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Great Britain Itinerary Conundrum

Hello everyone. We have approx 2 weeks for GB next May. Husband's 1st trip. I've been to London before but want to return to many touristy sites for him. Must see: London Bath Stonehenge/Magna Carta Cotswolds My original plan- 5d LON, 1d Salisbury& 1 d/2n Bath, 3-4d/4-5n Cotswolds. RT flights to LHR for $1200/pp. Then I got RS guide and the timetable made me think, maybe I'm dragging these cities out and we ought to see more, given the cost of flights, and the fact that we probably won't be back to GB for another decade. Option 1 Airfare research looks $400 cheaper to fly into Dublin. If we shorten LON from 6 days to 3 (2 days in DUB a& 1 day travelling by ferry/train through the welsh countryside from DUB to LON direct). Option 2 More time in Bath doing day trips to Cotswolds, Cardiff, Tintern Abbey Option 3 Quick 2-3 days to EDI for a visit there How much is too much for 10 days? 12 days? 14-17 days? Are RS timetables just crazy? Again, our trip can vary a bit in length, and I've got some flexibility in the budget. Considering the price of flights to LHR has DOUBLED since last time I visited I want to maximize our time there in terms of time AND money. Thanks,
Jennifer

Posted by
9363 posts

You say you have approximately two weeks, but then you mention 10 days or up to 17. That's a pretty big range. Airfare is cheaper to Dublin, but what are you paying for the ferry, as well as the "cost" of travel time from someplace you didn't originally intend to go? We can't tell you what you want to do. I personally don't think you need 4-5 days for the Cotswolds, especially since you have other things on your list, but the more you change location, the more sightseeing time you will lose. The price you saw might seem high to you, but it's pretty standard. You need to list out the things you want to do, take travel time between them into account (www.viamichelin.com is a good resource if you are renting a car), and also consider how long it will take to actually see the things you intend. If you chart them on a map, it might suggest an itinerary for you. When you narrow it down a bit, we can do a better job of helping you, but only you can determine what you want to do with your time.

Posted by
4671 posts

The Magna Carta itself is at the British Library in London. Do you mean visiting Runnymede? It looks a pleasant location but there's not much there now and it's a bit remote.

Posted by
9110 posts

Aren't there duplicate originals at Lincoln and Salisbury?

Posted by
17 posts

I read that there are copies of the Magna Carta displayed at the British Library, Salisbury Cathedral, and Lincoln Cathedral. If we are able to make it to the British Library we could take Magna Carta off our visit to Salisbury but we still would like to stop in the area for a brief visit to Stonehenge.

Posted by
9110 posts

The ferry/train through Wales is a bad idea, regardless of the cost and time, as far as seeing the Principality goes. You'll blast down Anglesey, hook a left along the Menai, and be in England before you can blink.

Posted by
2128 posts

Rick's itineraries may not be crazy, but they are pretty fast paced. I would not suggest trying to cram more into your original itinerary, though you could switch things around. Five days in London is good; you could even do more. Four or five days in the Cotswolds would be lovely, but you could get by with less. You can see most of Bath in a day. However, there are lots of great places to visit near Bath and the Cotswolds, so overall, the amount of days you were thinking of spending in that area could be just about right, depending on how many day trips you want to do. There's Oxford, Warwick, Blenheim Palace, Stratford upon Avon, Glastonbury, Wells, etc. And Wales, as you noted. I would not advise flying into Dublin to save money. As others have pointed out, you'll have to spend money - and perhaps more importantly, time - getting from Dublin to where you really want to go. (I'm not a huge fan of Dublin.) If you want to get the most bang for the buck, spend as many days as you possibly can on the trip.

Posted by
1195 posts

One way to do an itinerary is to look at the National Trust UK or English Heritage sites. They make suggestions by regions or by themes. The Cotswolds are lovely but can be expensive compared to other areas. Blenheim and Snowhill Manor are the best stops there. I personally can reccomend the touring the Welsh Castles and staying Chester and in Betws y coed. Liverpool is worth a visit.
Chatsworth is a wonderful. York is a must see for the Minster and you are near Castle Howard (Brideshead) and Fountains Abby. The Midlands have a lot to see and do. We did Wales, Scotland and England in 21 day and England and Scotland in 15 days. We just drove in a linear circle up and back down.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you for the solid advice since my last checkin. We'll skip Dublin (and the ferry/train) for this trip and see how long I can stretch the time off from work before determining how much of Wales/Scotland to include if we're able to expand beyond 10 days to closer to 2.5 weeks. Will update again once more specifics are known. Thanks again.