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Trip Report: American visiting Bibury (Cotswolds) and London

Trip Report: American visiting Bibury (Cotswolds) and London

Apr 8th, 2011, 02:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,167
LHR - RETURNING OYSTER CARD TIP: Once you get off the train at Heathrow, look immediately for the information desk. It's off on the right. Don't go to Departures until you get your card returned. We made the mistake of going all the way to Departures, and then had to come the long way back to the station. Rookie move.
ChgoGal is offline  
Apr 8th, 2011, 03:08 PM
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I am going to London in June as the group leader (there will be just 9 in "my" little group) on a student tour and want to take us to St. Paul's for Evensong, as we should have two "free" afternoons to do some touring on our own. But I don't know how long we'll be able to stay as we will have to meet the group somewhere sometime(won't know til we are there probably) for dinner. About how long did the service last? And/or I guess we can sit in the back and slip out when we need to? What would you suggest?

And thanks for the great report! I love the details, the times mentioned and the pronunciation! (Too bad you passed on that yummy cheesy sandwich at Borough Market--they are worth it!)
texasbookworm is offline  
Apr 8th, 2011, 03:17 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Your trip report meant a great deal to me. I too live in the Chicago area, was born and raised in the Cotswolds, moved to London when I was 18, and one of my best memories is afternoon tea at the Dorchester. I also liked tea at Claridges and the Connaught. I met a "Yank" when I worked in London and moved to the U.S. after we were married.

My sister still lives in the Cotswolds in a sweet little village called Shipton Olliffe. She and her husband are avid walkers and belong to a walking club where they stop halfway through the hike for lunch at a country pub. My husband and I will be visiting them in September and we will be making our rounds of all the little picturesque villages. We will also be staying at the Marriott on Park Lane, London for 6 nights at the end of our trip. Great to hear that The Dorchester is still doing a fine job with tea.

Oh one point you might like knowing is that the reason there is no outlet for a hairdryer in the bathroom is that there has been a "crazy" law in the UK that prohibits any electrical outlets in bathrooms, just in case someone is stupid enough to mix electricity and water !!!! however, they will allow a shaver outlet - perhaps they think men are more trustworthy around electricity and water (still can't figure out why they DO allow electrical outlets in kitchens where there is also water!) - Ahh the Brits -

Thanks for the lovely read.
SueHuml is offline  
Apr 8th, 2011, 04:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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texasbookworm asks about evensong - time and leaving early.

Evensong typically lasts 45 minutes. It is a religious service, not a tourist attraction. It is rude to leave early. If you are not willing to commit the time to participate in this service, you should not attend.
ron is offline  
Apr 8th, 2011, 04:20 PM
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Yes, ron, agreed. It's why I'm seeking info and opinions; I truly want "my" kids to experience this but if we can't stay for all or practically all, then I think we won't try. And would stay near the back if we needed to. A lot depends on what the dinner plans are, so I will be making this decsion that day. Thanks--tbw
texasbookworm is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 02:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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it's not that you aren't allowed hairdryers in bathrooms, but that you are not allowed to have a standard 3 pin plus socket in a UK bathroom, which doesn't strike me as that crazy.

as UK hairdryers are fitted with 3 pin plugs, [unlike shaves] this means no hairdryers in UK bathrooms except specially fitted ones that often come with strange elephant truck-type nozzles, which personally I dislike rather a lot.

but any decent establishment should supply not only the hairdryer but also a convenient mirror and socket in the bedroom.

sorry you misheard "Southwark" but I'm not surprised - to pick up on the pronunciation theme, it's pronounced "suthuk", as in suck. strange but true.
annhig is online now  
Apr 9th, 2011, 02:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,588
"Then the Londoner nearly lost her mind when one of us Americans tipped the bar girl a pound. She told us this isn’t really done at crap pubs"

Tipping isn't done in any pub, when just buying drinks.

Annihig Def not crazy not to allow 3 pin socket in bathrooms.

I usually find that there's mirror in the bedroom, though not always in the most convenient location!

"no phone in room" Would be very surprised if you found any B&B or pub with room phones.
alihutch is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 05:21 AM
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Hi texasbookworm,
We sat farther back because we didn't know how long the service would go and were concerned we might need to leave early. You're right - don't even bother if you aren't going to sit close and stay for the entire service. You can't hear well in the back, and people all about are noisy, shuffling about and chatting (as they were there to see St. Paul's... not listen to Evensong.)
The music did sound beautiful (but faint from my location). I absolutely think it's worth the time. Just sit close with the "serious" listeners and I think this would be a profound and moving experience for the kids to experience. Also, there are restrooms in the basement of St. Paul's, accessible from the outside for everyone, and 45 minutes sitting peacefully in that extraordinary church could be a very, very welcome break in the middle of a hectic, travel day. Give the kids a history lesson on the choir of St. Paul's and go. I'll definitely return - either here or at Westminster.
ChgoGal is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 05:40 AM
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Thanks, Suehuml. I envy your sister's life. Wouldn't it be a dream to be able to walk that gorgeous countryside every weekend? Instead, we have our Chicagoland parks (sigh).
Thanks for the info. on the electric sockets. I assumed it was something like that. Enjoy your trip back in September! (I wish I could go with you!)
ChgoGal is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Texasbookworm, would your student tour group be up to reading the text of Evensong in the prayer book and/or listening to one of the broadcast services from the BBC? Might help prepare them and/or decide if they're willing to sit through it for real.


PatrickLondon is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 03:04 PM
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Good idea, Patrick. Thanks. The students are wonderful will-have-just-graduated seniors from our non-denominational classical Christian school which teaches some of the creeds common to churches; and they are used to sitting in chapel--and willing to do whatever I orchestrate! It really will be a matter of timing our possible visit to coordinate with the other groups from other schools that we will meet for dinner somewhere. And I will think more than twice about starting what we can't finish! But these links will be great teaching helps. Again, thanks.--tbw (and thanks ChgoGal for letting this rabbit trail happen on your thread!)
texasbookworm is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks for a very helpful and interesting trip report CG.

We shall be staying in Bibury next year.

ira is offline  

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