The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / UK, Ireland  % width posts: 32

Calling all Brits! Travel in England advice


dhrynio 5 | 97
13 Jan 2014 #1
So we are contemplating a trip to England this summer (mostly to see hubby's distant aunt in London who is quite old and we want to see one more time) so we will spend a few days in London, but we also want to spend several days elsewhere.

Where do you suggest? We are not really the city loving type, a few days in London will be enough for us. So maybe a quiet place, lovely village, beautiful natural area type place! Thank for the help!

And I don't know why after reading the thread title that it seems like Brits is not a proper way to refer to people from the UK. Maybe it is, if not I am sorry please forgive me and enlighten me on more proper terms.
vjmehra 16 | 80
13 Jan 2014 #2
It really depends how far you want to travel, here are a few suggestions:

Brighton (a town on the South coast, some nice bits, about 90 minutes by train from Central London)
Windsor (a town on the Thames, south west of London, about an hour out of Waterloo)
Poole (about 2-3 hours by train, again from Waterloo, but a nice coastal town, prettier than Brighton, also much quieter)

If you want to go further then some places worth looking into are:

Devon
Cornwall
The Lake District
The Cotswolds
Scotland
Wales

There are some quite big areas there, sorry for being so vague, it really depends how far you want to travel and what you want to see!

Most people from the UK have no problem with being described as Brits, the occasional nationalistic individual prefers to be referred to as English/Scottish/Welsh or Northern Irish, but most people are fine with being a Brit!
OP dhrynio 5 | 97
13 Jan 2014 #3
Thank you for your response! We had originally talked about driving from here but it would be cheaper to fly and give up more time to travel. So we could also take a train somewhere, which could open up further destinations. Heck we could take a train to Scotland I suppose!

As for what we like, we are just starting to talk about this idea so I can only go on what I would like from it. I wouldn't mind a sweet village maybe coastal so we could take the kids to rockpools! Or a place with natural type things to do. Like I said cities are ok for a few days but Hubby and I am both nature, history, slower life types.
Englishman 2 | 278
13 Jan 2014 #4
I think the best places to go to depend on whether you're planning to do everything by train or whether you're willing either to hire a car when you're here or bring your own across. Sadly our train services aren't great in the countryside, so having the use of a car would be great if your preferences are rural.

My own favourite places in the UK, other than London, are:

The Lake District (about to become a UNESCO world heritage site, but you'll definitely need a car)
The Peak District (car also needed for this)
Bath (a city, so accessible by train from London)
Brighton (likewise, though the nearby South Downs are also attractive, and demand a car)
Edinburgh (capital of Scotland - a train journey or short flight from London)
The Northumbria Coast (again, car needed)
South Devon, especially the South Hams (Salcombe, Kingswear, Totnes and nearby)(might just be possible by train and bus, but a car would make life easier)

And yes, calling us Brits is fine :-)
Wroclaw Boy
13 Jan 2014 #5
We are not really the city loving type, a few days in London will be enough for us. So maybe a quiet place, lovely village, beautiful natural area type place! Thank for the help!

Ive been meaning to get to Barmouth in Wales for a while now, things keep getting in the way, you have mountains within a national park on one side and the sea the other, lots of quiet little towns with country pubs and fish n chip shops dotted around too. Accommodation is plentiful with wide varieties to choose from, houses, flats, hotels, caravan parks - think that's all of them.

What i sometimes do is have a look on Google Earth (look at the photos) to check a place out before i visit.
vjmehra 16 | 80
13 Jan 2014 #6
Within 2 hours of London (by train) there are a few coastal towns, within 4-5 hours there are loads as well as the Lake District and Southern Scotland, so if you're fine with that sort of travel that opens up the whole country.

As you're coming in the summer I'd be tempted to say, set aside a couple of days and visit Cornwall, or possibly the Lake District, both offer plenty of outdoors type activities such as boating, walking, climbing, kayaking etc. and the scenery is good too!
jon357 67 | 16,655
13 Jan 2014 #7
Have a look at the Yorkshire Dales. The Lake District is jammed with tourists, Northumberland isn't but it's a bit wild. The Cotswolds are expensive and prissy.

The Norfolk Broads are flat but nice.

