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I need some advice...

Good morning from Buenos Aires, Argentina

My husband and I are planning to travel to the UK next July. This will be our fourth visit to that country. We've already been to Edinburgh, York, Liverpool, Chester, Castle Combe and London. This time we want to drive from Edinburgh to Bath and then visit the southwest and southeast before going to London. My question is the following: we'd like to stay for one or two days somewhere in the middle, I mean somewhere between Edinburgh and Bath. Which town or village would you recommend? We like castles, churches, cobbled streets as well as beautiful landscapes. We know that some regions are incredibly beautiful, for example the Lake District and Wales,but we'd like to know where to stay in that area. I hope you can help us because we're at a loss.
Thanks in advance!
ana

Posted by
5013 posts

Good Morning
We loved our trip to Buenos Aires, hope you have a pleasant trip to the UK.

We did a 4 week driving tour of England and Wales in October. Here is my review that is on cruise critic website
https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=599139

We started our tour in Bath, moved on to South Wales, then back to the Cotswolds, up to York, Yorkshire Moors, Pickering, Whitby, Durham, Hadrian's Wall, The Lake District then back South to Winchester, ending in Southampton.

We loved York, but I said that you have already been there. I recommend Durham. You can see the city in one day. We liked it a lot.

Driving in Britain, on the left, it you are from a country that drives on the right (we are from the USA) is a constant challenge. It helps to have a passenger in the car to remind you to "stay on the left," especially when turning.

The traffic in the north of England is not so bad, but be warned, once you are in the Midlands and South (heavily populated part of the country), plan on your drive taking a lot more time than you would normally take in your country. Going to Liverpool, you could stop in the Lake District (NW England), that is very scenic. It is great for hiking there. It would be nice in July. My review provides details on touring both the Lake District and Durham.

When you leave Liverpool going down to Chester, you are likely going to find a lot of heavy traffic. Manchester and Birmingham are east of your route, but still close.

Also, we loved Stratford Upon Avon. If you like Shakespeare, don't miss it.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for your answer! Yes, driving in the UK can be quite challenging. We rented a car there in 2016 and it wasn't a good experience. It was raining, the signals were not very clear and we didn't have a gps. Of course, we got lost. This time it is supposed to be different: last summer we rented a car in Turks and Caicos where people drive as in Britain and my husband got used to it (despite my shouts every time I thought he was going to hit the kerb) and we bought a gps : )

I'll read your review before asking more questions. Thanks again,

ana

Posted by
1596 posts

We stayed at this hotel in 2015 when we traveled between Warwick and Scotland. It is a lovely small country hotel with an excellent restaurant and a pretty garden. If you go to the Lakes district, don't miss a stop at Castlerigg stone circle which is very atmospheric.

grasmerehotel.co.uk

Posted by
2807 posts

Driving from Edinburgh you could stop to see the western end of Hadrian's Wall, which would fulfill your "beautiful landscape" wish, then spend the night in Keswick, which is a charming town with plenty of points of interest. With good reason Keswick is the most popular town in the Lake District.

From there, your next night could be near Warwick Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon, or a bit further south in the Cotswolds (for example, Chipping Campden or Moreton-in-Marsh). Stratford-upon-Avon is very touristy, but that's unavoidable given the fame of Shakespeare. The good aspect is that it has robust tourist infrastructure: lots of hotels and places to eat, lots of signposts indicating points of interest, available maps and other info in the TI office right next to the multi-level parking garage in the centre of town.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you Cinthia and epltd!

Grasmere Hotel looks beautiful and the road trip is very interesting too. I'm taking notes. I have to discuss these alternatives with my husband. He is more interested in villages, towns, castles, forts and ruins than in landscapes. So, I have to find a place where we can find all or some of these things. Somewhere like York, I suppose...

Posted by
3901 posts

We've only ever stayed in London and Portsmouth (with my sister) but I just wanted to recommend - since there is an interest in castles - Arundel Castle. My husband and I spent a half day there wandering the castle and town. It was quite interesting.

Posted by
772 posts

While I heartily recommend the Lake District, especially if you are keen walkers, it occurs to me that if you have a car you could go by the back roads south through Yorkshire to Middleham (not far from York, but far away enough to not be York) which is an interesting village/small town with its own substantial but ruined castle which was the original seat of King Richard lll (who many local folk believe got a raw deal from history - there's a historical society based there that promotes Richard as a good ruler). It's also a centre for race horse training with gallops above the town - if you stay overnight you'll be probably woken early by the sound of horses clip-clopping through the streets on their way to the gallops. We have stayed there a couple of times, latterly at the excellent White Swan.

Further up the valley is Castle Bolton another castle which is complete and I believe open to visitors. Also nearby is Aysgarth Falls - if you've ever seen Costner's 'Robin Hood' that's where Robin met Little John - and Leyburn is an interesting larger town in the vicinity. Check out dining opportunities at the Blue Lion at East Witton and for accommodation and more good eating the Wensleydale Heifer at West Witton, both small villages, the latter being the classic English village strung out along a road.

There are also several ruined ecclesiastical houses in the area, the colossal Fountains Abbey and the smaller and less visited Byland and Jervaulx to name but three.

And all within the green and rolling Yorkshire Dales. Food for thought anyway!

Have a great trip wherever you end up going!

Ian