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ever been to the UK? i need your suggestions, pretty please

6.01.2011



dear readers, in one month i am off to oxford to study my little heart out.

can't. wait.

ceej will meet me out there at the end of it all, and we'll be
tromping around merry ol' england, wales, and scotland...
have you been?
what should we make sure not to miss?

many thanks!

21 comments:

Ashley Sisk said...

I have no idea - I'm visiting in September though so take some good notes!

Anonymous said...

St Ives!! its such a nice town and is soo beautiful!

Georgina said...

How exciting! I hope that you have a wonderful time in Oxford :-) I'm very fond of Modern Art Oxford but I've always visited for a specific exhibition & haven't been for some time (http://www.modernartoxford.org.uk/)

I have lots of suggestions but will limit myself to a few favourites, mainly in Cambridge as that is where I live...

There is a very good, cheap bus service that runs from Oxford to Cambridge so it's an easy day trip. The towns are actually quite different if you look beyond the colleges, lovely as they are. I think it's worth a day trip if only to see Kettle's Yard house and gallery (http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/house/index.html). Kettle's Yard have lots of free lunchtime concerts and talks. (Slightly randomly, I can recommend the evening event on July 9th as I know the music and films well http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/exhibitions/holden.html) Other hidden gems include a very sweet independent coffee shop called Indigo's which is just off the Market Square. It's tiny and very welcoming. (http://www.qype.co.uk/place/73648-Indigo-Coffee-house-Cambridge). G David's antiquarian bookshop and The Haunted Bookshop are pretty much next door to Indigo's. Treasures are to be found in both, although G David's is my favourite.(http://www.gdavidbookseller.co.uk) There are so many museums to see but a recent visit reminded me that the Fitzwilliam is the most splendid and varied (Closed on Mondays, as is Kettle's Yard). (http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/)

Last week I visited the Henry Moore Foundation in Perry Green (40 mins from Cambridge) and it's a wonderful opportunity to see where he lived and worked, as well as some monumental sculptures in the grounds. It might be tricky to get to though? (http://www.henry-moore.org/pg)

If you feel the need to see the sea then Holkham, Norfolk, is gorgeous (http://www.holkham.co.uk/html/beach.html) Ha! I thought it was my secret but it has been awarded 'Best British Beach 2011' so may be busier than normal...

I love St Ives as well, if you can travel that far. The Hepworth house/garden/museum is wonderful - one of my favourite places. (http://www.tate.org.uk/stives/hepworth/) Tate St Ives is worth visiting for the building and the framed views of the beach it provides. I love the work there but it's a fairly specialised collection. (It may be cheaper and easier to stay in one of the villages near St Ives and then do a day trip from there?)

My favourite place that I visited last summer was Charleston - Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant's home in Sussex and central to the life of the Bloomsbury Group. It was fascinating - packed full of beautiful objects. (http://www.charleston.org.uk/) I wasn't able to see Virginia Woolf's house nearby as it has limited opening hours but I intend to go back. (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-monkshouse) It's a lovely part of the country - I was there for a wedding so didn't have much time to explore.

I hope that isn't too overwhelming :-) If I could do only three things on my list I would visit Kettle's Yard, Charleston and the Hepworth museum. I won't even attempt to make recommendations for London!

vik said...

how much time are you going to have? I live in the UK and have plenty of ideas for you :)
Scotland - Edinburgh is the city to see and Isle of Skye if you want the wild wild, beautiful nature
Wales - Snowdonia is for the mountain-lovers (though I love the Brecon Beacons too), and Pembrokeshire / Gower if you want to get to the sea
England - I only really know the South-West (I live in Bristol), but I would definitely recommend Bath, or the Cotswolds in general (prettiest gingerbread houses ever)
I've also found Stonehenge and Avebury amazing, but the real magic for me was to visit Arthur's castle, Tintagel (in Cornwall)
sorry this got longer than I planned, and I could still go on and on... email me if I could help anything with the planning
x

~Kristina said...

I've never been but am so excited to see it through your journey. Best wishes!

bigBANG studio said...

Ben Niles. He'll be a Breadloafer in Oxford this summer, too, and he's a dear friend and college roommate of Pete's! YAY! FRIENDS! He's like seven feet tall, specializes in Shakespeare, and happens to be a sick beat-boxer. You can't really miss the guy. He's SUCH a sweetheart. His girlfriend Maggie (also a Breadloafer, also at Oxford this summer!) is darling and super outdoorsy and lovely. DOUBLE YAY!

