I plan to visit Harewood House on Mon 04 Sep and Castle Howard on Tue 05 Sep. I'll be in Birmingham on Sat 02 Sep overnight and then traveling on that Sun to the north to position for the Monday Harewood House visit.
I'm not sure about the logistics to do this using public transportation (train / bus / private tour?).
I've thought about renting a car from Birmingham to have greater flexibility and efficiency (not having to wait for layovers between trains/buses). I've driven in Tasmania, Australia (same driving side of the road as England) and I also have driven a manual transmission. Yet I will be driving by myself ; I'm a fairly confident driver, yet before I commit, I want any reality check suggestions / warnings for this part of England.
If I rent a car from Birmingham, I would like to return to Birmingham Tue 05 Sep evening as I fly out of Heathrow in the late afternoon of Wed 06 Sep to return to the US.