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  1.    #1  
    A while back I was asking about vacationing in London (btw, thanks for the feedback!).

    Well, we didn't go. But, we are planning on going (for sure, this time) in September. We found a nice deal where you can go over there for a week and they give you a car rental and vouchers for lodging, so you can cruise all over the countryside.

    So, my questions for anyone that's been over there or lives over there are:

    1) How big is England? If we fly into London, would 5 days be enough to casually drive up to Scotland and back? If not, how many days would you recommend? For the record, we'll possibly have a one-year-old with us, too.

    2) Dumb question: In England, the stick-shifs and stearing wheels are on the opposite side of the car. Is the clutch and gas pedals in the same spot? I think I could handle the reversed stick without too much trouble, but if the pedals are all switched around...I dunno...

    3) Can you rent Smart-Cars in England, and, if so, are they at all practical for two adults, a baby, and some luggage? (my guess is 'no')

    4) Barring question 3, and if we have the option, what would people recommend I rent in England to drive around in? I'd like something I couldn't get here.

    5) Are there any MUST SEE little villages in the country side that are off the the beaten tourist path?
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  2. #2  
    I would think 5 days for scotland would be enough, depending on what you wanted to see.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  3.    #3  
    Woops. Let me re-phrase. Would 5 days be enough to drive from london casually up to and through scotland and back to London?

    I'm not sure exactly how big England is. I couldn't find any reliable maps online.

    As to what I want to see, basically, just the coutry side and the odd pub. I'm not much for tourist places. I like scenery, locals, food, museums, nature, and shopping for weird stuff.

    Also, while I'm at it, can anyone explain what Scotland is? Is it a 'state'? A 'territory'? A conquered land that yearning to be free ;o) ?

    And that goes for Northern Ireland too. The UK always confused me with those regions.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by homer
    1) How big is England? If we fly into London, would 5 days be enough to casually drive up to Scotland and back? If not, how many days would you recommend? For the record, we'll possibly have a one-year-old with us, too.
    You can cover the mileage between London and Edinburgh in c. 7 hours (400-ish Miles) if you feel the urge ( and have someone to share the driving with) so that would give you 3 days to play with. Remember there's stacks to see on route and Edinburgh is in the southern part of scotland, so it would take another half day (275-ish Miles) to get to John o'Groats in the far north.
    2) Dumb question: In England, the stick-shifs and stearing wheels are on the opposite side of the car. Is the clutch and gas pedals in the same spot? I think I could handle the reversed stick without too much trouble, but if the pedals are all switched around...I dunno....
    You'll be fine with the car, everythings where you'd expect to find it except the stick. It'll be driving on the wrong side of the road that'll throw you at roundabouts and crossing dual carriageways.
    3) Can you rent Smart-Cars in England, and, if so, are they at all practical for two adults, a baby, and some luggage? (my guess is 'no')
    Sure can, they used to be available from easycar but they've recent upgraded to the Mercedes A Class. Still check them out, they're good value for money.
    4) Barring question 3, and if we have the option, what would people recommend I rent in England to drive around in? I'd like something I couldn't get here.
    See above
    5) Are there any MUST SEE little villages in the country side that are off the the beaten tourist path?
    Loads, but should I share them on the board? I think not, bribes welcome though...
    Last edited by IanP; 04/17/2002 at 07:42 AM.
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by homer
    I'm not sure exactly how big England is. I couldn't find any reliable maps online.
    try www.streetmap.co.uk or www.multimap.co.uk they're usually fairly good. Alternatively try www.theaa.com
    Also, while I'm at it, can anyone explain what Scotland is? Is it a 'state'? A 'territory'? A conquered land that yearning to be free ;o) ?

    And that goes for Northern Ireland too. The UK always confused me with those regions.
    Woah, you wanna call an American a Canadian (or vice versa).

    England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all seperate countries. They are joined together as the United Kingdom following some rather dubious behaviour by our English ancestors - you've seen Braveheart right? Just remember that's the Hollywood version of events. As the UK they share a common flag (Union Jack), the monarchy and a central government.

