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What do you think? and Happy 2018!

You've helped me before, and I'm so grateful for that... I've already decided which places my husband and I will visit next July, but I'd like to know if it makes sense to you. This is our fourth visit to the UK (we're from Buenos Aires, Argentina), and we've already been to Edinburgh, York, Liverpool, Chester, Castle Combe and London, so we want to visit other places. This is our next itinerary:

Edinburgh— 3 nights
by train to
Durham— 2 nights
by train to
Cambridge— 1 night
Rent a car
Canterbury Few hours
Dover Few hours
Rye— 1 night
Salisbury— 1 night
St Ives (or another place in Cornwall)— 2 nights
Bath— 1 night
By train to
London— 4 nights

Maybe it sounds crazy, but I think is doable : ) What do you think? Would you change anything?
I'm open to any suggestions.
Thanks again!
ana

Posted by
26402 posts

which route would you expect to use to get from Rye to Salisbury?

Posted by
4897 posts

For me this would be too rushed, especially from Cambridge onward. I think the best practice is to spend at least two nights at any worthwhile destination, allowing a full day to see it without having to change hotels and move around. You have some long drives planned, including one around the east side of London and another all the way out to the end of Cornwall, with mostly one-night stops between. That would tire me out quickly even if I were used to left-side driving. Use Via Michelin to find the most efficient routes, or scenic alternatives in some cases, but remember that its time estimates don't account for traffic or stops along the way. Instead of St. Ives, consider Truro or Plymouth for your Cornwall base, easier to reach and more central for a one-day loop drive with stops (St. Ives, sure, and also St. Michael's Mount, but not Land's End unless you like tourist traps).

If you're doing four nights in London, why go all the way back there from Bath instead of stopping there between Cambridge and Kent? If your flight home is from Heathrow, you could drive from Bath to Windsor the day before and spend the night there (or even at the airport if it's an early flight).

Posted by
12 posts

Nigel, to avoid the traffic, I considered Via M25 which it'll take us about three hours.

Posted by
12 posts

Dick,
We are used to long drives because in our country you have to drive at least 5 hours to get to anywhere. Truro or Plymouth sound good, I hate tourist traps! We have already bought the hotel in London, so we have to leave it to the end of our visit. I'm finding it very difficult to plan this trip.
Is there any place that I could change or ommit to make it better?
Thanks in advance!

Posted by
1312 posts

Well, you have already visited 3 times; so I would assume you know the style of travel you like and how much time travel takes. That being said, this itinerary would not appeal to me (and we are all different). I am heading to Canterbury and Dover in March and spending 4 nights in the area -- and that feels short, given how many wonderful places there are to see. All your locations are really nice places to see; but once you leave Cambridge, you basically have 1/2 day in each location.

You mention that you have already been to Edinburgh and London, so want to go other places. Yet you are spending 7 of your 15 nights in these cities. If it were me, I would cut Canterbury/Dover/Rye and maybe steal a night from London and/or Edinburgh to devote to the remaining locations. Cornwall is amazingly beautiful and you will want more time.

Also, Salisbury and Bath are only an hour train ride away from each other. You might consider a 2 night stay in one place and combine these two, even if you can't give them more time. You would lose more time parking and checking in and out than you might lose with a bit of backtracking. With 3 extra nights, you could do Edinburgh 2 nights; Durham 2 nights; Cambridge 2 nights; Salisbury/Bath area 3 nights; Cornwall 3 nights; and London 3 nights. (* edited for correct number of nights)

It just looks right now like what you have is a drive through England, seeing most of it from the car window, and lots of time checking in and out of hotels.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you very much for your reply. I know that you are right, I must sound so greedy! Maybe I can do that, leave Canterbury/Dover/Rye for a future trip and stay in Salisbury OR Bath so as not to change hotels so often. I want to return to Edinburgh because I want to go on an excursion to the north and know Scotland a bit more. And London... well, there are a lot of places I heven't been to and would love to visit. I've always stayed there for 4 or 5 nights and it wasn't enough.
You have been very helpful, Dick!

Posted by
1212 posts

I presume that you may visited some of the Great Estates that are on the Treasure House UK site. I especially enjoyed Chatsworth and Harwood House which you could visit on your way down from Durham. Some are these are also listed on the National Trust UK site. You may save money on admissions and parking if you become a member. They used to have a pass for overseas or tourist visitors...you may still find it on the site. Visit Scotland site is a great interactive site. English Heritage also has great info and passes.

Posted by
1841 posts

I think you are choosing places that are really dispersed. If I was going to Scotland, I would want to drive into the highlands = going north of Glasgow/Edinburgh - with the aim of reaching the Isle of Skye. Likewise with Cornwall, most Brit’s would not spend the best part of a day driving all the way down to the tip of Cornwall just for 2 nights and then spending most of day driving back east. Like Scotland, there are a heck of a lot of interesting places to visit in not just Cornwall but also Devon = the next county east.

Driving from Rye to Salisbury is not pleasant or easy. Consider skipping the south-east. It might make more sense to combine the south-west with Bath & Salisbury/ Dorset/ Somerset and perhaps a bit of Wales and /or The Cotswolds /Oxford & Stratford-upon-Avon.
Alternatively, concentrate on the northern parts of the UK such as the Lake District, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland & combine that with seeing Scotland.

