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10 -11 days with car for a coastal drive around Dorset, Cornwall & Devon

10 -11 days with car for a coastal drive around Dorset, Cornwall & Devon

Old Aug 16th, 2011, 07:17 PM
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10 -11 days with car for a coastal drive around Dorset, Cornwall & Devon

I need advice as to how to go about timing this trip! For an overview, on day 1 (Sept 30) we will leave Bath about noon, head South to Dorset coast (but would like quick stops in Avebury & Stonehenge along the way), then over the rest of the car rental days, head West along the coast to Lands End, then up the Northeast coast & back to Bath on Day 11 (Oct 11). I've read the guidebooks, studied the maps, circled places of interest, but am at a total loss about where to book rooms and for how long in each area (or perhaps NOT to book rooms at all?!)

I really wish you could see the circles on my map! Here's a sampling:
Dorset coast: Corfe Castle, Worth Matravers, Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast, Lyme Regis, fossil hunts, easy cliff walks

Heading West: Sidmouth, Exmouth, Torquay, Start Bay walk, Salcombe, Burgh Island, Bigbury on the Sea, more short coastal walks

On the way to Falmouth & Lizard Peninsula, not much circled but Eden Project, then St. Mawes, St. Just, Helston, down to Lizard Point for views and walks

Then over to Penwith Peninsula - lots circled here! Need couple days for coastal drives, St. Ives, Mousehole, Penzance (perhaps stay here?), Lands End, theatre

Heading up NE coast, need time for stops along this coast for photo ops & views, Tintagel castle, walks in Bude, Morwenstow, & Hartland Point, quick visit in Clovelly, Morte Point, Lynon, Lynmouth

As you can see, we want dramatic scenery, easy cliff walks, picturesque towns & villages. We don't drive at night, so we need to settle in well before dark in a town that's big enough to have a variety of places to walk to, choices for food, & pubs to have a pint in (won't be touching a drop until done with the driving!)

PLEASE give your advice. In how many places should we base ourselves? Where would you book B&B's? (or to book at all?) How long in each area? Are any of these areas extremely difficult to drive to that I should omit? I can't seem to get a handle on distances, driving times, and how much time we need for such an itinerary. Thanks in advance!
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 07:39 PM
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I need more time to absorb your post --but just a couple of comments to get started

W/ 11 days I'd pick at most 4 places to stay -- packing and moving every day or two gets old fast. In fact --if it was my trip--I'd rent a cottage in mid/eastern Cornwall or western Devon for a full week and use it as a base for day trips and use the other 4 days - 2 for Dorset and and 2 for far western Cornwall

and "<i>but would like quick stops in Avebury & Stonehenge along the way)</i>"

Starting in Bath, Avebury & Stonehenge are the opposite direction from Dorset. Bath to Lyme Regis via Avebury/Stonehenge is easily a 4 hour drive w/o any stops at all.

What is the rest of your itinerary like --maybe you can fit them in on the way TO Bath.
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 08:01 PM
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Janisj, re: fitting in Avebury, Stonehenge: I guess I was thinking I could head directly East, Bath to Avebury, then due South, to Stonehenge, around Salisbury, down to Corfe Castle, Wareham, Swanage area before heading West along the coast (starting the coastal drive farther east than Lyme Regis) Can't fit them in before Bath because we have bus tickets Heathrow to Bath & back; it would have to be within the car rental days. Then again, the priority is the coastal drive; I would be willing to omit them if necessary.
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 09:13 PM
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Looping through Corfe Castle and Swanage makes it a difficult 5-6 hour drive.

As an alternative -- how many days are you in Bath? Mad Max does a Stonehenge/Avebury/Lacock/Castle Combe day tour.
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 11:46 PM
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I'd suggest a slightly odd idea of staying in Lulworth itself, the lobster would be very fresh and the chance of walking in the cove at night is not to be ignored. Only for one night but the Jurasic walk would take around 2 to 3 hours, if you include going down to Durdle Door then add as many hours as you like. The Cove is about a 1 hour walk
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:05 AM
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We have enough days in Bath to fit in a Mad Max tour. That would work very well. And if a certain route is involving a "difficult" drive, I sure want to omit it! That was indeed part of my question, how to do this routing in a reasonably sane way. So, by what route would I get down to the coast, where would I start heading West, and how do I divide up the days for lodging?
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