We are two cousins, that travel together, planning a trip to England & Scotland in early June 2023. We will be spending approximately 19 days, we can add a couple more if needed, and would like to spend at least 5-6 nights, in London but want to decide on 1 or 2 other home bases, to take day trips from. We need to get everyone's input, what would be the best choices, to get a good overview, for our first trip here. Of course, we plan to return, in the future, but would like to know what you all think. We love charming places, with good restaurants and shopping, not necessarily super large cities, but prefer quaint villages, but with a lot to see and do. We do like to stay in B& Bs, and spend time with the locals. We also love places where you can have dinner, at the B&B, with fellow travelers, in the evening, if at all possible. We like to stay in each home base a minimum of 4 nights, so we aren't running continuously, from place to place. Also, we were thinking we would have to drive, but perhaps High-speed railways are a good option? Thank you for you time and thoughts
If you are travelling by train, I would opt for London - York - Durham - Edinburgh. I am sure many will suggest Bath, but it isn’t on a direct train route to Glasgow or Edinburgh.
From York - the North York Moors, the Yorkshire Dales, Whitby on the coast and there is plenty to see in York itself. Durham - the cathedral and a must for me would be a day at Beamish Museum. Edinburgh - a day trip to Glasgow or Stirling for its castle or North Berwick for a day at the coast and a lovely lunch spot.
Fly home from Edinburgh.
Thank you so much! We were originally thinking we would drive, because we did not realize there are high-speed trains, in UK and Scotland.
Our first "home base" was at a friend's in a small village in Wiltshire near the wonderful Uffington White Horse. This area was fantastic for exploring. Close to Oxford, Bath, Salisbury, Avebury, Stonehenge, Lacock, Castle Combe and the Cotswolds. We did a trip into Wales for hiking camped overnight and returned visiting a couple of castles.
We also briefly "homebased" at a friend's in West Yorkshire. I found this area to be great to explore. Few well known sights but it was the rural England that my wife and I had imagined.
Most of our remaining time in England was spent in the Lake District. Very beautiful particularly around Eskdale, Wasdale, Langdale, Borrowdale.
Touristy but pretty around Ambleside, Windemere and Keswick.
We spent a couple of weeks in Scotland. We skipped the big cities prefering to head up along the NW coast. Amazing scenery. Glencoe/Glen Etive, Fort William/Glen Nevis/Ben Nevis. Eilean Donan, Isle of Skye (you need a few days). We snuck across to Isle of Raasay, super quiet but beautiful. Applecross, Torridon. Just lovely.
Thank you so much, sounds wonderful! Did you travel by car or Train or both?
Car. We had rented a small van that doubled as our accommodation so we had plenty of freedom.
The Highlands would be challenging to get around without a car. We had 7 weeks and also spent a good amount of time in Wales and Ireland.
I tend to avoid the big cities, though London has a lot to offer, it is exhausting. Don't miss the Cotswolds. Find a base and there are numerous awesome day trips from there. It all depends on your priorities. Castles, stately homes, small old villages? Focus on what really charms you.
The Salisbury plain around Stonehenge has a wealth of interesting prehistoric sites. Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall are gorgeous and full of beautiful villages and coastal gems. The more research you do online, the better your trip will be.
England is a hiker's paradise, almost anywhere you go.
We are going this year and I had to start booking in January for August through October, and even then many popular places were already booked, so start early.