My Husband and I are planning a trip to London and northern countryside in the end of August. Any suggestion on where to go with only a week of vacation. Looking for a nice variety of scenery without a ton of driving?
I assume from your post that you are planning to spend a couple of days in London and then head out to the countryside? There are several choices - you could take the train north to the Lake District and pick up a car there - train trip is about 2 - 3 hours. Other options include taking the train to Bath (about 1 1/2 hours) - lovely countryside around Bath as well and some historical sites to see if those are of interest. A bit farther afield would also be Cornwall - but given your short vacation time, I'd opt for either the Lake District or Bath.
Keep an eye on traffic conditions especially if you are going to tourist locations eg the Lake District. It is a popular time of year for UK holidaymakers and daytrippers so there can be very long tailbacks. You can check this site for traffic conditions. http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp#
You could go west of London into the Cotswolds, but another good option is southeast - to Kent. There's so much to see in both places and neither are that far. But, you do say north. We went north of London to Buckinghamshire - that area is very pretty - I somehow had thought it wouldn't be a good destination, but it was. You can see Woburn Abbey, Bletchley (WWII code breakers), Waddesdon, Cambridge. These are just a few suggestions - there's much more there.
Thanks for your comments. I mistakenly, said northern countryside but I meant southern. Any tips for that area?
Bath is nice and there are other things to see, but I rank it third of the three I will suggest. My favorite is Cornwall with drives along both coasts. Falmouth is a wonderful town in which to anchor. The downside is that takes 5+ hours by train and probably about the same to drive. Closer and with much to see is the Brighton-Hastings-Dover area. We stayed in Hastings and it is a good central base although not necessarily drop dead gorgeous. But, from there to the west are Arundel, Brighton and the Pavilion, Beachy Head and several lovely little beach towns between Brighton and Beachy Head. To the north is Battle, scene of the Battle of Hastings. To the northeast is the picturesque town of Rye, Dover and the castle, and Canterbury. Particularly if this is your first trip, I would spend more than half the week in London, no matter what you choose for the second part.
I would second the Lake District, but with only a week you may not want to spend the train/driving time from London. I agree that Bath and environs are gorgeous.