If it’s good enough for David Beckham to create a list of reasons to visit the United Kingdom, then it’s good enough for this David too! We’ll start with must see places…
If you don’t fear heights (which I unfortunately do) the London eye is a must see. It towers above the London skyline some 450 feet or so, and encapsulates all the awe of our Capital city. It’s not exactly cheap, but then not much in London is, but if you don’t mind the heights its a wonder. And if you can do it at night then it makes it even more special. From the pinnacle you can see across the capital and most of the major sight – seeing monuments. But London has some of the worlds most iconic buildings and places to visit. Big Ben, the tower of London, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, St James Park, not to mention iconic shops such as Hamleys (toys) and Harrods!
Cornwall lies on the very south-west of England and has some of the most stunning scenery this land has to offer, and until next year a part of the country I haven’t visited. As I have said it has some stunning scenes and also always seems to have sunshine (if the TV programmes are to be believed). Have a look at the TV series Doc Martin for an idea.
Edinburgh is a lovely city with a great history and plenty to do. The castle is a must see, along with the zoological gardens (Zoo to you and me), and why not take a ‘tourist bus trip’ around the city to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. The castle is set on to of a hill, and is visible from many parts of the centre, we loved our visit to Scotland capital city.
I might be a bit biased here living a short distance away from the city of Cambridge. Known world-wide for its colleges and bikes, the city boosts a whole lot more than that. You are able to visit some of the universities (best to check in advance), and the city has some good night life too. Just half hour ride into the country and you have another zoo in the form of Linton Zoological gardens. A smaller zoo in a village, but worth a visit. There is typically a river which you can have a ride on by Punting (someone will do this for you), and there are lots of historical sites to see.
Eastbourne is on the south coast of the UK, which has the best weather in the country. Eastbourne is great if you prefer the not so hurried lifestyle, don;t get me wrong it’s not quiet but less hectic than some of the previous mentions. And one thing I would suggest is a trip to Beachy head. Beach head is probably best known unfortunately for its high rate of suicides. And it is a high cliff edge in case you are unaware, and no safety fences or anything. But on a nice day the visit is most definitely worth the effort. A photographers heaven.
And I would suggest trying the best thing to come from London food wise Pie, Mash and liquor. It is a meal I am very familiar with, as my mum used to take us there on visits to my aunt when we left London for our present home town. I’m not a fan of jellied eels and the look of them puts me off, so I can;t recommend them. But if you like minced beef pie and mashed potato, an a sort of parsley sauce then do try some. Just remember to add a splash of vinegar over your meal!
And the UK is well-known for its cooked breakfast, usually compromising of bacon, sausage, egg, tomatoes, baked beans, fried bread, and has browns it isn’t something I’d recommend every day – as it is hardly healthy. But a well cooked English breakfast is a must!
Cream teas are also a delicious treat. A scone, sometimes with butter, always with jam (strawberry) and clotted cream. And it is important to put the jam on your scone first (after butter of course if provided), ending with your cream. And use the top part of your scone for a second helping rather than putting it on top.
And lastly a roast beef or lamb dinner with Yorkshire pudding, vegetables, roast potatoes and any trimmings. It used to be a staple of our family diet that we had a roast dinner every Sunday, in fact most of the UK used to hold the same values for whatever
Great British ways…
As Brits we hate to queue, but we will jump in a queue for whatever reason! And boy don’t we queue in this fair and lovely land. We queue for the bus, Ladies frequently queue for toilets, we queue for the post office, we queue at the supermarket till, in fact we queue just for the sake of it I think. But Brits hate queue jumpers, those people who come along and think they have no need to queue so jump right in front. Many people (myself included) have had several rants at people who think queueing isn’t for them, and for some reason they think its fine for the to push in front of the patiently waiting queue of people. Queue jumping is a definite NO!
Saying thank you and please
We are proper and posh you know in Britain, so we like to say thank you and please! “Can you tell me which way to Brighton please” and not “Which way to Brighton”?. Similarly, when someone gives you something or helpful information you say “Thank – you”. I guess its only right in all fairness, but many people do forget to say them
People rarely barter in the UK, which is a shame because it can save you money – and has done on many occasions when I have done it. I’ve saved money in opticians, restaurants, clothing stores, and more. It is always worth trying to haggle for a cheaper price or some extra add ons.
Similarly in recent years coupon cutting and using has become a thing to look down on, which is odd considering that as a nation we are in a recession! I on the other hand cut and collect coupons, to use on my shopping. So if you see a coupon that might come in handy – print it, cut it, use it!
Some restaurants and cafe’s automatically add a 20% service charge. Something I disagree with entirely, to me you offer a tip when service has been exceptional and friendly and the food good and hot. Why should you pay 20% extra on your bill if your food is cold and bland served by a solemn looking waiter/ess? If the services charge is not added, then I think 10% is adequate as a rough guide for two people and is what I generally leave if I am happy.
Buses and trains
Buses are far cheaper than travelling by train in the UK although will probably take twice the time of a train journey! Another thing with bus journeys is that you are guarantee a seat, they don’t over book and have people standing in the aisles on long journeys, whereas trains are often over packed and people frequently standing. It is worth checking websites such as http://www.redspottedhanky.com & http://www.trainline.com to see if you can get your fare cheaper by booking in advance. British people often buy food and drink to pack up their own lunch rather than pay the sometimes steep prices asked in stop off locations on bus journeys and train stations
The British are a nation of animal lovers, and most popular is probably the humble dog. Yet while saying we are a nation of animal lovers, it is also true to say that the ‘odd person’ (and I say odd in all ways), does abuse an animal but we have laws in place to protect those animals and prosecute anyone found hurting an animal – domestic or wild.