England - irusso

 

If you plan on traveling to any of these locations, here is some advice based on our experiences. Click a location to see more.

Click here if you want to view or print the full list.

  • Located about 2 hours West of London, Bath is a small town located in the Cotswalds. It's a beautiful town, very peaceful, probably best known for its Georgian architecture and the Roman Baths from which it takes its name. The entire town is easily managed on foot, and it's a good thing because the parking absolutely sucks. Essentially zero street parking anywhere in town and a couple of municipal pay lots located outside of town.

    Lodging

    The Town House

    Absolutely gorgeous, incredibly comfortable old Georgian townhouse located an easy 10 minutes walk from the center of Bath. Owners Alan and Brenda Wiley live on the property; they were both extremely friendly and very helpful with directions, recommendations, restaurants, friendly conversation, etc.

    Restaurants

    Firehouse Rotisserie (2 John Street)

    Located in the middle of town, just a short walk from the hotel. Very casual, informal pub environment with rotisserie chicken, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, etc. Strange, maybe, but a pleasant change from tradition British food :)

    Le Flamma (3 George Street)

    White tablecloth French restaurant located on George Street, just a couple of doors down from Martini. It doesn't look like much form the outside but it's actually quite nice.

    Martini (8 George Street)

    Traditional Italian restaurant, on George Street just a couple of doors down from Le Flamma. Very good. Not surprisingly, our three favorite restaurants in Bath were Italian, French and American. Not big fans of British food...

    Sights

    Bath Abbey

    Built during the 4th century, Bath Abbey is located in the center of town on the Avon River, directly adjacent to the Baths.

    The Roman Baths

    The origins of the baths date back to 43AD. They were updated and expanded throughout the years by the Romans. The expansive systems that regulated the water flow, the steam and heat and cooling, sanitation, usage, etc. are fascinating. When visiting, be sure to spring for the self-guided audio tour which does an excellent job of explaining everything about the baths, how they were developed, how they operated, etc.

    Avebury

    Although not quite as popular and well-known as Stonehenge, the neolithic monument at Avebury (also a stone ring) is actually older than Stonehenge. Avebury is actually a series of stone rings set inside one another and spread over an area of several miles.

    Stonehenge

    Truly amazing. Dedicated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. Archaeologists estimate that the stones were erected sometime around 2500 BC. Lots of theories abound as to what exactly they represent and who put them there; whatever your belief, it's worth the time and effort to side trip over to Salisbury to spend a couple of hours roaming around the site.

  • Lodging

    London Marriott Marble Arch

    Hyde Park. Marble Arch tube station (Central Line).  Great location, convenient to Underground and therefore everything you want to see and do.

    Restaurants

    Chutney Mary's

    On the King's Road (#535), in Chelsea. Outstanding Indian food in suburban London.

    Sights

    Buckingham Palace

    Buckingham Palace is only open for public tours for 2-3 weeks each summer. If you are lucky enough to be there during this time, pay the ridiculous price for the tickets. It's an amazing tour.

    St. Paul's Cathedral

    The original was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Christopher Wren designed the current cathedral, which was built in 1675. The great dome is the second largest in the world, behind St. Peter's in Rome.

    The Cabinet War Rooms

    Dozens of underground bunkers and rooms where first Neville Chamberlain and then Winston Churchill oversaw the Allied Operations during WWII. The rooms include living quarters, meeting rooms, war rooms, radio and telegraph operations, kitchens, etc. All are preserved as they were at the end of the War. Storey's Gate at King Charles Street, near Westminster Abbey.

    Westminster Abbey

    Construction began in 1245. Westminster Abbey is known as the site of the royal coronations (most recently Elizabeth II in 1953) as well as the final resting place for many famous Britains, including: Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, Alexander Pope, TS Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Rudyard Kipling and others.

    The Tate Modern

    World famous modern art museum, located across the Millennium Bridge on the south bank of the River Thames in the converted Bankside Power Station.

    Portobello Road

    Located in Notting Hill. Extensive outdoor market on Saturdays and Sundays.

    Picadilly Circus

    London's version of Times Square.

    Trafalgar Square

    London's main area for outdoor gatherings and rallies. Laid out and built during the 1830s. Central location, easy access to the West End, Covent Garden, Leister Square, Picadilly Circus, Downing Street, the National Gallery, Charing Cross Road, etc.

    The Tower of London

    Built in the early 11th century and has served as a prison and a fortress for most of that time. Fascinating tour. The Crown Jewels are also on display in the Tower.

    The Tower Bridge

    The Tower Bridge was completed in 1894. You can actually tour the bridge, including the two towers, the catwalk between them, and the mechanism that raises and lowers the bridge itself. Fascinating stuff, really.

    The London Eye

    Located on the south bank of the River Thames, across the Westminster Bridge Road opposite Big Ben and Parliament. The London Eye was built in 2000 as a part of London's Millennium celebration. At 445 feet high, it is the largest "observation wheel" in the world. There are 32 cars holding as many as 25 people each and one complete rotation takes about 45 minutes.

    Hop On/Off Doubledecker

    It's a great way to see London and get from one place to another if you're shy about the Underground (metro). The routes are laid out to hit all the major attractions, plus you get to ride around Central London on a doubledecker bus.

Powered by SmugMug Log In