souvenirs in England ..what did you get?

Old Apr 24th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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souvenirs in England ..what did you get?

Looking for ideas for souvenirs from London, Bath and from the Southwest of England........for kids (8 and 12) and adults. Welcome your great finds and suggestions!
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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This may sound dorky... but if they like to read you can usually find some lovely leather bookmarks. T-shirts will only last as long as they fit, but bookmarks last as long as you read!
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 02:14 PM
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For kids, how about teddy bears? The UK has some great teddy bear companies (Merrythought and Dean's come to mind), as well as many smaller producers.
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 02:43 PM
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I must admit I am a souvenir junkie, both for myself and for gifts. The teddy bear idea is great - I got one from Harrods for my grandson that has the words "My First Harrods Teddy" embroidered on it. I will be getting another such bear when I go to London next month as I have another grandchild on the way. Go ahead and get T shirts, but get the kid's shirts a size or two too big for longer use. If they are Harry Potter fans, there are sure to be HP items that are different from what's available here (be "here" I mean the U.S.). I brought my co-grandma a copy of the first Harry Potter book - it has a different title than the American version and she was thrilled to get it. The one souvenir flop I brought home was a T shirt for my husband that said "My wife went to London and all I got was this T shirt". After 2 years it's still in the package. For the adults I've found tea towels make a nice yet inexpensive gift and some are really beautiful, plus of course they're easy to pack. (They make great dresser scarves.)

Also in case you didn't know (and I am going to assume here that you are from the United States, if not, this may not apply) - when you return home and fill out your customs form, you do not need to declare nor pay duty on books, toys or CD's. There may be other exempt items as well, but what or if they are is not easy to determine. They won't tell you on the State Department website; I only found out from customs agents when I returned from my travels.
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 04:52 PM
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Tea for tea-lovers, Stilton in a Harrod's crock for my boss who loves it, chocolate for my employees (who request it as they like British chocolate,) Hello magazines & Daily Mail newspapers so all my friends can giggle at the gossip, lots of books & many unusual souvenirs from the V & A museum gift shop. I found a beautiful CD there of birdsong last year.
Oh & how could I forget - SMARTIES!!!
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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British Heritage shops sometimes have great gifts for adults… tea towels, interesting oven mitts and coasters come to mind. Also Harrods pens and key chains are novel gifts for (American) friends who haven’t had the opportunity to visit there. Etchings – prints are easy to pack… amber / silver jewelry is another idea, anything with a Liberty of London print on it, “Mind the Gap” boxers and socks for DH, Glenfiddich marmalade for DH, Oh, and my personal favorite, Scottish shortbread cookies – available at the airport on your way to the departure gate.

I’m thinking mostly of gifts here, although I have indulged myself with many of these items. I really like to shop for a great pair of shoes and / or handbag… in the past Bally shoes were more reasonable in London than they were here (in California.)

I tasted “Smarties” after the person behind the counter said they were like M&Ms… UGH! Definitely not like M&Ms.

Let us know what you find!
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 07:57 PM
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Place mats--the hard kind--with English scenes on them. Souvenir tea towels. Elastoplast bandaids, the world's best (for myself!). Mesh tea strainers. Bendicks bittermints. Up-market Christmas crackers.

Our teenaged goddaughter loved rock band posters, which I found near Piccadilly Circus.

For the 8-year-old, books--there are wonderful English titles that are hard to find here. If the youngster is a girl, look for those by Noel Streatfeld.
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 08:37 PM
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As you go to different regions look for things unique to the areas -- in Norwich it was lavender and Coleman's Mustard.

For adults, I got little notebooks with designs by William Morris on the cover. I also got sets of postcards printed with his fabric designs. My husband's aunt treasured hers.

For the kids, include some of the normal chocolate bars that aren't available here. The one we used to like was called something like a Cadbury Flake.

If the child likes Thomas the Tank Engine items, there may be more choices since the books are English.
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Old Apr 24th, 2006, 09:02 PM
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I always bring home pens, especially the pens from the London Transport Museum gift shop. That place is filled with useful items that have the Underground logo on them, many of them angled toward children. Toiletries are always nice. Marks and Spencer has its own line of shower gels and soaps. My niece and nephew remember the jelly babies I brought home a few years ago. Also, someone mentioned Smarties. Yeah, they're a little like M&Ms, but Minstrels are better. I also like the Peppermint Aero chocolate bar. Perhaps the children would like books by Enid Blyton. I favor the "Adventure" series.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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Great ideas......all of them....thank you!
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 11:05 AM
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Pretty much the only souvenirs I buy are Christmas tree ornaments. I always try to get one from each city/town I travel to.

It's fun to relive the memories of each trip as I take out the ornaments each year.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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Whoops - just reread the OP and it looks like you're looking for stuff to bring home.

My daughter liked the Harrod's lunch bag I bought for her - she brings lunch to school every day and the bag is made out of a vinyl type material and is dark green, covered with the little Harrod's teddy bears.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 11:28 AM
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This may be too gruesome for you, but I am no judge of what is o.k. and what isn't for other people - maybe someone on your shopping list will be the appropriate recipient for this. I bought a little paper model at the Tower of London gift shop where you punch out the pieces and fold them up. It was a little guillotine with guards, executioner, etc. Definitely need the right audience for that one, though! Lots of silly souvenirs to be found there.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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Hi kathleenak, I immediately thought of leather bookmarks, and than read Lynaenovo's suggestion for the same. I have a lovely collection of leather bookmarks from Europe and love all of them (I love to read). This is something I now buy if I want to bring back a momento for anyone and everyone seems very pleased by them and continually use them. They are sure easy to pack in your luggage too and no breakage problems of course.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 02:37 PM
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Go to a China Reject shop and find something that calls to you. I got a bone china coffee mug with classic novels pictured all around it.

Small Wedgewood dishes, collector-size buildings like St. Paul's and Big Ben, prints from the museums, and Cadbury Fruit & Nut bars not made by Hershey's--there are so many things you will be spoiled for choice.

You can also find books either not out in the U.S. yet or not available here.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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As a follow up to the post about Thomas, there is supposedly much more Bob the Builder stuff available there than there is here, too (maybe a little too young).
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