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Ireland or England suggestions for Aug/ Sept chill cation

Ireland or England suggestions for Aug/ Sept chill cation

Old Mar 26th, 2024, 11:57 AM
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Ireland or England suggestions for Aug/ Sept chill cation

We are in need of a very relaxing getaway and I figured this forum was the best place to get some suggestions for charming , but not necessarily remote villages for a week long stay on the shore. We have always had a long list of things to see and do for every vacation, but Id really like to surprise my husband some downtime abroad.
England and Ireland immediately came to mind ,but I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of lovely places that come up on the internet. If we went to Ireland wed fly into Dublin and probably LHR if we decide on England. Either way ideally wed have a drive of no more than a couple of hours ( give or take a little) to get to our destination. We wouldnt be doing the driving ourselves so train is an option as well. This would also be for fall of this year and it seems many cottages Ive looked at are already booked so suggestions on that front would be helpful as well. We would probably start our stay at the tail end of August and return the first week of September. I understand August is a heavy vacation month in Ireland.

I guess my fantasy spot would be either a short walk to the shore or to town. In town there would be a couple of spots for good, not necessarily fancy, food and maybe even some entertainment. There might be a few quaint local shops, a market, and not be too far removed if we decided to get out for the day and explore a little. This fantasy place would also have some lovely local walks available. I dont hike. Im a magnet for accidents. Walking is about the best I can manage. I am open to your thoughts and suggestions and appreciate your time.
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Old Mar 26th, 2024, 12:26 PM
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Maybe start looking at a few of these places:

Mousehole in Cornwall,
Blakeney in Norfolk,
Bamburgh in Northumberland

These are all a long way from LHR but are on rail lines or within a few miles of a train station, so easily reached from London. You could spend a day or two in London and then head to the final destination.

Not in England - any of the Fife fishing villages in Scotland (Crail, Anstruther and several others) -- these would be my #1 choice but I could spend a week in any of the above.

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Old Mar 26th, 2024, 12:46 PM
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Aldeburgh or Southwold in Suffolk. However, it will be pretty busy. The schoolchildren return to school at the beginning of September, exact dates vary. Then all the people waiting for this to happen take their holidays!
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Old Mar 26th, 2024, 12:53 PM
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Thank you ,Janisj. I was hoping you’d chime in. I will definitely look at your suggestions for England. We haven’t been to Scotland yet and I think that will require a longer stay than a week. I will hold onto your Scotland suggestions for a later day.

Iwill also look @ Aldeburgh and Southwold- Thank you, Morgana.

Anyone have thoughts on Wicklow area or perhaps further north in Ireland?
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Old Mar 26th, 2024, 01:02 PM
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Wicklow would be nice -- but is is a LOT larger than for instance the places already mentioned. Over 11,000 population. Southwold is less than half that and except for Anstruther which is maybe 3 or 4k all the others are true villages w/ populations of 500-1200-ish. Even though they are small they have all mod cons . . . shops, restaurants, bus service, wonderful scenery.
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Old Mar 27th, 2024, 04:52 AM
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Although we've spent a lot of time in Ireland, as soon as I read your vacation goal, my first thought was to go somewhere in Cornwall. Easy-peasy. LHR, Heathrow Express to Paddington, get on GWR train, get off anyplace you want on the Cornwall "foot".

We've gone twice to that end of England without renting a car, using the GWR train system and several Cornwall private train branches to explore, and we did a lot of things by local buses, which are sort of fun because you get to see how local people live. We got a pretty good deal on a Senior Rail Pass through BritRail (think I found an extra 15% discount somewhere) and that allowed us to zig and zag at will. We rarely planned anything specific a day ahead.

I did hire a private guide for two days of the first 21-day trip because I had "a mission" to see where my husband's family came from in Altarum, plus I wanted to see Tintagel, etc. I just told him exactly what we needed to see and he fleshed out the days with things he though we should also see.

