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DRIVE THROUGH ENGLAND-revised itinerary-need more help please!

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Aug 23rd, 2013, 08:57 PM
  #1
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DRIVE THROUGH ENGLAND-revised itinerary-need more help please!

hello,
After reading all your great advice- I edited out a bunch of places and decided to start my journey in England rather than Ireland where I arrive from NY. My friend and I will take a flight right from Dublin into Birmingham to start our journey.

-First question- I arrive from the States around 10:30am in Dublin. Any idea how long I should plan to get through customs before I head out on another flight from there to England? Trying to allot for enough time and determine what time I should book on Aer Lingus as i'm booking this separately.

for Day 1 when we get from US/Dublin/Birmingham- we plan to spend the night at Coombe Abbey and just rest on the grounds.

Day 2- drive to Stratford upon Avon to spend the day and then drive on to either Broadway or Chipping Campden to spend night

Day 3- explore more of the Cotswolds- seeing Bourton on the Water, Upper and Lower Slaughter making our way to Bath for night. Overnight in Bath

Day 4- explore Bath, overnight Bath

Day 5- here’s where I’m utterly confused- on our wishlist was Chawton for Jane Austen, Arundel and Bodiam Castle and possibly Rye (which we will most likely have to drop) but my friend really wants to see these castles so I hesitate to drop them.
Bath to Chawton is about 2 hour drive.
Chawton to Arundel about 1 hour 15min
Arundel to Bodiam about 2 hours
Bodiam to Rye 30 minutes.

Clearly this is too much as I need to be in London for Day 6. So what do you suggest I leave out? Should I just skip Chawton and head to the castles.? My goal is to stay overnight in a place nearby one of these locations where I can drop off car and take train into London rather than driving there. Any idea where I should overnight on Day 5 for easy access to drop off car and take train to London on Day 6?

Thanks in advance for all your valuable advice and help! I’m welcoming any suggestions for places to stay in Cotswolds as well ☺

Best,
k
Wanderfilms is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 09:07 PM
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I'd unfortunately skip Rye and Bodiam. You can drop the car at Gatwick after Arundel (you can stay over in the general Arundel area)

Arundel to LGW is about one hour and all the major rental companies are right there. Then you have your choice of trains depending on where you are staying in London.
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Aug 24th, 2013, 11:22 AM
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"Any idea how long I should plan to get through customs before I head out on another flight from there to England?"

"Customs" will take a matter of seconds, just a quick walk through the nothing to declare channel (unless you're unlucky enough to get searched), immigration (passport control) on the other hand may take a while.
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Aug 24th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Go to Chawton. It doesn't take all that long to tour the house, and it's worth it if you're an Austen fan.

Lee Ann
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Aug 24th, 2013, 06:36 PM
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Just as a general thought, possibly a help deciding what to see and what to take off the list, I find that smaller houses, for me, are much more evocative of people and times than most castles. Grand architecture, while they may give some small glimpse into history, tend to be impersonal. Whereas some of the most moving experiences I've had in England have been at homes of particular people. Rudyard Kipling's home in E. Sussex, Bateman's https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans/, is an example of what I'm trying to say. All this to say I'd likely always pick a place like Chawton before I'd choose Bodiam.
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Aug 24th, 2013, 06:55 PM
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While I love LOVE Bodiam (a really lovely ruin), as I mentioned - it and Rye are your outliers. Just to clarify - I think you have time for everything else on your list including Chawton.

(Your OP hints that you already knew that )

As for where to stay in the Cotswolds - you're spoiled for choice. There are sooooo many - what is your budget?
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Aug 24th, 2013, 07:16 PM
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Thank you!!!!
my budget - well i'd like to keep some of these to $150-$200...i'm hoping there are charming places with character that can fit my budget
k
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Aug 24th, 2013, 07:45 PM
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Clapton Manor in Clapton-on-the-Hill is my all-time favorite accommodation in the Cotswolds and is within your budget. I was on foot but having a car to reach it is almost as good. Have a look:

http://www.claptonmanor.co.uk/index.html
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Aug 24th, 2013, 08:39 PM
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It looks lovely! thanks so much mmeperdu! i'm just going to throw this out there to see if anyone has an opinion about this- but i was just with some British friends and they were saying they know a lot of people who hire drivers in england. I hadn't even considered it as i do enjoy driving and got pretty good at the opposite side while in ireland ;-) but i'm wondering if it may be worth it since we do have so much on our list! has anyone done this and is it really expensive?
thanks again! don't know what i would do without these boards!
best,
k
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Aug 24th, 2013, 10:59 PM
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Hiring a private car and driver (essentially a chauffeur-driven car) is extremely expensive - this isn't India or Thailand. You will be looking at roughly between £300 and £600 per 8-hour day, depending on the grade of car and the mileage involved. If it involves overnight stays away from the home base, you'll have to meet the cost of the driver's meals and accommodation on top of this.
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Aug 25th, 2013, 01:33 AM
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"but i was just with some British friends and they were saying they know a lot of people who hire drivers in england."

They must know a lot of rich people.
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Aug 25th, 2013, 03:47 AM
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for Day 1 when we get from US/Dublin/Birmingham- we plan to spend the night at Coombe Abbey and just rest on the grounds.>>

great choice. No idea how you came across it but it's lovely and you will find plenty to do in the grounds themselves, not just the gardens, but a very interesting nature walk out to the heronry.

should you want to "escape" though, the nearby village of Brinklow [where my granny was born] is very pretty as is the surrounding countryside.
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Aug 25th, 2013, 08:18 AM
  #13
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So glad we made a good choice with Coombe Abbey!
hA! There is no way i have the money to spend on driver if it's that much. I figured it would be, but thought i'd ask.

Do you think I'm giving us enough time to drive and stop in a few villages in Cotswolds if i'm only doing the day? thanks again for all the great advice!
best,
k
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Aug 26th, 2013, 11:40 AM
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Wanderfilms - I've never stayed there but my BF worked there for many years and they did her wedding reception very nicely. [in a previous existence i used to go there and help my dad put on flower shows, before it was made into a hotel, so I know it quite well!]

of course you will have time to stop in the Cotswold villages you pass through - that's one of the pleasures of driving through them.

Bourton in the water is very pretty - I used to have an aunt in an old folks home there, so we went quite a lot. you don't say what time of year your trip is though - it can get pretty busy in July and August. otherwise, it should be fine.
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