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RLC3 Feb 12th, 2011 04:18 PM

Help with two days from Edinburgh to London
Hi - we will be spending a week in Edinburgh at the end of March and are considering taking the train from Edinburgh (once our week is finished) to London for a very quick two day visit before we fly back to the states. Here is the crazy or hard part. We would like to leave on Friday morning and perhaps make a quick visit to York on the way? Or this, which would take a bit of work, Bosworth Field. Then find an inexpensive hotel for two nights near Heathrow - allowing for us to take the train into London for Saturday.
Could this be possible? York? Bosworth? Or even Middleham Castle?

Thank you for all your help!!!

janisj Feb 12th, 2011 09:18 PM

Middleham Castle is in the Dales and not an easy place to visit by public transport unless you have several days to account for buses/etc.

Bosworth Field between Leicester and Coventry and again not that easy to do by public transport on a short visit (But it isn't even where it was thought to be for centuries. New archeology has discovered the actual site is a mile or two away)

York is an east stop between Edinburgh and London. The other two -- not somuch.

Now, do you have a total of 2 days? Or is it 4 days - 2 for the trip south and 2 in London? Whichever it is, staying at LHR as a base for seeing London makes no sense. If you want to see things in London, stay in London. One night at LHR before a very early morning flight can make some sense. Otherwise -- it is almost always best to stay in the city.

jamikins Feb 13th, 2011 01:22 AM

Agree with janisj above, especially about staying at Heathrow! It really makes little sense other than before an early morning flight. Even then I would still use a car service.

I would personally skip an additional place with 2 days (I am assuming you have a travel day, two days in London, then you leave the following day - if not, this really isnt worth it for the hassel in my opinion) as there are so many things to see in London I would rather spend time there and not worry about rushing around, making the trains etc.

RLC3 Feb 13th, 2011 04:35 AM

Thank you for all your help. Will look more closely to try to determine a better itinerary. Would really like to stop at Bosworth Field, understand new site was dicovered in 2009 - are people able to visit that particular place?
We have been to London before, and love it.

jamikins Feb 13th, 2011 05:06 AM

Here's the info for visting:

Looks like you would need to take a train to Leicester then a bus to Markey Bosworth and then a taxi or walk 3 miles south.

spaarne Feb 13th, 2011 08:02 AM

I recommend jumping the train at York for a visit to the Minster at least.

flanneruk Feb 13th, 2011 10:36 PM

I don't know whether this is something you're all too familiar with already, but...

Are you really sure you want to invest a large proportion of your travelling time to a battlefield?

Britain is stuffed with historic battlefields, or at any rate with locations long assumed to be battlefields. From Boadicea's last stand (for centuries thought to have been Battle Bridge, near Kings Cross station), through the Hastings and War of the Roses/Civil War/ Stuart treason sites to memorials for the Battle of the Atlantic: you practically can't move for them.

Now Britain's small and densely populated. So these battlefields ALL moved back to productive use within days of the bodies being buried. What you see now is - for the rural battles - exactly the same farmland as everywhere else in the area. Hedges, crops, grazing land: the plants, animals and humans treat the site in absolutely the same way as any other piece of land. You'll often (but not always) find a small plaque, and possibly a small "explanatory" (or myth-repeating) board. At what was once thought to be the Bosworth site, you'll find a small newish Heritage Centre, describing (when I was there last) the state of learned opinion about the battle as it stood 30 years or so ago. You'll usually be able to access as much (or as little) of the field as any other English field: the likelihood is there's be a footpath across bits - but that likelihood is no greater than any randomly chosen patch of countryside. And that's it.

Bosworth, Edge Hill, Hastings: they've all evolved since the battle in the same way as everywhere else: the landscape simply won't be the same landscape the combattants had to deal with. Even if we knew where any of them were anyway.

There's a bit more of a fuss made about Culloden. But otherwise, all these sites are difficult for a non-expert to interpret, and staggeringly unimpressive to look at.

Now you might just want to look at where something happened. But you'll learn far more about Henry and Richard by sitting through a production of Richard III you've not seen before, or visiting any of the hundreds of institutions and sites all over England that owe their existence to Henry.

In your case, this matters a lot. First: the "significnce" of Bosworth was largely invented by sycophantic courtiers of Henry's grand-daughter.

More importantly: getting to the Bosworth heritage centre from Edinburgh's a real pain. Not just changing trains to get to Leicester, but then organising for a taxi to come out and collect you to take you back to Market Bosworth to get a bus to get a train: you're going to be very pushed to do Edinburgh- Heritage Centre - London in a day.

And that's without the complications of navigating yourself on foot to the currently agreed spot, or to Dadlington church. You really need a decent map for this: OS232, or better yet a bespoke map, centred on Market Bosworth, from the OS Select service (

Now for students of the Tudors' genius in inventing romantic twaddle about how they came to be in charge, a day's pottering on foot round Ambion Hill with a bespoke map could be terrific fun: but you'd really need to spend the nights before and after in a local pub or B&B.

To combine seeing what people of the era produced with sensing what the Tudors did, though, just buy an off peak flexible ticket from Edinburgh to London, and get off at Durham, York and Peterborough. Within a couple of hundred yards' walk of each of these stations lies one of our spectacular medieval cathedrals - each fundamentally transformed by something or other Henry's son or grandchildren did. Peterborough, in particular, became the buying place for two of the most spectacular casualties of the Tudors' neurosis about protecting their hold on the throne. Far easier to handle than the complicated circular tour of Middle England you need to set up for seeing Bosworth.

RLC3 Feb 14th, 2011 04:29 AM

Hi - all this has really helped, and we are working on our itinerary with the above advice!!
Members of the Richard III society, enjoy the revisionist lit..., that being said, still enjoy the Tudor stuff as well.
Thanks for the history part.
Wish we had an additional week!

spaarne Feb 14th, 2011 07:47 AM


With your interest in history (very nice write up by the way) you would probably be interested in a book titled *Where Troy Once Stood: The Mystery of Homer's Iliad & Odyssey Revealed*. The author, Iman Wilkins, postulates that the Trojan War took place outside Cambridge at an area called the Gog Magog. It is a fascinating read. The Gog Magog is now a golf course.

RLC3 Feb 16th, 2011 04:18 PM

Hi - just wanted to say thank you to everyone!! We are going to spend the extra days in Scotland, and plan our next trip to England. When we do, we will take Flanneruk's advice and have "a day pottering on foot round Ambion Hill" as that does sound like great fun!!! As does York, and would love to see Bosworth Field, just because......
Thank you again - great stuff - really very nice.

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