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lsercombe Jan 22nd, 2011 11:16 PM

Advice wanted for 17 days in UK
My husband and I are touring the UK for the first time in April this year. We are flying into Edinburgh and out of London 17 days later. We plan to drive one way from Edinburgh to London for 11 days with the remaining 6 nights in London- yes just in time for THE wedding.

Hotels, B& Bs, not to miss sights and places to experience would be most appreciated.

One definite is a couple of days in Northumberland to visit ancestral places (I am first gen Aussie).

We are interested in all history and things that make places unique. We like a comfortable bed at night and good food. Budget will be different for different locations as I expect to pay a lot more for London hotel. Staying a couple of nights would be preferable in the one place but prepared to move on if that is best.

Thanks for your thoughts.

annhig Jan 22nd, 2011 11:21 PM

Hi Isecombe,

great idea! have you decided how long you want to spend in Edinburgh? Northumberland? Because that is probably going to determine where else you can go!

as you are headed for the east of england when you go to Northumberland, the obvious next step is Yorkshire [and there's a thread about that going on now] possibly followed by the Peak District.

that for me would be enough.

avalon Jan 23rd, 2011 01:03 AM

And don't forget the Scottish Borders . Beautiful

lsercombe Jan 23rd, 2011 01:19 AM

Thanks so far for itinerary. Any ideas for hotels or B&Bs and restaurants in these areas?

jamikins Jan 23rd, 2011 01:41 AM

Yorkshire is lovely with tonnes of great restaurants! I would firm up your itinterary and then post separately to get B&B and restaurant suggestions as you will likely get more responses.

I assume you have 16 nights?

I would spend at least 3 nights in Edinburgh, your first day you will likely be quite jet-lagged coming from Aus.

So you would have:

Night 1 - Edinburgh
Night 2 - Edinburgh
Night 3 - Edinburgh
Night 4 -
Night 5 -
Night 6 -
Night 7 -
Night 8 -
Night 9 -
Night 10 -
NIght 11 - London
Night 12 - London
Night 13 - London
Night 14 - London
Night 15 - London
Night 16 - London

So you have 7 nights to play with. You need to decide how many in Northumberland and then you can fill in the others. I really like York and the Peak District.

Sounds like a great trip!

Lifeman Jan 23rd, 2011 02:37 AM

As this is your first trip to the UK and unless you're going to be visiting often, I wouldn't mind a hectic(ish) 17 days to see as much as I can to allow me to choose where I want to see more of for the next trip.

How about this:

Edinburgh 2 nights to shake the jet lag
Northumberland 2 nights
York 2 nights
Manchester 2 nights
Stratford on Avon 1 night
London 6 nights

This breaks up the driving and lets you see a bit more of the country.

Lifeman Jan 23rd, 2011 02:37 AM

Sorry, I meant to add 2 nights in Bath on to the end of that making 17 in all!

MissPrism Jan 23rd, 2011 03:17 AM

Given the OP's interests, I'd substitute Chester for Manchester.
Instead of Stratford-upon-Avon, I'd prefer Lichfield. It's far less touristy and has a gorgeous cathedral.
There is a shopping street that has a certain resemblance to the Shambles in York. However instead of shops with ye olde touriste tatte, it has real shops like butchers and greengrocers and real shoppers like old ladies with shopping trolleys and mums with baby buggies.

janisj Jan 23rd, 2011 09:57 AM

Everyone can give their itineraries/ideas. But w/ three givens --Edinburgh, Northumberland and London - I'd start out w/how much time you want/need in those 3 places. You can zip around from the east to the west to the south-- but that is no good if it cuts those 3 places too much.

There is a LOT to see in Edinburgh/the Borders/Northumberland even w/o the family connections. So say you want two days in Northumberland for family stuff -you'll probably want at least one additional full day just for Hadrian's Wall, Alnwick or Bamburgh castles, maybe Lindesfarne.

Edinburgh is good for 2 full days plus arrival day. More is better but 2+ days will let you see the highlights.

Since the Borders are wonderful and directly between Edinburgh and Northumberland it would be a shame not to spend a day or two exploring.

3 nts Edinburgh. 1 nt in Melrose/Jedburgh or somewhere like that. 3 nts in Northumberland. Then 6 nights in London leaves 4 nights to play w/ The obvious choice would be Yorkshire -- the Dales/Moors/York. You could stay all 4 nights there or 3 in Yorkshire and one enroute south (Cambridge, or elsewhere)

If it was me -- Id pick up a car when leaving Edinburgh, then drop it off in York and take the train to London. This would eliminate having to drive in Greater London and the train will drop you in the very center of the city.

