9 Days in UK - so much info

Jan 11th, 2019, 11:39 AM
  #1  
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9 Days in UK - so much info

Fodorites were so helpful in planning prior trips and Id appreciate any insight. There are so many threads that it felt overwhelming to sort through so am starting another. Husband and I are heading to the UK May 17-27. The reason for our trip just totally changed so we are starting at the beginning again in our planning. Here is what Id like to do and if anyone has suggestions, love to hear them. Also, Ive been to London before doing the more touristy things so am looking to be outside and just breathe (middle-age induced claustrophobia?)

1. Bath (maybe Stonehenge, Cheddar Gorge, Wells?)
2. Cornwall - really want to be here a few days doing some hikes. Having a hard time picking either one place as a jump off to do day hikes or do I move around - rent car?
3. Cotswolds ??
4. End in London - parks, wandering streets

I realize these are huge generalizations. Love to hear your thoughts.
krisbailey23 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 11:51 AM
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If your entire trip (including travel days) is May 17-27 -- you will have 8, or at most 8.5, days free on the ground. That isn't much if you are trying to cover Cornwall, the Bath/Stonehenge area and the Cotswolds - and then you throw in London. Cornwall is a long way from other places and once there the travel is very slow.

Since you've visited London previously, could you manage not going there this time?

If at least some time in London is a must -- then London/Bath/the Cotswolds is doable. If you can drop London then the Cotswolds, Bath area, and a taste of Cornwall would be more realistic.
janisj is online now  
Jan 11th, 2019, 11:58 AM
  #3  
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I’ve had my heart set on Cornwall for a couple of years now so would probably rather drop the Cotswolds and then maybe 1.5 days in London.
krisbailey23 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2019, 12:33 PM
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We spent 3 days in Cornwall June 2018--too short, but the time was well spent! It's gorgeous.

But everything that is said about the slowness of travel is completely understated! The roads are incredibly narrow and windy and nerve-wracking! Worth it, but just be prepared. Whatever drive time is given by an app, at least double it!

If you want to see what we did here's my trip report--https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/a-celebration-capital-cities-cornwall-coasts-cymru-castles-and-more-1655185/

We LOVED the Penellen BandB in Hayle.

So as to your choices/trip--if doing Cornwall, it will take about half your time to just get a taste; it's too hard to get to and around in to spend less than about 3 days, in my opinion.
texasbookworm is online now  
Jan 11th, 2019, 02:49 PM
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With that little time, I personally would concentrate JUST on Devon/Cornwall. One option would be to take the express coach from LHR to Bath, spend the first night car-less in Bath, both to see the city and to recover from the jetlag. Then collect a car and drive down into Devon and Cornwall (visiting Wells en route). Spend about 5 days in the SW (that is still very little)

Then depending on your exact timing and visiting London or not - either drop the car in Plymouth and take the train to London for the last 1 or 2 nights and fly home . . . OR . . . drive to LHR and drop the car there, stay the last night at LHR and fly home.
janisj is online now  
Jan 12th, 2019, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
With that little time, I personally would concentrate JUST on Devon/Cornwall. One option would be to take the express coach from LHR to Bath, spend the first night car-less in Bath, both to see the city and to recover from the jetlag. Then collect a car and drive down into Devon and Cornwall (visiting Wells en route). Spend about 5 days in the SW (that is still very little)

Then depending on your exact timing and visiting London or not - either drop the car in Plymouth and take the train to London for the last 1 or 2 nights and fly home . . . OR . . . drive to LHR and drop the car there, stay the last night at LHR and fly home.


Always a sound idea to spend the final night close to the Airport no matter what country your in....remove all stress.
LancasterLad is offline  
Jan 12th, 2019, 01:46 PM
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If your heart is set on Cornwall, I would suggest heading straight for this windy, nerve-wracking outpost of the British Isles, [thanks, Texasbookworm]. If you are landing at Heathrow, the easiest thing to do would be get the RailAir bus to Reading and pick up the train to Cornwall from there, or get the Heathrow Express to Paddington and start your journey there.

Either way, if the flight lands at about breakfast time, you should be in Cornwall in time for tea.

I know that Texasbookworm and her husband enjoyed their stay in Hayle, but my recommendation would be Penzance. Lots to look at in the town itself, and you are close to lots of things to see and do to fill at least 3 days. Also excellent restaurants and cafes and a wonderful Art gallery. In fact I would suggest spending at least 4 nights there. 5 or 6 would be better. A car will enable you to explore the area but there are also buses, and cabs.

hope that helps. May is a wonderful time to visit Cornwall.

