the hive mind

So I need your help! I’m very shortly embarking on a month long trip to the UK and Ireland in May – and yes, I just realized that that is very, very soon. I haven’t done much planning other than buying my ticket there, and since you were all so helpful for my trip to NYC I’m hoping you can help me out on my trip planning.

As of now it’s just a pleasure trip, but I’m open to talks or teaching at any LYS if you’ll have me. Let me know by email ( if you have an LYS or guild that would like me to stop by!

I’m still working on my itinerary, but here’s where I’m thinking of going:
Edinburgh, Newcastle, Liverpool or Manchester, London, Cardiff, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, and the Scottish Highlands.

I’m looking for things to do, places to stay (would you like to have a visitor for a few days? I bake!), or pretty much any other advice you have! I’m really excited, although freaking out a bit since I have so much to get done here before I go, and the time is just flying by.

Somewhat relatedly, spring cleaning of my apartment has also resulted in the intense desire to pare down my stash a bit – so I’m having a stash sale. Check out my Flickr set by clicking on the photo below. If you’re interested in anything, email me at cosmicpluto at cosmicpluto dot com.

Maybe you can help me out with that too?



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25 responses to “the hive mind”

  1. thea Avatar

    Have a great time! I can’t wait to hear what you eat when you’re traveling this trip….

  2. Amy D Avatar
    Amy D

    Ooooh! We’re traveling to the UK this summer as well! (june/july) If you get some good tips/knitting stores…post them! I’d love to hear them!!

  3. Penny Avatar

    Manchester is a great place to visit :) I don’t know if it is your kind of thing, but the art gallery is great. I can also recommend a Greek restaurant called Dimitris ( and a Pizza place that does all kinds of special dietary requirement pizzas alongside ordinary ones and they’re all delicious: Dough ( There is also a very lovely knitting shop called Purl City Yarns.

    I have experience of quite a few central Manchester hotels too, so might be able to offer some insight if you do go there and are looking at hotels.

    It’s ages since I’ve been to Edinburgh now, but I love it there. So beautiful! :)

    That’s about as useful as I can be unless you decide you want to go to Derbyshire!

    I hope you have a great trip though, and keep the blog updated about your adventures :)

  4. Rachel Avatar

    You are welcome to join our Thursday night kniting group while in Edinburgh!

  5. lilith Avatar

    you’re more than welcome to come visit me at the Old Maiden Aunt studio if it fits into your travel plans – only 45 min on the train from glasgow!! :)

  6. Charlotte Bacci Avatar

    We’d love you to come to Purl City Yarns in Manchester! I’ve sent you an email!

  7. Chloe Avatar

    I would love to come and see you when you’re over – are you likely to visit the south west of England at all??

  8. Amanda Avatar

    Well Lily and I will be spending some time in the Lake District in May so if you fancy joining us there for a few knitting days in our caravan (loads of room!) then give us a shout – we’d love to have you!

  9. Adriana Avatar

    I know it’s not part of your plan but I absolutely love Bath. It’s a gorgeous city.

  10. Brandi Avatar

    Honestly I have no clue. I will just live vicariously thru you as I’ve never left North America.

  11. Rachel Avatar

    I love London! It’s pretty much my favorite place in the whole world. My favorite things to do there:
    1. Wander around Hyde Park – and you are going at the perfect time of year to do that!
    2. The V&A – I could have spent an entire day there!
    3. The museum at the British Library – original Beatles lyrics! The original manuscript of Pride & Prejudice! And more!

    And my favorite restaurants –
    1. Daquise – good, heavy, hearty Polish food. The closest I’ve come yet to my great-grandmother’s cooking!
    2. Belgo – Belgian (think mussels and frites) but they have a beat the clock special where you can get food cheap! Plus about a zillion different beers.
    3. Hummus brothers – I just really love hummus! Pretty cheap, too!

  12. Erin Avatar

    MacBackpackers Tours are a great way to see a lot of Scotland quickly and easily! I went on a 3-day/2-night tour with them about eight years ago when I was living in Lancaster, and it was fantastic. The driver/guide was entertainingly informative about every location we visited, and the tour included fun stuff like stopping at a whisky distillery, going out to a pub for a ceilidh, and posing for a picture in Loch Ness. (Yes, *in* the lake. The water was very very cold even in June!)

    The hostels listed at that site are great too, and you can stay at them even if you’re not taking one of the bus tours. Prices start at £13 for the dorms, and the water pressure in the showers was better than the showers at my college dorm.

    Seriously, I had a blast on the trip, and I’d go again in a minute. :)

  13. Kelaine Avatar

    I lived in Ireland for a bit, and always recommend the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant’s Causeway! Have a wonderful trip, it is such a beautiful part of the world. And in Dublin, the Temple Bar is super touristy, but usually has really good music!

