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Trip to UK

Hey All,

Greetings of the season!

I will start with thanking you all for making such a lovely forum and special thanks to all those (in advance ;)) who are going to help me plan out my itinerary to UK.

I along with my wife are planning to travel this year to UK in the month of July which is supposed to be the peak season. Thats the reason we are planning early and intend to finalise latest by Feb end.

Our travel dates are 7th to 16th of July 2016. We intend to cover England and Scotland.. leaving out Northern Ireland and Wales from this trip. This is so because we believe it would be too much to cover in 10 days.

Our idea of trip is to keep it busy.. cover the must sees (as I am not sure when we would travel again to this parts) include some adventure sports and also some romantic time. Not very much interested in Architectural stuff but woudl surely like to visit the most important ones.

Can anyone please help let us know the cities to cover and things to do.. We are surely doing the research at our end online as well. But your replies specially from those who stay there or have visited the place would be of great help.

Thanking you all again.

Posted by
3580 posts

Don't plan to see everything in both countries in 10 days. I suggest you concentrate on staying in three locations, maybe London, York, and Edinburgh. Train travel between these three cities is fast and efficient. Do some research in guidebooks and travel publications to decide what to see and do in these places. In London see the British Museum and the Tower of London, in York walk on the wall around the city and visit the Shambles.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks..

We intend to make 3 base as suggested by you.. But instead of York we are thinking of Machester or Lake National District. Nightlife of Manchester is probably good and sports activities in LND is quite awesome. We are though not pretty sure of Edinburgh - whats there exactly to do?

The plan we have now is to spent atleast 2-3 days in London with another day taking a day trip to Bath and Stonehenge.. Then we intend to move out the south of UK travelling towards Manchester/Liverpool and LND. Didnt find Wales as attractive. And not too sure of Edinburgh. We have 10 days in total so getting confused how to spend the rest of the days.

Posted by
7124 posts

London - 5 nts (possible day trips to Stonehenge+Bath and Oxford)
York - 1 nt
Edinburgh - 3nts (possible day trip to St Andrews or Stirling)

In London your checklist includes Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament (Big Ben), St Pauls Cathedral, Tower of London, plus the National Gallery and British Museum if you have artistic interests.

Posted by
5479 posts

We are planning a 4 week driving tour of England and Wales. We have been to London before, as well as Liverpool, North Wales, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Inverness and St. Andrews from a British Isles cruise. Also, we rented a car and drove for three days visiting, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Avebury. I have spend many hours researching and planning our trip. If you are planning t stay in big cities like London, York and Edinburgh, you might find a car more of a liability, since you will have to pay for parking, which is expensive in the UK. If you are not into history and architectural stuff, big cities may not be your place to visit. Consider visiting the Lake District in NW England, the Cotswolds, and the York area. Scotland is wonderful, but you can plan to do that on another trip.

Posted by
31471 posts

Binay,

With only a very short 10 days, you might consider limiting your trip to London (with day trips to Bath and Stonehenge), perhaps York and then Edinburgh. I wouldn't bother with Manchester or Liverpool this trip as that will add extra travel time and expense. With such a short time frame, you won't be able to cover much of England and Scotland, so will have to prioritize.

Have you booked flights yet? You might consider booking open-jaw flights, inbound London and outbound Edinburgh. That will save you the time and expense of returning to your starting point.

It's difficult to recommend "must sees" as everyone has different interests. Are you able to access any guidebooks in your area, either in a Library or online? That would be the best way to find sightseeing that specifically interests you. If you're able to order from Amazon, you could perhaps download the Kindle E-book version of Rick Steves Great Britain guidebook. There are free Kindle E-Readers available for various types of computers, phones and tablets.

Posted by
588 posts

You mention you are interested in some adventure sports. While this might not be "adventure" to you, we enjoyed doing a 4-day walk to/from Bath through the countryside and staying in small towns. We booked this through the company Cotswolds Walks. They transport your bag from inn to inn, and you are given very detailed instructions for your walk from village to village. Something to consider if you want to be active rather than merely visiting buildings.

Posted by
27723 posts

This thread has been asleep since January. Did any of the posters this weekend notice that the plans were to have been complete by February?

Posted by
8 posts

Hie All,

Thank you all for your replies. It has really helped give shape to my plan.

We are travelling to UK in September. We have decided to go direct to Edinburgh and spend 3 days there. Then we move south to Lake National District where we intent to stay in Windermere for 3 days. These 6 days are planned.

We now need to plan for 5 days in London, out of which one day will surely go visiting Stonehenge and Bath. We intend to do this on first day in London so as to start with a relaxing note.

