09 June 2011

So: what should I see in England and Scotland? (Tapping Pyro Brain Trust)

by Dan Phillips

You may recall that I have a gracious invitation to speak at the Ashford Bible Conference in England this September. So I've a question I'd normally put to the BibChr Brain Trust. However, Pyro may have a broader international audience than my personal home-turf.

So: what are some must-sees in London and the south of England, and in the Edinburgh area of Scotland? This would include all of south England, and anything within a day-trip of Edinburgh. I'm figuring Metropolitan Tabernacle. Tower of London and Edinburgh Castle are also already probables. What else? What things that a tour guidebook might miss?


Dan Phillips's signature


DJP said...

Frank Turk singing the praises of Legal Seafood made for one of the highlights our New England tour. Looking for gems like that (not nec eateries, though!).

Gary Benfold said...

You might want to look out for banks with cash-points (I think you call them ATMs?). You'll need more of them than you think...

Jamie said...

Mr. DJP,
I was there a few years ago and to the south really enjoyed visiting Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral (really high on the list), and the white cliffs of Dover.

donsands said...

I was just with a missionary last night who is from London. He told me that the fish and chips is not as common today as it once was. Just incase you wanted to know that.
That's about it from me.

Oh, except stay away from those roundabouts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAgX6qlJEMc

James Taylor said...

I'll offer some uniquely British attractions/experiences.

1. Go to the cinema, where you can see films that are three months old in America, and cost thrice as much to see.
2. Break your leg on the saturday night, and take a trip to A&E to experience the NHS.

Joking aside, here are some good things to do/eat in south-east England (don't know a huge amount about Edinburgh).

1. Dover castle. As Jamie suggested the White Cliffs, you might as well visit the castle as well. Contains various structures from Roman-Renaissance eras, as well as WWII tunnels and stuff.
2. Dungeness. Probably one that tour guides would miss. A very peculiar seaside town, with a few pubs, some artists, and a nuclear power station. Apparently the only place in the UK officially classed as arid. It's hard to describe, but an eerie sort of place that you won't find anywhere else.
3. In London — Covent Garden & the British Museum. DayOne publishers have a Bible-based guide to the British museum, which you could buy online. Alternatively, my mum's got a copy she could lend you at the conference.
4. Edinburgh — as I said, I don't know a huge amount to do in Edinburgh, but the university is nice. You should also try some traditional Scottish cuisine: the battered Mars bar (although you can get these in Ashford).

James Taylor said...

P.S. How could I forget...

It's a few hours away from Kent, in Wiltshire, but Stonehenge is worth a visit. You can listen to the Spinal Tap song which you're there as well.

Anonymous said...

westminister cathedral would be on my stop.

Allen White said...

I enjoyed the Tower of London, walking across the upper deck of Tower Bridge, Leeds Castle, and the white cliffs of Dover. It's a bit of a train ride, but Windsor Castle is spectacular.

Angus said...

If you are up around the castle in Edinburgh, there are a few good things to see on the Royal Mile...St Giles Cathedral is just down from the castle, and in the car park, under space 23 I think now (used to be 44) you'll find a yellow marker for John Knox's grace - aye...Bible loving Scotland. John Knox house is also on the Royal Mile. Scott Monument (as in Sir Walter) is just down on Princess Street, and gives great views from the top - what are your dates (I'm thinking Sep but may be wrong – if August there is the Edinburgh Festival and Military Tattoo)...also, Stirling is not that far away, with the Wallace Monument (if you want to see a real man’s sword!), and Stirling Castle.

London - so much to see - Westminster Abbey is fascinating, Ste Paul’s is beautiful, and the London Eye is pretty neat. If you can get time, the British Museum is a must, and I'd recommend picking up the Day One Through the British Museum with the Bible...ton of fascinating stuff like the Rosetta Stone(and the Reading Room is spectacular!) ...http://www.amazon.com/Through-British-Museum-Travel-Guides/dp/1846251249. Day One also have a book on touring with Spurgeon have not read, but may be good in London?) Depending on schedule, you can go to the Globe to see a Shakespeare play…pretty neat experience.

