?

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    It's not England per se, but I took a ferry out to the Shetlands, and really enjoyed it there.
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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    The Peak District would be my recommendation--IMHO the area around Ladybower Reservoir is some of the most attractive landscape in the country. If you're more into natural lakes then the Lake District (not Lake Country) is a good place--there's the ruins of a Roman fort at the top of Hardknott Pass, and I believe there are quite a few pre-Roman sites around the area as well.

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    If you want woodlands, the New Forest might be a good idea. There aren't any proper, ancient, wild forests in the UK anymore, unfortunately, but the New Forest has trees in it, at least. I've been to the Lake District once, years ago, but I can't remember much about it. Can't even remember where we stayed... To be honest I think Snowdonia in north Wales is nicer (sorry, Cumbria).

    If you're going to Highclere Castle (and the New Forest), you'd be a fool to miss Salisbury and Stonehenge. It's right there, you know? If you do feel like visiting a city, Bath is very nice. The Roman baths are definitely worth a visit. Portsmouth is good if you're into naval history.

    This should be your primary source for prehistoric sites in England. There are some great prehistoric sites in Scotland too *cough* Skara Brae *cough*, but that might be a bit out of your way. I was actually at Maeshowe and Stenness a couple of weeks ago, as it happens...

    Cornwall is... rainy. We used to go there every year when we were kids, and it always poured down the whole time. The sea is always freezing cold, it's usually too windy to enjoy the beaches, you can drive for miles without any sign of civilisation. A good place to go camping and escape from the world, I suppose, but I feel like I've had my fill of it for a lifetime... Tintagel Castle is kind of cool, and I remember enjoying Goonhilly Earth Station. Just make sure you've got a good raincoat.
    Last edited by Ninja_Prawn; 2019-09-27 at 01:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    If you like castles and rough nature, Wales is also a good option. I've been there and it was great. One tip: if you're going to climb Mount Snowdon, make sure you are in better condition than I am, otherwise take the train (what I did going down because I didn't trust my legs anymore, they were that wobbly).

    Or go to the vicinity of Stratford-Upon-Avon if you like Shakespeare. There's also a lot of beautiful nature and not far from it is Warwick Castle. In summer they have a trebuchet they fire every day. That was quite spectacular.
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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    The Peak District would be my recommendation
    Quote Originally Posted by farothel View Post
    If you like castles and rough nature, Wales is also a good option.
    Speaking as a Welshman who had many childhood holidays in the Peak District (mostly around the Bakewell area) I can heartly endorse both of these ideas.

    Hometown plug, if you want to see a range of castles the Cardiff/Carephilly area is worth a visit. The Marquis of Bute restored a number of medieval castles (with admitedly a bit of creative spin on one as he wanted to use it as one of his 12 homes) and they are very impressive. Caerphilly Castle (real hometown plug) is one of the largest medival castles ever built and also has the often pictured but rarely built water filled moat. It also has seige engines, in fact the first modern working trebuchet reconstruction was done there.

    They are not too far from the Breacon Beacons, a national park, and St Fagan's museum of Welsh Life, a building museum.

    I mean it, it is a place where they have dismantled buildings from a WWII era Post Office all the way back to early medieval farm buildings.

    If you like living history Llancaiach Fawr is in the same general area, its set during the English Civil War. The staff really know their roles and period.
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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil DM Mark3 View Post
    The Marquis of Bute restored...
    Ugh. As a member of the Heritage industry, that name never fails to make me shudder...
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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    Ugh. As a member of the Heritage industry, that name never fails to make me shudder...
    I can see it, but there is no way Caerphilly castle would still exist as more than a small pile of stones any other way.
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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    A lot depends on what type of thing you find interesting.

    Personally I don't think Stonehenge worth the ticket price, but if you like neolithic monuments, then also in the same area and free is the Avebury stone circle (you just have to pay for parking) and you can get right up to the stones, unliek with stonehenge.
    If you like cathedrals (most are Norman in origin) then most cities have something of interest - in addition to Salisbury, Winchester is close by with an impressive cathedral etc.

    Going further west, Wookey Hole caves probvably are worth the price (and as someone who grew up close to them I must go back to see the newly opened caverns*). They are also close to Wells (another cathedral, but one that did not have an associated monastery so survived Henry VIII) and Glastonbury (tower on a hill, ruined abbey and a huge number of "new age" shops).
    Not set up as a tourist attraction, but impressive if you know about it are the remains of the roman leadworkings at Priddy just on top of the mendip hills nearby. The Longleat estate has a fair bit of interest - Tudor house, safari park, hedge maze and nicely maitained gardens.

    Wales has a lot of interest - I like the old gold mines at Dolaucothi; if you are a fan of the TV series "The Prisoner" then Portmerion is a must (NW Wales, near Snowdon).