Other places which we have listed out in London to visit are Madame Tussauds, London Aquarium, London Dungeon, London Eye, House of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abby, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Lords. Half a day we intend to keep for shopping (window shopping) at Harrods, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Carnaby Street.

We are not sure if we are missing some important places to visit. Also we need your help to sequence and fit activities possible within each day.

Your response will be highly appreciated.

Thanking in advance.

Posted by
1074 posts

The Abbey and Tower of London are must see but the rest I am not sure. What about the Churchill War Rooms, St. Paul's, London Walks, Hyde Park, British Museum, etc...

Posted by
1 posts

I wouldn't dismiss Manchester. It's only 2 hours on the train from London Euston. If you are interested in football (soccer) then there's the National Football Museum in the city centre and of course Old Trafford Stadium where Manchester United play. Manchester has great night life, the Northern Quarter is full of small quirky bars and the King Street and Spinningfields areas for upmarket restaurants. Manchester is also famous for its gay village around Canal Street which is full of colourful characters! It's a compact city so you reach every area on foot. It's great for shopping too, with nice independent shops in the Northern Quarter, high end stores like Harvey Nicholls, and the enormous out of town mall called The Trafford Centre. You can easily visit the Lake District for a day from Manchester, the train to Windermere for example takes about an hour and a half. You could also visit Liverpool for a day, frequent trains will get you there in under an hour. You'll find everything is a lot cheaper than in London and the people are well known as being much friendlier than "down South". London, York and Edinburgh are all great places to see but if you want to be the only tourist in a bar or restaurant then come see us in Manchester!

Posted by
7124 posts

Do you have 5 nights in London, the first night being after your travel from the Lake District?
If so, I would not be so keen on another travel day following, to Stonehenge and Bath. Break it up.
#1 Travel from the Lake District to London
#2 London sights - London Eye, Houses of Parliament (Big Ben), Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Sq, National Gallery
#3 London sights - Buckingham Palace, Green Park, Piccadilly Circus, British Museum
#4 Day trip to Stonehenge and Bath
#5 London sights - Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St Paul's, Tate Modern

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks Mark for suggesting Manchester. Even ma wife was insisting on going there. So now we are planning to stay overnight in Manchester. Just that it would increase our no of bases to 4. We cannot miss staying in Windermere as we are planning 3 days there and travelling everyday from Manchester would not make sense.

And also thanks David for highlighting that we should do Stonehenge day trip not immediately after travelling from LND. It would have made it tiring for sure.

We intend to keep 2 days for sight seeing in London. Can anyone please help me plan these 2 days as to what all to watch each day. I have mentioned what all we intend to visit in my earlier post.

Madame Tussauds, London Aquarium, London Dungeon, London Eye, House of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abby, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Lords. Half a day we intend to keep for shopping (window shopping) at Harrods, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Carnaby Street.

We are not interested in history but we intend to visit at least one museum - should it be British Museum?

Posted by
31 posts

Binay,

Like you and your wife we're planning our first trip to Great Britain in September. This forum has been a tremendous help. Another valuable resource has been Rick Steves' England guidebook. He provides a rating system of "don't miss", "try hard to see" and "worthwhile if you can make it." We've relied heavily on this and take his advice in most instances, unless a site is of particular, personal interest to us. We've depended on Rick's travel advice before and value his guidance and experience.

He gives Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery, the British Museum, the British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tower of London his highest marks and ranks them "must see" attractions.

Madame Tussards Waxworks he ranks much lower, in the "worthwhile if you can make it" category. Martha Ainsworth is an American tourist who has been to England many times. This is her website: http://www.metanoia.org/england/sights.htm She was less tactful than Mr. Steves and called the London Dungeon and Madame Tussauds "tourist traps" and encourages travelers to skip them.

And I hope your wife has an opportunity to do more than window shop. Surely she needs some small, easily packed souvenir to commemorate the trip, a scarf, a piece of jewelry perhaps. ☺ Enjoy your adventure!

Posted by
8 posts

Hie All, Thanks for your valuable feedback.

Should we keep Manchester as our base and visit LND for a day trip? We do not want to miss LND as it looks serene and at the same time do not intend to have too many bases to avoid the hassle of check-in and outs.

David, you have suggested 3 days for sight seeing in London. Can we not stuff it in 2 days if we start early? Please suggest.

Also, we would like to do skydiving in Salisbury. We also have Stonehenge and Bath in our plan. So, is it a good idea to visit both the places directly from London or should we contemplate putting up in Salisbury.

Can anyone please suggest amusement park with awesome rides in and around London. We want to visit that for a day.

Thanks to all of you again!!