Projects - Must See Places
A project for you - imagine that someone was visiting you from another country and had a couple of weeks to discover Britain, what would you put on the list of places that you felt they must see.
I have created a listing of places I would most like to photograph in the UK, it started off as a project to list the top 100 places I would like to photograph, and of course I keep discovering places that I just need to add and its currently over 200 places long, although along the way I have taken off many places that I have already now photographed.
We are lucky, we live in a country with so much to visit, see, photograph and enjoy. So many people who have seen some of my photographs are surprised to see just the variety and size of some of our attractions varying from abbeys and castles to waterfalls.
This project is not about creating a mammoth list of your own at this point, but about creating a short list of the cream of items, places, and experiences that you feel a visitor to the UK could best enjoy in 2 weeks.
While I appreciate there are many who would list the shops to go shopping in, the night clubs to get intoxicated in or the red light districts to explore, here I suggest we are looking at attractions, heritage, nature or natural items.
So what would your itinerary look like, what would you include with so many to choose from?
The logic behind this is to then go one stage further and ask, have you seen all of these yourself, and why are you depriving yourself of an experience that you feel would be the best for someone visiting to get.
Of the 14 days you have selected items for its likely you have visited around half the places on the list or perhaps as they are the best places in your view a little over half.
If you end up with 6 days worth you have not visited, then that could be put right by just taking two days over a three week period visiting these places.
The natural extension to this is to list the next group of places you would most like to explore, discover, enjoy and photograph.
The Itinerary For A Real Visiting Guest
If you are doing this with a real visiting guest the start point would be to find out from them what it is that they find most interesting and also to find out how much they like to walk and other limits on what they can do. If you are to accompany them you also have to look at what you are capable of doing now.
If you can, you want to include a variety, not too much of one thing or another, although giving them perhaps a little more of anything they are particularly keen to see.
If you can, plan the trip with a plan that allows them to move smoothly from one place to the next. We have a slight problem in much of Britain in that a lot of tourist attractions don't open until 10am, and most are shut by 5pm. This does however mean that I can get from my home in Cheltenham to the majority of England and Wales without needing to stay away. Even coming from home often I prefer to start early and visit first some of the heritage items that are open all the time. When staying away planning the itinerary so as to get to see something before tourist places open is more important. However if your guests want to get up late have a leisurely breakfast and not start until mid morning then just cut the programme by a third. In the summer months you can plan to visit some of the 'always open sites' after others have closed.
If I am taking someone around I usually have one or two reserve places researched, so if I find there is time, I can squeeze them in. Where there is a longer journey, where I can, I plan to stop for a short break at some point along the journey, not necessarily a major attraction, it might be something small, perhaps a windmill, waterfall or to see a castle ruin, just enough to stretch the legs and make the journey more enjoyable.
You also have to remember to plan to eat, either stopping at a restaurant or pub, this takes time, or taking food with you. If you are using motels plan to book in early, so plan your trip so as to get to the area of the motel, allowing you to book in then go and see more items. This is necessary because some operate on the same concept as airlines, overbooking on the basis that often not everyone will show up. The last man in may find no bed, and then have to make a quite late rush around to find something at the last minute, which can be expensive.