Hi, In April my 10 year old daughter and I went to England. We started out in Bath, 3 days there. Took the Mad Max Tour to Avebury, Cotswolds and Stonehenge, then took the train to Cornwall stayed there for 7 days and then back to London for 3 days. Now we would like to return to England in 2012 for 10 days. Not sure what we should see next. We love the country, castles, museums/history. We will be traveling by train to reach all our destinations (once we decide on them). Would anyone have suggestions on what best to see next? April weather was good while we were there but would it be just as nice to travel in the summer? Thank you so much for your input. Peace. Bonnie
Thank you all for your advise and comments. I have a lot of ideas to play with. :-)
North Wales would be a good choice but it's so isolated. You would probably have to take a 4 hour train ride with a change or two to make it to Conwy. Once there, you'd be limited on what you could see if you depended on buses. I suggested Edinburgh, Durham, York, Cambridge and London because they are all very walkable and have public transportation to get you around where needed. You could do a SE England sweep on the train. That would include Dover, Plymouth and more. I still recommend my earlier suggestions.
I agree , York is a great place to visit! So is Edinburgh (and Inverness and Aviemore and... well all of Scotland!!! ; - ) )
You could start in London- do a day trip to Windsor and maybe one to Canterbury or Dover. then train to York- 2 or 3 days. Train to Edinburgh- 2 to 4 days. If you want, then train to Aviemore, 2 days then train to Inverness- 3 to 5+ days. We have stayed in Betws-y-coed in the Snowdonia area of Wales. It is lovely- but like another poster mentioned- takes a longer train ride to get there.
I'd also vote for Northern Wales. I spent 5 days based in Bangor, then did day trips out from there. The bus service was great, took me easily to Beaumaris, Llanberis, Caernarfon, and Conwy. I never had a problem with the buses. Loved the area, loved the history, loved the castles. Conwy was especially lovely, wouldn't mind staying there in the future! I also spent 3 days based in Edinburgh, and would love to go back. It'd be another great base.
It sounds like you haven't yet visited: Oxford or Cambridge (but probably not both) York (one of my personal favorite medieval centers) There are other good castles and abbeys that can be added in that direction to complete your itinerary.
I'd suggest Edinburgh for a few days and there are tours of Scotland out of there. Then I'd suggest Durham (1 day) and York. Three days in London is just getting started in seeing everything that's there so you could revisit it. Cambridge is about halfway from York to London. Everything is easily done by rail and pretty cheap if you buy advance tickets. You could fly in/out of either Edinburgh or London. It's about a 2 hour train ride from London or Edinburgh to York.
Thank you! Would anyone suggest Wales? Or is that hours of traveling time? Thanks Bon
Def. incl. Windsor for castle , town and short walk to Eton.Hampton Court is must also. Incl one university Cambridge or Oxford and a medieval city as York. Wales is better done by car and does not rank as high to me as what I have posted. enjoy, WHATEVER you dECIDE IT will be wonderful.
Bonnie, My sister and I like to see England in sections too. We love N. Wales and, as everyone knows, there is lots of country, castles and history to be found there. Try to get to Portmerion too, it's pretty cute. The travel time is something to consider. I don't know about trains in this part of the UK compared to eg. Yorkshire. We usually travel in September into early October. The weather as always been good to us and the days are still long enuf.
What we like to do is pick an area. In addition to York, Oxford and Cambridge. Easy train trips are to Salisbury, Winchester, Canterbury (cathedral towns); Castles near London- try Kent- Hever and Bodiam (even leeds Castle and Dover); Blenheim palace. To enjoy the countryside, you really should try renting a car for a week- and go in any direction from london- try East Anglia, with its small towns and Constable country And of course there is still tons more to see in London for your last three days including Windsor and Hampton Court). Summer is usually pleasant, but occossionally can get quite hunid in London in a "real heat wave- 80 degrees". Summer 2012 though could be difficult between the Queens jubilee and the Olympic Games in London
I agree with poster who suggested Edinburgh, easy train ride from London. It is certainly worth several days.
