Beginners guide to the U.K.

Discussion in 'General' started by GA Buckeye, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. GA Buckeye

    GA Buckeye Member

    It looks like I’m going to the U.K. In a couple weeks on a quick biz trip. Fly into London on Sunday and then taking the train to Birmingham for meetings on Monday/Tuesday. I’m thinking about taking the rest of the week, renting a car and trying to see as much as I can. Any tips / can’t miss locations?
  2. YamahaRick

    YamahaRick Yamaha Two Stroke Czar

    After your meetings are over, take a train back to London. DO NOT rent a car! Totally not needed.

    First thing to do when you arrive is to get an Oyster card. This is the card you use to pay for buses, trains, etc.

    Heck, somewhere here at home I have a new one with value already loaded; PM me if you are interested in buying it. It did not arrive prior to my departure, so I had to buy a second one when I got there.

    Also if interested, I'll look up the name of a hotel I used that is near King's Cross train station. Very low cost, breakfast included. But the rooms are small. Breakfast was good, however.

    Here it is -


    Even if you has a month of free time, you cannot see everything in London. Lots and lots of cool stuff/museums. I was there five days, and barely scratched the surface.

    Be careful which airport you fly into. I know one is a PITA to get to from London.

    Be sure to get on a bus and just ride somewhere. Good way just to see things. Mine happened to pass a bike shop with vintage Yamaha two strokes. I ended up chatting with the owner for 30 minutes. We even had friends in common.



    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
    britx303 and BigBird like this.
  3. lee955i

    lee955i The Traveling Gnome

    Yep, London is easy to kill a few days in. Last time I went' I stayed here . Great location. Across the street from a tube station and an entrance to Hyde Park. The tubes and trains are super simple to use. Ditto on the oyster pass. Next time I hit the UK, though, I'm hopping a train and heading to Duxford.
  4. GA Buckeye

    GA Buckeye Member

    Thanks for the input and recommendations, I appreciate it.
  5. In Your Corner

    In Your Corner Dungeonesque Crab

  6. Resident Plarp

    Resident Plarp Just here for the memes, lulz

    Bad food, worse weather, Mary Fuckin’ Poppins? London!

    Customs agent:
    “Do you have anything to declare?”

    Cousin Avi:
    “Yeah, don’t go to England!”

    Have a nice trip.
    Sabre699, Phl218 and daviid like this.
  7. SPL170db

    SPL170db Trackday winner

    If you find yourself in Oxford, don't walk on the sidewalks too close to the curb.
  8. britx303

    britx303 Plagued with FZRs...........

    Agreed......rental car not needed. Also remember.......first look to the right before crossing the roads!!! Sounds like silly advice til you go take a walk around town.
    Funkm05 likes this.
  9. Blue Junk

    Blue Junk Well-Known Member

  10. speedkelly

    speedkelly Well-Known Member

    Some great recommendations above. I'm a ex-pat Brit originally from London.

    1/ Birmingham National Motorcycle museum
    2/ NEC Live Motorcycle show is on Nov 17th-25th, it's a huge show if you are there to catch it.
    3/ London, my town. Awesome, endless shit to do. What do you like? Good thing is that unlike France, we Brits like yanks, so pretty much any pub or bar you end up in on the whole poeple will be very friendly. Although we do have a lot liberals so maybe not best to be a pro-trump supporter. Although to be honest politics in the UK is even more fucked than here in the USA, just mention Brexit if you need to change the subject.

    Food? depends on your wallet. We have wonderful amazing restaurants. Movies you should watch before going to the UK, Lock Stock & two smoking barrels. Snatch (Brad Pitt plays the best Gypsy ever). And for an American version on London, Woody Harelson Lost in London is also a good watch.
    All the sterotypes in Snatch & Lock stock are for real! Just watch out for Eastern european pickpockets and scooter phone robbers in London.

    Have fun, let me know if there are specific places of interest you want the down low on. I'm off to Olde BLighty in the middle of November for work also, not exactly the best time weather wise to visit the UK. Car hire is not needed, plus we have Uber just like over here. The dollar is strong right now against the British pound so should not be too painful on your wallet.
    Phl218 and Razr like this.
  11. Smilodon

    Smilodon Wannabe

    Was fortunate enough to take a different UK motorcycle tour on each of my Isle of Man trips.

    The London advice is sound, but it is much like "just fly into New York City and stay there" US advice. There are tons of things to do in a big city, and I enjoyed my day or two a trip London stuff (usually rented my bike in London). I never even got to see the things in the top 10% of the list of things to see/do.

    That said, it is a lot different than any other place I've been to in the UK. Different people, different prices, different food, etc. Like in the US, I enjoyed the small towns and backroads. Distances were short (great for a bike), and every town had something interesting to see or do.

    The "bad food" moniker is a little out of date in my opinion. One thing to remember is that "good cheap food (out)" is more of a thing in the US than elsewhere (and fading rapidly over here for that matter). When you try to get stuff at normal fast-food prices over there it is almost universally bad. But, if you accept that food out is more expensive, food quality has become a big thing over there and we had great food for the most part every trip.
  12. ChemGuy

    ChemGuy Harden The F%@# Up!

    Basic info
    The following things don't mean what you think they mean, fag, chips, bangers, tube, spotted dick, 1st floor and football.

  13. motoboy

    motoboy Well-Known Member

    Slide down to New Milton on the south coast and check out Sammy Miller's motorcycle museum. The bikes are pretty Anglo-centric, but super cool. While there you are near the New Forest, Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral and a tonne of other good stuff.

    Just don't offer to carry a bag for Paul Bird...
  14. Robin172

    Robin172 Well-Known Member

    Wear gloves.
  15. cha0s#242

    cha0s#242 YUL - YYZ - YKG - CNX - BRAAAP !

    Or "bird".
  16. rwdfun


    Just got back last Saturday from spending a week there. Took the train back into London on a free day. Trust me you can see all the sights in one day if needed. You can't stop for more than one pic but it can be done. My tracker said 32,000 steps and 15.5 miles.

    We did tour the Churchill war rooms. Decent stop if you like war history
  17. Robin172

    Robin172 Well-Known Member

    Be aware that daylight saving time ends in the UK the last week of October, it gets light later and gets dark earlier than in the US so in effect the days are shorter.
  18. rwdfun


    Yep it's like a light switch. During daylights savings the days instantly get an hour shorter so we can move that extra time to the Spring :Poke:

    He meant to say gets light earlier and dark earlier. The main issue is that they go from being 5 hours ahead of Eastern time to 4 hours ahead but only for a few weeks. Then it's back to 5 hours
  19. Robin172

    Robin172 Well-Known Member

    Nope, doesn't get light earlier, well it does for a week or so but then it's not light until later in the morning. The UK is on about the same latitude as Newfoundland.
  20. motoboy

    motoboy Well-Known Member

    Or "fanny."

    Also, if you have a car and approach it in the "car park" and realize you are at the wrong door, act cool, open the door, take off your coat and put it in the seat. Then go around to the driver's side. It will at least fool the other holiday-makers.

    And don't drink & drive. They are serious about that shit over there.

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