England Itinerary - ideas please

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Sep 6th, 2004, 10:59 AM
  #1
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England Itinerary - ideas please

I am planning a trip for my boyfriend and myself for May of 2005 to England. It is my boyfriend's first trip to Europe and my second trip to England (was there when I was 12)and 6th to Europe. I am trying to find a balance between things I haven't seen before, interesting repeats and intersting stuff for my boyfriend. Below is my tentative itinerary. Please critique it! Be really mean if need be! gt;

I want our trip to be layed back and interesting. I have tried to minimized the moving around as I prefer having a home base to come home to. We will be based out of London (Day 1 - 5), Bath (Day 6 - 10) Oxford (11-13) and Manchester (Day 14 - 16). We will not be renting a car (too stressful) so all transportation will be bus and train.

We will do much of the art stuff in London (V&A, British Museum) and I have been requested to include castles and other such interesting hugely historic things (bf is a structural engineer)!

I am not sure about Day 9 & 10. Should be do Glastonbury / Wells and Castle Combe or just one of these? I would like some nice quiet village exploration and perhaps some country walking so that we have time out of big cities.

Please let me know what you think. I'm not sure about the balance of time in places. The more I think about this the more I want to see and do. I'm having a hard time sliming it down.


Day 1 ? Arrive London (early morning)
Day 2 ? London
Day 3 ? London
Day 4 ? Hampton Court Palace
Day 5 ? Windsor
Day 6 ? Bath
Day 7 ? Bath
Day 8 ? Salisbury / Stonehenge
Day 9 ? Glastonbury / Wells
Day 10 ? Castle Combe
Day 11 ? Oxford
Day 12 ? Blenheim
Day 13 - Warwick Castle / Warwick
Day 14 - Manchester
Day 15 ? Manchester
Day 16 ? Depart Manchester for home
Matrexx is offline  
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Sep 6th, 2004, 11:16 AM
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Are you really sure about Manchester? Not that there is anything wrong with the place (I live there). York is a much better choice and not far from Manchester where you depart. Maybe youv'e done York before? This said, there are some places in Manchester worth a visit ie the new War Museum near the Lowry Centre and the Manchester Museum; but (in my opinion) three days in Manchester seems a bit too long.
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Sep 6th, 2004, 11:19 AM
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Thank you Steve! It's actually only 2 since we are leaving on Day 16. Is 2 days too much? I think I agree with you, putting that day in London might be better...

Since you live in Manchester - how hard it is to get tickets to a football game? It would be blast to see a match.
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Sep 6th, 2004, 09:31 PM
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If bf is a structural engineer, have you thought about the Thames Barrier in London? It's up the river near Greenwich. You can travel by river there. It's a nice day trip.
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Sep 7th, 2004, 12:04 AM
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Yes, I raised my eyebrows at Manchester too. Nearby is a far more interesting town called Chester with fascinating architecture & city walls still intact & able to be walked along.
Still, it's your tour and there are just so many things to include or not include in a tour of England that you have to hone in on something and accept that there's much that'll be left out. You've obviously given it a lot of thought when you have tiny villages like Castle Combe in it. Hard to know how you're going to do that one without a car? I'd make one suggestion: while in Bath, take time out for Avebury. More accessible than Stonehenge, and a delightful place. Again, I'm not sure about transport.
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Sep 7th, 2004, 12:06 AM
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Oh, and while in the neighbourhood of Warwick, why not include Stratford-upon-Avon? Even if not a Shakespeare fan, it's a nice place to visit. Nearby (here we go again - hard to draw the line, isn't it?) Broadway, Chipping Camden, Snowshill etc are also picturesque villages.
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Sep 7th, 2004, 02:48 AM
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Your bit between Bath and Warwick is tricky without a car. There are two key tools here:
- the train from Bath, changing at Didcot or Reading, to Oxford, and then on to Stratford or Leamington Spa (for Warwick)
- the Department of Transport site that tries to marry bus and train schedules together: www.transportdirect.info

Nonetheless, you'll probably have to compromise. Decent walking in central England requires you to invest a lot of time looking at little more than pretty, self-effacing scenery, and in practice many visitors just can't squeeze it in. One small-scale solution is to make sure you go to Glastonbury then climb the tor (an old word for hill, not tower, though there is a tower at the top of the tor). Although the scenery is very unEnglish (almost looks like a steppe), it's almost always bracing, and only takes an hour or so out of your time.

The most fascinating walk in this part though, is the Priddy walk from Wells. Go there after Glastonbury, and buy up the - er, alternative - history monographs on sale everywhere in Glastonbury (which has to be the last remaining outpost of the Spirit of '67). Then decide for yourself whether the legends about Priddy are true or whether the locals have been on wacky backy for the past 2000 years.
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Sep 7th, 2004, 08:52 AM
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Regarding football match tickets, it depends. If you are talking about Manchester United, then your chances are slim. Equally it would be difficult obtaining Manchester City tickets. Bolton Wanderers tickets (not too far from Manchester and in the same division) would be easier (unless they are playing City or United!)...and of course it depends if these teams are playing at home.... Probably it would be easy to get tickets to see the reserve teams play. United also run tours of their ground and facilities which is very popular. All this apart, I still would opt for either York or as suggested earlier Chester which is a short(ish) train journey from Manchester. Like York, this is a lovely walled old City with great shops and restaurants and atmosphere. Hope this helps, in some way.
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