Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

2 weeks in England - travel schedule recommendation

2 weeks in England - travel schedule recommendation

Old Mar 6th, 2009, 03:53 PM
  #1  
DLW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2 weeks in England - travel schedule recommendation

Hi,
My 16 year old daughter and I will be going to the UK in July with a full 14 days available for touring and a day on either side for travel between home and UK. I was there 30 years ago (ouch) so feel like a first time visitor and my daughter has never been overseas. I've been having the hardest time planning an itinerary because it all looks fabulous and frankly I'm not sure what is realistic as far as travel times/distances. We had thought we'd fly into London and spend 4 days there. Then we can't seem to choose. We feel like we're in a candy store and want a bit of everything. My daughter enjoys history, museums, live entertainment, people watching and shopping. She had expressed an interest in visiting the Eden Project in Cornwall but as we hope to meet my elderly father in Edinburgh for 3 days and flying home from there, it just seemed like a lot of territory to cover off. Also, I was thinking of a Britrail pass as I'm not planning on driving while there. So might anyone be able to steer us on a realistic path. I have used this forum many times for trips to Europe and always appreciated your tips, especially on good walking tours or private guides. Thanks for your help. DLW
DLW is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2009, 04:50 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,361
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
w/ 14 days you can see a lot -- even Eden Project and Edinburgh (you don't want to miss Edinburgh)

I'd do a little bit longer in London. There is soooooo much of interest to a 16 yo in London plus your fist day will be exhausting/jet lagged.

So - 5 days in London (6 would be better)

Then train to Cornwall. http://www.edenproject.com/plan-your...eden/index.php has all the info about getting to Eden project w/ an all inclusive package of train, bus and admission. Maybe stay in St Austell to simplify the train/Eden project connections. Stay 3 days/nights in Cornwall. Then take the train up to York - this will be a long travel day. Stay 2 nights. Then train to Edinburgh for the rest of your time. Visit your Dad and take one organized day trip from Edinburgh out into the countryside. (or take the train to Leuchars and a bus to visit St Andrews one day)

That would be a very full 2 weeks . . . .
janisj is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2009, 06:43 PM
  #3  
DLW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your help. I'm excited that the Eden Project and Edinburgh are doable after all. Instead of a full 3 days in Cornwall, would you consider a stop in Salisbury to see Stonehenge for 1 day or am I trying to do too much? Really appreciate your input.
DLW
DLW is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2009, 09:07 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,361
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Sure you could do an overnight in Salisbury. Depends mostly if you wanted more scenery/Cornwall or take some of that time for Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge.

But if you decide to add Salisbury, I'd do London 5 (or 6) nights > Cornwall 2 nights > Salisbury 1 night > York 2 nights > Edinburgh 4 (or 3) nights. That way the travel up to York won't be such a long slog.

You could also do Salisbury/Stonehenge as a day trip by train from London.
janisj is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2009, 07:05 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 686
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have not been to the Eden Project, but it seems like a long haul for one site. In my humble opinion there is more closer to London. Me, I would add a couple of days in London, do a couple of day trips, York for three, then the rest in Scotland. You really must see a loch or two, see the Highlands and a train to ?.
rogeruktm is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2009, 08:23 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,361
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
In theory I agree w/ rogeruktum. I was assuming though that since you' be going that far you wouldn't see JUST the Eden Project. That is why I suggested 2 or 3 nights. It is MUCH too far to go for one night and one attraction. But there is a lot more to see/do in Cornwall. so - no - don't go to Cornwall if ALL you want to see is the Eden Project. But - yes - you can go down there to combine the EP w/ other sites.

If your daughter really wants to see it - it can be done. It is just a looooong way from London.
janisj is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2009, 03:36 PM
  #7  
DLW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you both for sharing your thoughts on this and as such, I am now reconsidering going to Cornwall because truthfully, it was the Eden Project that caught my daughter's eye. So instead , would 5 days in London, 2 in Bath, 2 in York and 5 in Edinburgh sound better. Or should we plan 6 days in London with a day trip to Bath, 3 days in York and 5 in Edinburgh. Also, I know there are other threads with lots of hotel info but if you do respond, might you be able to suggest some inexpensive hotels in London and Edinburgh(under $200). Thanks for your help.
DLW
DLW is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2009, 04:37 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 37
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Please consider a trip to Stratford for the Shakespere Theatre. You can do this as a day trip from London. Otherwise plan on going to the Globe Theatre in London Use the tune to the Soutwalk Station and please do not miss the Abbey
johngfl1 is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2009, 04:43 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,361
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Either idea - 5 days London, 2 Bath, 2 York, 5 Edinburgh - or 6 days London with a day trip to Bath, 3 days York, 5 days Edinburgh -- would be absolutely doable and equally good options.

If it was me -- I'd probably do 6 nights London/day trip to Bath, 3 nights York, 5 nights Edinburgh. But again, either choice is absolutely fine. From Bath you can visit Castle Howard, Fountains Abbey, Thirsk (James Herriott's museum/veterinary office plus everything in York. I'd want 2 full days in/near York so 3 nights is about right.

Then an early morning train to Edinburgh.

Bath is definitely worth an overnight -- but it is a small place and you really can see most of it in a full day's trip from London. Early morning train from London - stay in Bath until after dinner and back in London by 10 or 11 PM.

