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panoptes100 Jun 5th, 2013 11:08 AM

10 Days In England Late August
Help! My wife and I will be in England in late August for 10 days. I will be in London Aug 28-30 for an academic conference, around which we want to build our vacation. What to see in addition to London? Stonehenge, Bath, Canterbury, Cambridge? Too much for 10 days? What do you recommend? And how best to get around? Rent a car? Or rely on public transportation? Where to stay? I'm a college professor so affordable, affordable, affordable. Thanks!

annhig Jun 5th, 2013 11:22 AM

hi panoptes,

that's a very wide question! Really it's difficult to answer unless we know a bit more about your interests and how much of the rest of the time you have you want to spend in London itself.

if this is your first visit, you could easily spend the whole time in London itself, perhaps with a few day trips. OTOH if you are a regular visitor [which i infer you aren't] striking out into the countryside might be a good idea. Why have you picked Bath, etc as places to visit? Bath and Stonehenge are in the same direction, but Canterbury and Cambridge are in opposite directions to Bath and to each other. Train would probably be the best way to reach them, ditto Bath, but for Stonehenge you need a car or a bus/tour. and to do all 4 AND have a decent stay in London, is probably asking too much.

panoptes100 Jun 5th, 2013 11:58 AM

Hi Annhig. Thanks for the quick reply. First my interests: English history, art, architecture, but also beautiful countryside, and of course, good food and good beer (beer is an occupational hazard). Second, I have to be in London from Aug 28-30, but its up to me how much of the 10 days to spend there, and that I don't know. Third, I've never been to England. I listed those places only because (a) they seemed to be relatively close to London (which I thought I'd use as my base), and (b) they're places I'd like to see. Maybe I should limit my trip to just London and Cambridge. But if I was to add one more, would you recommend Canterbury or Bath?

annhig Jun 5th, 2013 02:02 PM

hi, panopetes,

when you say history, of course that covers a multitude of sins and London is chock full of it so i think that your decision to base yourself in London this time is a very sensible one.

As for trips, Bath is quite a long way to go in a day; an overnight would be better taking in [perhaps] Stonehenge in one direction and Salisbury in the other. However, IMO it would be better to leave it for another time when you could devote longer to a stay there as the area around there is very rich in interesting things to see and do and needs longer than just a day or two.

Cambridge and Canterbury would both make very good day trip destinations and you wouldn't have to decide much in advance whether and when you wanted to go to both or either.

hope you have a great time!

janisj Jun 5th, 2013 02:22 PM

About 6 days in London. That's about a good minimum for a first time visit both because of the jet lag/acclimating/etc and the vast size and number of sites/attractions. But even more so in your case because of the conference. This part would be car-less.

Then the rest w/ a rented car to cover Oxford, a bit of the Cotswolds, Bath, Stonehenge Salisbury and/or Windsor. You can head out to LHR to collect the car, then drive down through Salisbury/Stonehenge, to Bath, up into the Cotswolds/Oxford and back to LHR to fly out.

That would be a good 10 days. However - do you actually have 10 days 'on the ground'?

Or is the whole trip 10 days including your flight days? If so, that only leaves you about 7.5 usable days.

PalenQ Jun 5th, 2013 03:46 PM

Why Cambridge and not Oxford - I'd do both if I were a professor interested in these august institutions of higher edikation - each is very different though similar in their colleges. Many prefer Oxford over Cambridge but I think each is nice and after visiting both many times I would be aloof to say which one is better.

Windsor is close in so if just wanting to see the castle need not occupy the whole day - though Eton, next door across the river should be an integral part of any Windsor excursion I'd say.

Canterbury besides its cathedral is a so-so ho-hum town IME of having to stay there many times on business.

Bath to me is along with York England's finest larger cities - Bath more visually appealing and York more individual sites of great interest to anyone, including the National Rail Museum - free!

If taking longer day trips you may want to investigate the London Plus railpass that lets you hop any train anytime - no blackout periods or waiting to 9:30am as on some tickets. It also includes a round trip journey on express airport trains - for lots of great info on English trains check out these fine sites - - explains the various fares and schedules (which you do not need as trains move so so often) and; and especially - click on this site's commercial link to RailEurope for current London Plus railpass prices (that pass lets you travel throughout southeast England and as far west as Bath and as for north as Stratford and Warwick - two other places you may consider.

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