Any tips for 10 days in Southern England

Sep 3rd, 2010, 08:33 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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Any tips for 10 days in Southern England

Hi everyone,

I'm going to the UK for ten days starting Sept. 8. Arriving in London with no plans. I've already seen London so looking for something else to do. I've been to Sheffield, saw Chatsworth (sp?--the castle house of duke of ?), and the plague town up there. Also Little John's grave.

I'm looking for a relaxing ten days of touring the UK. I like beaches and good sunny weather. I suppose Southern England is best for this? Is this still possible in Sept. or have I missed the boat here? Castles are also cool. I like countryside and villages/small towns more than cities. I can rent a car or take the train/bus--it doesn't matter--although I'm not sure about the left side driving (never tried it). My budget is fairly limited--can I get away with 50 pounds a night for B&B or decent hotel or is this unrealistic? I could pay more for a really cool experience--castle hotel or the like once or twice.

I'd probably like to travel two hours then stay somewhere for a couple of days then do it again until the 10 days are up.

I'd appreciate any tips about places to see, stay, eat, etc. Also clothing tips.

Anyone have any suggestions? I've heard Cornwall is nice, but Kent looks pretty cool too. It should be possible to do both shouldn't it? How long would that take by train? And does one have better weather than the other?

I know these are a lot of questions, but it was a spur of the moment decision.
KennKass is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2010, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Yes, you have pretty much missed the boat as regards beaches in southern England! Unless you like wetsuits... in which case you will find plenty of dudes in wetsuits on Cornish beaches (north coast) catching the surf.

B&Bs - yes, single rooms should be available for less than £50, more like £30 in many places. Hotels maybe a bit more.

Lots of castles around, way too many to mention. I think your best bet is to have a look at a guide book, and pick out a few that particularly appeal to you, and then base your trip around them. There's masses of information here on Fodors, and lots of us to give you advice but we need a bit more in the way of specifics. Anyway, I've now topped your question which had slipped right down the list.

Regarding renting a car, there's been lots written about that here too. Basically, don't fly across the Atlantic and then try to drive more than a few miles as jetlag makes you a major accident risk. Contradictorily, the best place to drive away from is Heathrow Airport! But I souldn't worry about driving on the other side. Thousands of us UK residents do it every time we go to mainland Europe or the US, and manage perfectly well. There's no reason why you can't do it either. We've all have to start sometime.

Come back with some more specific questions, and you'll get some good help here.
julia_t is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2010, 12:12 PM
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well, Kenn,

so far as sea temperatures are concerned, September is about the best time to visit, as the sea is about as warm as it's going to get. the air temps are pretty good too this week but I'm not sure about next - [you are talking about this year? or next?]

you could get the train to exeter from Paddinton, pick up a car, tour Devon and cornwall [loads of lovely beaches, gardens, surfing, walking,] and find plenty to fill 2 weeks.
annhig is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2010, 12:16 PM
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"Basically, don't fly across the Atlantic and then try to drive more than a few miles as jetlag makes you a major accident risk."

From other posts -- I think the OP is in Germany.
janisj is online now  
Sep 3rd, 2010, 10:29 PM
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Thanks for the help. Is there any weather difference between SE and SW England in Sept? What I mean is one sunnier or wetter than the other? In Hawaii the differences can sometimes be extreme.

KennKass is offline  
Sep 4th, 2010, 12:06 AM
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Folkstone is lovely, The Leas Lift is great.

Dover Castle is great and the Cliffs are spectacular.

Battle of Britain Memorial.

Samphire Hoe is wonderful. It is where they dumped the soil and rock they dug out of the Chunnel. It is a great place to see birds and the White Cliffs.

Hastings and the site of the battle of Hastings at Battle are worthy of a visit.

The South coast will keep you busy for months!
peterSale is offline  
Sep 4th, 2010, 01:14 AM
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I'd head West along the South Coast from the South East. You can take in Battle, Brighton, Bournemouth/Poole (if you'd like to support a good cause visit Monkey World

Then onto Torbay and into Cornwall.
Lifeman is offline  
Sep 4th, 2010, 02:45 AM
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I would recommend a few days in Dorset - beautiful coastline -the Jurassic coast - Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Chapmans pool, Chesil beach...the list goes on. Its worth having a car for this area though.

Plenty of villages & small towns. Some favourites are Milton Abbas, Cerne Abbas, Sydling St Nicholas, Corfe Castle, Abbotsbury & a pleasant drive through the Piddle valley.

Generally speaking in September the temperature would only be a degree or so warmer in the South than the North. Also there is no difference temperature wise between the South East & South West.

