YOU COULD BE IN TROUBLE IF YOU TAKE PICTURES
YOU ARE A TERRORIST.Oops! I meant ‘You are a Tourist'! See how easy that mistake was to make. Well the Metropolitan Police in their infinite wisdom have decided that you may want to report ‘Odd picture tacking’. Let’s see. You see someone taking pictures of their food, bus stops, train stations and major landmarks. It’s a Virtual Tourist Member working on their tips! Or is it? Consider yourself a suspect.
I have included 2 pictures that I have been warned verbally about.
Picture 1) The Police Poster and telephone number
Picture 2) People making Sushi. A policeman made me show him my pictures and warned me not to do in anymore. This is a Sushi place inside Victoria Station in London
Picture 3) A poster in a HSBC bank in London. An employee came running out and said I could not take this photo. The poster says ‘Welcome to the UK’. Hardly.
I am all for vigilance and security. I am against stupidity. See what you think.
BBC NEWS STORY
Unique Suggestions: Carry your new VT cards and practice this phrase: “I know my rights and I want to telephone my Mum”.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
- Study Abroad
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.
I feel a little bad classing this very well presented and locally run place a 'tourist trap' and it only falls into this section of my VT pages on the UK because of how much it costs. The staff here are really dedicated and friendly people and they obviously have a lot of passion for presenting the heritage of this area. It's just a shame that the combined entrance and car parking costs sting like a 15th century arrow's glancing blow!
The heritage centre presents a museum with some interactive displays about the last great battle in the Wars of the Roses, when Henry Tudor beat Richard III and the usurper was usurped. At £7.50 PLUS £2.50 car parking, the total cost of £10 seemed a bit steep for a small rural museum that wasn't actually on the battlefield, or even next to it (it's 3 miles away to the SE).
Much of the information the museum presents can be found in books and on the web. The heritage walk around some fields lacks any real feel of significance, but I did like the sundial at the top of the hill and the way it had been fashioned into a memorial to all those who died on both sides of the battle that happened some way off in the distance. I wouldn't rave about this place, but I am glad I stopped here to deal with the romantic notion of the curiosity of what would Bosworth field look and feel like today? The answer is "ho-hum" and "ouchy expenisve"!
Unique Suggestions: At least walk up to the sundial and try to spot the actual battlefield in the distance on private land.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
THE END OF THE UK SCAM
John O’Groats is the theoretical end of the road in the UK. It is 874 miles from here to Land’s End. Its actually the next location over that is really the end of the road, but John O’Groats has been set up as a touristy and imaginary end. It is a well-known route for charity sponsorship.
So just imagine. You have lost a loved one to cancer or some disease. You get sponsorship and take your friends to raise money to help prevent other families from suffering. You bike/hike/motorbike/run the full 874 miles.
And there it is!
The signpost at the end of your noble journey.
And it’s roped off. And some guy tells you that if you want a picture of you and fellow campaigners anywhere near the signpost – YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT.
Yes, the signpost (according to the smaller sign) became a concept in the 1950’s. And – according again to the small notice- it’s a private business set-up because the signpost was stolen and/or vandalised so many times. Fair enough. And that they take the signpost home at night. Fair enough. But then I do have a problem.
This could have been run by the local Council (local government),. They run the next door public toilets you have to pay for. They even have staff. Yes, the local government could have run this for the benefit of the local taxpayers and done this in a sensitive manner and had a big sign before the signpost explaining there is a charge, but its there to keep the area nice. People could accept that.
What people don’t like is when they see no one around and walk over the little chain and some guy comes running from behind them (out of a nearby building) to shout that it’s private – and to read the small piece of paper stapled at the bottom of the signpost!
Just a poor show all around. Especially when so many thousands of people each year make the journey for charity.
You think they could handle this a lot better. Sorry – a lot better.
If you wish to explain your displeasure with this outfit - based 800 miles away! - their detials are:
Courtwood Photographic Ltd
Unit 2, Plot 1a, Rospeath Ind. Estate.
Crowlas, Cornwall TR20 8DU England
Tel: (+44) 1736 741 222
For the record: It took me 13 years to get from Lands End (1997) to John O'Groats (2010)
To be fair they do the photos professionally and within minutes,. They also add destinations for you so you can have your hometown, etc. on the signpost. They also put the date on the signpost.
Do like I did and wait till the man goes in to process someone else's photos and snap away next to the signpost anyway! It is NOT a criminal matter. And there are no Police here anyway. Hopefully you have a large group. Also the Café has free toilets so avoid the pay ones as well. At least that is locally owned.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Road Trip
Two courses meal for the price of one
There was a beautiful young lady outside a restaurant in China town who told us (wife, i and our 2 kids) that we can have two course for the price of 7.99 pounds. she explained that each one of us could choose either a starter meal plus main course or main course and a desert. I knew that there was something fishy about it, so i asked how much do we have to pay for four of us if we order BBQ ribs as a starter and fish & chips for the main course, and after some time of finger calculations she answered " about 16 pounds sir". We cheered up and went down the stairs to the lounge which was quite small about 6sqm with three square tables and chairs. So we placed our order and notice that there were three Italian ladies arguing with the owner about payment. After we had our ribs we heard one lady was saying that they would only 20 pounds and not 40 pound which was the amount requested from them.
