Jan 7th, 2004, 10:34 AM
Original Poster
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I will be making my first trip to Great Britain. I have only 6 days, and I want to see London plus one other area. I am considering the Cotswolds or York. I am leaning toward the Cotswolds because it would provide a more country experience. Any opinions?
RickGib is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 10:49 AM
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Well, it DOES depend on what you are looking for but, in my opinion it would be hands down York. We had very little time in England and Wales last March and spent 2 days in York and 2 days in the Cotswolds. Although the cotswolds were lovely, we were sad that we had not taken those 2 days for more time in York. Just my 2 cents-but we are really into medieval architecture and history.
Ani is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 11:11 AM
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Just a personal opinion. If this is your first trip to GB and you only have 6 days, you would be better off spending all of your time in the London area, there is so much to see and do. If you really want to get out of the city, take a day tour to some place like Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Oxford, etc.
NotMe is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 12:34 PM
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And see...we didn't much care for London-and would never consider spending a week there with the countryside calling our name-but that's just me.
Ani is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 05:07 PM
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We generally prefer the countryside to cities, but London is of such great historic importance that a week is barely enough to scratch the surface. I like the idea of a day trip out to Windsor and/or Hampton Court and perhaps another day at Oxford, easily reached by the train. You really won't have time to get used to driving in England the one day you might spend in the Cotswolds, and the roads there can be a bit tricky. Of course, it's all absolutely charming!
Underhill is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 05:30 PM
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i would second the time spent in london with maybe one day trip to windsor--via train....the cotswolds are fabulous but if you don't have a car it would be a waste of time..
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 7th, 2004, 06:28 PM
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If you think you could handle a car, pick the Cotswold (metro out of London to pick up the car and return it/metro back to London). It's exactly like you think England should look like - at least for me. However, without a car it would be difficult and time consuming to get around. You could take a tour from London (Evans & Evans or the like) to get an overview for a day.

York is a great city but, again, without a car you can't really see the surrounds. You could take a train up there (very early/very late return) and see the city.

Look at Rick Steves' England book. I think he shows a way to the Cotswolds via train.
nancy is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 07:53 AM
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Hi Rick. We have made 2 side trips to the Cotswolds when in London and enjoyed both as it was a little break from the hectic pace of the city. We took the train to Oxford and picked up a rental car there and drove to Stow on the Wold. Stayed in the Stow Lodge a lovely property right off the main square. 6 days is not a lot of time but it is doable. Enjoy your trip whatever you decide.
Girlie is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 08:11 AM
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I have never been to York but have spent a fair amount of time in the Cotswolds (have family there) so I can't really be objective about the choice. The Cotswlds do present a challenge in terms of public transportation. There is train service from London to Stratford Upon Avon (NOT representative of the Cotswolds-VERY touristy) or Moreton-on-Marsh (no personal experience). There's train and bus service to Oxford-considered part of the Cotswolds but a city.

Depending on when you're going, if Blenheim Palace is open, you might consider taking your last day & night in Woodstock, where Blenheim is located. It's a charming town, the Palace & gardens are wonderful & it's not far from Heathrow if that's your departure point.
mclaurie is offline  
Jan 8th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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Given that you only have six days I'd pick York because it's easy to take a train there. Driving in England is not hard but rentals for only 1 or 2 days are expensive and there's the hassel of getting out of London to pick up and drop off the car (no one ever suggests you drive in London). Driving on the left is actually fun (I personally think) but does take a day or two to get comfortable and therefore not really worth it if that's all you have. So the train to York would be easier and York is a beautiful place. It's not "rural" but it is much different from London.

So you could take the train up there and spend two days and one night and still have 4 days in London. But as others have suggested staying all 6 nights in London and doing day trips by train will give you a nice taste of England. I've done Warwick, Cambridge, Brighton, Bath - all were nice. There are also lots of one day bus tours and some of them do the cotswolds (but then you'd be on a bus tour which I personally try to avoid and the best thing about the Cotswold is driving around exploring).
isabel is offline  
Jan 9th, 2004, 05:10 AM
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I live close to York but also know the Cotswolds. So some thoughts -
1)Don't even consider the Cotswolds without a car.
2)York may be a city but you can get plenty of 'country experience' in North Yorkshire. For instance Fountains Abbey is beautiful (a world heritage site). Close by you have the wonderful Yorkshire Dales (I go walking here each weekend and they are stunning). Skipton and Ripon are worth a visit, especially the castle in Skipton and the Cathedral in Ripon. You also have Castle Howard close by, the Yorkshire Moors etc. Plus Howarth if you want to visit the Bronte Parsonage (something that only seems to crop up on here very rarely but an amazing place!).London to York is a fast efficent train service (my husband does this a couple of times a week for business reasons). Takes less than 2 hours on a direct train. The Cotswolds are more cosy, English chocolate box, tea shops, little streams running through pretty villages. You won't be disappointed with either choice. Depends what you fancy! I would go to Yorkshire every time but I love that slight wildness, rolling hills and scenery. Plus fantastic Yorkshire food! The Cotswolds are maybe the 'safer' choice! All the places I have mentioned on here will have loads of info about them on google etc.
Morgana is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 11:17 PM
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I agree with you, 6 days are definitely enough to explore London and another area. It all depends on your own style. I am quite fast, compared to others on the site, though I never feel rushed - my suggestion is to be in London three days, you can get A LOT done in three days and get a really good sense of the city. Next it depends on your likings: one route can be to catch a morning express train to York, be there by 10 AM, explore York for a whole day - again,a lot can be done in one day if you are not going to spend hours eating lunch: my husband and I saw really most of the attractions in York in one day, and were not rushed at all. Next day, you can drive to Castle Howard and Fountains Abbey - both are nestled in nature, and give different glimpses into England. Alternatively, you can get a train from London to Oxford, one day in Oxford, then rent a car, explore the Cotswolds villages on the way to Stratford Upon Avon, Warwick Castle and Blenheim Palace, depending on how much you want to plan, and maybe even get to Bath for the last day. I guess I would go with the second plan - you get more of that romantic England that you want. If you want a more relaxed itinirary I would skip Blenheim Palace, maybe Stratford, although they are all very close to each other. In Oxford you want to just walk the streets, get into Christ Church College and cathedral, and enjoy the overall atmosphere. The Cotswolds are beautiful, but do you want to sit around and meditate on each house separately, really? you drive to one village, drive around to see the picture perfect houses, park, walk around a bit to enjoy the charm, then on to the next one - on your drive you'll see beautiful England with rolling hills and picturesque places. Certainly you can hike in between the villages, but that will take time, and although charming, unless you have plenty of vacation days, I feel a drive is a second best choice, and you can catch Warwick castle and Bath which are not to be missed. In Bath you can return your car and take a train back to London.
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