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  1.  (9873.21)
    Also: We are considering for our trip to Dorchester renting a car and driving instead of taking the train, in large part because we feel we need to rent a car anyway to see all the country locales that my insanely Hardy-obsessed wife demands we see in the area. We found that we can rent a car for the same price as one round-trip EuroRail ticket, so we thought it might be more expensive. Renting from Heathrow using Alamo, Budget, or Thrifty, the daily price for a car is about 61 US dollars, approx. 40 pounds. Any thoughts on this? What are current petrol prices?
  2.  (9873.22)
    But also, the car rental in Dorset itself is super cheap--16.50 pounds for a day. Advice please. Okay, will shut up for a while.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2011
     (9873.23)
    car rental - I don't drive so I can't give you any proper advice but you should definitely look further afield for car rental than Heathrow where they know that they've got a captive audience and will more than likely charge for the convenience of being so close to the airport. See if there is anywhere in chiswick if thats where you're staying, although London in general will always be more expensive than the rest of the country.

    I don't know much about petrol prices either but I do know they're going to make you cry.

    Also clubs... That is such a loaded question. What kind of music do you like? Because it's a big city and there are hang outs for whatever you're in to. I don't think there is any such thing as a "typical club" here. Also most clubs vary wildly from night to night.
    Maybe Madame JoJos? (I used to go on a friday, i'm not keen on cabaret) or if you like dance music and want somewhere generic then there is fabric or if you want a teeny weeny rock club that has live music (of varying tastes and quality depending on what night you go) theres The Borderline.

    I'm not even close to scratching the surface here, I can't even start really. You might be best off buying an issue of TimeOut when you get here and just seeing whats on and what sounds like fun. There might be some fesitvals on while you're here too...
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2011
     (9873.24)
    Driving in central London, really not worth it. You'll need to pay the congestion charge, it mounts up pretty quick. So you'd only want to use a hire car when you're heading out of London into the countryside.
  3.  (9873.25)
    If you're at all interested in ancient history then Maiden Castle is well worth a visit.

    It's about a mile and a half outside of Dorchester, so not too far for an afternoon's walk if you don't end up hiring a car.
    • CommentAuthorDan Kelly
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2011
     (9873.26)
    Petrol prices at the moment are insane. £1.38 per litre. Which works out as About $2.20 per Litre.
  4.  (9873.27)
    Oxford is very easy to get to on the train, or the bus from Marble Arch or Victoria. Some nice historical pubs in Oxford include: The Lamb and Flag or The Eagle and Child on St Giles. Or the Turf Tavern down an alley near Broad Street.

    Some good Oxford sites: the Museum of Oxford, the Ashmolean Museum (which has a nice restaurant on its roof), the Covered Market. Though it can be nice just to wander around the town.

    The University Parks are a great spot for a picnic.

    In London, my favourite pub in Central London is The Crown, just between New Oxford Street and Shaftesbury Avenue, though a nice old one is the Cittie of Yorke, on High Holborn. My favourite museum is the Museum of London.
  5.  (9873.28)
    @badbear: I suppose I was thinking about techno or dance music clubs--anything loud and sweaty and no cover (ha!) and the antithesis of a nice, quiet pub. I know it's open-ended, but like I said we don't really like clubs so I didn't really know how to phrase it...

    I know petrol prices are high, but we are probably going to go for the car rental/hire anyway. I guess I wasn't clear enough--we were only going to rent one for the day that we go to Dorchester, so no driving within London. The logic was to get one at Heathrow, where prices actually beat anything else in London, since it's already on the southwest side of London and we won't have to do too much traffic negotiation before we get on the road to Dorchester. We expect to drive in the neighborhood of 350 miles, and at 50 miles a gallon that makes for not that much gas-- 40 pounds for a car for the day and less than thirty litres of petrol (about 41 pounds) makes for 81, compared to two round-trip train tickets that would put us at about 120 pounds. I was wrong about the cheaper car hire in Dorset btw, that's only if renting for a week.

    Is my logic sound? And what is a traffic congestion fee?

    edit: Purple Wyrm, Maiden Castle looks gorgeous and we'll definitely be checking it out. Thanks for the recommendation.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2011
     (9873.29)
    The congestion charge is something you have to pay each day that you drive into the center of London. It's an attempt to stop people going in there in cars at all. But as you're not going to be doing that anyway, it doesn't matter.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2011
     (9873.30)
    @lampcommander
    Definitely Fabric for you. Ticks all the boxes. June 3rd looks like it might be a good day to go - £16 on the door.
    I'll ask around though and if i find out about anything cheaper I'll let you know. Most of my old haunts aren't in existance any more so it's a bit difficult to advise but a friend of mine went to Fabric just last week so it can't be too bad.

    Dorset is lovely, you're not going to want to leave. I'm a bit jealous actually...
    •  
      CommentAuthorarklight
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2011 edited
     (9873.31)
    Ok...you want do lots of stuff!


    First if you are in Chiswick you are a stones throw away from
    Richmond and Kew Gardens.

    Goto richmond for a lazy riverside walk, there are cafes and
    stuff next to the river...great in the summer.Just walk out of richmond
    station and ask where the river is...

    Richmond.




    Kew Gardens is like a huge botanical park with huge glass houses each simulating an
    environment on earth (desert, jungle etc). They have ancient plants of every type.
    Alot that are extinct and just don't exist in the outside world.
    The giant Lilly Pads are awesome too. You'll never see the whole of it in one vist.
    These are more around the corner from you than a trip into London.