Although we were quite busy, we found it to be a relaxing trip. And we loved Cornwall so much we went back the very next year, this time getting off first in Exeter to explore a bit of my Devon ancestry. We liked Devon, too.

August would be the rub.

Here are my trip report links so you can see where we stayed and what we did:
Cornwall Without a Car
Devon, Cornwall and Northern Ireland Without Renting a Car


Good luck. I love it that you are doing "chill."
AZ


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Old Mar 27th, 2024, 05:55 AM
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Dorset coast is lovely, the Jurassic coast means you can go fossil hunting, maybe somewhere like Lyme Regis, Swanage, Weymouth, or even Bournemouth or Poole if you want a larger town. You can get into the New Forest from those two for a bit of forest bathing.

Devon has some lovely spots on both coasts.

I than you need somewhere larger than Mousehole to stay if you don't have a car, so maybe Looe or St Ives.

You can't really go wrong with the West Country!
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Old Mar 27th, 2024, 06:39 AM
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Everyone is focusing on coastal locations, but it seems to me that looking for a small, picturesque, walkable seaside village within 2 hours of LHR (i.e. within the London commuter belt) is asking for something of a rifle shot, as it were.

Maybe you could clarify if an inland or maybe a riverside village would do as far as access to water goes. If that was acceptable, then the range of possible places would be greatly expanded. There are dozens, maybe hundreds of nice villages in the south of England that would fill that niche, from East Anglia to the Home Counties, along the south coast, the Cotswolds, on and on. The chances of avoiding big end-of-summer crowds would also be greatly reduced.
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Old Mar 28th, 2024, 01:32 PM
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I do realize that I may have been asking for a lot, but I knew with all of the lovely and well traveled people on this forum, I would find something that included most of what I think I want or get a suggestion for something equally as interesting like a riverside village as suggested by you, Gardyloo. A bit longer train trip is ok. Sorry if I didn’t clarify that.

I thought Mousehole was charming , but as hetismij2 states it may be too small. Bamburgh also appealed to me visually and Ireland thrills me in a completely different way. We were in Kenmare for a few days several years ago and it was a 4 minute walk into the village for shopping or food/ drinks. The pace was easy and slow. I believe that type of vacation is in order for us this year and the seaside is very appealing. We live in the desert,but we were both raised in Southern California no more than an hour from the beach and sometimes it calls to us still. I have seen some rentals in Cornwall that looked really comfortable, but many are already booked. Figures that I would get a wild hair after everyone else has already made their plans for late summer.

AZ, thank you for the links. I will take a look at them to gather information on how being carless might play out.

I will also delve into all of the additional suggestions. I’m beginning to realize there are too many options with my having no idea where to go,but lodging availability will definitely impact our final decision.

You all have my gratitude for everything you’ve given me to think about so far. Interesting that no one has chimed in with destinations in Ireland though. I thought it would be 50/50 , but England seems to have captured everyone’s hearts.
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Old Mar 28th, 2024, 02:11 PM
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Just a comment re Mousehole . . . true, the village itself IS small. But around the bay are other villages -- Newlyn is less than 2 miles (Mousehole to Newlyn is a lovely walk), Penzance (not a village -- a large town) less than 3 miles, Marazion & St Michaels Mount about 5-ish miles. So a LOT of nearby sites/towns/villages/restaurants/pubs while still being a tiny village itself. IMO it would be a great place to stay. Or Marazion could also be a good base.
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Old Mar 29th, 2024, 05:20 AM
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I was a little late in planning our first trip to Cornwall, and somehow, it worked out. Hope it does for you.

I think janisj is onto something. Actually, if you can find some decent cottages in a variety of locales, we all might be able to give you our "yeas" and "nays". For example, we spent a few hours exploring the little hillsides of Mousehole and got a kick out of it. On the other hand, Marazion, where we stayed, has the advantage of the "overlooking up the hill from Penzance" location and excellent access to the main rail line, but it does not have the same cozy feel. No matter what, both are easily accessible by bus routes, so you can just sit back and take it all in instead of fighting daily traffic. We didn't even mind redoing bus routes because there's so much beauty.

