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nola77382 Oct 2nd, 2014 05:48 AM

Decision time...
Hi everyone,

Husband, 18 year old nephew (for whom the trip is a high school graduation gift), and I are travelling to England next year. We have (as usual) way too little time! We will depart 25 June and return home 6 July. That gives us 10 sightseeing days. This is our second time to England but it's our nephew's first trip abroad.

The plan so far is to pick up the rental car on arrival; husband is experienced with jet lagged other side of the road driving. We'll spend the first two nights (26-27 June) near Chichester to attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 27 June. Then we'll head to Bath for 2 or 3 nights. Then to London for the remainder of our time (5 or 6 nights).

I want a full day to explore Bath. Husband expressed an interest in seeing the Cotswolds. The boy is along for the ride! So, should we give up a night in London for a third night in Bath to have a full day to explore the Cotswolds? Is one day enough to get a taste of that region?

I can't book the London apartment until I make this decision so please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

stokebailey Oct 2nd, 2014 05:56 AM

My thought: Lucky 18 yo nephew.

bilboburgler Oct 2nd, 2014 06:02 AM

My view is that unless you have a particular interest in American early fabrics for which Bath University is a world centre you will need at most one day to "do" Bath, the roman baths, walk up the hill to see the Crescent and where the Roman road came in, walk down and see the canal, do a bit of shopping and the odd church will be well done in a busy day.

So give the next day up to driving to into the Cotswolds, I suggest do a walk (catch a local bus out and walk back) with a lunch and tea in the villages and then drive back to London in the Evening. If you follow FlannerUK on this forum you will get loads of ideas how to do it. :-)

msteacher Oct 2nd, 2014 06:21 AM

I think a key factor to consider is the interest level of the 18 year old. Most 18yr olds I know would much prefer a day in London to a walk in the country with tea in a village. However, there are some 18yr olds for whom that would be the highlight of the trip. Only you know which type of kid you are dealing with. Have fun!

janisj Oct 2nd, 2014 06:30 AM

I also think an 18 yo would get much more out of London than the Cotswolds (and I LOVE the Cotswolds)

If you really want to visit the area then cut back on Bath but not on London. IMO 2 nights will be plenty in Bath - that would give you 1.5 or a skosh more to see all the sites.

basingstoke2 Oct 2nd, 2014 06:40 AM

There is a free guided walking tour in Bath that leaves from outside the Pump room at I believe 10 AM. The tours are led by knowledgeable volunteers, cover most of the city and last 2 hours. It is very worthwhile. Did I mention free?

Continental_Drifter Oct 2nd, 2014 06:51 AM

I'd give up the time in Bath and add time to London. For an 18 year old, that's where he'll get into the city vibe.

BigRuss Oct 2nd, 2014 06:59 AM

London is catnip for hobbits . . . and young people. The kid may be along for the ride, but he's going to be bored of his a-- piddling about the Cotswolds and Bath.

Continental_Drifter Oct 2nd, 2014 07:03 AM

BigRuss wins! You said it better. ;)

nola77382 Oct 2nd, 2014 07:05 AM

Y'all are awesome, thanks! Yep, I think the boy would enjoy London a lot more than the Cotswolds and husband is getting his first choice--the Festival of Speed. So we'll do the 2 nights in Bath and the 6 in London.

basingstoke2, we will definitely do the Free guided walking tour. Free and worthwile is the best combination. Thanks for the tip.

Off to book the apartment! Cheers!

flanneruk Oct 2nd, 2014 07:16 AM

In the half century since I was 18, I've never met an 18 year old who fitted old people's (=anyone over 25) stereotypes of what 18 year olds are like.

City boy though I've always been, anyone telling me "For an 18 year old, that's where I'll get into the city vibe" would have been immediately consigned into the category of typically stereotyping old fart. As would today anyone so blinkered as to assume walking through English villages involves drinking tea. The pubs are open - so why would anyone descend to junk drink? If the kid's not discovered real ale - what's he been doing for the past four years, and it's about time he did.

You're paying for this, so his votes are at best mildly advisory.

Any adolescent not intrigued by the English footpath system and by villages where the average building's older than his country (and the church 500 years older still) is an incurious old fogey in the making. Tell him he'll be abandoned there forever if he doesn't buck up and show some interest.

That's how we treat adolescents round here - and it does them no harm at all.

BigRuss Oct 2nd, 2014 07:31 AM

<<That's how we treat adolescents round here - and it does them no harm at all.>>

Turns them into crusty buggers, it seems.

nola77382 Oct 2nd, 2014 07:42 AM

Flanneruk, your points are very well taken. He chose London over Rome and Paris because of the common language. And both he and my husband have left the planning to me! My vote is really the only one that matters ;) But I do want the boy to have fun and catch the travel bug after this trip, like his sister did after we took her to Paris.

We'll probably do as bilboburger suggested and drive from Bath through the Cotswolds on the way to London. Husband and I plan to return to England and will definitely spend more time in the area.

Oh, he has definitely not discovered real ale since he's still not legal to drink in the US. He drank the gross Bud Light at a party and hated it. We drink and he will too on this trip (in moderation, of course).

Continental_Drifter Oct 2nd, 2014 07:49 AM

"typically stereotyping old fart." Uh. Okay.

I was just going off my experience, traveling virtually everywhere, including England, with our three kids. They are 16, 18 and 20.

Trust me - Traveling around the countryside for a week was enough. One day in Bath, two days in Canterbury and the rest of the time in London was ideal for them.

They simply loved the history and sights in London. It was less to do with the pubs. I've posted several times about our London trip some years ago, so you can search those by my name. The kids actually planned our days, from the British Museum the Tower of London, to Harrod's to a touristy London Walks tour. Even a night at the theater. There was never a lack of things in which they found interest. Pub crawls were popular a couple of evenings, but that was certainly not their focus on the trip.

dotheboyshall Oct 2nd, 2014 08:09 AM

<i>husband is experienced with jet lagged other side of the road driving. </i>

Or as we call it - 5 years in jail.

historytraveler Oct 2nd, 2014 08:18 AM

I agree. I have been doing long haul flights for almost 30 years and the one thing I've learned about jet lag is that it is unpredictable. Assuming it's never a problem is a bit like having a couple of drinks and insisting you still have all your wits about you.

nola77382 Oct 2nd, 2014 09:17 AM

dotheboyshall and historytraveler, the only reason we're getting the car at Heathrow on arrival is that our destination for the night, Middleton-on-Sea, is close (about 65 miles). We do our best to be safe when driving, even here in the states, and esp. on this trip with our nephew along. I promised my sister to bring him back in the same condition in which I took him! I could never drive after a long-haul trip because I'm a wreck. Husband does much better. Obviously, nothing is guaranteed but we'll do our best.

Continental_Drifer, I'll look up your posts for ideas. It is good to know what other kids his age range enjoyed in London.

Gordon_R Oct 2nd, 2014 10:09 AM

You do realise that the journey from LHR down to Middleton will take almost 2 hours?

flanneruk Oct 2nd, 2014 10:44 AM

"I was just going off my experience, traveling virtually everywhere, including England, with our three kids. "

I'm just going on my experience of watching hundreds of children.

Three children are an anecdote. I'm suggesting you stop stereotyping an entire generation.

"he's still not legal to drink in the US"

What's that got to do with anything? It was illegal to drink at 14 when I was 14. But everyone did.

Are today's children really such conformists?


flanneruk Oct 2nd, 2014 10:44 AM

"He drank the gross Bud Light at a party and hated it."

So he's clearly got taste

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