More recs to come soon...xoxox

Gailen Audie said...

spent 6 weeks in london on great russell street. DEF check out some theatre while you're there - at The West End (student tix are between 10-20 pounds) - maybe some Fringe shows, too.

My favorite art museum was the Saatchi Gallery (modern art) - even moreso than the Tate. Neither is free, BUT the British Museum IS free and you can stroll in there any afternoon and spend hours in there....tea and scone - what more can you ask for?

Notting Hill Portobello Market - must attend.

Regent's Park is great - and Hampstead Heath is even more unkempt and mysterious and magical.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampstead_Heath

Heard the Isle of White was beautiful (day trip?)

Drinking starts heavily at 5pm there and watch out for the walk signs - sometimes they are figures holding a pint!

Don't tip the bartender....

The Indian food is better than everything else - try the prawns (oh, but I think you're a vegetarian) - stop by Sainsbury's supermarket and Boots drug store. Goat cheese bagels!

Oh man.............makin' me want to be there :P bon voyage!

Gailen Audie said...

AND Salisbury Cathedral (the original site) was my fav tourist spot.

Carol said...

The Lake District... and if you have the chance, check out some of Northern coast line.

Georgina said...

The Tate is free! Please don't be put off visiting it. It's just the special exhibitions that have an entrance fee and they're only a small part of what there is to see within the Tate. All the main London museums are free - the V&A, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, the Science Museum...All great. I agree that the British Museum is fabulous though :-)

hannahverschie said...

Definitely do Edinburgh - visit the Elephant House on the Royal Mile - as well as St. Andrews.

If you're up for something a little crazy, visit Camden town in London!

amberlife said...

Should you come to the Isle of Wight (to see Osborne House) come for a cuppa - I live on the estate!!

Amber

jen said...

I am so excited for you and a lot jealous! I can't wait to see your pictures.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

If you can, take a trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Atrim coast is so lovely...

andrea said...

go down to Brighton. I love it there :)

itsasne said...

You'll find many ideas here: http://www.junkaholique.com

Lovely blog, she goes on trips around little villages and the English countryside that are just soo dreamy and quaint:
http://www.junkaholique.com/search/label/places%20to%20visit
(she's also posted about both Oxford and Cambridge)

you are going to love the uk!

Cobalt Violet said...

OH ... I loved the Lake District in England ... so lovely!
We went one summer and it was beautiful! Ahhh Windemere ... go to Google images. You will freak out. ;) Went to Beatrix Potters house in the lake distract. Here is the link ... http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-hilltop.htm

I LOVED Edinburgh. It's actually what I thought London would be like. It's really a wonderful city ... beautiful old buildings ... The Edinburgh Festival ...

Oh my Gosh there is so much great art in London! Especially the Tate and the National Gallery. Lucky you!!!

Brandon Burt said...

Of course, we had all too little time in London -- I could have spent days in the National Gallery and weeks in the British Museum.

But, should your study schedule permit, I suggest an extended side-trip (or several) to Cornwall. It's a magical realm, with surprises around every corner.

The "Nine Maidens" stone circle is well worth a visit, and there's a wonderful B&B near Land's End, and then of course you have to visit Penzance, St. Ives, and the wonderful old cathedral in Truro.

The coastal town of Mousehole isn't pronounced the way you'd expect (it's more like "MAO-sle"), but adjacent to its charming harbor is a great pub that serves Cornish pasties like you wouldn't believe!

Oh, you're going to have a fine time, cuz! I'm so envious.

Katarina said...

Get yourself the BBC documentary series called Coast...you'll fall in love with it, and it'll give you great tips.
We went for a road trip to Scottish Highlands once...
I highly recommend.
Also Lake District, Welsh coast, Isle of Skye...it's hard to pick just a few, UK stole my heart completely. You're gonna lovee it there. And your Graflex will too...oh yes.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coast-BBC-1-3-Disc-Box/dp/B000MRNWD8

Kat said...

You've already received so many nice tips from your readers as is, but I'll definitely throw in a hearty thumb's up for Bath (it's not too far from Oxford); anywhere in Devon (Totnes is particularly quaint); Brighton (a lovely coastal town with terrific vintage shopping) and Cornwall -- visit Tintagel for the whole "knights of the round table" malarkey, and St Ives and Falmouth for more quaintness.

Goes without saying that London should definitely be on your list also. There are so many things to see and do there; it definitely deserves at least a week!

kerri said...

ISLE OF MULL!!!!! or any hebridean island, in fact. edinburgh for definite and brighton too. x