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Bath, York, London

I really want to do all three (Bath, York, London) even if it simply scrapes the surface. Is it too much, though? I want to skip Stonehenge, but kids (9 and 10 year olds) really want to go.

This is what I have so far:
Day 1 Train or bus to Bath from Heathrow (2 hours),
Day 2 Tour to Stonehenge and Cotswold,
Day 3 Roman Bath, Abbey, then train to York ( 4 hours),
Day 4 York sights and afternoon tea,
Day 5 Train to London (2 hours),
Day 8 Fly Home

Traveling late May

Posted by
503 posts

I think this is a bit much for what amounts to 4 days. Depending upon where you are traveling from (east coast versus west coast) that first day you will experience some jet lag. For that amount of time, I'd recommend dropping York and save that for another trip - too much travel time out of what is really a very short trip.

Posted by
503 posts

I think this is a bit much for what amounts to 4 days. Depending upon where you are traveling from (east coast versus west coast) that first day you will experience some jet lag. For that amount of time, I'd recommend dropping York and save that for another trip - too much travel time out of what is really a very short trip.

Posted by
6172 posts

You answered your own question. Of course its too much. You underestimate the travel time, as it takes more than just the actual time on the train between cities. But if you're willing to "simply scrape the surface", then why not?

Posted by
8889 posts

This is a very standard short tour.
Point 1: rushed. You don't have a whole day in Bath. You have a part day on your arrival (day 1), and a few hours on day 3, depending on whether you take a morning or an afternoon train.
Point 2: Day 2, how are you doing this? Both need some transport, bus tour or car? And both are in opposite directions from Bath. The Cotswolds is a large area, it needs 1-2 days. It is not one place you go to for a few hours.

I would definitely skip Stonehenge. And probably skip the Cotswolds unless you can find a bus tour that will take you to 1-2 places in the Cotswolds (just a taster). Out the saved time to exploring Bath.

The kids will enjoy York. REAL city walls to climb on.

I guess days 6 and 7 are planned to be in London.

Other than that, have fun and enjoy yourselves.

Posted by
8659 posts

There is a Mad Max tour from Bath that includes Stonehenge, Avebury, Lacock and Castle Combe. I've done it and thought it was a very good day's tour but not sure about taking kids on it. It's a full, long day and I'm not sure walking around the small, picturesque villages would do much for the 9 and 10 year old.

Is this your first time to UK?

I would probably skip York for this trip. You are only giving yourself 1 full day there and are taking an equal amount of time to get up there and back to London. I'd spend the extra time in London.

I am one that loves Stonehenge so I would say go if the kids have an interest in it. The audio tour is excellent and they have some huts set up that the folks might have lived in. I might consider going to Salisbury and spending 2 nights there. You can take the local bus (double decker) which runs a loop out to the stones and back by Old Sarum. It's called The Stonehenge Tour but it's not a tour as we would regard it altho it does have some narration on the bus. It's thru the company called Salisbury Reds with is their local bus company. Then I would spend the rest of the time in London.

Posted by
4 posts

Yeah, it's a bit much . . . I'm now slowly accepting the reality. I was hoping the community would support my lofty goals; but fortunately, you are all sensible and honest. I have Mad Max Tours planned for Stonehenge and Cotswold. So now that York is off the table, does anyone have a recommendation with what to replace it with? I have three days in Bath, one free day, and 4 days in London.

Posted by
4 posts

Not my first time to London, but it will be for the kids and my sister.

Posted by
5013 posts

Several great comments already. Your plans are vastly to ambitious.

We did a 28 day drive tour of Wales and England last October and spend three nights in Bath, so we had a full day to see Bath and another to go to Wells and Glastonbury.
Your plan includes Stonehenge, which is between Heathrow and Bath. You need a day, to see Stonehenge and make it to Bath. You can drive through the Cotswolds, but won't see it well , just driving through.

We spent three nights in York and had 2 and a half days there and needed every second of it. There is lots to see there. We spend half a day just at the Minster.

Bath and York are wonderful and not to be missed, but you need to be realistic on how much time it takes to see them.

Warwick Castle is a huge draw for families. Your kids might like it.

Here is my detailed trip report on our 28 days.
28 days in Britain and Celebrity Eclipse home
https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=599139

Posted by
4 posts

Agreed, at least two weeks are needed for a non-rushed, multi-city trip, but schedule conflicts permitted only one. So we decided to go ahead and enjoy a short family vacation instead of none. Thanks for all the replies!!! Definitely going to split our time between Bath and London, and save York for another time.

Posted by
1128 posts

I was just chatting with a friend of mine and pointed out that it is just unbelievable how much time gets wasted: Packing, going to and from the train stations, waiting for trains, and checking in/out of hotels, not to mention the inevitably of getting lost. Plus, with so much moving around, it's likely they'll be a toothbrush left behind or something similar, which will mandate an unexpected trip to the store.

You know your family, but I'd think carefully about the possibility of crankiness or bickering during a rushed trip, especially if you're all sharing one hotel room. For such a short trip, I'd consider limiting it to two locations and not scheduling day trips every day A non-rushed morning will seem like a blessing.

Posted by
2913 posts

If children are Harry Potter fans, the trip to HP in Leavesden will occupy most of a day from London. Museum of London may be of interest to them. The British Museum for the mummies and Assyrian statues. Maybe a play. If girls, afternoon tea. I've been to London 6 times and have never run out of things to do-we will schedule an all-day or one-night layover there when in transit somewhere else.

Posted by
511 posts

You wrote:
"So now that York is off the table, does anyone have a recommendation with what to replace it with? I have three days in Bath, one free day, and 4 days in London."

Replace it with more time in London. My sons enjoyed the Tower of London at ages 8 and 11. We got there early to minimize the crowds and took a boat cruise back to Westminster in the late afternoon. Be sure to track down the piece of the Roman wall around London near the Tower if you saw the Roman baths in Bath. You've got the British Museum (especially if there's a rainy day) and you can take tea there, although I seem to remember it being more of a snack bar. Museum of London is also entertaining for children. You might have your children research the two of them and decide which looks more interesting.

Posted by
1010 posts

My husband and I have done three different day trips from London to Bath. It was definitely enough time to see what we wanted, all three visits. A day trip to York is also enough time to see that part of England. We always take the Hop On, Hop Off buses and they are fine. Then we walk around awhile.

Posted by
1352 posts

I wouldn't consider a day trip to either bath or York ideal. Sure it can be done, but no way will you get a true feel for the place. I'll never forget being in York in the evening as the bell ringers were practicing their skill. It was amazing. Actually I would think your boys would enjoy York a bit more than Bath. I've been to both, and really enjoyed both. In York they can walk the walls and the castle museum is great and would be very enjoyable for them.

Posted by
361 posts

I loved Glastonbury! Climbing the Tor, seeing The Chalice Well and gardens, walking thru the small town, it was amazing! Stonehenge is on the way there, but you only need a hour at Stonehenge in my opinion. Windsor is also a nice town, you can take a boat ride, tour the castle, lots of parks or walk by the river