So many other possibilities, but that's a start - depends how much time you've got...

DJP said...

Thanks, amigos; this is being very helpful.

Lynn Dean said...

I'd want to see the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's 16th century warship, in Portsmouth. (http://www.maryrose.org/) The ship is not on display currently while the museum undergoes improvements, but the artifacts are fascinating.

And while you're in London, be sure to see Saint Paul's Cathedral, designed by Christopher Wren to replace the one destroyed in the Great Fire. Before approving the great architect's design, a committee required that he double the number of columns on the portico and "lay a chain round the dome" lest it collapse. Wren argued that these features were unnecessary, but finally submitted to the committee's demands. When the church was cleaned in 1977 for Queen Elizabeth's jubilee, workers noticed that every other column was 1/4" short of connecting with the beam. When they came to the dome, they found the chain around it--with the ends lapped and never soldered. ;)

steve said...

We were just there a couple months ago.

Bunhill Fields is a must. Bunyan, Rippon, Owen, and Susannah Wesley are buried there.

Westminster Abbey, wow. And a ride up the London Eye. Do one during day hours, then one at night.

If you rent a car and you're not adept at roundabouts, get an automatic rather than stick shift. I'll save you a lot of agony.

Metropolitan Tabernacle is neat to see, but it's dwarfed by the buildings all around it, which make it rather underwhelming.

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PJ said...

Bunhill Fields burial place of Bunyan, Owen et. al....and if you want to go all Arminian- Wesley's chapel etc. is directly opposite (get off Tube at Moorfields I think).

British Library (near Euston Station) - see Codex Sinaiticus stc.

Greyfriar Kirk and Graveyard (just south of Royal Mile /St. Giles etc. including Covenanters Prison, Memorial etc. This is where Solemn League and Covenant was signed. Also nearby is the National Museum of Scotland with Knox's pulpit etc.

Jerry said...

When in September? My wife, son, and myself will be there the 5th through the 16th, and staying just north of London near Waltham Abbey. I lived there 5 years as a child, so I already have a short list of some of the places we are planning to visit:

St. Albans (the area is beautiful, and the Roman ruins are very impressive)

British Museum (a must! I wandered its halls quite often as a young child, and admission is FREE!)

Metropolitan Tabernacle (our plan right now is to worship there on 9/11)

We are renting a car, but mainly for travel outside of London. We will get Oyster cards to travel by bus and tube in the metropolitan area.

Aaron Snell said...

In and around Edinburgh, I'd recommend: John Knox's house, Holyrood Palace, Arthur's Seat (if you like hiking), of course the castle, and then you MUST get up to St. Andrews. It's not far, and will be a highlight of your trip.

Si Hollett said...

Dover Castle is your absolute must-do thing. I'd keep the SE things you do limited to Kent and London, rather than spending a day, including travel, with, say, Portsmouth or Stonehenge.

As for London, it depends on how long you've got - there's lots of things that you must at least see, so if time is short, it's breadth, not depth that is the name of the game. The Tower of London will take a lot of a day to visit (so will the British Museum, but that would be better).

In London, walk between places, take your time going around the city, rather than rush between tourist spots and spend all your time at those. You can amble around Westminster and the West End (excluding Oxford Street) at a gentle pace in a couple of hours, seeing all the sights, plus some more (add more time for going into places) - everything's close together. Even the walk from Parliament to St Pauls (go along the South Bank) is only about 45 minutes, with the Tower being another 15 minutes (go through The City - it's quiet and there's little in the way of big-name things, but there's lots to see) further on.

For food, ask locals in Ashford about good pubs to eat at - just as that's a very English experience (thinking country pubs, not the town centre chain pub). In London stuff like a curry from Brick Lane, sandwiches and cake at the National Gallery (pricy though!) and Cream Tea at one of the big hotels would give you distinctively London meals.

Lynn Dean said...

