Going to UK in late May for a week next year. Any recommendations on what to do?

I’ll be staying in Cardiff with friends but will probably take a couple day trips to London and whatever other places are a reasonable distance.

I’m looking for some neat memorable things to do, and I want to avoid long lines. Tourist areas are fine, but no long lines please. I don’t need to see the crown jewels or anything like that.

I would also like a recommendation on a nice, romantic restaurant for one of the nights. I’ts our 25th. Willing to spend a few hundred bucks on that.

Can you give us an indication of your interests?

Also for the anniversary, dining likes/dislikes (eg style, cuisine etc). Will your restaurant treat need to be in Cardiff? Or would you like an overnight somewhere?

My guess is I’ll be doing some day trips only, probably spend most of the time around Cardiff. I will probably do a couple of day trips to London. If there’s any other awesome places in that range I’d love to hear about them. The restaurant experience will probably be London unless there’s something exceptional in Cardiff. I have a wide variety of food I like, but probably would prefer a traditional semi-formal dining experience.

Interests. Hmm. Well, I love history. I am somewhat of an Anglophile, love Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, (I am not going to Highclere castle though), the Crown, etc. Would like to see some cool castles, museums, WWII stuff.

London isn’t that close to Cardiff. It’s a two and a half hour trip station to station, so make that three hours door to door. Plan on staying overnight in London unless you like seriously long days.

Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.

When I was there we went to Bath and saw the hot springs there. It wasn’t the most exciting tour imaginable, but as an American it’s crazy to me that I’m staring at something that the ancient Greeks used to visit and that blows my mind. IIRC it wasn’t a huge tourist trap, so lines weren’t an issue

Cardiff is my home town, and though I don’t live there now I visit enough to be able to recommend Pitch in the city centre as a reasonably priced welsh traditional restaurant. Do book though as it is small. I’m sure your friends will have recommendations too but I really enjoyed a meal there recently. Probably not for your anniversary, but tidy (as we say in Cardiff!)
Luckily for you Cardiff not only has a castle in the middle of the city, but you can cycle, mostly through woods, from there to Caerphilly Castle via Castle Coch - about 11 miles total.

It’s also where Dr Who is made so there’s always an exhibition or filming going on.

For scenery I’d go west to the Gower peninsula just over an hour away

I would strongly recommend going to the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff centre to watch Glamorgan play cricket. If you’re in the UK in the summer - surely you have to see some cricket!

Have a great time.


Cardiff to Stonehenge? Under two hours if you fancy it.

Just down the road is Newport, not so much a town, more a state of mind

I actually know very little about that area but I have driven down through the Wye valley, Hereford and Ross-on-Wye were rather lovely and they’re only an hour or so drive away.

I’ll add some more suggestions later, but for the moment, one of my favourite castles in the U.K. is at Caerphilly, which is only a 30 minute drive from central Cardiff.

For a romantic dinner in London, look at Clos Maggiore, but book early and ask for a table in the Conservatory. It’s French cuisine, and a bit more towards formal, rather than semi-formal.

The last time I visited the Roman baths in Bath, which was on a Friday afternoon in the spring of last year, there was a seriously long queue. Do what I did and visit the other museums, buying the combined ticket there first. The baths are the very definition of a tourist trap. But still one of the most extraordinary historical sites in Britain.

A day in Bristol would also be worth considering.

Right then, history. Bath has been mentioned, and I’d say is a must from where you’re staying. As well as being home to the Roman Baths whereby it gets its name, it’s also just about the most perfectly preserved example of a Georgian town you’ll ever see. Really stunningly beautiful. Jane Austin lived there for a while, and you can visit her old home.

You can get a train from Cardiff to Bath, check out times at the GWR website. You can also check trains to London here. Note that trains before 9.30 cost an arm and a leg, as it’s peak commuter time, so travel at other times to save a packet, and book tickets in advance for better prices.

As for castles, Wales has more per square mile than any other country in the world (mainly built by the English to subjugate the Welsh, I should add). It’s worth perusing the Visit Wales website for some suggestions. You may need a car for many of them.

I’ll keep thinking…

In London, as you mention WW11 as an interest, be sure to visit Churchill’s Headquarters. A very good visit.

That would be the ‘Churchill War Rooms’ - the underground bunkers where he conducted a chuck of the war effort whilst under fire.

The Imperial War Museum is also brilliant for WW1 and 11 (this is a separate museum from the above, even though they share a website).

Both sites are under the auspices of the Imperial War Museum, along with their Duxford site (a superb museum for aircraft generally. Plus you’re quite likely to see a Spitfire in the air) and the HMS Belfast just near London Bridge. If the OP intends to visit two or more of the IWM’s sites, a membership is cheaper than the individual entry fees.

As for London restaurants, well, there’s 1000s, so it’s really hard to pick one for you.

I suggest you go to Hardens.com (the UK equivalent of Zagat’s) for some guidance.

If you like seafood, then two famous restaurants are Scott’s and J Sheekeys.

My current favourite is Luca, a smart contemporary italian, but it isn’t that central.

One of my other favourites that’s more central, in Soho, is Bocca di Lupo (I do love a smart italian).

It may be worth saying at this point that Novelty was joking - Newport is a grey miserable town.

Former girlfriend and I had a dinner at the Ivy when we were in London and it was a good meal. She really wanted to go there because it’s apparently where all the celebrities eat and she wanted to see one. I scoffed at the idea but figured I’d take her out somewhere nice. Ended up eating a stone’s throw away from Robin Williams so a point to her I guess

God yes, I really hope that was clear from the comedy video but you are correct to make it clear.

I’m serious about the Wye valley though, that’s rather lovely.