16 nights: England and Scotland

I'd appreciate feedback and suggestions. My wife and I have 16 nights in August between flying in and out of London Gatwick, and we've come up with the following proposed itinerary. We are young, fairly mobile, and don't want to rent a car. We tend to enjoy history, good museums, beautiful countryside, exploring small towns, great food, local establishments, etc. The whole "travel as a temporary local" mantra resonates with us.

Having studied the 2013 Great Britain book carefully, this is what we've come up with so far:

Bath- 3 nights
- day trip to Stonehenge and/or Avebury
York- 4 nights
- day trip? suggestions?
Edinburgh- 4 nights
- day trip into the highlands? or elsewhere?
London- 5 nights

We had considered a stay in Conwy, but thought it might be better to have more time in the above 4 locations plus time for day trips. Any thoughts on that? Should we save Wales for another time?

Would you suggest we re-prioritize in any way?

Thanks for your help.

Posted by LeeB.
211 posts

Looks good to me though I might subtract a day from York and add it to Edinburgh or London. If you are visiting Stonehenge, I'd pop in to visit Salisbury.

Glasgow, Stirling Castle and Linlithgow Palace are easy day trips from Edinburgh.

You can see a LOT of castles in North Wales but maybe you can do a day trip to Cardiff from Bath to visit Chepstow Castle or Cardiff's beautiful castle (the interior is really gorgeous).

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
1432 posts

You're wisely allowing enough time to see all four cities and environs (though of course London could take up the whole trip if you wanted). I'd save north Wales for another trip, resist the temptation to add more overnight destinations. I don't know the trains, but I know they'll take you several hours between cities.

Posted by Anita
Long Beach, California, USA
1562 posts

From York I recommend a day, or half-day, trip out to Fountains Abbey - I'm sure it's quite easy to find a tour from York since you don't want to drive. I would not be sure about how to get there on public transport since it's a fair distance off the main road and the entrance road is a bit long as well. They have a nice on-site restaurant or take a picnic!
I would certainly include Avebury in your day out from Bath - it's a lovely village and it's interesting to see two very different stone circles.

Posted by James
425 posts

Chepstow Castle involves a time consuming change of train routes (from Bath) & is not advised. You could however, easily take a day trip from Bath to see Cardiff Castle as the trains are hourly and the journey is 1 hour. www.cardiffcastle.com

Caerphilly Castle is a more impressive castle than Chepstow Castle & is just a 16 minute train ride from Cardiff Central or Queen Street (though Caerphilly town is not attractive). http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/daysout/caerphilly-castle/?lang=en

If you included Cardiff in your rail tour of Britain - for perhaps 2 or 3 nights, you could also see :> Castell Coch = http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/daysout/castell-coch/?lang=en
St.Fagans Castle & museum of Welsh Life (Bus 32/320) = www.museumwales.ac.uk/stfagans/
Also www.museumwales.ac.uk/cardiff/
From Cardiff, you could go by direct train to either Chester or Conwy for a stay before making your way up the west side of Britain to Edinburgh. Thus, you would not be double backing by doing York to Edinburgh going north & south. I think that 1 or 2 nights in York is sufficient.
http://www.visitllandudno.org.uk; Near Conwy/Llandudno is > http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden/