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Trip to England

Been to someplace of historical interest? Planning a trip? Have a question? Post here!
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SarahWoodbury
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Location: Pendleton, Oregon
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Postby SarahWoodbury » Tue September 7th, 2010, 9:52 pm

I might make a pitch for some of the Welsh castles in Gwynedd if you have time. Dolbadarn and Dolwyddelan (not to mention Aber Garth Celyn) are all options between Harlech and Caernarfon. They do involve something of a hike as they are more remote.
http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/?p=923
http://www.castlewales.com/dolw.html
http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/?p=1088
http://www.garthcelyn.com/

M.M. Bennetts

Postby M.M. Bennetts » Tue September 7th, 2010, 10:33 pm

Before you go wild with all the places you might go, bear in mind, you'll have eight to ten hours of solid driving to get you from London to Edinburgh--and that's if the traffic's moving well and there are no maddening road works up in Northumberland with speed restrictions. And it's another hour and a half from Edinburgh to Falkland Palace in Fife, for example.

From London to Salisbury is two hours drive. Easy. An hour and half by train. Also in Salisbury is Mompesson House which is in the close. Very good orange sponge cakey there in the tea room. And the carrot cake is jolly fine, too. Salisbury Cathedral also has a copy of Magna Carta. Stonehenge is another 20 minutes up the road from Salisbury--crummy food there.

(Yes, before anyone asks, I always check out the food.)

Hampton Court is always a great trip, though. Perhaps because it's such a big place, but also there are so many different bits to it--the Tudor kitchens as well as all the William and Mary stuff...

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 8th, 2010, 12:06 am

"Madeleine" wrote:A word of warning - you may already know this, but if you don't, Leeds Castle is actually in Kent, and no I've never found out why it's called Leeds! I did go there many years ago on a school trip and it's very beautiful, but it's actually near Maidstone in Kent, so maybe one to visit when you're "doing" Canterbury.


I didn't know that until about a week ago - I figured it would be in Leeds!! I think we are going to stay in Maidstone a couple of nights (there's a Hilton there).

Margaret - I know what you mean about cramming too much in. I"m trying not to, but it's really hard since there are so many places to go! My husband has absolutely no interest in going to Stonehenge - I'm not sure why, but since most of the trip will be about where I want to go, I decided not to push the issue with him...

Sarah - I loved the Welsh castles we went to last year. I'm a little worried about being able to swing that far west in order to see them though.

MM - That's one of the reasons why we will be stopping along the way instead of driving it straight through. I think we're going to try and do most of the driving in the early morning before things open or in the early evening after they close. It's always good to know about the food. We love good fish and chips and had some really great ones last year - we'll definately be on the hunt for more!

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
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Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed September 8th, 2010, 5:05 am

the two weeks I spent touring England/Scotland/Wales, I couldn't hit too many places because it was 2001 and there was a FMD crisis going on, but I remember that my best memories were York Minster, Belvoir Castle, the Roman ruins at Bath, (Stonehenge and the lake district were closed, they didn't want people tracking FMD all over the place), and Salisbury Cathedral. And Edinborough, all of it.

Stratford-on-Avon was too touristy to feel the history. Wales might have been great but it was raining at every stop.

Odd thing is, the only place they let the tour near livestock was to see Hadrian's Wall at Haddon-on-the-Wall. And six months later, when they tracked everything down, guess where the FMD outbreak started? You got it-- Haddon-on-the-Wall.

M.M. Bennetts

Postby M.M. Bennetts » Wed September 8th, 2010, 7:41 am

Best fish and chips in the world are either at PM Quality Foods in St. Andrews or down in Cornwall in St. Mawes. Both melt in the mouth.

St. Andrews is definitely a place one feels the history...Salisbury's good too. Also Winchester Cathedral...Jane Austen's house in Chawton is about 30 minutes drive from Winchester. (Good cakey at Cassandra's Teacup across the way...) In the southwest, a great house is Montacute. Stourhead is lovely. Knole in the south is also rather fine.

On your way to Scotland, the Trevelyan's house in Northumberland, Wallington, is superb.