    Etc, etc, etc. IF you can give us more guidance of what sort of thing you think you like we can sggest more options for you to look up in advance.

    Oh, also important - what form of transport do you expect to have in the UK?


    * I mean some time in the last 20 years - I haven't been for over 30.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Almost anywhere in England and Wales (I can't comment on Scotland, though I know that can get properly wild) you can find something hilly, something very old, something literary, something posh and something new, and something town/cityesque fairly close.

    A lot of it is, not interchangable, but kind of competing on the same space. Similarly with towns.

    The big exception being East Anglia (which is marshy, still nice) and nearby, and actual London (but there you have the Downs) or Birmingham.

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Quote Originally Posted by jayem View Post
    The big exception being East Anglia
    I was born and raised in Essex, so if you want things to do in East Anglia... you've clearly made some questionable life choices I might be able to help.

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    Colchester Castle is probably the biggest attraction. Hedingham Castle is good when they do the jousting events. Mountfitchet Castle is pretty good, and Cressing Temple Barns if there's a craft fair on. The Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch is worth a visit and the Imperial War Museum at Duxford (Cambridgeshire) is excellent - they do air shows a couple of days in the summer. There's classic seaside attractions at Southend and Clacton if you're into that. Epping Forest and Hanningfield Reservoir are places to see trees, though the Norfolk Broads are probably better if you want to see natural wetlands.

    Perhaps more importantly, the southeast is the warmest, driest part of the UK. If you like that kind of weather, that could be a good reason to spend some time there.
    Last edited by Ninja_Prawn; 2019-09-27 at 03:51 PM.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    The Lake District is beautiful, but it is also truly astonishingly crowded during the summer. If you don't mind dressing warmly and can stand a bit of rain, I suggest going in October or November.

    Stonehenge, similarly - it should be awesome, but today that awe is badly damaged by the touristic exploitation. I suggest just driving past and not stopping to pay money. On Salisbury Plain, don't neglect to look up - there is something about the sky there that you need to see. Nearby Avebury is worth a look, as mentioned, and so is the White Horse of Uffington.

    The Welsh border country is another place of beauty. The city of Worcester (scene of the last battle of the English Civil Wars) is one of the better preserved old towns.

    East Anglia is widely neglected by visitors and scorned by locals, but it has a kind of charm all its own. Consider visiting Dunwich, the city that fell into the sea. Ely Cathedral is amazing. Southwold or Orford are good places to stay, particularly if you like seafood. If you are there in June, the Aldeburgh Music Festival is also well worth looking into.
    Last edited by veti; 2019-09-27 at 05:14 PM.

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    And if you need tips on the do's and don'ts, or some other things about the UK (all it's parts), you can check out a chanel named Wolter's World on YouTube. It's a travel chanel with great advice on loads of things and the Mark has been in quite a lot of places in the UK. Whenever I travel to someplace new, I Always try to see if he has a video about it. They also have a website with links to all their videos by destination (I don't know the URL but it's below every video on YouTube), which might be useful to search.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    I was born and raised in Essex, so if you want things to do in East Anglia... you've clearly made some questionable life choices I might be able to help.

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    Colchester Castle is probably the biggest attraction. Hedingham Castle is good when they do the jousting events. Mountfitchet Castle is pretty good, and Cressing Temple Barns if there's a craft fair on. The Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch is worth a visit and the Imperial War Museum at Duxford (Cambridgeshire) is excellent - they do air shows a couple of days in the summer. There's classic seaside attractions at Southend and Clacton if you're into that. Epping Forest and Hanningfield Reservoir are places to see trees, though the Norfolk Broads are probably better if you want to see natural wetlands.

    Perhaps more importantly, the southeast is the warmest, driest part of the UK. If you like that kind of weather, that could be a good reason to spend some time there.
    I was mainly referring to the lack of hills in East Anglia.
    In terms of the prehistoric you have Grimes Graves (Flint Mines) and Flag Fen (reconstructed Brone age).

    If Downton Abbey is essential (and there will be some relevant impressive stately home near whereever you choose). Then perhaps consider Hampshire straight off,
    You have Salisbury/Winchester as the historic towns
    Navy stuff at Portsmouth
    Isle of Wight
    The henges and Danebury for the prehistory.
    Sufficient rural bits for shallow woodland and small fields
    New forest

    All within 60 or so miles (NB a similar list could be done for elsewhere, 60 miles is massive)
    Last edited by jayem; 2019-09-28 at 05:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Speaking as someone who was born and raised on the Isle of Wight...

    Only go there if you like boats. The Isle of Wight sucks, there's nothing there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki Akuma View Post
    Speaking as someone who was born and raised on the Isle of Wight...

    Only go there if you like boats. The Isle of Wight sucks, there's nothing there.
    Definitely don't base there, (although my parents had a nice holiday there), to be honest it's probably if anything more concentrated than most areas*, but you can't just go to the next place across.

