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Lessons learned from overzealous planning...and our final itinerary!

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After initiating several threads over the past few months, each of which led to a wonderful idea for an itinerary, I am happy to say that my mother and I have arrived at the perfect itinerary for our May 2016 trip. I am also somewhat chagrined to say that we abandoned several great itineraries only to arrive full circle at our original plan, which is to visit both Cornwall and Scotland. I'll post our revised (and final) itinerary in a moment.

So, what have I learned from months of meticulous planning, only to end up where I began?
1) Follow your heart of hearts in deciding where to go - or in this case, my mother's heart of hearts. After all of my proposals for Cornwall only, Scotland only, Scotland and N. England, she finally admitted that she REALLY wanted to go to Scotland and Cornwall. And since this might be the last time we visit the UK together, my simple task is to make it happen.
2) Seek out and take heed of the advice of locals and more seasoned travelers, even if you don't use it all. All of my queries on this and other sites have given me many wonderful ideas and much practical information, not to mention hours of contented reading. I now have several fantastic itineraries for future trips.
3) Don't book accommodation until you are pretty darn sure of your plan :-). Thank goodness I learned this one on our last trip, and don't anticipate any cancellations for this trip unless dictated by unforeseen events.
4) And the synthesis of the above - Dream relentlessly, listen thoughtfully, and plan carefully - then do what it is you really want to do!

For anyone still reading, in case you're wondering, here is what we decided to do. It wouldn't be perfect for everyone, but for us it's simple, hits the highlights, and gives us two cozy home bases for most of it.

Arrive 13 May in Edinburgh, staying 1 week in this perfectly located apartment: http://annehouse.co.uk/ (we're renting the 1 bedroom Royal Mile apartment).

13-20 May - Spend two days on Edinburgh sightseeing, including the Castle, Palace of Holyrood and Royal Yacht Britannia, then take 2-3 Rabbie's day tours (St. Andrew's, W. Highlands and Borders) and possibly train to York for a day to visit the Minster, walk the Shambles and old city, and have tea.

20 May - Travel Day: Fly to Exeter or Newquay (Exeter flights appear to have the best arrival time, but would involve a longer drive); pick up hire car and drive to our cottage in Marazion: http://www.aspects-holidays.co.uk/cornwall/west-cornwall/marazion/p/gwelfor

20-27 May - absolutely no set schedule. Just enjoy W. Cornwall and do whatever we feel like!

27 May - Turn in car at Penzance train station (I've already checked into this), train to Exeter (honestly, this would be more a more logical stop after our flight from Edinburgh, but our cottage dates didn't work out that way) - spend one night at Abode Exeter (http://www.abodeexeter.co.uk/), visit the Cathedral.

28 May - Train to Newbury; taxi to Carnarvon Arms (next door to Highclere Castle - http://thecarnarvonarmshotel.com) for 2 nights.

29 May - Visit Highclere Castle (date to purchase tickets is in red on my calendar!).

30 May - Private driver taking us to Heathrow for outbound flight.

Much of this is already booked, so I'm not looking for itinerary suggestions (for a change ;-) ), but I certainly welcome any tips/feedback on specific destinations, such as Cornwall (looking forward to a few more chats with AnnHig :-) ) and Edinburgh. Thanks to all who've replied to earlier posts. Every response has mattered.

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