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9 days in London in early Sept, 3rd trip, should I get out of the city?

9 days in London in early Sept, 3rd trip, should I get out of the city?

Mar 28th, 2012, 01:17 PM
  #1  
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9 days in London in early Sept, 3rd trip, should I get out of the city?

Hello all! I just booked airfare to London for early September, got a heck of a deal on British Airways! This will be my 3rd trip to London, previous trips were for 1 week each. I have seen most of the sites in London and have taken several day trips with the London Walks Explorer Days (Bath, Oxford, Cotswolds, Leeds Castle, York). I could easily spend the entire time in London, but I am thinking I should get out of the city and see some countryside? Cornwall, the Lake District, and the Peak District are all appealing. I am a huge Jane Austen and Downton Abbey fan and would love to see some of the filming sites. Highclere Castle would be fabulous. I'd prefer not to drive so it would have to be someplace with reliable public transportation that is easy to use.

I am also going with a friend, this is her 2nd trip, she wants to go to Paris for a few days but I would rather stay in England. What are your suggestions on how to divvy up the days?

Also, hotel recommendations for London would be fabulous... Stayed in Shepherd's Bush and Bayswater neighborhoods on the last 2 trips, we really liked Bayswater but I have heard that Kensington is also good. Hotel budget is under $180 a night.
britomart is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 03:24 PM
  #2  
 
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Day trip possibilities via public transport
Winchester (where Miss Austen is buried)
Salisbury/Stonehenge
Dover
Canterbury
Brighton

If all you had in Oxford was a guided tour (although I have heard good things about London Walks), you could go back.

Others will have to speak of how to see the Lakes or the Peaks District via public transport: We saw a tiny bit of the Lakes via a car; we got to Chatsworth via public transport but that was quite an ordeal and we didn't see anything else.
texasbookworm is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 06:30 PM
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The Lakes District might be a bit far for a day trip.

There's always Warwick Castle, Blenheim Palace. Check out day trips in Fodor's or any other travel guide.

I once took a day trip down to Brighton. Interesting.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 09:01 PM
  #4  
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I'm open to staying somewhere other than London the entire time. 2-3 days in the Lake District maybe 2-3 in the Peak District? I'm open to anything.
britomart is offline  
Mar 28th, 2012, 10:46 PM
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The Lakes arent really that easy to access using public transport. It can be done, but its quite a long haul. I think you can catch the train to Manchester then change to get to some of the larger towns. Not sure how great public transit is up there though as we had a car.

You can certainly take the train to Derby (pronounced DArby) but again, the smaller towns and villages may not be linked up to public transit.

Hopefully someone has some personal experience.

What about taking the train to Hastings or Rye? There are some lovely walks between towns there and they are easily accesible from London. Or maybe the New Forest. You can take the train directly to Brockenhurst and then do some lovely walks.
jamikins is offline  
Mar 29th, 2012, 02:55 AM
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People in their tens of thousands rely on public transport alone to get to the Lake District, Cornwall and the Peak District - as their forbears have been more or less since railways were invented nearly 200 years ago.

The problem is, though, they do things few foreign visitors want to do these days: stay the whole time in one Cornish seaside town with a railway station (an extraordinary number have direct trains from London, or are a few minutes by branch line away), or take an hour's train ride from the post-industrial Northern cities to the Lakes or Peaks, spend the day walking the moors/fells and get the train home for supper.

By the standards of virtually anywhere else in the developed world outside Switzerland, these places have excellent local bus (and sometimes local train) systems. But they're geared to local needs (like getting to hospital appointments or schools), and rarely let you meander around. The tourist-oriented exceptions are very specific: you can easily get a train to Chesterfield for example and connect for a bus to Chatsworth House, then stay at Bakewell for some hill walking and a visit to Hardwick Hall. A lot of other things you might want to visit in the area just won't fit into a carfree journey unless you're prepared to invest time you haven't got in circuitous connections.

It's probably a great deal easier to do a range of interesting things without a car in the Lakes or Peak District than in Cornwall (though a weekend based, say, in St Ives could be fun scenically, culturally and gastronomically, you'd have to limit yourself to a small bit of Cornwall).

You need to decide (using the local tourist board's websites, which always include something on car-free access) what you want to see, then work out how feasible it is. It helps a very great deal if serious amounts of walking are on that list.
flanneruk is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 10:29 AM
  #7  
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I am wondering if day trips from London might be best for this trip... London Walks has trips to Rye, St. Albans, and Richmond/Hampton when we are there. Are these good trips to take? I think I would like to revisit Bath again too...
britomart is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 03:47 PM
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I've been to Rye, and it is a neat place. It rained all day when we were there, so we ate a lot of scones and drank tea at several places as we worked our way around town. By all means, see the Parish Church of St. Mary's and the Castle Museum.
carolyn is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 11:43 AM
  #9  
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Thanks Carolyn. Anyone know how easy it is to get to Highclere? I've found a tour company charging 55 pounds for a day trip via coach...
britomart is offline  
Apr 7th, 2012, 03:46 PM
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I'll be in London for a week in July (first trip ever) and have 2 day trips planned - Windsor Castle and Highclere Castle.

The Highclere website says, "Coming by train, there is a good service from London, Paddington, to Newbury, (taxis are usually to be found at Newbury Station to reach Highclere Castle)."

Looks as though train tix will be about $35 pp and then there's the taxi...
lantana is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 03:47 AM
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Check out www.londontown.com as well as www.hotiwre.com. You can decipher hotels at hotwire at www.betterbidding.com. also, I would bid on priceline , name your own price, once you understand how to do it. Really good deals there! You can also see those wins at the betterbidding site.
lincasanova is offline  
Apr 8th, 2012, 04:13 PM
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For those who have taken the London Walks Bath tour, would you recommend it?
Sloane_428 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 09:13 AM
  #13  
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I have taken the LW Bath tour and I thought it was excellent, like all of their tours.
britomart is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 03:02 PM
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make that www.hotwire.com
lincasanova is offline  
May 27th, 2012, 11:15 AM
  #15  
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Well, my friend has talked me into going to Paris for 3 nights. Does anyone recommend going to Paris at the beginning vs the end of our trip? I realize if we end up flying there, it would be best to go at the beginning when we are already at Heathrow. But, our flight home doesn't leave until 3:30 pm so it's possible to put Paris at the end of our trip.

Also, for a hotel, I've booked the Paris France Hotel in the Marais. I've stayed in the Marais before and loved the area. Since I've seen all the major sites, I might spend one day just in the Marais, so I think this will be a good fit for us.
britomart is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 05:21 PM
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If you're still considering a trip out of London, I would highly recommend taking the train down to St. Ives for a few days, as Flanner suggests. You can easily get around many local destinations from there on foot or with the local buses. There is fabulous walking on the cliffs right around the town.
ebg1 is offline  

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