Hello Fodorites - Warning: long post!!
I am busting at the gills with excitement for our upcoming trip and want to thank all who have helped in the planning process. With advice on this forum starting over a year ago, I made plans, changed them, changed them again, and finally settled on the perfect plan for myself and my mother. This will quite possibly be our last trip to the UK together, and we're visiting the two places highest on our wish list - Scotland (Edinburgh) and Cornwall. I was very skeptical at first about combining these two geographically disparate destinations, but with a bit of encouragement and thought, put together the following plan.
I do have a couple of questions on Cornwall and York after this rather long itinerary - just thought I'd post the full itinerary if anyone was interested.
13 May - Arrive in Edinburgh from the States; Have rented a one bedroom apartment on the Royal Mile for 7 nights. Thought we'd visit St. Giles Cathedral and have a bite in the café on arrival since it's mere meters from our apartment, then find some groceries and settle in.
14 & 15 May - Edinburgh sightseeing: Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Royal Yacht Britannia and the Botanic Gardens
16 May - Rabbie's West Highlands Lochs & Castles day tour
17 May - Rabbie's St. Andrew's & Fishing Villages day tour
18 May - "Free" day to do whatever we want in Edinburgh
19 May - Rabbie's Rosslyn Chapel & the Borders
20 May - Train to York, hoping to arrive by 10:30. Our B&B is minutes from Bootham Bar, so we plan to walk straight into the heart of the city and meander around enjoying the sights, perhaps take some tea at Betty's or elsewhere, spend a good long time touring the Minster and stay for evensong. Short visit to York, but we plan to make the most of it by taking it slow to absorb the atmosphere.
21 May - Long train ride - York to Exeter, change in Exeter, arrive Penzance about 17:00. Since we're arriving too late to pick up a car, we plan to get a taxi to our cottage in Marazion, where we'll spend one week.
22 May - Leisurely car-free day in Marazion; visit St. Michael's Mount, stroll around the village, etc.
23 May - Pick up car in Penzance (actually, it's Enterprise, so they'll pick us up), spend the day in/around Penzance. We'd like to visit Trengwainton Garden this day and possibly Mousehole.
24-27 May - Do whatever we feel like doing each day! We'll definitely do the drive around the Penwith Peninsula and visit St. Ives (would park at St. Erth and take the scenic train into town); the rest is kind of loose. We've received excellent tips from Annhig and others, but I have a couple of specific questions below.
28 May - Turn in car and train to Newbury, where we will stay two nights at the Carnarvon Arms. This is the start of the May Bank Holiday, so hopefully we'll get away from Cornwall just as the crowds descend (our cottage rate seems to reflect that, anyway).
29 May - Visit Highclere Castle, including afternoon tea at the Coach House.
30 May - Private driver to Heathrow, from which we depart around noon.
- Cornwall: Mom really wants to see Port Isaac, and we'd both like to visit Lanhydrock. I realize each involves a drive of at least 1-1 1/2 hours each way from Marazion. Also, I realize Port Isaac isn't the most accessible destination, but I've discovered that a shuttle runs from the car park into the heart of the village and back, which would eliminate the uphill walk for my mom. Since this is probably our only opportunity to visit Cornwall, is there any reason not to bother with one or the other of them? If we do go to Port Isaac, could we make a scenic drive out of it at least one way, with stops along the coast?
- York: Should we try to fit the York Castle Museum in on this day? We both think it looks very interesting, but I'm concerned it's just too much since we don't arrive until mid-morning, and really only have the rest of that day. Our top priority is to tour the Minster, attend evensong, and just get a taste of the city (will include the Shambles).
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Hello Fodorites - Warning: long post!!