Fishbourne is great if you're wanting to look at Roman Britain type stuff. Also, of course, the Roman baths at Bath. And all of Bath, really. A lovely town--good bookshops too, including the rather eccentric Mr. B's. Sally Lunn's buns are fine to eat too...

(This is the point where I get asked, "Bennetts, do you ever think about anything but your stomach?" Quite often I think about my horse's stomach, so yes...)

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Madeleine
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Postby Madeleine » Wed September 8th, 2010, 11:29 am

I can recommend Sally Lunn too, go early though as queues build up fast and it's not very big. Her buns are delicious! Another good bookshop is Toppings, halfway up the hill past the Hilton. Bath is pretty compact so you can do a lot in a day, take good walking shoes for all those hills though!
Currently reading "A Trail through Time" by Jodi Taylor & "Angel" by L J Ross

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EC2
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Postby EC2 » Wed September 8th, 2010, 11:34 am

Well I'm in the Nottingham area, so depending when it is you're here, we could always meet up for a coffee or something. :)

On that list I would say steer well clear of Warwick unless you like your history with cheese and you intend being fleeced for most of your money. It's a massive commercial tourist trap. Spectacular castle - yes, but way over-hyped these days. Kenilworth close by is an understated ruin, but much more 'tasteful' :) York is great. Leeds armouries are fab but there's so much, you'll be there all day!
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

SGM
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Postby SGM » Wed September 8th, 2010, 6:19 pm

"M.M. Bennetts" wrote:Best fish and chips in the world are either at PM Quality Foods in St. Andrews or down in Cornwall in St. Mawes. Both melt in the mouth.


As the daughter of Yorkshire parents, I feel I must put in word about fish and chips there (and not just Harry Ramsdens). Nearly every local F&C shop I have been to have been out of this world. Unlike F&C in London, a Yorkshire frier would never leave the skin on.

But as a town dweller myself, when on holiday, I prefer seeing the outdoors. I cannot speak highly enough of the Highlands of Scotland. I still remember my first sight of Glen Coe and Ben Nevis. I adore the South Downs (as it is where I grew up) and still find the part around Beachy Head quite spectacular. Also the peaks of Derbyshire and the Lakes.

As you have already "done" London, this is probably not appropriate and is very much a case of do what I say not do what I do - but I have heard some very good things about the Lodon Wetlands Centre a little way beyond Hammersmith. I really must get there myself at some point.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Wed September 8th, 2010, 9:31 pm

"EC2" wrote:Well I'm in the Nottingham area, so depending when it is you're here, we could always meet up for a coffee or something. :)

On that list I would say steer well clear of Warwick unless you like your history with cheese and you intend being fleeced for most of your money. It's a massive commercial tourist trap. Spectacular castle - yes, but way over-hyped these days. Kenilworth close by is an understated ruin, but much more 'tasteful' :) York is great. Leeds armouries are fab but there's so much, you'll be there all day!


When I was looking at Warwick's website I got the definite impression that it was a cheesy tourist place - but the castle looks so darn cool! It's good to know that there are probably better places to spend our time and money. Thanks for the confirmation!!

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EC2
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Postby EC2 » Wed September 8th, 2010, 9:45 pm

"Tanzanite" wrote:When I was looking at Warwick's website I got the definite impression that it was a cheesy tourist place - but the castle looks so darn cool! It's good to know that there are probably better places to spend our time and money. Thanks for the confirmation!!


It is darn cool! But it comes at a price. It's the sort of place where every time you head off somewhere to explore, they take you through a gift shop! Back in the days before the hype really kicked in, it was actually the place where I decided that my then boyfriend (now married for 32 years) was good husband material. He was just 19, a welding apprentice who rode a motorbike and had long black hair, but he rescued a small boy who had become separated from his school party up one of the towers, dried his tears, carried him down all the scary steps which the little chap didn't want to dare on his own, and handed him back to his teacher. Yup, I thought. I can trust this guy. Now, although there's no sign of him going bald, he won't grow his hair for love nor money! :D
I digress. Warwick is one of those tourist trophy places that everyone expects you to see. It is spectacular, but you need to have your theme park hat on!
Les proz e les vassals

Souvent entre piez de chevals

Kar ja li coard n’I chasront



'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'


Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal



www.elizabethchadwick.com


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