Please sign in to post.

England Visit in October.


Hope this finds everyone well.

My friends and I will be traveling to England for the first time in October of this year. Our plane tickets and hotel are all arranged and we are now working on our itinerary. We arrive on Oct 4 and depart on Oct 10 as London as our home base we plan on touring The City for a couple of days, and then day trips to Bath, Stonehenge and Windsor.

In regards to our London itinerary of course we will be visiting the tourist attractions, but what I am having trouble finding in my research is a list of tea rooms and I know this sounds strange if Scotland Yard has any type of tours and in combination with law enforcement if there is a pub or something that one can leave a law enforcement patch.

I will give a brief explanation for these questions. In 2016 the same friends and I visited Dublin, Ireland and we found this tea house The Queen of Tarts and it was amazing, it was for the lack of a better term “cozy”. We are trying to make a list of tea rooms; we have vowed to have tea everyday in England.

The law enforcement patch, well in Dublin there is a pub The Brazen Head and they have patches of law enforcement agencies from all over the world. I am not an officer, but I work very closely with a division within my capacity working for the City of Long Beach, CA. I left a patch at the pub and would very much like to leave a patch in London, where Robert Peel created the Police.

I have one more question, is it better to take cash and exchange it in London or just use ATM machines to get cash for the day?

I travel so infrequently that any ideas or tips or any advice would be most welcome.

Thank you so very much and always be safe in yours travels.

Posted by
3111 posts

Hi Teresa, First I'll answer your last question. It's generally better to use ATMs to get cash every couple of days, but you may want to have a day's worth of British pounds in your wallet upon landing. That way you can go to your hotel and get settled before having to hunt for an ATM. See the Tips and Travel Reports section on these forums (or the Rick Steves guidebook) for more details about money exchange, and especially how to minimize ATM fees and credit card foreign transaction fees.

For tea rooms, you'll want to call the afternoon light meal "afternoon tea". (High tea is the equivalent of dinner or supper, so named because the servants ate their evening meal at a high table, as opposed to the low piece of furniture Americans would call a coffee table, which the upper classes used for their afternoon tea.) Here are a couple of sites that list restaurants in London you may want to try.

Depending what time of day you visit Stonehenge, you may want to have tea in the cafeteria there. It's nothing fancy but it does have a nice selection of food.

Regarding the law enforcement patch and Scotland Yard, a little Googling led me to the intriguing information that "Scotland Yard has its very own crime museum in London (formerly known as the ‘Black Museum’) which showcases a collection of private police memorabilia from crimes across the decades. Originally opened as an educational tool for UK police officers, this real-life crime museum opened to the public at the Museum of London for the first time ever in October 2015 and ran until April 2016." I suggest you email or telephone the Museum of London and ask if they can refer you to the proper section of Scotland Yard to answer your question. Here is the Museum of London's contact page.

Posted by
6113 posts

On the whole, “cozy” tea shops can’t afford central London property prices plus coffee is far more popular than tea. Suburbs such as Camden, Chiswick, Highgate and Clerkenwell are likely to have good independent tea shops. I can think of many places that fit the bill in some great villages, but not in central London! However, even as a non tea drinker, I do know that one of the bastions of tea is Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly, but it’s very expensive.

In Windsor, I enjoyed Cinnamon Cafe in the old railway station building. You will be spoilt for choice of good independent cafes in Bath.

The Police Museum is the only thing I am aware of that maybe of interest. There is no way that Scotland Yard will run tours, as it would be too much of a security risk.

Use an ATM for cash.

Posted by
5103 posts

The "Black Museun" was only ever intended as a 'museum' for serving police officers and it served more as a learning centre for detectives more than anything else. There was a brief opening to the general public a few years ago but not in its entirety as there were a number of more grisly items removed. The museum

I'm not aware of any pub in London that would accept your patch in the manner that you intend.

The "Black Museum" or Crime Museum as it's now referred to is no longer open to members of the public.

Posted by
3956 posts

A small tip, with respect: "The City" is a specific area of London, referring to the financial and office district on the east side. The core tourist district is actually Westminster. The mayor's office covers them both, although that is a relatively recent establishment, in 2000. It's an elected post but there is also a ceremonial Lord Mayor. Some of the boroughs also have a "mayor" of one sort or the other. On second thought, this doesn't really make it simpler, does it?

Posted by
4684 posts

The Black Museum exhibition at the Museum of London was strictly a temporary exhibition and is now over.

Posted by
7191 posts

October is a nice month to visit England. We did 28 days in Wales and England in 2017 and it didn't get nasty cold until the end of the month. It will be a bit chilly.

Windsor and Stonehenge are great day trips from London. Bath would be another on a separate day. Consider Cambridge, Oxford, Canterbury and Winchester as well.

Posted by
8255 posts

England. Ireland. Two vastly different countries.

Probably not going to find a pub for your patch and due to security there are no tours of Scotland Yard.

However you could try to engage a Bobby on foot patrol. See if he or she might have an idea about the patch.

As far as tea rooms Emma is spot on.

Instead of googling tea rooms, google afternoon teas and see what cafes or hotels are sponsoring them.

Cafes where I’ve enjoyed a simple tea and cake respite are:
J & A cafe. Went for the Guinness cake
Beas Of Bloomsbury went after visiting the British Museum
Tea House Theatre Vauxhall with a friend
And in the suburb of Ealing, Ginger and Moore.

Posted by
8255 posts

“Temporary insanity your honor!”

Apologies to both Jennifer and Emma.

Posted by
3972 posts

I have one more question, is it better to take cash and exchange it in
London or just use ATM machines to get cash for the day?

Get cash in England. If you are not taking public transport or car service that accepts credit cards, Travelex cash machines are still cheaper than being bilked at home by your or any US bank. Don't take out more than you need at Travelex. Then got to a bank cash machine as needed near your hotel. See if your bank at home has any relationship with a British bank for cheaper cash withdrawals. Also, always go to a bank cash machine, not some free standing cash machine in a store. Last, if you pay for something with a credit card (or debit) and you are asked if you wish to be charged in US$, DON'T. That is akin to getting £ in the US before your trip. You will be taken advantage of big time.

As for tea rooms, go the tourist website of each town/city you will be visiting. There will be an email address for questions. Send an email and ask for a list of suggestions; they will be very happy to help you. I do this all of the time when seeking recommendations for bookstores, galleries, and the like. You will be surprised how much info they'll provide for you!

October is a great time of year to visit. I was in England in October 2017 and am thinking of returning for a long weekend in mid October just for theatre & the museums! I'm very tempted. Air fares from JFK are cheap and the exchange rate is now only $1.29 = £1. So I'm thinking of prepaying for a hotel and airfare now to get the big bulk expenses out of the way at an exchange rate I like.

You will have such fun. Enjoy!

Posted by
1205 posts

Hi -

We enjoyed a full English breakfast at the Tea House Theatre in Vauxhall on our last visit to London. Our table was on the stage, or right next to it, but thankfully I didn’t have to get my kit off! Would actually recommend for breakfast - struck me as being rather better than the Travelodge (where we were staying) breakfast that we eschewed.