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england for a month


I'm looking to rent a small place in the UK (england) for a month or so mid October-mid November. I'm looking at attending school there in the new year and wanted a location that was located out of a big city with more of a rural setting but close enough that I could walk to catch a train to get to different spots around the country that I'll need to visit for post graduate research. I've always loved the feel of York for the creative arts but would also be open to any other suggestions of something or some place that fits the bill before I dive too far into Airbnb or VRBO.

Any recommendations of places stayed that match this?

Thanks so very much!

Posted by
4939 posts

Allison, where do you currently live and are you able to travel to England? It's mid September and there are still a number of travel bans from a number of countries. As the Coronavirus rates increase I don't expect travel restrictions to ease for the coming months.

That aside, whereabouts are you planning to attend school? (University presumably?) For creative arts York doesn't jump out at me in that respect, I'd be thinking more along the lines of London, Brighton, Bristol, Liverpool or Manchester to name a few.

There are so many places outside of a big city but with easy rail connections that it is almost impossible to recommend a particular place with such wide parameters to start with.

Posted by
6461 posts

I guess you don't wish to rent a car? Using the trains will work, but you will miss some great places.

We did a four week drive tour of S. Wales and England in 2017 and loved it.
Here is my detailed review that may assist:
28 days in Britain and Celebrity Eclipse home

I would divide up my time into 3-5 places for a home base.

For Southwestern England, consider Bath or Oxford as a base. If you want to visit S. Wales, Cardiff is good.
We loved Winchester, but you can take the train from London.
If interested in Cornwall, recommend Exeter.

York is a great idea for a base, you could visit Durham. Not sure if you could do a day trip to Whitby, but Whitby is nice.

We used Chipping Campden for visiting the Cotswolds, but it has no train station. To do the Cotswolds you need two days. Find a private tour from Oxford or rent a car for a couple of days.

For SE England, London is best, but Canterbury might be an idea.

Posted by
23114 posts

It's difficult to identify places that might be convenient to you when we don't know what places you'll need to visit for your research. Although you can travel from London all the way to Edinburgh in about 4-1/2 hours, starting or ending in a small town will mean fewer miles covered per hour (because the fast trains don't stop in small places), and having to make connections will slow you down further.

The best place to check train schedules is the NationalRail website at

You can, indeed, day-trip from York to Whitby (by bus). I did it last year.

Posted by
4 posts

Birmingham and Lancaster are great choices for research-intensive fields you can contact the universities there they always provide accommodation places somewhere nearby.

Posted by
7375 posts

Why not stay across the river in Richmond.? You have Kew Gardens and Richmond Park. There’s a lovely “Main Street”, with shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs. From Richmond Station it’s 35 minutes into London, (Victoria Station) on the tube. District Line.

Or stay in Ealing where it’s a 7 minute train ride to Paddington station.

Pho Saigon is a favorite restaurant. Fabulous pastries and coffee at Ginger and Moore. Across the road from TK Maxx. Stayed at a flat at the entrance of the famed Ealing Studios.
Believe the building was called Walpole Court.

All of above intel from pre Covid stays.

Posted by
13 posts

The most connected place in England is Sheffield. There are trains that go to all four corners of the country from there. It is also one of the greenest cities in England, having 60% of the city as green space, and a third of the city within the peak district national park. The arts scene is alive and thriving in Sheffield, and its the home of the world's oldest football club.

Posted by
29679 posts

The arts scene is alive and thriving in Sheffield

still? How is that happening?

Posted by
1290 posts

Sheffield is also famous, or infamous, for being destroyed in the 1984 film Threads which was a much more horrific vision of nuclear war than The Day After.

But, I liked it, the industrial revolution cities in the North of England are quite appealing to me

Posted by
273 posts

Hi Allison,
Sabbatical Homes dot com should be able to help you. It's only for academic email accounts, for either university students or professors on sabbatical. Hope it helps!
-Alison B.