Britbike forum

Travel tips for an American visiting England

Posted By: Gordon Gray

Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/14/14 3:23 pm

Lets say a fellow wanted to visit England for the first time and that there's a good chance it would be his only time, AND he'd like to attend a rally while he was there, AND (again ? shocked ) he would only have 7 days to do it.

What would be the one rally that would show off your country the best????? AND get to meet some English members of this board he hasn't had a chance to meet yet.

Got any suggestions?

Just thinking out loud......Gordon in NC, USA

PS, Wade if you're reading this brother...I hear ya and it sure has me thinking. smile
Posted By: beezageezauk

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/14/14 3:40 pm

Hey Gordon,

As you probably know, these rallies are held in a different country each year and eventually the circle starts over again. So to answer your question, I believe that the next "English" Rally will be held in 2019. Now because it will be held in central England and reasonably easy for everybody to get to I would expect it to attract many more folk than usual.

Generally its more folk means more fun...so if that's what you're looking for, I'll look forward to meeting up with you there.

Beezageezauk.
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/14/14 4:14 pm

Gordon - If you decide to go to a BSA international you may get hooked like I did and never want to miss another one. But there are smaller rallies like the ones that are being spun as we speak. These seem to be more like 2 or 3 day events and that would give you a chance to meet folks and go see other parts of the country too. The Birmingham National motorcycle museum is to die for and while there you might as well see the old BSA factory and get your pilgrimage certificate smile
Or the many many other things to see in England.... Not all have to be motorcycle related but maybe they do.... Brooklands is another must see and Sammy Millers. Ace Cafe - Fish and chips in Brighton.... Don't get me started..... You may have to go more then once wink
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/14/14 4:31 pm

Gordon lad, A week Rally..? Well like Beezageezauk says why not aim for the UK in 2019, I'm sure to have a bike waiting for you to ride by then. I'll even get your from the kerosene pigeon, so WHAT are ya waiting for lad..?

Remember we ride on the correct side of the road, drink proper ale, and don't tip.. wink

Don't forget your wet gear, Blowing Rock, the year I was there, is *Normal* summer weather for here lad...

OR, and that's a big or you'll notice, we could arrange a 'Gordon Rides the UK, Quest' Perhaps get the 'Quest' lads together, for a week of showing y'all the place we ride in. Perhaps even get some others from the USA over here..?

Don't HAVE to be a BSA international rally does it..? Perhaps even work it out so we can visit the 2nd Old Bike Rally that Beezageezauk organises..?

Loads of ideas, and the seed has been planted, let us see how it grows eh..?
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/14/14 4:43 pm

Originally Posted by Kent Shaun
<snip> Don't HAVE to be a BSA international rally does it..? Perhaps even work it out so we can visit the 2nd Old Bike Rally that Beezageezauk organises..?

Loads of ideas, and the seed has been planted, let us see how it grows eh..?


WELL.......IF that fellow was me smile. No.....I'm not asking about a BSA International. That seems too structured and I would be more (remember if we were talking about me) inclined to do something along the line of the Old Bike Rally. Something in England...something with you fellows no matter what kind of bike your riding...something about England not BSA. Of course I would do anything (well...almost anything wink ) to get to ride a bike around.....that's sorta what I had in mind....uh...for that fellow to do. Weekend Rally....in an area where after or before you could look/ride around a bit. England....not BSA.

We are talking about a fellow who LOVES to plan....and loves it even more when a plan comes together.

Thanks for taking the time to reply....Gordon in NC, USA

Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 8:20 am

So it's going to run around $1300 for a round trip ticket.

Just a ballpark figure for a fellow who doesn't need to live high on the hog...what would you budget $$$ per day for a place to sleep, eat, fuel, ect?

Gordon in NC, USA
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 10:23 am

Ive never paid more then 900-1000 round trip. Even last Christmas . But maybe it makes a difference that Im leaving from NYC confused
Posted By: baza57

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 10:49 am

Gordon lad, book your trip to coincide with the VMCC west kent run in early august ,a whole week of runs if you want plus camping or rooms and its close to historic Rochester with its own castle! clap
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 11:28 am

Baza, right now I'm looking at Kev's get together in Wiltshire.

I'm thinking a weekend camping with you fellows and maybe a few days before and after to have a look around.

Wade, I'm already overwhelmed by the amount of sites that are offering airfares. So far that little over $1200 seems to be standard....but boy what a mess it is for somebody who's never done anything like that. Who do you get your tickets from?

$200 - $250 a day????? Does that sound about right? I can cut corners and do without.....I've done that all my life. 7 days, one weekend camping with the fellows. A borrowed bike??? A plan??? Some bimbling type roads with something to see in between, before and or after the camping weekend.

If I kept my mouth shut....would they be able to tell "he's not from around here"? laughing

Gordon in NC, USA

Posted By: wadeschields

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 12:02 pm

I always look at sites like Kayak.com or the other cheap ticket sites but to be honest I get good prices calling the airlines directly and being somewhat flexible as to departure and arrival day/time. Sometimes leaving a day earlier or later can save hundreds of dollars. I've never gotten and substantial savings by adding stop off and layovers. At Christmas I could have saved 25 bucks if I flew to Canada and transferred to another plane instead of flying directly to Heathrow.... No thanks....
I would research the best deals on the cheap sites then call the airline that seems to be giving the best deal. Also you may get a better deal if you book a hotel or rental car with them at the same time.... If Gerry had not want to be in England by a certain time at Christmas (understandable at the time) we could have had both flights and a rental car for 9 days for 100 bucks less then we paid for just our tickets.... But then we would have missed the family christmas party.... But thats the kind of deals they make nowadays.
Posted By: Kev.

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 12:09 pm

Gordon, it is cheaper to fly if you make one of the trips on a week day, say fly out on a Wednesday or Thursday, and fly back on a Sunday.

That is what I do when I vist the US, I also use Atlanta, as there are less tourist flights there.
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 12:11 pm

Someone here at work just told me that they get good flight deals on http://www.skyscanner.com/

Posted By: Lannis

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 12:37 pm

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
Baza, right now I'm looking at Kev's get together in Wiltshire.

I'm thinking a weekend camping with you fellows and maybe a few days before and after to have a look around.



Gordon -

I've done it a few times, and having someone in the UK end to help out is the KEY to having a great time and not wasting your time there. First time Fay and I went (for a week), we took in the Lion's Club Old Bike Day at Eastbourne, the monthly BSA Club meeting at The Cock Inn, and the BSA Open Day at Billing, PLUS spent two days just walking the back country in Kent, which was a life's desire of mine and was everything I'd hoped. All great fun, and I'm sure you can also hit at least three events even if they're not BSA; they have several per WEEK over there! Between $900 and $1100 for plane tickets, and I KNOW that someone will have a bike for you ... Lord knows you've done it often enough the other way.

Camping is the norm there when you're not at someone's house, usually free in a pub garden; food runs about the same as it does here. To fill your bike's tank will be abut $50 real money ... so don't be shocked!

You'll have a great time!

Lannis
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 12:38 pm

Gordon,
This is exciting! Talk right to the airlines to see what they have- chances are they are close to what all the "other" sites are offering- AND you could pick your airline and perhaps get better service. British Airways, Alitala, Icelandic Air... The euro or UK based airlines are going to be far better than the US based overseas flights, GUARANTEED. For the difference in cost, you'll

Take off on schedule
Be fed a MUCH better meal
Be treated as you would hope to be treated
Arrive feeling like you didn't just give your money to a gang of idiot pirates.

Since you're not collecting "air miles" by flying all over the place regularly, you have only to gain in overall comfort and quality of experience from choosing a better airline.

SERIOUSLY.

My personal experience is that you can actually call the airlines directly and get a human. This alone will cut down confusion and time in buying a ticket. Look online at British Air for example- figure out flights and rough dates on their site then call them while having their site open in front of you. Both you and the agent will be able to see your flights together.

As Wade says, plan a little flexibility into your take-off & return dates to save a few $$$.

And brother- face it- you're gonna HAVE TO put up with the fact that everyone is gonna want you to come stay with them...
Think of how WE treat our "guests" when they come over. THATs how you'll be treated! It's just what we at BB.com DO for one another.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 1:52 pm

Originally Posted by Lannis
<snip> Camping is the norm there when you're not at someone's house, usually free in a pub garden; food runs about the same as it does here. To fill your bike's tank will be abut $50 real money ... so don't be shocked!

You'll have a great time!

Lannis


Lannis....how do you know if there's camping at a pub? ask? or are there signs?

You wrote "to fill your bike's tank will be about $50 real money"

Okay.....let me get this straight. Motorcycles in England come with tanks? Left overs from WW2? Like Shermans? I'm asking because there's no way you could be talking about the motorcycle's fuel tank. smile

I'm not looking to be intertained, I'm sort of a loner anyway. It would be GREAT if somebody could point me in the right direction and be around WHEN I got in trouble. laughing

A weekend camping with our fine friends over there is probably all they could stand of me any way.

Gordon in NC, USA
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 2:23 pm

Lannis: when I first saw the $50 dollar to fill a tank I wondered how big of a fuel tank do you have, but after figuring the conversion your probably not far off. It's about £6.50 for some quality pump fuel ( high octane with little or no ethanol) for a UK gallon (4.54 metric litres) and say you have a 4 gallon tank, that's bout £26 for about 200-250 miles riding - say about $40 with the current exchange rate.

It can bump the cost up if your sending a bike over, but I got my sanfran flights for about £600 ($960) and that's right the way over... Your east side so you could say closer to $600 for the same time of year as I came over... Peak season will obviously be a lot more and less enjoyable IMO.

NOW last thing is, if I'm not on your first page of folks to contact for your trip, I'm gonna want to know why laughing
Posted By: Lannis

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 2:38 pm

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
Originally Posted by Lannis
<snip> Camping is the norm there when you're not at someone's house, usually free in a pub garden; food runs about the same as it does here. To fill your bike's tank will be abut $50 real money ... so don't be shocked!

You'll have a great time!

Lannis


Lannis....how do you know if there's camping at a pub? ask? or are there signs?

You wrote "to fill your bike's tank will be about $50 real money"

Okay.....let me get this straight. Motorcycles in England come with tanks? Left overs from WW2? Like Shermans? I'm asking because there's no way you could be talking about the motorcycle's fuel tank. smile

I'm not looking to be intertained, I'm sort of a loner anyway. It would be GREAT if somebody could point me in the right direction and be around WHEN I got in trouble. laughing

A weekend camping with our fine friends over there is probably all they could stand of me any way.

Gordon in NC, USA


Gordon –

About the pub camping, our English buds always knew. Probably need to check ahead; I'll bet there's a web site with a directory of pubs that allow camping

Gas ...Depends on the exchange rate, it changes all the time.

When we were there, high-test fuel was about £1.40 a liter, and 1 £ = $2.10. I can tell you that to fill up the A10 gas tank never cost me less than $40, and often more. With the pound closer to $1.70 now, it’s not so bad, but who knows what it will be when you go over? All I’m saying is, you need to get to another level on fuel price sticker shock when you’re in the UK.

Meals weren’t bad. The food was great everywhere we went. And here’s the deal. In the USA, the diner advertises “Lunch Special $6.95”. You go to pay, and you get pennies back from a $10 bill, because you pay $6.95 + $0.40 state sales tax + $0.69 town meal tax + $1.50 tip for the waitress.

In the UK, taxes are included in the menu price, and there’s no tipping, since they pay the wait staff regular wages instead of “tip” wages. So when lunch is £6.95 (a usual price), you hand the cashier a tenner and get £3.05 back, and you get to KEEP it! So meals are really about the same, maybe a shade more expensive in England.

DO spend time hanging out in the old pubs with the old-timers in the cloth flat caps; if one says in response to your invitation “Aye, ye can put a drop I’ there, young man”, buy him a pint and get a great story ….

Watch yourself on the right turns – at the end, I end up in the right lane (the WRONG lane) about half the time. And make sure you’ve got proper insurance – last I was there in 2011, Aveva was the only company that would cover an American ….

Lannis
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 5:28 pm

Lannis....GREAT information and a comfort to hear. Damnit, insurance...never thought of that so I'll have to work on that one. Did you spell that company's name right? Can't seem to find it. How much did that cost? (got figure what I'll need to get out of the B50 smile )

Allan.....little buddy...you my friend are right on TOP of the list of people I want to shake hands with. I can't wait!!! You and I will have a LOT to laugh about. smile

Kev has already put me on the spot (ya gota love him for it) so it's going to be hard to back out of this one so I better get busy....I only have 11 months to plan!!!! shocked (and to start saving my pennies)

A Quest......more than I could have ever asked for.

Gordon in NC



Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 5:54 pm

As far as I know, all you have to do to camp in a pub's "garden" AKA "back yard" in USA parlance... is ASK. The TRADITIONAL English pubs serve fresh, locally procured food right off the surrounding farms... and they were doing it WAY before it became "Locavore" "cuisine". laughing
When we ate over there at the old-style pubs, each meal was home cooked, fresh food.
Overall the pub food was a really pleasant surprise for me, in a country not known world-wide for their quality of cooking/food.
Posted By: Kev.

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 5:58 pm

well come eat some more brother!
Posted By: BeezaBryan

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 6:03 pm

There is an open door in Derbyshire for you Gordon, a BSA factory site visit plus Motorcycle Museum. You want a walk & maybe a bit of history? That can be arranged too with your choice of refreshment establishment. Or you just need someplace to lay your head while heading from someplace to someplace else that too is fine.

Fuel/gas/petrol call it what you will is currently £1.28/litre in my town, that equates to $9/Imperial gallon or $7.57/Puny US gallon. This is merely an illustration, though the £/$ exchange rate has been fairly steady for a while now fuel costs vary wildly at times but then again I found much the same in your part of the world wink
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 8:47 pm

Bryan, thank you for the offer and I'll keep that in mind. Reading between the lines in Kev's announcment.... there might be a few that would "lead" me around????? and if so, I'd be more than willing to follow. smile

This is going to be an education for me.....in less than 24 hours I've already found out where Kent, Wiltshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire are located and I'm in the process of trying to find Royal Berkshire. More than I've ever known about England.

I was talking to my wife about it tonight....she says "You got to go"

So many questions and blanks to fill in but plenty of time to get that done.

Give Marie a hug from me and hope our paths cross soon.

Your friend in NC, USA Gordon Gray
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 8:54 pm

Now I see (I think?) why Kev calls it "Royal"

Berkshire (abbreviated Berks) is a county of south east England, located to the west of London. It has also been known as the Royal County of Berkshire since at least the 19th century because of the presence of Windsor Castle and was recognised as such by the Queen in 1957 and letters patent issued in 1974. Berkshire is a county of historic origin and is currently both a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council. Berkshire County Council was the main county governance from 1889 to 1998, except for the separately administered County Borough of Reading. In 1974 the towns of Abingdon, Didcot and Wantage were transferred to Oxfordshire, Slough was gained from Buckinghamshire, and the separate administration of Reading ended. Since 1998 Berkshire has been governed by the six unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham. It borders the counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Surrey, Wiltshire and Hampshire.

Gordon in NC, USA
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/15/14 9:23 pm

One thing I've found about international travel and spending...
is while abroad, you spend in the local currency. Things are roughly priced proportionally in local currency, as they are here- the result is that (for me at least) I don't find myself alienated (or alarmed) by the "cost" of things. A fill up of gas in litres feels the more/less same as the cost of gas here.


I've spent Euros, English/Scottish Pounds, Lire, Pesos, and Danish, Swedish, & Norwegian Crowns. Oh, and also Canadian Dollars. My experience is there's no sticker shock- because you're immersed in the local economy, experiencing the flavor of the moment...

In the end, it just becomes a marvelous stay away from home in a foreign land. England & The UK is *easy* cuz everyone speaks the "same" language... SORT OF. laughing

Let's face it. You could drive yourself crazy thinking about and dwelling upon exchange rates, every penny spent, etc. BUT WHAT FUN IS THAT.

GO. ENJOY. RELAX. And have fun with your friends.
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 10:42 am

Quote
I'm not looking to be intertained, I'm sort of a loner anyway


Gordon lad, well if THAT'S your attitude, best you stay put..!

Now then matey me ladio, listen up, and listen GOOD...

You've helped us out loads, indeed it was YOU that handed a complete stranger a bike in 06, so he could come with me to the BSA International. You work your chuff off at Blowing Rock every year, and more that I don't know about besides. So my Pedigree Chum, get that idea right out of your noggin...

We'll LOVE to Entertain you, and you won't be a Loner if we're with ya dude.. :bigt


IF, all goes to plan, I'll collect you from the airport of your choice, beer you up, and settle you in for a good kip. Followed next morning with a FULL English, I'll then sort a bike out for you, once we'd sorted the insurance. And you can follow me to the start of your Quest, we'll meet the lads, drink Ale, camp, ride, eat and drink Ale. And after a good week in the cold and rain of ole Blighty, we'll SEE how much of a loner you are.. laughing

And besides, I could do with a good Quest, so you coming over is the perfick excuse, not had a week in the rain on me bike, since...? Well..? Since last week.. laughing

So stop all this, I'm SO American, marlarky and git ya sorry behind on that Kerosene pigeon, we'll purge your system with PROPER Beer, have you wishing you'd gone to Hawaii or somewhere the Sun shines, and spend all your money on a tank full of Gas, you'll LOVE it lad.. wink

And remember, we drive on the LEFT, and spell Colour with a 'U' we say too mar toe, so start practising lad, it's the start of your education.. grin

Oh, and your eggs will be cooked, that's it, no questions asked, just cooked...
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 11:17 am

Oh lord, what have I gotten myself into???? laughing

Shaun my deep southern friend, I will be hornored to have you guys show me around. I said that "loaner" thing.....(which is mostly true) because I really don't want to put anybody out.

You need to tell me which airport to fly into.....I don't have a clue and it would give me something to work with from this end.

I've been pouring over a map of your country so I'll have some kinda idea of where in the world I'll be for a week. Made the mistake of looking at a road map.... shocked.....yep I better follow somebody.

OH.....and I guess you don't remember, I don't drink the adult stuff... frown so think of all the money YOU'LL save!!!! laughing

Seed's been planted....the date's been set...wife says it's a go.....working on the other stuff from this end, Gordon in NC

too mar toe, too mar toe, too mar toe.....maybe if I just keep my mouth shut and just nod my head from time to time...never mind, that ain't gona happen. laughing
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 12:34 pm

Gordon lad, put us out.. crazy Why lad, you'd put us out by NOT coming.. wink

Heathrow or Gatwick, is the two landing strips you'll be looking for lad, either one will do, is ya coming with your child bride, or you on your own..?

Bikes on offer so far... BSA M21, BSA A10, Moto Guzzi T5 can't let ya ride Albert lad, not at YOUR age.. laughing

So what DO you drink..? Proper English Tea flows like water in these here parts, but we DO make a mean coffee...

