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help planning my itinerary in and around London

help planning my itinerary in and around London

May 8th, 2001, 07:47 PM
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help planning my itinerary in and around London


I need help planning my itinerary... I will arrive in Gatwick on a Saturday at lunch time and I already booked the Arran House Hotel for 7 nights (near the British Museum in London) (I will be in England for 8 days (9 nights). The first 2 nights are not booked yet and I will buy a SouthEast train pass for 3 or 4 days (still have to decide).

I would like to visit Bath, Stonehenge, Oxford, Canterbury, Windsor Castle and maybe Cambridge and of course London.

Should I reserve the 2 first nights at the same hotel in London or should I reserve elsewhere?

If you have visited these places, I would like to hear from you.


P.S. I'm a quick visitor; took me 2 days to visit Rome
May 9th, 2001, 11:39 AM
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Only 2 days in Rome? Wow!
Can't answer your ?? about where to book, that would really be up to you after you decide what you want to do. To give you some information on which to base a decision, though:
Bath and Stonehenge are a one-day trip from London--I recommend a tour which can be arranged through your hotel. Oxford is another day. Canterbury is in the opposite direction and would be a whole-day-trip. Cambridge is 90 degrees off from any of them, so must be another day. Windsor Castle is a day trip from London. Other than Bath/Stonehenge, it would be difficult to combine any of them, though you could do Bath/Stonehenge/Oxford on an overnight, staying in Oxford. (By the way, the SouthEast train pass, I believe, will only afford you access to Canterbury (from those on your list), though I may be wrong on that, never having used rail passes. Unless you plan to use it to go other places, I would recommend skipping the pass and buying point-to-point tickets.) If you go to all of these places, you have used five days of your eight in England, leaving only three in London--far too little in my opinion for such a marvelous city. Please e-mail me with any questions you still have after having digested this information. I'll be happy to help.
May 10th, 2001, 04:05 AM
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A Britrail Southeast Pass should be valid for all of the locations you listed EXCEPT Bath.

I would suggest going to either Oxford or Cambridge, but not both on this trip. I prefer Cambridge, but Oxford is more convenient for most of the other places you've mentioned. Travel time from London is not significantly different.

Canterbury and Dover can easily be done together as a day-trip from London using a Britrail SE pass. While the town of Dover is nothing to rave about, the castle is very impressive. Since Dover is quite hilly, this is one town where I felt the Guide Friday hop-on/hop-off tour was money well spent. An easy way to see the town, visit the castle, and you get at least a glimpse of the White Cliffs (unfortunately best seen from offshore).

If you visit Stonehenge, I would suggest also spending a few hours in Salisbury. Unless you go with a tour, the normal route is London-Salisbury by train, then bus to Stonehenge. Salisbury has one of the world's most beautiful cathedrals, and the town is also very pleasant.

It is probably more economical to buy a day return ticket to Windsor, rather than waste one day of a railpass, since it is so close to London.
May 10th, 2001, 05:08 AM
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Good advice above and I must agree that 3 days in London is hardly enough. I simply don't see how you could even get to see all the things there must less "tour" them....Just an opinion though.
May 18th, 2001, 10:16 PM
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Thanks to all,

I decided to take a 3 day SE pass and use it to visit Oxford, Canterbury and Stonehenge/Bath (train to Salisbury then bus or another train from there to Bath)

I will buy a return ticket for Windsor (cheaper then an extra day on the SE pass)

the other 5 days will be devoted to London which should give me ample time to visit this grand city!
May 19th, 2001, 04:16 AM
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I would suggest doing some research about getting from Salisbury to Bath. A bus journey (if such a bus route exists) would take up quite alot of your precious time. A direct train connection may not exist either, and if you have to take more than one train this could also take up alot of your time. I would suggest going direct to Bath from London, which would be an easy train ride, and finding other ways to reach Stonehenge, perhaps on a different day. Although these places are, theoretically, in the same part of the country, transport between them may not always be easy. Why not consider staying one night in Bath, then travelling to Stonehenge from there, before returning directly to London?
Jul 14th, 2001, 08:27 PM
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I went to Bath & Stonehenge as planned. We went to Salisbury and took a bus to Stonehenge (takes about 40 minutes each way) then from Salisbury to Bath by bus. This was a mistake. We should have bought a train ticket for the journey to Bath from Salisbury. The bus ride took 2 hours each way so we ended up with only 2 hours to visit Bath which is a lovely city. The last bus to return to Salisbury was at 4:20pm

If we had bought the train ticket in Salibury it would have cost us 10,70pnd for a return ticket but once in Bath, a one way train ticket to Salisbury from was 10 pnds!

The bus ride was interresting though.
Jul 14th, 2001, 10:19 PM
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L - In answer to the query about all nights in one hotel, I would advise basing yourself at one hotel. The Russell Square area is an area with lots of students and tourists, the square is very pretty with other smaller parks nearby, there are 2 or 3 tube stations in area, so its easy to get around, and King's Cross is even within walking distance.
I'd also suggest another nice trip outside of town to Leeds Castle. Not a major attraction, but lovely, as are the grounds surrounding it. Have a wonderful time.
Jul 15th, 2001, 05:10 AM
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Arriving in Gatwick gives you a great opportunity to plan things less frantically. East Sussex and Kent - the area around Gatwick - has hundreds of wonderful things to see/do. besides Dover and Canterbury already mentioned, there are Penshurst Place, Chartwell, Walmer, Sissinghurst, Rye, Leeds castle, Hever, etc, etc.

On a short visit it not such a good idea to travel so far and so many places since a larger proportion of your valuable time will be spent just getting from point A to B. So an efficient use of your time would be to stay 2 nights near Gatwick to tour around that area, and the rest of the time in London with one guided day tour of Stonehenge and Bath.
Jul 15th, 2001, 11:25 AM
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Read the posting three up from this one. She already came back.
Jul 15th, 2001, 01:47 PM
Posts: n/a
Oops - on my browser one can't read the e-mail address and I didn't notice the "L". But my suggestions would serve anyone flying in to/out of Gatwick.
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