England Off The Beaten Path Tips by sourbugger Top 5 Page for this destination
England Off The Beaten Path: 121 reviews and 252 photos
A 'bubble' car
I must admit I have not been to this museum myself because my wife would call me a sad git in search of an anorak.
On the other hand there is no denying that a museum dedicated to 'bubble' cars and other micro cars in somewhat unusual.
They have about 50 of them parked up in the village of Cranwell only a few miles from Sleaford, Lincolnshire. If that is your bag, then go.
I always remember the great tale Jasper Carrot used to tell about all those owners of bubble cars (the ones with the front opening door) who drove them into their garages and then starved to death inside because the couldn't open the door !
Lincolnshire. NG34 8EY
Phone: 01400 262637
Reinhard, the eccentric owner
From Sourbugger's Spalding (Lincolnshire) page :
I've never written a tip about a Garden Centre before, and I never will again.
Baytree Nurseries however, deserves a mention as the owner of the place has been sniffing too much of his own organic fertilizer - methinks.
Any place that greets you in the carpark with an ex-army amphibious landing vehicle, a beached lifeboat and an eight foot fiberglass Donald Duck can't be all bad.
Amongst the nurseries you will find plants galore (of course), an Aquatic centre (useful for keeping kids quiet) a pet centre, craft workshops, bookstores and just about anything else vaguely connected to the world of gardening, oh , and a collection of red telephone boxes standing around like a surreal Stonehenge.
At Christmas you will also find a very well done 'Winter wonderland' with real reindeer.
Baytree is also the setting for the Owl Sanctuary. It is one of the best small zoos I have ever seen.
At only a couple of quid to go in, it is also extremely good value for money.
As the name suggests it specialises in Owls, and there is a vast range of them to see here.
They also do a flying display in a long thin tent, with a row of chairs along each side. Be warned the show involves audience participation !
They also have a few other interesting animals to view including a troupe of Meercats (who I could happily watch all day) and a colony of leafcutter ants who are industriously trying to destroy the place.
Make sure your visit co-incides with a display time.
The Office in 'The Office'.
Have you been the hit comedy 'The Office', it is set in the wonderful oasis that is Slough...
The famous poem by Betjeman asked for "come friendly bombs to fall on Slough" (or is it sluff ?). This is all you need to know about this place.
There is also a line in the TV comedy "The Office" which says that Slough has two nightclubs, one of which is mentioned by Tim...
TIM: New York New York, 'the club that never sleeps.' Umm, that closes at one.
The BBC website is extremely funny on the topic of 'The Office' and features maps of the trading estate, roundabout and high street locations used in the hit series.
The acerbic comments are superb. I've taken what I consider the best ones.
The images and captions are from whoever wrote the website - I wonder if he /she might be VT member - they should be.
The BBC allows reproduction of the images for personal and non-commercial use, so unless you wish to hand me large pile of money in anonymous brown envelopes and promise not to show anyone else then take a gander on the travelogue section
The magic roundabout..who needs cathedrals ?
From Sourbugger's Swindon page :
The local tourist board know that they are onto something of a loser when you realise that the most interesting thing in this sizeable town is a traffic intersection.
It now has the official title of 'The magic roundabout' which was for many years, in a show of native wit, it's nickname - named after the children's TV show.
It consists, in essence, of five mini-roundabouts set within one full size one. It actually works remarkably well.
I do think however that it could be vastly improved upon by adding a character statue from the series on each of the mini-roundabouts. Dougal, Florence, Zebedee, Mr Rusty and Ermintrude would then really make it a tourist hot-spot the Tourist board could be proud of
William Marwood...not a nice chap
From Sourbugger's Horncastle (Lincolnshire) page
If Ma killed Pa, who'd kill Pa ? .... Mar-wood. It takes a bit of thinking about that rhyme, but it refers to Horncastle's most famous celebrity - William Marwood.
He lived most of his life uneventfully as a cobbler in Horncastle even if he did have some strange interests. His small shop, now a private residence has a blue plaque on it and stands in foundary lane opposite the church.
In his fities, he pursuaded the governor of Lincoln prison to let him perform a hanging using his newly devised 'long drop' method, which was more humane. Instead of strangulating them as before - and thus all seeing the 'dancing man' in the gallows, the longer drop meant that unconsciousness was instantaneous, death following after a couple of minutes.