Fear not for the distance, 100 miles over there takes but a heart beat, 100 miles over here is a whole new ball game. All you got to do is tell us with PLENTY of time, what dates you're thinking of..? Remember here dude, I work for an American company, and they're being complete R.Soles about me holiday dates.. mad So I'll need to get em booked QUICK.. :bigt
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 1:01 pm

One other tidbit of advise Gordon.... We like to take the latest flight possible . If you leave the States at 10 PM and sleep on the plane then land at 8 AM their time, it makes the jet lag easier to cope with..... Sleep the first afternoon but immediately try to go to bed and get up with the locals (separate beds) Thats the best way. Eat when they do as well. Gets your body clock ticking on their time.... 2nd day or so you'll be right as rain.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 1:25 pm

GREAT tips Wade....thank you. I'm going to have more questions and you guys don't know how much comfort it is getting advise from those of you that have been there, done that.

Shaun, ( I hope Kev doesn't mind) I would like to attend Kev's Summer Solstice Camp 2015, to be held at the Woodbridge Inn in Wiltshire. ( I hope I got all that right?)

Friday June 19, 2015

He is also talking about taking some time after the camp to have a look around.

A Quest for Druids and Dragons

That would mean I would need to show up on the 18th? and leave some time around the 26th???

Still in the planning stage but those are the dates I'm using to find tickets.

My wife won't be with me....her hobby (dog rescue) gets in the way of any real travel.

OH......and tea or water will be fine.

Take care....Gordon Gray in NC, USA
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 3:43 pm

Beer is cheaper than coke or any of those funny pops, so you really need to get into those grin

Shaun has many a good point but us northern lot don't understand him so don't worry about that. :bigt

England has a lot to offer in scenery and you don't have to travel far for the change, like Shaun says let us know when your over, depending on how your doing things there can be a lot to be seen and done, Derbyshire is excellent! And if the timing is right I'd like to put you into contact with my friend. He was a great Motorcrosser in his day and now does trials. The "Cat and fiddle " is a good route between Derbyshire and Cheshire and Bryan has done a video incase your not sure about the route.

Tipping isn't required over here, but does get appreciated when you do... But only tip if you feel like the person REALLY deserves it.

And get used to the world not stopping at 9pm. When I was in CA, there were few Americans who stopped up past nine, but were very early to rise. Since then I refer to Wade as being half English, as he stayed up with the best of us. laughing ( not that there is anything wrong in going bed early)

We look forward to your visit.

Ps. I don't think your a loaner. I can thing of others that fit that category well before you do. :bigt
Posted By: Rich B

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 3:57 pm

Gordon,

Since Shaun won't let you enjoy Albert, then do the next best thing, choose the M21 and enjoy those lanes on a proper big single :bigt
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 5:06 pm

Originally Posted by Rich B
Gordon, <snip> choose the M21 and enjoy those lanes on a proper big single :bigt


Rich.....great minds smile think alike. I can't think of a better choice out of those three. :bigt

Allan, little buddy..... I've been around this lot here (BB.comers in the states) for several years...and none of them even come close to drinking like I used to. blush Heck, I used to drink in one afternoon what a half dozen of them drink all weekend. shocked I haven't touched the stuff in a little over 25 years....even though I think about it almost every day. It's one of those things that if you haven't had a drinking problem....you'd never understand.

The dates are set.....June 19, 2015 a Friday in Wiltshire. After that a few days heading North then a run back to Kent?

So much to think about and only 11 months to go.... laughing

See ya buddy.......Gordon
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 5:19 pm

Sorry Gordon. Didn't mean a serious drinking session, I find most us Brits don't hit the bar till late - camping events carry different rules ha ha.

Anyway, what ever your drink. Your always welcome.
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 5:26 pm

It would be a shame if you didn't make it over to Cornwall.... It has to be the most beautiful place on earth .... But I haven't been "everywhere" yet .
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 7:19 pm

Wade....just got through looking at some photo's of Cornwall.

My goodness...who knew?

I can't imagine being able to see it all in such a short time and I'm going to just follow who ever is in front of me.

I don't even have a short list of what I'd like to see....I'll be happy with any thing. I would like to meet some of the folks I haven't had a chance to meet...there's a short list there and I hope to check them all off the list.

Allan...no worries my friend, I deal with it every day and have NO PROBLEM at all hanging around folks drinking...no problem at all and nobody has to do anything different just because I'm there. I LOVE being around good people having a good time, it just doesn't get any better.

Later gator.........GG





Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/16/14 8:04 pm

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray


The dates are set.....June 19, 2015 a Friday in Wiltshire. After that a few days heading North then a run back to Kent?

So much to think about and only 11 months to go.... laughing

See ya buddy.......Gordon



So happy to hear this. Gordon does the Muthaland, Part 1.
I hear once you get started it's a hard habit to break.
Talking about the travelin' not the drinking.
I'm a bit of a teetotaler myself, but in the days of my youth...

Hey, maybe you could try one of those lefthanded sidecars!
Bryan might know of a spare available for your brief visit.

Don in Nipomo
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/17/14 7:50 am

Yea Don....I've been thinking about it (a trip to England)long and hard and finally came to the conclusion that if I don't do it soon...it'll never happen.

Never really thought much about leaving our beautiful country until I saw it all, but except for just a few states...I have seen most of them ....or at least parts of them.

It's going to be a once in a lifetime deal.....and to say I'm excited about it is an understatment. smile

Sidecar..... laughing. I'm a little under 2000 miles on mine now. Really been burning up the roads and using it any and every chance I get. Did over 250 miles this past weekend and took it down a road that I waited until I had some seat time before I tried it. Shulls Mill Road. I know some of our members have ridden that road.....in both directions. There's one curve on it that is SO OFF CAMBER it's spooky on two or four wheels. I did it first as a right hander with the off camber uphill on my right side shocked. Bam!!!! nailed it and I figure that was my final novice test. :bigt I came back the other way on the way home and just pushed it around on the lefthander. I swear, I can't picture myself without a rig from now on. Thank you for all your help with it...I'm not sure I would have completed the task if you hadn't been pushing me. smile


Yak at ya later.....your sober wink friend in NC, Gordon
Posted By: Kev.

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/17/14 1:03 pm

Cornwall is longer than a week!

Anyway I have a few idea's for the route, that I shall bandy about with the UK bimblers, before working things and places out, BUT, I shall not be posting the idea's up front on the interweb, otherwise Gordon won't have a suprise or two when he gets over here, and more importantly, the makings of a yarn when he gets back. :bigt
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/17/14 2:55 pm

My friend Kev, getting to ride with Shaun from Kent to Wiltshire then camping with you all.....is more than a fellow could ask for.

ANYTHING after that will be fine with me. There's not enough time (and money) to see it all.....I can live with that.

A grateful Gordon in NC, USA

Posted By: Lannis

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/17/14 3:37 pm

Gordon -

Sounds like you're well on your way! Lots of good advice and great offers here, you're headed for a good time no matter what! A few more pointers from someone who loves visiting the UK and would retire there if he could afford it ... !

1. The pubs really don't have anything to drink that's non-alcoholic. None of our crew EVER got drunk in a pub - we'd all sit and nurse a pint in the middle of the day and give it plenty of time to settle, even first offense "drink driving" will get you a free pass to the Graybar Hotel. But if you don't drink ale or beer or lager, the options are thin on the ground. But as you say, you're used to that already.

2. The pub eating hours are ... well ... esoteric. You NEVER know when they'll be open or closed. They're generally closed RIGHT when you want a nice chicken-and-leek pie or a slice of haggis. The Full English breakfast is good even in the truck stops and greasy spoons on the motorways; can't miss with that. But the food (as Tom said) is uniformly good.

3. The best way to start out riding is following a native. Be like a Blue Angel or Thunderbird - follow your wingman, even if it looks like he's flying into the ground. After a day or two of seeing how roundabouts are done, and right turns are done, and what the road markings mean, you'll be ready to head out on your own.

4. Aviva (I spelled it wrong before) and Directline are the only two insurance companies I know of that will insure an American driver, and it might have changed. The problem is, almost ALL of the insurance applications have a little box you must check that says "I certify that I have been a resident of the UK for 12 months and have 6 months driving experience here". You can squinch your face up and check it and send it in, but just don't have an accident while you're there!

Bon Voyage!

Lannis
Posted By: tbird649

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/17/14 4:03 pm

If you are borrowing a bike, sounds like you are, it will be easier for the owner to specify you as a "named driver" on his policy, or maybe his policy will be "any driver" I dont think you need to worry, I'm sure the crew will sort that out for you with not too much bother.
Posted By: BeezaBryan

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/17/14 4:54 pm

Originally Posted by Lannis
Gordon -

Sounds like you're well on your way! Lots of good advice and great offers here, you're headed for a good time no matter what! A few more pointers from someone who loves visiting the UK and would retire there if he could afford it ... !

1. The pubs really don't have anything to drink that's non-alcoholic. None of our crew EVER got drunk in a pub - we'd all sit and nurse a pint in the middle of the day and give it plenty of time to settle, even first offense "drink driving" will get you a free pass to the Graybar Hotel. But if you don't drink ale or beer or lager, the options are thin on the ground. But as you say, you're used to that already.


Bon Voyage!

Lannis


Lannis our pubs have always done more than alkyhol even more so these enlightened days.
I like many other riders are careful what we consume and when while them as wants to can do as they will.
There is certainly one rider of my acquaintance who has a problem with alcohol, he makes nothing of it, he is quite happy with his soft drinks while the rest have their beer or whatever.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/17/14 8:38 pm

HEY!!!! You guys are going to have to stop!!! You're killing my buzz. laughing

I hope there will be PLENTY of beer, larger and or ale consumed and enjoyed by anybody that wants too partake. smile

It's all good....I'm good, I was just trying to give the boys a heads up about my drinking habits. laughing or lack of these days.

NOW.....on to more important things. Poor no name man and Wade are going to get covered up with questions at the OSMR if I don't sort this stuff out before hand.

If your going to ride a bike all week. Do you bring a big dry bag to haul your stuff in? Do you bring a weeks worth of clothes and carry them all with you....or do you stop and wash some along the way?

Money??? how much to carry, exchange it where, credit/debit cards....ATMs?

Shoes? The waterproofs for the bike are a given. With the wet weather what other shoe would you suggest.

How about any other gear you would suggest that my hosts might not have for me?

Riding gear's mine, wet and dry, warm and cold. It's going to be summer, how cold will it be?

Camera....will I be able to recharge the battries?

I'm just getting started boys and I only have 11 months to go.

smile Gordon



Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/17/14 11:48 pm

Money:

A: In the UK you can exchange money at any post office for free if not perhaps a small charge. The EU and probably UK credit/debit cards have a chip inside. USA debit/credit cards don't- so they don't work at gas pumps or other convenient places. Don't know about your own bank but my bank will get me a chipped Visa debit card IF I APPLY for it IN ADVANCE-WEEKS in advance. Check out your own bank and ask about this.

B: me mostly counting on debit cards for spending, I don't always pack loads of cash around. At the airport stateside, it's a good idea to exchange some US dollars for pounds- definitely get a couple hundred. Since you're not going to be hopping about to different countries you'll only use pounds. If you don't wanna count on ATMs, then load up on crazy cash. But definitely enter England with at least two hundred pounds in your pocket. You'll get there and be all excited, stuff'll be happening, and it won't be convenient to exchange $$$ for pounds. You're going to a first world country. There'll be ATMs and stuff everywhere. FORGET you ever heard about Traveler's Checks! This is the 21st Century. Nobody and I mean NObody will have any idea whatever on what a travelers check even IS much less what to do with one. That [***] is SO 1970, & Carl Walden is DEAD! laughing

C: when I went to Scotland, I went down to AAA and got several pre-paid Visa cards. You can load them up ahead of time and use them along the way instead of your debit or credit card. The downside being, out in the wilderness of the north Scottish Coast, some places wouldn't take them! Or they wouldn't work or something, even tho it says Visa on it. I guess I was still hung up on using some kinda travelers check or cash alternative type thing.... At the end of the day, your plain ol visa debit card will get you thru most anything. I've used mine in Italy, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

D: I ALWAYS call my bank and tell them when I'm traveling out of my local area (or typical travel zones). I tell them when I'm leaving, where I'm going, and when I will return. You can get your Visa card "Verified" for overseas purchases. DO it. It will add security and may save a hassle somewhere along the line. The last thing you want in a foreign country is money problems! Ask your bank about "Verified By Visa".
Check to see if your bank can issue you a card with a "chip" in it. I found out too late that I could get one... But could still get money from ATMs no sweat, and make purchases at MOST cash registers.

Gear and clothing:
Take more money and LESS stuff! The general rule of thumb is: pack your bags, then throw half of it away and take more money. Figure your clothing needs down to the bare wire and reduce THAT by 30%. Seriously. Forget all those shirts, all the extra pants and stuff. You'll be camping out and riding bikes. You honestly won't need all that much. For one week, pack four pairs of socks and four pairs of undies, one pair of pants, a couple shirts, and your riding gear. Hell- I took THAT for 20-odd days in Europe! Bring a LIGHT wool sweater, a fleece vest, or something like that which you can wear under your riding jacket or around town. Bring super lightweight long undies, and light weight wool socks. This may he obvious, but cotton will leave you cold if it gets wet. Wool and modern synthetics are far better- but I'm using merino wool these days myself, having given up the synthetics. I usually travel with a small and I mean TINY folding packable umbrella!

When we were in England in August 08, the weather was chilly- I rode in full leathers, sometimes with lightweight long johns and a long sleeve shirt or a light jacket beneath my leathers. Expect temps in the high 40s (F) at night, and highs in the 50s to 60s in daylight. Dress like its fall or early spring. If it gets hot it'll be a real anomaly. Look at all the ride reports, and yarns from various events our buddies post all summer long from England. Check how everyone dresses. Dress the same. You'll rarely see anyone in short sleeves or light looking clothing. Pack your riding boots and a pair of sneakers or something to change into when you're not riding.

If you own a full face helmet TAKE it. It'll be cold and raining. A full face helmet will save you lots of misery in England.

Electronics and charging: I went to radio shack and got an International Travel Plug Adapter Kit. Minor cost, and it'll have any conceivable type of plug converter you'll ever need anywhere. Jack your charger into the UK converter, and plug that into a wall. I now have a small (3" X 3" X 3/4") battery. 12000 Milli amp hours or whatever. It holds a charge for days and I can charge my phone AND watch a movie on my iPad at the same time if I want. It has USB connectors on one end and just darn near any other type of connector on the other. I get several full charges out of it over three or four days. I keep it in my tool kit for long days at work, or long days jerking around (maybe in a city) when I know I'll use up battery life but won't have access to any outlets. If your camera has a USB charger, it'll,work with a similar battery pack, tho you may only get a single charge out of it- I think a camera will draw more juice for a full charge than a phone will.

Totally bring at least one dry bag. Or bring two, one for clothing and one for sleeping gear. Keeping your stuff dry equates to comfort and warmth. Wet stuff equates to misery and possible illness... And loss of sleep - also potentially deadly.

I really have to say- I've pared down my clothing over the years... 20 days in England- I mailed stuff home from the Isle Of Man (like 40 pounds worth!!! ) and STILL never used much of what I had. 20some days in Northern Europe last summer, I think I got it about right... But I bought a wool sweater up in Norway and was glad I had it, as I didn't take anything similar. Enough clothing to fit into a typical saddle bag with room left over for sneakers. That's a goal to shoot for. The other saddle bag for hardware and sleeping gear, or hardware and rain gear... Even inside a saddle bag I always use some sort of bag liner to add an extra level. Don't trust any saddle bag to keep,your stuff dry.
Posted By: tbird649

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 2:36 am

Dont forget, for your chargers/electrical gear that we have 240 volts, not 110.
Posted By: AngloBike

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 7:11 am

most chargers are happy at either voltage. It will say on it.

it's cheaper for the manufacturer to just produce one type
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 7:42 am

Chargers no matter- UK & US plugs are different from one another.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 8:18 am

Keep it coming Tommy Boy!!!!!! Such GREAT advise. I need to ask Graham or Alan if it's possible to change the name of this thread to something to do with "Tips for a trip to England".

LOTS of what you're saying could be very important info for a safe and fun trip.

I tend to overpack. I realize that I'll get there, get on a bike and won't come back to where I started until it's time to leave the country. I don't need to carry a bunch of stuff I don't/won't need.

Full face helmet......oh lord. Never had one...tried a few and REALLY didn't like them....and I mean REALLY. I'm going to go with the mindset that if I'm lucky enough to be on a M21.....in honor of those before me, I'll try to do without one. (but I'm looking into an upgrade from what I wear now)

I'm not sure why, but I can cope with the cold better than some. Ever see my knobby knees at the TSMR when everybody else has coats on???? laughing Musta been all that beer I drank (anitfreeze) when I was younger. laughing

Thank you Tom.....OH!!! the wool thing. I learned that a long time ago....wearing the 4th TN's Blue vs 37th NCT's Grey.

:bigt

You guys are the BEST :bigt
Posted By: tbird649

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 9:07 am

It might be wet (no it wont!), but it wont be COLD in June. Open face will be OK, maybe a bubble type visor. I hate full face as well.
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 9:28 am

Gordon, here's an INTERNATIONAL CHARGING KIT for sale over at ADVr.com- 25.00 (shipped- seller pays shipping)

Looks like it has some sort of transformer/converter along with it- in case your gear doesn't translate from 110 to 220V- but as mentioned above... most stuff is compatible either way- just read the labeling and/or manual to see for sure... BTW my radio shack kit doesn't include that, and probably cost about the same.

PS: Go back and re-read my advice about choosing an airline. I seriously would NOT fly a U.S. based airline if it wasn't absolutely necessary! Lufthansa, British Air, Air Icelandia, Alitalia... any of these will be SO much more comfortable, accomodating, and ON TIME (well OK maybe the Italians won't be all THAT "on time" laughing but they'll STILL best United! and HEY- the food and coffee will be supreme!)

I've heard that Icelandic Airways will allow an overnight layover in Rejkavic if ya wanna add another layer of "adventure" to your trip!

But seriously, open any airline's website then call them and look together with the rep at flights and stuff. Usually the airline will match any outside vendor's prices or close enough.

Posted By: wadeschields

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 9:38 am

Only reason I wished that I had a full face was the rain stinging my face. That said a bubble or even a handkerchief or the like would be fine.... Your only going for a week so you won't need nearly as much as when we went for a month. I would say that you pack your bag then put it on your bike. Add what ever gear the Brits will be loaning you then deicide if you can ride around twisty roads caring that gear. If you can then thats how much you should take....

1 Riding gear #1 importance (full leathers are comfortable there)

2 Enough underwear and socks #2 importance

Tooth brush and the like then a few shirts and pants and one sweatshirt or sweater. I never wear any more then that if you are hot blooded..

