Location: Near Liz's favourite home, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, U.K.
If you were coming to England.....
what would you most want to see?
I ask this question as some great friends of ours are coming all the way over from Minessotta (mid west I believe) via Chicago to come and only spend 7 days with us.
Why, because that is the only leave they can get as we are holidaying with them later in the year so this is all they have spare.
Coming such a long way on their first trip to England, there is so much we can show them but don't want to flood them and tire them out.
We live near Windsor and approx. 30 mins from London so they are easy choices and have said do the Palace (my husband is ex Guardsman to the Royal Family), the London Eye, Tower of London etc., etc. That and Windsor will take up 3 days for them
So American friends, if it were you coming over , what else would be on your Agenda bearing in mind time limits, etc.
I really want to indulge them whilst they are here but not overdo it - I would assume that history and historic buildings would be important so do you think for this visit (not planning for it to be the only one) London and the South East would be best to stick to
Many thanks for your input but it would be refreshing and interesting to learn from others, especially those of you who live in the midwest part of the states. Bear in mind that their family roots descend from Northern Europe, i.e. Sweden, Germany etc and they do not believe they have any family roots in Britain.
KG, I am not an American, I am Canadian, but I imagine we are much alike in what we enjoy( except our beer is better! )
I have been to London , once, and plan on going again with my 14 yr old son this August, and the one place I will definately include is the fabulous British Museam. I spent three days there last time and could easily spent another three!
The other side trip I took and thoroughly enjoyed was a visit to Bath, I am not sure if the " Baths " are open yet( they were being further restored I understand) but it would be fasinating for them( as it was for me) to see the " Roman " ruins , many of us North Americans have little idea of the remains of the Roman Empire that still dot your country.
If your friends are travelling with kids then I would also recommend Madam Tussands Wax Museam, it is exspensive , but kids would love it.
Oooh, this is a tough one. I did a daytrip from London to Stonehenge and Stratford-upon-Avon once, that might be doable. Also, if you want to stay more to the Southeast, maybe Dover and Leeds Castle with a drive through Kent? Bath is also a great suggestion.
To me Westminister was the place to be. I could have spent the entire day there where one can actually touch the tombs or cases that hold the remains of all these Kings and Queens we have read about in the history books as well as others of great fame. Of course the Tower of London was also very interesting and we loved exploring all the differant areas.
Getting the "LondonPass" does save quite a bit of money as it gives free access to all the buses and the tube as well as free access or discounts to various attractions and 'front of the line' prividges. Understand that you can ONLY but then on the Internet from overseas and cannot just pick them up while there or at least for the USA price. Have them buy the three day ones. Very worthwhile.
I am from Minnesota. Minneapolis is the capital and it's 300 miles northwest of Chicago. My mother was from Leicester, so I have English roots.
With your time constraint I would stick to the area in and around London. There is enough to see in London for them. When most people think of England they envision the Royalty, pageantry and history. Seeing the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace or visiting Windsor Castle, The Tower, Houses of Parliament (Big Ben), Westminster and a cruise on the Thames would be excellent choices for them. If you do venture out of London an outing to the west to visit Stonehenge would be a great way to see the countryside from the motorway but you can venture off and see some of the true countryside, but you know that far more than I do.
I hope you have a wonderful time and tell them hi from a fellow Minnesootan.
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The Tower is wonderful, the Ceremony of the Keys is spectacular. I won't forget the sound of those gates closing.
I would certainly consider a show in the West End.
If they have any historical leanings, especially regarding WWII, I'd certainly include a trip down to Churchill's war rooms under Westminster. I thought they were wonderfully fascinating and evocative.
Of course, Windsor itself is a must. Preferably on a day when nobody's getting married.
I wouldn't spend much time shopping. Your prices these days are, ahem, ridiculous, and if they're from Minneapolis they've got the Mall of America in their back yard, which is as much shopping as any mortal should ever be subjected to. But maybe a spin through Marks and Sparks just to see the "show" would be fun for them.
Dinner at Rules.
Cambridge if the weather's nice. A lovely afternoon along the water.
Stonehenge and Bath are great. And Stratford.
I'm a Sherlockian, so I usually stop for a ceremonial pint at the Sherlock Holmes pub off Trafalgar. I also tend to go by the collection at the Marylebone Library, but that's a bit specialized. But perhaps if they're interested, a look at the lovely new Sherlock Holmes statue outside the Baker Street tube would be fun.
Those wonderful walking tours are great. I especially enjoyed the Inns of Court walk.
One of the things I would truly enjoy is a proper High Tea. Of course I'd want to see it all,...gardens are often nice to meander through, but I don't know what is blooming over there this time of year. A country drive would be great also. I can't wait to hear what you choose and how they enjoy it.
