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England Itinerary for 10 days

Hello Everybody!
I have joined the RS forum and am posting for the first time. We are first time visitors to UK. We will be visiting in Mid June for 10 days. Husband, wife and 2 kids 15 yrs and 11 years.
On the menu is 5/6 days London and nearbys (Cambridge and Bath), and 4 days Scotland (Edinburgh, Inverness and possibly Isle of Skye). We'd like a mix of the urban toursity sprawl and the natural beauty of England.

PLs suggest an enjoyable itinerary.
Also, Which BritRail pass should we buy? The All England pass or something else...
Thanks

Posted by
5537 posts

If you have to fly home from London, then I would stick to England within your timeframe, otherwise, you will spend too long in transit.

The Brit Rail Pass is best when you have more longer journeys than you are planning. Point to point tickets will probably work out cheaper, although the best value fares are bought 11 weeks out. It sounds as though you have only 8 weeks before travel.

I doubt that you will find any accommodation in Skye for June, unless you booked this months ago. Skye needs 3 days ideally, as it takes time to get around. Four days isn’t long enough for Edinburgh, Skye and Inverness - this is an eight day trip including travel time between destinations.

As you haven’t been to the U.K. before, London can easily fill 5 full days plus a day in Bath and another in Cambridge. The remaining time could be spent in York, from where you could visit the countryside or the coast plus see the delights of the city itself such as the Minster and the Rail Museum.

Posted by
6338 posts

Welcome to the Forum.

In order to get more answers it would be best if you’d rewrite this exact post on the England Forum.

You’ve posted under the section that is set up for
restaurant and hotel reviews.

Posted by
16883 posts

Be careful with terms, since BritRail offers several regional varieties of pass. The all-island version includes Scotland, while the BritRail England pass does not, etc. Most of them would allow your kids to travel free with you, except that the Scotland-only passes have different rules.

If you decide on point-to-point tickets, buy both legs of any roundtrip route together, usually for a discount, and also consider the Family and Friends Rail Card for discounts that don't require booking way ahead.

Posted by
11286 posts

The question "Which BritRail pass should we buy?" is just like the famous trick question, "have you stopped beating your wife?" Before answering that, you have to know, does the person have a wife, and did they ever start beating her.

Similarly, the first question isn't "which railpass," but "will a railpass be better than point-to-point tickets?" These days, the answer is often NO, but of course it does depend on all the particulars of your situation. So, wait until you've decided on an itinerary before you make a decision on passes. And before you do buy any pass, read this from rail guru The Man In Seat 61 and make sure you understand all his points: https://www.seat61.com/Railpass-and-Eurail-pass-guide.htm#railpass-or-point-to-point-tickets

Next, you've made a common first timer "mistake," which is to think that since the UK is so much smaller than the US, you can see lots of it in a short amount of time. You can't. Your proposed itinerary will involve a lot of time lost to travel within the UK, and with only 10 days, that's not the best use of time.

If you do insist on trying to see England and Scotland in 10 days, you should fly into London and out of Glasgow or Edinburgh. If you have already purchased flights into and out of London, stick with England only; there's plenty of natural beauty without having to go to Scotland. Let us know if you already have flights, as that will determine the rest of the advice.

Posted by
2788 posts

Are you going this June? Good luck at this late date for finding places to stay. Also, you might want to check on RS "Our Tours" then click on "England & Scotland" to see a list of his tours. You can then click on whichever tour you think would cover where you want to go and then click on that tours "Itinerary" for where his tours go. I am going to London for a week on June 4 and made hotel reservations last year. After London, I am taking one of RS tours, Villages of So. England. Good luck. aloha charlie

Posted by
13 posts

Wow! Many thanks to all of you for your helpful, responses.
I have given a lot of thought to my itinerary and have decided to drop Scotland.
My new itinerary looks like this:
13th June 2019 - Arrival at Heathrow 8 AM - Go straight to Bath - stay in Bath for 2 nights - check out on 15th June - go on to Keswick - stay 2 nights - checkout on 17th June - go on to York - stay 1 night - checkout on 18th June - go on to London (on the way visit Cambridge)
From 18th June to 22nd June Stay in London - flight on 22nd Night 10 PM
I think this would give me the best possible use of my time in England. I hope..

I shall travel from Heathrow to Bath via train and then from York to London also by train. I have plans to do the Bath-Keswick-York leg via car rental - Is that an enjoyable thing or would train be better for these journeys too.., in terms of convenience and money? I have 2 kids (15 and 11) and I believe having a car would help me pace my trip and save us the anxiety of having to catch trains. I also think it might work out cheaper. Please advise.

Posted by
3620 posts

You might want to consider a private car service from the airport to Bath. With a party of four, the cost is often very competitive with trains / coaches. We used one based in Bath to go to the Bristol airport and would not hesitate to use them from Heathrow to Bath. The web site is chauffertravel.co.uk and the email address is enquiries@chauffertravel.co.uk. We sent an email detailing our needs and had a reply within 24 hours. Not sure about the price since we didn't actually take that trip, but by the time you total up bus / train fares, the hassle factor, time involved, all while being sleepy, jet lagged, and on unfamiliar turf, it's a small luxury we feel is well worth the price. .

Posted by
1220 posts

Question: are you going to Bath because of the Rick Steves advise of, ‘Start off in Bath?’ Is this your first time to Europe or just the UK? I ask because adding another trip after a transatlantic journey isn’t what I’d want to do, especially since there isn’t a Network Rail Station at Heathrow so you’re going to need the coach (bus) or else go all the way into London central for a train just to go back out of London. An option to consider is bookending the trip in London by starting and finishing there.

Posted by
3181 posts

Good decision to go to York instead of Scotland. The free local guides mentioned in Rick's book do a great tour that includes walking on the wall. If I were you, I would take trains everywhere. There's really no anxiety-if you miss one, there will be another one coming soon to all the major destinations(not like the U.S.) You might find driving in England to be more anxiety producing.

I love Cambridge. If you are like I was and want to educate your children during the trip, you should go to the Eagle Pub in Cambridge and tell your kids that that is where Watson and Crick first announced that they had figured out the structure of DNA.