10Best: How to Experience England Like a Modern Day Bates

  • The "Downton Abbey" House Staff

    Feeling as overworked as the hired help? Well, even Anna and Mr. Bates get a day off now and then. Just because you need to watch your budget doesn't mean you can't enjoy the best of Britain. Here's how we imagine the staff would spend their vacation time once the uniforms come off – and you can, too. Or you can experience it like a Crawley.

    Photo courtesy of AFP/Getty Images

  • Air New Zealand Economy

    Sure, it's Economy, but even Mrs. Patmore would feel like she's flying first class (once she got over the idea she was flying at all) with Air New Zealand's impeccable service and surprisingly good food. If you tweet a wish to the Air New Zealand Fairy, you just may find yourself with lounge passes or extra status points.

    Photo courtesy of Air New Zealand

  • Premier Inn London County Hall

    Spend the night in the heart of the city at Premier Inn London County Hall, an affordable, comfortable and clean hotel in a couldn't-get-better location. The London Eye, which would leave Daisy wide-eyed, is right next door, and you're within walking distance of the West End and Theatreland. The Tube is just a few blocks away, so if you buy an Oyster Card (a refillable bus and train pass), the world is yours.

    Photo courtesy of William Warby

  • Topshop

    To pick up a couple of things to wear on date nights with her hubby, Anna might want to check out Topshop, known for high fashion and low prices. There are dozens of locations all around the U.K., but Oxford Circus is the go-to branch for the best selection. (Yes, there are now Topshops in the U.S., but they are considerably more expensive than those across the pond.)

    Photo courtesy of Gordon Joly

  • Gail's Artisan Bakery

    When the clock strikes tea time, you don't have to put on the ritz. High quality snacks needn't come with a high price tag. With more than a dozen locations, Gail's Artisan Bakery serves award-winning sweets, sandwiches and savories that would have the whole kitchen staff drooling. In fact, staff members may want to pick up a copy of the "Gail's Artisan Bakery Cookbook" for some new ideas.

    Photo courtesy of Ewan Munro

  • Victoria and Albert Museum

    Admission to the Victoria and Albert Museum is free, and there are so many different exhibits that there's something for everyone. Branson may want to take his former colleagues on a field trip to see "Disobedient Objects," a fascinating and powerful exhibit of objects used in movements for social change. It may inspire them to find creative ways to ask for more money or time off.

    Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark

  • The London Dungeon

    Okay, the London Dungeon is definitely lowbrow and occasionally crude but it's tons of fun, interactive and even kind of educational. Dealing with grisly events and characters like the Plague, Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd, it's a look at England's darker side – meaning it's right up the alley of Thomas Barrow. Maybe he'll even invite O'Brien to come along. Hey, maybe she's already in it!

    Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark

  • Boots

    Even scullery maids like to look pretty. At Boots, Ivy can treat herself to some top-notch beauty products without breaking the bank. The U.K.'s most popular chemist, Boots, has a huge selection of brand names at low prices and can be found all over the city.

    Photo courtesy of Michael Francis McCarthy

  • Carluccio's

    When you eat at Carluccio's, you'll feel like you've found a hidden gem. As it turns out, it's London's equivalent of the Olive Garden, with convenient locations all over. The food is yummy, the setting's homey and the prices are so reasonable that even the most budget-conscious can have a romantic evening – and probably even bring home a doggie bag.

    Photo courtesy of Morgaine

  • TKTS

    Don't Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes deserve a night out at the theater together? Thanks to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square, tickets to top West End shows, like "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime," are available at steep discounts, often even half price. Perhaps the downstairs heads should see "Once" and end the night like they did last season: holding hands.

    Photo courtesy of Andy Roberts

comments powered by Disqus

Build your own lists that you can easily reference or share stories with your friends.

Login ×

Forgot login/password?
Don't have an account? Create Your Account!

Enter your username or email in the box below and click
"Remind Me".

Remind Me ×
Create Account ×
Create Account ×

Already have an account?

Add to List ×
Save ×

Go to Lists Close Window ×