Think about Yorkshie ;-)
OP dhrynio 5 | 97
13 Jan 2014 #8
Thanks Jon! I will look into it!
szarlotka 8 | 2,208
14 Jan 2014 #9
It is very difficult to narrow down a list of places to visit really as it would be influenced by a number of factors. The fist point I would make is that you mention having children so I would discount travelling by train. Train fares in the UK are expensive so the bill would soon mount up with a family travelling. You would be better advised to hire a car for your time here (but not in London as driving there is a bit of a nightmare and you can get around the city far faster using public transport) Also as others have pointed out the train services in rural areas are not great.

You don't mention how much time you will have on your stay outside of London. If it's only a few days then I would look to limit the distances you travel. That would take places like Scotland and the Lake District out .

For places nearer to London then there are many. Bath, as previously mentioned is a nice place. If you are a fan of Shakespeare then Stratford upon Avon is a must and this has the added advantage of being on the edge of the Cotswolds and all the typical English villages that are in that area. If you want the coast then avoid the big resorts like Brighton and Bournemouth. My favourite part of the South Coast is in Dorset around Lyme Regis where it is not as crowded and there are some interesting things for kids to do like looking for fossils at Kimmeridge Bay.

Devon and Cornwall are good too and if you get away from the tourist traps then you will have some space even at the height of the tourist season. The travel time is quite long that far West though.

Maybe if you have some things your family like doing you could tell us and then we could be a bit more focussed. Irrespective of that I hope you have a good time here.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
14 Jan 2014 #10
South Oxhey, near Watford, for perhaps a real taste of Britain today. Body-armour sometimes optional.
ilivehere.co.uk/south-oxhey-2.html
Harry
14 Jan 2014 #11
Train fares in the UK are expensive so the bill would soon mount up with a family travelling.

They can be expensive, but they can also be cheap. I just booked tickets from London to Gloucestershire for myself, the Mrs and the younger daughter: £52 return for the three of us (with reserved seats).

You would be better advised to hire a car for your time here

Very sound advice. However, the OP should also take out excess insurance from a third-party supplier: a lot of the better value hire companies make a lot of profit from damage which may or may not have been on the car when you collected it. Buying excess insurance from those car hire companies can easily cost more than the actual car hire but from third-party suppliers you can get full insurance for £2 per day.

Bath (a city, so accessible by train from London)

A delightful city and well worth a visit.

The Cotswolds

The north Cotswolds are noticeably more expensive than the south Cotwolds (plus the south Cotswolds also offer the Severn scarp).

Think about Yorkshie ;-)

dour ... flat caps ... grim ... moors ... no more satanic mills ... endless complaints about the lack of mines ... mind-blowingly good curry ... frothing ale in vast amounts: that's what runs through my mind when I think Yorkshire.
jon357 67 | 16,655
14 Jan 2014 #12
Especially the frothing ale. That and four national parks, beautiful pennine scenery and a gorgeous coastline.

And if you book via eastcoastmainline's website it can be cheap to get there. I found London to Leeds first class for £32
OP dhrynio 5 | 97
15 Jan 2014 #13
Thank you everyone! So many good ideas!

We do have two children so that will affect what we choose. right now I am gathering options and then will go over it all with my husband. We will probably stay in London for 4 ish days then have about a week elsewhere.
Harry
15 Jan 2014 #14
We will probably stay in London for 4 ish days

Your burn rate in terms of cash in London will be fairly eye-watering. Two good places to go which are completely free are the Natural History museum and the Science museum (they're both utterly superb too).
OP dhrynio 5 | 97
15 Jan 2014 #15
Thank Harry! The biggest plus for us in London is that we have family we will stay with, so no hotel fees and we will probably only eat out a bit. I will check out the museums, the kids would love them!
Wroclaw Boy
15 Jan 2014 #16
London doesn't have to be expensive at all, food is extremely competitively priced as is travel, 10,000,000 people living in London including their fair share of poverty too. The take away food joints in London are the best in the country.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
15 Jan 2014 #17
London doesn't have to be expensive at all, food is extremely competitively priced as is travel,

I'm just trying to remember where I saw very competitively priced take-aways or restaurants in London, when I lived there for decades.

.................

No, can't think of anywhere. So, competitively priced compared to where -- Switzerland? Luxembourg? Also, if you ever found decent fish and chips in London, please let me know where, because in all the years I lived in various areas of London I never came across chips that tasted the same as the shops found in for example Dorset or Essex seaside towns. Strange but very true in my experience. There is one very good (and dear) shop in London where they steam the batter as they fry the fish, and do decent chips, but it's the exception.
jon357 67 | 16,655
16 Jan 2014 #18
I'm just trying to remember where I saw very competitively priced take-aways or restaurants in London, when I lived there for decades.

