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British 1 Month Stay

Hi,

Can you help me with cities and itineraries that might fit my travel?

I've been really thinking about travel, CoVid safety, and what fits my lifestyle. I'm in a fortunate situation where I can work from home and i usually work with people earlier than my current time zone (CST). I don't have kids and I can get care for my 2 elderly cats. I'm thinking about going to the UK for 3-4 weeks in 2022.. I need reliable internet for work but I'm totally flexible where I work.

I do not want to drive and would prefer Uber, bus, train. With as much time as I have you travel, I'm open to all options in the UK. What would you suggest we an itinerary? I'm cool with spending a week somewhere chill and the weekend in a city, then moving on. I just don't know enough about the UK to make a decision. Can you suggest an itinerary that works with 3-4 weeks in the UK that might work with minimal driving or reasonable driving or Uber?

I'm 45, enjoy food, culture, history. I don't really care about clubbing or staying out late. I enjoy meeting locals and learning about the culture. I love spas, yoga, relaxation, so anything like that would be nice.

Posted by
27714 posts

first trip across the pond or have you visited here before?

Do you need to work M-F every week?

Posted by
44 posts

Train is the easiest alternative to driving at least in my opinion.
I would start planning by having a look at a map as that may give you some ideas.

Posted by
5853 posts

Some time in London would be warranted, enough there to fill a Month, but cost might become an issue. But a week would be warranted. Cornwall is someplace I could see spending a few weeks (so does everyone else though, especially in the Summer), however public transport options are less, a car would be needed, adding significant cost.

You might consider "second" cities; Liverpool has quietly become a pleasant place to live, York is scenic, Glasgow has long been attractive for many. I have often wondered if Sheffield might be interesting. Hit hard by industrial closings, maybe it has undergone a renaissance, it is centrally located and decent train connections I believe.

Posted by
21057 posts

In addition to the obvious but expensive London, I was pleased with all of these places where I stayed (usually for 4-7 nights) and took day-trips: Brighton, St. Ives (very touristy, but coastal Cornwall spots with public-transportation access are going to have lots of tourists), Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Norwich, Newcastle, Chester, Edinburgh (rather costly as well as touristy), Glasgow and Dundee. With the exception of Chester, one thing they all have in common is interesting museums.

For major repositioning moves there's lots of money to be save by buying the train ticket early, but I don't know whether that applies to refundable tickets these days; I believe it usually does not, and grabbing train tickets 3 or 4 months in advance comes with obvious risks right now.

I would certainly shoot for four weeks rather than three. There is so much to see in Great Britain.

Posted by
30 posts

I would love to spend a month in Great Brittan. If you love spas, then you need to go to to Bath. The Thermae Bath Spa in Bath isn't fancy but it's fun and unique. It's also easy to get to Bath from Heathrow by bus and a great place to get over your jet lag. You could spend a week in the Bath/Bristol area. Cardiff is also lovely and I enjoyed exploring Caerphilly Castle, which is a quick train ride from Cardiff. It is possible to spend more than a week in London. You could also go to the university towns of Oxford and/or Cambridge.

I haven't been to Liverpool, but it's on my list just because I want to fly in or out of the Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Have fun!

Posted by
5544 posts

Technically, you can’t work in the U.K. on a tourist visa is my understanding of the law.

Avoid Devon and Cornwall if you aren’t hiring a car and it takes too long to get there.

Have a week on the coast in Brighton, a week in London, a week in Liverpool or York and a week in Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Uber is very patchy and can’t be relied upon. The train service is good.

Posted by
292 posts

We've stayed with friends who lived outside Durham. It was a pretty town with a direct train from London that went up into Scotland. There's a lovely High Street and a great cathedral. Maybe you could just work your way up the coast?

Posted by
5853 posts

Re: Working in the UK (or for that matter an EU country). This topic comes up often, and is simple to solve, from the standpoint of the UK Government...the OP would not be working in the UK. The key points are; the OP will not be a Resident, the OP will not (likely) be performing work for a UK based company or location, or performing work that would be done by a UK citizen otherwise. The OP will be performing work for a US based company, paid in US funds, to a US Bank (again, assuming).

The most common violation that could occur, is if the OP were to seek some type of residency, then remote working would be an issue. Within the limits of the Visa Waiver for US (and other) residents, logging in, performing tasks, checking emails, attending meetings, are all allowed activities. The UK actually did away with a number of different "work visas" and allow a wide range of activities (Lecturing, Performing, Audits, visiting and working with colleagues at a UK facility as part of your "home" position, etc.) that are short term.

I worked for a large multi-national company, and we had a whole group that monitored international travel for issues with security and visa requirements. Had to submit a list of activities for every trip, even personal trips if I would be accessing email or company assets, and in many, many trips, never triggered a concern for even intense remote work for up to a couple months. Others triggered visa requirements when they had to be in Germany (for example) for 4 or 5 months, or if they were technically transferred to a facility, so would be paid and resident at that facility.

One good resource for the UK would be: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa The OP should also check with her employer and verify there is no issue with her working from the UK. The concerns may be security as much as economic or visa requirements though.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you for good ideas to start. Yes, that makes sense to look at the train map!

I’m only going for vacation and work from home; not changing residency. I was planning to use PTO for some time but I have to check in so I can’t be away from work the whole time.

I’ve been to Spain, Italy, and countries along the Adriatic but this would be my first time to Great Britain.

Thank you all for the feedback!

Posted by
11243 posts

My suggestion is to get a guidebook for Great Britain, skim through it, and find the areas you wish to visit.

Then, you can do in-depth research on what you want including coming here with specific questions.

