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Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby Shyrtandros » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:00 am

Thanks all, I will let my hunny go over all the suggestions, she has been to England a handful of times so she will be able to make better sense of everything than I will..

Her Stepfather and I will be doing alot of pub hopping, I believe most of our evenings will be spent in pubs.

I myself don't drink alcohol except for the occasional taste test.. I do plan to take a few small samples of taste tests of Scotlands wide array of whiskey.

*EDIT*

If it's helpful for anyone to add more ideas we will be landing in Birmingham Saturday April 30th and then leaving Friday the 13th!!(of may)
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby Euphoria » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:16 am

I had a lot of fun during my time in York. The guys at the Yorkshire brewery were amazing on the tour I took with them back in '07 (yeah, it's been a few years since I've been across the Atlantic). There were only four of us on the tour so they gave it to us for free and then sat in the on-site pub and drank with us for a few hours. If you do stop in York you MUST visit the Minster. I went to Christmas service there even though I'm not Anglican and it was still a great experience. Also, the highlands are GORGEOUS.

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh was also a fantastic way to burn a few hours. I'd recommend going through the castle and if you can handle enclosed spaces run through the Mary Kings Close tour. The Close's (not sure of the plural form of that) are streets that ran through the city up to five centuries ago. They're cramped, dark, and damp and it gives you a great sense of how miserable life was before the advent of small things like indoor plumbing and electricity.


London is great but I found the people in the surrounding area to be more friendly and I truly had a better time in York/Edinburgh than I did in London. I lied my ass off and claimed I was Canadian so maybe that had something to do with it. Come to think of it, I've claimed I was a Canadian in every country I've visited with the exceptions of Canada and Trinidad.
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby Shyrtandros » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:28 am

Discus wrote:Speaking as someone who was born in UK and has lived all over England I think it generally has amazing countryside/small villages and meh towns and cities – but there are a few exceptions. You have a choice – visit where most American tourists visit when they come over here - London, Edinburgh, Ambleside in Lake District – all have much going for them Or if you are a little more adventurous you could venture off the American tourist track.


This most definately, we want to avoid the normal tourist traps except for those jaw dropping cannot miss things and see the things that are amazing that most people miss!


Euphoria wrote:London is great but I found the people in the surrounding area to be more friendly and I truly had a better time in York/Edinburgh than I did in London. I lied my ass off and claimed I was Canadian so maybe that had something to do with it. Come to think of it, I've claimed I was a Canadian in every country I've visited with the exceptions of Canada and Trinidad.


I've heard of people lying about where they are from.. I myself am not ashamed I will tell everyone who asks that I am from Texas :)
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby Discus » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:09 am

The vast majority of us Brits are friendly, able to see beyond politics, see people as individuals and will welcome you. I'm biased but northern English are friendlier than Londoners! We all encounter unfriendly people in London, regardless of where you are from.

The country gastropubs are still well worth visiting for the food even if you don't drink.

Birmingham is a great central starting point and will allow you to drive to most places in England within a couple of hours. I'd try the Cotswolds about an hour south-west, the Lakes about 2-3 hours north-west and York maybe 2 hours north-east - all day trips, although probably better to stay over in the lakes.
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby Shyrtandros » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:26 am

I made a joke to my hunny and said that 2 or 3 tankadins live throughout england or scotland and said I could come play some Internation WoW at their place so I don't miss out on any Arena points while I'm gone...

She plays wow too but she was still VERY grumpy with me for saying that I would take a trip to another country to play wow :).

I'm so evil :twisted:
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby bldavis » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:12 am

Shyrtandros wrote:I do plan to take a few small samples of taste tests of Scotlands wide array of whiskey.

its whisky

only whisky from scotland can be called such, so show it proper respect!
(i think irish whisky can be as well..but thats besides the point)

and no i dont drink, but yes i am scottish (ok about 1/16th scottish)
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby Discus » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:19 am

Whisky = Scottish

Whiskey = Irish
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby Discus » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:46 am

I only learnt that Irish Whiskey has a different spelling after a trip to the Bowmore distillery in Ireland. Quite embarassing as I'd been drinking both Scotch and Irish malts for years but never noticed :roll:

As a non-drinker, if you do want to try scotch whisky I'd advise going for the less peaty drinks. These tend to be paler, milder tasting and sweeter - bigger brands include Glen Morangie and Glen Fiddich. Connosieurs prefer peaty whisky (e.g. Laguvellin, The Bowmore) but these can be pretty rough on the palate even for experienced whisky drinkers like me. Don't be ashamed to add a splash of water - however, don't make the mistake I did in the highlands where I added half a tumbler of water. The landlord laughed at my English ways, tipped my "ruined" whisky down the sink and gave me another free drink into which he showed me how to add water.