BUT!! When I am on the beach in England in August I need to wear a heavy shirt most of the time. I think you should pack as though its the OSMR in OUR fall . Then add dampness.... Its the dampness that gets in your bones and makes you cold.

Depending on your exact plan you could just do laundry and carry less, if you are in one spot long enough near the middle of your trip, but I don't see you need that much for a week.
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 9:43 am

Oh and if you want your phone to work over there make sure that you talk to you carrier and see if your phone is compatible overseas and that you have that service on your plan.... Otherwise it won't work... I did all that last Christmas and it still didn't work so I need to sort that out now. But it alway did before. New phone so something not set right I think. To be honest though I didn't need my phone then for just a week. I checked in via emails with home and work.
Posted By: BeezaBryan

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 10:10 am

Just a couple of things

Camera chargers - The charger with the Walmart $100 (plus sales tax) Panasonic Lumix that was bought to replace the camera I busted at TSMR is 110V-240V. Lousy pic but best I could do
[Linked Image]

Cell phone - Don't bother, I got a spare here that can be posted to whoever collects Gordon from the tin budgie. It's years old nothing fancy, no camera, no gizmos but it works fine & will have both a mains charger & a car charger lead.

Posted By: Lannis

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 12:43 pm

Originally Posted by tbird649
It might be wet (no it wont!), but it wont be COLD in June.


That's fine for you well'ard tough rockers who are used to it. beerchug

Coldest I've ever been on a camping trip in my life was June 10, 2005 at BSA Open Day at Billing Aquadome. Mon, it was COLD and Fay and I were sitting outside in all our gear, huddled and shivering. Didn't get warm until we got into our tent and sleeping bag. Wool and Layers!!

On my three trips, a big waterproof Ortlieb bag (or your favorite waterproof bag) was what we had, and it worked great. Could be LOTS of water, every day, you never know. Average UK weather is like early May on the BRP above 3000 feet.

You get a better exchange rate for your money at a UK ATM than at your bank or post office. I just waited till I got there and spun out some UK cash at the airport ATM. Everyone will look at your mag-stripe credit or debit card like it’s Indian wampum or something; they all use chipped cards “over there”, but they’ll punch in your number and it will work. Beware, though – someone over there (while they were copying down my card information) scammed me for $1100 in Milton Keynes after I got home and I had to get my bank to put it back …
Careful with the cash. They have 2 pound coins there (pretty things, they are) that are worth $3 or $4. You have a pocket full of American change, it might worth $2. A pocket full of UK money might be $30!

Five weeks spent over there and I never stayed in a motel. Camping, or friend’s houses. Gas and food will be your biggest expense.

Just assume you’re going on a long US camping trip and you’ll be fine. Nobody cares what your clothes look like. Take a page out of Jasper’s book and just wear black – it never gets dirty! Some unscented baby wipes to take care of your loose bits and you’re done …..

Lannis
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 12:44 pm

Gordon. You can change the title by editing it from your initial post. Worked for me on my restoration thread.

Ride what ever helmet your happy with, mines a flip front and only gets flipped down when doing over 40 usually. When I rode around Spain, I didn't flip it down even at 60! It was just too darn hot!!

Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 1:13 pm

Allan, little buddy....it didn't change all the Re:'s frown

Too bad.... I figure all this GREAT information could help somebody else one day.

American rain can't be all that different from English rain. I ride in it here. I'll also ride when it's cold. When I left out for home from the OSMR last year it was 28 degrees....peice of cake.

Leathers Wade.....really? First off....think of how many cows would have to give their lives to wrap ME in leather laughing Then....holy cow (pun intended) I'd look like one of those REALLY BIG girls at Wal Mart with yoga pants on that you can't help but wonder "Doesn't she have a mirror at home?" You and Tom have the look down and the bodies for it.....not so much for me. laughing I need BIG LOOSE fitting stuff. blush and my Joe Rocket gear should be okay.


Bryan, a borrowed phone would be GREAT. I don't need one to check back with home. But it would be a comfort just in case I get lost and need to touch base (within the UK) with who ever I got lost from!!!!!

Lannis, got it ORTLIEB. Can I start packing today????

Thanks for all the help/advise fellows.....Gordon in NC

Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 1:39 pm

Originally Posted by tbird649
It might be wet (no it wont!), but it wont be COLD in June. Open face will be OK, maybe a bubble type visor. I hate full face as well.


Hey tbird, I carry a bubble (three snap)just in case I get caught in heavy rain and start out with one if it's raining when I leave. I don't have a problem riding in the rain here....I'm thinking I won't there either.

To tell ya the truth, if I HAD to wear some of the stuff my friends wear when their riding.. confused...i'd just give it up instead.

Take care and thanks for the help.....Gordon
Posted By: KennethC.

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 2:08 pm

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
I figure all this GREAT information could help somebody else one day.


That is a huge understatement! This information is so fascinating. And one day I will put it to use. Thanks Gordon Gray and I hope you share your coming adventure with us.
Ken
Posted By: Graham Ham

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 4:32 pm

Lannis ...

Not quite right about the pubs?

They ALL do soft drinks, fruit juices, tea, coffee ....

You just gotta ASK!

Jus' sayin'

smile
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 4:38 pm

I'm tired and worn out, so I've not read ALL the posts YET. But the one about putting someone on my insurance as a 'Named' rider, will ONLY work if that person live in Europe..!

With American's it's a WHOLE new Ball game, but FEAR NOT young Gordon me lad, my insurance is due for renewal in August, and if they won't have ya, they'll not have me as a customer.. wink

But it MIGHT cost ya a small fee, of around £30 to get fully insured on my BSA M21 Commander, and along with that, you'll get breakdown cover. Which will get YOU and the bike back home, or on to your destination, OR they'll give you a car, and take the bike home...

Right I'm off to bed, Bonny Not, as my Italian mate says.. wink
Posted By: Lannis

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 4:47 pm

Originally Posted by Graham Ham
Lannis ...

Dunno what pubs YOU went in? They ALL do soft drinks, fruit juices, tea, coffee ....

You just gotta ASK!

Jus' sayin'

smile


Well, maybe it was just me. I COULD find an orange squash or something similar, if I asked, and got a wry look from the barkeep, but it didn't appear to be normal at all to ask for it. Matter of fact, I quit trying to shock the poor guys and just started asking for pint of the local, and all seemed well again.

But on the other hand, when you order a Coke, it's a bit of a shock to an American to get ... a Coke. No ice; cellar temperature like the ale ... That's YUCKY!

The biggest difference in the restaurants is when you order. First, in the pub, you order your food at the bar then go sit down and they’ll bring it to you. That’s rare in the US and it’s hard to get used to.
Then there’s the choices. Order breakfast in the USA and see what happens …

“Bacon or sausage?”
“How do you want your eggs? Fried? OK, over easy, sunny side up, runny, hard …?”
“White, wheat, or rye? Biscuit or cornbread? Butter or jam with that?”
“Grits or oatmeal? You want your potatoes hash-browned, home fries, regular fried?”
“Decaf or regular coffee? Cream and sugar?”

In a pub, it’s “I’ll have breakfast please” and you’re done. Or “steak and kidney pie” and you’re done. None of the rest of that optional nonsense …..
Lannis
Posted By: paul67

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 5:14 pm

i did notice that in the states, you ask for something and they ask how you liked it cooked
it the uk you just ask and its cooked how ever the chef feels like
enjoy your stay Gorden
paul
Posted By: Kev.

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/18/14 5:38 pm

Hey Gordon, just come visit, and see how "Old World" Britain works, for yourself! I am sure you will enjoy it. And we will enjoy having you along for the ride.

All you need to bring is some riding gear, some clothes, and the willingness to enjoy yourself, all the rest is here waiting for you.

Bike
Tent
sleeping bag
and an open road.

Come on.
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 12:40 am

While a massive thunderstorm rolls away, and the hot humid night that meant I couldn't sleep passes, I gave this all a good read...

Quote

Coldest I've ever been on a camping trip in my life was June 10, 2005 at BSA Open Day at Billing Aquadome. Mon, it was COLD and Fay and I were sitting outside in all our gear, huddled and shivering. Didn't get warm until we got into our tent and sleeping bag. Wool and Layers!!


And THAT Lannis me lad, STILL makes me laugh.. laughing There you BOTH were, all huddled up, in everything you brought, and wrapped in them sleeping bags, FREEZING. And just over yonder, a woman, obviously a Brit, was walking about in a bikini.. laughing

Gordon lad, listen to Tom, he don't speak with forked tongue, EVERYTHING he's telling you is SPOT ON lad.. :bigt

IF whatever you need charging can plug into a car cigar lighter socket, I can charge it for you on ANY of my bikes, I'm MAN SIZED, whatever you leave at home I've got, and it WILL fit you. Open faced helmet is the way to go, you WILL be on an M21. And if not, Albert the M20, only said you couldn't ride it, cos I was thinking of you being uncomfortable what with it being a rigid girder forked bike and all...

I've got my old Kyham McKinley tent, for you, it's OLD and a tad delicate, after a few years in the UV from the Sun, but I'd still use it no worries. For a week in Belgium (Rain for most of it) I took a pair of jeans, 4 undercrackers, 4 tee shirts, 4 pairs of socks, a pair of trainers, Coon Skin cap, and me Klompen (Clogs) and of course me leather waistcoat. Bike was ridden wearing a leather coat, riding boots, and me plastic *Waterproofs* that only LOOK waterproof.. mad

Had me a pocket full of cash, don't like using cards, too many yarns about being ripped off, but their Gas stations are automatic, and you HAVE to use a card. OURS aren't, so cash is best, but do what Tom said, £200 to start with, and Bob, or Tom's your uncle. You'll be with us, and I'm sure if you run out of cash, we'd find you some till you got your own. It's NOT Outta Mongolia over here dude, we'd find an ATM of some description somewhere. And IF You've not packed enough stuff (VERY unlikely) you could always BUY whatever you need..?

Next week long Rally I do, I'll be taking less, I STILL carry too much gear. We'll find somewhere to wash out stuff, but carry some deodorant, or you'll whiff like one of them Eastern European Truck drivers I have to put up with day in day out.. laughing sick

I WAS Serious when I told you at Blowing Rock, THAT weather we had was a normal Summer's day here, and June is supposed to be Summer, right..? Bring your wet gear, who knows, we MIGHT have a freak week, and the whole week MIGHT be hot dry and sultry. Like them boy scouts, be prepared...

Open mind, sense of humour, a relaxed out look, are most important. And what I know of you, you've got that in bucketfuls.. :bigt

And this is what your ride will look like, although this is WITHOUT the tent, and we won't be on a ferry...

[Linked Image]


OR it COULD look like this...


[Linked Image]

The choice is yours, but riding a 42 Rigid over a long distance MIGHT take it out of you..? Our roads are like the surface of the Moon, not smooth tarmac with with them tar snakes you've got. 100 miles on OUR roads is like 300 on yours, I KNOW that for sure lad. Just sayin'

That WM20 also has a rear stand, fully loaded you'll notice it, I can tell ya, the M21 only has a side stand, which is a whole different kettle of grapes, when it's fully freighted.. wink
Posted By: BeezaBryan

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 2:47 am

Originally Posted by paul67
..............you ask for something and they ask how you liked it cooked ......


That only happens if you don't tell them exactly what you want, once you've got the idea life is good :bigt


Originally Posted by paul67
..........
in the uk you just ask and its cooked how ever the chef feels like ..................


Never been asked how you want a steak or bacon done?
You been in the wrong places Paul laugh
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 4:15 am

Best of all Bryan lad, NO TIPPING.. grin Unless you want too, and NO tax added at the till, what you see is what you pay, pick the item up and it says 13.99, find 13.99 walk over to the till hand it over, job's a good un... :bigt

Last time I came back from America, I was in a cafe over here, the lady asked, "how do you want your eggs" I said over easy, she said "No I mean Fried or Scrambled" laughing So SOME places DO give you a choice.. grin
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 4:27 am

Yes, when I went to America I was asked about my eggs, I said fried, it followed with a list of how I could have it fried. I just said sunny side up because I could imagine what I would end up like that way. laughing
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 4:39 am

Alan lad, its not just eggs, you get asked about everything, even the bloody bread, I thought I had it cracked last time, but I was WAY wrong. I thought I'd just point to the breakfast on the menu, OH NO, it's not that simple, the list of THAT breakfast, was just another choice. And if you ask for sausages with your eggs and bacon, they'll look at you like an alien. So you got to ask for the sausages to be 'On the side' then simply slide em on ya plate.. crazy

And if you've only got $4.87 left in your pocket, and you see something in a shop for that price, FORGET it. In that particular state there's a 16.3% tax, then you've got to add .83% as a tip, so that $4.87 is what you'll be stuck with, cos they don't take cash on the plane home.. mad And your card don't work, cos you forgot to tell em you're in America, and they've put a stop to it.. mad

Or is that just ME.. laughing

Gordon lad, you're going to LOVE England.. wink
Posted By: Don Leaming

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 5:54 am

Hi Gordon
I been kinda following this thread and don't know if anyone has mentioned B&Bs? If you are on your own for a time, don't be too concerned about reservations. Most places outside of London City has a ton of 'em. No reservations needed, if the place you stopped at is full up, just ask'em if they know of another place similar and nice and they'll fix you up somewhere nearby. B&B folks are nice and friendly. Also, tourist info places are good, they'll call all over the place for ya. Got us a midweek special in a luxo-country house on the River Shannon in Ireland last summer for the price of a modest B&B. You can always start your day from the B&B with a full English brekkie, which means you ain't gonna need to spend money for lunch!
Our ATM card with a wee local Canuck credit union works all over the UK and Ireland when you need to get cash.
I'm afraid if you do this, you will be hooked! Start a travel account. Can't wait 'til we got enough saved up for our next trip "Over Home"! And, one week is not enough! Two or three at least! You need enough time to slow down and get a flavour of the place. It's a wee country but so much to see!
Cheers and god luck.
Don
PS
If there is a way, get up north, Yorkshire Dales and Scotland. ... Amazing!
Posted By: Kev.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 8:51 am

Lots of real good advice here Gordon lad, but don't worry we will ignore most of it when the time comes... :bigt laughing
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 9:05 am

Wow....so much good information, tips and advise. You guys are the best.

I think I have a good feel for what to bring and a little of what to expect. That photo of Albert helped me deside what dry bags to bring.

I haven't flown since 911 and never overseas. I've gotten some good travel tips via PM about carry on and such but.....

How big of a carry can you...uh...carry on?

The checked baggage....one regular sized suit case?

Do/can I use my zippered dry bag as a carry on?

Rich B advised me to carry on a change of clothes w/ spare undies, socks, toiletries and my riding gear...wear my riding jacket on the plane. Makes sense to me, that way if they lose my luggage I'm not dead in the water (ewwwwww....NOT an intended pun)

Okay one more question (yea right...I LOVE to plan)

Lannis mentioned "wipes".....Shaun mentioned "deodorant" (maybe in a PM?) Nobody has mentioned soap, wash cloth, towel???? Three things I don't leave home without when I'm camping in the US....even if I have to "sorta" bathe in a stream or pond smile.....little help please fellows.

Gordon in NC



Posted By: Kev.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 9:10 am

just bring a small wash bag, you can buy a towel locally, and leave it when you go home, why waste carry space with a large item like that?

This is the UK, we have been civilised for at least ten years now, we even have electric and running water
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 9:15 am

Don, man oh man I wish I had more time but taking a week off is fine but two weeks.....that would depend on where I was on a project at the time and there's no way to know that this far in advance.

BUT.....sitting here day dreaming about it all. My dad is from Scotland. (I will get to travel there one day...to take his ashes home but that's another story.) wonder how much more it would cost if I flew into Scotland a week early, rented a car and drove to Kent? Just day dreaming..... smile

Raining here in NC today.....I'm going to go ride around in it a bit and pretend I'm already in England. laughing

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL weekend.....Gordon in NC



Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 9:58 am

Originally Posted by Kev.
<snip> This is the UK, we have been civilised for at least ten years now, we even have electric and running water


Got it Kev :bigt I'm known for being VERY low tech when It comes to just about anything...I'm a blue tarp kinda camper.

But....I just happen to have Aquis camping towels here that don't get used much. Dry ya fast, dry themselves fast and they don't take up much room at all. In damp conditions a cheapo cotton towel just never seems to get dry....and it takes one as big as a pair of jeans(space wise)to get me dry. The Aquis is more of a short sleeve t-shirt sized thing. :bigt IMO well worth bringing along.

Part of the fun for me is the planning....always has been.

Take care....your friend in NC, USA Gordon
Posted By: Mike Muir

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 11:34 am

Well, Gordon, I hope you have time to see us on GARNET, have to check out where Kev's rally is, doubt if we can float to it!
Do enjoy the planning, and remember no battle plan survives contact with the enemy!
Posted By: tbird649

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 11:39 am

Drive in Scotland????? Havent you seen Braveheart????? laughing
Posted By: Kev.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 11:41 am

Gordon, I'm just messin with ya
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 11:44 am

My friend Mike....meeting you in person would be icing on the cake!!!!!

You never know.....PLAN A has me meeting up with Shaun and then following Kev on a Quest for Druids and Dragons

But PLAN B Would have a different beginning but would have the same ending. smile

My wife was talking to me about it last night (she has visited England and LOVED IT!!!) she...out of nowhere says, "The plane ticket is the biggest cost. It wouldn't matter how long you stayed in England would it?" She got breakfast in bed this morning smile......hey? confused come to think about it, wonder if that what she had in mind all along? laughing

Gordon in NC

Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 11:47 am

Originally Posted by Kev.
Gordon, I'm just messin with ya


Mess away my friend smile it's all good.

GG
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 11:58 am

Originally Posted by tbird649
Drive in Scotland????? Havent you seen Braveheart????? laughing


"Every man dies, not every man truly lives."

My dad (91 now) is a fresh off the boat Scot. My mom was from the states (Florida) and I was born and rasied here. I listened to tales about Scotland my whole childhood but never felt any connection.....the older I get the more curious I've become. I get a trip to Scotland one of these days but I'm not looking forward to that one. frown

Take care, Gordon "e wasn't right in the ead" Gray laughing
Posted By: m20geoff

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 6:28 pm

Shaun if Gordon wants to borrow an M21 off you how about we strap one of my sidecars to the side of it that would mean more room for warm clothing and other necessary things for an American in the UK.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 6:45 pm

Originally Posted by m20geoff
Shaun if Gordon wants to borrow an M21 off you how about we strap one of my sidecars to the side of it that would mean more room for warm clothing and other necessary things for an American in the UK.


shocked But it'll be on the WRONG side!!!!!! How hard is it to get used to that? My dreaded right handers become left handers and vice versa.

