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Thread: Ideas for UK in mid may

  1. #1
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    Ideas for UK in mid may

    I'm currently enjoying an all expense paid stay of one wonderful day at Heathrow, courtesy of the French air traffic controllers.

    I'm getting bored and thought I'd ask all of you for some ideas. In May I'm coming back for two+ weeks, the first of which will be in London with friends. The rest is wide open but the idea is to wander about in the countryside. I'd like ideas of where to go. Biking would be fun but I'm not sure of the weather in mid May.

    Your ideas will be greatly appreciated.

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    If you like biking, you wonít go far wrong with coed-y-brenin. Iím partial to the Lake District too.


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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    If you're stuck at heathrow then jump on the heathrow express and see a bit of London!

    As for mid May.... expect absolutely anything weather wise. If it's good you could see temperatures in the high 20s C and plenty of sun. Equally you could see persistent rain and temperatures in the lower teens, particularly further north. By biking I don't know if you mean cycling or motor biking. Can't tell you much about the latter but for the former any of the national parks provide good terrain.

    If you know what you're doing in the mountains then head up to the Scottish Highlands, particularly on the western side. The Cullin Ridge on the Isle of Skye is spectacular, as is Glenn Coe. The Lake District in North West England or Snowdonia in North Wales also provide some mountain action albeit that bit less challenging. If you're looking for more rural idyllic English charm then the Cotswolds, the area to the west of Oxford is difficult to beet. Sandstone villages and quaint tea rooms. It doesn't get much more stereo-typically English! if you fancy seeing a bit of Cambridge then let me know, happy to give you the guided tour. It's a 50 minute train ride from London with 6 trains an hour so easy to get to. Alas it's university exam season so a lot of the older buildings worth seeing will be closed to the public. Come on a Thursday and I'll introduce you to some British scouts as well!

    The Cornish Coast, particularly on the north side, provides some pretty dramatic coast line and if you've ever surfed is probably the best surfing that you'll get in the UK. It's got a combination of rocky cliffs and secluded small bays and well worth spending some time in.

    Bit of a warning about getting around. If you are contemplating using the rail network it is eye wateringly expensive at peak times, particularly if you tun up and ride. But travel off peak and/or book in advance and you get some extraordinary bargains. If you are going to fly the most extensive budget airline is Ryan Air but while cheap is worth steering clear of. Dreadful service. Easyjet is your best bet for domestic air travel. The road network is hit and miss depending on where and when you are going.

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    Thanks Skip! I'll look those up.

    Last night we went on a hunt for fish and chips and found a great dive, comete with a guy we could barely understand. I think he was Indian. He was fun, though. We'll leave London for May. Yes, we experienced Ryan. 'nough said.

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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    Should also add... if you have time then my favourite city in the UK is Durham. I am totally biased as I had 4 years there as a student! It is though a tiny but perfectly formed and impossibly charming corner of the country. This is one of the best views of it. Small enough to see all there is to see in a day but quite unforgettable

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    Senior Member Ihatecamping's Avatar
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    You could do much worse than taking a train from London to Newcastle, then across to Haltwhistle. Then you could walk the interesting bit of Hadrian's Wall from West to East. Spend one night in the Twice Brewed pub (or the adjacent youth hostel, depending on your budget), then stay somewhere like the Boatside Inn/Chollerford etc. Then take the train (or bus, t's dead cheap and takes a similar amount of time) from Hexham to Newcastle, then the train to Durham (which I also recommend, and for the same reason as our Cambridge friend).

    On the way back to London, stop off at Cambridge or Ely, unless you're bored of manmade and natural beauty by that point. In which case, take a trip to Birmingham.
    Specialisation is for insects.

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    If you're from Colorado, I'm guessing our puny mountains would be laughable to your eyes.

    While you're in London, and as you're a scout, and if you happen to be in South Kensington, there's a nice big statue of Baden Powell outside, erm, Baden Powell House, next to the Natural History Museum.

    Depends what you want really, I mean, I'd hire a car and hit the road. Cotswolds is a good shout. Maybe Dorset, hey, you could even go to Brownsea Island and see Scouting ground zero.

    The National Trust looks after loads of old buildings, so if you want to look at a nice old building.
    They usually have a nice garden and tea room to boot.

    See also English Heritage who look after lots of castles.

