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Where, oh where, to spend one extra night?

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Hi everyone,

I'm back for your advice which was invaluable with our last few trips!

This time I'm planning a surprise trip for my husband's birthday: England from 7 to 18 September. We'll rent a car at LHR (I know, not optimal, but it's difficult to do this trip without a car) and drive to Portsmouth Premier Inn (Havant) for two nights so we can go to the Goodwood Revival on Friday 9 September. It's been very hard to find a place to stay anywhere near Chichester/Goodwood even this far in advance!

I'm going to try to book tickets to Highclere Castle's "Garden Party" on Saturday 10 September which I hope to combine with a Hidden Britain Tour. The tour will be either Downton Abbey, which the husband loves, or Jane Austen, which I love and he tolerates.

10 September is a free night so I'm trying to decide if we should stay:
1. close to Highclere Castle, if we get the tickets; or

2. in Alton, where we could conceivably end our Hidden Britain Tour, then visit Salisbury Cathedral and maybe Avebury stones on our way to Bath the next day; or

3. head to Bath. Because I added a day to the trip and had made reservations at the Hill House awhile back for 11 to 14 September, when I checked they unfortunately don't have availability for 10 September, which is the weekend the Jane Austen Festival (yay!) in Bath starts. I guess I could find another place in Bath for one night, or hope the Hill House has a cancellation. We loved Bath last year. We saw the major sights so will be focused on the things we missed (Bath Abbey, Assembly Rooms, Holbourne Museum, and such) and a lot of wandering around this beautiful town. With the extra time in Bath, I thought we could take a day trip to Bristol.

After Bath, we have 3 nights in Burford at the Lamb Inn to explore a bit of the Cotswolds and Oxford and one night at the LHR Marriot before we fly out early on 18 September.

Your thoughts are appreciated!
NOLA

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