Gordon
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 8:23 pm

Originally Posted by m20geoff
Shaun if Gordon wants to borrow an M21 off you how about we strap one of my sidecars to the side of it that would mean more room for warm clothing and other necessary things for an American in the UK.



:bigt
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 8:26 pm

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray

shocked But it'll be on the WRONG side!!!!!! How hard is it to get used to that? My dreaded right handers become left handers and vice versa.

Gordon


Hey.. get over it!
It'll still be curbside or low side or whatever side.

Don in Nipomo
Posted By: Lannis

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 8:44 pm

Gordon -

You're going to have a good time.

Me, I've only got a limited number of overseas trips left in me, this life ... and even though I've been to the UK three times already, I'd do it again in a second.

There's just something about it, I don't know what. The people are great (at least the people you meet when you're on an old motorcycle or walking about!), the scenery is beautiful, the history is amazing, and the riding is wonderful.

We sound sometimes like we're dogging them on the weather, the credit cards, gas prices, pub hours, etc but that's just for you to avoid any misperceptions. Knowing you like I do, you're going to love it!

Lannis
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/19/14 9:51 pm

Originally Posted by D.Bachtel
Hey.. get over it! It'll still be curbside or low side or whatever side. Don in Nipomo


Well.....it wouldn't be THAT much to figure out. Rig on the other side, driving on the other side, first time in another country. (We'll not count the cat houses in Mexico wink ) and
relying completely on other people.

I completely TRUST my hosts.....so if they think it can be done...I'll do my best to not let them down. :bigt

Gordon in NC
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 10:03 pm

Originally Posted by Lannis
Gordon - You're going to have a good time. <snip>
Knowing you like I do, you're going to love it! Lannis


You know Lannis....as much as you and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, we have been around each other long enough that I think we do know each other. smile

I can't imagine NOT having a good time.

If you would have told me 2 years back that we would be talking this trip over....I would have just laughed it off...no way I was going to see another country until I saw all of this one....BUT...it's Bryan's, Shaun's, Kev's , Graham's and all the rest of the fine folks I've met and read about over the years that has changed my mind. They make it all seem so real....they have such a good time together and the ones that I've had the honor to meet over here....well they can't be beat.

Come hell or high water....I'm going. Come hell or high water...I'm going to have a good time. :bigt

I rode a little over 50 miles today in the pouring rain...and just like a kid...I was pretending I was already over there. (except I did stay on the RIGHT side of the road)

Heck, just talking about it has been FUN!!!!!!

Gordon in NC
Posted By: c caspary

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/19/14 11:15 pm

Gordon

One week is not long enough - a major part of the grief http://www.britbike.com/forums/images/icons/default/cry.gif and expense are the flights. Do Scotland for a few days first- get over the jet lag and get your ear tuned to the lingo - then meet up with the boys for the riding and camping. (you will want to be at 110% to have fun)

Charlie
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/20/14 12:26 am

Charlie, I have been looking at ticket options. Thought I could fly to Scotland then rent a car and drive to Kent. Still looking that over but so far flying into one city/country and flying out of another has a lot higher fare than a round trip to one location.

So....I'm looking at costs to fly into London then renting a car and driving to Scotland and back. Car rental seems pretty cheap, compaired to a lot of other stuff. I would spend a lot of time in the car....but see a lot along the way???????

Just looking at the options. Taking one week off is standard in my type of work....two weeks, not so much but with enough lead time...it could work out. I do get two weeks off a year but most of the time I take it a few days at a time.

Thank goodness I have 11 months to work it out.

Take care Charlie, Gordon in NC

Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/20/14 2:17 am

Well since nobody has talked about DRIVING...er I mean RIDING...
The single biggest thing to remember is LOOK RIGHT.

Roundabouts: LOOK RIGHT
Intersections: LOOK RIGHT
Even- ESPECIALLY- stepping off a curb, LOOK RIGHT.

It's THE biggest thing to remember. Vehicles are coming at you- RIGHT at you, just a couple feet away, from the RIGHT. When we were in England in 08, we rode up to Karl B's Dad's place from Shaun's... a distance of what? 150- 200 miles? In every roundabout, I had folks honking, slamming on their brakes, swerving, darn near hitting me... and almost certainly swearing at me... laughing
Cuz I didn't realize that everyone's coming FROM THE RIGHT... Once I figured THAT out, things went a little ...um... smoother.

Before I went over there to ride, I had this vision of Merry Olde England, everyone celebrating the heritage of Ye Olde Bikes... I mean you know... reading the tales and whatnot... I thought- YES! The WHOLE COUNTRY is into it... BUT (and you'll notice that's a WHOA there Big Fella type but) When we were actually riding together in a group... it was CRAZY at times. Turns out, folks over there drive like madmen with DARN little patience for a group of knuckleheads on SLOW, OLD bikes... There were a couple of occasions where it was down right hairy. And I'm not talkin about the infamous Midnite Run over the Cat & Fiddle. eek



OH, and Scotland is not as close as you think. I think Graham said he drove over 8 hours to meet me in Glasgow from his place down in Kent. Like it was a HAUL from the south of England.
Posted By: R Moulding

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/20/14 2:53 am


Gordon, I hope you have a truly exceptional time. I left six years ago now and still miss the B Roads and proper English Pubs. Make sure you have a good pair of sun glasses, every once in a while the sun will pop through the various shades of grey in the sky and try and catch you out. Have a good warm base layer and decent gloves. If you decide to try splitting traffic, keep a keen eye on the driver either side. You can usually read their intentions and there will always be one Tw-t that wants to close the gap up on you. I rode in all weathers on the south coast in a Basin type hat, glasses and a tube scarf thingy.

Regards
Rod
Posted By: Kev.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/20/14 4:23 am

Now here is a funny thing about World travel, you can't do it all!

Sure Scotland is great, but then so is Ireland, and Cornwall, and the Isle of Man, and Yorkshire or the Lake district. Blimey I live over here and I have not done some of these yet. So as of now, Gordon has a week to explore a foreign land on an old bike. Now we don't know this for sure, but he may well hate the experience, just as much as he may like it. And he won't know the answer to that untill he has been here and tried it out.

But here's the thing, if he does like it, he can always come back another time, funds, and time allowing. Much the same as me going to the USA over the last twenty something years, I would go every year if I could, but life can get in the way some times. But the USA is still there when I can get back over.

So come on over Gordon, it may only be a week, but your been there, done that Tee shirt is waiting :bigt [Linked Image]
Posted By: Graham Ham

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/20/14 6:14 am

Gordon,

Can I make one observation?

A week is real tight, if you want to see anything worth seeing, and ride where it's worth riding?

If you've got 7 days total, here's what happens;

You lose two days on the 'plane getting here, getting home. You'll lose one day after the flight over here, 'cos I suspect you'll be knackered and you'll be sorting gear out, bike, all that malarkey.

That only leaves four. One day riding to the Solstice camp, one day camped there. You need one day to get back to base ......

Which only leaves one day to do anything else .... which means you can't really *go* anywhere else?

Normally, when we're on a quest, we take ten full days - Start on a Friday, do the full week and come home on the final Sunday. And THAT's usually a bit tight if we want to do any of the real good places!

So, if you can, I'd give some thought to whether you can get that two weeks? That'll give you much more in the way of seeing England!

It's a long way to come just to do one camp and miss all the good stuff!

PS .. If you fly into Scotland, it's a FULL DAY'S drive to get down South .... about 7/8 hours.

G.
Posted By: HughdeMann

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/20/14 9:42 am

Gordon, I went to my credit union and started a new account. Had to deposit fifty bucks. Then asked them to get me an atm/credit card for that account. Every trip overseas I put most of the funds into that account, and take a couple hundred in local cash. That way, if someone steals the numbers, I don't have to deal with all my banking info. You don't "have" to have a chipped card, just remember to tell them to enter the numbers manually, and everything will be fine.

You're going to ride, so whatever you wear to ride in the rain here will work there. Some fast drying long underwear and a fleece will be nice too.

Have a great trip, you'll love it!

p.s. Do all mexican cats live in houses?
Posted By: Kev.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/20/14 9:58 am

Hey Graham, how long was Bill over for?

Another one to get Gordon in the mood ....

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=436243&page=1

Oh yes indeed, nothing like a quest with your mates.... :bigt
Posted By: Graham Ham

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/20/14 11:11 am

Bill was here for 2 an' a half, nearly 3 weeks or thereabouts.

:bigt
Posted By: tbird649

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/20/14 12:12 pm




shocked But it'll be on the WRONG side!!!!!! How hard is it to get used to that? My dreaded right handers become left handers and vice versa.

Gordon [/quote]

I will be doing this, only the other way round, I have sidecar on the left, going to Vietnam in October for 11 day trip North from Hanoi , on a 1970's Ural, sidecar on the right. I'll let you know how easy/difficult it is
Posted By: tbird649

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/20/14 1:48 pm

Regarding trying to do too much in a short time. DONT. The first couple of times I went to the states, I did miles in a hire car, thought I was seeing lots, but looking back, having slowed myself down a bit, I spent most of the time in the car. Bit like the tale of the old bull and the young bull.
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/20/14 2:30 pm

Originally Posted by tbird649
Regarding trying to do too much in a short time. DONT. The first couple of times I went to the states, I did miles in a hire car, thought I was seeing lots, but looking back, having slowed myself down a bit, I spent most of the time in the car. Bit like the tale of the old bull and the young bull.



How about we walk down the hill and....

Posted By: tbird649

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/20/14 4:25 pm

You got it! I was wondering how to explain that on a family forum :bigt
Posted By: tg4360

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/20/14 4:43 pm

Gordon,

I was just your way for a rally south west of Ashville and on the way down on the BRP could have been good training for riding in Old Blighty! (It was all fog and rain and cold for July...)

I've been thinking of going over there myself. I think I want to sent my B25 over in parts to beat the cost of shipping it whole..... or even cram myself in the box with it.

TG
Posted By: Roger Gulledge

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/20/14 7:41 pm

going to Vietnam in October for 11 day trip North from Hanoi , on a 1970's Ural


tbird649...I did that ride in 08, trip of a lifetime. One big loop from Hanoi up and around the China border and back down to Hanoi. Spent two days on Halong Bay after the ride, from one extreme to another. Are you going with Explore Indochina?

Link to my pictures of the ride, might give you some idea of what you are in for. Northen Vietnam Motorcycle Ride Nov. 2008 Use the arrows above the thumbnails and you can get through them pretty quick.

[Linked Image]

Posted By: Lannis

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/20/14 8:26 pm

Looked at all 222 pics, looks like great fun! Tough little bikes, those, even though we'd consider them "cheap"!

Thanks for the travelogue!

Lannis
Posted By: Grandad

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/21/14 7:20 am

Gordon, I’m with Graham here. You need an absolute minimum of two weeks. Anything less would be a waste of your air fare. Forget Scotland for this current trip. All the action would be in England or Wales. Book your flight to Heathrow or Gatwick and plan for Kev’s weekend solstice camp at the Woodbridge Inn in Wiltshire as a starter. Then choose from what’s on offer from there.

I intend to go to Kev’s camp (health allowing) and I would very much hope to see you there. However, I find the ‘quests’ a bit too arduous for my old bones..

Posted By: Gordon Gray

Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/21/14 7:48 am

Lannis....that was an interesting journey indeed. Roger, thank you for sharing that. I went through it a couple of times....some of those shots are beautiful.

Sorry for the slow reply fellows.....I had one of those "Why did I even bother to get up?" Sundays. Figured I'd end a crappy day with a quick ride on the B50....BUT the newly repaired fuel tank (long story...it was my fault) was leaking worst than before the repair. Damnit.

Oh well...................... smile

Roger.....thanks for sharing

tg.....I checked on bike shipping costs and was floored...WOW how do people do that?

Redmoggy.... :bigt on gear. I figure cold and wet is cold and wet every where. I've pretty much made my living all my adult life working outdoors....been cold and wet and know how to deal with it. I'm not worried too much about that.

Hughdemann.....GREAT tip on setting up a "travel" account...I like that one. Cat houses laughing...we'll save those stories for around the campfire. but just so you know how far back I go with those....first one was $7...$5 for the cat, $2 for the room. The only down side...smelling like cheap perfume for WEEKS!!!!! laughing

tbird....that will be GREAT. I've been thinking about it some more and I don't think it'll be that much different at all. I'll be interested in your thoughts about it after you give it a go.

I have FINALLY figured the airline ticket thing/sites out....and right now I'm working on Plan B.

Flying into Inverness a week early. Renting a car and driving down to London and drop it off at the airport. That gives me several days to make the trip and see some sights along the way. By the time Shaun pickes me up....I should be over the culture shock smile and a little more used to driving on the WRONG side of the road. laughing If that works out...I'll just have to check with Kev to be sure I stay on the side of the country (EAST?) we're going to be on during the "Quest". I want to see where my dad spent his childhood. I would like to see the area where Bryan and Marie live. I'd like to meet up with Allan Gill and shake his hand. I want to also shake Our friend Mike Muir's hand......that's the non Quest short list.

Take care and MANY thanks for all the advise.....Gordon Gray in NC, USA



Posted By: Gordon Gray

Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/21/14 8:21 am

Never too late to change plans Grandad....BUT I'm going to have to TRY to see a little of Scotland. I have to plan this like it's the ONLY chance I get. I think you understand that.

I'll just stay on the East side of the country since I figure the Quest is headed (just guessing) West. I think that doing it on the front side will work better for me.

Two weeks is what I'm shooting for......but for some of us in the US...it's not the norm.

Your one of the folks I REALLY would like to meet in person....it will be an honor.

Take care....keep in mind I was raised Scottish.....in a cracker kinda way....so that part of me can't pass that chance up. Gordon Gray in NC, USA
Posted By: tbird649

Re: I gota ask our English friends........help please - 07/21/14 12:02 pm

Originally Posted by Roger Gulledge
going to Vietnam in October for 11 day trip North from Hanoi , on a 1970's Ural


tbird649...I did that ride in 08, trip of a lifetime. One big loop from Hanoi up and around the China border and back down to Hanoi. Spent two days on Halong Bay after the ride, from one extreme to another. Are you going with Explore Indochina?
//i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc414/hnlf15/Nov112008_1788Vietnam_zps587d28d1.jpg[/IMG][/URL]



Hi Roger, yes we are going with Explore Indochina. We did a 6 day trip with them in 2012, it was brilliant, so going back to do a longer trip, but 3 wheels this time. Thanks for the link, great pictures.
Colin
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/21/14 8:29 pm

Here's what I'm looking at as of this afternoon 7-23-14

June 12 Fri - Flight from USA To Inverness Scotland (could change to Aberdeen)
June 13 Sat - Arrive in Scotland - pick up rental car
June 14 Sun - Scotland
June 15 Mon - Scotland/England - Find Mike Muir
June 16 Tues - England - Visit Derbyshire
June 17 Wed - England - Find Allan Gill
June 18 Thurs - Drop off rental car - meet up with Shaun
June 19 Fri - Start of the Camp
June 20 Sat - Camp
June 21 Sun - Camp
June 22 Mon - ?
June 23 Tues - ?
June 24 Wed - ?
June 25 Thurs - Return to Kent
June 26 Fri - Flight back to NC, USA


I would leave as late as possible (thank you Wade) Friday night. That way I wouldn't be using another vacation day. I understand it's going to cost more using Fridays as my departures but I don't see any way around it. This way I use only 10 vacation days...which is all I get. Total days on the trip = 15

In Scotland I want to visit the area my dad grew up in and stand on the ground where his ashes will rest. I also want to visit my Grandparent's and my aunt Jessie's graves. Aunt Jessie was a young teen when she died in a mustard gas factory accident (WW2) and my Grandfather died from complications from being gassed in WW1. Granny lived well into her 70's and I did get to visit with her a couple of times but I was too young to remember any of that.

After that....I'll head South to see if I can find some friendly faces. Those (15, 16, 17) three days could swap around...depends on where Mike's located.

I'm just guessing about the Quest part and can adjust if need be. smile


I love to plan......take care and thanks for all the advise.

Gordon Gray in NC, USA
Posted By: BeezaBryan

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 2:18 am

That looks doable Gordon.

....I'll head South to see if I can find some friendly faces. Those (15, 16, 17) three days could swap around...depends on where Mike's located.

That part & associated details can be sorted nearer the time, Mike & Garnet will not be too far away from us, nor is Allan the Younger.
And on your way south from Scotland & before you get to us you will be passing none too far from the Beezageezauk aka Ray smile

Carry on dreaming & planning :bigt
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 5:19 am

If your around on the 17th don't forget me birthday cake wink yum!!

Derbyshire has a nicer riding area than what's available in Cheshire, although North Wales ( well most of Wales) has great riding roads.

I can get time booked off around then so to make you get the most of your trip I can spend some time in Derbyshire, some of the Pass's you want to travel along include Horseshoe Pass ( North Wales), Woodhead Pass ( between Manchester and Shefield) , Cat and Fiddle Road. And then near Derbyshire you have a lot of lakes and reservoirs.

It's a good area to stay at and visit these spectacles.
Posted By: Janet

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 6:18 am

My recommendation would be to spend as long as you can here before heading home and to spend some time in Yorkshire. The two national park areas are the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors. If anyone saw the first two days of the Tour de France this year they would have seen how beautiful is the countryside and how hot and sunny is the weather, as it is today. The good news is that it isn't normally chock-a block with bicycles and spectators.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 7:52 am

Originally Posted by BeezaBryan
<snip> none too far from the Beezageezauk aka Ray smile Carry on dreaming & planning :bigt


Ray (aka Beezageezauk) is another person I would love to meet. :bigt

Right now kind sir.....dreaming and planning is all it is. But I have a GO from my better half and I've talked to the Project Manager I'm working with right now and so far....it is all do-able. smile

It will be interesting to see just how close I can come to my "plan" when the time comes....but for now this is a LOT of fun.

When time gets closer I can work out some details of the first part of my journey. Having Mike close to where you and Allan live would be PERFECT. I won't be looking for entertainment...just hand shakes, maybe a lunch or dinner, tea??? I'm planning on the first part of the trip to be in a car and I can get around myself.....and will just take my time and look around as much as possible.

Allan....I'm going (in the car) to stay away from the West side of the country, my guess is Kev will take care of that part on the "Quest". I'm 100% sure he'll have some roads planned out that will show me the countryside. 17th your birthday???? I could buy you dinner maybe?

Janet....that's just the kind of information I'm looking for right now I should be coming through Yorkshire so that gives me something to think about. I'm still working so getting time off in my industry ( I'm a Commercial Construction Superintendent) isn't all that easy .....two weeks at a time is almost unheard of.....but with enough advance notice and planning....it could work.

Thanks to all for the help.....dreaming and planning in NC, USA Gordon Gray
Posted By: Lannis

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 9:57 am

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray


I'm still working so getting time off in my industry ( I'm a Commercial Construction Superintendent) isn't all that easy .....two weeks at a time is almost unheard of.....but with enough advance notice and planning....it could work.



