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Comes over one an absolute necessity to move
February 2, 2011 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for somewhere within a two-hour plane or train trip of London (not including time to get to LHR, LGW, LCY, KGX, etc.) for a three-day personal retreat. Ideally, self-catering or B&B. Suggestions?

As with many life-changing events, I am about to achieve a major milestone and subsequently would like to take some time to reflect on life goals and professional/personal direction.

The idea is to take four days (two 1/2 travel days + three days of reflection).

Ideally, self-catering accommodation sounds ideal. Alternatively, a B&B or boutique hotel would work as well.

All suggestions are welcome, from major city centres to hideaway cottages off the beaten track. If you have a specific flat or cottage to recommend, that's even better. Cost isn't an issue but I'm thinking more rustic luxury than flash.

Some features that might be interesting are biking towns, hiking paths, farmers markets, local jazz cafes, walking cities, hillside staircases, private restaurants, vineyards, forests, artists colonies and the like. I would like great local restaurants and parks to sit and write.

I'm not thinking of anything programatic or touristy like cooking classes, yoga weekend, nightclubs, bar streets, shopping, museums, etc.

This cannot be completely off-grid as I'll be going during the week but really only a GPRS mobile signal is required.

I'd been keen to here of specific places that inspired MeFites and any similar personal journeys and tips/suggestions/input.

Also any activity suggestions to help elucidate passions/goals/desires/ambitions.
posted by nickrussell to Travel & Transportation around London, England (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
This summer I stayed at the Griffin Inn in Bath. The rooms are over the pub, and you can eat in the pub if you so desire. My room was on the top floor, and to get to it I went through the back room of the pub, through the door marked "Toilets", and then up 3 flights of stairs. It was entertainingly cloak-and-dagger feeling. The people were lovely, but I was also able to come and go without talking to anyone, if I didn't want to be bothered. It was cozy and comfortable, and having the room at the top of the building meant it felt a bit like a writer's garret. And Bath is a lovely town for walking, the countryside is gorgeous, and the people friendly without being obtrusive. If you go to Bath, I recommend going to the Thermae Bath Spa at least once -- something about floating around in body-temperature water always calms my mind and lets my thoughts wander.
posted by katemonster at 3:17 PM on February 2, 2011


Canterbury could work; I've been twice and found it a nice change of pace when I lived in London.

Maybe Norwich as well -- there was a write-up of the city as a haven for writers and readers recently in the New York Times.
posted by midatlanticwanderer at 8:21 PM on February 2, 2011


How about Guernsey in the Channel Islands. It's half an hour from Gatwick and walks along the stunning, wild south cliffs, heading down to hidden little bays are good for the soul (as well as the thighs). There's enough walking for three days - and as the island is a tourist destination, loads of accommodation, although it's obviously off-season at the moment. If you want to get away even further, you could always go to Sark which is another hour by boat from Guernsey, also has a lot of cliffs and has no cars. Both have decent phone coverage.
posted by rhymer at 12:57 AM on February 3, 2011


Great suggestions thus far... any ideas for the continent itself welcome as well! Wonderful ideas, thank you thus far...
posted by nickrussell at 2:35 AM on February 3, 2011


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