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Touring Trip Around UK

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DH & I (both active mid-60s) are in the process of planning our travels through Europe for July - Sept 2012.

In UK we would like to hire a car at Heathrow, then spend around 2 weeks from mid August touring. For us, this is quite a different approach to travel; usually we stay put for at least a week, then move on.

There are some 'have-tos' en route, then we are looking for suggestions of interesting places in between. We enjoy learning about the history and natural sites, more than gourmet food venues.

Here is our rough outline:
Heathrow
Kew (family history research)
Drive up the east coast finishing at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (family history)
York
Liverpool (DH wants to visit here)
Portsmouth (more family history research)
Heathrow

On previous trips we have covered London, Cornwall, Cotswolds, Lakes District, Oxford, Stratford - so don't wish to include these places this time around. We also have no wish to travel any further north for this trip.

We would appreciate your suggestions for any interesting spots along the way.
Many thanks, Di

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