I read this and I'm laughing, because I catch hell for having to deal with that very American issue every time we all get together! laughing

It's nothing for our our overseas colleagues (whether on the Island or the Continent) to take 4, 5, or 6 weeks off from work right in a row. They can take pretty neat holidays where they can get a good run for ONE plane trip.

It's not that they get that much more time off than we do - after working 30 some years, I get about 27 vacation days and 11 paid holidays each year, so I'm not complaining. It’s just that if I disappeared for a month, even on my own time, I’d be so far behind in my work that they’d probably have someone else doing it, and if they didn’t, I’d never catch up.

For the 2008 International, I took 12 vacation days in a row – unheard of, and they almost didn’t know who I was when I came back. Other than that, I’ve never taken more than 6 vacation days in a row in my life.

And to make the 2006 International, I QUIT my job of 27 years so that I could get a month off, and it took 9 months for me to get another job, which worked out fine in the end.

We do it our way, other folks do it their way, and we find places to meet in the middle!!

Lannis
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 10:50 am

Gordon,

What the heck man! I go away for a couple days and your trip grows and grows! Well.... I CAN tell you this about your above itinerary: You've chosen one of the hardest cities in the world to fly into.
Turns out there's ONE airport in all of Europe, England, Scotland, Ireland that will fly you to Inverness (as of Nov 2012 when I met my sister there- she flew in from Rome, Italia). That airport is Gatwick.

Here's how her trip went: Rome to London Heathrow
LAAAAAAYYYYYOOOOOVVVVVEEEERRRRRR
Bus to Gatwick
WWWWWAAAAAIIIIIITTTTT
Gatwick to Inverness

Total travel time FROM ROME ITALY 12-14 hours. Going home, it was worse.

Having said this, Inverness is a lovely small city with LOTS of great restaurants, AND not that you'd care about this but also bars & clubs. It's the place that many people BUS OR TRAIN into for weekend parties & outings. Eco-Tourists flock there for its close proximity to wild National Parks, Loch Ness, and also proximity to the Highlands (it's basically the eastern Gateway to the Scottish Highlands). I took a train up there from Glaswgow and the train ride was quite loverly indeed. Routes you through the western edges a grand wilderness sort of National Park- Cairngorms National Park... quite beautiful indeed.

Dude- you can fly DIRECTLY to any other city maybe in the entire world FROM any other city in the entire world... except Inverness. and OH BTW the airport is between 5-10 miles out of town, out in the boonies. laughing

Traveler's hint:
I stayed at The Royal Highlands Hotel - it's an older place smack in city center- so close to the train station it's basically attached to it. Kinda seedy but Grande in the Olde Way. Reasonably priced and kinda cozy. Massive Grand Stairway up out of the Lobby- Old Skool Cool. :bigt
Maybe you're not into Indian Food but we had a lovely supper at the Rajah - down some steps off the street in Inverness. FYI, I guess the Indian Ocean gets better reviews... but Rajah was DAMN good!

Daddyo I gotta tell ya. For MY own money... I don't like to come home feeling like I've just jerked all over hell's creation... OTOH, taking the TRAIN everywhere is a pretty smooth way to travel. You get to directly interact with everyday citizens of all stripes, and see the countryside in relative comfort. Trains take you right into the middle of a city, and route you through the countryside. IMO it's a great way to connect with folks and see things... it's relaxing; less hectic than driving, and you get the best of both the people and the country you're in...

But seriously, I bet you can fly into Glasgow or Edinborough (connection at LHR -London HEATHROW) and cut 6-7 hours off your travel day! Train up to Inverness, check into The Royal Highland Hotel & drop your bags then cab out to the airport, rent a car and drive back to the hotel. Wander around Inverness and find supper... then begin driving south the next day.

Maybe things have changed for the better, in terms of getting to Inverness. The town captured my heart and I definitely want to return someday. BUT I'll fly into ANYPLACE and train up - speaking personally, for me!
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 10:56 am

Originally Posted by Lannis

It's nothing for our our overseas colleagues (whether on the Island or the Continent) to take 4, 5, or 6 weeks off from work right in a row. They can take pretty neat holidays where they can get a good run for ONE plane trip.

It's not that they get that much more time off than we do - after working 30 some years, I get about 27 vacation days and 11 paid holidays each year, so I'm not complaining. It’s just that if I disappeared for a month, even on my own time, I’d be so far behind in my work that they’d probably have someone else doing it, and if they didn’t, I’d never catch up.


So what are we (as a country) doing wrong? If they can do it why can't we. I believe we are the only country that is this tied to our work.
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 11:09 am

Originally Posted by Lannis
Originally Posted by Gordon Gray


I'm still working so getting time off in my industry ( I'm a Commercial Construction Superintendent) isn't all that easy .....two weeks at a time is almost unheard of.....but with enough advance notice and planning....it could work.



I read this and I'm laughing, because I catch hell for having to deal with that very American issue every time we all get together! laughing

It's nothing for our our overseas colleagues (whether on the Island or the Continent) to take 4, 5, or 6 weeks off from work right in a row. They can take pretty neat holidays where they can get a good run for ONE plane trip.

It's not that they get that much more time off than we do - after working 30 some years, I get about 27 vacation days and 11 paid holidays each year, so I'm not complaining. It’s just that if I disappeared for a month, even on my own time, I’d be so far behind in my work that they’d probably have someone else doing it, and if they didn’t, I’d never catch up.

For the 2008 International, I took 12 vacation days in a row – unheard of, and they almost didn’t know who I was when I came back. Other than that, I’ve never taken more than 6 vacation days in a row in my life.

And to make the 2006 International, I QUIT my job of 27 years so that I could get a month off, and it took 9 months for me to get another job, which worked out fine in the end.

We do it our way, other folks do it their way, and we find places to meet in the middle!!

Lannis


Ya know, every time I get to thinking that I want a J.O.B. so I can have steady work without so much of a struggle... I realize it would completely suck for this very reason.

As an Independent Worker, I can do whatever I want... as long as I've been making money! laughing

I guess it's a trade-off.
Independence from the routine & rigors of a J.O.B. = uncertainty & struggle + ability to go away for 20 days (OR MORE) at will.

At this point, I couldn't even begin to imagine having to grovel to some "Boss Man" to squeak away for a few days. Instead, I "grovel" to the "BOSS LADY"! BUT we ALL have to cross that bridge to get out the door... laughing
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 11:11 am

Tom....I'm flying into Inverness but not visiting the city. I will arrive early in the morning and pick the car up and leave out headed South. Good chance I won't even see Inverness. First night will be spent in Brechin about a three hour drive in the Peugeot 107. Of course I'll have to stop and get a photo of me at Loch Ness....it's the American thing to do. laughing

I'm still new at this (post 911) air travel but I've checked several sites and airlines and didn't see anything out of the way about travel time from Charlotte, NC to Inverness.

I still have a LOT of time to research it and change if need be. I did think about a train....but I think I'll have more fun driving and will be better at it (driving on the wrong side of the road) by the time Shaun puts me on one of his motorcycles.

Thanks for the heads up......keep it up, I'm hard headed but brother I am listening to ya. smile

Gordon in NC

Posted By: Lannis

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 11:17 am

Originally Posted by wadeschields
Originally Posted by Lannis

It's nothing for our our overseas colleagues (whether on the Island or the Continent) to take 4, 5, or 6 weeks off from work right in a row. They can take pretty neat holidays where they can get a good run for ONE plane trip.

It's not that they get that much more time off than we do - after working 30 some years, I get about 27 vacation days and 11 paid holidays each year, so I'm not complaining. It’s just that if I disappeared for a month, even on my own time, I’d be so far behind in my work that they’d probably have someone else doing it, and if they didn’t, I’d never catch up.


So what are we (as a country) doing wrong? If they can do it why can't we. I believe we are the only country that is this tied to our work.


Wade, that’s a good point.

We sometimes think that our European colleagues are layabouts with their bottle of wine at lunch, and taking a whole month off for vacation, and generally not being so tied up with their jobs, and sitting around the sidewalk café sipping espresso and smoking a Gauloises. They, on the other hand, think that we Americans are just working our way into heart attacks, and defining ourselves too much by our work, and not enjoying life as it goes along because we’re searching for meaning via our work, and concentrating too much on making money.

I think it’s because the “social contract” is different. In Europe, there’s nowhere near the kind of opportunity to “do your own thing” or break the social strata or remember the frontier-like atmosphere of our great-grandparents generation. It’s much more structured. Depending a LOT on what sort of family you were born into, you go to a certain kind of school, and you get a certain sort of job with a big old-line company, or with government, from which it’s difficult to be fired because there’s no “employment at will”. And in return for working within this structure, everyone’s agreed that everyone else is going to be able to take lots of time off and no one will get your job in the meantime.

In the USA, it’s always been different. You can go from a Mississippi cotton farm to Harvard or MIT if you like, you can start your own business, build your own house, buy a bunch of land and raise cattle like your great-grandpa did. Great-grandpa didn’t take ONE day off in a year because who would milk the cows? He couldn’t take off next week for the rally because the land needed to be plowed and no one was going to do it for him. We still share some of that philosophy. Almost none of us have employment contracts, and our bosses can fire us tomorrow for no reason at all. OR I can quit tomorrow for a better opportunity and don’t have to give one minute’s notice if I don’t want to. Typical European employment contracts require 4 month’s notice or more before you can quit.

I work with a bunch of French and German guys, I’m not saying they don’t work hard. When they’re working, they come in early and stay late and they git ‘er done. But when they’re gone, they’re gone and for a long time … !

Luckily it’s a big world, and one plane ticket can zip you from one system to the other if you like it …. !

Lannis



Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 11:44 am

I was born in the wrong country.... and unfortunately into the wrong class.... But I am having fun regardless beerchug



Jack of all trades . Master of fun..... :bigt
Posted By: Lannis

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 11:52 am

Originally Posted by wadeschields
I was born in the wrong country.... and unfortunately into the wrong class.... But I am having fun regardless beerchug



Jack of all trades . Master of fun..... :bigt


Wrong class? Apartment in Manhattan, farm in Pennsylvania, shed full of old Corvettes and Gold Stars, flitting about the world to ride with our buddies at will ... What's wrong with this "class" you and I inhabit? I sort of like it, myself. laughing

I WILL confess that if things were just SLIGHTLY different (and I'm not wishing they were, mind you), that thatched cottage in Kent or that old stone cottage in Lincolnshire or Yorkshire or that little place in Kirk Michael, IOM would be VERY tempting to me ...
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 12:04 pm

If you're flying in, and driving right out southbound, you WON'T see the city... Pretty sure the airport is southeast from town.

Like I said maybe things changed, I was there in Nov 2012. Looked into flights myself all the way to Inverness and it seemed.... ungainly. Unnecessarily cumbersome. It would have been, for me, Newark to Heathrow
Heathrow to Gatwick
Gatwick to Inverness
with layovers and shuttles...

At the end of it all, I flew in a straight line from EWR (Newark/NY) to Glasgow. Late departure with EARLY AM arrival time. Graham drove up to meet me in Glasgow with Diane, & picked me up at the airport- we had a rather lovely day of bopping about in the POURING rain. I flew in at like 0630 or something unreasonable and G dropped me at the Glasgow Queen Street Station around 1630 for my train to Inverness. Met my sister at the Royal Highland Hotel around 9:00 PM and out we went for supper...


Air travel these days is a rough game -even at its absolute smoothest and in its best moments. My idea is to
reduce OVERALL travel time. I pay a bit extra for few or ZERO layovers and plane changes, and feel it enriches the experience altogether- you get MORE TIME at your destination, and less time being treated like [***].

For this VERY reason, I fly EU or UK carriers when flying across the Big Water- their standards are MILES above the U.S. carriers! REALLY. I used to fly Continental- had nothing but good experiences. UNTIL they merged with United. United Airlines is the single most dismal airline I've ever flown. NEVER on time, making you shuffle from gate to gate, and wait wait wait. Absolutely horrible. I'm not one to say "never" but... well I won't be flying United again anytime soon, I WILL say that much.

Remember Back In The Day when Air Travel was a Modern Miracle?
Back when you'd get into a relatively comfy tube with pretty girls serving large quantities of cocktails, eat decent food and fly smoothly, without a care in the world to a Wonderfully Modern Airport designed by some award winning architect... in your City Of Choice?
It ain't like that NOW! laughing
Those days are but a misty memory.

For this reason MY primary goal with every flight- is to be treated as well as possible in as little time as possible.

Still and all, air travel remains the [irritatingly] ONLY option for long distance travel in a world where it's increasingly difficult to take The Time.

**********************************************
**********************************************

Whatever you do, it'll be a total adventure! There is no way you'll have anything other than sheer fun. I LOVE international travel- and I've done so little of it. You can bet I'll be riding along vicariously with you, my friend!

Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 12:26 pm

Gordon, we've got a hire car company about 5 miles from me, think it's Avis..? Anyway, it's in Chatham Kent. I'll have a look on Thursday when I get home from work, if you can work it all out, it'll be easy for me to come and get you from there...

OR... Make sure they supply a GPS with the car, you could put my Post Code (Zip Code) in it, and drop all your gear off here, then we could BOTH go and dump the car. I'll bring you back, and then we could go out on the bikes, so you can get used to riding the M21. Its a mighty fine beast, and it might take you time to 'Tame' it.. wink

And as you won't have any Jet Lag, and be used to being on the CORRECT side of the road, I'll throw you right into the deep end, and take you down some tiny country lanes.. grin

Ending up at a nice country pub, where I'll buy you a coffee, OR we'll travel to the coast for some Whelks and Jellied Eels, you'll LOVE em lad.. :bigt

Unless you get here late, no pressure my friend, take your time, it's YOUR Holiday. I'm here to make sure it goes almost to plan, bound to have SOMETHING go wrong...

Geoff, why carry all that stuff in a sidecar..? Make him suffer like WE have too.. wink
Posted By: Lannis

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 12:34 pm

Tom speaketh with straight tongue. British Airways, Iceland Air or Air France. May be a few bucks more but I promise it's worth it.

Whelks, yes, taste like little fishy rubber bands, I love 'em. Jellied Eels - I was never brave enough ....

Shaun as a guide to your first visit - Priceless!

Lannis
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 12:41 pm

Quote
Shaun as a guide to your first visit - Priceless!


Lannis lad, like me old Easy Rider mags I read as a small boy used to say... Ass Gas or Grass, NOBODY rides for free...

As you know the payment is Ale.. wink

Just Sayin'

Gordon lad, if we don't do the WHOLE week camping, I could always give you a tour of London, but you'll have to be like all the American tourist up there lad, Hawaiian Shirt, 10 Gallon hat, and 20 cameras hanging around your neck. And you have to keep shouting "Oh My Gaard" Oh..! And keep throwing cash about, you'll fit right in then lad.. :bigt
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 1:28 pm

Originally Posted by Kent Shaun
Quote
Shaun as a guide to your first visit - Priceless!



Gordon lad, if we don't do the WHOLE week camping, I could always give you a tour of London, but you'll have to be like all the American tourist up there lad, Hawaiian Shirt, 10 Gallon hat, and 20 cameras hanging around your neck.


Shaun, I thought it was the Japanese tourists that dressed like that? laughing
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 2:08 pm

Come to think of it Gordon ... Plan or no plan , roll with it and you will have a fantastic time. But for GAWD SAKES , take a camera!
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 2:46 pm

Originally Posted by wadeschields
<snip> But for GAWD SAKES , take a camera!


clap laughing or 20!!!!!!! laughing clap

Will do Wade.....


Shaun....I have your addy, so I'll start trying to find a car drop off point closer to you. blush never even crossed my mind.

That's whay you ask the pros for help.... smile you guys (and gals) have been there and done that.

Gordon
Posted By: Kev.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 3:59 pm

Gordon looking at your itinerary, it looks like you don't have enough time to do a "Quest" so I will talk to the guys at the next Kempton, and see what else we can come up with following the Mid summer soire...

:bigt
Posted By: Kev.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 4:08 pm

A good "annual leave" package is all part of the work ethic here in the UK, I get 25 days paid annual leave from day one of starting my new job, and that does not include the other paid national holiday days as well, like Christmas, easter etc.

we acrue days off at 2 days a month.

I have often spent three weeks in the USA discovering what a great country y'all live in.

:bigt beerchug

Posted By: beezageezauk

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 4:28 pm

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
Originally Posted by BeezaBryan
<snip> none too far from the Beezageezauk aka Ray smile Carry on dreaming & planning :bigt


Ray (aka Beezageezauk) is another person I would love to meet. :bigt



Well Gordon,

I've been sat on the sideline following this thread and I'm honoured that you should be interested in meeting up with me. I'm certainly looking forward to meeting up with you. So if you're travelling through North East England from Bonnie Scotland and looking for accommodation we'll be happy to put a roof over your head. I might even be able to arrange to meet up with the regular riders and join you all on the bikes for a few days.

Beezageezauk.

Posted By: BeezaBryan

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 4:34 pm

And depending on his route Gordon could be passing through County Durham, Land of the Prince Bishops, the birthplace of the late great Malcolm BritBodger Dixon.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 6:45 pm

Originally Posted by Kev.
Gordon looking at your itinerary, it looks like you don't have enough time to do a "Quest" so I will talk to the guys at the next Kempton, and see what else we can come up with following the Mid summer soire...

:bigt



YIKES!!!!! when I first started talking about all of this I was only going to take a week....7 days. I was going to meet Shaun on Thursday the 18th and we'd be at the camp Friday the 19th. None of that changed.

I did get a little carried away and added a week to the front side of the trip and thought that wouldn't mess anything up.

Nothing is cast in stone...I sure don't want to rock the boat....so to speak.

Let me know if I need to change something.....there's PLENTY of time. I won't purchase tickets until sometime in April 2015.

Take care.....Gordon
Posted By: T140V-Rich

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/22/14 7:31 pm

Gordon, my friend, I don't know that anyone's mentioned after reading the suggestions. Tom's on the money, no pun meant, about money. Get a travel wallet to hide in your trousers to keep the debit/credit cards. Your bank can exchange money for you at a high rate but get your couple hundred pounds and have it ready for cabs, coffee, etc.

But what I wanted to mention is the folks there are not "American" polite. They are the definition of polite. The English invented politeness. Remember you are always "at fault," so to speak. Not that you are but a proper, "polite" person will admit "fault" and allow the other gent or lady to ... enter the pub first, take the cab, go into the loo. I was once engaged in a "you first" battle with a kindly gent who wanted me to enter the loo before him at Victoria Station. That is how polite these people are, Shaun laddie and crowd excepted haha

We've spent about a month in London on three trips and it is obvious from the first day or two - these people are extremely polite!!!! A buddy once turned and knocked a gent DOWN. Imagine what would have happened in NY (no offense, Wade!) but you know what they guy did? He got up and apologized for being in the way. No joke, saw it with my own two peepers.

