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Wales, some biking somewhere flat & London--Oct.

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Some of you gave me advice to try England where we have never been rather than visiting France where we have gone many times. I think I am going to follow that advice and book maybe 3 weeks starting the very end of Sept. or 1st of October. Now it is time to book plane tickets, and I need advice first.

I have done some research and am thinking perhaps of Wales and London. But, we also want to do an easy cycling trip of 5-8 days in an interesting (nice scenery, not too much traffic, non-scary roads, intriguing places to stop to explore) and relatively flat area that would fit into this tentative itinerary. Where/what area would we find what we are looking for? Does anyone have any suggestions for a biking area where a good company could help us set up a self-guided trip. Or, is our best bet to fly to France to do a bike trip there? I hear lots and lots about bike trips in France and not much about bike trips in England. Is there a reason why?

What would you suggest is the best sequence for this? Weatherwise and sightseeing wise would we be best to put London at the tail end of the trip? Are Gatwick or Heathrow the best airports to fly into, or is there some other airport I should think about flying into or out of on one end of the trip?

Or, are there other areas that you think would be better for a first trip to England at this time of year? I hear a lot about the Cotswolds and found a bike tour there. We like history, the outdoors and nature, half day walks, gardens, non-junky coastal areas, historic places, interesting architecture, colorful local markets etc. Tourist clap trap does nothing for us, and we aren't interested in a hit all of the typical destinations that are on all itineraries type trip. And, to top it all off, if we could find some bases where we could do a bit of self-catering rather than moving around all of the time it would be even better.

Thanks so much.

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