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7 days/7 nights in UK - first time visit London & a village?

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Jan 28th, 2014, 07:54 PM
  #1
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7 days/7 nights in UK - first time visit London & a village?

Hi

First time for me and hubby in the UK arriving from Australia into London Heathrow on 17 June and departing late p.m. on 24 June. My husband loves the English murder mystery television programmes and loves the village scenery often depicted with the little pubs, etc.

Can anyone recommend a village to side trip to out of London and how much time to will it take to travel there by train or car and should we stay over? Best location in London to stay at (ie. close to transport, sights, etc.)

Thanks
DonnaKat is offline  
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Jan 28th, 2014, 09:48 PM
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Bath is halfway between a village and a city, but has great charm. I'd personally recommend spending a day or two there.

For London accommodation, it really depends on your specific budget. Could you give us an idea of how much are you willing to spend per day on your hotel stay? I am a fan of staying near Hyde Park, particularly the Bayswater/Queensway area. It's reasonably priced and quite central.
galactus is offline  
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Jan 28th, 2014, 10:26 PM
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Sorry -- but Bayswater/Queensway is not central at all.

But yes, we do need to know your budget before anyone can make suitable recommendations.

Baths is terrific but it mainly depends if you are actually looking for a 'village experience' or not. Bath is a city of nearly 90,000 population. If you want history, architecture, Roman remains, Jane Austen connections, pretty parks -- Bath is the place. If you want a 'Midsomer Murders-type' village experience - Bath ain't the place.
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Jan 28th, 2014, 11:08 PM
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I too like the Hyde Park area - Bayswater, Paddington etc. An additional advantage is that the Heathrow Express will take you direct to Paddington in quick time. We stayed at Royal Court Apartments, but there are lots of options in the Paddington area. Best Google the area for accommodation or check on Tripadvisor.

Bath won't give you the Midsomer Murders experience. For that you may be best to hire a car and head out west of London to Turville, Little Missenden, Thame, Chinnor, Chalford, Haddenham etc. There's a Midsomer Murders "film locations" website that could help you with that. Or a day trip out of London by rail to Oxford will give you the Morse (or Lewis) experience - although a car would again improve that experience by getting you out to Trout Hotel at Lower Wolvercote where Morse & Lewis often sat in an outdoor bar beside a stream nursing their pints of bitter!
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Jan 28th, 2014, 11:20 PM
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Bath is about as devoid of "the village scenery often depicted with the little pubs, etc." as New York.

I can't think of a fully fledged "murder village" with a direct train or bus from London. Most (I'd say all) charming villages with direct trains run out of visitor interest after the first pint. Small towns on railway lines mostly have a wellish-conserved town centre (usually chock full of chain stores and their fascias that never get into the tourist brochures) surrounded by dispiriting suburbia.

The nearest suburb-free, chain store-free microtown (the interesting ones all got charters to call themselves towns 500-800 years ago and don't like being called villages) is probably Woodstock (train to Oxford, then half-hourly, 30 min bus ride from station). This ticks almost all boxes - including being a frequent film set for Morse and its prequels, and having a fair amount to see and do once you've had the hour of atmospheric fix.

Easily accessible alternatives might be Bradford on Avon (train to Bath, then change) or Rye (train to Ashford International, then change)

How long you allocate depends how long (at Woodstock or Bradford) you want to spend in the adjacent larger city.
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Jan 29th, 2014, 12:01 AM
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I don't agree that Bayswater is not central. If you're close to the Central Line, you can get anywhere very quickly.
But there are good and bad streets, so depends on where you are.
The area between Queensway and Notting Hill Gate is best (but then you are in Notting Hill).

Paddington, I don't like, especially if you are near Praed Street.

Second Flanner's suggestion of Woodstock. You could combine this with Oxford.
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Jan 29th, 2014, 01:15 AM
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Village locations:

An easy day trip would be to Haddenham (direct train from Marylebone, about 45 minutes), but you will need to walk a bit from the station to the church and the village green, which has featured in a fair number of TV programmes (mostly as establishing shots). Some pretty cottages around the green, and a couple of nice pubs too - and the wildlife hospital if you fancy a dose of twee:
http://www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk/

Or there's Chilham, about 1.5 hours by direct train from Charing Cross:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilham
http://www.enjoychilham.org.uk/
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Jan 29th, 2014, 03:40 AM
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the Kent countryside can deliver some beautiful little villages full of charm, village pubs and quaint tea shops. Getting there might be a bit of a problem but if you were prepared to hire a car, you could get the train to Sevenoaks, and work your way from Chiddingstone [often used for films and TV as they have beautiful Oast houses and no lamp posts] through Penshurst, Speldhurst, Brenchley, Goudhurst, Sissinghurst, Cranbrook and Lamberhurst, then back up the main A21 road to Sevenoaks.

or you could do the same sort of thing from Tunbridge Wells which is a rather more picturesque place to start than Sevenoaks, in which case you might even be able to get as far as Rye, where you could even do an overnight then wend your way back.

the Kent countryside is stunning in June and you would have long evenings for quiet country walks, a drink in a pub garden, a wander round the village..just what I suspect your DH has in mind.
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Jan 29th, 2014, 03:52 AM
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DonnaKat lots of good suggestions.

Driving in the English countryside is very easy. You will be well rewarded.
A couple of years ago we spent 5 days driving in the Cotswolds, loved the area. Just picked accommodation as we went, chose lts of cute areas. Lots of great country towns and beautiful countryside.
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Jan 29th, 2014, 08:21 AM
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Where did the Bayswater Brigade come from?

Stay in South Kens if you don't want to be dead-centre of the city. Better area than Bayswater/Paddington and better transit connections too because the Piccadilly and District lines will cover more places you want to go in central London.
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