Jump to content

England excluding London


Bodhi
 Share

Recommended Posts

Headed to England next April to catch a few soccer matches.  Will be there for 8-9 days and will absolutely be in Newcastle for two days (soccer).  Any recommendations on smaller (sub 250k) cities/towns to visit?  No particular focus of this trip other than watching National League/EFL soccer live and drinking in pubs.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found York fascinating.  I stopped there on a trip from London to Edinburgh -- I literally just hopped off the train -- and learned a lot about the Viking insurgence into England.  I believe York was about as far south as they got. 

It's not a fun story, but there was a terrible massacre of local Jews there maybe a millenia ago that marks a good bit of their history.  You can visit the castle where they were trapped and killed.  Regardless, NE England has its own beauty and is worth exploring.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m heading to London early this coming week, then heading up to Nottingham, where my FIL is from and he’s going to show my wife and kids his old haunts. Going to the Nottingham Forest vs Chelsea match on NYD, so that should be cool. I’ll report back maybe. 

I don’t know about April, but we went west from London and stopped on the way at Stonehenge, which was a fun experience and worthwhile, on our way to Torquay one summer. That whole area was very, very British and not at all like the big city. Cream teas were featured everywhere and the females reveled in it. 

We stayed in Cheltenham once and visited the Cotswalds and much of what it had to offer. Again, small town England is a whole different experience. Wandered about shops and pubs for a few days in various towns. Went to Stratford Upon Avon and that was interesting and worth it. 

That’s all of I’ve got. 

  • Hook 'Em 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Bodhi said:

Headed to England next April to catch a few soccer matches.  Will be there for 8-9 days and will absolutely be in Newcastle for two days (soccer).  Any recommendations on smaller (sub 250k) cities/towns to visit?  No particular focus of this trip other than watching National League/EFL soccer live and drinking in pubs.  

I enjoyed Liverpool a lot. We stayed somewhere close to Matthew Street and it was a fun area where everything was walking distance.

It seems anywhere outside of London, the people enjoy Americans way more. People enjoyed the novelty of hanging out with us and hearing our accents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve been working more and more in Manchester, and I really like the city and the people.  As stated above, London is London but there are many places more English…and more enjoyable to me.  Bath, York, Liverpool, and tons of small hamlets.  Drop in to any pub outside of London order a pint—conversation will follow

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not claiming any expertise but from experience and staying with your sub 250k city/town guidance, along with what would be my preference to avoid full-day drives, I'd look at Robins Hood's Bay village, Whitby, Withernsea (The Golden Haddock fish & chip shop is phenomenal), most definitely the previously mentioned York, the 2 huge, beautiful national parks up there, North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales, and towns like Malton, Harrogate, Maltby. If you're flying into Manchester I'd say it's worth a night or two even though it's a larger city than your specs. If you're flying into LHR and renting a car there, you could hit Oxford and Stratford upon Avon on the drive north. In general, when searching for a pub that's worth both eating and drinking in search the term "gastropub."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I spent a few days in Nottingham and then yesterday in York. Today til week’s end, we’re in Scotland. I really don’t see how you can lose by picking any town, checking off some of the historical notes and then relaxing and enjoying yourself around locals at the pubs and parks. 

In Nottingham, we got to see the Premier League experience and Forest pulled off a draw, so that was a lot of fun but obviously not the simplest thing to access. We also wound up doing a bit of a pub crawl around the castle and Robin Hood statue and tiles. That shit was cool even if we did it in a steady drumbeat of rain. There’s a lot of cool history and legend there, and the Trip to Jerusalem pub claims to be the oldest pub in at least England, if not anywhere. Est. 1189. It’s built into a cave underneath the old castle. I’ve never been in a pub quite like it. That all said, two days was enough in that one place. 

I’ve never seen anyone write about York when England is discussed. Might have missed it, but either way, I get that’s it’s a harder place to get to for a US traveler. I’ve been to England 20+ times and never had the chance to visit myself. We found it to be really cool once we got there though. It’s a “walled city” to the locals. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it’s the closest thing to medieval England as I feel I’ve seen. They do have a fucking ancient wall defending part of the city and the castle. Yorkminster Abbey is the northern twin of Westminster. I love WA and still think the outside of YA is more visually stunning. Famous people from the north are also buried inside, but we weren’t able to take the time to see what we could see for that one. There are tons of parks and shops and pubs and really old looking buildings and ruins. We had lunch at The Guy Fawkes Inn, at the address where he was born, like 500 years ago. You just can’t do shit like that in the US. I told my wife it would be fun to go back there when we had more time. It was just throw-in idea to stop in York for the day to break up the drive from Nottingham to Edinburgh. 

Anyways, just putting thoughts out there while they’re fresh. What I wouldn’t recommend, to anyone ever, is driving a large van with 8 people, including 4 kids, in near freezing weather, in the dark, in driving rain, on the wrong side of the road from York to Edinburgh. Nope. I drove through the Grand Tetons during a blizzard at night on a car without chains, and through a freezing driving rain storm in the Smoky Mountains at night. The drive from York to Edinburgh might have topped both of those on the stress meter. 

  • Hook 'Em 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, closetojumping said:

I’ve never seen anyone write about York when England is discussed. Might have missed it, but either way, I get that’s it’s a harder place to get to for a US traveler.

Literally post #2 on this thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

Literally post #2 on this thread.

Ha, well, maybe that’s why we went, then. I’d read this thread, so it could have been subconscious. . We faced either visiting York or a longer diversion to Wreckxam for the hell of it and I chose York as the driver. 

1 hour ago, po elvis said:

if he has you on ignore he can't see this post either.

I laughed. jimmy and I aren’t buddies but he’s a poster with an opinion and information usually, so it’s never been considered. It’s weird, I bet I have 50+ posters on ignore and I don’t think a single one posts in the food and travel forum where I notice regularly skipping their posts. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

York is mentioned in post 12 as well. Definitely worth visiting. The walled city is very cool. There's a walkway on top of the walls - not the entire way around the city but a majority. Lots of interesting history there, as mentioned. The Shambles is a memorable street. A cousin used to have an old, large estate nearby. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been to England a bunch - mostly in the Cotswolds region.  Here's the link that topic.

Ask away if you have any questions.  You can't go wrong with pretty much anywhere in that region.

Most recent trip journals: England 2022

I did get to spend about 1/2 day in Oxford back in 2016 - absolutely spectacular, but it is "large" compared to the villages I prefer, so - I highly recommend, but don't sleep on the smaller villages.  And yes "gastropubs" are your best friend for great food and local ales!

spacer.png

  • Hook 'Em 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for all of the advice, booked flights today.  Going with a friend to watch soccer at several different levels of the EFL.  Will start off in London then head to Chelmsford to see a National League South match.  From there we head to a small town to catch a Tuesday night National League game (Boston, Kings Lynn, ???).  After that some combination of Nottingham, Hull, York.  We end our trip heading North to Darlington and finish in Newcastle for a NUFC Premier League game.

Any strong preferences on Nottingham vs. York for those that have been? 

  • Hook 'Em 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@bodhi It really depends on your own preferences. Would you rather be in a modern UK city, maybe catch another soccer match and maybe see cute girls at the pub (there's a uni in downtown Nottingham). Or are you interested in seeing incredibly well-preserved, and highly accessible roman and medieval architecture?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...