To our dear friends from Perth (and other globetrotters),
Thank you for having us to stay! We had such fun exploring your streets, dipping in your pools, talking to your dogs and sizzling sausages.
Now isn't about time we returned your generosity?
In an effort to persuade you we've put together this little tour of the UK, a dream team itinerary, as a pledge of good hostmanship. We hope it'll wet your appetite.
(If you're here for a while check out the whole list, if you've only got a short stop check out the comments marked with an asterisk*.)
What to do in the UK...
Visit Scotland: In Edinburgh* theres the Jenners department store, the Castle (with the military tattoo), the Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art to fill your day. Of course you couldn't miss out Linlithgow*- home of your Scottish friends, which has its own beautiful Palace and Loch (see your first white swans!). If there at the right time don't miss the marches. Take a long drive and two ferries to isolation on Iona, theres a monastery surrounded by purple and turquoise sea (you can easily walk round the whole island in a few hours). See your first ever snow and ski on it in the Cairngorms. Kayak on a loch and spot some highland cows. Make sure you drink IRN BRU, eat tablet*, haggis, an Oliphant's pie and at least one insane thing deep-fried in Glasgow. Finish with a cultural turn up for the books in Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art.
Have a long weekend drifting around the countryside on a canal boat. And make sure you see at least one dramatic waterfall and one fast flowing river.
Go to London to see the Queen (and Corinne!*), go to the Tower of London to see the crown jewels (you can have a really quick visit for free if you go round as they lock up), see art in Trafalgar Square and the Serpentine gallery or swim in the Serpentine lake. Top up on art in the Saatchi Gallery, the V&A, the Tate galleries and eat lunch in the Turbine Hall*. Watch a show in the West End, Shakespeare at the Globe and sneak a peek at a celebrity on the red carpet at Leicester Square. Go to the Natural History Museum, the Imperial War Museum and see the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace. Glimpse grandeur in Westminster Cathedral and St Paul's, or watch MPs in The Houses of Parliament. You should probably check out the Liberty's building to compare it to Perth's imitation, London Court. While you're at Liberties you might as well go in for a spot of shopping, and while you're in the mood Oxford street* is a must see (Topshop for Bee and Moo). Get a Boris bike and crash London fashion week. But don't go in the Thames.
There are loads of special events to see too, depending on when you're in London, the Oxford/Cambridge boat race, The BBC Proms, Pride Marches, the State Opening of Parliament, Chinese New Year or the Trooping of the Colour to name but a few.... oh yeh, and there's the Olympics.
In London enjoy the Tube (its fun when you're not in a rush) then take the Megabus to another city for £1.
Stop a while in Birmingham: Go to the Bullring markets and a vintage fair at the Custard Factory. See a show at the REP or a film at the Electric Cinema (and text your waiter your order for olives from your sofa seating). Have a curry in the Balti Triangle* and experience a proper pub lunch. Meet the pre-raephelites in the BMAG, something more contemporary in the IKON or something less famous in one of the Digbeth galleries. Taste Cadbury's without the wax at its home in Bourneville and check out the canals. Meet our friends and picnic in Sutton Park.
In Wales you could stay in a bothy to experience the countryside up close and personal. Take a visit a Welsh revival chapel and some of our favourite beaches around Abersoch. Eat a Cadwaladers, do some wake boarding in the cold sea, warm up with a bonfire on the beach. Then see the heights of Snowdon on your way back to England.
The following deserve at least a mention: Brighton (ride a carousel at the end of the pier, its a family tradition of ours), Cornwall (the best clotted cream and amazing art in St Ives), the Lake District (has lots of lakes), the Cotswolds (have pretty cottages with yellow stone walls and thatched roofs), Bristol (is an environmentally aware city, with a hippy vibe and cool goings on) and Blackpool (for tacky souvenirs and the blackpool illuminations).
This completes our list of recommendations for a visit to the UK (this list is not conclusive).