Calm Chris

Does anyone enjoy driving in the UK (anymore)

50 posts in this topic

15 hours ago, JonC said:

We've just got back from Stamford. A1 all the way with no hassle whatsoever. Would even go so far as saying an enjoyable drive. Soon as we get to Hyde Park, gridlocked (Ride London - central road closures). Took us over an hour and half to get south of The Park. Drop Mrs Jon back home, then the car back at the office to pick up the bike. 10 minutes on the bike, infinitely more enjoyable than the previous 1.5 hours of sitting in congestion. 

How did you find Stamford?

Lovely place eh!

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1 minute ago, cruiser647 said:

How did you find Stamford?

Lovely place eh!

Love it! Friends have just moved there. Very pretty sandstone architecture and oodles of history. Strong property prices too, which is encouraging for investment. If we ever were to move out of London, it would be a contender.

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I still love driving in the UK. Living in North Yorks means low traffic levels which is nice. 

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1 hour ago, JonC said:

Love it! Friends have just moved there. Very pretty sandstone architecture and oodles of history. Strong property prices too, which is encouraging for investment. If we ever were to move out of London, it would be a contender.

I used to get to Stamford a lot (at least twice a month for a good 3-4 years) and I've got to be honest and say I think it is vastly over-rated.

The centre is nice and extremely picturesque but there are far nicer and prettier places in Yorkshire, the Lake District and in Wiltshire too in my opinion.  We used to go for lunch at The George Hotel and that is worth a visit (astonishing amount of history).

The problem with it, or at least as I experienced it, is that once you're out of the centre it is no better a dump than Peterborough is just down the road (and that is a hole).  From an architecture perspective, the centre always reminds me of Bradford-on-Avon.  I'd rather live near the latter than Stamford because of the much nicer countryside around it. 

If I was moving out of London I'd be heading to the South coast or west to Bath (a city I love).

Edited by NewNiceMrMe

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Bath is a beautiful city, no question, spent many a long weekend just wandering about taking it all in.

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I get there quite a bit these days (been 4 times so far this year) and it never ceases to make me smile.  I also like the surrounding area (as long as you don't head west towards Bristol).

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Pah. Imagine driving g long distance in this. 

Trabant spotted in Berwick upon Tweed this lunchtime, on German plates. 

Also saw a convoy of 4 of those micro cars that Clarkson drove around the BBC building on German plates too. 

IMAG0910.jpg

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You've a long way north today.  Berwick, the town in England that we'd happily give to Scotland.  More chavs per square mile than anywhere else barring Blyth. 

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26 minutes ago, NewNiceMrMe said:

You've a long way north today.  Berwick, the town in England that we'd happily give to Scotland.  More chavs per square mile than anywhere else barring Blyth. 

Yes, early start today

9am in Kelso, then to Coldstream then Berwick. 

Only been to Berwick a few times, didn't look particularly chavvy.  

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1 hour ago, M8CKN said:

Yes, early start today

9am in Kelso, then to Coldstream then Berwick. 

Only been to Berwick a few times, didn't look particularly chavvy.  

It looks like a quaint little border Town doesn't it?  It isn't.

I used to go to the newspaper there on a quarterly basis and their biggest challenge was reporting anything but vandalism and crime.  It has changed massively over the last 15-20 years and the supermarket just off the Town square (mini-roundabout) where the Berwick Gazette is has loads of problems.

The far north of Northumberland has seen a big rise in crime (something like 6-7%) in a very short space of time.  Northumbria Police put it down to "youth disorder" and holiday makers.  A lot of very questionable types stay in the holiday parks around Berwick and the locals have been campaigning for years because they cause a lot of issues, mainly through getting drunk in town and getting into fights with local youths who look out for them.

Here is the best example for you - I've just looked up the latest crime statistics for it (May 2016) and compared them to Bradford city centre.  You'd imagine Bradford city centre (which is still a pretty big area) would be a lot worse than little sleepy Berwick? 

May 2016
Berwick crimes - 529
Bradford city crimes - 457

Berwick violent crimes - 87
Bradford city violent crimes - 98

I wonder how many people would think somewhere like Berwick would have only 11 less violent crimes than Bradford city centre in a month?

You can see why we tend not to go there...
 

p.s. Coldstream route can be a cracking drive if the roads are quiet.  Kelso too, but I'm going to guess you got stuck behind the same god-awful HGV's or caravans that are always on those roads.

Edited by NewNiceMrMe

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Those stats are unbelievable!!

I saw the newspaper building on roundabout, the date caught my attention (although I can't remember it!) above the door, something like 1808. 

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5 hours ago, NewNiceMrMe said:

The centre is nice and extremely picturesque but there are far nicer and prettier places in Yorkshire, the Lake District and in Wiltshire too in my opinion...

...The problem with it, or at least as I experienced it, is that once you're out of the centre it is no better a dump than Peterborough...

...If I was moving out of London I'd be heading to the South coast or west to Bath.

It is exceptionally pretty and historic, but it's Leicestershire and Yorkshire, The Lakes etc, however beautiful, is a step too far from London. Mrs C is an immunology scientist, so we need to be within the south of England. She's also a Yorkshire lass and prefers life here.

That could be said of practically any town/village, where once outside of the town/village centre, it's no better than it's neighbouring shite holes. 

Oh, we have no intention of moving, but if we were do so, Stamford, given it's within striking distance of London and the home counties, being pretty and historic, and that we have friends there, would be a contender. I'm from the South East and have short-breaked all over England, Bath being one of the many short break destinations. However, we would need to be close to the home counties in any case. Nah, we're not even moving for Christ's sake!