But be forewarned, opinions here vary greatly.

And, depending on what time of year you visit, be aware of weather and daylight hours. Sunset varies from after 10 PM in summer to just after 3:30 PM in winter.

Posted by
5853 posts

And, depending on what time of year you visit, be aware of weather and daylight hours. Sunset varies from after 10 PM in summer

Yeah, you forget how far north you are. Visited my Brother in Harrogate for a couple weeks in June...did not see it dark the entire time. Bed before sunset, up after sunrise.

Posted by
6343 posts

I spent the entire month of November in the Richmond neighborhood of London.

Lucky enough to have a friend whose house I could stay at. I’ve been visiting London since Nixon was in office.

Per usual found new places and things to enjoy.
A theatre performance at Alexandra Palace, the Crystal Park Dinosaurs, a Christmas Panto at the Hackney Empire Theatre, The Line Art Walk and The Dove pub. Revisited Spitalfields market, preferred pubs, cafes and the Thames River path.

My first suggestion is to get both the RS Great Britain and London guidebooks. Read and research. Also check these websites: TimeOut London, A Lady in London, London Eater, and Londonist. Each will provide intel that will help you create a travel itinerary.

Public transport will be via train, bus routes and the London Underground. The Oyster card will be your friend in and about London environs.

Obviously you’ll desire excellent WiFi. If not renting an AirBnB check out Premiere Inns. I recall in my 2019 that in Chiswick that Chief Coffee had great free WiFi. I know Costa Coffee shops have free WiFi.
Imagine Starbucks and Cafe Neros do as well but don’t know for sure.

The Royal Parks are wonderful way to enjoy your stay. Walking and exploring. https://www.royalparks.org.uk/

So many free museums, galleries, street markets, cafes, and open spaces to explore.

Obviously future travel will be affected by Covid restrictions so fully investigate.

Good Luck

Posted by
1778 posts

I agree with Trixie that taking a direct bus from London Heathrow to Bath is ideal. Using Bath as your base, you can take a direct bus to: Wells (1h), Glastonbury (2h) and Avebury (1h). You can also take a direct train from Bath to: Salisbury (1h) and London (1h 30m).
You can take a direct train from London to: Oxford (1h 30m), Windsor Castle (https://www.rct.uk/visit/windsor-castle) and Cambridge (1h).
From London go to York (2h by direct train) and then to Edinburgh which is where you should fly home from (or into) that takes 2h 45m by direct train. From Edinburgh a good day trip is to Glasgow (1h by direct train). With that said I would find accomodations in Bath, London, York and Edinburgh.

Posted by
5467 posts

My wife and I did four weeks in England and S. Wales in October of 2017. It was wonderful. We rented a car and except for three days, didn't drive more than two hours a day.

We visited Bath, Wells, Cardiff, Tenby, St. David's and a village in SE Wales where my paternal ancestors came from in 1716. Then back to England to Chipping Campden (using it as a base to visit the Cotswolds, Oxford, Blenheim Palace and Stratford Upon Avon). On to Warwick (visiting the Castle and town), York, Yorkshire Moors, Whitby, Durham, Hadrian's Wall, The Lake District, Winchester, ending up at Southampton for a cruise.

You many be limited by not renting a car. The British countryside is amazing. Don't miss York for sure.

Posted by
27714 posts

Regarding getting to Blenheim Palace by train from London, suggested by MaryPat just above, to Hanborough, I'd like to ask if MaryPat has used Uber from Hanborough?

I would have thought that the fare would be high because there won't be any Ubers hanging around a rural station with one train an hour so would probably have to drive out from Oxford to pick up. The other problem is that Oxford denied Uber a license to operate in Oxford so unless you use a local taxi suggested by Uber it may be difficult.

There are three local taxi companies in Hanborough, you could ring one of those.

But why go all the way to Blenheim Palace from London? It is a long day of sightseeing to be turning around and going all the way back.

Better to be based for a while in the Oxford area, and tootle over when it is convenient.

Blenheim Palace and Woodstock is well served by several bus routes from Oxford (even half hourly from Hanborough) (Oxford buses were recently rationalized in a good way to eliminate the previous battling between the two main companies running nearly identical routes) and is faster to reach from London using Chiltern Railways. See what Blenheim Place says on their own website about getting there by train (they have another section about the buses from Oxford):-

There are frequent train services to the nearby train stations of
Oxford, Oxford Parkway and Hanborough.

Travel from London Marylebone by Chiltern Trains to Oxford Parkway
(then connect to Blenheim by Buses 7 and 500). This is the quickest
route from London to Blenheim.

Travel from London Paddington or Reading by GWR to Oxford (then
connect to Blenheim by Buses S3 or 500).

Travel by GWR from London Paddington, Reading, or Worcester to
Hanborough (then connect to Blenheim by Bus 233).

There are rail connections available from many other cities, by
changing at Reading, Didcot Parkway or Birmingham New Street.

For train times and journey planner visit our Good Journey Page,
nationalrail.co.uk or call 08457 484950.

We are offering 30% off Palace, Park & Garden tickets for visitors
arriving by bus on our website, use the code GREEN30 at our online
checkout.

Posted by
1778 posts

Regarding getting to Blenheim Palace by train from London, suggested by MaryPat just above, to Hanborough, I'd like to ask if MaryPat has used Uber from Hanborough?

No I haven't!

Posted by
5544 posts

I don’t know if you are on a budget, but Bath and the Cotswolds is the second most expensive location outside London.

Posted by
8767 posts

Nigel, thanks for your detailed transportation explanations. I’m going to bookmark this.