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May 9th, 2016, 01:24 PM
  #1
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English Countryside Itinerary Help

My husband and I have 11 days around english countryside starting and stopping in Cambridge. we have been to London numerous times and will end there for 2 days. Please comment on our itinerary. He does not like a rushed day and loves great food. and wants to do a literary tour which i have no idea.

Day 1: arrive heathrow, train to cambridge, arrive afternoon, sleep, eat, sleep
Day 2-3-4 explore cambridge and anything else? shakespere play, lunch with friend, visit daughter
dinner at midsummer restaurant
Day 5-leave cambridge-train to london-train to bath. arrive afternoon. check in and visit roman baths
Day 6-out to stonehenge-can we make the cotswolds? dinner at Sotto Sotto do we need a car today?
Day 7-can we go to the water? drive? take a bus? anything else..
Day 8-to the Cotswolds if we haven't gone? spend night here? or 2
Day 9-Stratford-on-Avon? worth it? stay night here?
Day 10??
Day 11 head back to Cambridge in the afternoon-stay overnight-get daughter and head to london

better to see South and North Devon?
thanks all in advance...
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May 9th, 2016, 01:37 PM
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>>Day 1: arrive heathrow, train to cambridge, arrive afternoon, sleep, eat, sleep<<

There is no train from LHR to Cambridge -- it would involve train to Paddington, crossing all of central London to Liverpool Street by tube or cab and train to Cambridge. Take the National Express coach instead.

>>Day 6-out to stonehenge-can we make the cotswolds? dinner at Sotto Sotto do we need a car today?<<

You really bneed a car for the Cotswolds -- instead of hassling w/ one I'd consider a tour w/ Mad Max.

http://www.madmaxtours.co.uk/tours/s...-full-day-tour

But what I'd maybe consider instead is arrive at LHR and travel to Bath by National Express coach, stay two nights, then pick up a car and tour for about 6 days (North Devon, the Cotswolds and Stratford) then drive across to Cambridge, drop the car, stay a couple of days in Cambridge, then all travel in to London.

Otherwise you'll be crossing most of the country three times by public transit.
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May 9th, 2016, 01:44 PM
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If I was starting and stopping in Cambridge why not explore East Anglia - Norfolk Broads, Suffolk, Constable Country and the coast - it's right on your doorstep?

http://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/explore/Broads.aspx

http://www.visitsuffolk.com/

http://www.visitessex.com/discover/r...e-country.aspx

Trust me, there's more to the English countryside than Bath, Cotswolds and Stratford upon Avon.
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May 9th, 2016, 01:52 PM
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Most trains to Cambridge leave from Kings Cross, but that still involves a trip into central London. The train itself takes only about an hour. There are National Express coaches direct from LHR taking about 2½ hours to Cambridge.
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May 9th, 2016, 01:56 PM
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I agree -- you could spend your entire time over on the east side of the country including maybe 2 days up in York. Just a TON to see/do in East Anglia and nearby. Plus this would save you spending the best part of 3 of your days criss crossing the country.

But if you still want to visit the western bits instead -- then definitely flip the order and do LHR > Bath > Cotswolds > Stratford > Cambridge > London.
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May 9th, 2016, 02:05 PM
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Lavenham not far from Cambridge is a gem that is not on most folks' radars - small town good for a low-key base. You can take trains or buses everywhere you want to go in your OP - even the Cotswolds though I agree with janis if really wanting to explore that compact area a car is nice or a tour as she suggests.

Salisbury to me is a great old town with a great old cathedral - base there and hop the frequent buses to Stonehenge - do not neglect stopping at Old Sarum's remains en route to Stonehenge (I think the bus goes by there, on the edge of Salisbury) - trains will take you to Stratford too and many folks really like that town, touristed as it is.

If taking trains around southern England much look at the Days Out of London (or is it the London Plus railpass) that lets you hop on any train anytime to places like Cambridge, Bath, Stratford, etc. and also gives you a return ticket on airport express trains - but compare with fares at www.nationalrail.co.uk to see what is best - discounted tickets often have restrictions - especially on changing from a specific train you have booked and have to book in advance - sometimes very far in advance - to get these limited in number tickets.

If going from Heathrow to Bath I'd consider the train - take the air bus to Reading and hop on fast trains from there to Bath - not sure how long the bus takes but trains on that line are amongst the fastest in England and easily done by the Heathrow-Reading Air bus link.

For lots on British trains check not only www.nationalrail.co.uk but www.seat61.com - good info on discounted ticket from a Brit and www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

First-class tickets on trains are also discounted and if not much more go first class - a huge difference in comfort IME - especially on long-distance trains - not much on local or commuter trains.
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May 9th, 2016, 04:18 PM
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For literary travels, consider Hardy's Wessex, and some Cathedral towns if he likes Trollope.
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May 10th, 2016, 11:58 AM
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literary travels - the Brontes were based in Halworth, on the edge of a large moor that appears in some of their works - near Leeds.
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May 11th, 2016, 08:07 PM
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thank you all. I will get started on this and the suggestions are great. will probably need more help as I get closer. thank you
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May 12th, 2016, 02:25 AM
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"literary travels - the Brontes were based in Halworth, on the edge of a large moor that appears in some of their works - near Leeds."

