I just got the plane tickets for my next* trip! I've wanted to go to England ever since forever, and this summer it will finally happen, so I'm very excited. Miriam is going to be my travel buddy this time around. We'll be there for two weeks, at the end of June and beginning of July (so I can add the 4th of July holiday to my vacation time).
So now we're at the planning stage, trying to figure out what we'll actually do while we're there. The stack of books and videos I brought home from the library is sort of intimidating -- so much cool stuff to cram into two weeks. But whatever we manage will be fun. We'll definitely spend some time in London, and then I want to make sure to get out to Glastonbury and Stonehenge. It looks like there's some neat stuff in Southeast England, too, but we're certainly open to any suggestions. Tips on where to go dancing while we're there would also be nice (I think we're looking at you for this one, Borden).
Anyway, more details later when things are more figured out. In the meantime: yay!
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*Okay, so "next" isn't entirely accurate, since I'm going up to Portland to see Lacey in March. But "next" in the sense of "using up all my vacation time in a foreign country." Yeah.
Hey Graham - have you read Bryson's Notes from a Small Island yet?
Yep, I'm actually about 2/3 through it right now. (I made a point of finding myself a copy once I decided I'd be going.)
Are you going to be solving any mysteries while in England? I hear that's all they do, those English.
I've got a stack of books that you might find helpful so I'd suggest starting with London & Greenwich!
I'd also recommend Avebury, cathedrals (esp. Salisbury, Winchester, Durham or Peterborough, and Canterbury), Dartmoor, castles (esp. Portchester, Corfe and Leeds), North Wales, Lincoln, York, Hadrian's Wall and the Orkneys. For a longer (or return) trip, I'll have even more recommendations.
OOooooo!! Have fun!!! I am so envious!!! :-)
un gran abrazo,
There's *much* more to England than the South, so I guess my plea to you is to not fall for the perception that there is no life above London (or indeed below Scotland)!
Take it from a native, the North is the real home of diversity and culture in England - where towns and cities 5 miles apart can have a completely different dialect; where there is real pride in local customs, history and individuality; and where you could list more genuine idiosyncracies in one day than a lifetime in the plastic, packaged tourist merry-go-round that is London.
To venture no further north than the M4 is the equivalent of us Brits immersing ourselves only in Disney World and Universal Studios as our American adventure.
I'd recommend visiting Liverpool, Manchester, Chester, the Lake District, and for the ultimate taste of British seaside kitsch, Blackpool - as frequented and loved by The White Stripes.
I may sound like I work for the North West England tourist board but I'm but a young Englishman trying to be honest and informative. London is good for a day or two of predictable samey sightseeing... but if you want a real visit to England venture far and wide. We're only a small island after all!
I certainly didn't mean to imply that there was nothing in the north worth seeing. It's just that there's too much that I want to see *everywhere* and I think I'd rather spend less time running between places and just concentrate on a few areas. I actually want to have another entire trip sometime for Scotland and Northern England, instead of cramming them in with everything else I want to see on this first trip. But who knows? There's still a lot of planning to be done and nothing is set in stone.
London - for a bibliophile, Charing Cross Road is a must. Foyles is not only the nicer bookshop - guess who bought the shop across the road? yes! Borders.. - but they have a wonderful cafe too. Highly recommended.
Also, I second the trip to Durham. Even stopping off for a few hours while you're on the way to Newcastle or Edinburgh. (I went to Durham University, and fell in love with the city.)
right. i'm soooo slow
but ha, i made the cyber-connection (miriam) and now, life makes sense! hooray! yay for going to england! i hope you get to do lots of dancing
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