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Inexpensive one month trip to the UK and hopefully France

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Oct 21st, 2015, 11:08 AM
  #1
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Inexpensive one month trip to the UK and hopefully France

My friend and I want to travel for one month after university is finished before starting to work. Needless to say we are hoping to travel relatively cheap and so are hoping to stay in hostiles or apartments. We really want to travel in England, Scotland, Ireland and maybe Wales. If we have time we'd love to do France and Germany but I know thats probably too much so we would consider dropping both of those. We want to see the main highlights in each country. For example in Scotland we really want to go to the highlands and Edinburgh. Any suggestions for how long to stay in each country or which sites are best to see? Thanks so much for any help
Knight92 is offline  
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Oct 21st, 2015, 11:21 AM
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With just one month you may want to focus on either UK or France or Germany. Indeed, you may want to focus on England and Scotland only, or England and Wales only. There are many decent hostels or cheapish BandBs in the UK.
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Oct 21st, 2015, 11:43 AM
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Competition is, I believe a factor when booking inexpensive accommodations. I think the prices on Airbnb remain low in places where there are a number of listings and, in my experience, can be an excellent value. And given hostels charge per person and most Airbnb listings are on a room-per-night basis, the cost can be similar. I've found that even good hostels can be a bit grubby and worn around the edges, whereas a room in a home will likely have less traffic.

Also consider hospitalityclub.org for free rooms in local homes. Free to join, by looking carefully at the profiles, what they offer visitors and reading between the lines, I've found several places to stay in the UK that I enjoyed very much. It takes a while to be vetted by the site sometimes, run by volunteers, so sign up early on in your research if it interests you.
MmePerdu is offline  
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Oct 21st, 2015, 11:55 AM
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Which month? Note August, you need to book Edinburgh hotels now for 2016
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Oct 21st, 2015, 12:21 PM
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This summer, my between-grad-and-post-grad daughter and her friend took an overnight bus from London to Amsterdam for I think £16 one way. You can also catch a bus to Paris, which I think might be kind of fun, not to mention lots cheaper than the Eurostar. The bus goes either by tunnel or on a ferry. Several lines, including Megabus.

They also had great luck with couchsurfing, and as two young women were careful (at least that's what she tells her old Ma) with reviews, in London and other cities. Might be worth a shot.

There are London hostels north of Kensington Gardens, too, where she stayed before her friend joined her. Cheap, and she thought they were just fine, breakfasts included. But preferred her couchsurfing experiences, and socializes with those hosts now that she's back living in London.
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Oct 21st, 2015, 01:16 PM
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I think one month is enough time to visit those countries if you limit where you go, of course, why not. You say you just have two wishes in Scotland, very reasonable. I never have that amount of time for vacation, and I usually visit 2 countries in 10-14 days, so why not. I'd suggest you limit it to Scotland, UK and France, however, don't throw in Germany which is farther away.
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Oct 21st, 2015, 02:30 PM
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I wouldn't stay with hostiles. Stay with someone who wants you around. Like a hostel.

;-)
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Oct 21st, 2015, 02:50 PM
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Yes you cannot visit all on your wish list in one month - oh you could but you'd be on the train or bus or in a car all day just to get to them all.

Save Ireland for another trip and this could be possible:

1.5 weeks - England and Wales - London and some day trips like to Stonehenge or Cambridge or Oxford, etc. take train to Bath, one of the prettiest cities in England - spend a few days in North Wales - Llandudno has a ton of cheap B&Bs - lots of nice day trips from there

.5 week in Edinburgh with some day trips

Fly to Germany - 1 week in Germany

Train to Paris - 1 week with day trips to say Chartres, Normandy D-Day beaches or Reims (great cathedral and Champange House tours.

Fly home from London

Trains are great in the U.K. and go everywhere - if under 26 you may want to look into a BritRail Youthpass for hop on any train anytime travel or book discounted tickets at www.nationalrail.co.uk or check out the National Express bus network, which also has a pass that is very very cheap and buses go everywhere too.

In Germany take the train - maybe fly into Cologne and head to the Rhine/Mosel area and Heidelberg - a famous student town with renown student inns and one of the few cities in Germany untouched nearly by WW2 - head to Basel, Switzerland a nice town but the best city from southern Germany to take direct trains to Paris - high-speed TGVs going up to nearly 200 mph!

For lots of info on planning a rail trip check www.ricksteves.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (check out their free online European Planning & Rail Guide that gives suggestions for where to go by rail in each country) and www.seat61.com - great info on discounted tickets that you can also book for trains in Germany or France.
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Oct 22nd, 2015, 02:14 AM
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You are young and have lots of time ahead of you to visit all these countries again.

A lot depends on whether you want a whistle stop tour giving you a taster Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Germany and France or whether you want to spend more time in each. Personally I would drop France and Germany. Both are large countries with a lot to see and do.

Start off with London. London alone needs several days to do it justice. Many places can be done as day visits from London (Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, canterbury Cathedral, Stonehenge...) which is rapidly taking up a week.

Between London and Edinburgh you may want to break journey in York for a couple of days (Minster, museums, medieval walled city) or Durham (World Heritage Site with cathedral and castle and university).

If you are wanting to visit Edinburgh and go to the Highlands, you need to allow a week for this.

Then head back to Wales. Llandudno is an excellent choice for North Wales as it is close to Conwy (walled town with castle). There is also Caernarfon, another walled town with castle or across on Anglesey is Beaumaris Castle. Snowdonia with its magnificent scenery is close by. On the way there, you may want to visit Liverpool for the Beetles culture or Chester, another walled town with a lot of black and white houses and cathedral.

If you want to see more of Wales, head to Cardiff again with castle, museums and close by the fairy tale Castell Coch.

All this is rapidly filling up your month.

If you decide on Ireland then miss out Cardiff and from Llandudno catch the train to Holyhead and get a ferry to Dublin from there.

Spend a few days in Dublin (do a day trip to Newgrange, another World Heritage Site and a 5000 year old stone passage tomb and also Glendalough, a mystical early Christian site). Then head to Galway City for the rest of the stay.
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Oct 22nd, 2015, 09:53 AM
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The Highlands are best seen by car. However, there are small group trips leaving from Edinburgh offered by Rabbies and Timberbush.

As bilbo noted above, Edinburgh in August is the International Arts Festival, a very popular event, for which the hotels, etc., book up way early, even at inflated prices. So, much as you might enjoy the Festival, you might want to avoid Edinburgh during this time period.

Edinburgh can be seen from Glasgow (one hour on the train) and there are Highland tours leaving from there also.
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Oct 23rd, 2015, 11:31 AM
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From Edinburgh be sure to day trip by train or bus to Stirling and its lovely castle - out of Braveheart days - a national patrimony thing - big battle site outside of town.

And as I mentioned before St Andrews- a lovely old town with a famous college and awesome seafront with some ruins on it and of course the Old Course where golf began I guess (not sure about that but the most famous golf course in the world I'd say.)
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