    *Rutland is slightly bigger but has a third of the population, and probably about half the castles etc... But it is right next to Leicester, North Northants, Peterborough and south Lincs (plus you probably wouldn't holiday in Rutland anyway)

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki Akuma View Post
    Speaking as someone who was born and raised on the Isle of Wight...

    Only go there if you like boats. The Isle of Wight sucks, there's nothing there.
    I have a tendency to say the same thing about London (Except the boats - although I have had a few surprises crossing the Thames). Hasn't stopped my family having our annual holiday there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    I have a tendency to say the same thing about London (Except the boats - although I have had a few surprises crossing the Thames). Hasn't stopped my family having our annual holiday there.
    You live in Essex and have your annual holidays in London? Seems a bit close by!

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    It's kind of weird. I studied/worked in the city for 10 years, commuting from Chelmsford, so to me they're basically the same place. But for my mum, 'going into London-town' was an exotic day out she'd take a few times a year. So, like, I could see it.
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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    You live in Essex and have your annual holidays in London? Seems a bit close by!
    Sorry - I didn't type that very well.

    The family holiday is on the Isle of Wight. I was pointing out that if you live/work somewhere you have a tendency to forget how interesting the place can be.
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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    I suppose we should ask, Palanan, what are you looking for exactly? Wilderness, rural areas, history, culture?

    One of the better things about living in the UK is that, outside of a few places like Milton Keens, everywhere has stuff that's old, unusual or potentially interesting. For example, you know that red-and-white stripped lighthouse you see a lot in fiction as just "generic lighthouse"? I live near that. It has an interesting, complex and detailed story, if you are interested in lighthouses, hubris, the priorities of kings or unlikely medical history. I think a lot of people forget just how much interesting stuff we have.

    On the other hand, what we don't have a lot of is "not urban". When we first went to visit my relatives in a village about 25 minutes from where we lived my now-wife-then-very-close-university-friend-from-Canada didn't realise we had left the city and passed through a large town because while the buildings thinned out a lot there was no actual break in the buildings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil DM Mark3 View Post
    One of the better things about living in the UK is that, outside of a few places like Milton Keens, everywhere has stuff that's old, unusual or potentially interesting. For example, you know that red-and-white stripped lighthouse you see a lot in fiction as just "generic lighthouse"? I live near that.
    Smeaton's Tower on Plymouth Hoe, right? Been up that myself. Not somewhere to be if you're claustrophobic or afraid of heights, though!

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    If you do want to do Stonehenge, I'd advise a walk around it rather than just the touristy stretch from the museum to the stones. This walk from the NAtional trust takes in a lot of the related monuments in the area - Woodhenge (not much to see here tbh), Durrington Walls, the cursus, King Barrows etc. I did it last year, it is quite nice. You won;t be able to get into the monument itself from here I think - you gt close but you'll need to relocate to the main car park to get a ticket.

    https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sto...-to-stonehenge

    If you are interested in the Lake District, Hadrian's wall is pretty close - some nice walking there, and variious Roman-era museums & sites. I also agree there is some lovely walking in Wales, and some nice castles.
    It is worth having a look at the National trust website (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk) which covers a lot of sites around the country you might like to have a look at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    For a number of reasons, Iím thinking of making a trip to England. Iíve been before, on a working trip, and managed to see a few things while I was there; but Iíd like a longer trip this time, with less mad rush and more calm enjoyment.

    Iím not a city person, and I was working in London last time, so I donít need to spend more time there. I also visited Oxford and enjoyed it, but I feel like Iíve done Oxford.

    I have a vague notion of the Lake Country, in that it probably has some lakes, but I couldnít say more than that. Highclere Castle is a must. Cornwall also seems lovely.

    Beyond thatÖIím open to suggestions. I like woodsy areas, lakes and streams, anything to do with prehistoric occupation. Based on that, where should I go?
    Based mainly on the bolded comments:
    In England:
    Overall, for streams and lakes, and a few lovely bits of woodland between the expanses of sheep pasture, you can't really beat the Lake District. Ullswater is my personal favourite of the lakes there, but Grasmere and Rydal Water are more wooded. In terms of prehistoric or early historic sites, it also has at least its fair share of stone circles, roman forts etc. It also has ace hill walking or scrambling if you're into that. Downsides are that the Lake District is a bit trickier to get around by public transport than some other bits of England, and, as has been said, it's overwhelmed by tourists in summer. Better to go in the other three seasons of the year, when it's calmer. Alternatively, if you want somewhere quieter and less well known, maybe try Kielder Forest Park?