After finishing our main course along with four soft drinks, we were asked to pay the amount of 47 pounds. Then we realized the trick and paid 50 pounds and left right away.
Unique Suggestions: Don't listen to nobody, just go for proper restaurant and ask for the menu.
Fun Alternatives: if you were asked what kind of a sauce you would prefer, then ask for it's cost first.Related to:
- Family Travel
GETTING TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Need a telephone number in Britain? That’s going to cost you! A few years ago the Directory Enquiries number ‘192’ was privatised and now there are over 100 options. Some will cost you more than £1 for a phone number! I recommend not using 118 118. They do the most marketing, but they certainly are not cheap. They charge you 49p for answering the phone and 9 pence a minute to actually talk to you.
Unique Suggestions: Try 118 848. They charge a flat 27 pence and will give you 3 numbers.
Look here to compare tariffs:
UPDATE: TRY 0800 100 100. It's free after you listen to advertising!
pit stop, arrochar, scotland
when people refer to scots as mean, this place is what they refer to.
The proprietors will not not accept a credit card for an amount less than 10 pounds
If your bill amounts to less than that you must either buy something else to round off the amount or go somewheres else.
I had with me two elderly, slightly dehydrated ladies who needed sustenance but whose bill was only £3.00.
I then had to spend a further 7 pounds in order for my credit card to be accepted.
ten pounds for two cups of teas and one coffee?
plus they charge 50 pence for processing your card,?----------- Drive on
Want to drive here? Will, it’s going to be expensive. Let’s just start with the fact that fuel can be as much as $8.60 a gallon (US). That’s enough to put you off drive thrus at MacDonald’s for life right there. It gets much worse. Then there’s traffic. Roads designed for 200,000 people with horses are now 55 million with vehicles. Then you try and park. Wrong place – wrong time - $60-$200! I once got a ticket at 9:58 pm! 2 minutes to freedom! So what’s wrong? The Parking Attendants get paid by private companies for PRODUCTIVITY. That means they get paid for inflicting more misery on you. The worse you holiday here – the bigger their bonus and pension fund. The Spanish Inquisition never had productivity payments. Oh, and the attendants hide and wait. Try and talk to them and they become deaf, blind, stupid and start grunting. Hell, I would too if you paid me to ruin your day. This isn’t the law – it’s blood sport.
Unique Suggestions: Most towns will let you pay the fine today by telephone with a credit card. You only pay $30-100 you lucky bastard. Then dispute the charges when you get home.
Fun Alternatives: Public transport is much cheaper. Alternatively let someone else drive and run away and catch a bus if they get fined.Related to:
- Bungy Jumping
- Hang Gliding
- Theme Park Trips
GROSS STUPIDITY – GATWICK AIRPORT
“You are not welcome here Johnny Foreigner”! Well, they might as well put up a sign in the baggage claim area at Gatwick. I just recently returned to Gatwick from outside the EU and went to go use one of the free baggage trolleys for the bags in the baggage claim area. Problem is, they are not quite free anymore. In fact, it’s worse than that. You have to have a British One Pound Coin to free the chained trolleys. What do you mean you don’t have British One Pound coins in your pocket you Tourist from abroad? Oh well, you can use a 1 Euro Coin or a 25 Cent US Coin. Rest of the world – tough. Of course there is NO way to get said coins in this secure area. So you are stuffed. Welcome to Britain, go get some coins. Of course you cannot return to this area once you leave!
What genius thought this was a good idea? Did this person or person work on Heathrow Terminal 5 as well?
Well, if you do have a one pound coin, you can return the trolley somewhere and get your pound back. I have this feeling that it is not even remotely near your car.
Fun Alternatives: Get baggage that rolls easily and practice pulling it for huge distances to toughen up your muscles. It’s a good idea in general. Alternatively get someone who lives in the UK to send you a coin. Do not ask me for one either any freeloaders out there. I bet you didn’t even rate this tip yet.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Business Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
TIPPING IN RESTAURANTS
We don’t tip in Britain. Get over it. There is a reason there is no place to leave a ‘gratuity’ on credit card bills or your server tells you not to bother. In the UK service workers are paid full wages unlike restaurant waiters in North America. I should know; I was a waiter! Tipping can be severely counterproductive here. Also, if you do tip, especially by card, the tip is kept by the owners! The staff will never see that. There are also a lot of establishments that put a 10% ‘Service’ charge on already. So you could end up ‘tipping’ the owners twice! Do not do it.
