9 Days Southern England Itinerary Help

Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 11:42 AM
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9 Days Southern England Itinerary Help

Planning trip to southern England this Fall. Considering:<BR><BR>3 nights Salisbury<BR>2 nights Bath<BR>2 nights Cotswolds (Chipping Campden or the Slaughters)<BR>2 nights Oxford<BR><BR>We will be travelling by bus of train. Does Bath deserve a 2 night stay or could it be done as day trip from Salisbury? Is Oxford worth a stay? Would you add/delete/swap any locations?<BR><BR>We're not really museum people - prefer to wander around, enjoying pubs and restaurants. Thanks for any help in advance.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 11:48 AM
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LOVE LOVE Salisbury....you will love the market there and just wandering around...read Sarum before you go!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 11:54 AM
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If you are in the Bath area drop 1 night and consider visiting Cardiff in Wales, its probably about 40miles away.<BR>This beautiful relatively undiscovered city has everything from Medievel castles to Pubs and a host of great restaurants, the Welsh are a hospitable lot and there are plenty of Hotels.<BR>Give it a try<BR><BR>Muck
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 12:54 PM
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I would only really spend 3 nights in Salisbury if you are going to hire a car and drive out into the country (and I would highly recommend doing this as there are some lovely villages, eg. Teffont Evias I adore). Lovely as Salisbury is, I think you will find more to see in Oxford and may be glad of the extra night there instead. You will be retracing your steps a lot getting the train from Salisbury to Bath. Personally, I would make 2 bases, Salisbury and either Oxford or Bath. I studied at Oxford so am biased, but both cities are superb for wandering around the historic centres, with plenty of restaurants etc. Drive into the Cotswolds from either (you will miss the best of the countryside from a bus or train). None of these cities are that hard to get out of by car and you will see so much more of the countryside, with nice quiet roads and bearable traffic.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 12:57 PM
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Brian - I think it looks fine. I LOVED Salisbury just like hmathis, we spent 2 days in Bath which I really enjoyed. From Bath you can take buses to some of the smaller surrounding towns if you see enough of it in one day, but for ease of movement 2 nights is better than 1, so you are not uprouting so much. I wouldn't do it as a day trip from Salisbury. Look for a pub called Hobgoblins in Bath - very cool place!<BR><BR>If you want a great, very small, charming English village, try a trip (from Bath) to Castle Combe. It's about 4 blocks long but we spent almost 2 hours there, part of which was spent is a cute little pub right in the middle. <BR><BR>I didn't go to Oxford, but I know most people do it as a day trip from London, so you might not need 2 nights there. Others probably can provide a more informed opinion, however. Have fun!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 12:59 PM
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Is there a reason you aren't renting a car? Are you flying in and out of Heathrow?<BR><BR>You would have so much more flexibility with a rental and there are many places you could visit easily - Stourhead, Winchester, Stonehenge, Wells, Glastonbury, Bristol from Salisbury and/or Bath. From Oxford visit Blenheim Palace and Woodstock.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 02:29 PM
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I think the others are sugar coating their answers a little bit. Trying to see the countryside around Salisbury or the Cotswolds by train is pretty difficult.<BR><BR>Without a car you will not find enough in Salisbury to fill 3 days. You can get to Stonehenge by bus and walking around Salisbury is wonderful - but that is about one day.<BR><BR>You won't be able to see very much in the Cotswolds if you must stick to rail lines. A better idea might be to stay 3 or 4 days in Oxford and take guided tours of the Cotswolds from the Tourist Information center at Gloucester Green.<BR><BR>The basic routing is OK - Salisbury to Bath to Oxford. One Cotswold village w/ a train station is Charlbury - but that isn't one with the most character.<BR><BR>Buses are viable - but except for the intercity coach services they are very slow.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 06:05 AM
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Thanks for all the comments. I realize that we could see more with a car, but I've always found public transport to be less stressful (and that's when driving on the right side of the road). I'll look into it though. We're into/out of Gatwick.<BR><BR>Assuming we do not rent a car and given some of the discussions I've read here re: the Cotswolds, maybe a better itinerary would be:<BR><BR>Oxford 2 nights<BR>Cardiff 2 nights<BR>Bath 2 nights<BR>Salisbury 3 nights<BR><BR>Would love to hear any additional comments, esp recommendations of places to stay in the above. We tend to prefer small hotels to B&amp;Bs, but the ones I've researched seem quite pricey.<BR>Thanks again.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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I wouldn't spend 3 nights in Salisbury, but would add another to the Cotswolds. And I think Bath deserves two days of its own. One to appreciate the Roman Baths, the Cathedral, Pump Room, Costume Museum, and then the next to wander the streets, shopping, etc. In my opinion Oxford is defintely worth a stay, particularly if you enjoy pubs and restaurants. There's so much history and atmosphere there. Agree with suggestion re: having a car in the Cotswolds, you can usually arrange for a car to be delivered to major train stations. Although I think Cardiff is a beautiful place, you'll regret that you haven't more time to see more of Wales. I'd recommend that for another trip.
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Old Mar 5th, 2003, 04:43 AM
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Hi Brian,<BR>Your Itinary is ok but you do really need a car. Public transport in the UK is pretty dire and you can waste all your time waiting for busses or trains, so do yourself a favour and hire a car.<BR>I will only comment on your excellent plan to visit cardiff.<BR>Wales is a beautiful place and whilst I agree with rick about needing more time to see wales, a few days will give you a taster and who knows maybe one day you will return.<BR>I have found a link for you for some Hotels. Not sure what you like but if you want further advice e.mail me at<BR>[email protected] I will be only too pleased to offer you advice on Cardiff.<BR>meanwhile try this site<BR>http://cardiff.hotelscheap.org/<BR><BR>And if I can help I will<BR><BR>Cheers<BR><BR>Muck
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Old Mar 5th, 2003, 05:04 AM
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Hi Brian, I think if we keep your thread near the top, you'll soon hear from a couple of folks who will actually recommend traveling by bus. Maybe you could do a search. I think the threads were about gardens and Kent or Sussex. Anyway, my point is that a patient, relaxed person can probably enjoy a trip to southern England without driving, but I think it will take some pre-trip research and some flexibility. For example, there are many separate bus companies -- (with websites, I think). I've found that there are driving enthusiasts and public-transport enthusiasts and you are unlikely to change the preferences of either. I wish you lots of fun planning and anticipating, and I'm sure you'll make the perfect decision for you. J.
 