    In other parts of the UK:
    - The wilds of the highlands in Scotland (but preferably not in summer on the West Coast, because midges), are majestic and bloody marvellous, and there's no shortage of lakes and streams. My personal favourite corner is the Isle of Skye, although that doesn't fulfil the lakes or woodland criteria so well, and is also not the easiest bit to get to. Also there are a ton of lakes in the two largest natural parks, in the forms of the Grampians, or of Loch Lomand and the Trossachs. Generally speaking you're talking more mountainous terrain than the UK.
    - Snowdonia in Wales is also well worth a look, especially if you like hilly to mountainous terrain.

    Quote Originally Posted by jayem View Post
    Almost anywhere in England and Wales (I can't comment on Scotland, though I know that can get properly wild) you can find something hilly, something very old, something literary, something posh and something new, and something town/cityesque fairly close.
    This is true, with the cited exceptions of the odd flat bits where there's nothing hilly and some outlying islands where there's not much going on full stop. Also holds for much of Scotland, although there are also bits of Scotland where you're a long way from anywhere town / cityesque... which I doubt the OP would mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvelynHarper View Post
    visit big ben
    Even if it wasn't in the middle of a four-year programme of renovations, the interior of the tower isn't accessible to overseas visitors.

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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Given your interests, I'll say screw England and come to Wales, because England sucks and Wales is best (totally not someone who lives in Wales, innocentwhistle).

    Betws-Y-Coed has some nice walks around there and the town itself is lovely. https://www.visitbetwsycoed.co.uk/The-Area/Walking/

    Alternatively there's some nice walks around Cwm Idwal http://www.snowdoniaguide.com/cwm_idwal.html, and the place has a great story regarding king arthur. Basically a lot of places use the area for king arthur films because it's kinda sorta not really probably the loose approximation of the area mentioned in some of the stories. So, rather than take their props with them, some film studios just dumped prop swords in the small lakes around there.

    So, if you're ever in the area, you might find, as others have done, a rusty sword held by a glove at the bottom of the lake- it's not Excalibur, Caledfwch, or Caliburn or any other famous sword of historic value, but it certainly was called that for a movie once!



    Beyond that, I recommend Aber Falls, and deffo check out the new distillery in the area, they make whiskey near there now.

    Oh, if you come over to Anglesey, go across menai bridge, past the waitrose, then on the left next to jade gardens restaraunt there's a nice walk down to church island, and the woods around there are a nice gentle walk. (I live not far from there and sometimes go for runs around there)

    Plus plenty of spots for low sea-level pictures of both bridges.
    never piss off people for who one of their main hobbies involves aggressive and thorough note-taking.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    London, UK

    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    In addition to my comment above, I'd second Malphegor's recommendation of Betws-y-Coed, although I'm ashamed to say I can't personally comment on Anglesey as I've yet to visit.

    One small note on travelling in the UK though: the further west you go, the wetter it generally gets, since most of the rain comes in off the Atlantic. And parts of Wales can be very rainy indeed (although Betws is relatively sheltered in the rainshadow of Snowdon and the Glyders).

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Check to see if this is still the case, but there is a beach in England where Lego's wash ashore from a cargo container that fell off of a ship.. I would like to go see this for myself someday.

    I have a friend who is a registrar for a museum, and gets to babysit the artwork . . . basically tell the moving guys that they cannot risk banging up a multi-million-dollar painting (packed in a crate) by jerking it up the stairway on a hand-truck. At any rate she gets to go all over the world as part of her job. She loves Wales, and says that it is adorable like a elf village.
    Last edited by darkrose50; 2019-10-04 at 08:36 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    Quote Originally Posted by darkrose50 View Post
    She loves Wales, and says that it is adorable like a elf village.
    Speaking of Wales and fantasy villages, I guess there's Portmeirion? Perhaps better known as the village where they filmed the 60s series "The Prisoner", but it's a real place that can be visited, and I think you can even rent places to stay there.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Aedilred's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Bristol
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    Default Re: Where To Go In England?

    As always, it depends largely on what you want to do on your visit and what youíre interested in seeing. As people have said, unless you want to see something specific, you can do almost anything anywhere (except for top-end museums and culture, in which case itís really just London) and really wild countryside (which is not really available anywhere, but Scotland and the North are better).

    Although Iím biased, I think you could do a lot worse than to base yourself in Bristol. Within striking distance you have prehistoric monuments (Stonehenge, Avebury, Maiden Castle), medieval castles (Corfe, Berkeley, Chepstow), cathedrals (Salisbury, Wells), pleasant countryside (the Gower, the Cotswolds and Quantocks), Regency spa towns (Bath, Cheltenham), stately homes (Dyrham, Tyntesfield) plus all the amenities of two moderately large cities for eating out etc. (Cardiff is not far either). Stratford and even London are close enough for day trips, should you be so minded.
    Last edited by Aedilred; 2019-10-08 at 06:53 AM.
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