  14. Chantal Boucher Avatar

    Do you know that Application:
    You can get many LYS all around the world. There is one for iphone too.
    Have a good trip lucky girl!!

  15. Janieb Avatar

    In your time in London please, please, please come along to Iknit. Check out the IKnit Group on Rav, the Iknit Weekender in Sept has been brilliant.

    I grew up in Yorkshire, but had parents who love London – we used to get the train down at least three times a year. I now live in Kent & work in London. Married on a remote Scottish Isle.

    Pm me for more ideas on how to fill up your holiday. You will have a great time for sure :)

  16. em Avatar

    Make sure that you buy any train tickets ahead of time! They are SO much more expensive if you leave it until the day.
    I agree with another poster who suggested that you get to Bath. It is a beautiful city.

  17. P Avatar

    Do visit Oxford. It’s only an hour from London – an easy day trip if you don’t want to stay overnight. It’s an extraordinary place.

  18. Maryse Avatar

    Have a nice trip! I look forward to reading about this trip too!

  19. silvia Avatar

    That is a great trip! Nice! The V&A in London has been mentioned, it’s a must. The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin is a MUST too. Plus it’s in the charming Dublin Castle grounds.

    I’ve used with great success in finding great places to stay. Happy planning!

  20. Emma Avatar

    In London I love going to the National Gallery – the main collection is free and they have some great paintings. I also agree that you should buy train tickets ahead of time, at least 7 days if possible!

  21. mary Avatar

    We just returned last night from a 12 day trip to Britain where we visited London, York, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Oxford and London. I’m still working on my posts for the second half of the trip, but should have those up within the next week or so. If you want more details on any specific restaurants, just pm me! So excited for you!

  22. Eva Avatar

    I heartily recommend the following spots in London:
    * The British Museum (a true classic)
    * The John Soane Museum (frankly one of the most astonishing museums I’ve been to) and nearby Lincoln’s Inn Fields and the Inns of Court if you like that sort of thing
    * Regent’s Park (oft overlooked in favour of Hyde Park, but in some ways lovelier for a cup of tea and a scone, or relaxing in the grass if the weather is decent)
    * A walk along the canals in West or North London
    * BFI at Southbank (if they’re playing something good, seeing a film there is fantastic)
    * coffee: as weird as it sounds, the coffee scene in London is awesome if you know where to look. amongst the greats are Milk Bar and Flat White (both in Soho), Cwtch, Monmouth, Climpson & Sons, Wild & Wood, Lantana (I don’t love their service but the coffee is nice), Fleet River Bakery (near the John Soane Museum), The Espresso Room, and a TON in the East End. The world barista champion last year is from London. For reals.
    *Ottolenghi (eat here at all costs)
    *walk a lot. the Tube is iconic and quick, but walking and taking buses — and maybe taking advantage of the new cycleshare system — is a better way to see more of the city (not to mention cheaper)

    I’m so jealous of your trip! I moved away from London a couple of years ago and miss it in the spring so much! This is the ideal time to go.

  23. Andi Avatar

    You might want to stop by the New Lanark heritage Site. It’s about an hour from Glasgow.
    The have a range of organic wool tha is spun on site:

  24. Rachael Avatar

    My best friend spent a year in England as part of a study abroad program. The two places I am most jealous of her going to across the pond are Beatrice Potter’s home and also Cadsworth, the mansion that they used for movies like Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley version) and The Duchess. I’d love to join you on your trip, it sounds delightful!

  25. Victoria Avatar

    Lots of good things in Glasgow! I would try and stay in the west end (I live there, so I am biased!). There are two yarn shops in the area, the Yarn Cake and the Life Craft. As well as yarn (including New Lanark), the Yarn Cake also sells amazing cakes made by Antje, the owner. The Botanic Gardens are by both yarn shops and are worth a stop for an ice cream and the North Star cafe, about two doors down from the Yarn Cake has lovely food.

    Both yarn shops have knit nights- check Ravelry.

    Also worth visiting, in the same area, is De Courcey’s arcade (
    More cake from the fabulous Auntie M’s Cake Lounge and lots of lovely handmade things from the Made in the Shade shop.

    The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum are worth a visit, I think, too.

    The city centre is good for shopping but for more interesting independent shops try the area around Trongate (eg and the east end (!/pages/The-New-Barras-Centre/160692407302599- very famous old market although some of the stuff is of rather ‘interesting’ origin!)

    For some social history, visit the People’s Palace (!/pages/The-New-Barras-Centre/160692407302599) and the Tenement House (

    Rather an epic comment- hope the links work!

    Ps I can totally recommend visiting Liberty in London. It is the most wonderful, beautiful shop and it sells yarn and fabric!

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