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Suggestions/Advice on Trip to the UK

I am planning on traveling to the UK at the beginning of next summer and would like some advice on how to plan. I will either set it up with a travel company or set it up on my own and stay in hostels. I would like to travel on a budget. Which way have you preferred to travel?

I would like to stay in London for 3 days with a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath. Then spend a night in Liverpool and possible York. Then, I would like to travel up to Edinburgh and spend 2 nights there and another night in a town in northern Scotland.

Any advice is most helpful!!

Posted by
2788 posts

From the very general questions about how to plan, budget, and preferred way to travel, I assume you have not traveled to UK before and perhaps not to Europe. Whatever, I would suggest with your current level of experience you do visit a travel agency who knows UK inside and out. It could be money well spent.

Posted by
2261 posts

jenna, if you can give a little more info folks can better answer you to get you started. I do believe you can do this yourself, though an agent may help get you off on the right foot.

What city would you like to fly into? Does it make sense to you to do a loop and depart from that same city, or perhaps flying open-jaw (aka multi-city) and departing from a different city would make sense? Remember that a short stay of a night or two still costs you money and travel time, so part of the task could be figuring a couple of bases to day trip from-that's how we like to do it. That said, a solo traveler can better move around than two or more in a group. I've learned a ton hanging out here, we have not used a travel agent.

Post back with some details.

Posted by
6113 posts

Absolutely no need for an agent. If you are on a budget, I would suggest that you cut the number of cities that you plan on visiting. It will take you half a day to move on between places, which will mean if I read your post correctly that you would only have half a day in Liverpool, York and northern Scotland. Most of your holiday will be in transit.

If you arrive from the States, you may have jetlag, so your first day maybe compromised. I would suggest adding another day in London. For a day trip, pick either Stonehenge or Bath, as there is too much to cover both properly in a day. You can spend a week in London and only scratch the surface.

Northern Scotland is more difficult to get to and IMO not worth the travel distance for half a day there. Ideally, you need a minimum of 5 days in Scotland if you are going to venture outside of Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Buses may be cheaper than trains, but take longer, so book the trains 12 weeks in advance to get the best prices. Alternatively, fly home open jaw from Edinburgh which will save a day getting back to London.

Posted by
650 posts

First of all, I wouldn’t use a travel agent. You can do better on your own. Second, open jaw is probably the way to go if you must see Edinburgh. I count 8 nights which isn't much. I'd simplify:

London: 4 nights
York: 2
Edinburgh: 2

Better to spend less time traveling and more time seeing.

If you can add a couple days, I'd add Newcastle and day trip Hadrian's Wall. That gives you a straight fast line up the east side of England.

Posted by
89 posts

If you haven't been to London before, I would recommend giving up on Stonehenge and Bath in order to be able to focus more on London as 3-4 days is not enough considering number of attractions it has to offer.
But if you insist on going to Stonehenge and Bath, you might consider taking one of these organized trips starting from London early morning and finishing in London late afternoon or in the evening that include Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge or two of the places depending on an option. Yes, it is rushed but gives you an opportunity to see those places.

Posted by
7175 posts

8 nights is a ridiculously short amount of time for a trip like this.
Part of me wants to suggest you forget Scotland and find accommodation in London for the entire eight days.
Four days for the sights of London and four day trips to places like Bath, Stonehenge, Oxford, Cambridge, Stratford-upon-Avon, Brighton, Canterbury, etc.

I think Jen is on the right track, but I would reduce York to one night, making room for Stonehenge and Bath from your 'wishlist'.
5 nights in London (with a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath)
1 night in York
2 nights in Edinburgh

Posted by
251 posts

From these suggestions, I am planning on extending my trip to 10 days. I plan on traveling back to this area at some point within the next few years, so I don't need to hit every spot now, just the "wish lists" areas. I am considering spending the 10 days in either Scotland or England (not both), but I really want to go to Edinburgh AND see London while I'm over in Europe. Decisions, decisions!!

I have traveled to different countries in Europe before, but never without a travel agency - so trying to go out on my own this time. The problem is, my two traveling companions have different preferences when traveling (one wants to be frugal and the other doesn't care about spending a lot of money), so I'm trying to accommodate for both.

From your suggestions, I will probably condense my cities visited to four or five. I will fly into Edinburgh for two days and possibly another town in Scotland for one or two. Then, possibly make a stop for a few hours in Liverpool? (Would anyone highly recommend staying in this town for a night?), and then London for 4-5 days.

Thank you to everyone for your suggestions! There's just so much to see, any amount of time spent in Europe is not enough :)

Posted by
856 posts

With two travel companions who have different budgets in mind, you might want to stay in London and split up for some days, so you can do what works for you. Many years ago I spent a week in London with 4 friends (we got a great package deal). We did things as a big group some days. Other days we split up. You can go many places from London as a day trip. Plus there are zillions of things to do in London itself.

I think you would be better off doing England or Scotland this trip, not both. You don't need a travel agent. Get a good guide book. That's all you need.

I also recommend sticking with destinations that are easy to reach by public transportation. Save Stonehenge for another trip, preferably one when you have a car.

Posted by
5678 posts

While there are other hostels, SYHA is one to look at for Scotland. I see that they have one in Pitlochry. It might be a great place to go. You can reach it by train and there is lots to do. But I see that there is an affiliate hostel near Dunkeld, one of my favorite places. Lots of walks a great pub--The Taybank.