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Author Topic: Vacation help- south of England/West Country  (Read 658 times)

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mechtilde

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Vacation help- south of England/West Country
« on: July 25, 2015, 09:53:01 AM »
We're planning on visiting Bovington Tank Museum and the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth in a few weeks. Any other suggestions? We have two boys aged 11 and 13
NE England

guihong

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Re: Vacation help- south of England/West Country
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2015, 02:40:21 PM »
I'm American, but Southhampton isn't very far away.  There's a museum on the port itself, including the Titanic.



faithlessone

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Re: Vacation help- south of England/West Country
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2015, 03:07:48 PM »
If you're into that sort of thing, Beaulieu National Motoring Museum in the New Forest is BRILLIANT. I've been a couple of times, and my cousins (boys aged 14 and 16) have been going every half-term and holiday for a few years, and they still love it.

Link here: http://www.beaulieu.co.uk/

Fi

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Re: Vacation help- south of England/West Country
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2015, 02:27:29 AM »
You could go fossil hunting on the Jurassic coast - Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door aren't far from Bovington - and there's the steam railway at Swanage, which goes out to Corfe Castle.

NestHolder

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Re: Vacation help- south of England/West Country
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2015, 08:54:43 AM »
I'm very fond of Stonehenge, in Wiltshire.  It's impressive to be so close to something so old... and the audio tour (last time I went) was very good.  Avebury ring is not far, and impressive in different ways.  Still awesomely old!

While you're in the area, Salisbury is worth a visit.  The cathedral is excellent—not that boys aged 13 and 11 will necessarily be fascinated by a cathedral, but in the early afternoon they run the 'Tower Tour' which takes you up above the ceiling and inside the fabric of the building, which is very interesting indeed.

athersgeo

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Re: Vacation help- south of England/West Country
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2015, 09:36:09 AM »
I'm very fond of Stonehenge, in Wiltshire.  It's impressive to be so close to something so old... and the audio tour (last time I went) was very good.  Avebury ring is not far, and impressive in different ways.  Still awesomely old!

While you're in the area, Salisbury is worth a visit.  The cathedral is excellent—not that boys aged 13 and 11 will necessarily be fascinated by a cathedral, but in the early afternoon they run the 'Tower Tour' which takes you up above the ceiling and inside the fabric of the building, which is very interesting indeed.

Bear in mind, though, that it is quite a long drive from Portsmouth to Avebury. I live about fifteen miles north of Avebury and it takes me upwards of two hours to get to Southampton (and Portsmouth's probably another half hour on from there, minimum!), so it's not what I'd call close! (Not that Avebury isn't awesome, because it is - particularly seeing as you can walk the whole circle and get up close with the stones, which you can't at Stone Henge.)

This website might be of use: http://www.visit-hampshire.co.uk/

Margo

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Re: Vacation help- south of England/West Country
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2015, 02:08:42 PM »
Winchester is fairly close (Jane Austen is buried there in the cathedral, and they have King Arthur's round table (actually a 13th C table with 16th decoration)

Salisbury is about an hour by car or an hour and a quarter by train - they currently have a 'Barons Trail' as part of the Magna Carta 800 celebrations - there are lots of model Barons around the town, decorated in different themes (there is a Terry Pratchett Baron, for instance) and of course there is Magna Carta itself, too.

I agree with the suggestion to visit Beaulieu Motor Museum - as well as the cars themselves (which are lovely, even if you are not a petrolhead) there is the ruined abbey and the manor house to visit.

I'd pick Avebury over Stonehenge (particularly with kids - there is much more space and you can explore more), but athersgeo is right that it would take a while - I'd say around 1.45 - 2 hours drive each way.

If you/your kids are interested in history there is Fishbourne Roman Villa, about 20 minutes from Portsmouth, and there are Palmerston forts aabove the city https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Nelson,_Hampshire
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 03:27:46 AM by Margo »

athersgeo

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Re: Vacation help- south of England/West Country
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2015, 02:24:41 AM »
Another point about driving to Avebury from the south: the more direct route is across Salisbury Plain and while it's very pretty (and the boys will get a kick out of "Tank Crossing" signs) I found it to be on the nervewracking side: the British Army's tank drivers have a nasty tendency to cross the main road at speed and with a minimum of warning and a lot of the tank crossings have pretty poor visibility from the perspective of a car driver...

On the other hand, if you do decide to come up to Avebury, there's also Silbury Hill and the West Kennet long barrows to see, which are both off the main A4, and on a slightly more modern note (!) there's also Caen Hill flight of locks on the Kennet and Avon canal (Devizes) which is a nice walk with the added bonus of probably getting to watch something going either up or down the hill. (Last time I was there I got roped in to helping to open some of the lock gates!)

eta Note to self: next time you visit your Bro/SIL take a detour via Fishbourne!

rain

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Re: Vacation help- south of England/West Country
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2015, 09:05:27 PM »
How cool - I'm going to be watching this thread as DS wants to go next summer.

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