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  1. #1
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    England in Four (five?) days?? - How to go about it...

    Howdy folks! Well, awhile back I had asked for advice about a honeymoon location and that is now set. Ireland/England.

    We will be spending eight in Ireland and then hope to cover a chunk of England in four days (maybe five). FH wants to see London - though he wants to see the surface - the things London is famous for... so that *should* only take us a day (as in he is willing to hop on a double decker tour). What we will need here is a reasonably priced hotel - any to recommend?

    He also wants to go to Liverpool... I have family in Manchester, Sheffield and Wigan - so that is not a problem! There will be a family gathering in Wigan to celebrate our wedding (or there is a *slight* chance it could be in Eastborne in the South).

    So, my question is - what should I cover in the North if I only have two or three days to do it? Advice?

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    London in a day is just wrong. Speaking as someone who spent over a month in London last summer...

    Is there a reason he wants to go to Liverpool? In four days, I wouldn't do more than London, unless you've been before. Really, it depends on what your interests are. If Liverpool is for sure, then I'd suggest northern Wales. I was there for 5 days last summer, and loved it. Beautiful scenery, wonderful people, and fabulous castles. But, if you're not into that... I also spent a few days in and around Carlisle, doing day trips to walk along Hadrian's Wall. I would suggest focusing on a small area, as in 2 to 3 days it's really not worth it to spend most of your time driving. Are you driving? Or taking trains? Or...?

    What appeals to you, what interests you?

    What also matters is time of year...

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    I'm just off to bed so won't go into detail now, but look up the Lake District, the Yorkshire moors and the Yorkshire dales if you're looking for wonderful scenery. In summer though, the Lake District gets very crowded and it's difficult to find accommodation there. York is a fascinating ancient city with its Minster and the Viking Museum, and Durham is also a beautiful city with a spectacular 12th century Romanesque cathedral on a hill. If you're into literature, you might like to visit the home of the Bronte sisters in Haworth in West Yorkshire.

    There are all sorts of other things, but of course it depends on what you want to do and see on your honeymoon.
    Last edited by orientalplane; 07-13-2010 at 11:25 PM.
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  5. #5

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    Where abouts in Ireland are you going?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JumpinBug View Post
    London in a day is just wrong. Speaking as someone who spent over a month in London last summer...

    Is there a reason he wants to go to Liverpool? In four days, I wouldn't do more than London, unless you've been before. Really, it depends on what your interests are. If Liverpool is for sure, then I'd suggest northern Wales. I was there for 5 days last summer, and loved it. Beautiful scenery, wonderful people, and fabulous castles. But, if you're not into that... I also spent a few days in and around Carlisle, doing day trips to walk along Hadrian's Wall. I would suggest focusing on a small area, as in 2 to 3 days it's really not worth it to spend most of your time driving. Are you driving? Or taking trains? Or...?
    I completely agree. I personally think it's ridiculous to go to London if you only spend a day there (unless this isn't your first time there). Honestly, do you want to spend most of your time in England traveling between place to place?

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    I so agree, London needs days, weeks. So if you have only 4-5 days, spend it all in London or do another area as others suggest.

    I did spend a day in Liverpool a couple of years ago, and that was not enough time.
    #1 recommendation if the Beatles interest you. To see the inside of John and Paul's boyhood homes (not drivebys) go through the National Trust and book that tour. A small tour bus picks you up downtown and takes you there, only a few tours a day. The other tours only do drivebys.

    York - Castle Howard is cool.

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    As for the Beatles in Liverpool--the "driveby" bus tours are quite entertaining. My friend and I did the "Magical Mystery Tour Bus" and found it hilarious in its somewhat intentional cheesiness.

    I agree that London in a day is impossible. We had four and just hit the surface. You need at least a half day for the Tower and at least a half day for the British Museum. And there is so much more to see.

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    Where are you flying in/out of?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    As for the Beatles in Liverpool--the "driveby" bus tours are quite entertaining. My friend and I did the "Magical Mystery Tour Bus" and found it hilarious in its somewhat intentional cheesiness.

