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huntersmom Mar 2nd, 2013 05:41 PM

First trip to UK
Hi there,
We are travelling for the first time this summer to England. My itinerary is to spend five nights in London and do day trips such as Hampton Court as well as see regular sights. We then want to go to York (not sure if we should spend one night and leave late on second day or spend two nights) ending up in Oxford for say 3 nights then back to London for 2 nights before going home. I guess my question is whether it is worth staying in Oxford and doing some day trips in the area from there or just biting the bullet and going back to London? We thought about seeing Stratford, Cotswalds and Avebury, but not feeling locked into anything. My DH complains that our vacations are too "busy" so I don't want to have overload this time and we not taking a car either, which we nornally do. Any comments would be appreciated.

di2315 Mar 2nd, 2013 10:26 PM

York is a real gem - I would make is a 2 night stay in preference to one.
We also didn't have a car, so used the Hop On Hop Off buses to get around. This allowed us a great overview of the town and its history, and plenty of time to hop off at interesting spots.
We found that each bus we rode on had a different commentator - one emphasised the ghostly sides, one the more historical, and one a live commentary that included little points of interest to that particular person.
Make sure you stay somewhere in the old part of York, so you can easily walk around between old sites.

flanneruk Mar 2nd, 2013 11:07 PM

Travel by public transport from Oxford or London to Avebury is tricky and sometimes time consuming, but possible ( Oxford is not a place to find organised tours, though I believe there are one or two Cotswold tours available. Personally I wouldn't bother: I'd get the train to Charlbury or Moreton in Marsh, walk the countryside then get the train back

Although most trains between Oxford and Stratford are relatively slow and usually require one or two changes (buses are rarely an option), there is one fast direct train a day from Stratford, leaving Stratford at 2315. So it's surprisingly easy to have a day in Stratford, have supper (the restaurant in the main theatre building is surprisingly good for provincial England), see a play and be back in Oxford by about midnight.

As a consequence, Oxford is actually a better base for visiting Stratford than London is.

huntersmom Mar 3rd, 2013 06:31 AM

Thanks all. I did decide to book for two nights in York - someone on another thread suggested the Coach House Hotel; looks nice and well-located. Will think about the Oxford thing - DH does not want to move around a lot. Are there other places that would also work as a good base for a few days trips?

janisj Mar 3rd, 2013 09:05 AM

I personally think splitting London into two stays is very inefficient and complicates things unnecessarily. So, I'd rearrange things a bit. Land at LHR, take the coach to Oxford and spend your first three days there. Then train to York for 2 nights. Finish up in London for a week.

I know you don't want a car, and you definitely don't need one for Oxford, York, and London. But I'd 100% consider renting a car for a day or two just to tour the Cotswolds and/or Averbury.

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