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9 Day family trip itinerary help

Hi, I will be traveling to England for 9 days. We will be flying out of IAD (Washington D.C.) and arriving at Heathrow around 6:30a.m. I will list my very tentative plans below, but would love to get feedback from those more knowledgeable. This will be for next May 16-25, and it will be my husband, myself, and two children 11 and 13 at the time. I am a fan of Jane Austen and Regency era in general. I will say that I have tailored the trip initiallly around my preferences, but want to make sure everyone has a good time. Any suggestions for tweens/teens would be great.
16th - arrive at Heathrow 6:30a.m. on to Bath
17th - Bath/Stonehenge
18th - The Cotswold
19th - The Cotswold/Stratford Upon Avon
20th - London
21st - London/Chatsworth House(possibly only myself and daughter for this)
22nd - London
23rd - London
24th - London

We will be doing the major activities in London: Westminster, Tower of London, Viewing Buckingham from outside, Museums, Big Ben, Tower Bridge. I have considered the Harry Potter tour, but it is very pricey and I am not sure it would be worth it.

Posted by
575 posts

The Churchill War Rooms are very interesting, and may give your children insight into an era with which they have no context. [ If that doesn't work, there's always the evening Jack-the Ripper Tours.]
For the Tower of London, go early, obviously, and go directly to the Crown Jewels, before the line forms.
Enjoy and safe travels!

Posted by
3393 posts

Also, at the Tower of London, there is a small museum, near the 'back' of the walled area. It costs a little extra to enter (when we went years ago, it was 50 pence or 1 pound). It is the history of a particular regiment of British soldiers. We loved the exhibits and explanations and were wonderfully surprised to realize about half-way through, that this regiment was the one we Americans call the Red Coats!!!! LOL!!!

Posted by
7443 posts

Bath is so perfect for a JA/Regency fan! I'm not sure you'll have time since you are going to do Stonehenge from Bath but if you have time do the Roman Baths and #1 Royal Crescent museum - a restored townhouse on the Royal Crescent. I was just thrilled to be walking down Milsom Street, lol!

I was completely unimpressed with the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. It's expensive and she did not live at this address nor do they have anything original of hers there. The staff dress in Regency style clothing which is fun but it seemed to me little more than photocopies of things related to her.

I'd also try to have tea at the Pump Room although that might be more expensive than you want to pay. But you are in THE Pump Room, lol!

There is a wonderful small book called Walking Jane Austen's London that you might want - although it would probably be better for when you return on your own, lol. Lots of JA/Regency related sights in London! The author, Louise Allen, also writes an interesting blog with lots of references to Regency era sights in London. https://janeaustenslondon.com/

Posted by
76 posts

That is one action packed itinerary. How are you intending to get from Heathrow to Bath? I do hope you aren’t planning on driving after an overnight flight, when you are likely to be jet lagged and tired. If so seriously rethink this and take the train!

You aren’t giving yourself very long to see much of Bath - it really does deserve a full day, especially if you are a Jane Austin fan! The kids will probably enjoy the Roman Baths.

I am completely bemused by your plans for 21st - do you really mean Chatsworth House in Derbyshire? If so this is completely unrealistic as a day trip from London. It would make sense to tie it in after the Cotswolds. On day 19th have an overnight in Stratford upon Avon and then drive to Chatsworth first thing the next morning. even so you are still looking at a 2-3 hours drive. Chatsworth is one of the great Treasure Houses of England and to do it justice takes nearly a whole day. As well as the house there are also the gardens. You would need to have an overnight on the way back to London.

SERIOUSLY RETHINK THIS - Rather than Chatsworth, think about visiting Blenheim Palace instead - it is equally as grand as Chatsworth and is close to Oxford. It also has connections to Winston Churchill who was born here. (If the rest of the family don’t fancy Blenheim, there is plenty for them to do in Oxford for the day) . Achieve this by adding an additional day to the Cotswolds in place of the 21st in London.

How are you planning to get from the Cotswolds to London? Think about dropping the car off in Oxford and catching a train to London. It is a regular service and you don’t need a car in London.

Posted by
3816 posts

You need a full day to do Bath. We stayed at the Brooks Guesthouse, and dined on the best Fish and Chips in England at the Scallop Shell.
We stayed at Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds and spent a full day and about another half doing the Cotswolds. Also, did Stratford Upon Avon, which will take you a full day. Be sure and do the Shakespeare home/museum 5 sites. Use the HoHo bus to get to all the sites. Love Shakespeare and that city.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for all of the responses. The Red Coat museum sounds interesting. We visit D.C. now and then, and love to learn about American History, this really is a great tie in.

We are planning on taking a train to bath as I have read that a car is a burden there. Also, we want to be safe after an overnight flight. It does look like I need to readjust our plans a bit. I want to get adequate time in Bath and I definitely want to see The Pump Room. (I also read a lot of Mary Balogh and read of it in several books)