IF you have time to plan in advance, you can request free tickets to watch the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. (http://www.hrp.org.uk/toweroflondon/whatson/ceremonyofthekeys.aspx) This traditional ceremony has been performed every night for 700 years without interruption--even during the WWII blackouts. If the event is fully booked, there might be a slim chance of getting on a waiting list if you inquire with one of the Beefeaters.

And if you go to the British Museum, check out the Rosetta Stone--the Egyptian artifact that unlocked the translation of hieroglyphics.

You could also attend a free lecture at Gresham College where Newton, Wren, Hooke, Halley (of comet fame) and other great minds met with the Royal Society.

(Looking back over my suggestions, I'm feeling a little nerdy. They're offbeat, perhaps, but gave me such a feel for the history of the country.)

Brian Roden said...

Madame Tussaud's wax museum. As others have mentioned, Westminster Abbey, where many heroes of the faith are buried.

Audrey said...

The Imperial War Museum in London has wonderful displays about the First and Second World Wars. I loved it, and I'm a girl!

Steve Talas said...

The problem with either London or Edinburgh is that there is just such a lot to see, also the painful reality that you've picked two of the most expensive cities in europe. The Price of eating out compared to the States will probably be jaw dropping and rapidly wallet emptying, there are some reasonable places probably a decent 'gastropub'is a good place to try. If time is tight in Edinburgh, we've been wanting to visit the Edinburgh Camera Obscura which is next to the Castle, sure some of it is what you could see at any Stateside family venue but people do seem to enjoy the camera and the talk.

we moved up to Peebles (28 miles outside Edinburgh) 18 months ago, There's a lot of Covenantor sites around, a ton of historic houses Castles,and scenery.

Should you find your way to Penicuik Baptist Church my wife cooks a mean Hungarian Chicken Paprika!

spencer said...

In London do not miss bunhill fields. It is a neglected spot many of our heroes are buried there.

In Edinburgh do not miss Horatius Bonar's grave at the Kirk of the Canongate.

Solameanie said...

I would think the Bird and Baby (Eagle and Child) pub in Oxford, where C.S. Lewis and the Inklings met. Too bad you're restricted to southern England, as the Lake District and the Yorkshire Moors would be worth seeing. Not that I have, but I'd love to given their connection to classic literature.

Martin said...

Since Bunhill Fields has already been suggested and you want to go to the Met Tab (do they still have their Heritage Room?). How about visiting Bedford and environs for a Bunyan session.

Joe said...

London: (1) get an all-day public transportation pass and spend the first hour or so of your day riding doubledecker buses back and forth through the city; (2) the book room in the British Library is essential, (3) Bunhill Fields...make sure you go when the caretaker can let you inside the fences, (4) Livingstone's tombstone in Westminster Abbey...you can get in free by attending the evening Vespers.

Susan said...

The British Museum (is it still free??) ans Westminster Abbey (wanted to kixk myself for not having enough time to visit).

Susan said...

(Sorry...that's "kick" myself.)

Susan said...

(Wait.... Blogger ate my comment again?? Here it is again....

The British Museum (is it still free??) and Westminster Abbey (wanted to kixk myself for not having enough time to visit!).

(And to add to it: The Queen's jewels in Tower of London.)

Cameron. said...

Been in England the past six months, and this is what I've found:

Edinburgh has been my favorite city in the UK--simply walking its streets is a joy. All of the suggestions here for what to do there are good ones (the Castle, Holyroodhouse, St.Giles Cathedral, etc.). However, if you want somewhere off the beaten path and enjoy quiet walks, check out the Village of Dean. It's right in the middle of New Town beside some of the busiest shopping districts, but with its wooded walks and meandering stream, you'd never know. Also recommend the Royal Botanic Gardens.

As for the south of England, I'd suggest both Oxford and Bath, which are less than an hour by train from London and make for easy day trips. In London itself, I highly recommend touring St. Paul's, as it not only stands as one of the architectural jewels of the city, but also affords one of the best views of London if you climb to the top. I'd advise against doing the Eye... it's a waste. Costs $30 to go up in it, there's always a queue, and if you've climbed to the top of St. Paul's then there's nothing new to see. (And of course there's the other London staples: Harrod's, Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, Oxford Street...) There really is too much to do.

My best London advice: buy an all-day tube pass for zones 1-2. It's a little over 6 pounds and you get unlimited rides on both the underground and the buses to all the most popular areas, which makes getting around fairly easy. And don't forget to walk on the left!

Anonymous said...

Go to Hay on Way, it's a small town in Wales, just across the boirder and the entire town except for one post office, a hotel and a petrol station is old book stores. Millions of volumes. Most of my Spurgeon came from there. Have a great buying time. also bought a 1774 edition of the King James there.

DJP said...

Absolutely wonderful suggestions, thanks so much. Keep 'em coming, they're being logged and will be worked on.

Dave said...

When I was in the UK 2 years ago with a mission team, my favorite spots were Edinburgh (all of what's been listed so far!), and a town called Whitby, on the coast of England (North Yorkshire). It's about 4 hours away from Edinburgh. Beautiful, rugged coastal town, where "Dracula" was written, I believe. May be a little far for a day-trip, but it was really nice.

Martin said...

OK, so this might be a stereotype, but I believe Bermondsey (or rather New Caledonian) market is rather attractive to Americans. When I was a child my grandmother used to buy material here and I found foreign coins but these days I believe it sells antiques. Google maps is very useful for finding your way around London. Incidentally a friend over from France bought a PAYG HTC Wildfire for use in the UK - that will give you maps and GPS to find your way about.

Martin said...

Just thought, do you know what PAYG means - Pay As You Go=no contract, pay in advance for call.

Thom said...

Did anybody mention that big ferris wheel thing I see in all the current movies filmed in downtown London? and don't forget the changing of the guard.

Thom said...

Oh...and stay off the moors during a full moon. (I hear Warren Zevon playing in the back ground).

DJP said...

Important Safety Tip.



Paul said...

You have to see Westminster Abbey, especially the tribute to David Livingstone set in the center of the floor of the main nave.

mikivered said...

Go to the British Museum and don't leave until the doors are locked! Attend all the lectures and gallery talks. Helpful books to get you started: Brian Edwards and Clive Anderson, THROUGH THE BRITISH MUSEUM -- WITH THE BIBLE (Day One Publications, 2004); C.E. Fant and M.G. Reddish, LOST TREASURES OF THE BIBLE (Eerdmans, 2008).

horace said...

Imperial War Museum.

K-W said...

In England: Oxford has a lot of great stuff to see. The University Church was the site of Cranmer's trial, and you can even see the cuts in the pillars where they set up the platform for the trial. Kennilworth Castle is worth a visit; kings and rebels have both received the great smackdown there. Largest ruined castle in England, if you're into that kind of thing. Olney, in Buckinghamshire, might be worth a visit; John Newton's buried there, and it was there that he and Cowper wrote the Olney Hymns.

And the village of Lacock, nearish Dover, is a big filming site. Look around the village and (if you care to spend the admission fee) the abbey/house, and you can recognize the background for a lot of movies!

My wife (a great scottophile) suggests St. Andrew's, or even just one of the Highland day tour buses that head out from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

P.D. Nelson said...

If your in Oxford, and I see someone has already said go to see the Bird and Baby, but if possible and if you enjoyed the writings of Lewis why not see the Kilns where he lived.

Peter O said...

Come to Canterbury and I'll show you round the Cathedral. Site of Thomas Beckett's Martyrdom and all round pretty cool worship place.


Steve in Toronto said...

I would suggest a trip to Scotland’s second city Glasgow. An amazing and beautiful city that feels much more real that Edinburgh (a city that some time feel too much like a museum for my tastes). The city is famous for both it wonderful live music and its Architecture. The city was home to not only the famous architect Charles Rene Mackintosh but the less well know Alexander “Greek” Thompson. Thompson was a devote Reformed Christian who believed in what I like to call “the regulatory principal in architecture”. He believed that the vocabulary of Solomon’s temple was the only correct form for ecclesiastical architecture and as a result the city is littered with wonderful Congregationalist and Presbyterian churches rendered in what most people would call Greek revival but he would probably think of as Hebrew revival (Thompson thought the Greeks and the Egyptians were copying the Hebrews not the other way around). Wonderful and strange stuff http://www.scotcities.com/greekthomson.htm

Steve in Toronto said...

