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England in September

Old Sep 1st, 2010, 05:54 AM
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England in September

Hi,

me and my two friends plan to backpack around in the UK for nearly two weeks from 18th to the 30th of September, before school starts ;D But we have no idea where to go or how to get there. We will probably start in London and end in Reading, but in between its all open. We are of course poor students with minimal junk to drag around. And our interest are mainly cultural; good food, good fun, good people. But we would like to see England from a local view and avoid the international turists spots.

So do anyone have any travelling tips or ideas of where to go and what to see? Oh, and we've from Norway so great nature probably won't impress us too much, we get enough of the nature and mountain climing at home.

It must be pretty cheap, easy to get too since we don't fancy renting a car (only crazy people drives on the left side...)
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 06:36 AM
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Why are you ending up in Reading? Are you going to University there?

As you're suffering from landscape overload, are you interested in visiting some of the bigger cities which maybe be less attractive than the more touristy towns, but have more fun and nightlife going on? Or do you want to see beautiful and historic?

If you want a combination of both, a trip up to Edinburgh would be good - beautiful old city with a young population and plenty of fun going on. It's 4 hours by train from London. You could stop off in York (touristy but beautiful) or Newcastle (happening city where real people live, not touristy) on the way.

To save money, book train journeys early (www.nationalrail.co.uk). Or take coaches (www.nationalexpress.com)

Anyway, let us know about towns vs bigger cities.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 06:43 AM
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In addition, you might get better recommendations from fellow student travellers on Lonely Planet's Thorntree forum. Without wanting to offend anyone here, Fodors tends to attract a rather older brand of poster :0)

TimeOut and Lonely Planet are probably your best travel guides. Also TimeOut publishes a weekly magazine to everything that's happening in London - buy a copy when you arrive to see what's on.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 08:18 AM
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Kate's advice is very sound. My husband works with overseas students learning English at Warwick University. The young students seem to enjoy visiting London, York, Oxford & Cambridge and Edinburgh. Have fun!!
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 09:02 AM
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Thank you for your answers ;D Yes we will be studying at the University of Reading, but I also have an aunt about 30 min north of London so we plan to dump most of out bags there before going on some trips.

I think the towns sounds best, but maybe a big city too...or two, but London is out for me, been there twice and now I want to see more of England. Which towns or cities are cosiest? We like the rustic feel, with a dash of history, but not too boring. I feel like I'm beeing to picky here...But I'll visit the other sites and research the towns and cities that has been noted.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 12:45 PM
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I'd try old towns with universities
Durham, York, Lincoln, Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh, Glasgow (just for the fun of it),
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 12:48 PM
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Please note that Edinburgh and Glasgow are not in England, but that you should go there....
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 01:05 PM
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I'd skip Oxford because that's an easy day trip from Reading and you can do it any weekend while you're on your course.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 04:36 AM
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I graduated from Reading - have a pint in the Turks Head Pub for me!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 05:42 AM
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Can I also suggest Bath? It's a university town as well as being very interesting. Not huge and you can easily walk round (providing your footwear is comfortable!)
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 06:54 AM
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Bath is very beautiful but maybe a little quiet for nightlife for young people. Bristol has a good music scene.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 07:08 AM
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If under 26 the investigate the BritRail Youthpass, which allows you to hop on any train anytime -just like those extremely expensive full fare tickets do

Say you get a 15-consecutive day BritRail Pass it would cost, in dollars and presumably about the same equivalent in Norwegian kroner - $425 - or less than $30/day- or in British pounds about 16 pounds for unlimited hop on anytrain anytime in England, Scotland and Wales - you seem like you would like to move around a lot, as folks your age are want to do - so with the pass you need not put any itinerary in stone as you would with the train-specific often and unchangeable discounted online tickets others talk about above. And at 16 pounds a day well even those tickets are often much more than that.

For loads on planning a British rail trip here are some great sites i always spotlight - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com - download the latter's superb IMO European Planning & Rail Guide's section on Britain for suggested itineraries, rail maps, etc. Buses are cheaper than trains but IME much more crowded and you cannot get up and walk around, etc and they are also slower - trains go everywhere all the time - even though they are notorious for being late there are so so many you can just turn up at the station and get a train within a half-hour going anywhere you want IME of decades of traveling on British trains.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Let me highly recommend the guidebook Let's Go Britain, written by Harvard Student Agencies, by students for younger backpacker low budget travelers - to me it is the ultimate guide for folks like you - especially for its wealth of info on youth hostels and inexpensive B&Bs - listing dozens for each major tourist hotspot you will gravitate to - including such fun and weird places as Camping Barns for hikers in Scotland and a zillion Youth Hotels and private youth hostels/hotels in London such as the zillions in and around Earl's Court Tube stop-though don't stay there if a whole bunch of Aussies and Aucklanders bother you - to me they would be a drawing card!

Let's Go Britain - at any library or major bookstore -even at bookstores in the U.K.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 06:31 AM
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Thank you all for your good answers. I got recommended to post at Lonely Planet and such, since there was more 'young' folks there, BUT YOU GUYS ROCKED THEIR SOCKS OFF!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2010, 11:19 AM
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But we would like to see England from a local view and avoid the international turists spots.>


How about tourist spots that are a rage with the British- like the Lake District, home to Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter - can see her stone cottage in a bucolic setting - cheap buses circulate throughout the national park - lots of inexpensive B&Bs all over and youth hostels as well. Windermere is the railhead for the Lake District.

And for a dose of local color -check out Blackpool - one of the most visited tourist places outside of London and currently a rage with hip younger folk. The quintessential seaside resort Blackpool is one of the few still going full tilt - especially in autumn when zillions of Brits flock into the see Blackpool trip the lights fantastic with its famous Blackpool Illuminations - miles of Christmas lights and lit up figures line several miles of boardwalk - Blackpool's famous trams trundle along the boardwalk and even some of them are decorated like floats in a parade. Again tons of cheap B&Bs abound and there is good train service there- at night the place hops with something for all ages!

Or Newquay on the southwest coast - a haven for surfers and a magnet for younger Brits.

And IMO do not dismiss the likes of Bath, York, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinbrugh, etc because of their international tourism aspects - Edinburgh for example is a fascinating city for folks you age -pubs, etc.
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