20 days in Uk

Old Aug 8th, 2012, 03:39 PM
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20 days in Uk

Hi everybody, next May 2013, my fiancee and I are planning to go to Europe for 8-10 weeks, which we would love to spend 20 days in UK, will be our first time going there (not europe though). i need a little help regarding our itinerary, we want to cover England, Wales and Scotland, we dont know if its possible in 20 days or so. We love history, my fiancee loves Castles and hiking, also I love beer and soccer. so any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciate it!
Thanx again
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Old Aug 8th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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"we want to cover England, Wales and Scotland,"

One can't 'cover' England, Scotland and Wales in 20 weeks, let alone 20 days. But your 3-ish weeks can give you a nice taste. Your options are limitless, so I'd first get a nice guidebook (Michelin green guide, DK Eyewitness, or the Fodors UK, and start to narrow things down a bit.

I lived in the UK for 5 years, and go back frequently and there are still corners of the country I haven't seen. You could spend your whole time in London and the southern half of England - OR - a week in some part(s) of England, 5-6 days in Wales, and the rest in one or two parts of Scotland - OR - London/York/a couple of weeks in Scotland - OR - almost any other combination.
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Old Aug 8th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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Thanx for your response, will do...still have plenty of time. We would like to start in London but after that we dont know where to go...?
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Old Aug 8th, 2012, 04:13 PM
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Hoo boy. Some considerations.

(1) London alone could take 2 weeks (or more). But for the distilled version, you need at least 5 nights, more likely a week to include a couple of day trips (like castles? Hampton Court Palace, Windsor, Dover, are all short daytrips; the Tower is in London . . .). Don't get a London Pass, just go to the www.daysoutguide.co.uk website before you go and print vouchers for anything you may want to visit. Then come back to this website and read one of the INNUMERABLE threads on how to redeem them.

(2) Wales kind of sucks from a tourist-logistics standpoint. The best castles (read: Conwy, et al.) are on the northern coast, which has LONG and slow train connections from Liverpool/Manchester area (I think the transit hub is Crewe). The southern coastal areas, which are reachable by fast train from Paddington Station in London, are reputedly nice but tertiary compared to other attractions both England and Scotland can offer. Train service from Southern Wales to Northern Wales is hideously slow - you lose a LOT of time for touring whilst riding the rails. Wales is also rainier than most of England, which says a lot.

(3) Scotland can also justify 2-3 weeks so you need to decide where you want to go. Edinburgh and Stirling have the big showstopper castles. Aberdeenshire has a truckload of nice ones (Fraser, Drum, Craigevar, etc.), Perth has Scone Palace - famous in Scottish history. Near Inverness are the Culloden Battlefield, Cawdor Castle, Dunrobin Castle (with its A+ quality grounds) and some lake famous for a monster. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a castle in Scotland. The hiking havens are in the Highlands or on some of the islands (like Skye). The west coast should be nice because it's migratory bird season and its time for the flocks to gather to make more little birdies.

(4) Distances are "greater" in Scotland or Wales than in the US - it takes longer to get from place one to place two that's 150 miles away. This is because the infrastructure is different (e.g., the roads are well-made, but narrow, twisty, and the Scottish idea of a highway would be a side street or frontage road in much of the US).

(5) Good luck with the soccer - you'll have a ridiculously hard time getting tickets to any EPL match (and probably Championship matches too) because you usually need a club membership (which costs money) to buy tickets (which are expensive) or have to purchase from a tout (which costs a LOT of money). May is the end of the season too. Procuring tickets for Scottish Premier League matches is far easier and the crowds are lively because the Scots think that what happens in their soccer matches actually matters. Considering the decline of the SPL in just the past 7-8 years, they're the only ones.
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