3 days between Cotswold's and Edinburgh, suggestions?

We are first time travellers to UK in June this year (my wife, 8 year old daughter and I).
After spending time in London, Brighton and Portsmouth, we then have 1 week in a cottage in the Cotwolds. We will have a hire car throughout (after London) and will be doing various trips from our Cotwolds base prior to heading north. We then have 3 days to travel our way up to Edinburgh. We have deliberately left this period unbooked and would love to just see where the road takes us and stop where ever we like. We love the idea of finding quaint or quirky villages and lodgings but would consider anywhere worth visiting. A little advice on what we should not miss would be appreciated. Thank you in advance. Rod.

Posted by Darren
Galt, Calif., UK
135 posts

Also, being as you have an 8 year old with you I think you will enjoy Longleat House with its drive through Safari park and numerous other attractions. Arrive early !

Posted by Kevin
near Ringwood, Hampshire, UK
521 posts

Most people would drive straight up the M5, then the M6 and go to the Lake District, or travel a bit further east and go up the M1 to York. No reason why you shouldn't, but first I suggest going even further west to Ross-on-Wye and then north up the A49 through Herefordshire and into Shropshire. Here's what Shropshire looks like: http://tinyurl.com/c2o48gl

Posted by Rod
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
4 posts

Hey Darren. Any particular place in the Lake District you would recommend for us to stay? Kevin, good suggestion. Sounds more interesting than the motorways (couldn't open your link but checked out Shropshire on google).
Cheers.

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

The Lake District is great, especially if you like hiking. My husband comes from a family of hikers and was blown away by the scenery. He'd even consider returning, and he usually likes to travel to new places. We followed RS's advice and stayed in Keswick, which we quite liked for being a small town where Britons like to holiday with their dogs. I don't know that there is a ton for the kids to do unless you are all outdoors-y, though.

Posted by david
washington
837 posts

Rod, I would concur with the Lake District. I would not concur with staying in Keswick. I do think that some of the best hikes and drives are around Keswick, the town itself is uninspiring. I would consider Grasmere, Hawkshead, Ambleside, and Windermere. Prior to this segment, if you are staying a week in the Cotswolds, I would suggest Coventry (don't miss the free auto museum mentioned in Steve's book), Kenisworth Castle, Warwick Castle, Blenheim Palace, and Stratford-upon-Avon including Anne Hathaway's cottage and Mary Arden's Farm.

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

One reason we preferred Keswick was that there was a lot to do without a car; I don't drive and my husband hates to do so. That won't be an issue for you, though, Rod!

Posted by Rod
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
4 posts

That's right Christina. We may choose a base in the district and do our exploring by car (and some on foot). Thanks for the suggestions David.

Posted by Darren
Galt, Calif., UK
135 posts

We stayed in a place in between the lake and Hawkshead, just a little bit down the road prior to the Beatrix Potters house. We took the ferry across the lake too.