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Trip to England

Been to someplace of historical interest? Planning a trip? Have a question? Post here!
Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Thu September 9th, 2010, 12:12 am

I was soo disappointed at Warwick; we went back to get our admission returned, and not only did by the very nice sympathic young man, but also mentioned that we might really like Ludlow Castle. Bless him, we did!

Of the many trips we have taken to the British Isles, the places that stand out include (aside from London): the Welsh castles already mentioned, Edinburg, Hadrians Wall (we took a day long guided tour led by a professor from Newcastle university. It rained all day, and walked around with a lot of sheep watching us, and we didn't care, fantastic!) York, Lincoln Cathedral, Bath, and probably Dover, mainly for the Roman Painted House and the lighthouse.

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Miss Moppet
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Location: North London
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Postby Miss Moppet » Thu September 9th, 2010, 1:52 pm

"EC2" wrote: 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!


I went a few years ago one weekend when they had a fair and jousting. I had a good day out, but really all I went for was the jousting and I didn't bother with the rest of the castle. That alone made the trip worth it for me but I'm not sure what I would have thought if I'd gone to see the castle by itself.

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Tanzanite
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Postby Tanzanite » Thu September 9th, 2010, 2:09 pm

I've decided to take Warwick Castle off the list - I appreciate the warnings from everyone!! I looked at the web site for Kenilworth and I think we may try to go there - it looks so pretty and romantic and my husband is a big fan of gardens (go figure...). I've spent the last couple of days re-looking at the sites on the list and trying to pare it down, but it's so hard! My husband said maybe we would just have to go back for a third trip. My daughter is thinking of doing a summer abroad study program next year which would include time in England, Scotland and Ireland so maybe we could go visit her!

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Thu September 9th, 2010, 2:30 pm

Plus, Kenilworth is where Katherine Swynford lived when she was married to Hugh Swynford. So if you like Anya Seton's Katherine I'd think that would be a good choice. :)

Edited: Hugh Swynford's estate was Kettlethorpe, not Kenilworth (What can I say? At least I got the "K" part right! ;) ). But Katherine did live at Kenilworth with John of Gaunt, so it would still be neat to see....
Last edited by Michy on Thu September 9th, 2010, 2:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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parthianbow
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Location: Nr. Bristol, SW England
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I'm a bit late to the party, Tanzanite, but

Postby parthianbow » Thu September 9th, 2010, 4:58 pm

I thought I'd throw in my tuppence ha'penny.
If there's a re-enactment at Hastings, GO TO IT! The guys who do that type of thing are always great fun, hugely knowledgeable and do accurate portrayals. It might help you avoid 2 nights in Maidstone, which, let us say, politely, is not the most picturesque of towns.

Rochester Castle - nor is Rochester. Picturesque, that is.

Ely Cathedral - stunning. Absolutely unmissable, IMHO.

York - ditto.

Bambaugh Castle - Bamburgh? Lovely!

Alnwick Castle - ditto.

Please, if in that area, at least try to go to one Roman fort (I know I'm biased) - Housesteads or Vindolanda are the best.

Edinburgh Castle - unmissable.
Palace of Holyroodhouse - great.

Stirling Castle - wonderful, esp for the statue of William Wallace.

Caernarfon Castle - amazing. On your way back in to England, call in to Avebury, which is far more atmospheric than Stonehenge, and has far less visitors.
Ben Kane
Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.
Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

http://www.benkane.net
Twitter: @benkaneauthor

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: A Trail through Time by Jodi Taylor & Angel by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Thu September 9th, 2010, 6:36 pm

I went to Rochester last year and thought the main part of town (where the castle and cathedral, also worth a look) was quite nice, also the bit along the river near the castle was quite pleasant too.

Have to say that I went to Hastings, admittedly many years ago, and apart from the old town, I thought it was a dump. Sorry, Parthianbow, perhaps it's had a facelift since then, it was also full of bikers and you could barely move for them!
Currently reading "A Trail through Time" by Jodi Taylor & "Angel" by L J Ross

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parthianbow
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Location: Nr. Bristol, SW England
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Postby parthianbow » Thu September 9th, 2010, 8:32 pm

"Madeleine" wrote:Have to say that I went to Hastings, admittedly many years ago, and apart from the old town, I thought it was a dump. Sorry, Parthianbow, perhaps it's had a facelift since then, it was also full of bikers and you could barely move for them!


Re Rochester - maybe my memory is skewed from the yucky suburbs in it which I've seen.

I didn't say a word about whether Hastings was nice or not - I wouldn't know, I've never been there. What I said was that a reenactment event there (which wouldn't be in the town anyway) would be worth going to.
Ben Kane

Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.

Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.



http://www.benkane.net

Twitter: @benkaneauthor

M.M. Bennetts

Postby M.M. Bennetts » Thu September 9th, 2010, 10:51 pm

Hastings is a dump. So is Dover. St. Andrews is far from a dump--there's the cathedral ruins, the castle ruins, the university, the Old Course...I never played golf while there, but I'm told it's a bit of all right...Perthshire is beautiful. Stirling Castle was cold as I recall.

Mull is the absolute best--but you won't have time for that, sorry. Loch Earn is luscious. Loch Tay is also pretty mind-blowingly superb. Glencoe, I'm told, scares some people, but then I have MacDonald ancestors so it just seems homely to me and it's utterly gorgeous.

Seeing a play at the Globe isn't as great as it was under Mark Rylance, but it's still rather good. Going up via Norfolk is rather fine--there's a house there, dashed if I can recall the name, but it's got the coverlet worked by Mary Queen of Scots when she was incarcerated. Oh, in Kent there's Ightham Mote which is a superlative house--moated obviously, but really gives you a sense of what those ancient houses were like and how they evolved through the years--good gardens too.

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Thu September 9th, 2010, 11:50 pm

"M.M. Bennetts" wrote:Hastings is a dump. So is Dover.



But in the pictures on Wikipedia they look so nice!!! :confused: :(

Oh, in Kent there's Ightham Mote which is a superlative house--moated obviously, but really gives you a sense of what those ancient houses were like and how they evolved through the years--good gardens too.


And Ightham Mote plays in Anya Seton's Green Darkness, so if you liked that book then this might be of interest.....

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Fri September 10th, 2010, 1:16 am

I so agree about Ely Cathedral, and Stirling Castle is fantastic. Also agree with Avebury; we kept far away from Stonehenge and found what we were looking for there (tho honestly the most amazing places of that time period for me were the sites in Cornwall. Another incredibly good local guide, spent a whole day exploring iron age sites. No circles, but it didn't matter.)


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