Don't shoot the messenger, but there are a few Wetherspoons' in London. Pretty we'll every other town has at least one too. Love them or hate them, they are very cheap.

Plenty of special offers, relatively child friendly and usually very clean.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
16 Jan 2014 #19
2 meals for a fiver in the old days, but the portions weren't usually that generous of course. They're pretty good, but of course very loud and busy, and are the exception. There aren't many or any other cheap options, typically. As I used to need to eat on the hoof a lot, I spent most of my cash in Greggs, because other than them and Baker's Oven there was only McDonald's and similar. Proper cafes with cheap food -- as rare as hens' teeth in London. Only cheaper, not cheap.
gask7 - | 50
20 Jan 2014 #20
As dhrynio I want to visit London in summer too. And can anyone tell me what is the best way to reach Oxford from North London, place like Stansted Airport.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
20 Jan 2014 #21
From STN, a coach (autokar) takes 4 hours 40 mins and approx. GBP25
(STN is not North London, it is a long way from N London).

Or go to Golders Green London NW11 [which is north west London] bus station (a tube train goes there) and take a National Express coach. It's about GBP20 each way. (3 hours 30 mins)

Or take a coach called The Oxford Tube from Victoria Coach Station.

They might go to Golders Green or Baker Street/Gloucester Place -- I am not sure.
gask7 - | 50
20 Jan 2014 #22
Thanks InWroclaw. I will see through these possibilities.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
20 Jan 2014 #23
You're welcome. I think the National Express is cheaper to book a few weeks in advance, but I'm not sure as I haven't used them for years.

There is also a train from STN but I think you'd have to change trains and take strong brandy when you see the fares. Although, sometimes, it's cheaper to book 2 single train tickets: moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-train-tickets
Wroclaw Boy
20 Jan 2014 #24
I'm just trying to remember where I saw very competitively priced take-aways or restaurants in London, when I lived there for decades.

No, can't think of anywhere.

Really, you cant think of anywhere in the whole area of London, including all the council estates and poorer areas of the East End, did you ever step foot outside the beaten track? I'm in London failry often and i eat there some times as much as 5 times a week. My favourite take away foods for nutrition, convenience and price are chicken kebabs, some times chicken breast but usually chicken doner meat with herbs and spices. I can reel off 5 locations where i regularly buy these, some of them with almost exact address details. Do you still want me to go through the hassle of that? They usually range from £5.00 to £7.00 for an extra large.

No, can't think of anywhere.

Mcdonalds, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Express, Pizza Hut, Perfect Pizza - or are you not including these? What about English style breakfast cafes and steak joints? are you including them?

Also, if you ever found decent fish and chips in London

Yes lots, also we have 3 Harry Ramsdens outlets, NW1, E20 and one near Stratford.

So, competitively priced compared to where -- Switzerland? Luxembourg?

No, competitively priced in comparison to the rest of the UK.

Strange but very true in my experience.

Judging on what you typed that doesn't count for much.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
20 Jan 2014 #25
They usually range from £5.00 to £7.00 for an extra large.

Hardly cheap. 25 to 35 zł for that [a kebab]? FFS Got to be joking if you think that's cheap. It's worse than I thought.

Wetherspoons probably offers the best value, as Jon said. I recommend the vegetarian 5 bean chilli.

Yes lots, also we have 3 Harry Ramsdens outlets, NW1, E20 and one near Stratford.

Harry Ramsden's? Are you tugging my chain? I was last at a HR in Brighton. Utterly average and the prices are no reason to celebrate either.

You really haven't been to any real F&C shops have you.

Your assessment of cheap food, WB, is heavily reliant on the clause "compared to" and for anyone browsing this thread and about to go seeking those cheap eateries you imply exist is going to be sadly disappointed. Whatever off beaten track places you suggest, it's obvious your idea of cheap isn't mine. And isn't most people's, who aren't receiving big incomes or subsistence expense accounts.
Wroclaw Boy
20 Jan 2014 #26
You really haven't been to any real F&C shops have you.

