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South or North....

We are planning a trip to the UK, summer 2011. We have 2 wks and plan to spend 6 nights in a flat in London, for the other days would you suggest...
1. South... Cornwall and S. Wales
2. North...Cotswolds, N. Wales to Edinburgh
Thanks!

Posted by
9110 posts

For the record, it's Cotswolds and Lake District. Edit: Steve's changed his post again.

The loop in the previous post is trite and will show you only what all your neighbors have also seen.

Cornwall and Wales are sorely neglected by American tourists, but offer some of the best of the UK.

London to Land's End is an easy trip with only two-half days of driving (even hugging the coast which is a much better route), leaving plenty of time for exploring.

Getting back to Cardiff is only four hours or so, again leaving plenty of time to poke around.

Now the question is why just do south Wales? If you make a clockwise route around coastal Wales, the driving time is roughtly six hours (skipping Anglesy and Pembroke - Fishguard) to Conwy and takes you by the best castles in the world. You could do it in a couple of days.

From Conwy back to London is a five hour sprint with not much to see -- unless you maybe spent a half day in the Cotswolds after all.

Posted by
629 posts

If you go north you'll see Edinburgh, one of the great cities. 'Nuff said!

Posted by
2654 posts

I agree with Ed, I would take the train to Slough or some way further and pick up a rental car. Drive alone the north coast of Devon and Cornwall to Lands End then on your return trip drive the south coast. There is so many beautiful fishing villages. On your way to Lands Ends you could to see the smallest church in England who still has services there then on the way back stop and see and have lunch at the smallest pub which is in Dorset.

Posted by
1829 posts

To follow on from Robin's post, I would take a train to Bristol and pick up a car there. Summer traffic to the West Country can be horrible. I speak from recent experience having taken twice as long as usual to drive down to Somerset last weekend!

Posted by
3428 posts

I'd agree with Bob. Scotland is wonderful. You could take the train to York for one night, then on to Edinburgh- one or two nights, then train to Inverness for the rest of the time. Lots of good day trips there- Isle of Skye and Eliean Donnan Castle, Cullodean Battlefield and Clava Cairns, curise up Loch Ness to see Urquart Castle, long day trip up to Orkney,cruise on the firth for dolphin watching, whisky distilleries..... No car required!!!

Posted by
103 posts

Thanks everyone for the replies! I failed to mention my 10 yr old son will be along for the ride as well.. and am begining to wonder if Cornwall would not have enough to offer him.
It's so hard to narrow down places to go.. I want to go everywhere and then head over to Eastern Europe for a spell... haha!
So far I have London 1 wk, Warwick castle, and Stratford-upon-avon (think my son would like to see the falconry) other than that... I'm pondering....

Posted by
9110 posts

For the kid:

Wales has the castles to clamber over, Edinburgh is restricted.

Saint Michael's Mount has the walk across the tidal flat to get to the hill. Tide won't get more than knee high, but it will give him a kick.

York has the viking stuff (Jarvic ?).

Cotswolds and Lake District bored my kids to death. They enjoyed the Edinburgh Tatoo.

Posted by
993 posts

I'm sure you can find enuf in Cornwall to keep the interest of your son. Land End, Tintagel Castle, The Eden Project, St. Michaels Mount. I love this place!

Posted by
2654 posts

If you are in Wiltshire area, your son might enjoy going to Old Wardour Castle where the movie Robin Hood with Kevin Costner was made. When we were there our daughter got to carry around the sword that Kevin used, I have great pictures of her with it.

Posted by
3428 posts

If your son likes falconry,check out Dover Castle. The last time we were there, they had a wonder falonry exhibit going on. It was in the summer, and I know they have lots of things that rotate- the week before we were there they had an archery exhibit where you could try out (and see demoed) bows of different kinds. There is also all the WWII stuff.

Posted by
1829 posts

The West Country has some of the best beaches in the UK, that's why it's so popular with us Brits. If your son wants to try out surfing Cornwall is the place to go.

Posted by
9110 posts

As an added thought, if you head west along the southern coast the kid would probably get a kick out of Plymouth with HMS Victory and the Mary Rose. He'd probably remember Nelson's ship as belonging to Hornblower or the Caribbean Pirate guy, but that's okay.

Trying to work Stonehenge and Averbury in at the same time might be a bit of a problem since it'd add fifty or so miles to the trip.

Posted by
103 posts

Love all the ideas! It's so fun to go online and check out all the places everyone is recommending! Thanks Marie for the link... it's going to take me a bit to go through that one!
Toni, the boating in Loch Ness looks like a great time! I also was checking out Orkney and have thought about sea kayaking...
Tintagel Castle and Mont St Michel are the two things that look great to me in Cornwall!
Luckily I have a ton of time to figure it out! I love the planning stage! And Rick's book finally came into the library (thought about buying it, but I may wait till the next edition in Nov.)

Posted by
588 posts

If you want to see HMS Victory, then it's best to go to Portsmouth, rather than Plymouth, since that is where Nelson's flagship can be found in a dry dock. You can also visit HMS Warrior, a mid-19th century warship at Portsmouth. However, the hull of the Mary Rose will not be open to visitors until mid-2012, as a new museum is being built.

Posted by
9110 posts

Gracias, Bob.

I'm so darn stupid I'm letting Plymouth stand rather than fixing it. Next week I'll post something about the Royal Marine Museum at Plymouth as well.

Posted by
1422 posts

We have been to the UK many times, and there's not a part of it we just don't love. I really like the Southeast also. The town of Rochester is small but with a nice castle and church (Dicken's town); close by is Chatham with an old maritime museum that I think children would really like. it could take an entire day there. Dover is good and close by (close to Folkestone) is the Port Lympne zoo with endangered species. It's wonderful. The Southeast has many wonderful towns and manor houses. Leeds is a great castle to see and I think a child would like this too. When we go to the Southeast we get the rental car at Heathrow and then take the ring road there - not much traffic and close enough that you don't spend all your time in the car. My opinions.