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11 Days-England, Wales & Scotland-please review itinerary

11 Days-England, Wales & Scotland-please review itinerary

Old Mar 8th, 2010, 01:48 AM
  #21  
 
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You may (or may not) want to avoid the Hay Festival, end of May. http://www.hayfestival.com/wales/ It's primarily outside the village but I think would cause some hassle.

I have been to Hay a few times and LOVE it. I enjoyed talking to the booksellers who for the most part are very knowledgeable.

I had some specific, obscure books to find for myself and others and that made the conversations very interesting and enabled me to handle some first editions, although they were out of my price range. There are large, general bookshops as well as small specialist shops.

The Old Black Lion Pub in Hay does very good meals and also has rooms which were fine. It's very much a walking village with easy access large public car parks.

Hay is at the edge of the Brecon Beacons which are lovely. Another interesting place to stay in the area is The Gliffaes, www.gliffaes.com

To each his own but I prefer that area slightly to the Cotswolds, which I also like very much.
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 01:52 PM
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Hi everyone, thank you very much. All of your input is so much appreciated!

cathinjoetown ~ Great tip and luckily I had already looked ahead at the calendar after reading about the festival on their website and we would just miss it. We would most likely be arriving May 19th and stay until the 24th and by this year's calendar it looks like the festival begins around the last Thursday of the month, so hopefully we would be ahead of the mad rush??? Your thoughts on this though would be appreciated, maybe it gets crazy there before as well.

Thank you janisj and sheila for your info! Our price range varies greatly on accommodations. We would pay as much as The Hotel at the Old Course at St. Andrews because it would be a very special experience, but we have paid much less because it was special in it's own right, if that makes sense. It varies. We have only traveled to Italy and not to the UK yet, but what we love there is that you can find the sweetest family run hotel that is in a great (notice how I did NOT say the "q" word, lol) area and it is not as expensive as you would think. Or we have paid more because there were original 17th century frescoes on the wall. It is random and we are lucky that we can choose. What we do look for is unique experiences.

Thank you again everyone - it means a lot!
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Old Mar 9th, 2010, 11:29 PM
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OK. Accommodation in Fife. In St Andrews there's a very wide choice.

The Old Course Hotel is special.

I quite like the Rusacks Marine. The Rufflets, outside is nice too.

The Peat Inn is very special for food.

You might like Fernie Castle Hotel. I do, but I know at least one Fodorite had a bad experience there.

I really like the Ship Inn in Elie, which has rooms. (frankly much more my style than the Old Course). There are lots of other places I would not turn my nose up at, but no-where else that leaps out at me as extra special.
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 05:41 AM
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I've never been to the Hay Festival but in talking to one of the booksellers he seemed to have mixed feelings. He said the festival takes place in tents outside the village and that they (the local shopkeepers) don't see that much of an uptake in business because of the festival. So, purely anecdotal from one individual. Just thought I would flag it in case you hadn't considered it one way or the other.

I personally would want to avoid it as Hay is generally fairly busy. If I were going specifically for the festival, that would be different. I just wouldn't want to overlap with it on a day trip. The last time I was there was early September 2008. It wasn't teeming but it was busy. We had no trouble with parking or with meals, etc.
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 07:09 AM
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I would normally push train travel but with your plans for rural areas without great public transport (Cotswold Hills) you should rent a car and even drive it to Edinburgh - hitting perhaps the fabled Lake District, Hadrian's Wall or the romantic Scottish Borders Abbeys en route.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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Thank you Palenque, Cathinjoetown and sheila
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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Have a great trip and let us know what you decide to do.
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