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10 days in England..

Any itinerary suggestions for places to go for day hikes, beautiful scenery and rolling hills? we are flying into Heathrow and renting a car to drive straight to Bath. From there no plans except to be in the countyside away from big towns. would appreciate comments.
Kim

Posted by
216 posts

Bath and the countryside around is lovely.

We went to Gloucester last trip. It was a perfect medium-sized town. The cathedral is grand, take the tower tour for the amazing views. They have also gentrified the waterfront to fancy apartment buildings, shops and restaurants. Lots of lovely walks and a nice museum. For some reason, my daughter loved it and wants to move there! I'd think it's worth a stop for a day or two if you're in the area.

Posted by
1838 posts

Not sure if it is wise to come off a long flight and rent a car straight away for the drive to Bath. Once in Bath, you don’t need a car and parking can be difficult. I would be inclined to take the Railair bus link from Heathrow to Reading and then catch a train to Bath. See www.nationalrail.co.uk OR go by bus (Coach) = www.nationalexpress.co.uk

A car is really needed when it comes to wandering around the countryside. Look at the map that you will see on the following link. The traffic flows (live) are marked in colours on the roads. If you want the satellite view - click for it (bottom left). You can click & drag the map and zoom down for a closer look. Bath is towards the bottom right and up towards the top right you will see Bourton-on-the-Water and the other famous Cotswold villages. The green areas on the map are those which are most scenic. On this map, the area just over the Severn Estuary is very scenic = Chepstow to Monmouth. The most scenic area on this map would be the Brecon Beacons National Park - which you can see at the top left. The A40 from Abergavenny to Brecon will take you through beautiful hilly countryside surrounding the Vale of Usk. Click on the yellow man and look at it on Streetview to get some idea of what to expect. (Also check out the road route from Heathrow to Bath - which is mainly on the M4). Bath to the Severn Bridges takes about 40 minutes.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6896921,-2.700136,10z/data=!5m1!1e1

Posted by
3466 posts

Please reconsider renting a car right away. Jet lag (no matter how well handled), lack of sleep, not being familiar with the local road system, and driving on the left can all be a problem. There are some that are not bothered by any of those things. Others think they are ok but are really driving somewhat impaired. While others are complete zombies and should never drive on the day they arrive. Parking in Bath is not the easiest thing to do and a car isn't really needed as the town is very walkable. Picking up the car in Bath just before you depart will, in my opinion, be the best way to go. There are many ways to get to bath -- bus, train, combination of the two -- but the best (not cheapest) is a private car hire. Just food for thought.

Posted by
257 posts

Going from Heathrow to *Windsor for some countryside time is the best way for me. It's right there, you can see the castle when your plane comes in, taxi takes 15-20 minutes, also connected by bus and train. We got some historical as well as country sightseeing, and also GOOD prices for shopping in the little shops, lots of riverside country places to walk around, and a hop-on hop-off bus that also goes around a lot of the Windsor and Eton countryside. The recommendation to go all the way to Bath after flying and navigating that huge line of people coming in to the UK has always baffled me. Windsor is just a town over from the airport, and it's perfect for relaxing but still having some royal things to do. :)
Plus if you validate your castle ticket, you can keep going back for free. I missed the changing of the guard when I left my ticket in the hotel room :( but I'll get there again SOME day. :)