Interesting how a thread about the UK so quickly turns to alcohol!

On the food front, really good fish and chips is very hard to get these days in the UK. Since you are staying in Birmingham with friends ask where their best local Indian restaurant is. Curries are our national dish now and Birmingham has some of the best. When I've visited America I've always loved the food, but the thing I miss most is a spicey hot curry.
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby Euphoria » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:45 pm

Euphoria wrote:London is great but I found the people in the surrounding area to be more friendly and I truly had a better time in York/Edinburgh than I did in London. I lied my ass off and claimed I was Canadian so maybe that had something to do with it. Come to think of it, I've claimed I was a Canadian in every country I've visited with the exceptions of Canada and Trinidad.


I've heard of people lying about where they are from.. I myself am not ashamed I will tell everyone who asks that I am from Texas :)[/quote]

You know why Oklahoma is so windy right? It's because Kansas sucks and Texas blows! Yeah, I'm an Okie :)
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby cerwillis » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:21 pm

The only reason I would lie and say I was from another country when abroad is if I was going to be generally disrespectful and rude, (Which I wouldn't). Why not be proud that you are from the U.S.A. and show the world that there are good people from here, as well as the few bad apples that leave a bad impression. I assure you that in almost every European and British country, you will more often be treated well for being "Of the States" than treated badly.

I have been traveling over there since '98, and I have been to most of the countries edit:WEST of the Berlin Wall, as well as East Germany, Czech Repub, Croatia, Slovenia, etc. Perhaps it is because we are musicians, but we were always met with overwhelming approval for being American. The worst we got was a few jabs about W. during his administration.

Don't lie about who you are in hopes that people will like you better, it's not gonna work if you aren't likeable to begin with.
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby sahiel » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:29 pm

Discus wrote:Interesting how a thread about the UK so quickly turns to alcohol!

Yet hardly surprising, we do like the odd tipple ;)

On that note, be wary of Brits offering to buy you an 'apple juice' in a pub, specially if you hear the word 'scrumpy'!

On the food front, really good fish and chips is very hard to get these days in the UK. Since you are staying in Birmingham with friends ask where their best local Indian restaurant is. Curries are our national dish now and Birmingham has some of the best. When I've visited America I've always loved the food, but the thing I miss most is a spicey hot curry.

Definitely this. Living in the States now the one, single thing I miss the most is being unable to find a great Indian curry, never found anywhere over here that can do them half as well as the UK restaurants.
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby cerwillis » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:37 pm

I watched one of my NYC friends eating probably the spiciest vindaloo I've ever seen when we were somewhere near London. He also had a pile of green chilies on the side that were not food, more like chemical weapons.
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby Shyrtandros » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:42 pm

sahiel wrote:
Discus wrote:Interesting how a thread about the UK so quickly turns to alcohol!

Yet hardly surprising, we do like the odd tipple ;)

On that note, be wary of Brits offering to buy you an 'apple juice' in a pub, specially if you hear the word 'scrumpy'!

On the food front, really good fish and chips is very hard to get these days in the UK. Since you are staying in Birmingham with friends ask where their best local Indian restaurant is. Curries are our national dish now and Birmingham has some of the best. When I've visited America I've always loved the food, but the thing I miss most is a spicey hot curry.

Definitely this. Living in the States now the one, single thing I miss the most is being unable to find a great Indian curry, never found anywhere over here that can do them half as well as the UK restaurants.


I love spicy food and I like the indian foods that my friends cook for me (They came from India several years ago), and they tell me that the food in Europe will be better because the easier access to ingrediants, so I will definately have that on my list of "things to do"
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby Bobness » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:42 am

honestly...

If you wish to see a stereotypical misrepresentation of England then London is the place to go....

As others have suggested some of the countryside is fantastic.

Devon Cornwall/Lake District/Snowdon/Highlands & too many others to mention

Also Avoid Stratford... the guy wrote a few books...

English cities are generally Meh.. but there is some good architecture. Pretty much travelling around the coast is where you'll have the most fun... but there are tourist
traps there as well.


p.s for curries...

Birmingham for a Balti.
Bradford for the real deal.
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Re: Visiting England + Scotland..Recommendations?

Postby Meloree » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:25 am

Discus wrote:I only learnt that Irish Whiskey has a different spelling after a trip to the Bowmore distillery in Ireland.


There's a Bowmore in Ireland? I only knew of the one on Islay.
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