Megdorset is offline  
Sep 4th, 2010, 02:51 AM
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We really like Dover (Castle and Cliffs) and would like to have spent more time in Battle. Rye is intriguing and we got some of our favorite pictures and pleasant-day memories at Bodiam Castle. Canturbury Cathedral is spectacular.
texasbookworm is offline  
Sep 4th, 2010, 05:13 AM
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for the advice--including the weather advice!
Texasbookworm--I read your trip report and it was very helpful.
Lifeman--My plan exactly.
Megdorest and all--thanks for the tips. Here's the plan so far. I have to finalize it (more or less) by Monday.

I arrive Wed. afternoon at Heathrow. Catch a train to Canterbury for a couple of days then another train or coach to Rye. Maybe catch a tour to Dover from Canterbury, if possible.

Then head west. I'm not sure how far but definitely want to see Glastonbury. A stop between there and Rye would be needed I think, but haven't gotten that far in my planning yet.

I want to hit Brighton on my way back for the last night of the ten-day trip because it has direct lines back to Heathrow. Other than that it looks like a few days to spare in Cornwall or ?

Any tips on B&Bs, hotels, restaurants or other sites to see? It's basically a relaxed, get an overview of S. England trip now.

Thanks in advance,
KennKass is offline  
Sep 4th, 2010, 06:42 AM
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Lyme Regis and the coast of Dorset, mentioned above is a beautiful part of England. You would need a car though and, if you're at all nervous about driving please be warned of very narrow lanes in rural Dorset, Devon and Cornwall with high hedges so visibility is poor.
bellini is offline  
Sep 4th, 2010, 10:11 AM
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Hi Kenn,

statistically speaking, the west of england tends to be wetter than the east, and has fewer extremes of temperature - summers are less hot, winters are less cold. but that doesn't help when it comes to what the weather will like during any particular 14 day period.

From glastonbury, you can easily head south-west, either to Devon, or further on to Cornwall. A nice trip might be from glastonbury to head along the north Devon coast through Exmoor, then down into Cornwall following the "north" [actually the west] cornish coast, and then back into england along the south coast.

all this will be easier if you have a car.
annhig is offline  
Sep 4th, 2010, 10:53 AM
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You really can't visit Glastonbury by train (or even by bus easily)

The nearest train station is in Castle Cary, more than 15 miles by road from Glastonbury, and there is no bus service between so you'd have to take a taxi.

To get a bus to Glastonbury, you'd have to start from Bath or Taunton.

IMO - your whole itinerary would be easier if you drove.
janisj is online now  
Sep 4th, 2010, 07:56 PM
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Hi all,

Looks like the best places to stay in Rye are already booked for the weekend. I've got Wed/Thurs night in the Canterbury Cathedral lodge. Sounds like the place to get the feel of the city. Tried to book in Rye for FRI/Sat but looks like most places are full already. Maybe something is going on there this weekend? Brighton (best places on trip advisor) also full. Reviews of what was left sounded expensive and horrible.
Guess I'll find somewhere else for the weekend. Maybe somewhere around Dover so I can visit the castle and cliffs.
I was trying to avoid driving even though I'm a driving kind of guy. I thought the train might be more relaxing. But the tip from Janisj about glastonbury makes me wonder. Should I get a car? Advantages are freedom and accessibility. Disadvantages are hedgerows, left side driving. In the end I haven't decided yet.
Another question--is Bath so great? I've been to Roman baths in Budapest--basically a big thermal spa. OK, it was nice but not exactly what I expected. Then again a thermal spa in the middle of a vacation doesn't sound too bad.
KennKass is offline  
Sep 5th, 2010, 02:37 AM
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>>>Tried to book in Rye for FRI/Sat but looks like most places are full already<<<

Yes - it's the Rye Arts Festival that's taking place from 11-26 September (although even without that, weekend accommodation IN Rye always fills up well in advance).
Gordon_R is offline  
Sep 5th, 2010, 10:33 AM
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I got a b&b in Ramsgate instead with a sea view for 2 days then 1 night (2 days) in Dover in the shadow of the castle. May do Rye Monday/Tues. (Sept. 13), if possible to find transport from Dover. Otherwise I'll go to Bath then Glastonbury and then back to London. Maybe last night in Brighton? But it's a Friday, so might settle for somewhere else with a good connection to Heathrow.
KennKass is offline  
Sep 5th, 2010, 12:00 PM
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Where exactly is your Dover B&B?

The castle is magnificent - the town isn't.
janisj is online now  
Sep 6th, 2010, 06:39 AM
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It's the Hubert House on 9 Castle Road. Looks OK on the internet (as do they all), but ´reviews are OK too. Its just a one night stand anyway before I head off to Rye or elsewhere.
KennKass is offline  

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