    As individual countries all but England has it's own ruling body/government and are contain numerous counties (states if you like) e.g. Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Cumbria etc.

    To make matters even more confusing Great Britain consists only of the mainland countries (ie England, Scotland and Wales).

    BTW, if you asked the English what nationality they were, the most common response would be British. The vast majority of Scots, Welsh or Irish would only ever answer Scottish, Welsh or Irish

    If you saw the English waving a flag you'd see either the Jack or the St George. The Scots, Welsh or Irish would never admit to being seen waving the Jack.
    Last edited by IanP; 04/17/2002 at 07:44 AM.
  6.    #6  
    So, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are all countries with their own governments, but also with this 'other' government from Britian? Ah. OK, that clears things up a bit.

    So, what jurisdiction does the British government have vs. what the individual governments have?
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  7. #7  
    The UK Government is made up of MP's (members of parliament) from each local consituency in the UK (around 600+ I think). Those MP's from Scottish, Welsh and Irish consituencies also attend their national governments/parliaments. English MP's only attend the UK government.

    Each 'devolved' government is responsible for most of the issues of day-to-day concern of its people, including health, education, justice, rural affairs, and transport (full list), and manages their own annual budget.

    The UK goverment is responsible for these issues within the UK as well as Internation issues such as defence, security and wider economic issues (plus a whole host more I guess but it gets a bit hazing for me here!)

    So, thinking back to the Braveheart thing, this is where Scotland get's it's own back. A Scottish MP votes in the Scottish Parliament about scottish issues. He/she can also vote in the UK Parliament when the UK parliament is discussing English issues. However, the English MP can't vote on Scottish parliamentary issues
    Last edited by IanP; 04/17/2002 at 12:28 PM.
  8. #8  
    What are speed limits like?
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  9. #9  
    generally...
    * 30mph in residential areas
    * 40mph in built up areas
    * 60mph on the open road
    * 70mph on the motorways

    watch out for speed cameras
  10. #10  
    isn't it the metric system there? is "mph" meters (awful, awful slow then) or should it be kph? or did you adjust for us and I'm just being a loon?
    The light at the end of your tunnel has been disconnected due to non-payment. Please remit funds immediately for restoration of hope.
  11. #11  
    In case you hadn't gathered from the previous posts re politics, the UK is pretty screwed up place and we haven't even touched on the whole European thing.

    Officially we are metric, food must be sold in kg and grammes, petrol in litres, timber in cm and metres etc. Indeed shop owners and market traders have been taken to court for violated the european metrification laws by selling in pounds and ounces.

    However, road signs still show distances between towns in miles and cars still show mph (miles per hour) on their odometers.

    I also get a milk bottle delivered to my house each day with exactly a pint of milk in it. The bill I receive each month charges me by the litre.

    I recently bought a door for my house, the door frame is 30 inches wide - the label on the door said "30 Inch Fire Proof Flat Panel Door", but the dimensions read "76.23cm by xxcm". If it didn't have the dimensions in metric the diy store owner could also be taken to court.

    Free country? I think not!
  12.    #12  
    So...you have to use metric labels, but not adhere to metric measurements? Funny! Personally, I'm all for the metric system and in a lot of ways I respect Britain for passing laws such as that.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  13. #13  
    Sure, metric has it's benefits, I'd say the laws imposed by Europe have only harmed the small/local traders which is one of the things which makes Britain what it is.

    If you go to the Supermarkets everything is becoming more and more standardised in metric measures and labels. e.g. I can only buy half litres/litres/2 litre etc plastic containers of milk these days. The local diary provides my milk in glass bottles which I return and they recycle to make new pint sized bottles. They can't afford to scrap all their machinery just to serve it up in metric.

    It also gets a bit extreme when a market trader, who has clients prodominently from the elder generation and have always done their shopping at the market on Tuesdays, gets prosecuted for selling a pound of apples - something they've been doing since they fought in the war!

    I haven't begun to mention the legally allowed curvature of a banana have I?

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