P.S. someday I hope to make it across the pond for a visit
No trip to London would in my mind be complete without witnessing the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace (if you can get near enough), and a visit to St. Pauls. Stand under the dome and look at the Latin inscription in the floor.. I won't reveal what it says, but when you find out what it's about, you'll be impressed. I know someone said shopping is expensive, but you really should visit Harrod's just to browse.....the food area (where they sell food) is unique, and if memory serves, they have a pub in the lower level, so a pint may be an option as well......
Other than going to all of the above, the only other thing that was a must on my list was to go to a real English Pub and have fish and chips. And believe me it was worth the effort. A Castle is a must too.
All of the above are great EXCEPT the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace..... very overated. A wonderful alternative which everyone LOVED was the changing of the Horse Guards which I think is at the admiralty. Every time I show my pictures to someone they say, " Why didn't anyone tell us about THAT?" And much smaller crowd.....
Also Sir John Soane's House which is at Lincoln's Inn so you can do the Inns of the Court at the same time...... my daughter and I loved this place. Sir John was a real "renaissance man" and his house is so interesting. It has the originals of Hogarth's "Rake's Progress" and his "Standing for the By-Election" which is hilarious and proves politics hasn't changed in the last 225 years.
We all loved having high tea at Harrods.... plus the store itself. Taking a boat from Westminster Pier to Greenwich was also great..... my kids loved standing with one foot in each hemisphere. The boat we went in back in '84 was one that had actually made 3 trips to Dunkirk during the evacuation. I really teared up when the captain told us that.
Also no one has mentioned St. Paul's.... not quite as impressive as Westminster, but still great. Not trying to be a wet blanket and much as I love Bath and Kent and Canterbury and Stratford, my daughter and I spent 9 days in London and didn't near see all we wanted to see. I think I'd forget day trips unless there's something they feel they just HAVE to see.
Th one thing I wanted to see most when my husband took me "home" to England about 10 years ago, was Liverpool, home of the Beatles. I am a big Beatles fan and always wanted to see the places they sing about. So we took the Magical Mystery Tour around Liverpool and I had the BEST time!
We also saw alot of pretty countryside, rode every stean train we could find, ate in some great little pubs, had real English Fish'nChips, visited Buckingham Palace, and saw a London show called Starlight Express. Enjoyed every minute of that trip, and would love to do it again sometime.
Location: Near Liz's favourite home, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, U.K.
Re: Re: If you were coming to England.....
WOW!!! Thanks everyone for such wonderful suggestions - I knew that you would all come up with some great ideas.
Yes, many of what you have suggested has been on our minds, but as I said with only 7 days and with them flying East, we also have to take that into account.
On this trip, we will give them a taster of what is yet to come and spend the majority of it in London and do all the sights we can. Yes, Buck House, Houses of Parliament, Westminster, Tower of London, Cabient War Rooms and a River Thames Cruise including the Thames Barrie and Greenwich are on the plans (along with a ride on the new Millenium London Eye.)
Then we will concentrate on Windsor and the wonderful surrounding countryside that we are so lucky to live in here in the Thames Valley with Marlow, Henley, Eton and Royal Ascot on our doorstep.
I wish you could all come over sometime - would love to play host. Maybe I could start up the Cruisemates London Tour Company.
Once again, thanks to all for such wonderful ideas.
I will make sure I take photos and post on the gallery when they come.
That is such a coincidence!!!! My husband comes from a very small village in Leicestershire called Mount Sorrel and his Mother and some of his siblings still live there!
It is about 110 miles north from when we live here in Maidenhead in Berkshire. And you also live in Minesotta too. Our friends live in a place called Redwood Falls adn want us over there later in the year. I understand from them that when it snows over there, it really snows and they told us to go out and buy a copy of Fargo, which I have to say we really enjoyed.
Can't wait to see them and I am sure the week will absolutely fly by. I think with only 7 days, we will concentrate on London and local attractions and then when they come back again (for 2 weeks next time), we will then take them further afield and see all the other historic sights that this great but little island has to offer.
Have a great day - it is General Election day over here today so let's see what happens. Blair is not for me so I hope he gets a kicking!!!!!
You are welcome any time, just let me know. When your not spending all your vacation time on cruises, come over here and see the historical sights.
Yes, England has many Castles with Windsor Castle being the oldest inhabited castle in the whole world and nearly 1000 years old (first built by William the Conqueror in 1066).
Also Warwick Castle is excellent which is only about 80 miles north of me and also Leeds Castle in Kent (approx another 80 miles South west) with all its regal history and moat and drawbridge is excellent, as is Hever Castle ,so there are many to see in a fairly short diameter of where I live.
Of course, London is a great tourist attraction too with so much to see and do, even though I used to live there, haven't seen or done half of it.