    If you want perfect castle. Bodiam in Kent. In fact, Kent's quite pretty generally.
    If you like a nice garden, Sissinghurst, also Kent, Great Dixter, also Kent. Kew (SW London). Wisley (bit further out but more or less SW London).
    If you like relics from prehistory, Avebury Ring or Stonehenge.
    If you want to be with lots of tourists, that's not London, go to Bath and all its Georgian splendour. See also Oxford or Cambridge. All lovely places to visit mind you.
    Devon is lovely generally. As is Cornwall. I'd go back to Boscastle in a shot.
    If you like pretty stereotypically English villages, then as well as the Cotswolds, head on to around Hereford and Worcester (pronounced Woster). Lots of little cottages with exposed beams and thatched roofs.

    If you've got plenty of money, maybe stay for a while at a Landmark Trust property. Though for next May, it might well be school holidays and already booked. Weird towers and 15C manor houses follies and all sorts.

    Ian
    Ian Wilkins
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    Jambowlree - World Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2016 - May 2017
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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    Senior Member Puzzledbyadream's Avatar
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    What about the Devon Coast to Coast?
    Nyika (formerly Bagheera)

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    Thank you all! This will be a fun adventure. Now I'm sorry we didn't allow more time but there was a great sale on tickets and we just guessed.

    My wife was telling someone about it and said we had no ideas at which point I chimed in that I knew some locals that could help us out. She gave me a funny look and asked me who I knew in the UK. I told her they were scouts so she's satisfied.

    Thanks again but now it's time to go to bed. I finally made it home and I'm shot.

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    I suggest reading notes from a small island by Bill Bryson, and it's sequel. (With a similar title, I seem to remember).

    It might inspire.

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    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    I suggest reading notes from a small island by Bill Bryson, and it's sequel. (With a similar title, I seem to remember).
    I think the sequel is called something with 'Little Dribling' in the title. I have it at home, so will check later.

    In all seriousness, I would second calls to see the Lake District (I grew up there), but its not always convenient to get to. May I suggest a day in Leeds (just don't come expecting to see Leeds Castle, its 200 miles to the south!), a day in York and a day in the Yorkshire Dales? The Yorkshire Coast is also worth seeing in my opinion (but I am of course biased).

    I any case, I would suggest arranging to meet one of our groups, and perhaps join them for a meeting (if your companions agree, of course), just to get a first hand idea of how things work here. Anybody else think that's a good idea?
    All posts represent my own opinions only. In no way do they speak for anyone else, including (but not limited to) my group, district, county or HQ.

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    Bryson's book is called The Road to Little Dribbling. Not quite as a good as Notes From a Small Island, but I'll read anything he writes anyway because he's a fantastic writer.

    For proper country side, you need to come a wee bit further north, to Scotland... (Sadly, mostly left out of The Road to Little Dribbling.) For proper 'proper' country side, you'd need to go to the north of Scotland, which if you're in the south of Scotland (or the middle of it for that matter), is a substantial trek, so might be out of reach. You could read a great book called Around Scotland, which is all about travels along the Great Glen Way and the North Coast 500...

    I mean I say that, but I'm biased - because its my book...




    Edit* Totally agree with Lake_stu above. We're off next week on our annual Explorer trip, and its been made significantly better by being in touch with Scouts from that area (Hopeman Scouts, by Elgin.) We're staying at Gordonstoun and one of the teachers there is the GSL... Its one of the best things about Scouting...
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 12-10-2017 at 01:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    You could read a great book called Around Scotland, which is all about travels along the Great Glen Way and the North Coast 500...
    Was just browsing for some reading material for next weeks holiday... Around Scotland by some chap called Pa Brown now winging it's way through the ether to my kindle

    As good as Bryson or your money back yeah?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon.md View Post
    Was just browsing for some reading material for next weeks holiday... Around Scotland by some chap called Pa Brown now winging it's way through the ether to my kindle

    As good as Bryson or your money back yeah?
    Oh... I don't know about that...

    I did have it proofed and edited, so its not a total car crash in that regard.

    Thanks for giving it a go though.


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    Sea Scout Leader richardnhunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon.md View Post
    Was just browsing for some reading material for next weeks holiday... Around Scotland by some chap called Pa Brown now winging it's way through the ether to my kindle

    As good as Bryson or your money back yeah?
    me too - something for next weeks commute

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