Posted by
4451 posts

to avoid the traffic, I considered Via M25 which it'll take us about three hours.

By taking the M25 you are not avoiding the traffic, quite the opposite! The M25 is the most frustratingly congested road in Britain, I hate driving on it and if it can be avoided I will.

Posted by
12 posts

Dear people,

I'm so lost. I thought my itinerary was great, and now I see it's too complicated. What do you suggest? Where from Edinburgh? I've already been to Liverpool and York and the East Coast looks great (Durham, Cambridge). Ok, suppose I go west, to the Lake District, Wales, Cornwall and/or the Costwalds, which cities do you recommend? We are interested in history, mainly. We have the ticket to Edinburgh and the last 4 nights in London. Fifteen days in all.

I'm looking forward to your suggestions...

ana

Posted by
12 posts

Oh, Emma, thank you so much... Yes, I know the difference berween village, town and city. Sometimes I get confused, but I definitely prefer town to cities, although sometimes you can't avoid them, can you? I have been trying to cjange some places... Let's see

Edinburgh— 2 nights
Durham— 2 nights
Cambridge — 1 night
Salisbury— 3 nights (we can visit Bath one day and Durdle Door the next day)
Truro— 3 nights
London— 4 nights

I have already booked the hotel in London, I can't change that...

Does this trip sound more sensible?

Posted by
4451 posts

When are you going? The last time I drove to Cornwall was in Easter a couple of years ago. The drive from Plymouth to Portsmouth took over 6 hours, Google maps lists it as 3hr 15mins, and this was simply a result of heavy traffic and a few roadworks along the route. I have a friend who regularly drives to Cornwall and my experience was not unique. It simply is not worth the hassle for a couple of nights.

I would suggest sticking more to the central part of England and pan out in whatever direction you want to within a reasonable distance. This weekend we visited relatives in Derby and the following day I decided to drive down and visit the Cotswold villages that frequently crop up on many people's "must see's" on the way home. First stop was Moreton in Marsh for tea and a quick shop in The Cotswold Cheese Co. for some cheese and chutney (highly recommended) before driving on to Stow on the Wold and then skirting Bourton on the Water. All are fine villages and exceptionally beautiful but can easily be visited in a day. I can't see any reason that would draw me to all of them, let alone one of them, for more than a few hours. There are lots of impressive old buildings that are currently in use as shops, tea rooms etc but other than being nice to look at they're still your average high street. The countryside is little different than most of what can be found throughout the country, lots of rolling fields surrounded by hedgerow so not a great deal to be seen from the road, there are plenty more places with more stunning scenery.

Durdle Door is a great place, along with Lulworth Cove and the greater Jurassic Coast area however it does get extremely busy in the summer. Corfe Castle is one of our favourites and can be incorporated into a trip in the area. Basing yourself in Bath or somwhere similar will enable you to take day trips to the Dorset coast or to Salisbury, the New Forest, the Cotswolds, the Wye Valley, South Wales, the Brecon Beacons and so on. You could easily tag on this part of the country after Edinburgh by taking a flight to Bristol and pick up a car from there. I think zigzagging across the country is not an effective use of time and is more likely to be a source of frustration than pleasure.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks Emma and JC,

We'd rather not fly while we are in the UK, we love trains. I suppose I'll have to start from scratch. I can't omit Edinburgh and London. The rest, I have no idea. Any suggestions? I'd be grateful. Please, remember that we have already been to Liverpool, Chester, York, Castle Combe and that we are interested in history more than landscapes (there are a lot of mountains and lakes in Argentina)
Cheers!

ana

Posted by
1312 posts

Here is a random thought - which I have not tried (and probably wouldn't) but have just read about.

Because the distance from Edinburgh is SO long to anywhere in southwest England (and because your bookend stops are fixed), what about taking the overnight Caledonian Sleeper from Edinburgh to London, and then head directly to Cornwall and/or Bath area from there? Flying really would be better and save you some travel days (and probably be cheaper) plus give you extra time to enjoy the other two locations; but the sleeper (if you can sleep) would also save you some of those days and nights in between Edinburgh and Cornwall.

As Emma said, though, pick what you really want to see and go from that!

Posted by
1841 posts

You say you like the trains; I think that you had better look at the network map:> http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/static/documents/content/routemaps/nationalrailnetworkmap.pdf

www.nationalrail.co.uk will give you the schedules & fares - which for longer journeys, should be pre-booked for the lowest prices (around 11 weeks out). Where you have to change trains and/or companies, it can often work out cheaper to split the ticket than buy one through ticket.

Posted by
12 posts

Travelmom and James,

Great ideas! the reason why I'm so greedy and want to see all I can in 15 days, is that I can't travel to Europe very often. It's a 14 hours flight to London. I can't complain because I have been there three times in 7 years. The problem is that the more I know the UK, the more I want to travel there. I'm an anglophile.

The National Rail network map is fabulous, and I'm really considering flying from Edinburgh so as to save time. I really want to go to the Southwest, visit Poldark locations and Salisbury, too.

Thanks a lot!