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Britain: need ideas to tempt my husband to go there!

Hi all, I've traveled to Europe once, and Great Britain twice. I'm hooked, but haven't traveled there since 1999. I'm now married, and my husband has no interest in traveling abroad. I know I could cajole him somehow, but that would probably ruin the trip as it wouldn't be "his" idea (and that's not my style). I'd like him to fall in love with Britain (Scotland & England mostly) just as I have, thus paving the way for more trips in the future. Your first-hand recommendations/experiences are what I'm looking for. His interests are nautical, so anywhere along that line of interest would be appreciated, especially day-sailing tours, quaint fishing villages, B&B's, etc. He is also somewhat interested in horticulture, so any botanitcal/public gardens that are your favorites would also be nice to hear about. I would love to discover places where you can mingle with the locals, especially your favorite local pubs & restaurants. If you know of anywhere that a motorcycle could be rented for a day or two, that would be helpful to me in my quest. I would be looking at probably a 10-day trip when the time comes. PS: Please don't suggest that I travel by myself if he refuses. I've traveled there alone before, and while I didn't have any problem with that, and indeed enjoyed the freedom, I don't think I would enjoy it as much now if I couldn't share my love of Great Britain with him first-hand. Thanks a million for your help and guidance.

Posted by
1353 posts


My husband's all time favortie spot in London is the British Museum with the British Library coming in a close second.

We scheduled London into our next big Europe trip just because it has been 6 years since we were last at the museum. (I love London for many other reasons.) My husband could care less about castles, but seeing the rossetta stone and the frescoes from the pantheon really turns him on!

Posted by
473 posts

In London, in the middle of the Thames River, there is the HMS Belfast, a WWII British cruiser. It's not sailing, but it is nautical. Also, Hampton Court Palace has a huge garden. We wound up spending an entire day there, between the Palace and the garden. FYI, if I remember right, the garden was a small extra fee.

Posted by
354 posts

I greatly enjoyed my “nautical” daytrip out of London to Greenwich. You can get there by way of a Thames River cruise instead of rail. Once in Greenwich, you can tour the Cutty Sark, an actual tea clipper (if it’s recovered from the fire). The National Maritime Museum was fantastic - your husband could see over 2 million items, including part of actual ships through the ages, uniforms from Capt. Cook and Lord Nelson, weapons, coins, flags, medals, anchors, charts, navigational instruments, huge models of famous ships, interactive displays, and an actual ticket stub from the Titanic. The Royal Naval College has quite a history, and was built in a peculiar split design. And at the Royal Observatory, you can stand on the Prime Meridian of the World, or tour the rooms where the concept of longitude was developed, or even set your clock to Greenwich Mean Time.

Posted by
922 posts

How about Kew gardens, and the Royal Botanic garden. And heading to cornwall for the coast and The Eden Project. Theres also Dartmoor and Exmoor close by

Posted by
2658 posts

Hi Diane, Devon and Cornwall has loads of quaint fishing villages. Just to name a few Clovelly, Lynton, Lynmouth, Port Isaac, St. Mawes, and Polperro. I think your husband would love to see them. Go to your local library there is a book by the name of Traditioanl English Gardens, then there are others about Devon and Cornwall, English Country Pubs, and etc. My husband was the same at first, but after his first trip the the UK he loves it. Good luck.

Posted by
683 posts

Also, in Portsmouth, on orders of Henry VIII, in the 1500s, was built Europe's first drydock.
There is the Mary Rose, flagship of England's newborn "fleet", which sank in the Thames upon launch.
Nautical is no problem-- do you recognize the song
"Brittania Rules the Waves"?"

Posted by
710 posts

My husband fell in love with England. If he could, we would be going there in September, but I talked him into Italy. Our first trip we did London, but I talked him into going to the Costwolds and then he got hooked on the country side. Stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in Stowe-on-the Wold, and he did numerous hikes to the Upper Lower Slaugthers, etc. We rented a narrowboat and drove it ourselves into Wales for a week and he is now hooked on boating in Europe. We have now rented a house boat from the Crown Blue Lines in Burgandy. We did a one way rental. It is easier to go down the river or canal then up if you do this. We found that out after doing the upriver on that trip. Had bikes on the boat and biked around the areas we were traveling though. You do go slow. Every morning he would bike into a village and pick up crossants and bread and then we would breakfast and start our days journey.Stopped at wonderful canal side restaurant for dinner. Doing Venice by our own boat in Sept.

Posted by
221 posts

here is just a few ideas (and I have a husband too that I have had to lure into traveling in Europe) If you go to London - a day trip to Greenwich (and you can get there by tube/train) is great! There is a great nautical museum there, the Cutty Sark, and hey, it's Greenwich Time! You can't been Britain for gardens, they are crazy about gardening. Kew Gardens is a must. I went to the Chelsea Flower Show last May, the largest garden show in Europe...This is all I can think of that I have done. I would also recommend getting out to the Cotswolds - you can walk between the little villages, go to ancient pubs and they have lovely gardens and little creeks and bridges etc. good luck!

Posted by
264 posts

I also recommend the Thames River Boat to Greenwhich to see the Royal Observatory and the the Nautical Museum. There's also the Imperial War Museum, the HMS Belfast, the Golden Hinde.
As to public gardens, I enjoyed Stourhead and exbury,
Fishing villages? Any small village on the southwest coast from Southampton west to Cornwall like Mousehole, Looe or Polperro.
Or rent a live-in canal boat and tour by water.

good luck

Posted by
1455 posts

SOmetimes the best way to get someone to join you is to have them help you! Why not spend time on the internet or at a travel agency and take a look at what Great Britain has to offer? You can plan a travel schedule based on both your likes.

Britain has so many lovely coasts, I am positive your travel agent can find a nice fishing village. Stay at a local B&B and discover new things together.

Or... since you live in Maine, take a quickie weekeend trip to somewhere not too far, say Massachusettes. Discover the coast there, and then offer to check out Britain.

At least the trip for you is closer than us west coasters! LOL

Posted by
29 posts

My husband is also a fan of things nautical. We enjoyed Greenwich a great deal. Friends of ours also highly recommend Portsmouth, and Kew for gardens. Finally, an encouraging story: the husband of a friend of mine also had no interest in traveling abroad but his wife asked him to go with her to England for her 50th birthday (she told him it was the ONLY thing she wanted). Within a few days of their arrival he was totally hooked and kept talking about "when we come back next time...". Hopefully your husband will also be "converted" by the experience! Good luck and hope you have a wonderful time.

Posted by
196 posts

Portsmouth for the Mary Rose and Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory and the great maritime museum there. We're going to visit the Docklands area in London in late October for the first time. The ferry or hydrofoil from Dover/Calais might be of interest to him---day trip or go to Paris for a couple of days.

Posted by
14 posts

The National Trust has many beautiful properties that have spectacular gardens - huge parks,really and they are really well maintained. A membership gets you into all of them for less than $100 for a couple.