advice on Southern England itinerary?

Old May 13th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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advice on Southern England itinerary?

Hi, I would appreciate any feedback from those who are familiar with travel times/train schedules in Southern England? Our tentative itinerary is to visit Windsor/Windsor Castle/Hampton Court (in one day if possible),Stratford-upon-Avon/Warwick Castle (in one day if possible), Bath and Brighton (1 day trip each), Leeds Castle/Knole/Hever Castle (in one day if possible) I have researched which train stations get to each destination, but am fuzzy on how much time is involved getting to multiple destinations, if doing two or more places in a day is even feasible? I'm looking at the London Plus Pass (and realize I'll have to pay extra to get to Bath) and a 7 day Oyster card for (peak)zone 1 in central London (we'll be there a total of 8 days and be leaving early for day trips) Also considering the Great British Heritage Pass to get in the attractions at places listed above. Calculated separate costs and it seems to be a good buy for all we want to see. Does this plan sound do-able? and feasible?
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Old May 13th, 2006, 01:14 PM
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I think some of the multiple trips in a day may prove difficult. For example, to get from Hampton court to Windsor means going back to Clapham Junction (Britains busiest train station, and the back out to Windsor) a journey of 90 minutes to travel about 15 miles.

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Old May 13th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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Your windsor/Hampton court day is doable but only just barely. Both places really require about 1/2 a day so when you factor in travel time you are really cutting them both short.

Stratfrod/Warwick - doable but a bit rushed.Be sure to hit Warwick first because it will take longer than Stratford (unless you also plan on going to Anne Hathaway's and Mary Arden's cottages).

Bath - very doable

Brighton - very doable

Now for the big problem day. Knole is HUGE and takes several hours to see. Hever isn't as large a house but the grounds are ENORMOUS and the gardens alone take at least 1.5 to 2 hours. Leeds Castle has lovely grounds that you can visit in an hour or less while the castle itself is a dump (no exaggeration). I don't think all three are doable in one day by public transport - even just Hever and Knole would be pushing it. BTW - also very near Hever are Chartwell and Penshurst Place - both of which are MUCH more interesting than Leeds. If it were me I'd do an over night stay and do Hever, Penshurst, Chartwell, Knole and possibly Igtham Mote in the two days.

But you have 8 days total and plan on 5 days out of town - have you been to London before? If not you are cutting London to almost no time at all.

The GBHP would be a huge money saver for you if you make it to all of these properties - only Windsor Castle is not covered so you would get into Warwick Castle and the Lord Leycester Hospital, several Shakespeare properties, the Roman Baths, Brighton Pavilion, Hampton Court Palace, Hever, Knole, Leeds (please reconsider this one) and Chartwell/Penshurst/Igtham Mote if you decide to add any of them. Some of these cost more than £10 and £11 to get in so it adds up fast.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 04:04 PM
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Thanks, willit, that's the kind of info I need, not sure of the train routes, tried to look them up on line, but is very confusing. janisj, yes, have done London twice before, so not dedicating alot of time there, just to base there so we don't have to move hotels often (and have tons of hotel points to use, staying free at the Marriott County Hall) Thanks for the info on Leeds, will look into the other properties instead. And the GHBP website does state that Windsor Castle is covered.
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Old May 13th, 2006, 06:09 PM
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unfortunately - as of this past January, Kensington Palace, the Tower of London, and Windosr are no longer included in the GBHP.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 12:55 AM
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califcajin - have you visited Dover Castle ? Not as "pretty" as Hever and Leeds, but a fascinating day out with a great deal to do. The Castle itself is huge, and the oldest parts date back to Roman times. There is a wealth of information on site for history buffs. The views from the ramparts are excellent. Also on site are the tunnels into the cliffs that were used as a hospital during WWII, and exhibitions about Duncurque, D-Day etc.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 03:57 PM
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Willit, no, haven't been to Dover. Is it something that will take a whole day? If not, what else could you suggest that is close to see as well? We're trying to maximize what we can see in a day. Would you consider Dover more easily/directly reachable?
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Old May 14th, 2006, 05:21 PM
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Dover is an AMAZING place - if you are doing it by public tranport consider it a full day's trip.

If one is staying in Kent and driving you could squeeze in Deal and Walmer castles too since they are just down the road. But for a day trip by train plan on at least 4 hours at Dover Castle - and more than once I've spent 6 hours there.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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I too have spent many hours exploring dover castle. There are the remains of a Roman building in the town centre as well, but that would only take you around an hour, and a museum which contains a bronze age boat.

Dover is only 30 minutes from Cantebury by train, so it might be possible to go to Dover early , see the castle, then come home via Cantebury to see the cathedral, and walk through the town, which is very picturesque.
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