PS When in Oxford skip the Eagle and Child (a tourist trap) and instead go across the street to the Lamb and Flag (where Lewis also well as inspector Morris also loved to drink) it a wonderful pub that makes you feel as if the great man might walk in any moment.

Jim Pemberton said...

In London, if you can get Jay Smith or one of his folks to take you around the British museum and the library, they have a wealth of information that you would be interested in.

If you have a Sunday afternoon free, you might want to see the events at Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park close to Marble Arch. I don't know what it looks like in September, but earlier in the Summer when more Muslims are around, it can be an interesting cacophony of ad hoc debate.

If you are interested in feats of engineering, head over to Falkirk from Edinburgh (about 25 miles west) and see the Falkirk Wheel, an interesting alternative to a lock in their canal system.

Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

Speakers Corner


Stefan said...

I'm just throwing this out there, but if you're any kind of science or technology geek, you must see the London Science Museum, on the western outskirts of Downtown.

You can see the Jacquard weaving loom (first use of punch cards), samples of Charles Babbage's early computing devices, old locomotives, and all kinds of other goodies.

Peter said...

Did you know there are words to the chimes of Westminster Abbey? They are:

All through this hour,
Lord be my Guide.
And by Thy power,
No foot shall slide.

Also you may enjoy downloading the following oldy from iTunes:


- Sung by Roger Miller

England swings like a pendulum do
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two
Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben
The rosy red cheeks of the little children

Now, if you huff and puff and you fin'lly save enough
Money up to take your family on a trip across the sea
Take a tip before you take your trip
Let me tell you where to go
Go to England, oh

England swings like a pendulum do
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two
Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben
The rosy red cheeks of the little children

Mama's old pajamas and your papa's mustache,
Falling out the window sill, frolic in the grass,
Tryin' to mock the way they talk, fun but all in vain,
Gaping at the dapper men with derby hats and canes.

England swings like a pendulum do
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two
Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben
The rosy red cheeks of the little children

England swings like a pendulum do
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two
Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben
The rosy red cheeks of the little children

Ben said...

If you go to Oxford to see CS Lewis' house, you need to contact them in advance if you want to go inside because people still live there and they really hate it when people just show up to look at the house. I don't know the info but I'm sure a quick internet search would help.

Mercy Reformed Baptist Congregation - SWINDON said...

Not sure if sightseeing will satisfy; but

What you are sure to see:
a) Unbelief,
b) Downgrade,
c) Worshiping YAHWEH with altars fashioned by the lusts of men in His Church,
d) Hypocricy of life (Over against a seemingly true confession),
e) Sadness,
d) a LOST heritage - which is only testified by Books and some remenant buildings left by the few faithful,
e)A self-condemned nation...

These are the sights I see every day here and I fear God whom has deliverd my life from Hell; in behalf of those inside (Especially) and outside Church congregations here in the United Kingdom whom continue to reject His Word to us by example of the Nation of Israel.

So I hope that in spite of these things you will be able to enjoy the goodness and the severity of our Consuming Fire in Messiah,
Your fellow bondslave according with teh free gift of mercy Alone,

donsands said...

"So I hope that in spite of these things you will be able to enjoy the goodness" SWI

We can always rejoice in our Lord, can't we.
I know of a good church in England, that has a fine pastor in Adrian Warnock. Have you heard of him?

Jim Pemberton said...

The last time I was in London, my wife and I found a small Baptist church with Reformed mores near where we stayed. They were part of a group of similar churches call the Association of Grace Baptist Churches. One of them might be worth checking out if you're looking for a place to worship while you're there.

Anonymous said...

