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HELP, Please -- South Wales/ SW England


Apr 23rd, 2013, 02:49 AM
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HELP, Please -- South Wales/ SW England

Hi All --

Planning a four-day road-trip from London with my mom and sister in early June to south Wales and SW England. My mother really wants to go to Wales and my sister and I are open for whatever - looking for scenic drives, picturesque towns to stroll through, maybe a few castles or stately homes to explore and wouldn't mind an activity or two (boat ride, hike, cooking class, etc.). My initial thought was to head to Cardiff (via Cotswolds), then down to Devon then drive along the south coast to West Sussex/Brighton area then back to London. Thoughts? Specifics suggestions of places to stop/eat/sleep? Ideas of things to do? Other recommendations of where to go? Any and all advice welcomed.

Thank you!
CieloJ is offline  
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 04:00 AM
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Forget about coastal drives in southern England. While much of the coast between Devon and Weymouth is fine (and quite a bit very fine indeed), there's no real coast road and you can easily take four days driving to the sea and back again to the road in Devon alone.

More importantly, it would probably take four days to drive along the coast from Bournemouth to Brighton, only no-one knows for sure because the last person to try it died of apoplexy on seeing how horrid the endless suburban sprawl is. There are intermittent nicenesses (though not that many): but generally it's the kind of landscape desecration we see elsewhere and thank God we don't allow in Britain.

Assume at the very most a circular journey through the Cotswolds to not much further west than the Mumbles, down to Brixham, east to Weymouth and the Jurassic Coast then back to London via Salisbury and Stonehenge.

Then halve it, and possibly halve it again. Forget Cardiff unless you've got a real reason for visiting it. The guff on its website telling you how wonderful it is isn't a real reason: just an adperson doing his (or her) job
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 05:44 AM
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my mother is very keen on going to wales... simply because it is wales, but doesn't have to be cardiff. so you would recommend the mumbles?

do you think more doable would be cotswolds, mumbles, devon, weymouth?

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Apr 23rd, 2013, 05:44 AM
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Wow, that's quit a round trip for 4 days, taking in Wales and a huge swath of the South of England.

If your Mum is fixated on Wales, how about heading to Pembrokeshire which has the most wonderful coastline, and castles a plenty. Perhaps stay in Tenby and use it as a base. Pembrokeshire also has loads of water-based activities – boat rides, coasteering. For instance, you can take a boat ride to visit the island monastery of Coney Island. You can also visit the nation's smallest cathedral city of St David's, home to Wales' patron saint, then there's Narberth, which is a pretty foodie village, and Pembroke, complete with the castle where Henry VII was born.

I would skip Cardiff, unless you're a Dr Who obsessive. And with the drive from London to Pembrokeshire hitting the 5-6 hour mark, just there and back won't leave you with excess time on your hands.
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 05:47 AM
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Did I say Coney Island. CALDEY Island. Much more serene ;-)
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 06:35 AM
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You are trying to fit a lot into a short time, I suggest do a couple of days of Wales and couple of days of say Wiltshire/Dorset and even this will be rushed. Does Mum have a bit of Wales she wants to see? If not you could just follow the M4 to Bristol, cross the bridge and head north west into the countryside.

Doing the whole Wiltshire/Dorset thing you could look at Bath, Jurassic Coast (a marketing name but very pleasant) ending in Lulworth cove, Dorchester and the odd Iron Age fort, Blandford then Salisbury/Stonehenge and back to London
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Jul 2nd, 2013, 04:20 AM
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Flanner says-
"Forget Cardiff unless you've got a real reason for visiting it. The guff on its website telling you how wonderful it is isn't a real reason: just an adperson doing his (or her) job"

Perhaps Flanner could tell us when he last visited Cardiff and how long he stayed?

Cardiff is a growing capital city. It is blessed with a fantastic castle right in the centre of the city, The civic centre houses the National Museum of Wales, that has free entry and plenty to see, from the coal mining heritage to the Romans.

For sport lovers, Cardiff has the Millennium Stadium, the home of Welsh Rugby, A premiership football team in Cardiff City, it has the Swalec stadium in Sophia Gardens, the home of Glamorgan Cricket club and venue of various England games, including Ashes competition.

For music and Theatre, Cardiff has the Millennium Centre a modern day opera house and theatre, St David's Hall, New Theatre, Centre point Arena, with the Millennium stadium home for concerts such as Paul McCartney, Madonna, Take That and the Eagles.

The new Cardiff bay area, does house the new Dr Who exhibition, but strangely that is not all. The BBC have recently opened their Studios where many of their flagship drama programs are made.

Cardiff bay is also the home of the Sennedd, the National Assembly for Wales, which can be visited and the Assembly Ministers debates can be listened to or viewed.
'The bay' as we call it also has great restaurants, cafe's and bars.
Close to the castle in the city centre there are lovely old arcades full of little Dickensian style shops, the central indoor Market where real Cardiffians can be seen
simply an abundance of shopping opportunities, restaurants and hotels.

Of course this is just a snippet of the wonderful city that Flanner hasn't been to. I encourage you to visit and make your own mind up,

Diolch Yn Fawr

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