YokoTsuno
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Things to do/see in southern England

Fri May 10, 2019 2:48 pm

Any suggestions on things to do and see in the south of England? Anything south of London, from East to West coast. Have 3 days to spent, wide interest, in possession of a rental car. Don't mind of the beaten track. Thanks.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Fri May 10, 2019 4:06 pm

YokoTsuno wrote:
Any suggestions on things to do and see in the south of England? Anything south of London, from East to West coast. Have 3 days to spent, wide interest, in possession of a rental car. Don't mind of the beaten track. Thanks.

The list is simply unending. It would probably help if we knew more about what interests you, and who else is involved.

Also, do you consider driving around as part of your experience? Or is it simply a means to get from one attraction to another as quickly as possible?
"Off the beaten track" implies you are less interested in London and all it has to offer; that cuts the list down considerably!
Would you stop for lunch at an English country pub? You don't find those on motorways....

Do you have an interest in aviation? If there are others in your group (wife, kids, etc) would they share this interest? How about the RAF Museum at Hendon?

You could easily spend a whole day at one individual location, or exhaust yourself trying to fit in six different attractions, plus travelling on top.

Have you been to England before; what places can we knock off the list?

Until I know more, this is just a random selection
London area;
Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, The Tower of London, Imperial War Museum, V & A Museum, Science Museum, London sightseeing tour (e.g. open topped double-decker bus), Kew Gardens, HMS Belfast.

Not London;
Bath, Bristol, Brighton, Canterbury Cathedral, Stonehenge, HMS Victory (Portsmouth), etc, etc,

(I would add Oxford, Cambridge and Stratford-upon-Avon, but none of them are "south" of London. Nevertheless, Oxford could be close enough to be worth considering)

Wikipedia has a list of the most popular 15 locations; 13 of these are in the South of England, most of them are in my brief list above.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_England

Final thought; where do you plan to stay? If it is a hotel in central London, you could spend half your day just driving in & out of London. If you are south of London, anything to the west requires getting around the M25. And if you are west of London, you will have the same problem getting to places like Canterbury Cathedral.
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
jumpjets
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Fri May 10, 2019 5:17 pm

Limiting my suggestions to south of London here are a few thoughts:

Grand churches: Canterbury, Salisbury and Winchester Cathedrals. Bath Abbey - Salisbury and Bath are also lovely places to visit.

Historical castles: Dover, Arundel, Leeds and Hever. There is of course also Windsor which just about squeezes into your 'search area'. If you fancy straying 'offshore' to the Isle of Wight there are two significant places, Carisbrooke Castle which goes back over 1000 years and Osborne House built by Queen Victoria.

Country Houses - the National Trust administers a wide range of properties of historical/architectural interest many of which are in southern England. They do a 7 day pass for overseas visitors [must purchase in advance] which is good value if you are thinking of visiting more than 2 properties during those three days. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/overseas-visitors

Stone Henge is a highly popular historical monument

Transport museums:
Fleet Air Arm museum: Yeovilton.
National Motor Museum Beaulieu, which is in the middle of the New Forest National Park and near to the lovely town of Brockenhurst [ its not as new as its name suggests having been established in the 11th century!]

More natural phenomena: Chesil Beach and the Jurassic coast https://jurassiccoast.org/ For some thoughts on the most beautiful places to visit go to: https://www.lifehack.org/534548/30-brea ... -take-date

If you have any specific questions please feel free to send a private message.
 
YokoTsuno
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Fri May 10, 2019 5:41 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Any suggestions on things to do and see in the south of England?
I have a wide variety of interests, can spend the entire day in a war museum but am just as well comfortable in a local antiques store or spending the whole day hiking. Definitely no beach whaling and sporty stuff. Like to see things only locals know of, hence my post here.

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Also, do you consider driving around as part of your experience? Or is it simply a means to get from one attraction to another as quickly as possible?
"Off the beaten track" implies you are less interested in London and all it has to offer; that cuts the list down considerably!
Would you stop for lunch at an English country pub? You don't find those on motorways....
I am not the turbocharged tourist if that's what you mean. I'm perfectly fine stopping at an "accidental" place and remain the entire day at that place. Eat about anything even haggis :mrgreen: I book B&B on the fly, wherever my journey takes me.

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Do you have an interest in aviation?
Very much so, even to the extent of visiting a local flying club

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
If there are others in your group (wife, kids, etc) would they share this interest?
I am alone, part of a business trip

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
How about the RAF Museum at Hendon?
That's in London right?

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Have you been to England before; what places can we knock off the list?
Multiple times. Seen Bath, Canterbury, Cambridge, Oxford, Stonehenge, York, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, The Tower of London, Imperial War Museum, V & A Museum, Science Museum and many others. No London please, done that. Yes, I know the traffic conditions in London. Not driving back on a daily basis.
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Fri May 10, 2019 6:04 pm

If you like a taste of old English life can really recommend the Cotswolds area.

https://www.cotswolds.com/

So much better than the greater London area.
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Fri May 10, 2019 6:33 pm

What about the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, otherwise known as the Brighton Palace? You might enjoy the rest of Brighton as well as it's a very lively seaside / beach town. There is an amusement park at the Brighton pier. Queen's Park is also nice for a peaceful walk.
 
