My husband and I are going there for my 65th Birthday and our 45th Anniversary. We'll arrive in London late on the 16th of March and will leave London again in the AM of the 30th, so basically we have 2 weeks. We have a copy of Rick Steves' Britain '08 book to help us. We have never been to the Great Britain and are frustrated not knowing how to organize our trip. We have a 4-day BritRail Flexipass and 5 nts at the Millenium Hotel in Glasgow included in a package we bought. We want to spend time in London, Bath and surrounding areas, Wales, Glasgow, Edinburgh and other parts of Scotland, and York. We have traveled quite a bit stateside but not at all in Europe. Money is an object, but we are not poverty-stricken--just want to see as much as possible without being in a different bed every night for the best value. We are very concerned as to how to handle luggage taking a train and getting off to enjoy the sights of the various cities. Any suggestions?
What a wonderful time you will have. Keep it simple choose only two or three extra cities. I loved Bath. I have not been to Edinburgh but my sister has and it would definately be on my list,, as well as a stop at York.
I am not sure Glasgow would be a choice of mine, I am under the impression it is a gritty industrial type of city,but, I may be mistaken.
London is very expensive so I would only spend a few days there, see the British Museum, the Tower of London, and a few other museums, then get out!
You willlikely find some good deals once out of London for accomadations as it will be " off season".
PS You will be in London on March 17th which is St, Patricks day, I was once, go into a pub the people wear sprigs of clover and sing songs, even in downtown London, very fun.
Take WARM clothing, I needed gloves, scarf and hat almost everyday, and I wore a wool coat. It will be even colder north.
Luggage in UK is simple. Its not like Amtrak where there is a conductor for each car and seating is managed.
You carry your luggage on board and stow it in the passenger cabin where you can. There is nobody to assist you or you report to on boarding the train.
At major rail stations there will be a left luggage office.
It will be hard to spend 5 days in Glasgow; I would recommend using it as a base and taking day trips from there if possible; though it might be hard. You might want to do a few days in London; take the train north to Glasgow with a stop or two along the way, Bath maybe, or Kessick in the Lakes. North Wales would also be a possibility. Time in Glasgow, over to Edinburgh then south through York and back to London to pick up a few last things you might have missed. It's a lot of time spent going and not a lot of time to actually see. A hint; when you book your trains, look for the trains with the fewest stops; some of them are what we used to call the milk runs, they stop at every little town and take lots longer. You won't have time to spare.
Congratulations on your celebratory journey. Great idea! London is fabulous.
While there be certain to visit the John C. Ritblat Gallery in the British Library.
Known as the Treasure room it is very intriguing. A stroll through Hyde Park is a must. The Serpentine to the Prince Albert Memorial would be nice. Check out the wonderful and inexpensive London Walks. The Jack The Ripper walk is fun. All walks are well presented and informative. Most museums in London are free which helps one's budget but don't let having to pay stop you from visiting the Tower of London. A must for 1st time visitors. Grab a Timeout when you arrive and read it on the way into London. You'll either spend big bucks and take the Express train which takes only 15 minutes or take the tube which takes about an hour. Your question about getting luggage on and off trains is simple. VERY simple. Take only medium sized bag each. I go every winter and only take a carry on. It can be done.
Check out the Wolsey Lodges on line. They are a series of very reasonably priced upscale B and B's run by families who are wonderful hosts. For an additional fee you can get a gourmet meal as well. The price for the stay includes a complete cooked breakfast. A friend and I stayed at Haughley House and Lynwood House this past fall. What a fantastic experience.! We rented a car and had no problem getting around. The car rental agencies now have Tom-Tom navigation systems for extra charge. Don't miss Brompton Oratory in London -- the most beautiful Catholic Church. Also, Lord of the Rings was outstanding as well. Simpsons in the Strand and Rules are two favorite restaurants. Have a great time!