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Travel Itinerary - Need advice

Hi, below is my itinerary for a two week trip to Britain. I've been to England many times before, but always to visit family and I'm really looking for some "off the beaten path" activities to do in some of these cities. From 2/24/14 to 3/2/14 I'm using a 7 Day Brit Xplorer pass for National Express. I have family in Birmingham and Middlesbrough (hence why I star kind of south and make my north and then back south). The two highlights for me, will be doing the tour of Stonehenge along with seeing the White Cliffs in Dover, but any other really cool and historic activities anyone can suggest, would be greatly appreciated and quickly added to my itinerary :) Thanks

02/21/14 Ireland Dublin
02/21/14 England Birmingham
02/23/14 England Birmingham
02/24/14 England Salisbury
02/26/14 England Dover
02/26/14 England London
02/28/14 England Middlesbrough
03/02/14 Scotland Glasgow
03/04/14 England Manchester
03/05/14 Ireland Dublin
03/08/14 USA Los Angeles

Posted by
11450 posts

I have seen hundreds of itineraries. I have never seen one like this. There must be a reason.

Posted by
8295 posts

I don't get it. What happens on the dates you don't mention?

Posted by
9363 posts

Uh, what?
Why are you flying into and out of Dublin if you are going to England? And how do you intend to get to Birmingham on your arrival day into Dublin? I, too, don't understand the missing days. You are hopscotching all over the place with no apparent reason. Why go all the way to Glasgow for a day or two, and nowhere else in Scotland? Is there something in particular that you want to do there? I was just there in August, but it's a five hour train trip north from London. Have you considered how long it will take to get from place to place? Have you plotted them out on a map to see if that suggests a better order to do things in? The more you can clarify for us, the better advice we can give you.

While in Dublin, I can recommend taking a bus tour to see the Cliffs of Mohr. I'm not usually a fan of bus tours, but with most of the day tours I encountered during my research, I was pleasantly surprised at how much of the country you got to see. Also, Ireland was at the end of a trip I took and it was really nice to be able to sit, listen to the driver talk about the history of the places we were visiting/ driving through, and not have to plan anything. Bus tours are definitely not something I normally go for, but in Ireland, the one I took was lovely and well worth the money spent.

Posted by
3319 posts

I think to make this more geographically simple, you should fly into London and out of Dublin. I'm assuming you will have a rental car because otherwise, public transport will eat up a lot of time and make this a little difficult. If it isn't possible to go into London and out of Dublin then might I suggest flying to London from Dublin instead of trying to make geographic loops you currently have planned. Here is how I would order the places you want to see...

Do the London/Dover part of your trip at the beginning. Schedule at least three days to see London and Dover otherwise you will be extremely rushed to do justice to both - although three days is pushing it as well!

After London you should go out to Salisbury to see Stonehenge (no more than 1/2 a day needed to get there from London and see the circle). I see that you have two nights scheduled for Salisbury...other than the circle there is not much else to see in that area unless you want to take time to visit Oxford which isn't too far north from there? Certainly worth your time. From Salisbury head north to Birmingham and then on to Manchester. From there cut across through Leeds to go out to Middlesbrough. Then you'll cut back across northwest to go to Glasgow.

I'll let someone else speak to how to get from Glasgow to Dublin as I have never done this...

Be sure to get out a map and look at the places you want to go, factor in driving/train times, and map it out to save the most time possible. You can certainly do all of this in two weeks but you need to limit your daily travel time to make it possible to see everything without the looping around in your posted itinerary.

Posted by
31303 posts

jason,

Your proposed Itinerary is FAR too "busy" and will be difficult to accomplish unless you've invented a "Beam Me Up, Scotty" machine. You're going to spend most of your time looking through the window of a plane or bus, and very little actually seeing the places you've come to visit. Travel via National Express may be cheap but also slower than other methods.

I'm not sure this is even realistically possible.

Good luck!

Posted by
3319 posts

Oh wow...just noticed the National Express part...there is no way. We used to use National Express a lot when we were first travelling in Britain and it is quite slow; we were able to use it though because we would spend a month or more in England and weren't in a hurry. We would also plan a geographically linear itinerary with an open jaw flight. Unless you're renting a car don't try to do everything on your list. I would completely cut out Glasgow and Ireland for this trip if you are married to the idea of using the bus. Fly in and out of London and just do the England part of your trip. Otherwise you will not be able to do much of anything but ride around on the bus!