    Kew Gardens.



    If you do go into London do check out the galleries, they are no joke.And all free!
    The National Portrait Gallery,
    and the national gallery are good.


    As for clubbing... the reason why everyone is reluctant to give you totally definative
    answers is that London has too many clubs, is too diverse in styles. Pick up Time out magazine
    and choose one that you like and go for it.Fabric is legendery especially if you really like house music.
    Aviod "TigerTiger" like the plague it's a euro-tourist trap club of epic porportions.


    Last but not least, you should go and see Whitechapel on a Sunday.
    Only on A sunday though because that's when the madness begins. It's awesome!
    It all starts around 7 am and starts to unwind and unravel at around 2.30pm.
    Closest station is Liverpool Street or Aldgate East.Head towards Brick Lane.

    Oh yes, and dorset really is lovely!




    Heri Mkocha

    http://www.youtube.com/thearklight
    •  
      CommentAuthorDenari
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2011
     (9873.32)
    I live in London but am originally from Dorset. I'd be remiss for not mentioning Corfe Castle, or what's left of it.

    I also really like The Brickhouse in Brick Lane (in London) for dinner and burlesque nights. Also, Freud's cocktail bar, opposite Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury Avenue is a kooky, grungy basement that does fan-fucking-tastic drinks. The Roxy is good too, for a more indie approach to clubbing.
  6.  (9873.33)
    We're nearing the trip and have planned out most of our stops. Looking good and I have you all to thank for it in large part.

    One last question for the masses: Does anyone want to mention specific places of interest in Chiswick/Hounslow? I will for sure check out the Fuller brewery and might do the Chiswick house as well, but anything else you can think of is always of interest.

    Will probably go to Egg, Heaven, or Fabric for a club btw. Gay clubs can be fun too.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2011 edited
     (9873.34)
    Right, i'm probably being daft here and it's a bit late in the day, still, it does no harm, so;

    Visiting Americans have on more than one occasion mentioned to me that they found driving here a little daunting. Now i don't know, you may be made of sterner stuff, but if you fancy having an experienced and professional (which does not equate to good) driver to chauffeur you down to Dorset for nothing but the chance to have a look around there himself, do give me a shout. I go out to Dorcester quite a bit so if you want opinions on routes, traffic and the like i might be of some help there too. I'm not a tourist guide though, just a grumpy old lorry driver with a bit of time on his hands, so don't expect a guided tour!

    Oh, and this might be of some use, at least to give you an idea of how people ought to conduct themselves on the Queen's Highway.
  7.  (9873.35)
    @roadscum:

    I'm more game than you might be, actually. I'll be going to Dorset with my wife and a friend; the primary reason for going to Dorset is, quite literally, to look at places that were in Thomas Hardy novels. All day. So, sure, we'll see plenty of Dorset--there is actually a map of all the pubs that he included in his novels, for example--but it will also be things like a random farm where a scene from Far from the Madding Crowd took place, or the field where Tess was raped, etc. So I think you can expect a guided tour from us, rather. Stonehenge will be on the way back. We would be going on June 2nd, Hardy's birthday. I cannot defend the nerdery of our actions to the public.

    I don't know if my peeps will be cool with it, but does that even sound like something you would want to commit to? I am fine with taking the challenge of driving the roads myself, but someone local would certainly make it easier, and a fellow Whitechapeller would make it a hell of a lot of fun.
    • CommentAuthorKradlum
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2011
     (9873.36)
    I'd stick to the Chiswick end of the borough. I think people have mentioned most of the stuff in Chiswick - Kew Gardens is good if you have a day to spare, and Fuller's Brewery. There's also Hogarth's House which may or may not be re-opened by the time you visit and Kew Bridge Steam Museum. There might still be the enviro-camp just by the bridge, if talking to crusty enviro-squatters is your thing.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2011
     (9873.37)
    @ lampcommander I know bugger all about Hardy but i'm more than up for a day out with or without driving, Dorset has some lovely scenery and there are a few places you might be passing that i'd like to get pictures of. As for local, i'm from miles away but i do know my way around a bit, i spend all day finding places and delivering stuff to them when i'm working, that might help with the random farms and fields. If you and your chums are cool with the idea of travelling with a bad tempered old git and his camera then give me a shout, my e-mail is up here somewhere.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2011
     (9873.38)
    Forget Stonehenge and go to Avebury instead. It's about 20 miles further north and easy to get back to London from and you've got your old pub in the middle of a stone circle.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2011
     (9873.39)
    It all depends on time, there's a lot to see at Avebury; the stones, the Pudding Basin of the Gods at Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow, then you could go back to London via the Uffington White Horse, if you had time. After a day spent buzzing around Dorset looking for random Thomas Hardy stuff there might only be time for something quick and iconic like Stonehenge, though if there is time it wouldn't be difficult to do it as a distant drive by on the way to Avebury. I quite like Salisbury and Old Sarum myself but i can visit them whenever i want. You could easily spend anything from a week to a lifetime exploring the British countryside, it all depends on time.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeMay 25th 2011
     (9873.40)
    I went to a pretty good morroccan restaurant on King St last week, which is going to be just up the road from you. A bit expensive but excellent baba ganoush and better lamb tagines (in which you pretty much get enough food for two).

    The Duke of Sussex in Chiswick used to do a very good all day english breakfast but I have no idea whether they still do, this was a couple of years ago now. I thought you should know though. You know, for when you're starting to feel human again after Fabric.

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