England trip

Mom & I are going to England this next week, yeah! (sort of putting it together at the last minute)

We’ll be doing London, Yorkshire, the Lake District, then Avebury.

Any recommendations for things to do in those areas?

I highly recommend going to a book store and sitting down in the travel section with a notebook and research all the Great Britian Travel books. My favorite is Eyewitness Guide to Great Britian ( $29.95, DK Publishing) which is extremely informative, organized and uncluttered.)

ALSO, there should be maps in the section. See if they carry a wonder map called, MAPEASY. The guide to London is excellent and easy to read compared to the regular Rand Mcnally-ish maps of the world. (mapeasy.com) does not accept outside advertising and has recommendations on it’s product from travelers for hotels, eats, shopping and tourism.

A couple things you must see:

The Royal Mews – all the queens coaches and horse stables. Located on the south side of Buckingham Palace.

Kensington Palace Tour – Located all the way to the west in gorgeous Hyde Park (you should set aside a couple of hours just to stroll there – don’t miss Speaker’s Corner!).

The Crown Jewels – Found in the Tower of London. Take the tour, it’s worth it. Really cool conveyor belts force you to move along. No flash photography.

Thames Boat Tour – Take the one which drops you off in Greenwich. Eat lunch there (less crowded).

Sherlock Holmes House – For the life of me I cannot remember the address right now. Something like 12 1/2 Baker Street. Anyway, it’s there, as Doyle described it. Quite small, but they have the most interesting period scientific and police paraphenalia. Have your photo taken in Holmes’ chair before his hearth.

Make sure you ride the Underground and take a taxi. You’l be the life of your next cocktail party.

I ignored most of the “normal” crap that tourists do there such as the changing of the guard and seeing the shows at Piccadilly Circus. These are the things that still stick out in my mind eight years after my visit.

www.ask.com search for British slang so you know the language:-)

British Museum, British Museum, British Museum! Make sure you have at LEAST a full day (two would be even better). The Tate Gallery is also very cool, and Charing Cross Road is absolute heaven if you like book shopping. Also, the new Globe is worth seeing if you’re a theater buff like me (especially if you can get tickets to a performance – the season may be over, though).

I spent a couple of days in the Lake District but wasn’t very impressed – the place is SWARMING with tourists, and there isn’t much to see besides Wordsworth’s house. But that was in July, so it may be better in the off-season.

“Had I been around at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.”

  • Alfonso X

Beatrix Potter’s house is right on one of the lakes in the lake district. If you read her books as a kid that would probably be a terrific highlight to see with your mom.

If you’re driving, miles in the lake district are MUCH longer than in the rest of England. Allow lots of extra time to get where you’re going. Seriously, you quickly realize that A & B roads do not have uniform standards & that it’s a good thing the lake district is scenic… 30-40 miles in an hour is making pretty good time there.

Otherwise, I’d strongly recommend that at least a few nights, you stop at a local pub for dinner. Don’t expect great food or 35-degree beer/ale, but it’s fun to rub elbows with the locals & get to know what’s not in the tourist guides.

Sue from El Paso

<font face=“abadi mt condensed light”>221 B Baker Street. You should be able to remember that. It is, after all, elementary.</font>

“The truth is uncontrovertible. Panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may destroy it, but there it is.”-Sir Winston Churchill

Blimey! Lumme! Gawd sav’us! (look those up in English slang).

This is just a prelude to a probable embarrassment (but you’re such a pleasant bunch that I don’t mind).

There’s really a Sherlock Holmes memorial at 221B Baker Street?! I thought it was actually a Buidling Society, and they just dealt with postal enquiries (N.B. I lived in London for 33 years)

Thank you, my dear bostaph!

And yes glee 221B Baker is open to the public. Some type of society purchased the property and brought in all kinds of stuff from Doyle’s detective’s background. It’s a three- or four-story walk up, quite narrow. The first floor is administrative. They’ve got a dude dressed up as a Boby down there. Then there’s the laboratory, living spaces and a violin conservatory. It was an excellent way to spend an hour or two on a rainy London afternoon.

Of course bobies are passe. The dude now dresses up as a bobbie, or bobby, or London cop, or … whatever.

The double decker buses are slow.Use the subway as much as possible. Trains? Hmm…

Thanks for the info - I’ll visit 221B next time I’m in London.
Policeman get called all sorts of nicknames: ‘Bobby’ would be correct for the Sherlock Holmes period, since they were introduced by Sir Robert Peel. They were also called ‘Peelers’ (lucky he wasn’t Sir Robert Bug).
Current TV series use ‘Cops’ and ‘the Bill’. I’ve also heard of ‘Rozzers’, ‘Pigs/Fuzz’ (I think they’re from the US), ‘Sweeney’* and ‘The Law’ (perhaps from ‘Judge Dredd’?).

*‘The Sweeney’ was a old TV series somewhat like ‘Starsky and Hutch’. There was lots of drinking, car chases and sexist behaviour. My police friends say it certainly used to be like that!

Sunbear is right that the buses are slow, but if you sit upstairs you see a lot.
The subway (‘Tube’) is quick, but gets crowded in commuter times (0800-0930, 1630-1800). Buy a Travelcard (from Tube stations, newsagents), which is valid for Tube + buses, (but not taxis). You can get daily or weekly versions.
It may be heresy to American drivers, but you can walk everywhere in London. Just get a street map for tourists (the airport should have one, or there will be tourist offices at main rail + tube stations. If you get tired (or wet!), grab a passing taxi, or head for the Tube.

If you’re doing Yorkshire, make sure you vist the city of York itself. It’s got the second largest cathedral in Europe, and it’s a beautiful medieval city overall.


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

This might be a little of a stretch,
but have you looked at www.england.com ?

And of course, there’s the old family farm (I wish!):

Kew Gardens - http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/

Bob Kew

Bob the Random Expert
“If we don’t have the answer, we’ll make one up.”