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Info Needed - London/UK Educational Must See's

Info Needed - London/UK Educational Must See's

Old Jul 16th, 2006, 10:29 AM
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Info Needed - London/UK Educational Must See's

Please advise on any must see locations that are very worth while -- specifically historically important. My son only has a couple of additional days back in London before returning back to Univ.of Fla. on Tuesday, August 15th. from his 6-wks in the Rome Study Abroad program.

As of right now he is considering a trip to Issac Newton's birthplace in Lincolnshire (He has already visited Westminister Abbey - where he is buried) ---- and the other venture pending scheduling is to see an evening play at Shakespeare's Theater - Titus Andronicus.

He has already rode the big ferris wheel, walked around London, crossed the English Channel, visited an old castle. If there are any must see's that are very important ---- we would appreciate your input.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 10:44 AM
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There are so many, but two that come to mind are the British Museum and Tower of London. We enjoyed touring the Cabinet War Rooms on our last visit. Excellent history of WWII. There are superb art museums if that's of interest to him, and the Victoria & Albert museum is also excellent.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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Giovanna has mentioned the ones I would urge you to visit. I think the British Museum is unique with many exhibits of note, particularly the Elgin Marbles and the Rosetta Stone. The V and A Museum is also unique.

London also has several art galleries of note. The one I never have been able to see because of time constraints is the Dulwich Gallery in south London.
It is a ways off the beaten track.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 12:14 PM
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Please don't think I am just trying to be intentionally difficult, but the problem here is the definition of "Historically important". In what way - Important to the world, or just important to Britain?
It is just so difficult to narrow down.

Off the top of my head, a few suggestions of "Most historically important places in Britain" - this is not to say I think they should be visited, but a list to play with.

Battle near Hastings - 1066 and all that.
Runnymead - The Magna Carta
Worcester - last battle of the English Civil war
Culloden - The last major land battle in the UK.
The Ashmolean museum Oxford - Scene of the first great debate on Darwin's ideas

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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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Seeing somebody's birthplace isn't an educational experience. Don't bother with Lincolnshire!

Two suggestion: firstly, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich - a history of geography and timekeeping, and therefore also of exploration. Secondly, the British Library, just down the road from Kings Cross station, which always has a fascinating and varied display in its public gallery, free of charge.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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It's hard to think of very much historically important that ever happened at the Tower of London. And the V+A has a lot of interesting things, but only the odd scrap of Empire, and the very hard to see anywhere else Gandhara exhibits are seriously important from a world history point of view, unless you've got very specialised tastes.

There's a list (admittedly mine) of the events that happened here that changed the world, and the spoors they've left in modern SE England. http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34832203

To which add the permanent exhibition at the British Library, since our language is probably in there with Constantine and Elizabeth 1 as the most important thing this country has done for the world.

Your son will probably find Cambridge a much easier place to visit from London for Newtoniana than the remote suburbs of Grantham. The Ashmolean Museum in Beaumont St, Oxford is being extensively rebuilt at the moment: its Greatest Hits are on display, but little else.

However, the Darwinism debates weren't held there. They were held in what's now the University Museum in Parks Rd, which also contains an extensive display of the history of fossil discovery in the Oxford area, including what's arguably the first dinosaur ever dug up (though it sat, unidentified, in Oxford storerooms for a couple of centuries before anyone worked out what it was). In 1860, the building now housing the University Museum was part of the Ashmolean, which is why here's confusion.

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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 12:40 PM
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Cabinet War Rooms - underground bunkers where Churchill was housed during WWII. They have been left in the same state as they were at the time. The explanations are fascinating. You can see and feel history there.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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"However, the Darwinism debates weren't held there. They were held in what's now the University Museum in Parks Rd,"

Thank you FlannerUK and I say this with no trace of sarcasm. I had always believed it was the present day site of the Ashmolean , and I am glad that I now know the truth.

On a tangent, it surprises me that the same debates are still ongoing 140 years later.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 04:23 PM
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Thank you for the information all of you have shared up to this point. I am reviewing each response with great detail and appreciate your input very much.

In reference to Willit's response of what I might determine to be "historically important" I would like to emphasis that I see this to be as more or less "an event, a person, a place during a period of time" that significantly changed the world.

Since my son is minoring in Mathematics and has a love for science, art, philosophy, and knowledge in theology, Isaac Newton would be someone that is of great interest to him. He would view him as one man whose sacrifices through his life's work contributed greatly to changing our world.

And I know when he visited Westminister Abbey, he was extremely impressed with the memorial they gave him, as well as other great men that were honored there.

Since it's been our experience that by putting yourself in an environment, a place in time, where you can really understand what an individual or individuals were going through, I believe this is what we are striving for. To perhaps gain a whole new perspective for the accomplishments, the sacrifices, the passion, and even the failures.

And even though a couple of you think that visiting Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire isn't educational perhaps you didn't know that it was actually there in 1665 and 1666, when Isaac Newton was forced to return to Woolsthorpe Manor to escape the plague while at Cambridge, that he actually formulated three great discoveries -- the principle of differential calculus, the composition of white light, and the law of gravitation.

Now if there is anyone out there who has actually visited Woolsthorpe Manor, the home of this simple and modest man, and doesn't see and feel history there as Travelgirl2 would state, then please let me know. Otherwise, it is staying on the must see list. As well as a possible trip to Cambridge knowing that the years that Newton was there he was at the height of his creative power. Thank you Flanneruk for reminding me.

In closing and at a glance without much research, what I have read from your responses so far that I feel might intrigue my son, a 22yr old college student, is perhaps visiting the Cabinet War Rooms. I believe a couple of you found this fascinating and Travelgirl2 emphasized that you can see and feel history there. And I know Giovanna indicated that they enjoyed it as well.

Also, Owain's recommendation of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich sounds very interesting. I want to look into this more. As well as the Darwinism debates that Flanneruk touches on. I don't know very much about this...if Flanneruk or anyone else can shed some light on this, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you again everyone for the recommendations. The museums all of you have highlighted are important as well as the British Library, but I feel I need to see what else is out there. Knowing that my son has been going to museum after museum in Rome & Florence, having just left the Ufizzi yesterday, I'm afraid that he will be burned out on museums. That is, if there is such a thing. I'm trying to think outside the box and look into what other great areas there are to visit when he returns back to the UK.

Thanks again for your input!


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