Places to visit in England
I have been wanting to go to England for years. Still probably won't get there for a few years yet, but....
I am wondering what are the must sees there? I would want to go for like a month or two and try and stay in different parts of the country for like a week at a time. I am a country girl so, while I would plan to at least visit London (because it's London), but then try and stay in the country for the most part.
I was looking at hotels (not liking how 'classy' they were) and B&B's (Loved the look of some of them!). What would be the best type of places to stay?
I would love to be able to take a 4 day cooking course out at River Cottage (Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall) as well.
So far on my list to visit are: Yorkshire, London, Dorset,
Add other must sees to my list please! Countryside is a must, animals (all types) and of course lots of horses!
We recently got a girl at work who is here visiting her dad for the summer and she is from England. I am picking her brain as well. Just have to bring a pen and paper next time. :-)
WOW, big request, remember it is a tiny country, but it takes for ever to get anywhere because of the congestion.
How are you travelling around?
Not sure... I've never left North America. I still need to learn to drive in a big city. This is a couple years ahead for me.
I'm not sure what I would do to get around, rent a car seems like it would be the best option for going out in the country... but it could get interesting driving on the the other side of the road and all. :-)
Some people have no problem driving on the other side. Others really struggle. At least that's what my family and friends have experienced.
I'm going to Ireland this fall, and the advice I've gotten is when visiting England, etc. and Ireland B&Bs are the way to go. I'll have more of an opinion after I return, I suppose.
Have fun with the dreaming, planning, and the trip!
I did a similar thing in reverse and loved seeing the 'real' USA.
I became vert friendly with a group on the net and stayed with different ones of them started in VA - very like the UK in many ways, went to NC which was like being in a sauna, then to ID which I absolutely loved then on to CO which was also beautiful.
I didn't drive I was driven by these people!
So, I would suggest that you either start or finish in London as that is where you will fly to and from. Whatever you do I would say do not even attempt to drive in London - I know the city fairly well but never drive there. It is easy to get around with the trains and buses.
UK roads are nothing like those in the US. Even the motorways (freeways) aren't straight and, as said, it can take far longer to travel any distance because of the amount of traffic and hold ups on the roads.
Gas prices are astronomical, (gas $7.8 pr US gallon) (Diesel $8.13) Trains are easier but also costly.
Traffic lights are different in that they are rarely overhead, but by the side of the road and we have roundabouts and I never saw one of them in the US!
Dorset is a beautiful area - as is Yorkshire. A rough distance of 250 miles but without hold ups will take over 4 hours to get to.
I will be living on the Isle of Wight and would be more than willing to have you stay and take you around there and possibly Dorset too (I am living in Dorset at the moment) so places to stay are easy to find (with friends)
The West Country ( Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Cornwall) are all beautiful. There is such diversity of landscapes.
Make friends with people on forums and then you will find cheap lodgings!
PM me of you are interested.
Try and time your visit for one of the major equestrian events. Badminton horse trials is on first weekend in may, Bramham is early june (normaly around the 2nd weekend), Burghley is last weekend in august. Royal Windsor Horse show is on the first of May (during the week), Great Yorkshire is on in early july. There are major events on most weeks during summer if you wanted a "British" equestrian experiance
Deffinatly take a trip to the Lake district and to Snowdonia if you can!
Youth hostels are your friend if you want to do it on a budget and most of them are actualy quite nice.
My favourite places here are London, The Souths Downs are fabulous, Durham Cathedral is stunning (where "Elizabeth" was filmed), York is an interesting city, Dorset beaches are lovely but travelling around Dorset and Cornwall can be absolutley awful, Oxford is another great city. There are lots of beautiful villages all over the place.
The New Forest for wildlife and the ponies (which look fine in the summer but can be in terrible condition in the winter), you will see cattle and sheep and ponies all over the roads there.
For beautiful horses you should try some of the big Shows, - South Of England (local to me:wink:) or similar. I'm sure if you have some dates we could find events which are on then:-).
Shropshire is beautiful, rolling, green, horsey, and very very English. Plenty of B&B's. Hills, valleys, Ludlow, Bridgnorth. Near to Worcestershire and Wales.
Planning a tour of the UK from Saska is quite a daunting task. For a Canadian there is just so much to see in England. First you have to consider how much time you have to look at what you have decided to see. Secondly you have to work out how much money you have to spend. And then there is the question of whether you are a watcher or a doer.
I suppose London is a must for you but can you afford to stay there for long? It is one of the world's most expensive cities to visit. It is also very crowded with probably nine million people living in it at any one time - that's if they all stood still long enough for them to be counted.
No, you can't plan to drive - the traffic is fast, crowded and chaotic. And you have to drive on the wrong side of the road under the ever present eyes of the traffic cameras. And where will you park it at night?
My suggestion is that in the first year you book yourself a riding holiday. In doing so you'll make some friends and you'll learn for yourself what you want to see on the next trip. But even that holiday will be expensive.
Another route would be to make a pen friend - whom you could make a deal with ie you visit them and they visit you.
It is quite likely that if your family is of British origin that you'll have some relatives in the UK. Try finding them.
For an American or Canadian, the British are yet another group of stubborn foreigners who happen to speak a version of the English language. But the common language hides a multitude of differences in philosophy.
If you were a New Yorker, then I'd say "Pop over for a few days of sightseeing in London" and then come back when you have saved more money. But a girl from rural Saska - well remember the UK is only 95,000 square miles in total on which about 66 million people live and that there are more languages spoken in London than any other city in the world.
Within a few miles of where I live you can visit stoneage ruins, a ruined Roman town, several medieval castles. You can ride a horse, enter a dressage competition, watch a football match, go to the opera, attend a concert, swim in the sea, climb a small mountain, sail a boat, etc etc etc etc - ie do whatever is your fancy. However to watch the Queen's birthday parade or visit The Tower or walk down Oxford Street or enter the Houses of Parliament, then you'll have to stay in expensive London. Anyway it would be better if you could find a Londoner to show you around.
Start making a list of what you want to see and then start saving your money. (But don't neglect your horse)
London is an amazing city but so crowded in the summer I think you miss too much and its so expensive too
I love Edinburgh and the UK has some wonderful coastal towns all around though Pembrokeshire, Wales is about my favourite place for beaches.
I miss the Cotswolds most of all, Cheltenham is my 'birthplace' and all the rural villages around there like Bourton on the Water are just lovely and still so 'Olde English' as are the Shropshire villages
There are County Shows all through the summer where you'll see the UK horse show scene - quite different to the US one
Look up some of the ancestral homes like Blenheim, Warwick castle etc too and places like The Black Country Museum.
If you hire a car and have only ever driven an automatic then specifically ask for one as driving on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road will be enough to deal with - most UK cars are manual (stick/gear stick operated)
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