I'm taking all of the advice to heart and will definitely make enough time for Bath and York. As a woman traveling alone, should I rent a car to get around the countryside (outside of London of course) or rely on Mad Max and other tours? I have 10 days and am considering only 3-4 in London, a day trip to Paris and the rest in Bath, Cotswold, etc (can I squeeze in Seven Sisters?). 'Guess I'm getting a little greedy - Thanks for your input.
Check out train travel. The UK's trains are wonderful. We use them all the time. A Britrail pass might meet your needs better than a car. Gas (petrol) is very, very, very expensive. Parking is very, very, very limited and expensive. AND they drive on the wrong side of the road! Buses and trains rock.
If you are considering going to the Cotswolds then renting a car would be much better for you. There is bus service to some of the villages in the Cotswolds but not to all especially to some of the small and quaint villages. Driving isn't hard, it will take a couple hours to get use to driving on the left side, but its fun. We have never had trouble finding a place to park, yes the petrol is expensive BUT you get a lot more miles in the small cars over there then you do over here. With having a car it gives you the liberty to stay as long or as little time as you want in a village. When you decide you want to stop for the night you can just looking for B&B signs, stop and ask if they have a room for the night. If they do they will show you the room before you decide if you want to stay there. We have traveled in low and high season and have never ever had trouble finding a B&B. The only rooms we book ahead of time is our first and last nights in England. Get a car & have a great trip.
Thank you for the thoughts. The opinions here (and on the other board) seem to be pretty evenly divided. I'll probably end up taking the train to Bath so I can watch the cars a bit before I decide. I have to remember that I'm a first-time traveler and my courage and sense of adventure may overwhelm my reality! It's going to be a great trip no matter what!
Diana, You can have it all. If you can cut one of your days in London, The Seven Sisters is a good day trip. Take the train to Brighton and the bus to The Seven Sisters. They recommed that people not take cars. Public transportation to Bath is a good idea. You can get a car when it's time to tour the countryside. A lot of the car hire places are a little removed from the city so getting "out of town" poses no problems. That said that I have to set the record straight. When in England we drive on the Correct side of the road not the Wrong side. Every Anglophyle knows this. Although I'm usually on the pro side of driving, in your case I have second thoughts. You'd certainly have more freedom but no one to talk to or do the navigating. What ever you decide I know you'll have a wonderful time.