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8 day road trip starting in Southampton, England

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May 13th, 2016, 07:17 AM
  #1
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8 day road trip starting in Southampton, England

Hi,
A friend and I are planning an 8 day road trip after arriving in Southampton from a Baltic cruise on Sunday July 10. I was hoping for some advice on these plans. We have tickets to Highclere Castle for Monday July 11, so based on that, here's our tentative itinerary.
Day 1. Arrive in Southampton, rent a car, drive to see Salisbury and Stonehenge. Then drive to Newbury for the night to see Highclere Castle in the a.m.
Day 2. Highclere Castle tickets 10:30 am to 1 pm. Drive to Oxford and see some of the colleges. Either spend the night there, or drive on to Edensor area to see Chatsworth House in the a.m.
Day 3. Edensor and Chatsworth House, then drive back to Cotswolds. Stay in Chiipping Campden and either visit some of the nearby areas that afternoon or the next a.m.
Day 4. A little more Cotswolds and on to Bath.
Day 5. Drive from Bath to Cornwall. We don't want to drive all the way to the Southern tip. Is the Atlantic side more beautiful? e.g. around Tintagel / Boscastle? Or should we do the English Channel side? We would like to see gorgeous coastal areas and fishing village. And hopefully some view of moors, either in Cornwall or Devon.
Day 5. More of Cornwall or Devon...starting to head back Northeast.
Day 6. Drive toward London.. possibly see Winchester
Day 7. See Hampton Court and possibly Windsor Castle.
Day 8. Fly back home to US.
I know this sounds overly ambitious, but we're trying to pack in as much as possible. Any suggestions of scenic routes to take would be great also.
Thanks!
Peggy
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May 13th, 2016, 07:31 AM
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>>Day 2. Highclere Castle tickets 10:30 am to 1 pm. Drive to Oxford and see some of the colleges. Either spend the night there, or drive on to Edensor area to see Chatsworth House in the a.m.
Day 3. Edensor and Chatsworth House, then drive back to Cotswolds. Stay in Chiipping Campden and either visit some of the nearby areas that afternoon or the next a.m.<<

This makes no sense at all. Highclere to Oxford to Chatsworth and all the way back down to the Cotswolds in less than 1.5 days is simply not doable.

You have day 5 twice so not doable -- but EVEN if it is two days (meaning 9 days total) -- still not a reasonable plan. Cornwall is a loooooong way.

I think it is back to the drawing board and re-design this. Newbury/Oxford/the Cotswolds are all reasonably near each other -- trying to squeeze in Derbyshire at the same time isn't really possible.

You only have 7 days to play with since you fly home on you 8th day.
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May 13th, 2016, 07:41 AM
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Hi Peggy, in Cornwall they talk about the north and south coast, if that helps. For me the Westward Ho side is and area is pretty good for general viewing if you want to dig in and sea great gardens etc you need to go to the south coast.

You know that google maps timing is off and you need to put 40% extra on to their estimates

You know that Oxford parking is tough, either go to the central multi-storey one and pay for the place or use the park and ride. I seem to remember you have some locomotion issues so I'd do the first. (if not you then sorry, my mistake)

Generally a bit rushed and you are missing a lot of Cornwall but it feels like it might work
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May 13th, 2016, 07:44 AM
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Didn't spot the "Chatsworth House in the a.m." no way hosay, well off target.
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May 13th, 2016, 07:45 AM
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Scenic routes are well off the table even with Chatsworth taken out of the picture
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May 13th, 2016, 07:50 AM
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****I know this sounds overly ambitious, but we're trying to pack in as much as possible.****
That is the trouble with a plan like this. My advise travel less and see more.
Do not sleep in Newbury but maybe Hungerford.
For Edensor substitute Bakewell.

