My UK trip

Dec 14th, 2002, 06:56 PM
  #1  
brenda
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My UK trip

My husband and I just returned from the UK and I would like to offer my would would dos and wouldn't dos to for those going and never been before.

Would do:
Cotwolds - those who say it is just for the tourists are wrong - there is some reason other than tourists that this beautful countryside has been here for 100s of years -your figure it out...

London - Portobello Road on Saturday just to say you have done it.

London - Victoria and Albert Museum

Walk by Buckingham and Kensignton Palaces

Take a train - don't take much luggage

Stoke-on-Trent - the potteries won't be there much longer

Great Tew - straight out of a picture book - what does it cost to live here?????

Edinburgh - Dalhousie Castle - stay there and spend an evening by the fireplace in the library - read about the ghosts right before you leave.

London - Stay at Harrington Hall Hotel - great hotel for the money!!!!!

Don't do - Buy the London Pass - you will lose money....

Bath - don't get it at all - no offense...

Stratford on Avon - looked like a real tourist trap.



 
Dec 14th, 2002, 07:03 PM
  #2  
x
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30 years ago Stratford on Avon was a tourist trap.
 
Dec 14th, 2002, 07:11 PM
  #3  
katie
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Hi Brenda,
You made me curious about Great Tew so I looked through photos online. Did you stay there, or just drive through? How far from London is it?
From the photos, I would live there in a minute! I too, wonder how much it costs to live there!
 
Dec 14th, 2002, 07:22 PM
  #4  
Brenda
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No, we didn't stay - tried to but the inn was sold out. Don't know how far from London as we were staying in the Cotswolds and drove there to see it from there. I was definately impressed!!
 
Dec 14th, 2002, 07:36 PM
  #5  
Katie
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Now you have me trying to find out how WE can live there! Lol, how absolutely charming it looks !
We have a friend who is a flight attendant and she stayed at Harrington Hall many times. She always had good things to say about it. We rented a flat last time we were in London, right around the corner from HH. Was there a small restaurant nearby called Bangkok? We had the best Thai food there! and a very posh dinner at Hilaire on Old Brompton Rd.
I look forward to returning to London and now maybe moving to Great Tew! LOL!
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 01:01 AM
  #6  
mpprh
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Hi

I used to live a few miles from Great Tew.

One of the reasons the village looks so planned, is that it that much of it was built by a socially responsible mill owner to house his workers.

Houses there rarely are for sale. The only sales we saw were expensive for the general area, but still cheaper than many London prices.

It doesn't have a fast London rail link nearby.

Peter
http://tlp.netfirms.com
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 01:20 AM
  #7  
mpprh
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Hi

forgot to say - It has a great pub, The Falkland Arms.

It is not named after the Falkland Islands, but after the local connections with the Falkland family.

The Falkland Islands were named after the same family.

Peter
http://tlp.netfirms.com


 
Dec 15th, 2002, 02:42 AM
  #8  
ann
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Brenda - what didn't you like about Bath? I'm planning on going there in March. I know everyone has different opinions, but from everything else you've said I tend to agree with yours. I'm still planning my daytrips from London so maybe I should consider something else instead of Bath. From the photos and what I've read it seems like a fairly "quaint yet typical" English town with interesting architecture. Was it the amount of tourists that put you off, the baths themselves boring? I definitly agree with you about both the Cotswolds and Strafford so please share more thoughts on Bath.
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 02:53 AM
  #9  
Maira
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Brenda, very good, succint report. It would be great to see more Fodor's reports written your style!

Ann, you have written what your expectations of Bath are ("From the photos and what I've read it seems like a fairly "quaint yet typical" English town with interesting architecture."). and you won't be dissapointed. I actually found a visit to the Roman Baths very interesting as well as Bath architecture. I would combine it with Stonehenge.
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 06:26 AM
  #10  
janis
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Bath is neither quaint nor typical. That is why the whole city is a world heritage site. It is a small city filled with exquisite Regency and Georgian architecture, gorgeous parks, the amazing Roman Baths, a beautiful Abbey next door to the Baths with a ceiling you must see to believe, the river Avon and Pulteney Bridge, great shopping and many terrific restaurants. You must walk around to really get the feel for Bath and NOT on a Saturday - It just gets too crowded with local shoppers.

There is nothing "quaint" about Bath.

