Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Ideas for a Mother-Daughter UK Trip
Notices

Ideas for a Mother-Daughter UK Trip

Reply

Apr 20th, 2014, 06:57 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 16
Ideas for a Mother-Daughter UK Trip

Hi there

My mother and I are planning a 5-9 day trip to the UK. We don't have a time chosen yet, but we do know there are a couple must see's for the both of us. This is something that we are not likely going to be able to schedule again, so we would like to make the most of it. That being the case, we're looking for some advice as to what city to fly into, where to base out of, what season to aim for, and any advice of things to see / do if it happens to be on the way.

A couple musts are as follows: Scottish castle (doesn't matter which), Isle of Man, Stonehenge/Avebury, Bath or other town with Roman ruins

Our preferences: We would like to avoid basing our trip out of London. A B&B is fine for us. We would most likely not be renting a car. Historical things are high on the list. We are on a moderate budget.

We are in the very beginning stages of the planning process, and are trying to get a firmer idea of what makes sense and what does not.

Thank you for any insight!
Rhaethe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 20th, 2014, 09:34 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,876
You are trying something quite ambitious for such a short visit.

5 days would be impossible - and 9 will be hectic. Especially if you mean 9 days total (which only leaves 6.5 days free for touring.

For the Isle of Man, you'd either have to ferry in from Liverpool or fly from London, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow or a few other places.

Scotland/the IoM, Bath/Stonehenge/Avebury are all in different directions so you would be hopping around like mad. This really isn't a one-ish week trip.

You could fly into GLA see a castle or two in a couple of days, fly to the IoM, ferry to Liverpool, take a train to Bath (about 4 hours w/ 2 changes). There is a tour company (Mad Max) that does good day trips to Stonehenge/Avebury. Coach to LHR - fly home.

But doing all this in your short timeframe will be quite a trek.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 20th, 2014, 09:35 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,876
You are trying something quite ambitious for such a short visit.

5 days would be impossible - and 9 will be hectic. Especially if you mean 9 days total (which only leaves 6.5 days free for touring.

For the Isle of Man, you'd either have to ferry in from Liverpool or fly from London, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow or a few other places.

Scotland/the IoM, Bath/Stonehenge/Avebury are all in different directions so you would be hopping around like mad. This really isn't a one-ish week trip.

You could fly into GLA see a castle or two in a couple of days, fly to the IoM, ferry to Liverpool, take a train to Bath (about 4 hours w/ 2 changes). There is a tour company (Mad Max) that does good day trips to Stonehenge/Avebury. Coach to LHR - fly home.

But doing all this in your short timeframe will be quite a trek.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 20th, 2014, 09:36 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,876
sorry for the double post -- the site locked up and it posted twice
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 20th, 2014, 09:50 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,943
I agree with janisj. Your itinerary is all over the place and with a very limited time frame almost impossible. At the very least it is extremely hectic. Bath, Stonehenge and Avebury would be very doable. Why a Scottish castle? I love Scotland, but England has some very nice castles too. Is there a particular reason for Isle of Man? An interesting place certainly, but it wouldn't be at the top of my list, so I'm assuming you do have a reason for visiting.
historytraveler is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 01:07 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,056
If you are a beginner at castles, an English one is more likely to be what you are imagining, although you could fit in a night in Edinburgh by rail. The fares will bump up the budget considerably however, unless you are lucky and get a good advance deal.
tarquin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 02:03 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,502
Living in the North west of England, we used to go to the Isle of Man on the ferry as kids. It offers the Laxey Wheel, the Electric Railway, the TT course and....oh...let me think now.... um. Nope, that's it.

Unless you're after family connections it doesn't make sense to go there, especially on such a short trip.
Rubicund is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 02:14 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,282
Not so long ago the Isle of Man carried out birching as punishment.

http://www.corpun.com/manx.htm

Nowadays, you have to pay a lot for that in some clubs in London.
sofarsogood is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:17 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50,350
sofarsogood - possibly that's not what the OP had in mind!

Rhaethe - there are of course castles in England, from the grandeur of Windsor to wrecks like Kenilworth, with everything else in between. Why a Scottish castle particularly?

if we drop the Scottish and IoMan elements, you could do a very nice tour out of London to Stonehenge, Salisbury, Bath, [or Cirencester, which also has roman remains] and Arundel which has a castle. I'm sure that janisj can think of more variations on these theme.

with a few days in London, that would make a very satisfactory trip.

if it has to be Scotland, fly to Edinburgh immediately on arrival in the UK, then fly back to Bristol, get the train to Bath, and thence to London. [you might even get a tour to take you back to London via Stonehenge or you could drive]. but that would be quite rushed.

in travel, as in life, there have to be compromises!
annhig is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:39 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,067
I would suggest staying in Salisbury as a base for visiting Bath and Stonehenge/Avebury. It's a lovely city in its own right. You should spend three nights there to be able to take two separate day trips from there.

If you take the overnight train to Edinburgh, as suggested above, you could visit Stirling castle, fairly near Edinburgh. There are day tours there from Edinburgh, but I don't know if the train gets in early enough to make the tour departure. It's a castle with a lot of history, at least.

