2 Week Trip England- -Itinerary Review

Old Mar 10th, 2010, 04:31 PM
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2 Week Trip England- -Itinerary Review

Finally purchased the airfare for our June 12 thru June 28 trip. By including some layovers in Philadelphia and using all of our AMEX points we were able to save about $1000 over flying direct from PHX. My poor DH will have to go back to work the 29th; but he likes the idea of saving money so I have made some changes to our itineary to accomodate more of his wishes and to allow our daughter whose first trip overseas it is to see more of the sights she has heard about.
My original plan was to spend 5 nights in London and then get a cottage in Yorkshire (staying in a cottage is my dream; but not theirs) for about 8 days and then go back to London for a couple of nights to position ourselves for an easy transition to the airport. So here is my new itineary for review.
June 12-June 17 5 nights London.
June 17th--19th. 2 nights York in a B and B run by favorites of ours; but necessitating two rooms at a higher cost as their are no family rooms.(Alternative plan, spending all five nights alloted for Yorkshire at a BandB near Thirsk and doing York as a daytrip) We would pick up the car in York on the second day depending on our choice of accomodation.
June 19th--June 22. 3 nights at B and B near Thirsk.
June 22--24--Warwick or area around. I have looked at taking a train from York with the eventual purpose of basing ourselves in Salisbury; but it seems a lot of work to me. Am I right that you would have to go through London, change stations, etc. So I have suggested that we keep the car (as we will need it in the south) break our journey in that area with the purpose of taking my DD and DH to Warwick Castle and satisfying my yearning to see the ruins of Kenilworth hitherto only observed by me from a bus window in the eighties. I understand that the castle is somewhat different since my first two visits; but I think that it would appeal to my family. I also would also like to visit St. Mary's in Warwick.
I've thought about only staying 1 night; but I can't imagine that that would be enough time. I will add here that my husband does not want to drive the distance from York to Salisbury in one day; so this seems a good solution.
June 24--June 27. Base ourselves in Salisbury to journey to Bath, Portsmouth, Winchester, including a visit to Chawton and of course a drive by for Stonehenge. Been there, done that for me; but I'm sure DH wants to go again.
June 28--Drive from Salisbury to LHR, drop off rental car, catch plan leaving at 12:35 pm.
My husband is a little skittish about getting to the airport on a Monday morning. He would like to do a Priceline for a hotel in area and stay Sunday night. I don't want to do that and tell him that we just need to get up early, having packed the night before and go.
Ok, how does this sound? Should we base ourselves somewhere better than Salisbury to get to the airport and to do those daytrips? Is Portsmouth, not a good fit?
Thank you for any suggestions or comments.
idesofmarch is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2010, 07:48 PM
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Hi -- sounds like a really fun trip!

I remember the trip from York to London is about 4 hours (depending on traffic), so my guess is that continuing on to Salisbury, add another hour to that. If your husband isn't looking forward to a nearly 5 hour drive, maybe you could break it up by stopping the night in Oxford. If you get there early enough and weather is decent, you could go punting on the river -- always good for a laugh, and sometimes a splash. Even if you've never done it, you can pick it up quickly, more quickly if you've had a pint!

Yes to Portsmouth -- it is such a neat town and touring the HMS Victory is really interesting, especially to teens, kids, and young adults. The Mary Rose museum right there is also of interest.

You will be in England during the summer solstice, so keep that in mind the Stonehenge Summer Solstice Festival will be going on if you change your plans above and will be down there around the 21st. It used to be the English counterpart to Woodstock, but due to some disturbances over the years, it's been forced to quiet down. Here's a link to information regarding that night:
http://www.efestivals.co.uk/festivals/stonehenge/2010/

As for your last night, you can do it, but if there's a mishap, I can just see you never living it down! For that reason, I would spend the last night, not at the airport, but at a hotel in London where you can catch the Picadilly line to the airport the next day or, if worse comes to worse, get a minicab.
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 11:04 PM
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Just a couple of quick comments just now . . .

I'd stay the 2 nights in/near Warwick, then drive from Warwick to Bath for one night, and finally on to Salisbury from the 25th. That would be instead of driving from Warwick to Salisbury and then back out to Bath the next day.

Priceline is a problem - They only deal in doubles so you'd have to bid for two rooms. Your flight is not early so getting an early start from Salisbury would be OK. But if that makes your DH too crazy - consider staying in Windsor the last night.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 01:04 AM
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Would you mind posting your B&B info, please?

