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Hello! I am working on finalizing a 3 week trip to Europe in Aug for my husband and I. I have 5 days in England (flying into London) before heading to Dublin via Holyhead ferry. I was a History major with a focus on Tudor England so we (and by we I mean me) have decided to focus our time in England on Tudorish sites because of the 500th Anniversary of the coronation of Henry VIII. I have a generally idea of what traditional London items we are going to hit up plus what Tudor things I am adding (Hampton Court, Hever House and some others).

I am curious is it worth hitting up York on our way to Wales. I know it is out of the way but looking at the train schedule it doesn't look like that terrible of a detour.

If I do add York, does anyone have any suggestions of places we should stop between London and York to stretch our legs and poke around for a bit?

I am not sure what pace we will move through London and I don't want to be rushed. I have been to London twice but my husband has never been so I think we may move slower than I would together.

Sorry this was a rambling post...

Posted by
3419 posts

York is in no way on the way to Wales. You can be in York in 2 1/2 hours. Or you can be in Cardiff in about 1 1/2 hours. I love both places but with only 5 days, I'd suggest you pick one. See if you can get a copy of the last issue of Britain magazine. They did a large feature about Henery's anniversary and all the special events. You may even be able to see it on line. Let me know if you want more info on either Wales or York. I have been to both many times.

Posted by
11798 posts

York isn't directly on the way (I guess you will be going North). I think you would absolutely love the Yorkminster and shambles area.

The shambles was IMO the most authentic medieval center I saw. Places like Chester were too nice to picture daily life in a different era and really more like a themed shopping mall.

Posted by
970 posts

York is roughly a couple hundred miles north of London, and Wales is about the same distance to the west. Both are fine places to visit. York definitely has a medieval flare, and can be a good one-day stop with some planning. Being an entire country, it's impossible to see Wales in one day.

Posted by
27 posts

I realize I can't see all of Wales in a day. We aren't really doing much there but grabbing the ferry. But we are going to sitesee as we head in the general north/northwest direction. York is out of the way but a doable out of the way if we want which is what I was trying to figure out.

If not we will just travel through Oxford, Stratford, Warrick and the the like up and over to Holyhead.

Posted by
495 posts

York to Holyhead is pretty much the width of the country; it's a straight shot across but the fact you have to change trains adds to the duration - I'm seeing about 5hrs. You couldn't do London-York-Holyhead in a day and actually see York but an overnight in York would work (depending what time ferry you wanted.)

If you wanted to make a day of the trip York-Holyhead the route takes you through Manchester and Chester and then along the North Wales coast and places like Llandudno and Conwy. I have half a memory that the ferries stop quite early so I'd factor that into my plans.

Posted by
3419 posts

If you are heading to Cardiff, you could do a stopover in Bath. Not mideval, but very British! and on the same train route.

Posted by
75 posts

If you can, check out the Hampton Court web site and see when they are cooking in the Tudor Kitchen. It is a great show and they are planning a lot of events to mark the anniversary, Windsor Castle will also have a big show on Henry 8th.