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OA260
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Fri May 10, 2019 8:43 pm

Portsmouth is nice. Historic Naval Dockyard and Mary Rose. Also a few antique shops around.

https://www.historicdockyard.co.uk

https://maryrose.org

You could even take the Hovercraft to the Isle of Wight for a few hours.

https://www.hovertravel.co.uk
 
johns624
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Fri May 10, 2019 8:58 pm

You could head southwest and see Plymouth, Cornwall and Land's End.
 
sbworcs
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Fri May 10, 2019 9:08 pm

You could consider the Jurassic Coast in Dorset Some great little villages / towns with great shops, pubs and restaurants. 2 that i remember from my time in that area are Charmouth and Beer
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Sat May 11, 2019 12:21 am

YokoTsuno wrote:
Any suggestions on things to do and see in the south of England?
I have a wide variety of interests, can spend the entire day in a war museum but am just as well comfortable in a local antiques store or spending the whole day hiking. Like to see things only locals know of, hence my post here.

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Have you been to England before; what places can we knock off the list?
YokoTsuno wrote:
Multiple times. Seen Bath, Canterbury, Cambridge, Oxford, Stonehenge, York, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, The Tower of London, Imperial War Museum, V & A Museum, Science Museum and many others. No London please, done that. Yes, I know the traffic conditions in London. Not driving back on a daily basis.

Thank you for the extra information; hopefully it can help everyone here come up with better solutions.

Regarding my earlier suggestion of the RAF Museum at Hendon; yes, that is in (Outer) London. That means it is much more readily accessible without the hassle of driving in central London traffic, but I wouldn't argue that it is a "must visit" place, so no worries.

The obvious alternative to Hendon, as mentioned by another poster, is RNAS Yeovilton. However, in itself it is a fairly long drive (e.g. 113 miles from Heathrow). But it might be worthwhile if you able to consider it as part of a larger 3-day "West Country" package that includes....

(in clockwise order);

Portsmouth (Docks, HMS Victory etc, and a rare chance to ride on a commercial hovercraft)
The New Forest
The Jurassic Coast
Slow country roads through beautiful little Dorset villages, with quiet country pubs (unless it is August/September )
RNAS Yeovilton
Glastonbury (The town itself pop 8,932, and Glastonbury Tor - not the music festival!)
Wells (Cathedral city, population 10,536 :o )
Cheddar Gorge
Bristol (SS Great Britain, Clifton Bridge, etc)
And maybe a leisurely drive through the Cotswolds on your way back towards London, Heathrow, or wherever you might need to be.

I believe nearly all of the above have been mentioned by one person or another already. :thumbsup:

What I have tried to do is create a 3-day itinerary that works because each sector is a very manageable 20-40 miles(*) until you reach the next waypoint. There are no Motorways involved; 90% of the driving is on slower country roads with time to enjoy the scenery. You can also miss out individual locations if they do not appeal, or if you run out of time.... :D
(*) I'm guessing 20-40 miles; it might be a little more or little less in some cases.

You could head southwest and see Plymouth, Cornwall and Land's End.

Lands End is 318 miles from London, and used to be a very tiring two-day drive, unless you slogged through the night without any breaks.
The roads are much improved these days, but spending just under 6 hours each way on British Motorways is not the best way to enjoy England (IMO). :shakehead:
If you had seven days to spare, then Cornwall is indeed a beautiful county. And you could fly to Newquay Airport (Flybe), and save yourself a lot of driving.
Or save that idea for next time...
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
YokoTsuno
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Sat May 11, 2019 4:23 am

Thanks, very useful suggestions, especially this Cottswolds area, totally new to me.
 
sbworcs
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Sat May 11, 2019 7:45 pm

The Cotswolds are a lovely area. Some beautiful little towns and villages. Some i particularly love are Bourton on the Water which has a model village, Broadway which has some great shops and tea shops for some refreshments. You also have some lovely larger places nearby such as Worcester which has a beautiful cathedral and some great local shops in tudor buildings (slightly biased as I live here!!)
The best way forwards is upwards!
 
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PPVLC
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Mon May 13, 2019 10:49 pm

Devon is fantastic if yoi have time otherwise a short hop to Brighton to visit the Royal Pavillion is a must.
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directorguy
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Tue May 14, 2019 7:36 pm

I would recommend the Cotswolds. Base yourself in or near Cheltenham. Lots of historic homes and castles like Sudeley Castle, the palatial and Versailles-like Blenheim Palace (home of the Duke of Marlborough) and others. A lot of great places to stay. You can easily swing by Stonehenge on your way or push on to Stratford upon Avon.
Lots of fantastic B&Bs, palatial manors turned into upscale resorts, depending on your style.

I am a huge fan of Devon/Cornwall but quite far to drive and you definitely need more than 3 days to savour the experience.
 
LCY55Approach
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Re: Things to do/see in southern England

Wed May 15, 2019 10:03 am

directorguy wrote:
I would recommend the Cotswolds. Base yourself in or near Cheltenham. Lots of historic homes and castles like Sudeley Castle, the palatial and Versailles-like Blenheim Palace (home of the Duke of Marlborough) and others. A lot of great places to stay. You can easily swing by Stonehenge on your way or push on to Stratford upon Avon.
Lots of fantastic B&Bs, palatial manors turned into upscale resorts, depending on your style.

I am a huge fan of Devon/Cornwall but quite far to drive and you definitely need more than 3 days to savour the experience.


One more vote for the Cotswolds. Two places to visit on the way/way back:
- Oxford: historic university town with many medieval buildings and good museums.
- Bletchley Park: where Alan Turing and his team cracked the Enigma code in WWII, now a fascinating and very well put together museum, with a lot of the original computers rebuilt and on display

A very good aviation museum is Brooklands Museum. It's not really on the way to the Cotswolds (further south) but has some wonderful and rare (mainly British) aircraft on display: VC10 (you can sit in the cockpit), Concorde, BAC 1-11, and lots of old props.

Great that you are getting out of London - there is so much to enjoy in England!
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