Author Topic: Where do I want to go in England (possibly in UK) with two weeks and two kids?  (Read 642 times)

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MommyPenguin

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I don't still live in MD, but I do still have a MD library card.  :)  I think I can use my local library account to do that, too, although I haven't done it so I'll have to check.

MommyPenguin

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It's somewhat tempting to visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales just because I can spell the name (as long as I sing it, anyway).  :)

Margo

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you are correct that you won't be able to use local libraries as a non-resident. Most charity shops have books for sale - these will be cheaper than buying new - prices will vary but 1-2 each for children's books isn't unusual.  Big bookshops such as Waterstones often have 3 for 2 deals.

Perhaps you could download some classic English children's novels from Project Gutenburg - things such as E Nesbit's books, for instance.
If you are doing Air B&B you may find some of your hosts are willing to let you borrow books on their library cards, or they may have books available if they have children.

Regarding P&P and Chatsworth - if you decide to visit the Bath area you might want to go to Lacock ( http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lacock/ )- the village is regularly used for filming all sorts of things . The village was used for 'Meryton' in the BBC P&P, and the house for some of the Pemberly interiors. The Abbey (part of the house) was used in several of the Harry Potter films for Hogwarts interiors.  It's also very pretty and traditionally 'British' so is worth a visit in it's own right.

You could of course also take a trip to Lyme Regis (about 2 hours drive from Bath) and see where Louisa Musgrove concussed herself!

If you think you may want to visit National Trust properties, they do sell a 'touring pass' which gives 1 or 2 weeks membership, for overseas visitors. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/overseas-visitors/touring-pass/ . Although Stonehenge is run by English Heritage, not the National Trust, National Trust membership does also give access to Stonehenge (not other EH properties)

Bethalize

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The Cotswolds are definitely what you want if you want the picturesque English Village. Blenheim Palace is a good place to head for if you want a stately home.

Don't forget that Wales, a whole different country, is really, really close to that side of the country. A half day visit to Chepstow so you can have your photo taken with the sign "welcome to Wales" is what we used to do with our exchange students.

The thing in London to see is the Tower of London. You can't get anywhere richer with popular history. Tours by a beefeater, ravens, the Crown Jewels.


ClaireC79

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Castles might be fun for them. We stayed in Cardiff on our last trip and and there are several in and around Cardiff. Bath is a minor detour on the drive from London to or from Cardiff.

If you do go to Cardiff then I'd go to the Museum of Welsh Life https://www.museumwales.ac.uk/stfagans/living-museum/

Big Pit isn't that far if you are staying Cardiff Way - free tour down mining pit but it's a bit out of the way

cicero

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Depending on your what your children like, but I would (and have with my son) take them to the british museum and the science museum - both are excellent. The British museum is HUGE, and frankly some parts can be boring repetitive (if you're not particularly interested in that genre), so i would scope it out beforehand and choose a few things that are unique (e.g., the mummies).

A boat ride is fun, depending on the weather.

The science museum is fantastic but then again i have raised a geek. he loved it (at age around 10-11).


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Smulkin

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 If you are visiting Chatsworth, there are some other grand properties not too far away- Hardwick Old and New Halls, Bolsover Castle, and Sutton Scarsdale Hall- which span an interesting range from 'intact and furnished' to 'complete ruin'.

paintpots

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Just a comment about Chatsworth - it is gorgeous, but it's a private home, so also quite pricey - ~20 a ticket for an adult + parking on top (unless you reserve online). That said, it's in a beautiful part of the countryside, and is a beautiful house - and it has a playground for the littlies. Nearby Haddon Hall (Tudor Manor House) and Bakewell (mmm cake) worth a visit, as well as a climb up Thorpe Cloud (v. steep bring good shoes) to get a feel for the Peak District. If you want to do a lot of castles/houses though, NT/EH membership worth investigating.

Other suggestions for visit to Somerset/Bath area: Salisbury (beautiful cathedral with lovely views from the water meadows -  maybe attend a choral evensong there), Avebury (better than Stonehenge in my opinion, which I think is decidedly underwhelming), Stourhead (National Trust stately home with amazing gardens), and Old Wardour Castle (English Heritage - ruined castle, v. picturesque), also Lacock, which is where they film a lot of period/regency dramas.

PastryGoddess

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I don't still live in MD, but I do still have a MD library card.  :)  I think I can use my local library account to do that, too, although I haven't done it so I'll have to check.

As long as you have your library card you are good.  All of the county library systems feed into the Overdrive system.  You'll just need your bar code on the back

Sharnita

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I would skip Stonehenge, to be honest.

Bath, Stratford, Edinburgh, Abbotsford, York.

Snooks

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I don't know the West country but I know the North a bit. York is great, the Jorvic Viking Centreis great for kids and you could do a bit on the Viking invasion in their school work. You might be able to fly into Manchester and then you'd only be about an hour and a bit from York. The East coast train goes into Edinburgh which is beautiful and built on a dormant volcano (again for school work). Yorkshire also has the Bronte house and if you're interested in social history Saltaire is a Quaker built town with a mill (although that's now an art gallery). If you want to stay more Southern Oxford and Cambridge are both nice and obviously there's lots to do in London. One thing to note -many museums are free entry.

MommyPenguin

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I found a great solution for the books thing!  I have a friend in London, and she says that her local library there requires a local temporary address, but they'll give cards to visitors as long as they have an address to list (she asked a friend who is a librarian).  So I can use our temporary residence to get a card, or my friend also said I can use her address.  That will be awesome, because it occurred to me that, since there are a lot of great British publishing houses, chances are there will be a wealth of books at the library that you can't find in the U.S., with local character that might help my girls get used to the language and such as well.  So that would be really fantastic!  Chances are that we'll start and end in London, so we can get a card and pick up books, travel around with them, then drop them off and close the account when we return to London at the end.  I'm really excited about that idea.

My husband says absolutely no Stonehenge, btw.  So I guess we'll be skipping that.  (I believe his actual quote was, "I'm not driving two hours to see a pile of rocks.  I can look at a picture."  Heh.

He's really excited about the Jorvic Viking Centre (he ran into it in one of those Frommer's-type books), so it looks like we'll be heading at least that far north.  I've got a Google map set up with all of the places we've thought about mapped out.  :)  My cousin is living in Surrey, so we might try to meet up with them, as well as my friend in London.  We'll see.  :)

It's fun looking at a map of England.  It's amazing how many village/city names are familiar from reading Agatha Christie books!

Another Sarah

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Another place you could try for books is a shop called the works - it sells mostly discount reference books but every one has a classics section where you can buy paperback classics for a pound or two

Kiara

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If you're doing York, I'd hit York Minster and the Castle Museum.  Since that's north...I'd do Blenheim/Oxford and the Cotswolds as a leadup.  Stratford was wonderful, and make sure you see Anne Hathaway's cottage.

In London I second the Tower, I'd hit the British Library (First Folio!  Alice in Wonderland!!), and if your husband likes castles, you can do a day trip to either Windsor or Hampton Court.  I personally preferred Hampton Court.  Bath is also a really easy day trip from London on the train.

For driving...you *think* you can get anywhere fast, but I'd double any time estimates on Google Maps to be safe.  Driving in England was entertainment in and of itself.   ;D