Use Bath as a base. Visit Wells Chedder Gorge, Lacock, Iford Gardens, Bradford on Avon, Bristol, Avebury, etc.
Then drive south to Dorset.
Things like Castle Cary, Dorchester, A lot of The Jurassic Coast is gorgeous. Sherborne Abbey, Swanage Railway, The Tank Museum- Bovington, Maiden Castle.
Then Winchester for Romsey, New Forest, Stockbridge and the River Test Valley.
Last night near to Heathrow to allow you to see Windsor Castle.
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May 13th, 2016, 07:59 AM
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>>For Edensor substitute Bakewell.<<

How would one finish at Highclere in the afternoon, drive to Oxford, deal w/ parking and exploring the city, and drive to Bakewell (or Edensor)?

But other than that -- the rest of your suggestions make a lot of sense

Limiting the range to Berkshire plus Oxford and a bit of the Cotswolds, Bath, Dorset and Hampshire and doing Windsor the last day is totally doable.
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May 13th, 2016, 08:01 AM
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Sorry... Typo.. I've corrected it. It's an 8 day road trip. On day 9 we fly home. Should have read:
Hi,
A friend and I are planning an 8 day road trip after arriving in Southampton from a Baltic cruise on Sunday July 10. I was hoping for some advice on these plans. We have tickets to Highclere Castle for Monday July 11, so based on that, here's our tentative itinerary.
Day 1. Arrive in Southampton, rent a car, drive to see Salisbury and Stonehenge. Then drive to Newbury for the night to see Highclere Castle in the a.m.
Day 2. Highclere Castle tickets 10:30 am to 1 pm. Drive to Oxford and see some of the colleges.
Day 3. Cotswolds
Day 4. Bath
Day 5. Drive from Bath to Cornwall. We don't want to drive all the way to the Southern tip. Is the Atlantic side more beautiful? e.g. around Tintagel / Boscastle? Or should we do the English Channel side? We would like to see gorgeous coastal areas and fishing village. And hopefully some view of moors, either in Cornwall or Devon.
Day 6. More of Cornwall or Devon...starting to head back Northeast.
Day 7. Drive toward London.. possibly see Winchester
Day 8. See Hampton Court and possibly Windsor Castle.
Fly back to US the following day.
I know this sounds overly ambitious, but we're trying to pack in as much as possible. Any suggestions of scenic routes to take would be great also.
Thanks!
Peggy

Thanks for your input. I've removed Edensor/Chatsworth House. The drive from Bath to Tintagel, Cornwall is approximately 2.5 hr, or if we went to English Channel side e.g. just south of Plymouth is approximately the same. In the states, a 2.5 hour drive is not a problem at all, as long as it's not every day.

How about:
Day 5, 6, 7 getting to Cornwall, seeing some scenic area of Cornwall / Devon and then at some point on day 7 driving partway back toward London?
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May 13th, 2016, 08:06 AM
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Thanks, janisj, bilboburgler, and ribeirasacra. I need to go back to the drawing board and think about your comments.
I didn't realize I needed to add 40% to google times.
Let me research some of your helpful suggestions!!
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May 13th, 2016, 08:07 AM
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>>The drive from Bath to Tintagel, Cornwall is approximately 2.5 hr,<<

Nope. Not a chance. If you are using an on-line calculator you need to greatly increase the drive times. Bath to Tintagel is nearly 150 miles and easily a 4 hour drive.

You need to re-calculate things . . .
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May 13th, 2016, 08:18 AM
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Re- calculate, reduce and,then, refine.

BTW, in my somewhat limited travels to Cornwall, both north and south coast are wonderful.

You do not want to drive into Oxford unless you are very familiar with city center. Use Park and Ride.

Driving 2.5 hours in the states is usually very different from driving 2.5 hours in Cornwall or elsewhere and, as has been mentioned, one reason being it just takes a lot longer than the travel websites state.
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May 13th, 2016, 09:38 AM
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Hi Peggy, in Cornwall they talk about the north and south coast, if that helps. For me the Westward Ho side is and area is pretty good for general viewing if you want to dig in and sea great gardens etc you need to go to the south coast.>>

mmm Bilbo - good advice, though Westward ho! [the only place in the UK named after a book hence the !] is in north Devon.