He was soon in demand, travelling all over Britain and Ireland as the official executioner. He was so proud that he had cards printed and showed off his equipment and momentos at country fairs.
A throughly unpleasant and nasty little man.
Matt Lucas plays Daffyd
The tiny Welsh village of Llanddewi Brefi (it exists on VT, but no tips yet) shot to fame in 2004, when it featured in the hit BBC sketch show 'Little Britan'.
Matt Lucas portays an outrageously dressed homosexual, Daffyd, who is shocked to find anything gay or lesbian around apart from his good self - hence the catchphrase - 'Nooo, I am he only gay in the village'.
The joke is of course that the remote Welsh village would be seen as parochial and conservative when in the series it is portrayed as having a wild gay scene (much to the disgust of Daffyd), with an impossibly camp verger of the local church and his live-in lover : the Vicar.
Rather oddly, in Jan 2005, it was reported by the Times that the place in real life has a nearby lesbian commune and was also the location of one of the biggest LSD raids in the UK!
There are about 40 stations in total that have been 'abandoned' over the years.
Many closed due lines being amalgamated from rival lines (which is why there is no longer a British Museum stop), or due to lack of use (e.g York Road) or due to the cost of refurbishment (e.g Aldwych).
As a tourist, this is of little concern but you may spot the 'ghost' station at the British Museum, (Central line when travelling from Tot. Court Road to Holborn on the right hand side) or see buildings that used to be tube stops - such as the 'Strand' station at Aldwych.
There are also some quite complex theories about 'missing stations' such as may lurk underneath Buckingham Place, the BBC or the MI6 headquarters.
The one used in the Bond Film 'Die another day', when Bond gets his invisible Aston Martin is in fact just a studio mock up, but plenty of other films have spent time in the disused Aldwych Branch line, which also appears in Lara Croft's Tomb Raider
(but being useless at computer games I would need a spotty teenager to help to get me to the correct level)
The Sikh community in Peterborough has taken over the old nightclub on Boongate as it's new Gurdwara.
It is somewhat ironic that a club (trust me I know) where all sorts of immoral happenings went on is now a spiritually calming place of worship where drink, drugs and tobacco are banned.
The mirrors over the walls remain, and the basic layout where the dancefloor and DJ sets were still remain. It has however been transformed into a very peaceful & soothing place of worship where the Holy book (the Guru Granth sahib) can be read.
The Sikhs are a wonderfully hospitable people and from Friday to Sunday they will virtually force you to have a meal in the communal Langar (dining area). The veg. thali that was served was one of the best Indian meals I have ever had.
Feel free to ring up, or just turn up - you will find it a very fulfilling experience.
The address is :
Singh Sabha Gurdwara
The general points apply here to amy Sikh community in England. Any medium sized city will have a community.
Multiple fen villages collecting society
From Sourbugger's Gedney page :
Many people will have heard of Munroe bagging - the practice of trying to climb all the mountains in Scotland.
The Fenland (a large flat area of Eastern England in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire) equilvalent is truly eccentric - you have to visit nearly 200 villages and settlements to gain a variety of rewards, leading to the "Full Fenland".
You can gain partial awards as there is a seriously complicated (and logically unfathomable) system of points for each of the settlement groups in the fens.
It could all be covered by car, but I think the spirit of the eccentricity is to do it on foot or at least on on a push bike.
This weird world of eccentricity can be uncovered by putting mfvcs into google. This stands for the Multiple Fen Village Collecting Society.
It's a wide weird world (W.W.W) out there, and this is one of the strangest bits!
Best view of Southend
From Sourbugger's Southend-on-Sea page :
The one thing that the world knows about Southend-on-Sea is it's pier.
It sticks out into the Thames estuary for well over a mile. If you don't want to walk it then the pier railway will happily take you one way, or indeed both.
The boast about it being the world's longest pleasure pier is in fact a little misleading as one of the main reasons for it's construction to one and a quarter miles was to allow people to join steamers at it's end, free from problems associated with tides.
In any event it provides a good brisk walk, with the added advantage that Southend looks smaller!
Most people take the train, that runs down the length of the pier.
In addition don't miss the small museum tucked away underneath the entrance area.
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