    I agree that London in a day is impossible. We had four and just hit the surface. You need at least a half day for the Tower and at least a half day for the British Museum. And there is so much more to see.

    Half day for the British Museum? I think you need at least a week!

    (Although if you really do have only half a day there, I would recommend taking the London Walks tour of the museum- they give you some some really interesting and detailed info on some key exhibits (Rosetta Stone, Assyrian Marbles, Sutton Hoo, and a few other things),then you go off and see the other bits you are really interested in seeing.

    http://www.walks.com/London_Walks_Ho...m/default.aspx

    And for the Tower, take a tour with one of the Beefeater guides. They have a lot of interesting stories. We got the ravenmaster on our tour- he was really interesting and had a dry sense of humour.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cygnus View Post
    Half day for the British Museum? I think you need at least a week!
    Not necessarily. If you know exactly what you want to see, get in there, see it and then get out. There's absolutely no need to see the entire museum from foot to toe unless that's what you really, really, really want to do. When I was in the British Museum, the only thing I wanted to see was the Parthenon friezes and statues since I had been in Greece several years earlier. That was enough for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Not necessarily. If you know exactly what you want to see, get in there, see it and then get out. There's absolutely no need to see the entire museum from foot to toe unless that's what you really, really, really want to do. When I was in the British Museum, the only thing I wanted to see was the Parthenon friezes and statues since I had been in Greece several years earlier. That was enough for me.
    That's true if you only want to see one particular area. But if you want to see some of the most well-known items, you have to go to several the different parts of the museum. The Rosetta Stone is in the Egyptian area, the Sutton Hoo is with Anglo Saxon area, the Parthenon friezes are in the Greek area, etc. Just walking between wings will take awhile. When I was studying in London, we had to go to the museum for at least an hour each week to walk through and study a different area, and even those 10-12 trips barely cracked the surface of the museum.

    To just see the "major" items, I would plan at least three hours, but expect to spend most of the day, because it is hard not to get caught up in looking around each of the wings you go to. It is hard to even suggest what to skip. I would definitely see the wings with the above items, as well as the Assyrian and Babylonian artifacts. I guess, if I were to skip anything, it would be the rooms for Asia (though not the Middle East), the Americas, and Africa.

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    Reckless - totally agree. I can spend hours and hours in just one section of the museum.....

    However...London in a day...........great way to see the stuff and then figure out what you want to really see.....kind of like a preview. Unless you have oodles of time, or know what you want to target, I think an overall tour is best.

    We lived in London for a spell....and then in Ascot for a while longer. Lots of friends visited. For the people for whom it was a first visit...a day or so was plenty. In that amount of time, I don't think you can really take anything in.

    Now, I do make an exception. No matter what....see the crown jewels. Will make you want to reinstate the monarchy.

    If you have family over there, I would assume you will be going back lots. I like to read up before I spend time in an area or a subject...so after you know what you like................

    Windsor castle (45 minutes west of London) is pretty dang cool...btw.
    DH - and that's just my opinion

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    Quote Originally Posted by AxelAnnie View Post
    Windsor castle (45 minutes west of London) is pretty dang cool...btw.
    As is Hampton Court!

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    Quote Originally Posted by C_T_T_ View Post
    Where abouts in Ireland are you going?
    Seconded.

    Can't really help with the north of England part as I've only ever been to Nottingham.

    My impression from Murdoch's post is that future husband isn't particularly bothered about spending hours in a museum. That's not everybody's idea of fun. Just walking around London can be really enjoyable (providing it's not raining ).

    Murdoch, would your FH and you like to go on the London Eye? Otherwise, the hop-on hop-off bus tour sounds like a good idea and if there is somewhere you'd like to further explore you can get off at that stop.

    Hotels - London is expensive. There's no two ways about it. It might help your search if you narrow it down to what area (or as close to which area as possible) you want to stay in.

