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1 week - Cornwall, Lake District, North Wales or SW Ireland?

1 week - Cornwall, Lake District, North Wales or SW Ireland?

Jul 24th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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1 week - Cornwall, Lake District, North Wales or SW Ireland?

Hi, my wife's parents are coming to stay with us in the UK for a month and a half and as they are here over the bank holiday weekend in August, thought we would go away with them on a driving holiday for a week.

I am considering all of the above based on the following criteria:
scenic drives
gentle activities (they are in 70s so nothing too strenuous)
good local food (esp. seafood)
plenty of natural beauty

I realise that bank holiday weekend will mean most places are crowded but willing to battle through this if the place is worth going to.

I've seen lots of threads on SW Ireland so that is looking a possible, but I am interested in hearing about anyone who has experience of more than one of these. For info we went to Inverness/Skye a couple of years ago and loved the scenery up there so something along those lines would be perfect.

JSCChan is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 06:14 AM
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Everything but most notably the roads get very crowded over Bank Holiday weekends in the UK. Devon is far better than Cornwall. I prefer it of the four places but SW Ireland (though I prefer the SE) will be less crowded for that time of year. Probably all the best accommodation will already be full up. Kinsale (south of Cork) is a nice little town for seafood, etc but it does get rather busy.
kaneda is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 06:54 AM
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OK - I am confused. They are visiting you for 6 weeks, and yet you choose to take a driving tour over the Bank Holiday?? That simply does not make any sense IMHO. It is the most crowded, expensive period during their visit. Finding accomodations would be harder, tourist sites will be much more crowded - just harder all the way around.

If it were me and I had rels visiting in the summer I'd either stay home that week and chill locally - or possibly go up to London for part since that is actually a bit less crowded time in the city. I would take them out touring ANY week other than the bank hols.

Since they have an extended stay - make things easier on everyone and do your touring a different time . . . . .
janisj is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 07:51 AM
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The Lake District is very beautiful, but has few roads. The towns and roads get very crowded, especially over a Bank Holiday.
Mimar is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Certain days in UK have bad weather. Wimbledon, other major festivals and BANK HOLIDAYS...

Don't do it
bilboburgler is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 08:00 AM
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Thanks for the advice - just to clarify, we live in London already and the reason for going away bank holiday w/e is that my wife and I both have 4 days annual leave remaining... so taking that week off allows us to go somewhere for a full week.

Traffic is inevitable that weekend as has been mentioned, so maybe it looks like SW Ireland then. I stayed near Kinsale a few years ago and really liked the area and people, so could certainly fly into Cork or Shannon. Also the weather seems more temperate in SW Ireland than the UK, probably due to the Gulfstream, so knowing bank holidays in the UK that could be important.
JSCChan is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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Have they visited you before? Do they have a preference as to where they go? Personally, Ireland would be my last choice. I really like Cornwall.
carolyn is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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If you do decide on SW Ireland, you can also potentially fly via Ryanair to the Kerry airport (about a 20-minute drive from Killarney). From research for our trip, I think the flights are not daily but run several times a week from Stansted.
jent103 is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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My choice would be Cornwall which I think fits all your criteria.

Bank hol weekend is crowded... but actually I find that week can be less crowded than the beginning of the six week school hols in July.

I think the best way to do it is minimise your driving. For example, a couple of years ago I visited Cornwall over august bank holiday. We stayed in Porthcurno and over 4 days there was plenty within 5-10 miles to keep us busy - Porthcurno itself has a lovely beach, the Minack theatre set into the cliffs, lovely walks and the Telegraph museum is interesting on a rainy day. Also within close reach is Sennen Cove, Land's End, St Ives and Mousehole. We didn't encounter too many crowds and traffic because we didn't go far. Many on this board discourage Bank holiday travel because of crowds, but I often travel at these times to make the most of my annual leave. As long as you plan well, you'll still have a great time!

Cornwall has some fantastic coastal scenery. Porthcurno has a beautiful coastline but I think Bedruthan Steps between Newquay and Padstow is my favourite part of the coast. Down on the beach is simply awe-inspiring.

You probably know Cornwall's reputation for good seafood. Rick Stein owns most of Padstow - but I've only tried the fish and chips - which are good.
optimystic is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 10:25 AM
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Kinsale on a Bank Holiday weekend is the LAST place in Ireland you would want to be. It would be so crowded as to make it impossible to deal with. I think you need to decide pretty soon as everything will already be booked.
IrishEyes is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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I agree w/ IrishEyes 100%. That isn't a Bank Holiday in Ireland - but being a UK Bank Holiday plus the absolute highest of high season, Kinsale and the SW will be packed to the max.

