Interesting and quirky tourist attractions near London and Analytics 2013


Are you going to Analytics 2013 in London?!?

And if so, have you found any fun/interesting/touristy things to do while you're there? ...

Being an analytics conference, I thought it would be good to apply some "analytics" to the task!  So I took some locations in the British Isles that I thought were "interesting" (some in a quirky way, as you'll see), and plotted them on an interactive SAS map.

Click the snapshot image below to see the full-size interactive map, and then you can hover your mouse over the markers to see the names of the locations.  You can also click on the markers to see a Google satellite map zoomed in on the locations (which is pretty neat for the castles and such!)

 Anybody planning to go to any of these locations?  What other locations would you recommend?  (... especially 'quirky' ones, that might be good additions for this map!)


Update: Check out my next blog, to see even more powerful analytics applied to this map!


About Author

Robert Allison

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over 25 years, and is perhaps the foremost expert in creating custom graphs using SAS/GRAPH. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University. He is the author of several conference papers, has won a few graphic competitions, and has written a book (SAS/GRAPH: Beyond the Basics).


  1. Hi Robert,
    I liked the aerial photo of Stonehenge, you can also see some more sites in the vicinity. When I visited Stonehenge I also saw some from the ground.

    What I suggest as a must do is a London tour with London Duck Tours. It is a diferent way of visting the sights in central London, with a splash at the end. Check it out:

    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      I've never been to stonehenge, but that's one bit of human awesomeness that I'd like to see in person!

      The "London Duck Tour" sounds like a blast! ... or, should I say "a splash!" ;)

  2. Jenni Elion on

    Seems like most of the places that come to my mind are fictional - the settings in books written by Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, the Bronte sisters, and others. (Where are Manderley and Misselthwaite Manor, anyway?)

    But a small spot that might merit inclusion is St. Bees on the Irish Sea. This is where many people start on the Coast to Coast walk in northern England. Think of it as a British version of our own Appalachian Trail, but at only ~200 miles, it's MUCH shorter!

      • Ed Hughes

        You can add Camelot...sort of. Just add the castle at Tintagel in Cornwall, legendary birthplace of King Arthur. The ruins of the castle really do exist but getting around them is quite a hike. Lots of up and down hills, as it's sort of on the cliffs by the coast.

  3. Susan Marshall on

    I was glad to see Newgrange on your list - it seems like most people have never heard of it but it is fascinating!

    I do notice a few recurring themes in your selection of sites - movies, cars, and alcohol!

  4. Geoffrey Taylor on

    Britain as a Hollywood propstore...
    A few humble suggestions from a local boy: the Babbage computer (London Science Museum); Edward Jenner's House in Berkeley; Chipping Campden, site of the first modern Olympic Games dating from the 17th century; Lord's Cricket Ground (London); Leander Rowing Club (Henley) - with 111 Olympic medals it's the best club in the world by far; Durham Cathedral, a hymn in stone; the Forth Bridge (near Edinburgh). Cheese rolling at Cooper's Hill. I could go on and on...

  5. Susan Marshall on

    If you want to go a bit further north, but still in the British Isles, consider adding Scara Brae in Orkney - a very well-preserved Stone Age village. The Orkney Islands in general are an interesting place to ramble around.

    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      Ahh! - I believe those islands are included in our SAS map (I think I manually excluded them, to make the map 'fit' better into a smaller space). I'll look about maybe including them, and this interesting location!

    • Robert Allison
      Robert Allison on

      What perfect timing! ... No doubt, the conference planners had this in mind when they chose the date! :)

    • Rob McManus


      If you're going to Stonehenge, do take the time also to vist Avebury, home to an equally impressive set of stone circles, a neolithic pyramid, a necropolis and lots other old stones. Unlike Stonehenge it's well-located (not by the side of a road), you can get close up to the monuments and nowhere near as crowded. And it's got an excellent National Trust Tea Room (without a visit to which a trip to the UK would be incomplete!).

  6. Dick Vohlers on

    In keeping with the theme of the map, you could consider adding Portmeirion in Wales. I've never been there, but you might say that on my list of people and places to visit it's Number Six.

  7. Very nice, Robert.

    In Scotland, you might want to add Culloden Moor. There's not a whole lot to see there (I visited it a couple of weeks ago), but the Battle of Culloden in 1746 (which lasted about 45 minutes) changed the course of Scottish and English history.

    I went to Loch Ness, but didn't see any monsters. Perhaps Nessie was away on vacation the same week I was. :)

      • FWIW - while the visitor's centre at Loch Ness does present both sides of the argument, they do gently discourage people from believing there is a monster living in the loch.

  8. Robert Allison
    Robert Allison on

    Update: ... I've added a bunch of the locations people suggested in comments (most/all of the ones that I could find on a map, and that didn't overlap with dots already on the map ... getting a little crowded in "London" proper, for example).

  9. Pingback: Real-world analytics | The SAS Training Post

  10. Awesome

    I agree with Ted Brooks, In Scotland, you might want to add Culloden Moor. There's not a whole lot to see there but the Battle of Culloden in 1746 (which lasted about 45 minutes) changed the course of Scottish and English history.

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