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Four weeks in the UK: Critique my itinerary?

Four weeks in the UK: Critique my itinerary?

Old May 1st, 2016, 03:46 PM
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Four weeks in the UK: Critique my itinerary?

My wife and I are both from the US and finally planning to take a trip that we've spent our lives dreaming about. We've got some friends in London to visit, but for the most part we'll be striking out on our own.

Interests:
Hiking, history, and architecture.

Budget:
Pretty flexible. Not going to be staying in 5-star resorts, but we can afford anything within reason.

Dates:
Between June and July, which I know can be a pretty busy season. We're hoping to get away from the crowds by spending a lot of our time hiking.

Transportation:
Rent a car in London, and return it in Edinburgh a few weeks later. Public transit during the last few days in London.

Travel Itinerary:
Days 1-2: London. Sleeping off the jet lag, and some light exploring.
Days 3-6: Exmoor. Hiking and stargazing in Europe's first dark sky reserve.
Days 7-8: Bath. Take in the architecture and rest up a bit.
Days 9-10: Cotswalds. Enjoy the English countryside.
Days 11-13: Oxford. Explore the university, botanic gardens, cathedral and Blackwell's Bookstore.
Days 14-15: Corbridge. Walk along Hadrian's Wall.
Days 16-18: Edinburgh. Explore the city and nearby castles.
Days 19-20: Glencoe. Hiking.
Days 21-22: Loch Lomond. More hiking.
Day 23: Train from Edinburgh to London. Rest up and enjoy the scenery.
Days 24-27: London. Explore the city. Enjoy a show at the Globe Theater. Visit the British Museum.

Questions:
I'd love some opinions on where to stay near Exmoor, the Cotswalds, Glencoe and Loch Lomond. We have some thoughts, but they're all out of Lonely Planet's Great Britain guidebook. Something off the usual path might be fun.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 05:09 PM
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If I see one more post that says "within reason" or "reasonable" or "not too fancy": for a price point I am going to plotz.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 07:21 PM
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Not too bad really. Some random comments:

>>Between June and July, which I know can be a pretty busy season.<<

Not really. June isn't bad at all and early July is still fine. It is late July and August that are the busiest.

Exmoor is a long drive fro London. Say you pick up the car at LHR (the easiest place) to maybe near Dulverton -- it will be a 4 hour drive plus lots of places worth stopping (Stonehenge, Wells etc) . . . so basically an all day drive.

It is the Cotsw<red>o</red>lds

>>Days 14-15: Corbridge. Walk along Hadrian's Wall.<<

That is a very long drive -- more than 7 hours.

>>Days 21-22: Loch Lomond. More hiking.
Day 23: Train from Edinburgh to London. Rest up and enjoy the scenery.<<

If you are at Loch Lomond -- fly down to London from GLA. No need to return to Edinburgh. (you could also take the train down from Glasgow, but that would mean returning the car to GLA, taking a coach into the city and then the train)
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Old May 1st, 2016, 07:25 PM
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Your choices of accommodations are vast -- the only place I'd definitely choose is this place in Glencoe . . . https://www.clachaig.com
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Old May 1st, 2016, 08:43 PM
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Thanks for the comments, janisj! I don't know how I made that typo twice...

There are definitely some long drives in there. On the way from London to Exmoor we'll probably stop off at a few of the places you mentioned and turn it into a day trip.

The drive from Oxford to Corbridge is the longest, but there just doesn't seem to be that much we want to see in the middle. Any suggestions for a stopover?

I've heard great things about the Clachaig -- we'll definitely check it out!
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Old May 1st, 2016, 10:36 PM
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If you are planning on walking at Loch Lomond then going up one of the hills or mountains will give you the best view of the scenery, assuming you are reasonably fit. Ben Lomond is the obvious choice as there is a good path to the top, starting at Rowardennan car park and it'll take about 2.5 to 3 hours to get to the summit.
If that's too much then try Conic Hill starting at the car park at Balmaha. A much easier walk and popular with families (and dogs).
Always check the weather forecast as things can change very quickly.
The walkhighlands web site will give you lots of useful information about these and other walks.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 10:40 PM
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>>Any suggestions for a stopover?<<

Yes -- in the Peak District. Some great walking there.

http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/visit...active-walking
http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/blog/10-...alking-routes/
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Old May 2nd, 2016, 12:04 AM
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areas of interest for break of journey between Oxford and Corbridge include the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Forest of Bowland, Lake District and the North Pennines
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Old May 2nd, 2016, 12:39 AM
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Yes Peak District great for walking but prefer Yorkshire Dales and less busy than Lake District which is even better for walking.

Always wanted to walk Exmoor and Dartmoor an area supposedly excellent for walking/hiking.
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Old May 2nd, 2016, 12:55 AM
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There is so much to see between Oxford and Hadrian's Wall, I can't imagine driving straight through. With four weeks at your disposal you have enough time for a detour into Wales. A couple of other ideas for your architectural interests: Chatsworth House (near the Peak District) and York.
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Old May 2nd, 2016, 01:11 AM
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World Heritage sites between Oxford and Corbridge

Ironbridge Gorge
Derwent Valley Mills (me neither)
Liverpol
Saltaire
Studley Royal Park inc. Fountains Abbey
Durham Castle and Cathedral
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Old May 5th, 2016, 09:55 AM
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The Derwent Valley Mills are pretty much the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, which is why they're a World Heritage Site.

Being a World Heritage Site doesn't necessarily denote a world-class tourist attraction.... One for industrial history enthusiasts only.
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