Old Mar 5th, 2003, 09:52 AM
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Brian, sounds like it will be difficult to convince you to drive. But - you will be travelling in the off season, distances are reasonable (Oxford to Salisbury is 63 miles), you can rent away from the airports (we're returning a car in Oxford after a pickup in Glasgow this month) and you should be able to do all your driving in daylight.<BR><BR>I was going to suggest you drop one night in Salisbury and spend it in Winchester which is equally interesting and very compact. The mileage by car is about 30 miles but when I looked at gobycoach,com I discovered it's a 2+hour bus ride because it goes via Southampton. Probably there are local buses that go more directly but slowly.<BR><BR>You can try the site of The Automobile Association for lodging:<BR> http://www.theaa.com/getaway/index.html for lodgings. <BR><BR>By the way there is a bus from Gatwick which goes to Oxford via Heathrow in about 2 hours.<BR><BR>Hope you can work things out.<BR><BR>
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Old Mar 6th, 2003, 07:08 AM
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If you need any bus info from Bath or Salisbury just ask ...<BR><BR>Steve
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Old Mar 6th, 2003, 08:34 AM
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You can come up with an enjoyable and doable trip via public transport. But, flexability and practicality is essential. From the practical standpoint, every time you arrive at a new base, you'll need to transport your bags to the new B&amp;S, which can waste a lot of time (unless you travel with just a small backpack you keep with you). Ideally, each base should have good transportation links to what you want to see. Touring the Cotswolds or staying there in a small village is not doable with public transport; but, you can arrange a one day bus tour from Bath or Oxford. I once spent 5 days based in Oxford, and 7 days based in Tunbridge Wells.<BR>An option would be to stay in London and do these as day trips.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 05:24 AM
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Topping for Brian in Atlanta.
 
Old Mar 7th, 2003, 06:48 AM
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Thanks for everyone's help. I think we've decided to arrange our trip around use of public transport, which means dropping the Cotswolds. We've decided:<BR><BR>Salisbury 3 nights (with day trips)<BR>Bath 2 nights<BR>Cardiff 2 nights<BR>Oxford 2 nights<BR><BR>And thanks jsmith for mentioning the direct bus service to Gatwick. I had completely failed to consider taking trains/buses from/to Gatwick. Sure beats my original plan to take the Gatwick Express then Tube then another train.<BR><BR>I've started looking at hotels/B&amp;Bs and could use some advice. I'll post that under a new tread. Thanks again.<BR><BR><BR>
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