Bonnie, You chose a great time for your first visit; April. You ask, "April weather was good while we were there but would it be just as nice to travel in the summer? " Weather-wise, I would say "Yes", for most people. I prefer the cooler spring temps, but that's just me. (You asked for opinions.) As Brian said, summer is pleasant, sometimes humid. The problem in summer is that there can be crowds at favorite tourist spots. The streets of Stratford Upon Avon, for example, can be elbow to elbow in the summer. Same with some of the London attractions such as the Tower of London. So the second half of your question, "would it be just as nice to travel in the summer?" Crowd-wise, I would say "No". I personally prefer the weather in April and also the fact that you can more easily see the sights in London, see some castles and gardens and see local people there rather than huge crowds of tourists. Also, I agree with Laurel that September and October are great months to visit England.
I forgot to suggest that you COULD just stay in London and do day trips. We've done that several times and really enjoyed it. It is nice to have a homebase and not be constantly packing and unpacking. This article might be helpful
http://www.aaacarolinas.com/Magazine/2008/Jan-Feb/britain.htm?zip=28105&stateprov=nc&city=matthews You could include Kew Gardes, Hampton Court Palace, Windosr, Brighton, Oxford, Cambridge, Canterburry, Dover, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cardiff, York ... Lots of places. And you could have several theatre nights; maybe even attend some concerts or attend evensong at one or more of the lovely churches. You could even do a day or overnight trip via Eurostar to Paris.
Bonnie, since you asked for suggestions, let me throw in my 2 pence worth. If you can travel open-jaw, I would suggest flying into Edinburgh and staying 4 nights. The first day you'll be dealing with jet-lag, but that gives you 3 full days to explore Edinburgh or maybe do a day-trip tour into the Highlands to see castles,etc. Then on day 5, take the 2 1/2 -hour train trip to York and stay 2 nights, so you can really explore the city and not feel rushed. On day 7 take the 2-hour train trip to London and see all the things you missed the first time around, and fly out of Heathrow on day 10 or 11. If you can squeeze a few more days into your trip (after all, you're aleady there!), I would spend them by taking day trips to Hampton Court Palace and/or Windsor Castle, or just spending extra time enjoying the London street markets and parks. As far as time of year to go, the first time my husband and I went was in August. The weather was okay, but sights and trains were crowded. Since then we've been going in the fall, and the crowds are smaller, and the weather is wonderful. And as someone else mentioned, the Summer of 2012 will be an extremely busy and crowded time for London given the Queen's jubilee and the Olympics.
Funny how distances are smaller to you Americans, living as you do in such a vast country. I would say as a Brit that London to Edinburgh is a long way - a full days travel unless you start really early, (and dont forget to take into account British Rail delays) and for only a 10 day trip that is two days taken up travelling. Scotland is the most wonderful country in the world but I would fly into Edinburgh or Glasgow and spend the 10 days touring only Scotland. For a trip of this length I would stay with England and Wales. Northern Wales has the most spectacular scenery. In England I would go to Windsor and Warwick Castles, Stratford on Avon and see Shakespeares home and his wife Anne Hathaway's cottage, and take in a play at the theatre in the evening. As others have mentioned York and Cambridge or Oxford. The North East Coast of England is lovely, miles of sandy beaches around Bamburgh castle area. Also within reach are Lindesfarne (Holy Island) and Hadrians Wall. Good luck, with so much to see, you'll end up with 1001 different suggestions!
Shoni, Thank you so much for your input. I have been doing some research on my end and you are right the travel time to Scotland does seem long...I think I may stick with Wales/England itinerary and save Scotland for a later trip. :-)
I took things a bit too literal I'm afraid. I thought we were talking about places to visit in England. If we add Scotland to the mix, then yes, that and York would be a great 10 day adventure. I do not know about train schedules except that I know you can get on in London and go straight to Edinburgh or go to York for a few days then up to Edinburgh. There is a lovely place in between, Whitby. The Captain Cook museum is there. It's not very big and has a wonderful abbey ruin. There is also beautiful country and history to be had by heading south. Dover, Hastings, Portsmouth, walk a little bit of the South Downs Way.
Shoni, You are so right. Everyone has their own favourite place to suggest.
Scotland! It was our favorite! Definitely Inverness and the Highlands! You can do the Jacobite Loch Ness tour. The area is amazing for country, castles, etc!