United Kingdom Journals

Bus Tour of the UK, August 1993

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An August 2000 trip to United Kingdom by tvordj

Llangollen from the River Photo, Wales, United Kingdom More Photos
Quote: My first ever trip to the UK in 1993 consisted of a couple of days in London on either end with a tour through England, Wales and Scotland in between

London to start

Starting the Tour in London

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St Paul's Cathedral Photo, London, England
Quote:
This travelogue details experiences that I had on my very first trip to the U.K. in 1993. I took a Cosmos bus tour around England, Wales and Scotland, beginning in London which took almost two weeks in total, including the extra night or two in London at either end. England was somewhere I had always wanted to visit. British history held me in thrall for years and I always knew that when I was finally able to afford to travel, it would be my first destination. Thus, late in August 1993, I was off! I went with a coworker but unfortunately, she had to fly back the day after we arrived due to some personal problems that cropped up so I was unexpectedly on my own. On arrival in London, the hot...Read More

St Paul's Cathedral

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Attraction

St Paul's Cathedral Photo, London, England
Quote:
On Ludgate Hill, at the end of The Strand, you come around a turn in the road and this huge domed building looms out at you amid the busy traffic. St. Paul's Cathedral was finished in 1710, built after the great fire of London in 1666 burned down Old St. Paul's. It's a Baroque masterpiece, filled with tombs, statues, frescos and gilded everything. It costs 10 pounds for adults, 9 for seniors plus they have family (2 children 2 adults) tickets and that includes everything. You can visit the crypt and you can also climb up over 500 steps to go to the very top of the dome. It's fewer if you just want to go to the Whispering Gallery where a sound whispered on one side will travel around and be h...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 11, 2008

St Paul's Cathedral
The Chapter House
London, England EC4M 8AD
+44 (20 7) 236 4128

Tower of London

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Attraction | "Tower of London, Lots to See "

Tower of London Photo, London, England
Quote:
One of the star attractions in London is also one of the most expensive. At 17 pounds per adult (16 online) and 47 for a family entrance fee (2 adults, 3 kids) it's steep. The queues for tickets can be quite long and can stretch back to the tube station. We did find that the queue moved fairly smoothly and quickly. I do think that buying tickets online or from the kiosks a day or two ahead of time might be good if you're going in "prime time" (summer, school holidays). It's not difficult to get there. The Tower Hill tube station is very close, the DLR station just around the corner from that and many busses stop along Tower Hill. Tour busses will stop nearby as well. If you arrive by train...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 5, 2009

Tower of London
Tower Hill
London, England EC3N 4AB
+44 (207) 709 0765

Original Walks guide, Hilary, in Richmond Photo, London, England
Quote:
September 24, 2001We are on the banks of the Thames at the boat launch, ready to go upriver to Hampton Court. The boat ride takes about an hour and a half from Richmond, about half the length the journey will take if you leave from Westminster pier in London. We had our sandwiches and a drink and watched the lovely scenery as we passed by. The weather is variable, with a bit of sun and blue sky showing now and then. There are lots of parks, businesses and a number of prestigious looking houses and apartment blocks which probably wouldn't come cheap. This follows the traditional approach to Hampton Court which was always by Royal Barge along the river. The first part of the pala...Read More

London to Scotland

London to Cardiff

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Assembly Rooms, Bath Photo, Bath, England
Quote:
The group gathered in the morning and i met our guide, David. There are several women and a man traveling alone and i started out sitting with a teacher from Australia. Later on in the tour we all spread out a bit more where possible so i had a seat to myself for the second half. David is Irish and a cattle farmer off season. He's very friendly and funny and i think he's going to be a good one to have along for the ride! Our stop at Hampton Court was brief and was only a visit to the gardens. We entered by the Lion's gate in the back and saw the maze and the Great Vine and a few sunken gardens that are still being restored. It's interesting to compare the architectural differences ...Read More
Animal Wall, Cardiff Castle Photo, Cardiff, Wales
Quote:
It's warm today but not sunny, the kind of high overcast day with the sun breaking through every now and then. We drive north through the Welsh Valleys of Brecon Beacons National Park. There are still slag heaps that look like mountains. That's the result of the coal mines. David remembers when he was a boy hearing about a bad accident in 1966 when a slag heap slid and crushed part of a town and killed many children in a school. There are still places where the small crowded rows and terraces of houses built by the mining companies for their employees still stand. Mining is a dying industry and there are only two mines still open in Wales. We have a short break in Brecon. The scenery ...Read More

Scotland

Touring the Highlands of Scotland

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Near Glencoe, Scottish Highlands Photo, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
The weather is cooler now and more or less overcast. First thing this morning we drove across the Scottish border to Moffat for a visit to a woolen mill. I had a quick look around the mill which had some little boutique like shops filled with crafts in addition to the main store full of tweeds and tartans. Nice but I was not all that interested at this point. The factory is just outside of the town so I wandered in there. There were one or two souvenir stores open around the little High Street square but the thing that caught my interest was an old graveyard so i had a look round in there for a bit.This part of Scotland is the Southern Uplands, mountainous but not as high as the Highland...Read More

The Road to Edinburgh

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Holyrood Abbey ruins Photo, Edinburgh, Scotland
Quote:
Today was the 25th wedding anniversary of one of the couples traveling with us. David played two tapes, both consisting of bagpipe music but one was the traditional Scottish pipe and one the traditional Irish pipe which is more mellow, softer and lower pitched. I'm still partial to the Scottish! It was quite cold this morning and damp. First stop this morning was a whiskey distillery in the highlands. It was a bit odd to see the Canadian flag flying over the gate. Apparently Glenlivet is owned by Seagram's Canada! The distillery was not operating because they take the month of August off to clean the place and for holidays but we were guided around anyway and had th...Read More

London to finish

Road Back to London and Points Between

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Shakespeare's tomb, Trinity Church Stratford Photo, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England
Quote:
This morning we heard about David's family business, a cattle farm in Tipperary which he runs during the off season. He has a manager for when he's touring. We drove down through the lowlands at the border where Jedburg Abbey is. We also had a quick photo stop on the road where we could see Sir Walter Scott's old house. There was also a rest stop at a roadside souvenir stand. I picked up a couple of things and spied some lovely white Port Merion china! We had another photo stop at the Scotland-England border where there was the requisite piper. Nice views of the rolling hills and hearing Hava Nagila played on the pipes was not to be missed! :) We saw a small bit of Hadrian's Roman Wall but...Read More

One Last Taste of London

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Brompton Road, near Harrod's Photo, London, England
Quote:
Had breakfast with some bus people before heading over to the Tavistock. There was a bit of trouble there as my friend had the hotel voucher with her and had forgotten to give it to me. The hotel had to get in touch with Air Canada vacations to verify the booking which took an extra day as it was Labour Day in Canada and the office was closed but it turned out ok, i didn't have to pay for the room again! This afternoon i took the subway...sorry, the Underground to the Strand where i had arranged to meet an older couple from Victoria. Seems to me that was my first try at the Tube which was a bit intimidating at first because i was afraid I'd get on the wrong train or go the wrong way. We t...Read More