< Day 6. More of Cornwall or Devon...starting to head back Northeast.>>

effectively Peggy, you have one night in Cornwall. you could drive to Port Isaac which is indeed a fishing village on the north Cornish coast, or to Looe on the south coast but both are pretty touristy and will take you 3 hours give or take to get there from Bath, and however long the next day to get to "somewhere back north-east". Both drives could take in a drive across Dartmoor though that would add to the driving time.

Honestly, I think that's too much driving for too little reward.

However, borrowing bilbo's inadvertent idea of North devon, I suggest going to Lynton on the North devon coast. you could drive there via Wells [a wonderful cathedral and Bishop's palace to see] and then across Exmoor. if you could squeeze another night there into your itinerary, you could head west to Hartland Point to see the most spectacular cliff formations, and then down to the tiny port of Appledore where they have been making ships for centuries.

There is also a delightful garden across the estuary at Instow called Tapeley Park where they do great teas.

Finally there is the extraordinary village of Clovelley where everything used to come in and out on the backs of donkeys, so steep is the main street.

I suspect that much of this is actually more like the Cornwall of your imagination, and it should be less touristy too.
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May 13th, 2016, 10:06 AM
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Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. I originally had suggested to my traveling companion that we drive from Bath across Exmoor to Lynton/Lynmouth and possibly Clovelly, but she said that all of her friends said we would regret not seeing Cornwall.

annhig, thanks for reinforcing my original suggestions to do Devon, rather than try to do Cornwall.

I do appreciate all of these suggestions. I should have known better than to trust the online calculations of driving time!

I don't enjoy spending all of my time driving...especially when I'm not used to doing so on the other side of the road, and with the stick shift being done with my left hand, rather than right! Thank you all!
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May 13th, 2016, 10:28 AM
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If you REALLY want to visit Cornwall (and Devon) -- then just do that. After Highclere head into the far SW and skip Oxford, the Cotswolds and Bath. Spend 5-ish days in Devon/Cornwall, drop the car and take the train up to London, spend the last 1.5 days there and fly home

That would also be a fun trip.
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May 13th, 2016, 10:37 AM
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I agree with Janisj. Cornwall and Devon offer so much to discover while tasting scones and drinking local beer that I too would leave the rest of England for another time.
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May 13th, 2016, 11:09 AM
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The trouble with driving on your proposed trip is not just the length of time getting to Cornwall. It is the roads once you get there. It is not just a matter of driving on the other side of the road, it is very narrow roads, sometimes only one car wide (someone has to back up to a passing place), with stone walls or thick hedges on either side, Plenty of curves, plenty of hills, and then you have to find somewhere to park. If this is your first time driving in England, you might be better off in the area around Bath and Oxford (which deserves more than an afternoon).
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May 14th, 2016, 06:13 AM
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Thanks, thursdaysd. I have driven in Ireland on the very narrow roads that you're describing, where I had to back up a steep incline, so that another car coming the opposite direction could pass. Scary! Also, as you mentioned, with stone walls or thick hedges on the side.

And thanks, again, janisj and kleeblatt I'm taking your advice seriously. We've already made the arrangements thru our arrival in Bath. (So, we're still doing Oxford, Cotswolds, and Bath...can't change that). But, we're going to drop Cornwall, and have a few days in Devon, and then back to London.

Thanks, all for your helpful advice!! Greatly appreciated!!
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May 14th, 2016, 06:19 AM
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And annhig, I especially appreciate your Devon recommendations! I am considering all that you mentioned! Thank you!!
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May 14th, 2016, 06:22 AM
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no problem, peggy. I'm sorry that you won't be making it to Cornwall, but in some ways North Devon is even better [please don't tell the neighbours I said that!] and it definitely fits in better with your itinerary.

I hope you have a great trip.
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