The Brontes lived in Haworth, near to Keighley a good way away from Bradford. It's not near Leeds. It's a tiny village with several good restaurants, but unless you're a Bronte fan, you won't miss much. On the other hand if you're a steam railway fan, you can see the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway starting in Haworth.
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May 12th, 2016, 06:47 AM
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It's not near Leeds<

depends what you call near -Keighley is a 25-minute commuter train ride from Leeds - to me that is near to Rubicund far - Keighley has that weird pronunciation of something like "Keethley"?

I agree that the village is not much - heavily trading now on Bronte link. But we were talking about literary links to places.
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May 12th, 2016, 07:24 AM
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Yes, Pal, pronounced as you say. However, it's still a half hour bus ride from Keighley to Haworth and the steam trains tend not to run on weekdays. It's a heck of a schlep to get to Haworth just to see the Bronte Parsonage when the furthest north the OP mentioned was Stratford upon Avon.

Having said that, too many visitors to these shores head for the London, Cambridge, Oxford, Bath, Cotswolds and York, thus missing an enormous amount of England and Wales that for scenery, knocks the rest for six.
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May 12th, 2016, 08:10 AM
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Given what a dump Keighley is and what a glory Saltaire is, I hope an OP might visit the latter before heading up the hills to the Parsonage

Of course Keighley is pronounced Keethley.
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May 12th, 2016, 08:40 AM
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For the literary pilgrimage, nobody is mentioning the elephant, i.e. Jane Austen, specifically Bath (not her favorite place but there's a museum), Winchester (where she died and is buried in the cathedral) and Chawton Cottage.

Other odd thoughts: Lyme Regis for The French Lieutenant's Woman and the River Thames, maybe Pangbourne or Goring, for 3 Men in a Boat. There's also Oxford, with its literary connections. But maybe not with Cambridge too.
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May 12th, 2016, 11:12 AM
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What authors does your husband like?

Lee Ann
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May 12th, 2016, 09:38 PM
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Oh thank you all so much. So, I found out we do not need to return to cambridge. so took your suggestions and going National Express to Cambridge from Heathrow. 3 1/2 days in cambridge which might be 1 too many? then car it to Stratford on Avon because husband also loves shakespere. overnight there. however, Leeds is too far north for us. ending in Bath (Austen) 3 days and then onto London for 1 day literary tour of London. William Blake, Virginia Woolf, any bloomsbury crowd ?

So, we have between cambridge and london 7 days. 3 in Bath I think (salisbury per suggestion above, stonehenge,bristol?). what should we see on the way cambridge to Bath? stop in Stratford one night. cotswolds 2 nights?

Does anyone know about weston super mare? thought we could spend a day on the water? or should we go North Devon?

I appreciate all suggestions north and east of cambridge but I think for a first timer, we have to touristy a bit. There is so much to see we have to return.

thanks again all.



thanks again all of you.
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May 13th, 2016, 11:00 AM
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Of course Keighley is pronounced Keethley.>

Why or why?
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May 13th, 2016, 11:22 AM
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Plenty to do in and around Cambridge, I'm planning three nights there later this year. My first priority, after revisiting sights in Cambridge, is Ely, as I've never seen the Cathedral and it's only 15 minutes by train.

I'm also considering Sandringham - train to King's Lynn and then a bus - http://www.sandringhamestate.co.uk/

Or Audley End by bus: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/v...e-and-gardens/

Norwich looks interesting, but it's a bit further.

BTW I'm sleeping in one of the colleges, won't be luxurious but I get to eat breakfast in the beautiful dining hall:
http://www.universityrooms.com

(I picked Sydney Sussex, in Oxford I'm sleeping in Christ Church.)
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May 13th, 2016, 12:38 PM
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Stratford on Avon is so close to Chipping Camden in the Cotswolds it would be a pity to not include that in your itinerary. Perhaps spend a night or 2 there or in Bourton on Water. From there you could visit a couple of the other charming Cotswold villages on your way to Bath. 2 nights would be enough in Bath - its not that big. You could then perhaps include a day on the North Devon coast. Don't try to include too much and find yourself rushing around. That is just too tiring, especially when you are doing the driving. Wherever you go England is beautiful. Enjoy!
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May 13th, 2016, 02:58 PM
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thanks all. one last? question. leaving stratford and have 4 days and 3 nights before we go to Bath. spend one night cotswolds and 2 Lynton North Devon or just stay between cotswolds and bath?

do we need to buy or train tix from heathrow to cambridge ahead of time?
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