Unique Suggestions: If you really feel the need, slip 5-10% in cash. By the way, don’t expect good or fast service. Welcome to queuing.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
BritRail pass is a.. ripp-off!
Britrail pass is a popular means to discover UK. It is pretty expensive (22 days for $707.00, 15 days $559) and has only limited number of days. There is a version for Europeans only called Interrail One Country Pass. It's cheaper than Britrail (299 Euro) but is valid for 8 days only. If I see railway tariff prices ending with "9" or even worse, ending with "99" I suspect a ripp-off. The "honest" railway tariff is never that "clever", the distances between the cities were set up by Celts, Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normanns... and they had no MBA degree :-)
Indeed, the unrestricted round-trip tickets issued by "honest", traditional CIV/TCV tariff beat these prices. These tickets are valid for 2 months, no day limitations, no limitations how many times one would make a stopover in a desired city. They can be bought anywhere, even in Ireland - but outside of UK.
Unique Suggestions: Do not use the pass - invalidate it before you begin. In most cases the invalidated passes can be returned with 15% penalty. Still worth to consider...
Fun Alternatives: - Study the railway map of UK - a free and good quality map can be downloaded here:
- Decide what cities you would like to visit
- Learn how to use the international ticket calculator www.jizdenka.cz or ask VT-ers advice
- Print out the ticket, take it to any good international ticket counter in continental Europe or Ireland, buy your CIV/TCV international ticket(s).Related to:
- Budget Travel
The British Airways London Eye
The British Airways London Eye is one of the most popular attractions in London. However, I think it is an ugly and tacky eyesore intruding upon the classic skyline of London. And because of its popularity (it accommodates about 15,000 people per day), a trip to the top involves a long wait in a large crowd.
The British Airways London Eye was designed by David Marks and Julia Barfield. It took over six years to complete, and was finished in 1999. The wheel rises to a height of 443 feet (135 meters), making it the tallest observation wheel in the world, twice the height of the famous Prater Wheel in Vienna, and 98 feet (30 meters) higher than the previous record-holder in Yokohama, Japan.
Unique Suggestions: Despite my misgivings about the wheel, it does offer spectacular 360-degree views over central London, and on a clear day visitors can see over 25 miles (40 kilometers) in each direction from one of the 32 capsules that can hold 25 people each.
The Roman Baths at Bath
First, don't stay in a hotel if you own a tent and sleeping bag. Just n.e of town is a great camping ground with a bus that runs very often nearby. Second. Go upstairs in the bath house and take your photos from there. You can see the baths and not pay the robbers10-12 bucks a head depending on age. Third, save paying your cathedral money for this town. Now put the money into your pocket because Bath Cathedral doesn't charge anything. It really is a non-tourist trap CHURCH of all things and ideas. consider it. a british church that doesn't charge money to come in.
Extortionate entry fees to most places
Having made several trips to my second favorite country (U.S. is first) I was a bit disturbed my last trip to find that it would now cost me nearly $40.00 for three people to visit St. Paul's Cathedral --3 x 11 pounds. That was the first day. By the time we had spent the first 8 hours in London, we had spent, not counting the British Heritage Pass, nearly 200 dollars just to see a few places. Throughout the next 16 days we decided to go to only places that were: free; allowed discount BHP; or could be taken in by just looking. Canterbury Cathedral--$5. Bath $11. Arden's home $8. Shakespeare's $12. Warwick Castle $25. Save your money. Visit, see the outsides, buy postcards. For those who buy the British Heritage Pass believing it will save them a lot, dream on. It is only valid at National holdings and has no value at all at private ones. You do get a 50% discount (only) at London tower. Most of what you see can be done by just looking at the outside. Visit one Cathedral. The rest are all just about the same inside. Visit one good museum. Don't waste money on the Imperial War Museum. The London Dungeon is the biggest hoax and tourist ripoff since the Piltdown Man. Save your money.
Unique Suggestions: buy postcards
Fun Alternatives: visit the lessor known places like where Captain Bligh is buried donation would be nice.(across one of the bridges on the way to the Imperial war Museum.) Take a walk through one of the saturday flea markets, vist the house of records where the dome's day book is kept. $2.00.
Dynamic earth in Edinburgh
This museum shows the creation of earth , animals , ice , lava.
I thought it will be much more interesting - spend your money and time on something else...very boring
Unique Suggestions: Try to stay away from the animals and dont get eaten like me ;-)
Fun Alternatives: Walk in the royal mile and enjoy your trip
Loch Ness museum
To my opinion this place is a big tourist trap.
The movies is a little bit boring and we left in the middle of the movies to enjoy the lake.
Unique Suggestions: Buy a nessie doll
Fun Alternatives: Leave the museum and go to see the lake
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