A young lass was struggling with a suitcase the size of a '53 Buick in Victoria. A gent grabbed it, amongst the millions passing through, and said, "I gotcha," carrying her suitcase for her. He then set off without a word. Another lass lost her ID and passport on the Gatwick Express. She was French, I guessed, but in absolute hysterics - tears, crying aloud, etc. A gent came up to calm her and help. One of the most compassionate scenes I've witnessed.

These folk created the word "manners." Manners go a loooong way when you are of like mind. My two pence. smile

Cheers

Richard
Posted By: Kev.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/23/14 2:18 am

Don't panic Gordon, we just need to change a few idea's and directions around
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/23/14 9:25 am

Kev, no panic here just wanted you to know my schedule is flexable. The only date I know of that is cast in stone is the 19th. I do think it's a good idea getting there on my own and having a go with that "driving on the WRONG side of the road" before I climb on a borrowed motorcycle. smile

Ray, details as time gets closer...it will be an honor.

Bryan, that's something to think about....I need to find something of Bodgers to take with me.

My friend Richard, I hear ya. I have to say that the folks (off this board) from England I've had the honor to meet are some of the nicest people I know. The only assholes I've had to deal with lately are from right HERE .... wink uh...I mean the US.

OH.....and TOM BANKS gets a big ATA BOY for his advise about flying into Inverness. Checking a little closer I see now that flight times compaired to flying into Aberdeen can be as much as 8 hours longer shocked. The cost is the same and I really wanted to start off as far North as I could get in Scotland...but I might have to rethink that part of the journey.

That's why you ask the experts......Gordon
Posted By: beezageezauk

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/23/14 10:36 am

Heyup Gordon,

FYI:- Malcolm Britbodger lived within 20 miles of me before he moved Stateside and after his passing, Harry K had Bodger's Rocket 3 shipped back home to Blighty. He renovated it, and it now lives with Harry within 15 miles of my home.


[Linked Image]

It's a small world!!

Beezageezauk.
Posted By: Kev.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/23/14 12:09 pm

Originally Posted by beezageezauk


It's a small world!!

Beezageezauk.


Maybe, but I don't fancy painting it!
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/23/14 1:15 pm

Hey Ray...if you get a chance to talk to Harry in the next few months...if he's up to it. Would/could you ask him if he's the fellow that has my C15T cases from years back????? If he is...I just might try to take them back with me.

Take care and see ya in a few months......Gordon


Hey Kev.....the way I paint, I could cover the world a lot faster than I can finish a wall!!!!!! laughing
Posted By: Mike Muir

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/23/14 1:26 pm

Gordon, reference where we will be mid June next year.... I will keep you posted, sometimes I do not know where I will be tomorrow (to move or not to move, that is the question), however anywhere we will be will be easy for you to get to, it's a small country!
m
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/23/14 1:29 pm

I talked to my dad and my step mother on the phone yesterday. I needed to ask dad a couple of questions about the trip and he was pretty excited for me. He's a US citizen and even retired from the US Army Reserves after serving with the RAF and the Canadian Army (PPCLI). MY stepmon (my mother passed away at 56) is still a citizen of Scotalnd. They were both on the phone at the same time and once I got to the part of my trip where I was explaining what parts of England I would be traveling through.....my step mom asks "Why are you waisting your trip on England?" laughing See????? that's the way I was rasied. laughing

It's all good and Daddy's happy for me.....he's always wanted to take me over there but since he's 91 now....that probably isn't going to happen.

Gordon
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/23/14 2:35 pm

Mike, I will keep you posted and since my plan is to come in from the North....I should be able to find you without too much trouble.

My friend, shaking your hand is pretty high on my list of things I HAVE to do. :bigt

Lunch (on me) at a nearby pub/cafe???? hand shakes....and a quick look around the Garnet...and PLENTY of photos is all I'm asking for.

A photo of me at the wheel......priceless

Looking forward to it.. smile....Gordon
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/23/14 9:04 pm

Originally Posted by beezageezauk
Heyup Gordon,

FYI:- Malcolm Britbodger lived within 20 miles of me before he moved Stateside and after his passing, Harry K had Bodger's Rocket 3 shipped back home to Blighty. He renovated it, and it now lives with Harry within 15 miles of my home.


[Linked Image]

It's a small world!!

Beezageezauk.


Sorry to bust up the fun RE Malcolm's Rocket 3..... But I liked it as HE had it. Rip snorting rock n roll Rocket 3. Now it's just like all the others. OTOH, it IS good to have it remain in "the family"!

Gordon, I was really sweating your flying into Inverness... It really is a city that you can't get to from here. You know, man- WE are traveling with you, too. And WE don't want to spend the entire two weeks on a plane... Or laid over in some airport! laughing.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 7:52 am

Originally Posted by ricochetrider
<snip> Gordon, I was really sweating your flying into Inverness... It really is a city that you can't get to from here. <snip> laughing.


I see that now and I thank you for catching that. :bigt

I'm still not sure what I'll do about it. I've given myself three days in Scotland. The ONLY place I need to spend a little time in is Brechin. Right now I'm thinking I'd fly into Aberdeen (arrive early AM) and pick up the rental car.....then do the coastal route up North to Inverness....visit Loch Ness and take the inland route back to Brechin. Since the car gets 50-60 mpg it's a wash over a train ticket and I can start and stop when I choose.

Heck, I'm going to have gone over this trip in my mind so many times before I actually get to go.....I might as well just stay home because it'll all be old hat by then. laughing

Take care....camping at TWOS is next on the list....then Mike G's OSMR and I should be planning for those two but I keep coming back to this trip!!!!!

I'll order my windscreen for the B50 today.....that will at least have me working toward TWOS.


Later gator.... smile..Gordon
Posted By: No Name Man

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 9:03 am

Hey Gordon...one hint about driving on the other side (in a car). You are used to having your head on the left side of your car. For many years of driving. Inexperienced right-side-of-the-car drivers tend to drift to the left side of the lane they are in for that reason. This can endanger parked cars or the bloke in the curb lane. I found I had to consciously think about that while in those left handed countries. Motorcycles it's not a problem. Look right first, then left, like Tom said. Old habits hard to break...
Posted By: No Name Man

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 9:08 am

And now I'm trying to figure out how I can get over there twice next summer. Would like to be part of your adventure.
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 10:17 am

Originally Posted by No Name Man
Motorcycles it's not a problem. Look right first, then left, like Tom said. Old habits hard to break...


I find the car easier to remember what I am doing because of sitting on the "wrong" side. Keep the center lane on my side of the car and all is well... That doesn't work on the motorcycle.

Only thing that I repeatedly do is look the wrong way when yielding . And I have entered a road or parking lot type situations on the wrong side due to those old habits that you mention.... Once I came off of a "B" road exit which had two way traffic in the wrong lane... That was bad... Had a car been coming I would have been toast at 70 miles and hour...... THEN.... When you get back from England and you are turning into your local grocery store and you enter the parking lot on the wrong side of the road because you have gotten programmed in England.... I got really pissed off at someone once before I realized it was me on the wrong side shocked

Its all easy but you just have to stay on your toes at all times.... Come up with your own thing that reminds you where you need to be.... In New Zealand the guy who loaned me his bike put an arrow on the triple tree in plan view to give me a reminder.... Not sure it helped but maybe it did. Im still alive...
Posted By: AngloBike

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 11:34 am

My Canadian G/F sets her sat-nav to remind her to drive on the left. It pings up a message, then bleeps as she first moves off.
her trick is to remember to be in the centre of the road - near the white line.

It hasn't stopped her driving on the wrong side a couple of times on familiar roads coming out of a pub/shop car park.
i have to politely remind her. She drives an auto here despite having stick shift in Canada

The thing that she finds hardest (from Vancouver) is the speed that we drive on narrow roads, and it takes time to learn to use roundabouts. and getting used to the price of Petrol
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 1:01 pm

Gordon lad, and anyone State side thinking of paying a visit, a word of warning...

Just remember, this isn't Fairy Dairy land, if you don't lock it you'll loose it, keep your wallet and any money out of sight. Thieves smile too, so be warned, don't have your vacation spoiled by a momentary lapse of thinking, if it's worth money, they'll have it...

Here's ends the Health and Safety message.. wink
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 1:24 pm

Shaun, we have the same kind of theifing assholes here in the US.

So,

I don't own a wallet, I carry my money/cards/ID in my pants front pocket. AND..... my step mother already warned me about England laughing

Yee Haw.....Gordon laughing
Posted By: John Healy

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 3:27 pm

Especially in London, be sure to demand an itemized receipt in any eating establishment. Never pay from an non-itemized slip of paper put on your table. There is more tan one way to "pick" your pocket.

Learn the countries DUI laws and follow them. A DUI could be more than an inconveinence.

Never drive when you are tired. At the first signs that I am getting tired I find a room. Even if you have one waiting for me that I have already paid for. I find I have made my biggest driving mistakes when I start to feel tired.

Just like home, there are places you don't want to go walking around, especially after dark.

Remember when ordering food in restaurant a lot of menu items are ala-carte. Add a potato more money; add a couple of string beans, more money. So the £7 chicken dinner quickly becomes £12 or more. Read the menu (fine print) or if there is any question ask the waiter.

Any where in the UK, as mentioned by Kent, lock all of your valuables in the trunk where they are out of site.

Oh, and remember to lock the car...
Posted By: Mike Muir

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 4:12 pm

Gordon, GARNET does not have a wheel, but if you wish to take the tiller, that is just fine. I am trying to get a few more pics up that coincidentally will illustrate this....
Posted By: Mike Muir

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 4:15 pm

Man (or is it No Name or Bill), show up with Gordon, you will be welcome, and the ale (or soda water etc) is on us.
Posted By: mr.moto

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 4:16 pm

Hi Gordon,
While I Agree with lock up your car and put things out of sight I think you should not worry about security in general.
Be more careful in a city but in the country areas you will have no worries.
Do not be afraid to ask directions, everyone will be made up to meet you, they will be telling their friends for weeks to come about the yank they met.
You will have the time of your life.
regards, pat.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 4:33 pm

Our friend Mike....tiller it is my friend. I'm never too old to learn something new. A photo is all I want....keep her tied up to the dock PLEASE!!!! laughing

See ya next summer, your friend in NC, USA Gordon Gray
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 4:42 pm

Pat....that's kinda what I was thinking. IF...we were talking about somebody coming from the UK to visit the US...you could say the same things that are being posted here...well, except for Mr Healy's advise about the "phoney" food bill.....never heard of that one. Thank you for that one Mr Healy.

Locking your stuff up and keeping it out of sight...is just plain common sense no matter where you are. :bigt

DUI....I don't have to worry about that, thank goodness.

I'm a country boy, Florida Cracker by birth and I have no desire at all to visit ANY big city. I would tag along with some of the boys if they wanted to show me around....but visit one by myself....that's not going to happen. I am going to spend a few days alone in Scotland, then a few days meeting up with a few of you guys North of London....but once I'm South of London...I'm going to stick so close to Shaun he'll think I'm his shadow. laughing

Thanks for all the advise....I'm listening to all of it.

Take care.....Gordon
Posted By: Mike Muir

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 4:44 pm

Gordon, no way tied to a dock (don't have those either!). if my friend Valerie at somewhat older than us (hope she is not reading this!!) can shoot a bridge so can you!
m
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/24/14 4:52 pm

Originally Posted by Mike Muir
Gordon, no way tied to a dock (don't have those either!). if my friend Valerie at somewhat older than us (hope she is not reading this!!) can shoot a bridge so can you!
m


laughing No wheel or docks???? I must be going to a foreign country!!!

Okay, Tiller and maybe "moor"????

"Honset officer, I'm not from around here" laughing

Gordon
Posted By: Ob1quixote

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 7:33 am

Dont they tie those things to the quay?
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 7:59 am

laughing Well, Ob....if it's not, we'll hear about it soon. laughing

I guess thinking about it....mooring would be more (pun intended) the act of tieing up???

Now if my friend Mike wants me to give it a go....to keep our Southern Honor intact...I'll give it a try. Plenty of photos to follow that one for sure. A vision of "deer caught in the headlights" keeps coming to mind. laughing

Take care.....Gordon
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 8:10 am

Originally Posted by Kent Shaun
Gordon lad, and anyone State side thinking of paying a visit, a word of warning...

Just remember, this isn't Fairy Dairy land, if you don't lock it you'll loose it, keep your wallet and any money out of sight. Thieves smile too, so be warned, don't have your vacation spoiled by a momentary lapse of thinking, if it's worth money, they'll have it...

Here's ends the Health and Safety message.. wink


The world over...
There's one solid way to avoid being The Victim:
Don't show up looking like a victim.

Lock your stuff.
Everything out of sight .
Don't walk alone too late at night.
Ask for the itemized receipt, AND the extra copy.
Never show em all you're holding.
And don't bumble around in apparent uncertainty-
Walk around like you mean it.
Never let your guard down.
Look like you're paying attention because you ARE.

For the most part, thieves and ne'er do wells take advantage of the weak, of those who they think will be an easy mark. Simply don't let them think you're easy, or that you can be taken advantage of. Of course sometimes they LIKE a challenge!

I don't know why; I can't explain it. BUT it really IS different in other countries as it is here. Even in New York City, it's not life or death to leave something covered up on the floor in your back seat. In London, Rome, or any other major city anywhere else in the whole world, ANYthing left in the car, covered up or not almost certainly WILL draw in thieves.
It's like there's a bit of extra desperation... Extra need... Something. But it's unimaginably worse outside the U.S. Really. Seriously...

So don't be thinkin like "oh I got this" and leave [***] out, or even open your trunk out in front of everyone to put stuff in there like you're hiding it. Watch your back like it REALLY counts. Cuz it does. Watch your back because others are absolutely watching your every move, sizing you up. Around here, a low life LOOKS like a low life, outside the U.S., a thief may show up in the form of a charming &beautiful young lass who side tracks you while you're getting stuff out of your car with both doors open, she pops up smiling, dazzles you with her charm, asks a simple question, and you answer while her BF (OR DAD) cleans you out behind your back. In three seconds.

HINT: never open more than one point of access to your car EVER. If ANYone approaches you at all during a moment when you're "busy" doing something, stop. Definitely close doors, look around for the "other one". back up against the car, open your mouth and start yelling (loudly so others take note) at them to stand back. When you're sidetracked is when they'll come on in and get you. SO keep things simple. Don't stand on the street by your car trying to do too much. At that moment, you're looking like a victim, and believe me the buzzards are circling.

My sister who lives her life in Rome- fully aware of all these things got "got" in this exact same way- two car doors open, all sidetracked and busy, not thinking... purse on the seat. Clean cut young man approached, looking like her son, asks an innocent question while the other guy gets the purse. Gone, melted into Rome. Two seconds. The asker was so normal looking she wouldn't even be able to say exactly what he looked like- like everyone else, that's what.

Now, having said all this... England and Scotland are lovely indeed. It's still possible to be vigilant and relaxed at the same time. Especially in little villages, out in the country, etc. don't get all jumpy, but don't let your guard down either.

Have fun, and use THE universal language- smile & be friendly to everyone, and be polite.
No matter what.
These three things will get you thru so much, wherever you go. Even in a land like Scotland... Where they don't speak English! laughing JK!

Posted By: No Name Man

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 9:40 am

Hey Mike...Shaun hung the "No Name" thing on me and it stuck I guess. Otherwise known as Bill Edwards. If I make it over there next June I would love to get together with you somehow. Won't intrude on Gordon's visit...just hope to join Kev and the others for the camp at which Mr. G will be the guest of honor.

Bill E
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 10:49 am

Hey Bill (aka no name man)....intrude????? I consider you a good friend....so ANY WHERE, ANY TIME you show up I wouldn't consider it an intrusion. smile

As a matter of fact....with all this doom and gloom stuff I'm begining to think I'll NEED someone to watch my back!!!! laughing

Not sure if I even want to go to the expence or trouble if it's a s bad as you guys are saying. One fellow talking about it is one thing....three saying the same thing?????? AND one of them Mr Healy!!!! (who I try to ALWAYS listen to) Is it time to rethink the whole deal?

I'm just wondering why this is coming up NOW??? I've gone over some of the yarns from fellows that have traveled over there....still can't find where somebody got ripped off and said anything about it.

To be 100% honest....I don't own anything I'd have with me that I couldn't live without or replace. Hell, even if they killed me.....the way I look at it....I've had a good run so far. laughing

Let's meet up and BOTH give that narrow boat a try......ALWAYS a pleasure to have you around and a freindly, familiar face would be a comfort.

I got your back you get mine..... help laughing Gordon in NC



Posted By: AngloBike

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 11:01 am

FFS

he's going to Scotland and England, not the Third World.
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 11:07 am

Originally Posted by AngloBike
FFS

he's going to Scotland and England, not the Third World.


laughing Yeah that's been pointed out already... excellent point tho fer sure. Rome's 1st world, and so is Leningrad, London, Tokyo, Oslo, Sydney & Shanghai. [***] happens.

as a newbie to World Travel (Gordon, that is) it cannot be argued that caution is advisable. This ain't HomeTown USA where folks leave their whole world unlocked. Ya tell em how it is in the Big City, and get em used to thinking about being aware.

Like I said, relaxed but vigilant. Like a land mine.

Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 11:21 am

I agree .... Enough Doom and Gloom ....

I have been all over the world and I never changed the way I act everyday. I carry my wallet in my front pocket always and I always try to be alert. (on the road and the sidewalk) So I never think about changing my way of thinking no matter where I am. The UK doesn't seem any different to me then here so you have nothing to worry about Gordon .

Just be normal (you seem intelligent to me) and just have a good time.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 11:30 am

Originally Posted by wadeschields
<snip> (you seem intelligent to me)<snip>


laughing Well....THAT could be argued both ways...not sure which one I'd bet on though. laughing

Wade, you and I got off on kinda the wrong foot....wrong place wrong time but I'm getting to like you more and more. :bigt

I think some of this well meaning doom and gloom come's from me openly admitting I'm a country bumpkin. smile BUT....you city fellows need to keep in mind....there's a LOT more Andy Taylors out here in the sticks than there are Barney Fifes. smile

I won't change a thing....just like Wade says. This is my first trip to the UK...but not my first BBQ.

I think what's been said....NEEDED to be said and I'm glad you guys took the time to say it.

They are good travel tips for anybody going any where.