Peter: Yes - isn't the Falkland Arms wonderful.
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 06:44 AM
  #11  
Nick
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I agree with Janis. I have seen a few really negative comments on Bath by Fodorites and I am not sure why as although touristy it is a very beautiful town and easy as a day trip from London. Perhaps Cambridge and Oxford are marginally more interesting given all the colleges, but I like Bath and would certainly recommend it (although train fare is a rip-off, but thats the rail system nowadays in the UK).
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 07:51 AM
  #12  
Ani
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Thanks Brenda! We are headed to Scotland late March and had planned to have dinner at The Witchery for our 5th anniversary (nice anniversary, eh?!) but after looking at Dalhousie online, I'm wondering if we should go to the Dungeon Restaurant. Since you stayed at Dalhousie did you also have dinner there? What do you think?
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 08:13 AM
  #13  
katie
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Thanks Peter!
I will have to visit Great Tew in the near future and see if I love it as much in person. Then I will have to wheedle and cajole someone into selling me their house! simple as that
While maybe Great Tew is hard to get into, there must be dozens of similar towns in the area? I am thinking that if I must retire somewhere, why not The Cotswolds? A lot more appealing to me than (no offence) Florida! katie
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 09:16 AM
  #14  
Jen
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I must agree wtih the Bath fans -- we spent two nights there and were glad we did. An intriguing mix of antiquity and regency sensiblities! Don't miss the costume museum nor the variety of little shops, glassblowing works and urban-relics place on Walcot Street.
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 01:42 PM
  #15  
John
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Obviously, "quaint" may feel and mean different things for different people. Even if not all parts of Bath could be considered quaint, certainly it did have some parts that felt quaint to me. My brother lived in Bath for some time and he agrees.
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 03:10 PM
  #16  
brenda
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Ani, Yes we had dinner in the Dungeon at Dalhousie. It was quite good. We had a drink in the library before and they escorted us to our table from the library. I believe we saw the Witchery and it looked nice also. If you decide to stay at Dalhousie watch Lastminute.com and laterooms.com for deals. We got a themed room for 100 pounds per night. The taxi fare from town to the castle will cost you about 15-20 pounds as best I remember. We went on the train and found lockers on St. Andrews Square to store our luggage for the day until we went to the train station. Took the sleeper from Edinburgh back to London.
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 03:33 PM
  #17  
brenda
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Peter,

We tried to stay at Faukland Arms but they were booked for the dates we would be in the Cotswolds. I fell in love with it online and was very disappointed we couldn't stay there. That is the main reason we drove over there - to go to the bar and check it out. We got there on a Sunday afternoon when they were closed so I didn't get to have a pint there. I was once again very disappointed but as I said the village was great. Got to cost a fortune the live there.
Katie, can I come visit when you move there? I too could be happy retiring in one of the little villages in the Cotswolds. I truly enjoyed this part of our trip. We stayed in Chipping Campden at Noel Arms.
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 05:44 PM
  #18  
Ani
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Brenda...thanks for the info! We are all booked as far as accomodation goes but definately will consider dinner at Dalhousie. Could you tell me a little more about the decore/ambiance type of thing? (I'm an irrationally die hard medieval history fan-so that's why the Witchery...) thanks again!
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 06:02 PM
  #19  
brenda
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Ani,
The resturant a the Dalhousie is in the Dungeon - it is very dark and quite intimate. There are several small rooms the best I could tell. We ate late and there was only one other couple in the small room where we ate. There is a menu on their website to give you an idea of what they offer. If you have to take a taxi out to the castle it will be about 15-20 pounds oneway. Hope this helps. Have a great trip.
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 06:14 PM
  #20  
brenda
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Ann,
At the risk of upsetting others. My husband and I both had the same opinion of Bath - much ado about what? The main part of the city is a large shopping area that was quite busy - not so overly crowded to cause a problem. I am a shopper at heart and really like to find things that are unique and can't normally be found in the US. I usually like small shops that have interesting pretty things for the home. I didn't see anything like that in Bath to speak of - there were some antique shops but we did not make it to any of them. There seemed to be an abundance of shops for clothing and jewlery. We took a bus tour of the city and while that was interesting we just didn't find it all that unique. I am trying to keep in mind that we were there in Nov - I am sure it is lovely when the gardens are in bloom. I really can't seem to put my finger on it Bath just didn't live up to all of the talk we had heard about it. Everyone said don't miss Bath so we spent 2 nights there thinking there would be so much to see and do. We actually went to a movie one night and saw the new Harry Potter movie - so I would say that we were bordering on bored in the evenings... I went to the small Bath Auqua Glass shop and saw a demo of glass blowing which I would have to say was the highlight of my visit in Bath. We spent our 25th anniversary there so maybe our expectations were too high because of that. Also, we had just spent several days in the Cotswolds and really enjoyed that area.
 

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