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Comments/suggestions for N. Wales, York, Northumberland, Edinburgh

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After a long delay, I'm back in planning mode for a trip to Britain with my mother and son, who will be 11 when we go (June 2015). I know it's a long way off, but I really want to get an idea for what's doable and how much to budget!

We are looking for scenic beauty, castles, kid-friendly museums, Harry Potter sights and quintessential British villages, country houses, churches, etc. My mom really wants to see a bit of Wales, Scotland and northern England.

We're considering the following 3 week rough itinerary, assuming we have a car outside of London and Edinburgh:

- London - 5/6 nights
...Train to Chester, hire car....
- North Wales - 3/4 nights
- York - 2/3 nights
- N. Yorkshire Moors - 2 nights (at my aunt's B&B nr Whitby)
- Alnwick - 3 nights (Alnwick Castle, coast, stop at Hadrian's Wall on way up from Glaisdale)
- Edinburgh - 3/4 nights (turn in car, take a day trip with Rabbie's)

My first question is the ever-popular: Is this a reasonable pace? Just looking for opinions - I realize everyone has a different travel style.

Second: Would it be possible to cover most of our wish list if we chose two bases (self-catering cottages) outside of London? I'm debating the practicalities/cost of staying 2-3 nights in B&B's along our route vs. self-catering.

Third: Any thoughts on whether a multi-day small group tour might suit our needs? Rabbie's Trail Burners (as one example) has a 7 day tour going from London to Edinburgh that covers a lot of what we'd like to see. Not sure how I'd fit in the visit to my aunt near Whitby, but could possibly work that in.

Another thought I'd had was to base in London, Chester, York and Edinburgh and do organized day tours from those bases to eliminate the need to hire a car. Just a thought, but probably not practical. Any comments are welcome!

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