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Things we learned on our trip to England

London-research before trip-note free things to see, note open/closing times. Oyster card-Created for London commuters, ticket agent said many tourists frustrated-confused by cost, choices & nonrefundable.
Hop on Hop off tour-good for 24 hrs., overall good experience, hop off if you have a poor guide, catch next one or later.
AtoZ Vistors Atlas & Guide London, excellent. Buy at tourist gift shops, or small bookstore.
Order some British Pounds Sterling from your bank before trip, no worry about changing money first day.
We couldn't match the pace of Rick's guidebook timelines for museums.
Rail Pass from Rick Steves - excellent. Used his advice to pick right pass, asked questions from staff - answers were right on. Traveling light was critical here getting on and off trains quickly.
Reserve Rail seats on North bound trains, some are standing room only.
Timing - We went the end of June and encountered some closed churches both in Bath and Oxford due to college graduations.
Rain - always bring a light jacket or umbrella, we only used the umbrella a day or two but many days it lightly rained for an hour or so and then done for the day.
Friendliness - Everyone we met all through England and Scotland was very friendly and helpful, ticket agents, museum staff, waiters, folks on the street, etc. Don't be reluctant to ask for help or directions.
Jet Lag - Rick's suggestions were great - fresh air, sunshine, exercise on both ends of the trip. I would add drink lots of water.

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