Glasgow-London-Paris

planning on a trip to glasgow/edinburgh-london-paris for 6 people in june. initially, we planned on flying in to london and going up glasgow/edinburgh, but realized it will be harder for us to then go to paris. so, we decided to, instead, fly in to glasgow. assuming that we will be arriving in the morning, we plan to stay there only for a day taking the tour bus in the afternoon and then take the bus the next day to edinburgh. i believe it is 1-1/2 hours ride to edinburgh. we will take the tour bus and do holyroodhouse the same day and explore edinburgh castle the next day. is this itinerary and timeline possible? is it possible then to take the train to london in the late afternoon? we plan to visit london as well as the following: stonehenge, bath, cotswolds, stow-on-the-wold and stratford-upon-avon. i've got points with marriott and debating whether to stay at st. pancras renaissance versus marriott county hall. i believe marriott county hall is very near to the london eye. we plan to stay a day in london, then go out to visit the places above. thereafter, we go back to london to explore further. that way, we can take the eurostar to paris. in london, we plan to visit the following: house of parliament, big ben, westminster abbey, buckingham palace, st. paul's cathedral, windsor castle and tower of london. how do you recommend we split these places in 2 days? out of london, we plan to stay at the swindon marriott hotel as our base as this is the only hotel that i'm bringing up for bath and chester. can we do stonehenge and bath in one day? then another day for cotswolds, stow-on-the-wold and stratford-upon-avon? is the ornamental gardens of henry VII's hampton court palace worth visiting? thanks!

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
1699 posts

You've got a very busy itinerary there. You'll definitely need a car if you want to do the two day trips from Swindon you're talking about, and even then you won't be spending much time at the locations. Swindon isn't the most interesting place to stay either - all you need to know is that it was the setting for the original UK version of "The Office". In London you can probably do Parliament and Westminster Abbey in a half day, longer if you want to do detailed tours of both. St Paul's and the Tower are relatively close as well, you can get a number 15 bus between them. Windsor is some way out of London and you'd really need a whole day to visit. But my general opinion here is that you're trying to do lots of over-rated "classic" attractions in too short a time to get more than a few snapshots of each. Being a group of six will probably mean you take longer to travel than if you were a smaller number with all the necessary organisation. I'd stay in London, Edinburgh OR the Midlands for a whole week and get more of a flavour of the places.

Posted by Matt
Washington, DC, USA
566 posts

I did the day trip in Glasgow thing on a transportation day, but I did it when I was already in country a few days. (We visited Glasgow for a few hours en route from Edinburgh to London.) The hop-on, hop-off bus for Glasgow was very disappointing. The recorded narration was not particularly interesting, we only passed by so much and "saw" very little, and the buses were surprisingly infrequent (traveling in fall, perhaps it's better in summer) so when we did stop for one site, we spent as much time waiting for another bus to return us to the train station as we spent touring. I'm biased: I was not impressed by Glasgow. But people who were all seem to have one thing in common: they spent enough time there. Given your constraints, I would suggest flying straight to Edinburgh (or if cheaper, fly to Glasgow and connect directly to Edinburgh.) Lots more to see and do in the Scottish capital and you won't regret the extra time there. In general I think your whole itinerary is a bit rushed, but you can do it. Still, I think you'll get a better start to the trip by simplifying and cutting Glasgow might be a good start.

Posted by Linda
Milwaukee, WI
7 posts

How many days are planned. I think your plans are aggressive. I've been all over the UK over 25 trips through the years. Are you traveling by train, car, auto? I would recommend to seriously reconsider your priorities to enable your group to enjoy the sights and have time to breathe. From Glasgow airport, go directly to Edinburgh and spend the night. To properly enjoy Edinburgh you need at least a full day. There are trains at all times, keep in mind that it is at least 5 hour journey to London on on the east coast lines. Base in London and carefully plan your days--what sights are really important and how much time do you want to spend at each site. If you seriously want to go west to Bath, stonehenge, costswolds, I would forget the Marriott points and stay in Bath a lovely city worth a least an overnight Plenty of hotels and b&bs. There are local bus tours that can take you to stonehenge and some of the costwolds. If you did a tour, you would need at two days. Skip Stratford.
Take the train back to London Paddington and then a quick taxi or two to St. Pancras to catch the Eurostar to Paris.