Help w/ itinerary for 8-9 days in Oct.

Old Aug 28th, 2003, 06:55 PM
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Help w/ itinerary for 8-9 days in Oct.

I know everyone hates this question, but I'm slightly lost. Planning to go to England mid-October for 1st anniversary, but only have 8-9 days. Prefer driving through the English countryside and staying in B&Bs (did this in France a few years ago and was incredible) Considering Bath, the Cotswolds (how long do you need in each?), and have no idea where else or what else to see. We would like to see Scotland, perhaps Edinburgh if possible, without spreading ourselves too thin. As far as what we are looking for... most importantly we want to have a somewhat relaxing vacation (haven't been away since our honeymoon and desperately need it!) We like to see the sites, but don't like to get caught up in them (sorry, but I don't need to see the changing of the guards, again) We prefer to feel like we are part of the culture. A museum or two is good, castles or stately homes, a little shopping (love antiques, tapestries, etc) pubs, bike rides, etc. Lastly, my husband has never been to London and I was there when I was 12 (20 years ago). Do you think we'd be missing out if we didn't spend a day or two there as well. Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Old Aug 28th, 2003, 07:02 PM
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why not concentrate on southern england?? fly into heathrow or gatwick, get a car and spend a few days in the cotswolds (a 3 hour drive, at most)...maybe 2-3 days...go over to oxford for a look around, visit shakespear down in the sw of england to devon and cornwall and return to london for a day or two...very relaxing and fun...tons of b & B's in all these areas
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Old Aug 28th, 2003, 07:10 PM
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Do either of you really want to drive in England? I plan my trips in England around the rail lines 'cause driving does not equal relaxing for me in the UK. I have a hard time crossing the street without getting in trouble.
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Old Aug 28th, 2003, 07:39 PM
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Driving is no proplem - as long as you stay out of the cities. The public transport in cities makes that unnecessary anyway.

A couple of comments off the top - you are only talking about a little over 1 week so trying to squeeze in Scotland is not really practical -- UNLESS you spend all/most of your time there.

2nd - London is probably my favorite city in the whole world - but to just go there for a day is barely worth the hassle. It is huge and takes a lot of planning to get the most out of it. In 1+ day you will barely see the area around your hotel. Because of the logistics - London is probably not a good place to go unless you can devote 3 or 4 days minimum.

I have a couple of recommendations for a relaxed trip

You could spend a few days in one place in a rented cottage. In high season cottages are only rented for full weeks - but by October a lot of agencies start short breaks. That means you can rent a cottage for 3 or 4 days. You could rent a small gottage in a Cotswold village and use it as a base to see all of the lovely villages, Oxford, some lovely gardens, lots of antiques shops, etc. you get the feeling you are living there because you shop in the local greengrocer, newsagent, pubs, bakeries and so on. By not picking up and moving every day or two you actually see more since you have a "home to come back to each evening.

Parts of the Cotswolds are less than 90 minutes from Heathrow so this is an easy journey.

Then after a few days there head south towards Bath. You could stay overnight - or just visit enroute. Bath is very walkable, but difficult to drive in so use the park and ride lot. You can see most of the main sights of Bath in a 5 hour visit.

Then head towards the south coast. Lyme regis, Dorchester, or somewhere in that area. Stay a couple of days in a B&B there would give you an entire different experience than the Cotswolds.

Then you have a coupe of days left and I would head back towards London staying in henly on Thames, Marlow on Thames or Windsor before flying out of LHR

If You are using LGW you could do the same itinerary but stay those last couple of days in East Sussex or Kent nearer gatwick.

This would be a pretty easy going trip through lovely countryside . . . .
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Old Aug 28th, 2003, 08:24 PM
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Janis made some excellent suggestions.
If you are in the Bath area, Wells is one of my favorite places - I love the cathedral there and the entire cathedral close. And the town is lovely. Glastonbury is nearby with a wonderful abbey ruin in the middle of town.
I'm glad that you like to have a car - you get to see the smaller towns that you wouldn't get to see using the train.
Have a wonderful trip. See London and Scotland on another trip. Somerset and the Cotswalds can take ALL of your available time this trip.
Have a great time!
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 07:47 AM
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Thanks so much for your input. I figured it would probably be too much to fit in Scotland. I also love the idea of renting a cottage, but perhaps on another trip - I prefer B&B's where we can meet other people, and get some suggestions from the hosts. I also like the idea of having a home base in just a couple places and venturing out. Since we have 8 nights, how does it sound nice to stay either in or around Bath for two nights, two or three nights in the Cotswolds (which area do you suggest? Chipping Campden keeps coming up, is this a good base?) My third area I'm still a little fuzzy on. I like to have diversity in the places I visit, so I like the idea of the Southeast -Kent/Sussex. Is the Lake District too far? Unfortunately, I have no idea the distances between these areas. Lastly, any suggestions on any B&B's or Inns to stay. When we stayed in France they had table d'hote, and was great to sit and eat with people from all over and share stories with our hosts. Any places that you know of that are similar?
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Old Oct 4th, 2003, 06:58 AM
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I may be too late but if you are looking for a good B and B for West Kent then Church Gates in Cranbrook ( should charm you and it is very near fabulous Sissinghurst Garden- you should just about catch its last openings in October (check with National Trust). Like your french B and B, breakfast is served round a huge oak table with the other guests, so you would enjoy that. Its only a little place with two or three rooms though and I am not sure how busy it would be at that time of year (probably quiet I imagine). Lots of other attractions too - check out my earlier UK posting today for more info. I wouldn't travel too far in 8-9 days.I would stick to say three main locations to avoid losing precious days just travelling - so I'd say London, Oxford and Kent would give you a good taster - leave the Lakes and Scotland for another trip perhaps or you would spend two days just driving!
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