Canterbury Cathedral and the town of Canterbury are very interesting. My husband and I enjoyed an entire day there. We had wanted to get to Dover Castle, but did not have time. That is a must on our next trip.

Yes, yes, yes on the Tower of London. It was one of our favorite things in London. Also, things are VERY expensive in London, however, the museums are FREE. The British Museum is amazing!! So is the National Gallery. And, you don't feel guilty not staying all day because you didn't pay to get in.

Westminster Abbey and the Parliament area are must sees as well.

We were just there in March. The Big Red Bus tours (hop on and off) in London are nice because you can see everything and get the layout of the city.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I almost forgot! If you get a chance, attend an Evensong service at a cathedral. We attended the one at Canterbury and it was beautiful! The acoustics in those old stone churches are fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Sterling Castle was a wonderful outing for us.

halo said...

You can get an open-top bus tour around the main sites in Edinburgh which is meant to be pretty neat, it would save your legs to.

If you want an awesome view out over the city at night then climb Arthur's Seat or just go up the adjacent Salisbury Craggs which only take 10-15mins to climb. Arthurs seat is about 25-30. Gives very nice view especially at night. You can also get a pretty good view out over the city from that momument place a previous commenter suggested.

Royal Mile is also good with John Knox's old house.

If you are in Edinburgh on a Sunday and fancy experiencing some of the traditional Psalm Singing (A cappella) worship then go to the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland in the Brunsfield area, it is easy to find. Ian Murray (Banner of Truth) attends there I believe, he was there last time I was there. They dress reasonably smart though - suit and tie for the men and hats for the ladies!

Sir Aaron said...


It would take more than a couple days to explore everything the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle have to offer. This is especially true if you take the opportunity to walk.Same with London and the Tower. From Edinburgh, it is roughly an hour drive to Stirling. Stirling Castle and the William Wallace Memorial are must see places. The Wallace Memorial requires some walking some of it up several flights of stairs. Wallace's sword is up there and you can get a picture of yourself standing next to it (it's longer than I am and I am 6'5").

Also, you should check out the following website: The National Trust for Scotland . There you will find information about all of the historical monuments in Scotland which may give you some ideas.

If you are at all interested in how Scotch is made, they have an excellent tour on Royal Mile (or you can drive to a real distillery). I'm not much of a drinker, but it was a fascinating tour.

Sir Aaron said...

oh yeah, one more thing. You might consider getting an annual pass for the National Trust of Scotland or England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. It offers free entry into most of the historic sites which will save you some money if you plan to visit more than a couple.

Sir Aaron said...

Food. If you like traditional Scottish food, you might try Ivanhoe restaurant which is right off the royal mile (being Sir Walter Scott area and all).

Pecadillo said...

blah blah blah. Here's the one thing you need to know about your upcoming trip to London: British McDonalds put TWO sausage patties in their Sausage McMuffins. No need to thank me.

Bon app├ętit!

Anonymous said...

you should almost certainly attend the one day internationals betweeen england and india. although it will set you back a small fortune.

If you're in london go to the royal society of surgeons and view the john hunter collection, truly fascinating.

Jim Pemberton said...

Pecadillo said, "British McDonalds put TWO sausage patties in their Sausage McMuffins."

This would be a definite improvement over this 2008 photo of me in the Burger King at Gatwick. Notice the curled sausage link. This has to be the blandest sausage I've ever tasted.

Boerseuntjie said...

Suggestions for LONDON;

The BRITISH MUSEUM (Use BOTH the Metropolitan Tabernacle and Day One Guides!);
The London Metropolitan Tabernacle (Spurgeon's) on a Lord's Day;
The Tower of London after reading about the Christian Martyrs that where slain there including a Queen of England);
The Imperial War Museum in London;
The Fleet Air Arm Museum in YEOVIL, Somerset (If you can travel there - it has the Firts UK Concorde and is the biggest Naval Air Arm Museum in Europe);
Portsmouth Naval Dockyards with HMS Victory and a Boat ride in the Harbour;

Stirling is a bit outside of Edinburgh; but teh Castle and view from there is awesome and a bit of a foretaste of upland Scotland.