If you want to see someplace like Bath -- what I'd do is subtract one day from up north and add it to London and use that for a day trip to Bath by train.

This way you aren't packing and moving too much. Where in Northumberland do you want to base? Once you sort of nail down an itinerary we can give lots of suggestions for hotels/B&Bs.

almcd Jan 23rd, 2011 11:54 AM

I would definitely miss Manchester and replace it with either of the university towns of Cambridge or Oxford. I agree with Janis that taking the train from York would be a good idea. You can take a train from London to visit Cambridge. Do not omit York. It is a great town with many tourist attractions.

humptynumpty Jan 23rd, 2011 12:46 PM

Is simply very good value and gets you into a very well positioned B & B , with the best Georgian architecture, warm hosts easy access to the A1.

These people are lovely.

Personally, I would stay at least 3 nights in Edinburgh, 3 in Northumbria and 3 in North Yorkshire.

I would actually cross over the Pennines from York, travel through the Dales and down into Manchester to spend one night there. You could then take the train down to London from Manchester. Manchester's galleries are worth seeing but anything more than one night is excessive.

The Peak district has Chatsworth which is austere but the country is bleak and falls well short of other areas in the north.

lsercombe Jan 23rd, 2011 11:27 PM

Wow I am impressed by the suggestions- thanks. Just to clarify my arrival in Edinburgh is part way through. Here are my plans from Sydney-
Day 1- Sydney to Abu Dhabi
Day 2- Abu Dhabi
Day 3- Abu dhabi to Paris
Day 4- Paris
Day 5- Paris
Day 6- Paris
Day 7- Paris to Amsterdam
Day 8- Amsterdam
Day 9- Amsterdam
Day 10- Amsterdam to Edinburgh
Day 11- Edinburgh
Day 12- 20- touring to include Northumberland
Day 21- London
Day 22- THE wedding- London ( I know it is crazy but I think will be fun!)
Day 23- 26 London and possibly places close by
Day 27- London to Abu Dhabi
Day 28- arrive Sydney absolutely exhausted due to extremely long flight.

The only locked in plans are from Sydney to Paris and then leaving from London on Day 27. Thought Amsterdam was a good idea as it is a short train ride from Paris.

Don't know when I will do a trip like this again so really want to see the very best and experience difference. Again thanks for the expert advice.

jamikins Jan 24th, 2011 12:31 AM

FYI - the Royal Wedding is on 29 April, not the 22 April (22 April is Good Friday).

sheila Jan 24th, 2011 02:09 AM


janisj Jan 24th, 2011 10:01 AM

"<i>FYI - the Royal Wedding is on 29 April, not the 22 April (22 April is Good Friday)</i>"

The OP mentions the wedding on 'Day 22' -- I don't see where she says 22 April, but I may have missed it..

stevelyon Jan 24th, 2011 10:41 AM

I would agree and say miss out Manchester (and I live there), I would also miss out the Peak district, unless you are into walking. Oxford and the Cotswolds would be a better focus.

jamikins Jan 24th, 2011 12:37 PM

haha - sorry, good point janisj - just saw 22 and assumed! :)

lsercombe Jan 25th, 2011 12:20 AM

OK so would this be feasible in 9 days?
Northumberland, Lake District, York, Cotswolds, Bath and then drop car off in London OR do I use a London day for Bath? As I posted earlier I do have flexibility by subtracting days from Paris, Amsterdam or London.

Am I losing out on seeing places in Scotland and Wales that shouldn't be missed?

FYI my day 22 is 29 April.


annhig Jan 25th, 2011 09:27 AM

lsercombe - honest opinion - it is too much. of course you will be missing good stuff in Scotland and Wales, but if you go there, you'll miss out elsewhere. you run the risk that what you see most is the inside of your hire-car.

I strongly suggest picking two, [three at a pinch] and leaving Bath for a day trip from London.

IMHO the most logical plan would be to do Northumberland and York, then get the train to London. you could spend some time on the yorkshire dales before going onto York itself.

29th April might be a good day to visit Bath.

janisj Jan 25th, 2011 09:59 AM

totally agree w/ annhig. You <i>could</i> see all those areas -- but you wouldn't "see" very much. IMO dashing from point to point misses out on so much in between and still doesn't leave enough time to enjoy them.

SE Scotland, Northumberland and Yorkshire is more than enough to fill your time.

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