Hugs.....it's ALL good....Gordon in NC
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 11:42 am

I don't remember the wrong foot thing Gordon... But then I like everyone (at first) wink
Posted By: Janet

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 12:43 pm

As a matter of fact....with all this doom and gloom stuff I'm begining to think I'll NEED someone to watch my back!!!! laughing [/quote]Just to add to your doom and gloom, if you have the misfortune to be taken ill or have an accident, some rotten b****** will drag you into an ambulance and cart you off to hospital where the NHS will practise on you for nothing. Don't worry too much, though, because they like to get you to make a full recovery so that they can have another go later. Some tourists even go in with a belly ache and come out with a baby. Now that would make a good yarn.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 12:47 pm

Originally Posted by wadeschields
I don't remember the wrong foot thing Gordon... But then I like everyone (at first) wink


I'll explain that one around the next campfire we share.... smile

Gordon
Posted By: No Name Man

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 4:39 pm

Hey, I promise you, nothing to worry about. The Brits are a very polite and friendly bunch. As a rule. I'm talking about the ones you don't know. The ones you know are just like your Merican friends only they talk funny.
Posted By: Mike Muir

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 5:03 pm

Originally Posted by Ob1quixote
Dont they tie those things to the quay?

Sometimes, sometimes its a wharf, mostly just the towpath!


Description: Stern of GARNET showing rudder and tiller at Tooley's yard.
Attached picture 100_2666s.jpg

Description: Moored to a towpath in Banbury.
Attached picture 100_2664s.jpg

Description: Niece Helena having a go (did very well) and great niece Emma ignoring the world.
Attached picture 100_2690s.jpg
Posted By: BeezaBryan

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 5:12 pm

Originally Posted by No Name Man
................. The ones you know are just like your Merican friends only they talk funny.



Hey Bill, 'tain't just us wot talks funny clap laughing
Posted By: Mike Muir

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 5:17 pm

I think Gordon's biggest problem will be to identify the currency, been back 2 years, still looking for quarters and nickles, plus the paper stuff is all funny colours!
Posted By: rick e.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 6:20 pm

"Some tourists even go in with a belly ache and come out with a baby."

Tourist nicking babies! That is scary.


Gordon,

I've been going over to Europe (and UK) ever year for sometime. The UK is as soft as a camera lens cleaning brush. Although I must admit, my lovely wife and travel guide, has all the street/travel smarts after living and working in Kingston Jamaica. So everywhere we travel is EZ in her eyes...

My two tips:

1) Travel light. I never check bags. 15-18 lb bag. (Beat-up WW2 canvas type,Swiss I think) Did three weeks in Norway with that, no problem.

2) Be ready to walk. I clock at least 10 miles a day on foot.

Sure you can see alot in a car/bus/motorbike, but you will miss an opportunity of a lifetime you don't walk miles of the old streets and wooded paths.






Posted By: Lannis

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/25/14 6:25 pm

Originally Posted by rick e.
"Some tourists even go in with a belly ache and come out with a baby."


1) Travel light. I never check bags. 15-18 lb bag. (Beat-up WW2 canvas type,Swiss I think) Did three weeks in Norway with that, no problem.

2) Be ready to walk. I clock at least 10 miles a day on foot.

Sure you can see alot in a car/bus/motorbike, but you will miss an opportunity of a lifetime you don't walk miles of the old streets and wooded paths.




I travel light myself, but for two weeks riding a motorcycle in full gear in the UK, it's going to be hard to get everything you need in a carry-on. Each time I've gone, I've carried my personal stuff in a carry-on and light backpack, and checked the Ortlieb waterproof bag with helmet, jackets, boots, etc.

The walking part ... For Sure!

Lannis
Posted By: R Moulding

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/26/14 3:53 am


I would be inclined to take the doom and gloom advise as being universal for any trip abroad, if a little strongly put. Plenty of Tea Leafs about the UK, but like anywhere they are mostly opportunistic scum bags. Try and avoid the 'I visited the Queen' T Shirt and don’t be wearing a Bum Bag (Fanny pack?). You really have to try the Narrow boat, piloting a 50-70 foot vessel from the back is great fun. If Mike is anywhere near Avoncliff, Sunday lunch at the Crossed Guns is more than recommended.

Regards
Rod
Posted By: GaCracker

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/26/14 10:03 am

I can't offer anything that has not already been mentioned, but I can say that the people in the West Midlands have always been friendly and welcoming to a Yank from the South. I traveled alone from Gatwick to Weymouth, changing coaches 3 times. I encountered 2 surly bus drivers that snapped at me when I politely asked about route stops. This, of course, can happen anywhere in the world. I laughed it off and we turned it into a running family joke, as my late father in law and a brother in law was/is a bus driver. You will have a great time. Greg
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/26/14 1:18 pm

Enough of this Gloom & Doom malarky, after all, it WAS me that started it, wasn't it.. laughing

Didn't want the lad to think it's all candy and delights over here, that's all...

BUT, Gordon lad, you WILL be DUI.. shocked Oh YES Matey, you'll be Driving Under the Influence of having a bloody great time, with ya mates, as *HE* is my witness, I SWEAR it.. wink So settle down, worry NOT, and get ready my man. We'll be piling on that Southern Hospitality in bucket loads, we'll show them Darn Yankees a thing or three.. :bigt

Pull up a chair, take ya shoes of, sit a while, and I'll spin ya a yarn about a Man with No Name, that can eat... WHY lad, that Man with No Name, is MORE BEllY than beast.. shocked

WHERE does he put it all..?
Posted By: BeezaBryan

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/26/14 5:17 pm

I seem to remember us getting all that doom & gloom bull when we were all trying to get fired up for the Brimfield BSAOC USA International back in 2006. The doom was near to the point of scrapping the whole idea of a visit to the New World 'cos it was being made out to be the Shyte New World.
So glad that we chose to ignore the naysayers.

If we stayed home look what we would have missed - friends we would not have met (Ben & Peggy in particular)or even known about (Shippingport Bluegrass evenings for instance Tom?), multiple Adventures with bikes, Model T Fords, music etc etc.

Yes, we could have stayed home frown

Glad we didn't smile

2c
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/27/14 9:46 am

I don't have much more to say right now. (yea, I know...hard to believe smile )

I'm excited.

My wife has given me the approval.

I have a (rough draft) plan.

I've already put in for the time off at work.

Something REALLY major will have to happen for me NOT to be able to make it. (like both my arms and legs falling off)

I'm saving my pennies.

I'm not the least bit worried about any of the doom and gloom.

Did I say I'm excited?

THANKS for all the tips and advice....BIG THANKS to those who will be helping me make this happen.

Take care and hope to get to shake some new hands soon.....your friend in NC, USA (that's not all that fairy dairy either in some places) Gordon
Posted By: shel

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/27/14 10:57 am

As for the doom and gloom, bad people are everywhere, if you're not being made a victim at home you'll most likely be alright when traveling
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/27/14 11:08 am

Originally Posted by shel
As for the doom and gloom, bad people are everywhere, if you're not being made a victim at home you'll most likely be alright when traveling


Good point my friend shel :bigt

To compare doom and gloom.....in recent years the homicide rate for England and Wales combined pretty much tie North Carolina's rate at around 600 per year.

Our very own Detroit, Michigan....just one city out of our hundreds (granted it is our worst) has a homicide rate of just under 400 per year.

BTW, The state of Michigan is only ranked 4th (2012) in Homicides, North Carolina's 19th (2012)

Who's fairy dairy now?????

We won't just seal from ya....we'll kill ya.

"It's just another thing" Gordon
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 9:32 am

On a MUCH NEEDED lighter note.....I can't share the details but it looks like we have the insurance covered. :bigt

That's just one more item to check off the list.

I'm already packing in my head and for those of you past 50...you know how time flys laughing...so this trip will be upon me in no time.

Over the next few months I'll get a chance to sit around the fire with several folks who have traveled to the UK and get to ask questions, face to face. I'm looking forward to that.

Thanks again for all the help.....take care, Gordon Gray in NC, USA
Posted By: johnm

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 10:02 am

Strewth Bruce !!

Must have got a lot tougher in the UK since I was last there - two months ago :-)

Things can happen anywhere but the UK is much toward the easier end of places to go. Just behave sensibly. Anyone with a few years under their belt can sense when they are getting into the wrong part of any city and take sensible precautions.

I would spend a bit more time learning the road rules and be very awake when you drive or ride on back country roads. Your natural instinct will be to stick on the "wrong " side of the road. Motorways are easy but little back roads will catch you out!!

Staying at a little country pub in England or Scotland and walking about looking at the local history is one of the must do things in life! Down in the West country you must try the cider but be careful !! Its powerful stuff!! Fish and chips, Ploughmans lunch, cottage pie, bangers and mash !!!! Seriously good !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 10:50 am

Originally Posted by johnm
<snip> I would spend a bit more time learning the road rules and be very awake when you drive or ride on back country roads. Your natural instinct will be to stick on the "wrong " side of the road. Motorways are easy but little back roads will catch you out!!

Staying at a little country pub in England or Scotland and walking about looking at the local history is one of the must do things in life! Down in the West country you must try the cider but be careful !! Its powerful stuff!! Fish and chips, Ploughmans lunch, cottage pie, bangers and mash !!!! Seriously good !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


NOW WE'RE TALKING!!!!!! smile I have been looking over the road rules and signage. At least I'll have a weeks worth of driving BEFORE I borrow a motorcycle. laughing

I've got a few days where I can do just that....have a walk around and that's part of the plan.

FOOD!!!! oh yes, one of my fovorite things, and it shows!!! smile A LOT of the food sounds GREAT....still not sure about beans with breakfast??? and mushrooms.....well, you would have to have grown up around me and my friends to know why I stay away from them nowadays..."Is it the wind or the trees?" laughing

Hagis...nope, been there done that. Jellied eels....uh, no.

If ALL else fails....I noticed there's a McDonalds just down the road from Shauns... shocked

Having fun in NC, USA Gordon Gray

Posted By: BeezaBryan

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 11:18 am

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray


NOW WE'RE TALKING!!!!!! smile I have been looking over the road rules and signage. At least I'll have a weeks worth of driving BEFORE I borrow a motorcycle. laughing

I've got a few days where I can do just that....have a walk around and that's part of the plan.


Having fun in NC, USA Gordon Gray



Have a look at our Highway Code - https://www.gov.uk/browse/driving/highway-code - much of it you will never need to bother about.
A hard copy is better than something on a screen, so Gordon PM me your home address & one will be on it's way.
Bed time reading at it's best laughing
We found your US signage to be straight forward & easily understood and I'm reckoning you will find ours just as easy, Just take care with traffic islands, traffic circles or whatever you call them and we don't have any of them 3 & 4 way stops
Posted By: gram

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 11:37 am

Sounds as though you'll be treated like a visiting 'head of state' Gordon with none of the politics thrown in. Have a great time when it happens.
Gram beerchug
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 11:43 am

Hey a couple last things RE: international travel & money:

When traveling around the UK & EU countries, "tax" on purchases is called VAT. You have to think about it all during your trip, BUT you can get VAT money back AT THE AIRPORT on your way out of the country. You have to ask for the paperwork FROM THE RETAILER when you make a purchase.

England/Scotland doesn't make it real obvious- probably the VAT office is outside of security in the main part of the airport terminal, in an out-of-the-way corner. Since Scotland and England are both the "U.K." I'd guess it's all the same, and you can refund both aspects of the trip at Heathrow.
Some stuff qualifies, some stuff doesn't. Keep your receipts, get VAT refund paperwork as you go, and ask to find the VAT Refund desk at the airport.

I got around 80.00 VAT refund back from my trip last summer- just from my few days in Norway, but Norway makes it REAL easy and obvious- they TRY to give you your VAT refund! Norway actually eventually deposited my refund directly into my bank account. They don't give out cash, can't say about UK countries cuz I was never successful at getting the VAT refund in England or Scotland. Like I said- In England or Scotland you have to work for it, cuz they aren't talkin about it AT ALL out loud.

Don't think it's nit-picky to do this- it's THE LAW, and it's a little talked-about aspect of EU/UK travel. You CAN LEGALLY get money refunded back to you. Eases the cost of the trip in a minor way- but HEY! -it's always fun to get rebates, refunds, etc. on ANYTHING!

Also on your way out the "door", you can exchange pounds for USD free at Heathrow. They DON'T exchange coins tho- and as others have noted, UK coins add up FAST- they have 1 & 2 pound value coins so a pocket full of change could easily be 25.00 or more. Spend as much coinage as you can before going to the airport on your way out, and you'll get more money back into dollars.
Posted By: Kev.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 12:00 pm

Originally Posted by Gordon Gray


If ALL else fails....I noticed there's a McDonalds just down the road from Shauns... shocked


There's a friggin McDonalds down the road from everybody, easily spotted by all the litter everywhere! mad
Posted By: tbird649

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 12:10 pm

I was in Wales last week, I did check because I was astounded to see some McDoalds rubbish (the paper not the food, could be either) I was 16 miles from the nearest Mcdonalds!!
And Gordon, I agree, baked beans with breakfast, very uncouth.
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 12:24 pm

Got a drive in KFC as well, not been there YET, so you could show me what I've been missing..?

As for breakfast, well lad, you'll be having the FULL MONTY for your first morning with me, like all me American inmates. And if you don't like it, leave it, there's no questions asked. You get what you get and be done with it, the ONLY choice you'll have, will be Tea or Coffee.. wink

OH, and any paper money you don't want, especially them Purple ones with the 20 on em, I'll be happy to take them off you, as long as they're about an inch thick. So make sure you've got plenty going spare.. laughing

Driving..? DO NOT move when the Red light shows, keep to the left, and relax. We've got PLENTY of foreigners over here, so another one behind the wheel is noting special, once you're behind the handle bars, just do what we do.. grin
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 12:55 pm

Their beans are different then our beans... I would NEVER eat our beans for breakfast.... But Heinz beans are the BOMB ! Mushroom and tomato and some proper bacon. Oh man , I can't wait to have that again..... And I hope they started making gluten free Cornish Pasties since the last time I was there...
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 1:52 pm

Wade man dude, our Beans have Wheat in em, so how can you eat them without exploding down below.. shocked

Gordon lad, I HOPE you're not a *fussy* eater like Wade, Alcohol free I can live with, no worries there what so ever, but FOOD.. shocked

Well lad, that's a WHOLE new Ball game.. wink
Posted By: Lannis

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 1:52 pm

Originally Posted by Kent Shaun
Got a drive in KFC as well, not been there YET, so you could show me what I've been missing..?

As for breakfast, well lad, you'll be having the FULL MONTY for your first morning with me,


Gordon -

DO let Shaun show you how the Full English is done.

DO NOT let him do his Full Monty. People have gone blind and been scarred for life behind that .....

Lannis
Posted By: BeezaBryan

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 1:52 pm

Originally Posted by Kev.
Originally Posted by Gordon Gray


If ALL else fails....I noticed there's a McDonalds just down the road from Shauns... shocked


There's a friggin McDonalds down the road from everybody, easily spotted by all the litter everywhere! mad


And don't we know it mad
mcdonald should have a crap tax appled to every friggin' thing they send out the door :bigt
Posted By: BeezaBryan

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 1:53 pm

Originally Posted by tbird649
..... baked beans with breakfast, very uncouth.


Ergo I am uncouth laughing
Posted By: Lannis

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 2:27 pm

Originally Posted by BeezaBryan
Originally Posted by Kev.
Originally Posted by Gordon Gray


If ALL else fails....I noticed there's a McDonalds just down the road from Shauns... shocked


There's a friggin McDonalds down the road from everybody, easily spotted by all the litter everywhere! mad


And don't we know it mad
mcdonald should have a crap tax appled to every friggin' thing they send out the door :bigt


Funny thing ... My cousin and I had our kids at about the same time. When they were 3 or 4 years old, we were talking about traveling with the kids. She said "Oh, it's such a pain ... every time we go past a McDonalds, the kids start hollering for a Happy Meal and fussing for French fries … we’re always having to stop.” I said, jokingly, “Well, you can fix that … do like I do. Every time we went past a McDonalds when they were one or 2 years old, I turned around and smacked the kids. Now they don’t say a thing when they see one.”

That was a bit of an exaggeration of course, but after the shocked looks settled down, I said, “I’ve never taken my kids to a McDonald’s, and I never will. While they are under my roof, they will not go into a McDonalds.”

Oh, how they laughed! “Oh, son, how green and inexperienced you are in this business of child-rearing! Oh hahaha, NOT go into McDonalds OH ha ha ha ….” “You’ll learn, young man, you’ll learn, ….”

Well, they lived with me for 18 years and they NEVER went into a McDonalds. And now, just out of tradition, they never take THEIR kids into a McDonalds …. You’re right. The stuff they sell is crap that you can hardly tell from the packaging it comes in. Although I must say I haven’t tried any for 35 years, but I’ll wager they haven’t changed the grease in the fryers since then, so I’m confident I’m still on the right track!

Go into a McDonalds in England? HERESY!

Lannis
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/28/14 4:52 pm

Hey-

in Italy mickeyDs sells "espresso" (I bet they cal it McSpresso) and WAY "oop nawth" in Canadialand, they sell MCLOBSTER! laughing

Fast food, IMO is one of the single worst things ever happen to civilization, to food, and to folks' health. Sadly, the sh*tty non-food "products" of such fast-food places is less expensive than REAL food in a grocery store.

It's throw-away "food" for throw-away people with a throw-away mentality, in throw-away times, living in a throw-away world.

Funny story:

I was traveling around Italy with a buddy one time back when you could buy a 1 litre bottle of Heineken from a street vendor in any Italian city for just a couple thousand Lire.
(1780 Lire to the US Dollar at that time)
We were standing on a train platform in Florence, and my buddy said
"Wait here. I'll be right back."

In short time, he came back with a huge grin, carrying two litre Heinekens and two Big Macs! I hadn't eaten a Big Mac since they first came out back in the 60s or whatever. It tasted EXACTLY as I remembered it tasting, all those years later, thousands of miles from home. We both had a goood laugh over it; neither of us being fans or regular consumers of McAnything.

Washed em down with the beers.
It was all over before we boarded the train.
I'll never forget it.
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/29/14 10:08 am

Damnit boys!!! All that talk about McDonalds (my wife is with her mother at the beach) I HAD to go there last night and pick up a couple of BIG MACS!!!! laughing Damn they were good!!!!

I've been eating there since the first one opened up in Tallahassee, Florida back in the early 60s?. Back then the burgers were 15 cents and you walked up to the window to get served...no seating inside. I'm not ashamed of it and will eat there again if I feel like it.

Yep...no matter how healthy or good food is.....it always comes out the same. laughing uh...well sorta the same laughing

Now I'll get back to the trip to the UK just as soon as I get back from the lunch buffet at KFC!!!!

I'm on a roll.....pun intended.... laughing..........Gordon in NC
Posted By: rick e.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/29/14 6:31 pm

Speaking of the UK breakfast. What is up with the toast? Flat dried bricks for scooping
or some sort of spill containment method?

On the other hand, tomatoes fried in the pan, brilliant.