I'm a muthafcuking fish n chip connoisseur, after i spent 6 years in Poland and came back to the UK i ate 100's of portions from more than 30 different take away joints - in a small amount of time. I know my fish n chips. I don't eat too many at the moment for diet reasons but i could still give you address's of some of the best shops near where i live and a few in London. Harry Ramsden's are pretty good in comparison to the average joint.

Hardly cheap. 25 to 35 zł for that [a kebab]? FFS Got to be joking if you think that's cheap.

I'm a gym freak mate i need to eat that kind of food, standard lamb doner meat is cheaper, besides i assume you know the size of the kebabs im talking about, one of them loaded with salad and sauce along with a portion of chips will feed three average people quite comfortably. Besides i said extra large, a small kebab usually starts at around £4.50.

You can two pieces of chicken and chips with a fizzy drink from about 400 different KFC style chicken places in and around London for less than £4.50. Is that expensive in your opinion, because its not in mine? Most kebab joints also do a burger meal with chips and can of drink for £4.00 - £4.50.

Wetherspoons probably offers the best value, as Jon said.

I wouldn't eat that crap if you paid me, I'd rather have a McDonalds.

Your assessment of cheap food, WB, is heavily reliant on the clause "compared to" and for anyone browsing this thread and about to go seeking those cheap eateries you imply exist is going to be sadly disappointed. Whatever off beaten track places you suggest, it's obvious your idea of cheap isn't mine. And isn't most people's, who aren't receiving big incomes or subsistence expense accounts.

What is cheap in places outside of London that you had in mind then? because thats the argument here, London in comparison to other parts of the UK. Don't go listing Birmingham as though its some kind of UK average either.

because in all the years I lived in various areas of London I never came across chips that tasted the same as the shops found in for example Dorset or Essex seaside towns.

How much did you pay and what did you have?

because in all the years I lived in various areas of London I never came across chips that tasted the same as the shops found in for example Dorset or Essex seaside towns.

Are you referring to the chips or the fish? you said chips but that doesn't make much sense. Most shops use Maris Piper potatoes, even the ones in London, you really dont get much variety with chips unless the cooking oil is flavoured. Fish may be a different deal when on the coast but even with that said the fish markets in London are excellent, after all they have to supply the numerous first class restaurants, besides most fish sold in fish n chip shops these days is frozen so it doesn't really factor in terms of freshness or taste.

Do you know why fish n chip shops have traditionally been closed on Mondays in the UK?
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
20 Jan 2014 #27
Are you referring to the chips or the fish? you said chips but that doesn't make much sense.

I've seen poor quality examples of both as the norm. But, you know it's a case of what you call cheap. I don't call that cheap. But, to someone with London property who feels wealthy, I suppose a fiver for a kebab is perhaps cheap. To a visitor from Poland, a fiver probably won't seem cheap at all. As for the other fast food joints, no they don't seem at all cheap either. Much better off with the real food at Wetherspoons.

As for 5 bean chilli, a lot healthier than some of what you mentioned.
Wroclaw Boy
20 Jan 2014 #28
I've seen poor quality examples of both as the norm.

well yeah that's pretty obvious.

I don't call that cheap

what do you call cheap? ive asked a couple of times already.

As for the other fast food joints, no they don't seem at all cheap either.

Youre not making any sense within the context of our discussion.

As for 5 bean chilli, a lot healthier than some of what you mentioned

Shame it tastes like crap.

Guess what ive just had for tea?? 1 large cod, 1 small cod regular chips all for less than £9.00, is that cheap?
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
20 Jan 2014 #29
Shame it tastes like crap.

Certainly doesn't. It's very good.

Guess what ive just had for tea?? 1 large cod, 1 small cod regular chips all for less than £9.00, is that cheap?

I suppose it is if you have a large salary or think your London house could be increasing in value by 10% a year. It's all relative then. Otherwise, erm no, no it's not. But, enjoy, and praise the flying spaghetti monster for the fact that to you it's cheap.
Wroclaw Boy
20 Jan 2014 #30
as far as im concerned you need to pay at least £3.50 for a decent meal even if youre cooking at home, i do eat a lot of pasta which comes to about £1.50 a meal but it only contains about 20 gr of protein so its not really a meal. If you want a decent portion of quality meat theres no such things as a cheap meal. I don't consider eating take away's as expensive, because for what you get they're simply not.

I think Pizzas are expensive especially Dominos and Pizza Hut, their £7 small pizzas are tiny.


Home / UK, Ireland / Calling all Brits! Travel in England advice
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.