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Critique on Leeds/London itinerary, please

Critique on Leeds/London itinerary, please

May 31st, 2005, 04:27 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6,282
I was going to suggest that you could also fly to Leeds-Bradford airport; but looking at the airport's website, it seems there are no flights from Gatwick, only Heathrow - unless someone more local knows different ?

Is there a particular reason for basing yourselves in Leeds ? It has its plus points but it's not the most attractive place. Personally I'd prefer to move around and for instance stay a couple of nights in Whitby. Or stay in York ?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 05:04 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,276
In general, you are grossly underestimating the time and energy that it takes to get around in england. "Popping" into Nottingham for lunch on a journey that could easily take almost double the amount of time you are allotting for the trip is a good example of this. Nottingham is a large city but even small cities in the UK are very conjested and parking is nearly always a hassle. even if you knew exactly where you were going, this would not be a quick and simple undertaking. Likewise, popping into london (with the car!) then nipping down to gatwick and back again on the train can be a MAJOR headache. Keep in mind that there is the london conjestion charge to deal with during the work week.

Unless you are superman or woman I can assure you that you will be exhausted just from driving from leeds to london, nevermind your stop in nottingham (again, getting into the city and parking, etc), getting into london on a friday afternoon, and then getting to gatwick and back on a friday evening. frankly this is mad.

to put it in context, last friday afternoon/evening, i drove from birmingham (much, much closer than leeds) to london and it took me 4.5 hours with traffic (should be about 2 hours).

i don't mean to be harsh but i just think you should reassess your driving times but also consider that this is a leisure trip and for at least a few days, the amount of driving and related stress is considerable.
walkinaround is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 05:24 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,524
Hi
I tend to agree with the others about the staying in Leeds bit of your trip. As you know, I work in Leeds but I wouldn't want to live there (I live in Harrogate) and I would NEVER recommend it as a base to anyone coming across to England for a holiday. I know where your Hotel is located in the city and it's very much a 'business people' place. I'm not saying you've made a 'wrong choice' though, just that Leeds, although it has a lot going for it, is not a 'tourist destination' as such! With your itinerary, York would make sense. Train connections between London (Kings Cross) and York are excellent (my husband does this for business purposes on a weekly basis). You could then hire your car from York.
M
Morgana is online now  
May 31st, 2005, 06:25 AM
  #24  
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Thanks for the suggestions, but the flight and the hotel are set in stone -- purchased on Priceline. We have our own reasons for basing in Leeds -- including meeting some friends in the area.

Thank you SO much for the day in the Dales, I'll print that out and add it to our plans...

m_kingdom, I wanted some days without a lot of plans, so we can just do whatever we want. We know the rooftop gardens are a short stop -- that's mostly a relaxation day.

There are several items that need to be on certain days, as they are pre-registered, or only offered on certain days (like the London Walks, or the pre-arranged trip to Stonehenge). I have them italicized in my itinerary to indicate that those items can't be shifted around. All the others are subject to change at whim

Last vacation we moved around a lot, a different B&B each night. This time we are aiming for two bases at most -- and we settled on Leeds and London. We didn't want to move around a lot.

We've taken the previous advice and I am looking into changing the car rental to pick up and drop off at Leeds, and just take the train to and from. I know it is a terrible drive, especially after the overnight flight.

The last trip we took, our first B&B was in Nottingham, and I made the drive from Gatwick to Nottingham by lunchtime with no trouble, so I figured I could do it again. Past experience is something I actually trust! However, we've already decided on the train, as I mentioned above.

Thanks for the critiques -- I'm taking them all in the spirit I'm sure they are meant





GreenDragon is offline  
May 31st, 2005, 07:34 AM
  #25  
 
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Posts: 4,276
i forgot to mention, on the positive side, you are very smart for choosing 2 base locations as opposed to moving to different accomodations each night as you did in the past.

secondly, the best way to see the dales is walking (if you have the ability). i would get a book on rambling in the dales or research the subject on the internet. a well chosen walk will give you a good feel for the terrain and villages of the area. you will get a much better experience seeing a small sliver of the dales on foot in a day of walking as opposed to covering much more ground by car.
walkinaround is offline  
Jun 1st, 2005, 01:34 PM
  #26  
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Unfortunately, though we can do some walking, we can't do a whole day of it. We are both rather overweight, and my husband has bad knees... which means we can walk in spurts with rests between.

Yes, the fasttrack system of the last trip is not to be repeated, I don't think, anytime soon. We like to settle in to one or two spots.
GreenDragon is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2005, 12:27 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Hi
I meant to suggest that you watch the film Calendar Girls - if you decide to do my Dales trip you will pass very close to their village, and it was filmed in the area you are driving through. It will give you a good taste of the countryside you will see. I am afraid I disagree with the previous poster who suggested you walk instead of drive. This would be fine if you had more time. I was keen to give you a flavour of all the Dales has to offer in just one day! My itinerary also has a fair bit of walking in it - you will be in and out of that car like a yoyo!
M
Morgana is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2005, 10:22 AM
  #28  
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Yoyo is fine with me

I loved the film Calendar Girls, I saw it last year! Thanks for letting me know it's the same place... I look forward to it. I remember how beautiful it looked in the movie

Anyone interested in my updated itinerary?


