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Ten days in London too much?

My husband and I (now retired) are escaping for 3 months. We plan on starting in London and taking the train to Paris, renting a car in Paris and hitting the road without much of a plan. That might sound nuts but after decades of hard schedules, this is what we crave.

My question is this: Is 10 days too much to spend in London, or is it just enough time to visit all the sights (calmly) and also take day trips to Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, etc.

This seems to be a wise group of savvy travellers. Your advise is welcome.

Thank you!

Posted by
4378 posts

If you want to visit all the London sights calmly and also do day trips to Oxford, Cambridge, and Bath, then no, ten days is not, in my opinion, too much time. The places you mentioned can be done as day trips, but they will be long days and not exactly calm ones. You might want to consider spending about half the time in London, and staying over night in some of the places you are considering for day trips. Not my intent to rain on your parade, just food for thought.

Posted by
278 posts

I'm sure you will get lots of comments on this. I'll start as we leave for England, second trip , in sept. One of your day trips should include Chatsworth House and Bakewell. You can go to the Chatsworth House website and they have directions on how to do this by train. I can't say if you can get to Bakewell without a car but we did drive there from Heathrow without issue. (My hubby had been in England on business, he met me at Heathrow at the end of his meetings.) The only thing I would do is read, read, read to get a good idea of great places to visit, If you only go to the ones you have "heard" of you will miss the gems. Ravenna Italy is one I would consider a Gem.

Posted by
4500 posts

My opinion only, but 10 days in London is definitely not too much. Most especially if you want to do some day trips. We usually devote a full week JUST for London, and never run out of things to see. I would research your planned day trips carefully. Some of these can end up with the majority of the day just getting there and back. Actually spending a night or two in a different location can make more sense.

You might want to add Windsor as one of your day trip possibilities.

Posted by
22987 posts

Over the past 20+ years we have spent nearly a month in London, most recently six days. Still have a lot we want to see and do. Ten days is not too much especially if doing day trips. We have been trying to see if there is some way we could spent a month in the next couple of years.

Posted by
25623 posts

There's tons to do in London. I'm trying to figure out how many days to spend there in September, at the end of my current trip, and I think 10 days is about what I'll end up with.

One thing to keep in mind is that London hotels are very expensive. Traditionally, they have been considered one of the poorest values in Europe. Therefore, I would not be in a hurry to do a lot of day-trips from London. Although I prefer long hotel stays, I don't like paying capital-city prices to visit smaller towns.

Posted by
3861 posts

We've spent 3-4 weeks in London several times and we never run out of things that we really want to see and do. I think with 10 days and day trips thrown in too you'll only find more reasons to go back on future trips. I can't get enough of London. We usually home exchange or stay in hotels but I think renting an apartment for a week or more might be a good option too.

Posted by
10 posts

We were in London for 6 days last time and felt we hardly saw the city at all. There is so much to see and do. We, like you, tend to enjoy our vacations and not rush from one place to another (takes the vacation right out of it). We leave in 11 days for 2 weeks (12 days if you take out travel days) and I already know it's going to fly by and we'll wish we had more time, especially as we've planned some day trips. I think 10 days will be great, knowing that your adventures await in France right after.

Posted by
6915 posts

10 days is definitely not too long for London, especially if you haven't been there before. In fact, if you haven't been there I would recommend you stretch it to 2 weeks if possible. I disagree with the other posters who suggest that the day trips you mention would be way too long. Both Oxford and Cambridge are less than an hour from London by train so easily done as day trips if you are just interested in hitting the highlights, which in my mind is why you do them as a day trip rather then spending a few days there. Bath is a bit farther but still less than 2 hrs by train so it can be done as a day trip, but for me personally I loved it and was glad we had an overnight planned. Do a lot of research and get an idea of what you want to see in any of these locations to see if you think you might need to plan an overnight in one or more of them.

Posted by
4363 posts

There's plenty to see in London in 10 days without taking day trips. But with that many days I would add a stay in any of the 3 places you mention for 3 nights. There's a lot to see in those places, also, and they will be cheaper than London.

Posted by
385 posts

I just got back from London last week and had a total of 15 days there. I spent ten days seeing London (including Windsor) and used a 10-day London Pass card, which saved me a ton a money. Then three days for day trips to York, Bath and Oxford. The last two days I spent finishing up things in London that weren't on the London Pass. 10 days is in no way too much time. It's barely enough. Enjoy your trip!!

Posted by
1221 posts

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life"- Samuel Johnson

I'm with Sam- you can't really have too much London. So much going on, and constantly changing so with every trip, we start planning the return trip there on the flight home.

Agree with others though that there is so much more to the country than the big city, and it's good to spend at least 2-3 nights further out to see other interesting cities, places, and bits of the countryside the British love so much. The university cities are good options, as is a Salisbury-Stonehenge-Bath route. While you still have lots of fellow travelers, it's not the mad crush you get in London, and you can actually stretch your arms apart and take a few deep breaths without having to worry about bopping a Chinese tour group or something. And there's something to be said for staying in the small town where you walk to a local bakery or cafe in the morning before walking on to see the cathedral or museum instead of starting your day with an hour and a half train trip followed by a bus transfer, or trying to put your rental car into Escher's car park.

Posted by
19 posts

Thank you all so much for your sound advise. Though it is not my first trip abroad, it is my first time to the UK, and I am very excited about London and surrounds. Thanks again!

Posted by
3387 posts

I spent 5 weeks in London the last time I was there and I've visited several other times as well. I never tire of London and always find new things to see and places to go...10 days is fine - you won't be bored or rushed which is how it should be!

Posted by
1540 posts

I bought a paperback book on Amazon
"10 day trips from London" - Can't find it right now, but it has all the info on places to go, how to get there, costs etc.
We did several of the trips (Salisbury, Stonehenge, Greenwich, Leeds Castle, Bath, etc.)
But there is also enough to keep you very busy - just staying in London proper.
Happy Travels

Posted by
4100 posts

There are books on Amazon with more than 10 day trips from London! I agree that some of the day trips make good overnight stops-Salisbury-Bath-Cardiff is the one I did.

Posted by
15477 posts

No, never too much time in London. Bath is better as an overnight.

You say you want to rent a car. A few folks here who've done it say leasing is a much better deal. If you need a navigator, PM me, please, please :-)

Posted by
19 posts

Chani, you would have to fight my husband for the wheel. He loves to drive!
Thank you all for your suggestions.