In Edinburgh:
Her Majesty's Royal Yacht Brittania is the best;
Next I would commend teh Scottish Museum just the other side of the Royal Mile...
Then Holyrood Palace with a walk or drive up Arthur's Seat;
The Edinburgh Castle is a must do; nly because it dominates the city;
If there is Rugby a Murrayfield and you wish to taste the game - there is two hours gone...
A trip over the Frith of Forth Bridge is well worth it; with a lovely countryside awaiting any explorer.
Glasgow is about shopping....

May you enjoy your trip to the glory ofour Master and King.

Boerseuntjie said...

Talking "Roundabouts"
Do you cal that a Roundabout?

Now THIS IS a Roundabout! lol

donsands said...

The Swindon circle is quite crazy indeed.

Ben Laird said...

Hi Phil,

If you do get a chance to make it to St. Andrews, let me know. I live in town and would love to show you around. My wife's a great cook too!

Ben Laird

DJP said...

Would she cook even if it wasn't Phil?

Ben Laird said...

Absolutely Daniel. We'd be glad to put an extra plate on the table for you!

Sir Aaron said...

I would have just shown up and said I was Phil...


Dan said...

yup, the british museum is a must (and yes, it's free).

the science museum is also very entertaining and informative. sit in the "listening post" which is a room full of small screens that "visualize" the internet by displaying text grabbed from chatrooms and message boards and displayed in realtime. it's an interesting (and somewhat sad) display of online human discussions.

there's also a 360 flight simulator that is pure fun to drive (and lose control of). DO IT.

st. paul's cathedral is also a must. when you're in the dome, go to the "whispering gallery", spread yourself close against the wall... and whisper. seriously.

apart from that, find any carvery restaurant and do a full english roast. it's the king of dinners.

Frosty said...

Liverpool is amazing!

PaulT said...

London: Get there early. Get day tickets for the London Underground, so you can get to all the tourist sites easily. Then get the Tube (Underground) to Westminster. Emerge from the station by the riverside. Take photos of the river and the London Eye, then turn right and take photos of the Houses of Parliament. Walk up to Parliament Square. You can see Westminster Abbey (but it's too expensive to go into that "place of worship"). Turn right, and walk up Whitehall. You pass by the gates of Downing Street, so you can wave and see if Mr Cameron is in! Carry on up Whitehall. Turn left through the opening towards the Horseguards Museum and walk across Horseguards Parade (all the time thinking what a near-blasphemy it is that they are going to use Horseguards Parade during the 2012 Olympics for BEACH VOLLEYBALL! Sacrilege!) Then cross the road into St James Park. Have a coffee at the cafe, then walk through the park to Buckingham Palace. Find Buckingham Gate and turn left. You will soon find Westminister Chapel, where MLJ preached. Get back on the Tube at St James. The Met Tab is near the Elephant and Castle station.

PaulT said...

Edinburgh: Get on an open top tour bus. That will take you past Edinburgh Castle (well worth a visit to see the Scottish Crown Jewels). The bus will also take you past Holyrood House, where the Queen lives when she is in Scotland. Also you will see the new Scottish Parlisment - the ugliest building in Scotland! Get out of the bus and walk up the Royal Mile back to the Castle. There is a lovely Fudge Shop near the bottom of the hill, which sells Scottish Butter Tablet. Once you have eaten some of this, you will be addicted for life! Further up the hill, you will find the balcony where John Knox preached. If you are walking upwards, it is on the right. Knox's grave is a little further up, on the left. You will miss it, if you are not looking for it - it is actually in a car park (a parking lot)!

Edinburgh is MUCH prettier than London. In my opinion, it is the second nicest city in Britain - after York.

PaulT said...

A third and last thought: Back to London. There is a little book of walks called Secret London (http://www.amazon.com/Secret-London-Exploring-Original-Unusual/dp/1566566363/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308694850&sr=8-1). The walks mentioned in that book are really well worth taking, and give you perhaps a better view of London's history than some of the "official" guides.