And please note I'm not limiting my suggestions to the most Western tip. We particularly enjoyed our large B&B's location and view in the Charlestown, Mevagissey, St. Austell area, even though that specific stay would have been best served by a car, which we did not have. However, it's access to the South West Coast Path was a delight to us. We wished we could have stayed a week there.

And that's another suggestion--finding accommodation in some sort of village along the path almost anywhere in Cornwall would be amazing. Our Charlestown and Falmouth stays had easy access--I remembered to bring my collapsible hiking poles for our second trip.

I'd stay away from Port Isacc. "Doc Martin" has turned it into a tourist nightmare, as pretty as it is.

Happy Planning,
AZ


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Old Mar 29th, 2024, 05:30 AM
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a little closer to London and with some lovely nearby countryside and a large town. You might look at Wareham in Dorset. Very much an ancient town, on a small river, good posh hotel and a few reasonable medium level hotels/B&B, very relaxed.
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Old Mar 29th, 2024, 06:22 AM
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Wareham is an excellent suggestion, and you are still close to the sea.

If you ever watched Monkey Life on TV Monkey World is just down the road as is Bovington Tank Museum should you be in need of an outing or two. I visited Monkey World with some trepidation but actually really enjoyed it.

As you could see from suggestions in my earlier post I love Dorset so I am biased.
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Old Mar 29th, 2024, 06:37 AM
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I was thinking about some villages or small towns with decent rail access, but outside any big city's commuter zone and remembered Alnmouth, the Northumbrian coastal village near Alnwick, home of Alnwick Castle, aka Hogwarts.

Alnmouth is quite picturesque, with both riverfront and oceanfront aspects, and is on the east coast main line with direct service from Kings Cross - around 3 1/2 hours. (It's also around 1 h 20m by direct train from Edinburgh, if you fancied a day out in Scotland's beautiful capital.) There's also easy bus service from Alnmouth to Alnwick, of course, or to Seahouses, where you can join an excursion to see the puffins and seals in the Farne Islands, or to Bamburgh with its awesome castle, or the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, cradle of Christianity in the North of England.



Just a thought, anyway.
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Old Mar 29th, 2024, 08:30 PM
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If it were me, I'd pick Limerick or Inverness. Enough to do, but lots of plain old small city charm (and great pubs).
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Old Mar 31st, 2024, 08:42 AM
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Cjar,
Just so you know, your thread got me thinking. My husband, who will be 80 next year, probably would just love to chill in Cornwall or some backwater in Ireland.

I know he is not as much in love with travel anymore, and he has right to feel that way. Close to a decade older than I, he spent almost ten years where he spent over two months a year throughout Europe and South America. When he married me, we did hiked and cycled where he had not been throughout the American West before we hit Europe again. Even when he sees new landscapes now, he gets that "I've been there, done that" feeling. I get it.

But I think he still likes to be somewhere for a bit that's different and still "home." Will get going on this for us.

Wishing the very best while planning, and I thank you for helping me to plan for 2025,
AZ
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Old Apr 4th, 2024, 11:06 AM
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Such lovely suggestions! I haven’t looked at even one and thought, ”Oh, not there!”. Each has its own beauty. Wareham, Alnmouth, Mousehole and all of the others appeal for different reasons. By next week ,I fully intend to commit to something. Thank you so much for the suggestions. Initially I was just looking at a map and throwing a dart, so to speak, and it was overwhelming. Now it seems like I can’t make a bad choice from those offered. Thank you.

AZ- It’s so nice to inspire another traveler as everyone here is an inspiration to me. We started traveling late and there is so much we’ve yet to experience. I hope your planning goes well and I am sure your husband will both appreciate and enjoy anything you decide on.
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