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Two Weeks in England, Too Many Options-HELP!

My wife and I are having great difficulty winnowing down our choices for our upcoming 2 week stay in England (late September). We have decided on "several" days on London, a "few" days in Bath, but beyond that, we can't decide between the wide range of other destinations. Here are a few on our list (no particular order):

Bath adjacent (Wells, Glastonbury, etc)
Salisbury, Avebury
Cotswolds
Stratford
Penzance
St Ives
Dartmoor NP
Canterbury, Dover
Cambridge
Oxford
York
Lake District

I know that some of these are potential day trips from either Bath or London (our two "base" towns at this point), like Oxford and Cambridge, but others are clearly not (ie, Penzance, St Ives and York). Some combinations we have considered are:

Bath-London (with day trips to the places easiest to reach from one or the other)
Bath-York-London
Bath-St Ives-London
Lower England combos (ie, Bath-X-London, with X being something in S England) (leave York for a second trip, combine with Lake District and Scotland)

For London, I am not too impressed with the quality of accommodations that seem to fit in our budget, so we are considering an apt/flat to get the best bang for the buck and "go native" and experience a London neighborhood. There seems to be A LOT of variability in the actual room that one ends up with at most of the London hotels (even the highly rated ones), and seeing a photo of the actual rooms that we will let is a great advantage.

For Bath, we are staying at 3 Abbey Green for at least 5 days and may extend that depending on our day trip plans.

I have visited Bath and London before in 2000, but this will be my wife's first trip. I am certain I am overdesigning at this point, but I would appreciate any comments (or criticisms!) from the board. TIA.

Posted by
34 posts

I found out the hard way the time zone impacts-I tried to stay awake as recommended, then go to bed at my "normal" time. I finally got to sleep at 3 AM, and was awoken by the hotel staff banging on my door at 2 PM the next day, wondering if I had died in my sleep!

I like your itinerary (ie, Bath, Cotswolds, London)-I'll run it by the CFO (my wife) and see what she thinks. She actually told me she would be fine with London for the entire trip, so I don't think too much time in London will be a problem. London also seems to be the best train base city by a large margin, so that might work out well.

Posted by
6821 posts

Get an apartment in the less gentrified area of London known as Bayswater. The Vancouver Studio Apartments is where I often stay. Room 213 is nice and "large" for London. Large being a relative term. In my doz. trips to London I have yet to stay in a hotel or an apartment that is as big as a Best Western. Price made NO difference. You'll have a sink and stove as well as coffee pot, dishes, plates and silverware. Small fridge. Table with 2 chairs, TV. Very nice shower. You have access to two tube stations and all the bus routes. Sweet pub across the park and loads of interesting shops and restaurants to choose from. Also an indoor mall. If you like the website and choose to stay there make certain you don't get a room on the 3rd or 4th floors. No lift and very small stairs to negotiate. Use London as your base. Bath, Oxford, Stonehenge, Salisbury, all day trips by rail. Check out the Original London Walks and take one of their weekend tours & at least one of their walks.

Posted by
34 posts

Kent,

I tend to agree based on my own experience. Bath is a small place, although our first "day" will be following an 11 hour flight, so we will probably not do much more than eat dinner and fall into bed. Maybe we should increase the London time to 10 days or shoehorn another place between our Bath and London stays.

Posted by
75 posts

If it were me, I might do London first, esp if you are coming into a London airport. quicker to get into town than Bath.

I would not try to do both Bath/London and York/Lake

It is at least a 5 hour haul on the M to the Lakes (I know I have driven once, never again)

AS for London prices, Ouch! I checked into the prices for our favorite hotel(in Bloomsbury)for a potential fall trip. No London this year

Good Luck

Tom

Posted by
34 posts

I contacted A Place Like Home, which was recommended to me by a family friend that travels extensively to the UK, Italy and France (4-5 trips per year!). They sent me a long list of apts in our price range (900 pounds or less) in Kensington and Knightsbridge, many of which look very nice and include at least 1 bedroom, sitting/living room, full kitchen (with oven/fridge/dishwasher!), and a 3/4 or full bath. Some also have balconies, washer/dryer, lift and porterage services, broadband/wifi service, and several other nice amenities I usually don't see at hotels unless there is an additional charge (if they are available at all). We are now in the process of reviewing these, any of which appear to fit our needs nicely. They have no cleaning fees, but they do require a large deposit and full payment 60 days prior to arrival.

I did look at the Vancouver Studios, but they looked much smaller and more spartan than the apt photos I got from APLH for more than most of the apts from APLH.

Posted by
34 posts

My experience with hotel prices was the same, and I was pretty unimpressed with what I found unless I looked at places that wanted over 300 £ (WAY out of our budget). The apt option is looking better and better, but it obviously is an option only if your stay is a week or more.