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5 hours ago, NewNiceMrMe said:

 I'd be heading to the South coast or west to Bath (a city I love).

Border guards are now in place :P

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Driving in the UK commuting can be a pain the same old slog and traffic issues around major cities. 

But this weekend we have been over to Derbyshire and the roads there and back were great. Lovely views, the car feels great and when the chance comes a bit of fun. Way better than driving in many cities but I still enjoy driving. 

I'm not flogging it foot to the floor either, thats fun at times but I've often got the kids on-board and many cars are so damn quick and capable that you end up going bonkers fast so so easily. 

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15 hours ago, M8CKN said:

Those stats are unbelievable!!

I saw the newspaper building on roundabout, the date caught my attention (although I can't remember it!) above the door, something like 1808. 

Yup.  Although, ironically, as Stamford is being mentioned in this thread - Stamford is the home of the oldest newspaper in the world.  That is the place I used to go to so often as the floor above the newspaper office was used by the group payroll division.

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14 hours ago, JonC said:

It is exceptionally pretty and historic, but it's Leicestershire and Yorkshire, The Lakes etc, however beautiful, is a step too far from London. Mrs C is an immunology scientist, so we need to be within the south of England. She's also a Yorkshire lass and prefers life here.

That could be said of practically any town/village, where once outside of the town/village centre, it's no better than it's neighbouring shite holes. 

Oh, we have no intention of moving, but if we were do so, Stamford, given it's within striking distance of London and the home counties, being pretty and historic, and that we have friends there, would be a contender. I'm from the South East and have short-breaked all over England, Bath being one of the many short break destinations. However, we would need to be close to the home counties in any case. Nah, we're not even moving for Christ's sake!

Oh indeed, and to be fair you'll not get the weather in the Lakes that you do in Stamford.  A noticeable difference.

You're right too, most places in the UK have areas of crap outside of the nicer parts, I'm just saying that I found Stamford to be one of the places where the dodgy parts outweighed the nice areas. 

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14 hours ago, Daz said:

Border guards are now in place :P

As you know, you're safe for a good 5 years yet. :grin:

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3 hours ago, NewNiceMrMe said:

Oh indeed, and to be fair you'll not get the weather in the Lakes that you do in Stamford.  A noticeable difference.

You're right too, most places in the UK have areas of crap outside of the nicer parts, I'm just saying that I found Stamford to be one of the places where the dodgy parts outweighed the nice areas. 

 

Oi!

Both Booster and TDK leave near Stamford.

Me too!

 

Oh, OK fair point. :roflmao:

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I used to work with someone who lives in a village north of Stamford. 

We worked in Canary Wharf. 

His annual rail season ticket (bearing mind this was a decade ago) was twelve grand. 

:uhoh:

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52 minutes ago, cruiser647 said:

 

Oi!

Both Booster and TDK leave near Stamford.

Me too!

 

Oh, OK fair point. :roflmao:

All in nice areas, I'm sure.   Jon was right to say there are crap parts around every nice place in the UK though.  Nowhere escapes it.  I was just surprised at Stamford in particular as you tend to find the horrid areas to be a lot further out from such a picturesque centre.

I like a lot of the villages in Wiltshire but I'll give you an example of how it is so easy to get the wrong impression of somewhere.  Trowbridge.  A place surrounded by beautiful villages, country lanes and a stunning vista around every corner.  Would I ever live near it because of that?  Not a chance.  What a complete and utter hole of a place.  I stayed there two nights and now travel further out to stay in a different hotel if I need to go there - because of how awful it is.  A park awash with chavs, a centre completely devoid of intelligent life and dominated by cheap imitation fried chicken takeaways and kebab shops. 

If I ever met anyone from there who said "Oh, I hear it is grim up North", I'd not be able to stop laughing.  Some people need to get out more and look closer to home before they start throwing bricks!

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1 hour ago, NewNiceMrMe said:

All in nice areas, I'm sure.   Jon was right to say there are crap parts around every nice place in the UK though.  Nowhere escapes it.  I was just surprised at Stamford in particular as you tend to find the horrid areas to be a lot further out from such a picturesque centre.

 

Stamford stayed nice because the Duke of Burghley did not allow the new fangled technology of trains anywhere near the place.

As a result, industry stayed away and/or moved away.

 

Only later on did a rail line make an appearance and by then it was too late for industry, so it stayed a sleepy rural town, unspoilt by heavy industry and resultant workers and families........

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Interesting. On the tourist trail now, like so many idyllic and picturesque towns and villages. Rammed (nightmare parking) of a weekend as a result, but vital for local commerce.

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2 hours ago, JonC said:

Interesting. On the tourist trail now, like so many idyllic and picturesque towns and villages. Rammed (nightmare parking) of a weekend as a result, but vital for local commerce.

Multiply that by 50, add rain (lots of it) and you get Ambleside/Bowness in the Lake District. :roflmao:

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7 hours ago, garcon magnifique said:

I used to work with someone who lives in a village north of Stamford. 

We worked in Canary Wharf. 

His annual rail season ticket (bearing mind this was a decade ago) was twelve grand. 

:uhoh:

Faaaaaaaaaaaaack!  That's about the same as someone on the minimum wage (37.5 hour week) earns after tax!

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I hate driving in most of the UK. Cameras, congestion, crap roads and stress. I mooch everywhere as there's no point fighting it. There are some ace b roads in rural Leicestershire but even those are busier than they used to be.

Driving for enjoyment is best done abroad, for me. 

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