You could then drive up to Bath and spend a couple of nights there, and perhaps spend the last night or two in Windsor or London proper before flying home.
annhig is offline  
Jan 12th, 2019, 06:15 PM
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Annhig's plan works too. My only thought was the trip (express coach) to Bath on arrival would be a lot shorter and less hectic than the multiple modes/much longer journey from LHR in to Cornwall. May depend on how you deal with over night flights.
janisj is online now  
Jan 13th, 2019, 05:37 AM
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Since time management is of the essence, you might consider just flying from Heathrow to Newquay (NQY.) Flybe has 3 or 4 daily flights, costing around 50 one way. That might be a little more than some train/bus combo, but it sure would be quicker, and with far less hassle. You could stay in Newquay itself while you get your clocks adjusted, or pick up a car at NQY and stay in some nearby village. A one-way rental car (Newquay to Heathrow) might be a little more than one you return to NQY (but probably won't) but the time savings could be significant. Travel back east via Devon or the Cotswolds or Bath... your call.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jan 13th, 2019, 06:27 AM
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Flying on Flybe to NQY is a great idea, the fares are low when there isn't any checked luggage; with checked luggage you can add 20-30 per segment. Even so, the convenience of a flight vs the other options outweighs the increased cost IMO, in the scheme of how much a holiday costs, it is probably quite a small expense. Flybe fly from T2, it's a new route that starts end of March, 4 flights a day.
Odin is offline  
Jan 13th, 2019, 01:21 PM
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Flying is a great idea, depending on the times of the flights, also IME Flybe is not that cheap but certainly comparable with the trains which are expensive.

What you don't get though is the wonderful train journey between Exeter and Plymouth which IMO is well worth the extra hassle of going by train at least in one direction.
annhig is offline  
Jan 13th, 2019, 03:50 PM
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Flybe's just been taken over by Virgin. I don't know if its routes and pricing will remain the same.
Nonconformist is offline  
Jan 13th, 2019, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Nonconformist View Post
Flybe's just been taken over by Virgin. I don't know if its routes and pricing will remain the same.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/flybe...ights-13842798
Gardyloo is online now  
Jan 14th, 2019, 06:48 AM
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Reminded by Gardyloo that Flybe was starting this NQY to LHR service, I bought myself a round trip ticket for September and had no problems with booking.

So far, so good.

As routes are decided some time in advance i wouldn't expect any changes to be made until next year. At the moment Flybe are offering avios as they code share with BA but I wonder if they will be offering Virgin points in future. Hopefully they will expand the routes to the rest of Europe for which at the moment we have to go to Bristol [for Easyjet] or Exeter [for Flybe].

The bottom line for the OP is that this route should be running in May.
annhig is offline  
Jan 14th, 2019, 08:46 AM
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I would just be cautious over the flybe option. I've been concerned about them for some years and the sale option announcement was no surprise. I'm not sure how long Virgin will stick with the money pit. But yes 5 days is barely enough. I think it is worth going on youtube to learn the etiquette of cornish driving especially the long single vehicle tracks, which you will need to do to get to places (I was there over Christmas and once again I was surprised). You also need to understand that when staff tell you "directly" which is the answer to every question like "when is my beer coming?" this means "when I can be arsed to do it". Urgency is not natural to the population, so if in doubt bag the waiter with the kiwi/oz/czech accent that is serving and work with them. You've been warned.
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 15th, 2019, 11:55 AM
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<< I think it is worth going on youtube to learn the etiquette of cornish driving especially the long single vehicle tracks, which you will need to do to get to places (I was there over Christmas and once again I was surprised). You also need to understand that when staff tell you "directly" which is the answer to every question like "when is my beer coming?" this means "when I can be arsed to do it". Urgency is not natural to the population, so if in doubt bag the waiter with the kiwi/oz/czech accent that is serving and work with them. You've been warned>>

lol, Bilbo - very funny. I generally explain to people that "dreckly" is like maana, but with less sense of urgency. You do get used to it eventually.

As for the driving, the art is to try not to cross at the narrowest part of the road but to adjust your speed so you both meet at the widest part. That only works if both of you are trying to do the same thing, of course. Saving that, the etiquette is that the person with the obstruction [narrowing of the road, parked cars, tractors, sheep etc] on their side of the road gives way to the approaching vehicle. And watch out for what is jokingly called the "Cornish hedge". It may look like a hedge, but below the green is pure granite just waiting to redesign your car.

Apart from that, easy peasy.
annhig is offline  
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