Help me plan an excursion from London

Oct 6th, 2006, 09:39 AM
  #1  
JES
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Help me plan an excursion from London

I'm going to London early Nov. on business and have been there several times. I thought I would take the opportunity to fly out a couple of days early to do something fun.
I have not spent much time in the countryside of London, so I am thinking of seeing the Cotswold Cottages.
My other option is to fly into another city for a couple of days: ie. Paris, Barcelona, Prague or Milan.

Can anyone weigh in?
Thanks!!
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Oct 6th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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How about Eurostar train to London or Brussels/Bruges? 2.5 hours only city centre to city centre.
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Oct 6th, 2006, 10:14 AM
  #3  
JES
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Are you saying the train from London to Brussels is only 2.5 hrs? I think there was a typo? If so, that is a good option.
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Oct 6th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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No, Brussels is actually 2,5hours in the train, it is worth going for the weekend. However, I would suggest Bruges instead.
If you wish to stay in the UK, I would definetly recomend Edinburgh or maybe go to places like Bath in England.
The lake district is supposed to be great as well, but I still have not been there though.
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Oct 6th, 2006, 12:17 PM
  #5  
JES
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I've been to Brugge. It was beautiful, but I don't think I need to go again.
Is there a reason you didn't recommend Cotswold (if I stay in England)?
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Oct 6th, 2006, 12:32 PM
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Lots (hundreds actually) of choices.

By train: Paris 2.5 hours. Brussels 2.5 hrs. York 2 hours. Baths 2+ hours. Edinburgh 4 hours -- or overnight on a sleeper. Brighton and the south coast a little over 1 hour (though maybe not the best area for a Nov getaway). Or MANY other places all over the UK.

The Cotswolds are lovely - but do you want to rent a car? It is pretty difficult to tour the Cotswolds w/o driving. There is scanty rail service. Though you could take a train to Oxford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Cheltenham or elsewhere and then pick up a rental car there.
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Oct 6th, 2006, 12:33 PM
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Oops - that should be "Bath 2+ hours"
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Oct 6th, 2006, 01:12 PM
  #8  
JES
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I hadn't thought about that. I guess I could rent a car if it's not too crazy (expensive). Do you know how far Cotswold is from London?

If I go to Paris in your opinion is it easier to fly or take the train? Do you know the cost of the train? Or where it leaves you out in Paris?

Is it easy to catch the Paris train from one of the airports in London?

Thanks for you help
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Oct 6th, 2006, 01:53 PM
  #9  
JES
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Also....what is there to do in Cotswold and Bath besides scenery? Are there cute pubs, shops, etc?
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Oct 6th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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Just to clarify, the Cotswolds is an area with pretty countryside and a number of cute little towns. The houses are built of warm yellow stone. It's best seen by car.

Perhaps you ought to take a look at a guidebook or two. And, remember, they don't usually take the pictures in November. That time of year a city or town with lots of indoor attractions is a safer bet. Like, for example, Bath or Oxford. Or Paris.

Mimar is offline  
Oct 6th, 2006, 02:23 PM
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The Cotswolds are full of pretty villages and (yes) pubs, but IMO you really need a car (and nice weather) to get the best out of a trip here). There are shopping opportunities, I suppose, depending on what you want.

Bath has some very interesting places to visit - the Roman baths, the Pump Room, museums, churches etc. It's rewarding at any time of year. Lots of shopping, too.
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Oct 6th, 2006, 02:43 PM
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In November much of the UK will be damp and dark (short days setting in) although there might be a bit of autumn still hanging around here and there. It could certainly provide a nice time to find a cozy pub somewhere and settle in for some winter walks and good beer, visiting with the locals. There are far worse ways to spend a couple of travel days.

Without a car, the more attractive countryside areas (Cotswolds, East Anglia etc.) will be less than ideal for touring. Figure at least £50 a day for a car; you can reach the Cotswolds from LHR (not central London) in a couple of hours.

Round trip on Eurostar to Brussels or Paris will be around US$140 for restricted tickets, more for flexible times. One thing to note is that the price is the same to any connected Belgian station (eg Brugge) as for Brussels. If you aren't interested in Brugge, Antwerp is a fascinating old city.

I would of course point out that Easyjet from one or the other London airports to Venice, Barcelona, or Nice will be around £50-60 round trip, £80-100 for Prague, Istanbul or Athens, or many more places.
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Oct 6th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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I live in the Thames Valley and agree with the comments about the Cotsworlds and the weather. November can be very grey and damp (don't forget your umbrella).
If you want short day trips by train options include: Windsor, St Albans, Henley, Oxford, Cambridge. What about an afternoon at the horse races - there are a number of race courses close to London.

Eurostar to Paris or Bruges is quicker than going to Scotland.

What sort of thing do you like to do?
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Oct 7th, 2006, 04:51 AM
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As well as walks around London, London Walks do some day trips - a couple you may be interested in are Bath which is a truly beautiful city and Oxford/Cotswolds which gives you a wonderful taste of both places.
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Oct 10th, 2006, 06:37 AM
  #15  
JES
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Thank you for the suggestions. London Walks sounds like a good idea. Otherwise it sounds like I would be best off flying to another city like Paris, Madrid, or Prague. If I'm going to spend that on the train to Paris, I might as well see if I can get a free stopover with my flight and do it that way.

Thanks for the suggestions!
Any great suggestions on where to eat in London while I'm there? Indian is a must, but are there any must tries for a foodie? How about any of Jamie Oliver's restaurants? I hate formal formal but love amazing food in a charming or different atmosphere.
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Oct 10th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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Hello, there are a lot of things to do in and around London. You might want to look into booking a Cotswolds bus tour. You can probably find on virtual-london.com or something and find a bus tour from London to the Cotswolds, sometimes in double decker buses, and usually with guides. For example at virtual-london.com I found: Best of The Cotswolds and Blenheim Palace - from £54.00
with Golden Globe Tours---Sound like a nice day tour out of London..I've been to Blenheim Palace and it's a nice glimpse into Henry the VIII's Middle Ages. Also, Stratford Upon Avon is in the Cotswolds too if you are a Shakespere fan. Have Fun!
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Oct 10th, 2006, 02:52 PM
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Do you like antique shops? - if so, the cotswolds in november are for you. If not, paris or Bath, or any of the other places would be better. Have fun!
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Oct 10th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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If you like Indian food, there are lots of choices but Shezan is my favorite:

http://tinyurl.com/eqglz
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Oct 10th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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Blenheim Palace/Henry VIII/The Middle Ages? Three separate periods of time.
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Oct 18th, 2006, 12:53 PM
  #20  
JES
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Ok, after doing some research, I'm finding that a side trip is too expensive given I will only be able to go for a night or two.
So...I was thinking, if I do a sidetrip, I might want to stay over in the location. Maybe stay in a farmhouse in Cotswold or somewhere easier to get to by train--any advice on this type of country experience in terms of where the best place would be to go?
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