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Monday, July 17, 2006
My British Network

...which I think consists of two people.

About 2 or 3 weeks ago I purchased plane tickets. I fly into Manchester on November 10th and leave from there on the 17th. In between there falls the momentous occasion of my 30th birthday.

So with the way everything worked out, it looks like this is going to be a solo trip. I'd like to kind of do a literary journey and visit the Bronte house, Jane Austen's house (does this exist?), etc. But I'm entirely open to ideas. I've got 10 days to kill and I need help.

I need cheap places to stay and cheap/free/ or pricey but extremely interesting places to visit. They don't need to be in the Manchester area.

Suggestions please...Pash, Coffee Lover, I'm a talkin' to YOU specifically and anyone else who has any good ideas. I know my bloggers won't let me down.
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
  • At 10:53 AM, Blogger Sally said…

    Gosh, I'd go with you and share the cost of rooms if I could afford to go/had someone to watch the kid while hubby worked. I hope you plan a fun itinerary and make it memorable for yourself!

  • At 11:34 AM, Blogger Becky said…

    Oooohh...I'm half-tempted to see if I can join you:) I'm pretty sure Austen's house is still around, as well as the many that have been featured in the film adaptations. Where is Manchester in relation to London?

  • At 12:34 PM, Blogger bella said…

    That sounds so cool and I can't wait to hear of all the place you will go :)

  • At 6:20 AM, Blogger Marie said…

    I vote for the British Bibrary. It's free, and it has lots of interesting literary things on display in the gallery. For example, the original Jane Austen's History of England, complete with her sister's drawings. It's open to the page about Mary Queen of Scots

  • At 8:20 AM, Blogger Pashmina said…

    Oops, I know this is rather late. Sorry! Here goes, though:

    Jane Austen's house is in Chawton in Hampshire and though I've never got round to going myself (despite having to drive past it several times a year), I have it on good authority that it's well worth a visit. It is, however, a bit of a trek from Manchester.

    SO, I'd suggest either checking out the trains ( or borrowing/hiring a car and combining Chawton with a trip to Bath, where there's a JA museum and which is a gorgeous city in its own right. You could do this with just one night away, in Bath itself for preference.

    A word of warning: long-distance rail travel in the UK can be expensive (don't forget long distance here is a commute for you guys in the States), so if you can get organised it's well worth booking train tickets, if that's how you decide to get around, at least six weeks in advance to get the best fares. It's possible but fiddly - email me if you want help.

    There are loads of brilliant places to go in the north, within hitting distance of Manchester, but I'm a confirmed southerner and thus no expert. Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is stunning (and supposedly the model for Pemberley... not the reason for my suggesting it, honest!) and within easy reach.

    For culture, there is Liverpool with its branch of the Tate Gallery; York - a lovely town with a justifiably famous cathedral - which you could combine with a Bronte trip to Haworth; Oxford (loads of literary connections there - just don't read Jude the Obscure before you go)...

    For a Manchester literary experience, read one of my all-time favourite books, North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell, which is set in a fictionalised version of Manchester and will tell you a lot about its industrial past.

    General tips - book whatever you can, as far ahead as possible, to get the best deals. You should be good in November as it's by no means peak season and you may well pick up some special offers. A word of warning, though, the weather here at that time of year tends to be diabolical. Bring a good coat, boots, and plenty of jumpers (or sweaters as I believe they're known in The Colonies ;))

    If all else fails, or if you want to ask anything, drop me a mail.

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