Oh, and what is the most common food item British pack when going aboard?
Posted By: John Healy

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/29/14 7:14 pm

As rick e mentioned above, if one doesn't have a cast iron stomach I would avoid the fried bread for breakfast, especially if the fat was used to fry the bread was also used to cook the odd chicken innards. Disregard this comment if your favorite pizza is chicken liver and anchovy. And the Black Pudding (blood) never peaked my interest.

Quote
Oh, and what is the most common food item British pack when going aboard?


Marmite??
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/29/14 8:14 pm

I went back and cleaned up a couple of my posts.... blush. I can be a bit crude at times....sorry fellows.

I was taught to eat everything on my plate....EVERYTHING at my house meant just that and I have a lot of funny stories about those days. I swear a chunk (we didn't have a lot of money) of cheap roast would get BIGGER the longer you chewed it!

I guess I could/would eat just about anything....I really wasn't kidding about mushrooms though. You'll have to ask me about that around the campfire if you want to know why. wink

Those jellied eels don't sound the least bit tasty..and that BLOOD!!! pudding Mr Healy mentioned....... sick

I'll clean up my posting and try to act like I deserve all of this.....take care and thanks again for making this all so much fun. smile

Gordon
Posted By: R Moulding

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 2:46 am


Gordon, if god himself had a favourite fried food, it would be black pudding. Dont think about what it is, cut a slice of bacon, stab it with your fork, add to that a chunk of black pudding, square of fried bread and some baked beans, dip it in the runny yoke of your fried egg and savour............


If I had not married a good Muslim girl, I would be digging into this every morning!

Rod
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 7:39 am

Rod, I'm trying to understand smile it all....

[Linked Image]

I don't see any room on the plate for the GRITS!!!!!! must come in a bowl off to the side? Breakfast ain't breakfast without grits. I'm thinking if indeed God loves Black Pudding...he'd have to REALLY REALLY REALLY love GRITS!!!!

laughing

I've put this photo on my desktop so I can look at it every morning at work.....maybe over the next 10 months it will start to look good... laughing

Take care.....thanks for taking the time to reply...Gordon
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 9:17 am

It almost looks like two completely different meals got put on the same plate?????

[Linked Image]

I see 8 items...only half of them look like they go together??? If you took that tow-mot-toe, beans, pudding? and mushrooms off the plate....moved the other stuff around a bit...add some stone ground grits....you've have breakfast!

laughing I sure hope lunch and dinner won't be this hard to figure out. laughing

Gordon

Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 10:14 am

I have had blood pudding that was the best thing I ever tasted (90% of the time I tried it) but once or twice it had little white chunky bits and that I did NOT like.... Like you I will try almost anything once or even twice.

I like to take an American breakfast with me to England . Enough to feed the whole group one morning. That way they have your breakfast with you. and the rest of the time you have the local breakfast.

I will be taking Pancakes and maple syrup this trip. That is a more unusual type of breakfast over there. But looking forward to the Full English.
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 11:25 am

Quote
Oh, and what is the most common food item British pack when going aboard?


Err, is it a sense of humour.. wink

Gordon lad, STOP worrying for Gawd's sake, and stop deleting ya posts, remember here dude I don't get to see this till the day after. Them Bar Stewards in France have turned off the Wifi in Trap 4.. mad And I can't get the internet till I get home.. mad

Remember ONE thing here my man, IF, and that's a big if you'll notice, ya don't like what's on your plate, you simply LEAVE it there. Job's a good un, nice and simple, no tip necessary, but TRY it before you leave it, worry NOT what it looks like, it's the TASTE that matters. Why lad, the crap I cook looks terrible, but the taste is something else.. laughing

Not killed an American, YET, so hold ya worrying.. grin

BLIMEY Wade lad, that's TWO Wheat items now.. shocked Beans AND Black Pudding, how comes you're not 'leaking' and looking for a Khazi.. shocked
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 12:01 pm

Originally Posted by Kent Shaun
[quote]
BLIMEY Wade lad, that's TWO Wheat items now.. shocked Beans AND Black Pudding, how comes you're not 'leaking' and looking for a Khazi.. shocked


I think we checked the ingredients before we cooked it up. Im sure we did when we were on the Isle of Man.... That was the best one ever.... Like the size of a stick of bologna . Same trip was the worst I ever tasted and it was at a cafe . Full of white chunks and the size of lunch meat bologna.

Lucky wheat doesn't KILL me shocked
Posted By: Lannis

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 12:41 pm

When Brits go abroad, the thing they take has got to be one of three things that you don't normally find here ...

1) Marmite. Some big stores have it, but it's not common. A tiny jar will last even a Brit for weeks.

2) HP Brown Sauce. Again, you can find it in specialty shops, but not your normal store. Brits put it over everything, and right they are.

3) PG Tips tea. Getting easier to find here but you can never be sure.

And Gordon, trust me who was raised on grits, eggs, and scrapple for breakfast. The Full English is the finest, most unexpected combination of ingredients ever. You will NOT miss your grits at all after you've wrapped your laughing gear around a Full English. And I can't see why anyone who can eat a rare steak, scrapple, livermush, chitlins, or milk (mammary secretions of a cow? YUCK!) will jib at blood pudding. It's wonderful stuff. We can make any food sound nasty if you describe it clinically ... !

Lannis
Posted By: run990

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 1:35 pm

as well as a traditional english breakfast you have to try fish & chips.prefrably from a coastal town with its own fishing fleet left & you will be in heaven.
if your experimental with your food you can have a bash at jellied eels thats a cockney speciality.black puddings of various types.pigs trotters,or if really after the full norther england experience tripe ,had it once you have to close your eyes & be starving to stomach that.if it goes pear shape we have a good free health service to stomach pump you HAHA
Posted By: mr.moto

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 2:16 pm

Hey Gordon,
we have several different black puddings. Generally speaking if they are around 2" to 3" diameter with white lumps (fat) you would eat them cold with your ploughmans lunch or salad. Big ones of 4" plus you cook with your breakfast. In Lancashire they have white puddings, a different beast entirely.
If your stomach accepts McD you will be safe with anything in England.However:::
I see you are visiting Scotland first.My advice is to avoid the chipshops, (indeed , even in England only frequent the ones recommended by friends).
Having been in Scotland of course you will happily eat anything you are offered once you cross the border into England.
Hope you have a great time
Posted By: beezageezauk

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 2:20 pm

Hey Gordon,

I know it's a long way off and nothing is finalised but to save me trailing through all the previous pages can you remind me of your provisional dates and proposed itinerary please? Cheers,

Beezageezauk.
Posted By: AngloBike

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 2:55 pm

Would now be a time to mention deep fried mars bars.....?
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 3:11 pm

Originally Posted by AngloBike
Would now be a time to mention deep fried mars bars.....?



No, there is never a good time to mention that.


Don in Nipomo
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 4:46 pm

Originally Posted by beezageezauk
Hey Gordon, I know it's a long way off and nothing is finalised but to save me trailing through all the previous pages can you remind me of your provisional dates and proposed itinerary please? Cheers, Beezageezauk.


Sure thing Mr Ray.....as of today:

June 12 Fri - Flight from USA To Aberdeen Scotland
June 13 Sat - Arrive in Scotland - pick up rental car
June 14 Sun - Scotland
June 15 Mon - Scotland/England - Find Mike Muir
June 16 Tues - England - Visit Derbyshire
June 17 Wed - England - Find Allan Gill
June 18 Thurs - Drop off rental car - meet up with Shaun
June 19 Fri - Start of the Camp
June 20 Sat - Camp
June 21 Sun - Camp
June 22 Mon - ?
June 23 Tues - ?
June 24 Wed - ?
June 25 Thurs - Return to Kent
June 26 Fri - Flight back to NC, USA

The only date that is cast in stone is Kev's camp Friday, June 19, 2015.

Shaun my friend....I'm not worrying over anything...just having fun. You didn't miss anything in those posts I cleaned up. smile The problem with leaving stuff on my plate....I DON'T DO that...I was taught to clean my plate. So....I just never order anything I don't like.

Wade....PERFECT!!!!!!! I never thought of bringing something to eat.....stone ground grits to cook one morning at the camp...they should travel easily...THANKS :bigt

run....fish and chips seem right up my alley.....tripe sick nope

Mr moto....THAT'S FUNNY laughing I will be making a drive from Aberdeen up along the coast to Inverness and wold LOVE for somebody to reccomend a chips shop. Yes....if I can stomach Micky Ds AND like it....I pretty much can eat anything.

Lannis....I don't eat my steak rare...I do not like scrapple, livermush or chitlins....never though much of inards of any type. Milk....yea with cereal. BUT....I'm going to try the FULL ENGLISH....I owe it to myself.

Anglo...deep fried Mars bar....ahhhhhhhh A Scotish treat... laughing I tried one already at our Grandfather Mountain Highland Games...not all the bad. But keep in mind...I HAVE and WILL AGAIN eat at McDonalds and like it. laughing

I think that catches me up......Later fellows.....Gordon

Posted By: rick e.

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 4:58 pm

Quiz answer:

"Tins of baked beans are top of the list of produce from home UK holidaymakers smuggle in their suitcases when travelling abroad, according to a new survey.
More than 60 per cent of Brits admit to taking a taste of home away with them, with 76 per cent saying it’s because ‘equivalents abroad aren’t as good’."


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2572788/Baked-beans-list
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 6:52 pm

Originally Posted by rick e.
Quiz answer:

"Tins of baked beans are top of the list of produce from home UK holidaymakers smuggle in their suitcases when travelling abroad, according to a new survey.
More than 60 per cent of Brits admit to taking a taste of home away with them, with 76 per cent saying it’s because ‘equivalents abroad aren’t as good’."


I REALLY like baked beans, Wade mentioned "Heinz" and I'm doing a little research. Looks like some of our stores carry them and I'm going to pick some up and give them a try (I'm a Bush Beans man right now).

My dad....put Heinz 57 on EVERYTHING....we always had a bottle on the table when I was growing up. Oh and he still does the upside down fork thing where he stackes his food on the fork in layers...the wierd thing was he didn't want his food mixed together on the plate....but he'd stack them together on his fork. Us kids always thought it was a strange way to eat. smile

Take care......Gordon
Posted By: Steve Erickson

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 7:19 pm

Gordon, I don't think the Brit version is what we would call Baked Beans... more like Pork 'n Beans.
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 8:12 pm

Nowt wrong with the toast, you get the bread and you put it near heat and it toasts it. Simples!

If it's not good use thicker bread.
Posted By: RF Whatley

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/30/14 10:32 pm

I think you should try to make it to the Isle of Mann TT. Racing is every other day to leave room for rain delays. So there are rallies on the off days. You could see some great racing, and see 10 or more rallies too.

Don't know what the prices are like these days, but the place to start is by booking a room. Then you take the ferry from Liverpool. The ferry itself is like a floating museum. Hundreds of bikes.

:bigt

Posted By: AngloBike

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/31/14 5:22 am

when in Scotland make sure that you have a "Scotch" or Mutton pie.
I've spent pretty much all my life down south but any time family came to stay they had to bring proper pies.
Posted By: Don Leaming

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/31/14 7:32 am

Gordon lad. I've seen your picture and you look like a lad who will enjoy a "full English" to start the day! But ... Belay that Heinz or A1 sauce and get a bottle of HP Sauce to liven up your brekkie. It's got a picture of Parliament on the label so you'll know it when you see it.
When I was a kid I'd get a cuff on the ear from the old man if I cut up me food and forked it in with my right hand. He said I was "shoveling it in like a gd American", so I still cut a bite with the knife and fork it in with the left hand.
Glad to see you are really into this. The planning of a big adventure is part of the fun.
Cheers
Don
Originally Posted by Gordon Gray

My dad....put Heinz 57 on EVERYTHING....we always had a bottle on the table when I was growing up. Oh and he still does the upside down fork thing where he stackes his food on the fork in layers...the wierd thing was he didn't want his food mixed together on the plate....but he'd stack them together on his fork. Us kids always thought it was a strange way to eat. smile
Take care......Gordon
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/31/14 7:55 am

Originally Posted by Don Leaming
Gordon lad. I've seen your picture and you look like a lad who will enjoy a "full English" to start the day! <snip> Cheers Don


Don......GUILTY!!!!! I do like to eat smile

Woke up this morning hungry......waited until I got to work and turned on this computer so I could see my picture of a Full English......mmmmmmm looks pretty good.

I'm on the hunt for HP too......found the Beanz....that was pretty easy, still haven't tried them yet.

Planning is something I have always enjoyed.....I don't like surprises.

AngloBike....I grew up in a Scotish home.....I've been lucky enough to have tasted a lot of Scotish dishes. The only thing I didn't like...and still don't is Hagis. BUT....my step mother makes the BEST shortbread I've ever tasted!!!

Take care fellows.....Full English it'll be....mushrooms sick and all. I always clean my plate....and it SHOWS!!!! laughing


Gordon Gray in NC, USA
Posted By: Janet

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/31/14 8:07 am

Originally Posted by rick e.
Oh, and what is the most common food item British pack when going aboard?
Rennies.
Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/31/14 10:47 am

Gordon,

the black pudding is most like American scrapple since it's primary or base substance is corn meal. Taste wise, corn comes thru more than anything. I had black pudding three times- twice in England, where I tried it but wasn't keen on it, and one other time with Graham up in Scotland, in some little town in an out of the way location. And maybe I was simply starving- cuz it tasted great. Fried toast, I didn't love- then again, I don't normally eat or like "white bread"... The bacon is different there- more like thin ham- English folks call OUR bacon "streaky bacon". Sausages are different, too- commercially mass produced sausages will likely have a wheat element in their ingredients. Heinz beans is Heinz beans the world over. 'Maters and 'shrooms, pretty much the same as beans- no surprises there.
A real live Full English is one of the experiences you have cuz it's SO totally.... English.

Pretty sure I already said it, but in 2008, we ate most of our meals over the course of 18 some odd days in TRADITIONAL PUBS. Never had a bad meal. Each place sources the food they cook from local farms, and cook it fresh each day, if not to order. We ate wonderful local home cookin and drank awesome local ales all through England. It was amazing, in a country not typically heralded the world over, for their cuisine or food culture.

Of course there's regional or localized specialties like Yorkshire "pudding", Pasties, Jellied eels, queenies & kippers.....and on & on.

Now... Speaking in terms of English notions of "pudding" in general... It's all very confusing.
Both of the aforementioned puddings represent two totally uniquely different foodstuffs. Black pudding being a slice off an apparent tube/bologna shape thing, with regional or culturally localized variants (as pictured) , Yorkshire pudding being more like what we'd think of as a "pie" sort of structure- pie crust "bowl", meat & veggies and gravy inside, with a pie crust topper. BUT WAIT- pudding is also a dessert! And put your U.S. American notions of creamy chocolate "pudding" out of the picture.... An English dessert pudding (such as Spotted Dick- SERIOUSLY - good stuff tho) is more like what we'd call a cake -with, in the case of "spotted dick" -a sugary sauce on it.
So in the end, "pudding" in England, in its many forms, all seem to have a common theme if not common ingredients...? Some sort of meal or grain... Corn, wheat, dough... And baked or fried...?

Can anyone enlighten us here RE: pudding? Grandad? (As the scientist amongst us, maybe?) any English cultural experts, anthropologists, or food historians out there?

Bottom line, out in the country, eat your meals in the pubs. Seek out Traditional pubs, or pubs which advertises traditional or cask ales. Good home cooked food, every time. In MY experience.

In the wee villages that have a Traditional Pub, the pub is the social hub of the village. It's in these pubs where you get to the wonderful Heart of England. On Sunday there'll be families with kids, and even dogs, all afternoon, folks coming and going, hanging out, relaxing, and taking their good old time with life. Everybody knows each other, and they totally welcome strangers. You show up in one at such a time, and as someone said, you'll be the star of the moment, and the hit possibly of the entire year.

And since folks outside the U.S. tend to travel and get around- and also tend to know general geography etc more than we do, there's a chance you'll meet someone along your way who knows exactly where you live, or knows somebody from not too far away from your home. IF you meet THAT PERSON, they will,love talking to you, and you'll love talking to them. It's really so much fun; really heart warming, life affirming... all that- it bolsters faith in humankind... Etc.

You'd RARELY find any of that in a small town bar in Hicktown, USA. None of that squinty-eyed suspicion which clearly says,
"You ain't from around here are ya, boy?"


Posted By: ricochetrider

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 07/31/14 11:24 am

Oh and WHEN you pop into to a Pub for a meal... I say "when" cuz it's a gotta-do- DO NOT be put offa going to pubs for meals just cuz ya don't drink alcohol. It's the 21st century. Whatever you drink at home will be available in any pub in the UK- or a close variation of what you drink at home will be.

Don't sit in the corner and wait for a server to swing by to take care of your order...
Walk straight up to the bar, and get whatever it is you want to drink and if there's not a chalk board posted with the menu, ask for a menu. Choose what you want and tell the barmaid or bartender, THEN sit down. They don't have "servers" or waitresses, but once you do order someone will probably bring it out to you.
I had fresh trout once, and wild boar stroganoff another time. As I said already, country pub food is great. But ya gotta seek out the traditional pubs.
Posted By: wadeschields

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 08/01/14 8:33 pm

If your not having you beans with eggs Gordon have them on toast. That the other way you eat them. Beans on toast!
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 08/01/14 8:38 pm

Got it Wade.....thanks. Beans and toast HAS to be good!!!

The FIRST breakfast I'll have when I meet up with Shaun....I'll let him order and I PROMISE to eat it all. Black Pudding, Mushrooms and all. Photo's to follow.

Are you over there now Wade?????

Take care and thanks again for all the tips....hope to see you this fall at Mike G's OSMR.

See ya.......Gordon
Posted By: Kent Shaun

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 08/03/14 3:17 pm

Quote
the FIRST breakfast I'll have when I meet up with Shaun....I'll let him order and I PROMISE to eat it all.


WHAT..? ORDER breakfast.. shocked Why Gordon lad, I'll be COOKING ya breakfast, it'll set the standard for what ya get in a cafe/Pub, it can only get better from there lad.. laughing
Posted By: T140V-Rich

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 08/03/14 4:33 pm

Gordan my friend, Tom's on the ball again. And Wade. We looked at pubs as restaurants that served a pint with your meal. But you must go to the bar first, in most cases, to order a meal/pint. And I'm certain someone has mentioned it, but if you want cream in your morning coffee, you want "white" coffee. They will put it in for you. A simple "coffee" order without mentioning "white" will come to straight black. But it was fun learning!

Cheers mate!

Richard
Posted By: Gordon Gray

Re: Travel tips for an American visiting England - 08/05/14 7:20 pm

Thanks for the tips Richard :bigt I take my coffee black so that should be easy.

Shaun, you put it on a plate...I'll eat it. AND remember....I always clean my plate, my mother taught me that. smile

Later fellows.....OH....Bryan, I owe you a mail and will get one off soon....thank you for the help and hope to get to see you in YOUR part of the world. smile

Gordon in NC
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