A trip to the UK

So, Jenn and I are planning a trip to the UK in September. It looks like we’ll have 7 days on the ground, and we’re trying to figure out what to plan, where to stay, what to do. We’ll probably base ourselves in London, with a day or two in Manchester to visit Guy. Some of the things we’d like to fit in are:

  • Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park, (the spiritual ancestor of the Weblogging Community, I’ve heard)
  • The new Tate for me and either the old Tate or the British Museum for Jenn
  • An anti-American show, such as “The Madness of George Dubya” or “Jerry Springer: The Opera”. Very hot tickets, I know, but I’m just one of those optimistic ‘Mericans… (I would have liked to see Hytner’s staging of “Henry V”, but that looks like its only running through August.)
  • Clubs and pubs, of course, and some excellent curry
  • Oh, yeah, Jenn says “Shopping!” <groan>
  • How long is the ferry ride to Amsterdam (or thereabouts)? Or is there a quick, cheap flight? Must visit hash bar…
  • Castles, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, gardens & other touristy stuff
  • Canterbury? Stratford-upon-Avon? Dover? Choose one for a day trip… (Actually, those are in the opposite direction from Manchester, aren’t they? Okay, what’s on the way to Manchester?)

I’m not totally clueless about British geography, but I have no idea about the different neighborhoods in London while picking out a place to stay. The Time-Out Guide makes everything sound great and funky, but cross-referencing between the hotels and the attractions and the multi-colored neighborhood map is making my head hurt. So, suggestions… Favorite hotels, restaurants, attractions, meetups, etc.? Is my itinerary way too ambitious? All input is greatly appreciated.

[Listening to: “Red Letter Day” – Inspection 12 – In Recovery]