Nerdy Day Trips: plan your geeky adventure

Hats off to Ben Goldacre and his diligent team who've put together this crowd-sourced map of nerdy places to visit in the British Isles and beyond.


I once tried to convince some civil servants to support a similar idea (marginally less nerdy, more family-orientated), so I'm thrilled to see this bloom. The database is still being populated, so be sure to add your nerdy day trip destinations. As you might expect, Industrial Revolution nostalgia and eccentric museums feature heavily, two things that Britain does very well. My own contribution: the hamlet of Venn, in Devon, which may or may not be related to the man and his diagram.

As yet, the site is big on destinations, but short on details: no opening times, prices, parking info and so forth for most the places featured, but it's an improvement on the underwhelming Geek Atlas, mainly because the suggestions come from people who've actually visited the locations.

The venerable Roadside America is one of my favourite websites in the world (I even tried to convince a TV company to send me in a car across America to visit geeky tourist spots) so it's wonderful to finally have a British incarnation. Go, visit, plan your weekend accordingly.


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I heard that the National Science Foundation (USA) declared San Jose the geekiest city in the US. Next week is officially Geek Week in San Jose! I'm not sure if the NSF considers Palo Alto (Stanford University) in the San Jose metropolitan area, or Mountain View (Google, NASA Ames) either.

My favorite memory of a geek visit to someplace while on vacation: My companions and I were standing looking at a geyser (the name of the geyser escapes me) in Yellowstone National Park lamenting the lack of a plaque or mention in the guidebook about it being the location of the discovery of Thermus aquaticus. As we were talking, three hikers came jogging up the path, one shouting to his friends, "Look, here it is! This is where Taq came from!"