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4-5 days in England with 2 teens

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Hi, we are a family of four with twin 13yo daughters, planning a combined trip to England and Paris for this September/October (probably late Sept to early Oct).

We're all nature lovers, fit and healthy, and happy off the beaten path/away from crowds -- not much into churches, museums or big cities. Our daughters are quite different, which is one of the challenges. One is a fearless and adaptable traveler -- wants to do anything and everything, has stayed at hostels in Washington DC and loved it, figured out the Metro in no time flat, ready for anything. The other is hesitant about traveling -- happier at home on the farm or hiking through woods someplace. She does relax but it takes awhile.

Thought I'd break down the trip and work on England first ... looking gratefully for your opinions, ideas and suggestions.

We'd like to try and fly into Leeds because DH and I have promised ourselves a couple days in Herriot country, and we thought that would be an easier transition for the timid-traveler daughter than jumping right into London.

If there's a truly legendary zoo, amusement park or indoor water park someplace between Leeds and London, we may try to work it into the schedule. If not, we're hoping to do Disneyland Paris, so that may work instead.

We were *thinking* of something like this ... not sure how realistic it is, though.

Day 1
fly into Leeds, settle near Thirsk (we really prefer a country atmosphere)

Day 2
Thirsk/Dales hiking/exploring (waterfalls? scenic areas?)

Day 3 - London
Tower of London
Tower Bridge
double-decker bus ride/tour
London Eye
Changing of the guard
Houses of Parliament/Big Ben

Day 4 - London
Royal Mews (a must)
Kensington Palace/Gardens
Thames River Cruise
Westminster?

Day 5 - Stonehenge?
p.m. train to Paris

And would anyone have recommendations of a riding stable for a short (half-day or less would be fine) horseback trek? Two of us -- including the timid-traveling daughter -- are competitive riders and would love to feed our horse fix at some point. :-) We're open to possibly splitting up in pairs on one day (horsepeople/nonhorsepeople) if necessary.

Now that I look at all this, it looks like way too much for 5 days ... your thoughts?

Thanks --

Kandace

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