Crowds in early June?

Old Aug 25th, 2003, 03:31 PM
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Crowds in early June?

My wife and I and our 7 and 9 year old will tarvel to England around June 5 - June 20 of next year. We hope to spend 4 - 5 days in London, then drive through The Cotswolds and Lake District, and then go to either Wales or Scotland. What should we expect the crowds to be like in early June? We would also appreciate any suggestions for getting to these areas. Is it easiest to take trains to more remote areas and then rent cars, or would it make sense to rent before leaving London and then drive everywhere else?

Thanks. Steve
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Old Aug 25th, 2003, 04:01 PM
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Little or no crowds. You're too early in the season

Not that London's not ALWAYS busy...
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Old Aug 25th, 2003, 07:22 PM
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June is not yet high season since most British and European schools do not let out until early to mid-July.

After visiting London 4 or 5 days, you could take the train (or fly) to Edinburgh, stay a couple of days and then pick up a rental car and work your way south through the Lakes/Wales/Cotswolds on your way back to London to fly home.

The problem with taking the train "to more remote areas" is that few trains serve remote areas of the UK. If you want to get off the beaten path a car is much easier.

Do keep in mind - 16 days sounds like a long time, but it isn't long enough to see a lot of different areas. The first day is pretty tiring and hectic after an overnight flight w/o much sleep. And with a family you do want some "down" time so everyone isn't exhausted and cranky all the time.

So 5 days in London (7 days would be better but you'll have to budget your time), plus 2 or 3 in Edinburgh only leaves you about a week to see Scottish countryside, the Lakes, Wales and the Cotswolds. That is a pretty full itinerary.

All of the places you list are worthwhile but if it were me I would do something like 5 days in London, 2 in Edinburgh, 3 in another part of Scotland (several to choose from - the Borders or the west coast/Skye, or central near Perth/Stirling, or Fife and St Andrews), 2 in north Wales, 3 in the Cotswolds and the last night near the airport before flying home.
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 06:39 AM
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We've done this trip, or something close to it, with two kids who were about the same ages as your children. Going to the UK before June 15th is really worthwhile. That date, at least according to the airlines, is the start of the "high season".

Your trip sounds terrific, but it does involve quite a bit of driving. To limit that somewhat, I'd suggest trying to stay in one location for several nights and use that as a base for local touring. Also, you may want to limit your total itenerary, rather than include London and Cotswolds and Lake District and Scotland (or Wales). Maybe Scotland on a future trip...

While the UK is geographically small, especially compared to the US, distance is less important than driving time. If you plan to see the countryside and use smaller roads, it takes quite a while to cover the relatively small point-to-point distances in the UK.

Someone suggested taking the train from London to Edinburgh and picking up a rental vehicle there. Keep in mind that touring cities can be fairly intense and tiring, so 5 days in a city (London) followed by 2-3 days in another city (Edinburgh) may be more back-to-back "city time" than you want to tackle with your family.

At any rate, picking up your rental vehicle outside of central London is a good idea! Given your potential itenerary, you could pick up the car at Heathrow Airport and head towards the Cotswolds, or even take the train from London to someplace like Bath and rent a car there.

Enjoy planning your trip!

Dave White
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 01:51 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Janis, can the itinerary you suggested be done in the time we?ll have without overwhelming my wife and kids? Are these places close enough together to drive to comfortably? Would we be better off sticking to England and Wales?The kids are experienced travelers but haven?t done this much driving before.

As Dave mentioned, we will probably try to find bases to tour from so we don?t have to keep packing and unpacking. We would love to have suggestions for bases in The Cotswolds and Wales.

Thanks again,

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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 02:39 PM
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Steve_P: The itinerary I spelled out is fairly ambitious but not overwhelming. It is not the sort of trip I usually recommend but you mentioned wanting to see several areas.

With a Family and 2+ weeks I would personally do it much differently.

I would go to London for at least 5 or 6 days - renting an apartment. This is often cheaper than a suite or family room in a moderate hotel and you have the advantage of a kitchen and usually a washer/dryer. Not that you'd necessarily want to do any major cooking - but being able to do quick breakfasts, midnight snacks, have a fridge for drinks etc makes a kitchen w/ kids a big advantage. and the washing machine means you can all pack a lot lighter.

Then I'd move to a cottage for 7 days (in June most cottages require a full week's rental) somewhere in the western or northern Cotswolds. This would be your base to see everything from N Wales, to Warwick, to Stratford, to Oxford, to Bath, to, to, to . . . . There would be literally hundreds of places to visit within a 2 hour drive.

Then for the last day or two I would spend near Salisbury if you are using LHR or in Kent/East Sussex if using LGW to fly home. the you would be a relatively short drive from the airport.

Or you could do the same thing renting the cottage in eastern N. Wales. Then it would be a base for Warwick, Worcester, Chester, all of North Wales, and even a day trip up to the Lake district. If you stayed a week in Wales, then I would spend the last two days in the Cotswolds.

Having a cottage to go home to every evening really helps the kids acclimate - and you would end driving a lot less using one place as a base instead of moving from area to area frequently. PLUS you get another kitchen/washer.

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Old Aug 27th, 2003, 05:30 AM
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I went to Scotland and London June 6th - June 29th and I definitely saw crowds. I also saw lots of children out and about. I think they got out of school my second week there (in Aberdeen). Maybe it won't be AS crowded as July, but I would still suggest doing things early and getting tickets ahead of time. ex. Tower of London, be there when it opens.

I hope you have as nice weather as I did
Have fun!
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Old Aug 27th, 2003, 08:52 AM
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I wasn't picky with Janis's response. Most Scottish schools go off in the third week of June
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