Please sign in to post.

England in June/July - 5 days before and after work trip in Manchester- what to do?

Hi, I have work trip to Manchester the first week in July. My wife will come with me and we have scheduled five days before and after to tour England. So our plane arrives and departs from London.

This is my wife's first trip to England and will be my second. We are both very interested in history and my wife is also very interested in literature.

Right now I have us spending the five days after in London. We would tour around London and maybe do a day trip or two. Dover is a possible day trip as we are interested in WWII history.

For the five days before, we were thinking about options. Maybe go directly to Bath or some place in the area. We could see Bath, the Cotswolds (probably via day tour like Mad Max), and Oxford. (Day trip) I was thinking maybe Bath should be our base. Another option might be to stay in the Cotswolds and use this as a base. I was looking at Morton on Marsh since there is train acesss we did not plan to rent a car. Would Bath be the best base or better to stay somewhere out in the Cotswolds? Or even Oxford?

Another option might be to cut the front part short and head up to Manchester early and maybe take a day trip to York?


Posted by
388 posts

I would spend much extra time in Manchester if you can help it. There are so many other towns with more character near by. For the front end I might consider basing in York with side trips out from there like the North Yorkshire Moors and Coast. For the back end, I would cut London a couple days short and spend the difference in Bath with a say trip out to the Cotswolds and Stonehenge on Mad Max tours. Then, train to London to spend your last few nights before coming home. This is just a suggestions, but having done this several times, I am confident it would work well for you too. You can find train schedules and tickets on You can use the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to get outside of York. However, you could also do a private tour guide or rent a car for 1-2 days.

I hope this helps some.

Posted by
5104 posts

I don't understand the obsession with Bath and The Cotswolds, sure they're interesting and there are some lovely parts of The Cotswolds but there's so much more to the UK. If you're interested in WWII history then neither of those places fit the bill. What about a trip to Portsmouth, there's the Historic Naval Dockyard with the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior plus a very good naval museum. Plus there's the D-Day museum and the Royal Marines Museum and then there's Southwick just outside the city where the D-Day landings were planned, you can visit Southwick House where Eisenhower and Churchill stayed and planned the invasion. From Portsmouth you can explore the towns and villages in the South Downs national park and find some great places just as attractive and interesting as those in The Cotswolds. Plus there's the ancient capital of England, Winchester which has some amazing sights including King Arthur's round table. WInchester and Portsmouth are easily accessible by train (the dockyard in Portsmouth is a two minute stroll from the train station) or via the M3 or A3 from London.

Posted by
3111 posts

Agree about "obession with Bath & the Cotswolds," though they're both perfectly nice.

If you used Manchester as your base for the first 5 days and rented a car, you could take day trips in several directions: Anglesey or other parts of Wales, Liverpool, Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Lancaster, Lake District. Or, simply spend your first 5 days in the Lake District, where there are plenty of literary connections. Is your interest in history mostly 20th century, or earlier? That would make a difference. I guess it depends on whether you want to visit the top famous, popular (with tourists) destinations -- in which case yes, Bath & Cotswolds is the ticket -- or more out-of-the-way places.

Posted by
2314 posts

Day trip by train from Manchester to York is a good idea. As you are going to the north - why not stay in the north and take the train to Chester before heading off west to NW Wales. Conwy/Conway maybe.

If going to the Cotswolds form Manchester, you might find it easier to go by train to Cheltenham rather than MIM. For local buses in England - use

Posted by
2759 posts

I would base myself in The Cotswolds from Morton in Marsh you could take the base to Chipping Campden, Stow on the Wold, Broadway and Bourton on the Water all beautiful villages and worth a visit.

Posted by
6113 posts

Another poster here agreeing with the Bath/Cotswolds obsession!

There is plenty to see from a northern England base: York, Chester, Liverpool and north Wales for history; the Lake District and the Peak District for great scenery, Haworth for the Brontes, the Lake District for Beatrix Potter.

Manchester has many attractions such as the Imperial War Museum North, the Lowry Gallery, the Science and Industry Museum, tours of Old Trafford football club, take afternoon tea at the Sculpture Gallery at the Town Hall, take a walking tour etc. There are also several properties nearby owned by the National Trust that are worth visiting, such as Quarry Bank, Dunham Massey and Lyme House.

Posted by
4092 posts

If this is her first trip to England, London should be a priority-British Museum, British Library, maybe Museum of London, Churchill Rooms and/or War Museum. Given your limited time and your stated interests, I don't see Bath and Cotswolds as a priority. I have been to both-not my favorite England things. Dover Castle is my favorite castle because it really shows a castle as a defense. I haven't been to the WWII tunnels in Dover, but another trip to Dover is on my bucket list.