We are planning a trip to England and Scotland for 8-10 days next summer. We are a family of five- two adults, three boys, ages 17, 14 and 9 at the time of travel. Does anyone have a suggested itenerary or must not miss items for our trip? Thanks in advance!
Hi Sally, can you tell us a bit more about interests? There are some lay ups here in regards to where you might want to go. Of course, you need to go to London and it's completely possible to spend ten days in London with a couple of day trips. : ) As for Scotland, you can easily spend a couple of days in Edinburgh, but if you have a whisky lover, you'll want to get to Speyside. Or if your boys like the outdoors, you might want to got the west and do a bit of walking in the highlands. Maybe one of your group likes Scottish fiddle music, in which case I would send you to Dunkeld and the Taybank or to Sandy's Bells in Edinburgh. There are so many options. Pam
As Pam said, what are your interests? What do the children want to see. How many days will you really be there, does the eight or ten days include arrival and departure days? If you want to see both places, suggest you fly into one, say London, travel to Edinburgh and then home from there. Give us more info please.
I agree with the above, and want to stress that if you want to do both countries, it's best to book an open jaw itinerary. Aside from that, since you have boys, make sure you see some castles. Let us know more about what you and they like!
Give the boys a guidebook and let them pick what to do! That way they can't complain if they're "bored". :) My 15 year old loved anything to do with knights, castles and the Tudors this summer. In London took him to the Tower of London where they have an excellent collection of armor and weaponry. He loved the small torture exhibit as well.
Sally I agree with Anita,, get your kids involved.. I took both my kids to Europe on one on one trips with me. My son was 13, my daughter was 11yrs old. I told them they had to invest in our trip too.. of course not money, but research. I did this for two reasons. I wanted my kids to feel some ownership for the whole trip,, its wasn't about just trailing behind me .. or being dragged along.. it was about participating. PRetty hard to complain if you contribute to the itinerary.
Also, I expected my kids to appreciate getting such a great vacation,, I don't think kids need to be raised to take vacations to Europe for granted, hence some "sweat equity" so to speak. Both my kids were able to find 3 things in each place we went to visit.. of course they may be the basic things ( both kids went to some different cities, but Paris was common to both,, so of course in Paris both chose the Eiffel Tower) For only 8 days I would only do two cities( keep in mind you are talking about doing two countries in barely over a week... not really practical in alot of ways) .
When our boys were about that age we had them go through the guide books and choose three things that they wanted to see. That was the basis for our itinerary. I wouldn't miss York. Everything about the town is wonderful. The Jorvik Viking center, York Minster, Roman artifacts, ghosts, town walls, a tower to climb, a train museum... it has it all for a family with boys. One son says York is his favorite city in Europe. We have had good success with the Queen Anne Guest House off Bootham. If you start in London you can take a train to York for a couple of days and then on to Edinburgh.If you are driving I would suggest investing in an A-Z Road Atlas with a 5 miles to 1 inch scale. We got ours through Gallup Map at 1733 Main KCMO. Order it while you are still in the US and use it for planning. A walk along Hadrian's wall and a visit to one of the forts, such as Houseteads, is a good, easy hike to let boys run a bit. Whitby, on the coast north of York, is said to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Cool town with great ruins. Dunstanborough Castle is another great boy thing. From the tiny village of Craster you walk up the coast to the ruins of a huge castle. A good history lesson mixed in with cool tide pools and free roaming sheep. In Scotland, Stirling Castle is a good visit with it's connections to William Wallace and Doune Castle just NW of Stirling on the A84 is a don't miss if you are Monty Python fans. If you are like us 8-10 days will only make you want to go back again and again. On the first trip it's like going through a buffet line. You get a taste of this and a taste of that and then the next time you know what you want to pile on your plate.
I agree with everyone who says to get the whole family to help with the planning. We went for three weeks when the boys were 8 and 11. They chose Legoland, renting rowboats on Loch Awe, the Inverary jail, Warwick and Edinburgh castles, and the Poohsticks bridge. Your travel style may be different but when I travel with my family I prefer to spend at least two nights in every location to cut back on all the lost time spent moving to the next location. So for my family on a first trip eight nights might look like this: Fly into Edinburgh 3 nights in Edinburgh Train to London 5 nighs in London including a day trip or two
Fly home from London If they like ships Portsmouth or Greenwich would make great day drips from London. If they like planes the RAF museum is reachable by subway. Good resources are Cynthia Harriman's Take your Kids to Europe and Melanie Wentz's Once Upon a Time in Great Britain Have a great trip, Sally. We'd love to hear how your plans develop and how it went when you return.
Consider the Harry Potter studio tour if your boys like that at all.
I could be totally wrong about this, but I seem to remember a departure tax from Heathrow to US, if so would suggest fly to London then to Edinburgh so you can avoid this hefty tax. Just see what others say.
Im British the places I would visit are London York Newcastle (see hadrians wall, Durham Cathedral, Beamish open air museum - possible trip to lake district) Edinburgh WEST COAST OF SCOTLAND see inverpolly nature reserve and the summer isles