For London I'd recommend PriceLine. You can get a 4star hotel in a good central area for around $100 a night or less. (or a studio or small 1-bdrm flat - though Priceline would be cheaper) . For Edinburgh - there are some good moderately priced hotels in the Old town -- but I'd probably rent a flat instead since you'd be there 5 nights.
janisj is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2009, 04:48 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,361
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
didn't see johngfl1's post. . . It is Southwark (not Southwalk)

Yes, the Globe is a great attraction. Even if you don't go to a play, you can go on a guided tour of the theatre. Not quite sure which "Abbey" he means - there are many in England. I'll assume he meant Westminster Abbey since he was talking about London. That is definitely on most visitors "must" lists - w/ good reason.

I personally don't think you have enough time for a trip up to Stratford-upon-Avon this trip. . . .
janisj is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2009, 05:00 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,521
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm just going to add to your confusion a little == you might want to take a look at one of the college towns. Oxford and Cambridge are both easily reachable as day trips from London. If your daughter is interested in gardens, Cambridge -- with it's botanical gardens -- might be a good alternative to journeying all the way to Cornwall this trip. It also has the wonderful architecture of the colleges, some neat shops -- especially book shops, a thriving marketplace and fun people watching along the Cam. The seaside town of Brighton -- about an hour by train from Victoria -- has an over the top royal homestead and an interesting promenade.
VirginiaC is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2009, 05:50 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 161
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
DLW, I just returned yesterday from 10 days to London with a two-night trip to York--we were visiting our 20-year-old son, who's studying in London this semester. Two years ago we were in England to visit our 20-year-old daughter who was studying there. When our daughter was 14, I took her to England on her first trip abroad--and I hadn't been there since I'd been pregnant with her. Just this morning I reread that journal from that trip with her. So I feel like I've kinda been in your shoes.

Cornwall is great, but I concur with the basic idea of 6 (or more) days in London plus several in York plus more in Edinburgh. We didn't get to Edinburgh on any of these trips but I've been there in the past, and we did look into it for this trip--and decided to do York instead.

Will you be renting a car or depending on rail and public transport? If the former, you will find much to do in the York environs--Fountains Abbey and Castle Howard, as a previous poster suggested. But if you don't, you'll find plenty do within York itself. Clifford's Tower, the Minster of course, walking around the wall. We didn't get to the Jorvik Viking Museum, as our time was limited and we chose to drive out to Fountains Abbey, but I'd love to go back and go there. Just walking around the medieval streets is a very interesting way to while away half a day. There are many shops--but our time was too limited for browsing, and besides, I was with my husband and son! I dare say if I'd been with my daughter, we would have found time. ) We also did a nighttime ghost walk, which was fun.

In London there's so much to do that you just need to let your interests take you where they will. In 2000, when my daughter was 14, I finally figured out that she needed to have the occasional brush with American culture and things like home. Perhaps your daughter won't feel the same way, but she might. So one night I agreed to go to the Hard Rock Cafe--something I never would have done without her, as we can go at home. But we had a great time. She also wanted to go to stores that we have here--again, something I never do--so we occasionally got something to eat or drink at a Starbucks, or stopped into a Gap to see what they had that was different.

I suggest renting some movies set in London before you go. For instance, we rented Man for All Seasons and then visited both Hampton Court and also went to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower, which I'd read about on this forum. (At least back then, you need to write to the Tower in advance to arrange it.)

We went to Mme. Tussaud's because of all the pop culture figures there; went on a Beatles walk and ended up at Abbey Road; and did brass rubbings in the crypt at St. Martin in the Fields. Another highlight for her was a trip to Kensington Palace, where many of Diana's dresses were on a special exhibit. I believe some are part of the permanent exhibit there.

Definitely get to the theater. I took Emma to see her first Gilbert & Sullivan, which I was worried she might not like, but she loved. Billy Elliot will probably still be there--we didn't see it this last time, but my son had just seen it and loved it.

Have you decided where to stay in London? In the past, we've stayed in the Bloomsbury area and liked it. In 2000, my daughter and I stayed near Earl's Court, but I felt that was too far out. This time we stayed in South Kensington, near the Gloucester Road and S. Kensington tube stations, and that worked really well for us--the Piccadilly Line was pretty much all we used, and it's the line that comes in from Heathrow. It also takes you to Kings Cross, which is where the York/Edinburgh train leaves from.

In York, we stayed at a nice little bed & breakfast called Ascot House. It's about a 15-minute walk from town, but we also had the car. Walking around York, I saw many places that we'd considered for B&Bs that looked like they might be noisy--York is a popular destination for both overseas & British tourists, and it's quite busy--so choose your location wisely.

I hope this helps!
penel523 is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2009, 06:40 AM
  #13  
DLW
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for all this wonderful information. I am currently traveling in the States myself and have not had access to a computer until now so I was pleasantly surprised to open up this site and find so much great advice. Penel523 I will have my daughter read through your ideas and am sure she will appreciate your input.
DLW is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
n0carrots
Europe
25
Mar 9th, 2013 11:02 AM
travelmere
Europe
17
Jan 14th, 2011 10:01 AM
rozium
Europe
12
Jul 24th, 2006 09:46 AM
JCV
Europe
7
Jul 23rd, 2003 10:54 AM
ina
Europe
16
May 18th, 2002 08:55 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:08 AM.