The Peaks make a bit more sense than Cornwall, the Lakes or SW Ireland simply because it doesn't get quite so busy.

If it were me, I'd still avoid that weekend if at all possible. Take your 4 days w/ a different weekend while they are visiting. You will only lose 1 day for touring - but that day would have likely been miserable due to tailbacks and crowds in any case.
janisj is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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But you don't just lose one day - you lose three... if you only have four days holiday to take, taking these at the BH weekend means 9 full days off work rather than 6 at any other time(presuming a working week from Mon-Fri). Believe me, it makes a difference!
optimystic is offline  
Jul 24th, 2007, 11:45 AM
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But - the OP said they want to go away for a week not nine days. I'd MUCH rather go away for 6 days over a non-bank holiday than for 7 over a BH. . . . .
janisj is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 12:24 AM
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To be precise I was thinking of going away Sat - Sun, giving us 7-8 days. If you factor in 1 day travel time at each end then we would only get 4 full days if we went away any other week so that's why I'm keen on that week.

But anyway I've managed to find flights to Shannon and returning from Cork for that week, for £106pp so a driving trip round there now seems likely. So will read some of the excellent trip reports on here but would welcome ideas from others given the criteria in the OP.

JSCChan is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 12:52 AM
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But you could rent a decent 2 bed house in Cornwall / Deveon or the Lakes for £600 for a week.

Although it is BH there is availability.

I've have just looked at 1 website & found plenty in the £400-£700 price range for Cornwall.

Another thought - what about somewhere like Kent - it is closer than Cornwall?

isplumm is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 01:48 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion isplumm - a cottage sounds like an excellent idea and since all sights and activities should be close by I will definitely look into it. I really want somewhere with a good mix of scenery (especially dramatic ones involving water and mountains)and activities so is there enough of this in Cornwall? I know Ireland certainly has it but there is the extra cost of flights, although cottages are cheaper...
JSCChan is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 03:15 AM
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Cornwall doesn't have mountains, but has dramatic coastlines, moors, picturesque villages....
I would have suggested a cottage in Snowdonia but you want good food too, something a bit thin on the ground there. I would go with Cornwall. Depneding on where you are travelling from you could maybe set off on Friday evening, break the journey at a pub or B&B and carry on on Saturday. And do the same coming back, set off on Saturday (rentals are usually sat - sat) and stay somehwere on the way back up.
Or consider Argyllshire, not as far north as Skye, but plenty to see and do. Or maybe Northumbria, beautiful and uncrowded.
hetismij is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 03:41 AM
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Isle of Aran maybe if you flew to glasgow
bilboburgler is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 11:15 AM
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Hope you don't mind me throwing in somewhere different, but have you considered the North Yorkshire Dales? Having read through your requirements I can't see why this beautiful area wouldn't completely fit the bill? You would certainly get spectacular scenic drives on roads that will be absolutely nowhere as busy as the Lakes (which I love but always avoid on B Holidays), you have gentle strolls, so much natural beauty it will take your breath away and there are some fabulous places to eat - even places that specialise in superb sea food (see link below).
You could even extend your driving to the Trough of Bowland - a beautiful area totally overlooked because of its proximity to the Lakes and Dales and devoid of crowds. The Inn at Whitewell, in the Trough, is brilliant.
If this appeal then I would avoid certain hotspots - for instance Grassington or Askrigg, but the area is so huge there would be no need to strugle with traffic jams and queues. There are castles, abbeys, waterfalls - everything you can imagine.
If this appeals do give me another yell - I live locally and know the area very well, including great pubs and restaurants. Also these websites might assist.
Morgana is offline  
Jul 25th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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Have your parents visited before?
Have they expressed an opinion?

Having been to Ireland, I'd leave that out of the equation. I assume they are already making a flight from US.

We were in Cornwall over bank holiday weekend in 1998. Weather was beautiful!! However, would not advise on driving the Friday eve. We went Sat a.m. and were warned about "20 mile tailbacks". It wasn't bad at all. We went from Bath to Stonehenge to Tintagel and were in St. Ives by 5pm. At St. Ives the streets were busy but we stayed at the Garrick -- up above any hubbub.

Also, if your parents are in their 70's they may actually enjoy the Lakes or Dales more. My DH is an ocean lover; would always opt for Cornwall. Loved Hotel Tresanton at St. Mawes. However, if it's windy and rainy, maybe not a good choice.

It's neat that you are planning ahead for them!
hopingtotravel is offline  

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