Information, please

Sep 9th, 2008, 12:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 42
Information, please


Husband and I are just starting to plan for a trip to England next May.
We have no set dates or plans as of yet, these are questions to start the process.

We will be flying into Manchester and will have 16 days to spend.

Are there any major holiday, school holidays or are schools getting out in May. Anything that might cause us problems?

Are we correct that this will be spring and the tempatures should be mild? Not too much rain?

We love forests and natural sites. Gardens and museums. Castles, ruins and small villages.

Large towns and cities and overly touristy areas, not so much. Of course that being said, we would like to spend a few days in London.

We expect to rent a car and move about. We tend to cover quite a bit of ground on our trips. We enjoy driving and the freedom it gives us. Although we will take public transport while in London.

Any advice or comments will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
beazor is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 426
There is a may bank holiday that usually falls on the same day as memorial day. That Monday many things are shut down. Many schools have half term that week as well. Temperatures should be mild, but last year we got a ton of rain that week. You cant base travel plans to london on rain, if you do, you will never make it here.

ellene is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 12:46 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
About the only things that will be closed on the last Monday in May will be banks, post offices & government departments. Everything else will be open

BUT the whole of that week is a school holiday in England

As for rain - this is the UK, it rains, deal with it

alanRow is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,091
ditto what ellene said.

The half term break in May 2009 is May 25-29, so expect lots of family traveling with kids during that week and the weekends before/after.

I was in London/S UK this past May (during the term break), and it was freezing cold and rainy on that Bank Holiday Monday.

With a 16-day trip, you need to expect at least a couple of days of rain.
yk is online now  
Sep 9th, 2008, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,008
You can't count on anything weatherwise in Europe.

We are planning the same type of trip for 3 wks but are leaving in April 2009.

We will fly into Manchester, spend a couple of days in Shrewsbury, a few days in Northern Wales based in Conwy, a couple of days in the Lake District based in Keswick, a couple of days in Yorkshire and the rest of the time will be spent in Scotland.
bettyk is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 03:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,707
All other things being equal, I'd opt for July or August for a better prospect of fair weather. You're more likely to get extended rainy spells in the spring and only intermittent showers in the summer.

Flying into Manchester is a good idea and bettyk's itinerary is a good one except, in your case, I'd save Scotland for another trip. Yorkshire too. These are areas too distant and large to cover. Substitute the Cotswolds and the Peak District.

There are many, many interesting sites in the Midlands and the Welsh Borders. You'll easily fill your two weeks' time there.
TuckH is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 12:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 42
Thank you all.
Now I have a better place to start.
We will schedule the trip earlier in May.
We don't mind rain really. We usually travel in spring by choice, less crowds and milder weather. Just wanted opinions as to how much rain we might get.
We had been thinking of adding Scottland but already figured out that was too much.

So, now more questions.
We enjoy traveling without reservation. So we can stay in a place that captures our heart or move on if it doesn't. Will we have any problems that time of year finding lodging? We would be looking for moderate prices. Not on a budget but we tend to be frugal.

I will research the areas that BettyK mentions.

TuckH- Can you give me any more info about the Midlands and Welsh Border areas.

Thanks to all. We're open for any and all suggestions as to where to go, stay and eat.

beazor is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,707
beazor, I'll name a few off the top of my head...

Great Budworth, Little Moreton Hall, Chester, Llangollen, Chirk Castle, Valle Crucis, Powis Castle + Garden, Hodnet Hall Garden, Shrewsbury, Clun Castle, Much Wenlock, Iron Bridge, Ludlow + Castle, Stokesay Castle, Pembridge, Hereford, Hergest Croft Gardens, Hay-on-Wye, Tintern Abbey...

(Once I got going - more than 'a few'.)
TuckH is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,380
Hi Beazor,

May [outside the bank hols] would be a great time to visit the lake district. long days, fewer people, not too hot for walking - perfect. it has everything you are looking for and if you get away from the main centres, you soon lose the tourists. there is loads of accommodation - lots of B&Bs.

it's also a wnderful time to see the places mentioned by everyone else. AND cornwall - the gardens are at their best in spring.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,469
Here is a link to our trip report from May 2007. We started in London and did a loop of sorts through Oxford, Warwick, the Peak District, north Wales, Shrewsbury, the Cotswolds, Bath, Stourhead Gardens, Lacock, Winchester, and Chawton before heading back to London.

Pictures are at

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,575
Just to clarify - the first AND last weekends of May are bank holidays. So if you are moving your trip to early May - if you will be there between May 1 - 4, pre-book your accommodations for that period. After the 4th things quiet down entirely and you'll be able to find rooms along the way.
janisj is online now  
Sep 15th, 2008, 07:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 42
Thank you all.
I have alot of researching to do.
This is why I love this site so much. Wonderful people willing to offer help and insite.

I'll be back after we do a bit more planning. If there are special B&B's you would recommend we'd love to hear from you.

Thanks again.
beazor is offline  
Sep 15th, 2008, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,965
We were there in May and had the best possible weather. Beware though, we got soaked after dropping off our rain coats on a "perfect day". Dress in layers and never get more than arms length from rain protection.
bdjtbenson is offline  

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