Joined: Oct. 2007
J-Dog, I know you asked this of the natives, but I travelled to Britain in May, 2003, and got all over the place. I stayed in Edinbourgh for two nights, and briefly visited Swansea (the train pulled into then out of the station twice). My perspective is that of a life-long U.S. resident who went as a traveller, not as a tourist - a bit different than the ones you asked for.
Scotland and south Wales were both very scenic. The trains are excellent in both countries. The people were very nice in both countries.
Edinbourgh was the busiest city that I visited on the trip. People everywhere (especially "downtown" or in the castle/train station areas) going about their business. Lots of traffic. Lots to do and see, also.
South Wales (I stayed in Cardiff for two nights) was much more "sleepy"/laid back.
Both places have a plethora of castles to visit, all within a short day-trip via any means of transportation (including walking/biking). I had lots of fun!
A couple of things that I found the most different "over there":
1. The traffic is funny because the roads are very narrow and they drive on the wron, er, left side of the road. There are no parking signs so people park everywhere. I was surprised.
2. The main currency (the pound) is a coin, not a note. Your daughter shouldn't be surprised if she pays for something with a 5 pound note and gets all-coin change. Sure threw me the first time, though. In a pub, no less.
3. Cops are nice people over there. I found that they're not only approachable, but that they make some of the best sources of local information.
4. TV is awful, except for sports and movies. I saw an uncut version of Outlaw Josie Wales on their BBC movie channel when I was in Cambridge. I watched a lot of (and fell in love with) their football.
Anyways, to make a long post shorter, I had a great time. She should too, whichever college she chooses. If she likes rugby, I think she'd like Edinbourgh best. I rode on a train from there to North Berwick seated near a group of beer-drinking rugby fans/players going to a game. Nice!
Best of luck to her.
Anyway, J-Dog, my 14c.