Some people can't sleep on trains, so you might be totally destroyed after two successive nights on an overnight train. Flying to Edinburgh wouldn't save you any time, because you'd have to spend at least one night in Edinburgh, maybe two, unless you want to take the overnight train back to London. Anyway, there go five nights of your trip. I don't know if you'd be able to squeeze in the Isle of Man, nor do I know if it would be worth it.
bvlenci is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 04:02 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,855
Well, while I see this tour as difficult you can certainly fly from IOM to Glasgow, Bristol and Manchester. So theoretically you could fly into say Glasgow or Heathrow, use a train between Bristol, Sallisbury and Heathrow. Glasgow to Edinburgh is an easy train journey. If you want to do more research on this use http://www.skyscanner.net/cheap-flights-map http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ and http://www.transportdirect.info/Web2...epeatingloop=Y
bilboburgler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 01:28 PM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 16
Thank you so much for the replies thus far

Our Must Sees, as they are originally, is a combination of what my mother really wants to see, and what I really want to see. Any Roman ruins will do just fine for me, and any henge or stone monument will do as well. I have visited Wales before and done a self-tour of many of the castles there in the north part. My mother was specific on the Scottish bit. I will be talking to her tonight to find out if the castles *must* be from Scotland, or if others will do.

We started this all out with me asking her what countries she wanted to visit, why, and what specifically she wants to see there. She was not able to give a reason for Scotland other than "history and castles". She also was specific on Stonehenge as for the reason for England.

Ideally, if my mother simply wishes to see castles and henges, my thought is to fly into Manchester and visit Chester (Roman ruins and medieval history), Isle of Man (henges and history), and any castle(s) that are in the area. This I think would be far more feasible for five to nine days. Or at least it looks like it, from looking at a map
Rhaethe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 01:34 PM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 16
Oh, and the Isle of Man was my "must see". It doesn't have classic tourism bits, but it has always fascinated me as a matter of beauty, history, and henges. Lots of ancient history there, and as it isn't in the standard "tourism set", less crowds. Or at least I hope so.
Rhaethe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 02:19 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,695
Plus the Isle of Man has those tail-less Manx cats!

http://www.manx.com/
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:15 PM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 16
LOL! Indeed

So, I just got off the phone with my mother, and we got our Must See's clarified a bit. Neolithic monuments, castle(s), Roman bits, medieval bits. Preference is nothing horribly crowded. No fixed location. We'll take 7 days for the entire trip, and at some point do a day trip into London to do The Tower and Harrods.
Rhaethe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:26 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,876
7 days is nothing

That gives you just a bit over 4 days free 'on the ground'. Something has to give. And it would probably have to be the Isle of Man. And basing somewhere other than London really makes things difficult since 1) you want to use public transport and 2) want to spend a day in London.

There are MANY castles easily accessible from London including Dover, Windsor, Arundel, Warwick . . . and the best of all - the Tower of London.

Roman remains -- Bath is tops - also easily reachable from London. Stonehenge/Avebury -- accessible from either London or Bath (Mad Max from Bath mentioned above).

So for practicality - you need to base in either London or possibly Bath and forget about Scotland and the IoM.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:48 PM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 16
Yes, once we compared notes on reading we'd done in the past day, IoM was shifted out of the picture simply due to practicality reasons. As long as we can get Neolithic bits, Roman bits, castle bits, the Tower and Harrods done in 7 days, wherever the "bits" may be located, we're good.

The concern she had with Stonehenge was that she wanted to be able to get relatively close to whatever neolithic "old stone" we were viewing, and she had read that Stonehenge was kept roped off to a great distance. I am not sure as to the accuracy of what she'd read.

We really wanted to base outside of London if possible, due to the expense. We have both read that the expense of lodging in London was astronomical in comparison to outside London. If that is not the case, that certainly changes things
Rhaethe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 03:56 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,876
>>she had read that Stonehenge was kept roped off to a great distance<<

There is a rope -- it does not keep you at a 'great distance'. It varies from very close to farther away as you walk around the pathway.

>>We really wanted to base outside of London if possible, due to the expense. We have both read that the expense of lodging in London was astronomical in comparison to outside London. <<

But if you base outside of London the transport is less convenient and costs more. Sure, there are cheaper places to stay - but Bath is not one of them. And anywhere else (other than Bath or London) will be less convenient to get around. Some small village w/ an inexpensive B&B - won't have train or bus connections.

What is your accommodations budget?
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 04:31 PM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 16
You make good points about transportation.

Our accommodations budget we hope to keep at 100 US dollars a night or less. But I have not even checked any hotel / bnb / or any other such sites yet to even see if that is remotely feasible.
Rhaethe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2014, 04:54 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,876
$100 is less than £60 -- That is (barely) doable but pretty low even in rural B&Bs. You are talking slightly less than £30 pp for a bed/bath and full cooked English Breakfast. Where could you get that for $50 at home? I've stayed in £30-ish B&Bs but that is about rock bottom for anyplace decent and moderate B&Bs usually run about £35-£40pp.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:30 PM.