    Which airport are you flying into from Ireland? If it's Heathrow, I'd recommend the Heathrow Connect train. It's a bit more expensive than the Tube, but it's a shorter (about 25 minutes as opposed to an hour) and more comfortable journey. It's departs from the same platform at the airport as the Heathrow Express (which is about 10 minutes quicker to Paddington, but twice the cost of the Connect).
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    Quote Originally Posted by JumpinBug View Post
    London in a day is just wrong.
    That was my first thought too.
    But then again, I only had HALF a day to spend in Paris and still managed to see the main sights - it was just "go there, check it out, photo, next" though. So I guess it's possible in London too. You just have to narrow the sights down a lot and only choose a couple of things of interest (that you mainly want to see from the outside).

    Quote Originally Posted by AxelAnnie View Post
    Now, I do make an exception. No matter what....see the crown jewels. Will make you want to reinstate the monarchy.
    Those are the ones at the Tower of London? If yes, then it is the ONLY part of Tower of London that I skipped because I just couldn't bother with the 100 meter queue. Should I regret?

    Anyway for Murdoch, I hope that you'll have a great time on your trip! I took the train from Glasgow to London last fall and the sights are pretty - typical English countryside. Lots of sheep. But pretty.
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    With just 4-5 days for England, with a goal of hitting only the highlights, and a desire to spend time with family in Wigan, I'd have you only try to hit two cities; and if that's London and Liverpool, then that's London and Liverpool. To try to do more cities, you'd be spending too much time in the travel/waiting for travel.

    It is entirely possible to hit the highlights of London in one day, if all you do is stay outside. I did that on my first trip there. I only had a day, so a day was all it took me! You're just getting a flavor of the place, no more.

    Since time will be short, and you just want an overview, I'd do a bus tour or, if you'd prefer, just walk around the Westminster area, and do the London Eye, plus perhaps walk around the interiors of maybe 1-2 places, max. My pick, if you're at all into museums, would be either the British Museum or the Victoria and Albert. If you're into WWII, then it *has* to be the Cabinet War Rooms.

    If it's a nice day, get takeout from a Tesco or something, and eat on the grass in a park or etc - saves time and money.

    As for inexpensive hotels - London is one of the more expensive cities in the world, so... what, exactly, do you require in a hotel re: facilities/location/amenities? What do you mean by "inexpensive" re: dollars/GBP?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    As for inexpensive hotels - London is one of the more expensive cities in the world, so... what, exactly, do you require in a hotel re: facilities/location/amenities? What do you mean by "inexpensive" re: dollars/GBP?
    Ok, I will try to respond to all the questions...

    1) We have not decided which city we are flying into or out of... and we even talked about the ferry at one point. We can either come into London and leave from Manchester, or vice versa.

    2) We are taking the below tour through Ireland:http://www.authenticireland.com/tour...Irish+Opulence

    3) For me, the goal of this trip is two fold. a) see family as they are not able to fly (all of them) to Canada for the wedding and b) give my FH a taste of Britain... I want him to see how much there is (as in HE thinks London is a day trip - I however totally disagree!) to see and do and then trek back there in a few years time.

    So - it is ALL about enticing him!

    As for the London hotel - CLEAN - convenient would be nice and SAFE would be essential. Beyond that, not sure how much time we would spend in our room, so I don't need a work out facility, pool, etc.

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    Eight years ago (granted that is a long time), my friend and I found a relatively affordable B&B in Bayswater. There are several there. Check out a travel guide like Let's Go for cheaper lodging recommendations. You don't even have to buy it; take a trip to a mega bookstore with a pen and paper in your purse!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Eight years ago (granted that is a long time), my friend and I found a relatively affordable B&B in Bayswater. There are several there. Check out a travel guide like Let's Go for cheaper lodging recommendations. You don't even have to buy it; take a trip to a mega bookstore with a pen and paper in your purse!
    That's how I found Vancouver Studios, in Bayswater:
    http://www.vancouverstudios.co.uk/

    What I like most about that place, other than its location, is that each room comes with a tiny kitchenette, so I save money by eating b-fast and lunches in.
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