Itinerary:

11th/12th :

Flight from Orlando at 4:40pm
Arrives in London at 9:00am
Train leaves Gatwick Airport Station arrives in Leeds 3:30pm
Pick up Rental car
Check into Hotel
Rest in the afternoon, perhaps wander around some
Dinner somewhere around the town

13th:
Day:
• Harewood House
• Fountains Abbey
• Devil’s Arrow

14th:
Day:
• Castle Howard
• York

15th:
Day:
• Whitby -- The Magpie Cafe possibly for lunch -- www.magpiecafe.co.uk
• Rievaulx Abbey

16th:
Day:
• Skipton Castle
• Bolton Abbey & Barden Tower
• Grassington
• Aysgarth Falls for lunch
• Middleham Castle
• Jervaulx Abbey
• Ripon Cathedral

17th:
Day:
• Nottingham

18th:
Day:
• Bagshaw Museum, Batley
• Leeds – Royal Armoury (Shogun exhibit)
• Leeds Shakespeare Festival at Kirkstall Abbey

19th:
Day:
• Check out of Crowne Plaza
• Return rental car
• Train from Leeds to London Check into Copthorne Tara
Night:
• Evening: The Along the Thames Pub Walk

20th:
Night:
• Show: Stomp @8:00pm

21st:
Day:
• Kew Gardens
Apsley House

22nd:
Day and night:
•Avebury, Old Sarum, and Stonehenge with Vic’s Taxi

23rd:
Day:
• Morning: Historic Greenwich Walk
• National Gallery

24th:
Day:
• The Roof Gardens
Night:
• Evening: The Ghosts, Gaslight & Guinness Walk

25th:
Day:
• Parliament
• Dali Experience
Night:
• London Eye
• Kennedy’s for live Irish Music by the Northern Celts

26th:
Night:
• Shakespeare’s Globe ‘The Tempest’

27th:
Day:
• Borough Market
• St. Paul’s Cathedral
Night:
• Show: The Producers

28th:
Day:
• British Museum

29th:
Check out of hotel and get to Victoria Station [Victoria Tube] for train back to Gatwick



GreenDragon is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2005, 11:08 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,524
Hi
Well, I can't comment on your London part as I don't know enough about it, but the Yorkshire bit looks great! So glad you are heading for the Dales. I keep hearing that England is due for a heatwave mid-August. As they often get the next day's weather wrong I should take this with a pinch of salt, but who knows?
By the way, is it ok if I fire some Florida questions at you some time? I know the Orlando area from holidaying there with my children, but want to branch out. I won't trouble you whilst you are sorting out your England trip, but maybe when you return?
Have a lovely holiday. I'll think about you on the 16th especially!
M
Morgana is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2005, 12:30 PM
  #30  
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Posts: 7,313
Morgana, ask away! I would love to answer any Florida questions you would like to ask. And I can answer them at work, so you can ask now

I had lived in south Florida for 20 years, and now live in north Florida, so hopefully I'll be as helpful to you as you have been to me!

If you want to email me privately you can. If you want to post it here to help others, you can as well. Up to you!
GreenDragon is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 03:35 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,524
Many thanks!
Might be best if I emailed you, but not sure how to do this? Is there a way of finding out your email address or do you have to tell me? I have basic questions about where to holiday in Florida away from the Orlando area, but will explain further when I write. We don't plan to go until next March so loads of time.
Also I am off later today for a long weekend in Derbyshire, not back at work until Tuesday, so won't be able to respond until then.
Thank you so much.
M
Morgana is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 07:47 AM
  #32  
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Posts: 7,313
You can email me at [email protected]. Thanks again!
GreenDragon is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 08:36 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,271
One thing I would change... Kensington Roof Gardens will only take you about an hour to see. I would move Apsley House to that day and dedicate the entire day to Kew Gardens. It is huge, and you can easily spend a good portion of the day there. And if the weather is nice, you may want to take a Thames cruise back into London.

Also, on the day you plan to do Castle Howard and York - Castle Howard will take 1/2 a day so that doesn't leave a lot of time to see York.

Kayb95 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 11:25 AM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,276
you've greatly improved things...especially returning to london on the 19th.

Kayb is right about the roof gardens but perhaps you know this and maybe you are planning a lot of free time for this day. actually, the roof gardens are kind of an interesting curiousity but I think their value as a tourist attraction is sometimes exaggerated by tour books. 1 hour max and they are often closed for special events.

stomp has been playing for ages and is deeply discounted. however, you have it scheduled for a Sat night. if you are budget minded, you will save a lot by seeing it any other night. in general, shows that attract a lot of out of towners (like stomp) are poor values on weekends as compared to weekdays. anyway, stomp is very easily seen in the US so perhaps something a bit more "london" would suit you better.

again in agreement with Kayb, kew gardens takes a whole day. by the travelling out to it and back and the walking around the grounds (it's huge), you will may be very tired at the end of the day. even seeing the main bits takes a lot of walking... very enjoyable and time consuming.
walkinaround is offline  

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