2 Weeks, London, Edinburgh, & Beyond

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Jul 24th, 1999, 08:25 PM
  #1
Patti
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2 Weeks, London, Edinburgh, & Beyond

Hi folks,
I am planning a 2 week vacation. Arriving in London, I have an option to visit Edinburgh as well (places to stay in both locations)...I have never been to Europe...the decisions are endless about what to do...some say take the train to Paris...I am wondering if for this trip it would be better to focus on England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland...is this too ambitious for the timeframe? Should I tour by train or rent a car? What are recommended travel routes? Any insights and information would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Jul 25th, 1999, 08:59 AM
  #2
Kristin
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We returned recently from a three week trip to England, Wales, Ireland, N. Ireland, and Scotland. Three weeks was not alot of time for this itinerary. If I had two weeks, I would definitely not go to Ireland and N. Ireland. I think you can do England, Wales and Scotland, but still not in much depth (in two weeks). E-mail me if you have specific questions.
 
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Jul 25th, 1999, 08:59 AM
  #3
Kristin
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We returned recently from a three week trip to England, Wales, Ireland, N. Ireland, and Scotland. Three weeks was not alot of time for this itinerary. If I had two weeks, I would definitely not go to Ireland and N. Ireland. I think you can do England, Wales and Scotland, but still not in much depth (in two weeks). E-mail me if you have specific questions.
 
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Jul 25th, 1999, 11:09 AM
  #4
Dave
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I too would recommend saving Ireland and Paris for next time. You'll want to spend several days in both London and Edinburgh, and there's so much else to see as well.

The train-vs-car question has been debated several times on this forum. A car offers more flexibility, but for a first trip trains (plus buses) should get you anywhere you need to go, with fewer worries.

As for the itinerary, there are so many wonderful places in the UK that I hope to spend a lifetime trying to visit them all. There's also a great deal of diversity, both natural and man-made.

Your route will depend on whether there are places you feel you just can't miss (Stonehenge, Stratford, Bath, ...). None of those is on my personal favorites list, but if I hadn't visited Stratford or Bath, I would always wonder why they get so much publicity.

Keep in mind that distances are fairly short, so that day-trips from a central location are definitely worth considering.

So, with all that in mind, here's a tentative schedule to play with:
*London (2 days): adjust your watch, see the main tourist traps, learn the language
*York (1 day): on the main rail line from London to Edinburgh, great cathedral, town walls, several museums
*Edinburgh (3 days): see the sights, visit Holyrood park, eat some haggis, take a minibus day-tour into the highlands.
*North Wales(2 days): Pick a base for convenience (Conwy, Bangor). Visit a couple of the many amazing castles and the Snowdon Mountains. (NOTE: I loved Wales, but for a first trip it might be better to stick to England and Scotland, for a simpler itinerary.)
*Oxford (3 days): good rail and bus connections for day trips to Stratford, Bath, Warwick, Marlbourough, Avebury ...
*London (3 days): take the boat to Greenwich, daytrips into the southeast (Leeds Castle, Dover, Canterbury), see a play, whatever.
(This should just about fit an 8 day Britrail pass, by the way)

There are so many alternatives to this. I've left out Durham Cathedral, Windsor castle (an easy day trip from London), Salisbury (my favorite Cathedral town), Winchester (one of the most important historical sites), the Scottish Isles, Cambridge (prettier than Oxford), and many others. But that's what next year is for, right?


PS: If you are travelling on your own during high season, keep in mind that single rooms aren't always easy to find. If you don't reserve in advance you might get stuck paying for a twin room. On the other hand, during slower times, you might get a twin room for a single rate.
 
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Jul 25th, 1999, 01:29 PM
  #5
Martha
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I spent the first two weeks in the British Isles - went to London, York, Edinburgh and Aberdyfi (Wales). Did a one-day Eurostar trip to Paris. It was a tiring whirlwind trip - I loved every minute. I got a Britrail pass and loved traveling on the trains. They are very convenient - no problem even getting from Edinburgh to Wales. I wouldn't try to do more, such as Ireland on one trip.
Martha

 
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