Many thanks.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 01:09 AM
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You don't really want to be driving through the tail end of the Monday morning rush hour on the morning of your flight. You could have your evening meal in Salisbury and then drive up to a LHR hotel for a late check in, have a wee nightcap and then be ready for a leisurely start the next morning.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Maudie, the only B and B we've nailed down is Abbeyfields in York and I haven't heard from the Poplars near Thirsk about availability. We have just decided to do the south so those I'm beginning to investigate. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.
janisj--No problem bidding for two rooms, even if we were on different floors, my DH can sleep anywhere. We toyed with the idea of driving in on Sunday and visiting the Castle and checking in on Sunday night, as the first week we when we are in London so many areas of the castle are closed for Ascot and ceremonies. I like your idea about visiting Bath right after Warwick--I like staying in that city if only for one night instead of being a daytripper.
Surfergirl, thanks for the info about Stonehenge. Just the stuff I want to know.
My husband would probably prefer driving to LHR Sunday night instead of early in the morning; but for me that puts a cramp in my day. Of course, so would missing the plane!
Thanks for all your comments, I really appreciate it.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 12:37 AM
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Hi ides

Sorry no suggestions, I was just picking your brain. We are in the midst of sorting out a trip to the UK as well and are thinking of our first couple of nights in York then you mentioned Thirsk, made me start thinking....

I haven't even looked into accommodation yet but like to get some ideas to follow up. Thanks for posting, I appreciate it.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 03:45 AM
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Maudie, we also have stayed at the other B&B in York owned by the same couple who own Abbeyfields, St. Raphael's. I think now it is run by their daughter and we would have booked there as they have great "family" rooms: but my husband was just dying to go to the new venue. I think both places are in the new edition of Rick Steves'. You couldn't go wrong with either. Have fun searching!
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 03:48 AM
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Thanks, ides. I will check out St Raphael's but Abbeyfields looks great - be hard to beat that.

Good luck with your planning, hope your trip is wonderful and I shall look forward to your report.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 04:18 AM
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Are there particular reasons for Thirsk? It's a perfectly nice market town (I live locally) and a good location for touring North Yorkshire. Plus there's the Herriot connection of course. So practically it is fine.
But..........it's close to (but not in, which is the important part) some areas of absolutely outstanding natural beauty which personally I would rather stay in if I was on my hols rather than staying in a small town just off the A1. I'm thinking of the North Yorks Moors as the obvious area.
Apologies if I am missing something here.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 06:38 PM
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Morgana, I am open to all suggestions and only just starting my research but what you suggests sounds really interesting. I don't want to hijack ides post and I will be starting my own soon so I hope you will be around to help me out.

Thank you.
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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 01:47 AM
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If you are planning on doing that Monday morning trip to LHR, Good luck, it can be a nightmare. Bearing in mind you will need to be at LHR at around 10.35 and if the drive is 5 hours thats a very early start and a LONGGGGG day travelling.I personally wouldn't risk it, but then that's just me, but having spent 2 hours on the M25 last Friday to do around 30 miles.......
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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 02:45 AM
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A lot of unsubstantiated scaremongering here about getting up to LHR from Salisbury. If you had to catch a 7am flight then fair enough, it's easier/safer to travel up to the airport the previous day. But... your flight is at 12:35pm! The drive from Salisbury (on the A303 via Andover, then joining the M3 at Basingstoke) will take between 2 and 3 hours even allowing from the busy Monday morning traffic. If you set off at 7am you'll have no problem getting to the airport with plenty of margin. Just be sure to be ready to leave on time, study the route in advance, and you'll be fine.

FWIW, I've made many hundreds of early morning runs up to Heathrow from a similar distance away, and have missed maybe 1 or 2 flights in the past 20 years because I cut it too fine.
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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 09:11 PM
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Morgana, I think the thinking behind Thirsk was to be as centrally located as possible. To me the entire area looks beautiful and as we are planning now to spend the the whole second week of our stay in Yorkshire, we wanted to be in a position to go to go in all directions, including the Moors and the Dales.
We have after much agonizing decided to go back to our original plan and not go South at all. I say this a little shamefacedly as you all have given me such great advice and taken your time to answer my post. I'm sure I will use the info on another trip.
I do have to say that deciding where to spend our time after London has been surprisingly,difficult for me. Just too many wonderful places to visit and seemingly we won't be back for awhile. We also wanted it to be as memorable a trip as possible for our DD and selfishly I have just wanted to spend more time in Yorkshire and at a more leisurely pace. And as my DH says, "it's all good."
The price for the cottage we booked seems so reasonable to us that we are contemplating going to the Lakes for a day and maybe staying the night as we have the cottage for a week.
Morgana I will be reading your previous posts for ideas for drives in the area and hopefully post new questions as they occur to us. Thanks.
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Old Mar 17th, 2010, 09:40 AM
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Actually Gorden,its not ALL unsubstantiated, as i said i have had issues with the M25 (i use it 3 times a week) great that you have had better experiences but i personally wouldn't want to have that long a travel day (incl the Int flight) but then that's just me.
If the OP is comfortable with it, then hey we can only offer advice. (BTW I wouldn't know if it is a 5 hour journey from there so that bit i couldn't comment on)
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