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Old 09-16-2007, 01:33 AM
dgz
 
806 posts, read 3,390,906 times
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I've made a few trips to the UK, and specifically to: London, Canterbury, Exeter, some areas in the Cotswolds, Cardiff, Conwy, Caernafon, and Edinburgh. My favorites places were London, the Cotswolds, and Edinburgh--but especially the Cotswolds. Hiking around small towns and very lovely countryside with sheep-dotted landscapes... hiking to Belas Knap long barrow, walking around Winchcomb... I really enjoyed that.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Scotland --> Uganda
121 posts, read 521,849 times
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I think a lot of Americans are afraid to drive here because it's very different - different signs, roundabouts, other side of the road. Most drive automatics and they cost twice as much to hire here.

Many only visit Edinburgh and think it represents Scotland.
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Nottingham UK
39 posts, read 143,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annielf View Post
I think a lot of Americans are afraid to drive here because it's very different - different signs, roundabouts, other side of the road. Most drive automatics and they cost twice as much to hire here.

Many only visit Edinburgh and think it represents Scotland.
Thats a very good point annielf. I had never considered the Scotish angle on this.

I have never been to Scotland, and might think Glasgow was representative of Scotland. I am sure Scotland is a varied as England, and both as differrent as each US State.
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Scotland --> Uganda
121 posts, read 521,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uk-mike View Post
Thats a very good point annielf. I had never considered the Scotish angle on this.

I have never been to Scotland, and might think Glasgow was representative of Scotland. I am sure Scotland is a varied as England, and both as differrent as each US State.
Glasgow and Edinburgh are very different. Edinburgh is actually very English. Aye, they have a big chunk of the population but Scotland consists of lots of villages, islands, rural areas, highlands which are as different as night and day from the big cities. It would be like comparing London to the Lake District.

I can understand why many tourists to England will stick to the London area - it's so easy to get around by tube or train. And if speaking about American tourists, they have limited holiday time.

I've lived in Scotland for 7 years, and I wasn't the typical American tourist on my first trip here. I hired a car, drove through Wales and all over the south of England.
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:36 PM
 
Location: NE Ohio
8 posts, read 33,636 times
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I visited a friend in a very small town outside Shrewsbury, and never once felt the desire to go to London. I was enchanted with the beauty of the countryside, visited ancient Roman ruins and remains of old castles. My host was a walking textbook on the local history, so I found the area fascinating as well. A day-trip through the breathtaking Snowdonia mountains in Wales, with a stop in Cardiff, is a day I will never forget. If I win the lottery, I wouldn't even hesitate to make my home in Wales. Great thread!
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:33 PM
 
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Hi Mike -

I think yellow said it very well in that Americans have very limited vacation, so time is of the essence. We make a list of "What we absolutely have to see" & edit it down to "What we only have time to see before we leave for the airport in 3-days/2-nights". Since foreign travel is also expensive, I think may ask themselves what they should see, in case it's their last trip to that country.

Many Americans visit UK relatives so some days are already pre-planned with family, but, they have opportunities to visit off the beaten path nooks & crannies by default. For those who don't know where to go in such a short period of time, many opt to take advantage of all-inclusive vacations, where pre-planned daytrips, mainly to tourist attractions, are part of the no-hassle booking.

Just as in many other countries, many of us are urban-dwellers who lead long-line, rush-hour traffic, public transportation jostled, hectic lives who are perfectly comfortable relinquishing control to relax into someone else's plan for what we'll do for a few, funfilled days. Many Americans, even out of large cities, are also families with hectic lives, including children with breakneck speed schedules & kamakazi dayplanners who feel the same way. Certainly some love to pave their own ways & always will, no matter where they go. And, those folks we'll never cross paths with anyway because they're doing their own thing, outside of the mainstream.

I live in Boston, so I see more go off to IR, as most of us port-city Celts are only 1st or 2nd generation Americans, therefore have relatives in a particular town we prefer to visit. Subsequent trips allow for one to open up & explore further into other regions/countries. Also, there are 100K IR here on visas, who plan to return home, so if you're lucky enough to have some nice IR friends & are invited for a visit, you go to them & travel with them once there, probably off the beaten path & again, you won't run into those folks. For those whose roots are deeper in America, with no UK connection, at least in my experience, there's less knowledge on what's outside of a major UK city, just as you mentioned with Scotland.

Living in Boston, I come across tourists everyday. However, Iowa & Montana might be filled with tourists, too, but I don't live there so haven't any idea if Argentinians & Latvians are flocking there daily in droves. Since you live in Nottingham, perhaps you're mainly aware of tourists in your area, as well. Not all tourists come to Boston, although, when I have 35-min to walk through a maze of bodies into town to quickly gather my lunch, it seems like they are all here. I think it should be illegal for tourists to eat lunch between noon-1pm in major cities when workers are waiting in line, but that's another post!

I'll be in Yorkshire next year for a friend's wedding. I'm perfectly happy to be dragged wherever by my local friends. If it's a great pub, fine. If it's Big Ben, fine. If it's one of Vlad's Castles, fine & knowing my friends, that's what it will be. Drive? I've thought of renting a car on my many trips to the UK & woke up for nights before departure with nighmares of car crashes while being on the wrong side of the road. Not on your life. Someone else can transport me, no matter the cost.

Strangely, I haven't seen any tourist attractions in London, as I always tagged along with friends to restaurants, friend's family's homes, clubs, pubs, pubs & more pubs. It was what I wanted. Time with my friends having fun. I didn't care if we overlooked Buckingham Palace, but that would have been lovely, too. Similarly, although I was born in Pennsylvania, I left as a child & never visited Philadelphia. When someone asks where I was born, the 1st thing they say is "Have you seen the Liberty Bell?" No... I haven't. Maybe someday I'll visit Phillie & take lunch downtown at noon...

Great posts, everyone. Have fun... VV
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Old 09-18-2007, 03:22 AM
 
Location: Scotland --> Uganda
121 posts, read 521,849 times
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Although I highly recommend visiting outside of London and Edinburgh, I suggest any visitor most definitely include both in any visit. London is incredible to visit with all the historic sites, the museums, the theatre. As for Edinburgh, even if you only stay one day, you must at least see the castle and old buildings as well as the national museums.

But people who ONLY visit London and Edinburgh and think they've seen England and Scotland are very much mistaken. It's like seeing Disneyworld and NYC and thinking you've visited the US.
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Nottingham
10 posts, read 44,816 times
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Hello 2Kidsforme,

I am glad you had a lovely time in England. I too hail from the midlands. When you say you visited 'Eastwood' the birthplace of D. H. Lawrence, this is not five miles from where I live. The scenery surrounding us is wonderful. I believe we have the best of both worlds - we are in the middle of glorious country but within reach of any major towns or cities.

If any of you feel uncomfortable driving over here, then you could always get National Express coaches, they go all over mainland Britain.

Last edited by eenor; 09-18-2007 at 09:10 AM..
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