Itinerary for our family

May 29th, 2007, 05:50 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 31
Itinerary for our family

Our family of six leaves in two weeks for the UK and I feel like I haven't even started planning our itinerary. I've been reading guidebooks non-stop, but being unfamiliar with the geography, I'm having trouble turning all my notes into a plan.

I discovered this wonderful website over the weekend and just finished reading the thread that started in 2001 and was recently brought to the top listing all the must sees. I can tell that we have a lot of experts here and I'm hoping you'll patiently help this travel novice.

We are parents plus kids ages 21, 19, 13, and 8. The two older kids and I spent a few days in London five years ago but they have both said they wouldn't mind revisiting all the places we went then. The other three have never been out of North America. We enjoy looking at the scenery most of all. Not sure how many tours of things like castles the little ones would go for, but we'd certainly like to see the outsides. We want to do the best tourist things but also like getting a true feel of the area. We all enjoy browsing what they'd call car boots and jumble sales over there. We'll have a rental van.

I should mention that our budget is far from unlimited. I've been a little scared at how much everything is costing compared to a similar vacation on this side of the pond.

Our itinerary is as follows. I've already been beaten up on another board for backtracking and getting it in a bad order, but it is what it is, so we'll make the best of it. None of the reservations are changeable.

Arrive Manchester early in the morning 6/14

6/14 - 6/16 near Cardiff Wales
We'll have to just hit the highlights here since we'll really only have one full day of touring. By the time we get to the resort on the 14th, we'll be done in. We scheduled this because my daughter was planning on spending a semester in Swansea next year. Her plans changed, but I thought this would give us at least a taste of Wales.

6/16 The only night we don't have a reservation for. I've been looking near Liverpool since we have three hard core Beatles fans in the group.

6/17 - 6/24 near Glasgow Scotland

6/23 - 6/30 (we have overlapping reservations, so will decide where to spend the extra days depending on how the itinerary pans out) London

6/29 - 7/6 Devon England

7/6 - a night near the airport for an early flight home

Thank you in advance for your help. I'm gettng a bit desperate at this point.

Sheila
swilshire is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 06:15 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,506
sheila: first of all, have you seen the responses on your thread about the rental car??

Now about your to-ing and fro-ing - I'm guessing (just a hunch) that you are staying in time share trades. Am I right? if so - which properties are they?

That would help explain why you are all over the map.
janisj is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 06:19 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 31
Forgot to mention that we have three serious musicians in our family. My oldest son wants to see a Mens Choir in Wales, so I've been reading up on that.

We need to browse music stores because we always bring home an instrument or two. The guys are saying bagpipes and I'm saying no. I usually lose these arguments.

Thanks again,

Sheila
swilshire is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 06:19 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,506
meant to add - while this is a pretty disorganized itinerary - if they are time shares -- what the heck. Free is free (well free except for the trade fees)

So we can help you work it out but tell us which places you are staying.

(And if they aren't time shares - are you SURE the bookings can't be changed? )
janisj is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 06:21 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,506
swilshire - apparently our posts crossed.

it would help if you gave us the requested info . . . .
janisj is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 06:23 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 31
You're absolutely right that we're staying in timeshares.

They are Seasons at Laugharne Park for Wales, Cameron House for Scotland, Allen House for London (only room for four of us, so the two bigger kids will be about 1 1/2 miles away in a hotel unless I find something closer I can afford), and Osborne Club in Devon.

I haven't made it down to my question from yesterday, but I finally got an email from another National representative giving me the opposite information.

Thanks,

Sheila
swilshire is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 06:29 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 895
Lots of things to see in each area but it depends on what you like. Take along a good guide book(s) and pick up a UK road atlas when you arrive (some book shops which sell "seconds" have them very cheap. Pity if you are tied down to one house each week and have to keep returning there instead of going onwards. If you have internet at these houses you can decide on next day's itinery the evening before.
kaneda is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 06:33 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,056
I don't think it's THAT bad a route - ok, it might have made more sense to go south-north or north-south rather than start in the middle, but with the times you are spending everywhere, you'll be ok. It's not like you are rushing off somewhere new every day or so.

You've got a few long day drives but with presumably two of you driving, you'll manage.

nona1 is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 06:34 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,056
Don't feel as though you have to plan out a full itinerary before you get here. Maybe pick one or two 'must-dos' for each area and then play it by ear, one of the benefits of having your own vehicle. You'll find tourist information offices all over that can help you with maps/leaflets/info on what is good in the area.
nona1 is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 06:38 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,506
first - you will love LOVE Cameron House. A major coup staying there. It is a terrific property right on the shore of Loch Lomond and convenient for traveling all over from Glasgow to the Trossachs to Oban to Stirling. Amazing leisure center on the grounds.

Allen House is another great place and a BIG money saver. For the two older kids - try Priceline in the Knightsbridge/Kensington/Earls Court zone. You will get a 4 star hotel and it will either be relatively close or very close to Allen House. Check out biddingfortravel.com for info about PL.

I'm not familiar w/ the Osborne Club - except that it is in Torquay in South Devon. Devon has a LOT to see and do so that is another great place to stay.

Now about being all over the country - yep it is. But w/ the time shares you have to check out by 10:00 and have all day to get to the next property so all of your trips are doable. No time for sightseeing in between- but you'll have plenty of time for that after you check in the next place.

The one exception - The Cameron House to London leg. That is a looooooong distance. I would turn in the car at GLA and fly down to London (or you could take the train). Then pick up another car for the Devon leg.

janisj is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 07:50 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,472
For the range of ages that you have, I'd suggest that you visit Caerphilly Castle just outside of Cardiff. It is the second largest castle in the British Isles, after Windsor, I think, and is partly reconstructed. I went with my 21 year old daughter on a bright sunny day in March and we had a blast. Good for an hour or a bit more, aside from the travel time (we rode the bus from central Cardiff).

Cardiff Castle is also great, but in a different way. A very cool part is the Palace tour, which has a separate admission fee. The Palace is a 19th century reconstruction in neo-Gothic style of an earlier medieval building. I'd say this would take 2 hours total, to see the castle and palace.
noe847 is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 01:43 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 31
I agree that we don't have to plan the whole thing in advance, but I hope to at least have some general plans. The geography continues to confound me. I don't know how far we can venture out in a day trip. I've read that travel is slow in a lot of areas and that we may not be able to cover the distances we might expect.

Do you have recommendations for the best tour books for planning as we go along? The green Michelin guides seem to be useful. Someone also suggested the Rough Guides, but they give me a little more information than I think I want to read every night while planning the next day. I particularly like the books that suggest tours that you can follow and adjust for your own taste.

Thanks again,

Sheila
swilshire is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 02:00 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 8,351
Laugharne (pronounced Larn) is of course Dylan Thomas country. Stunning coastline along there, and enough to see and do in the area. It is long way west of Cardiff however.
hetismij is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 03:07 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,521
It's a bit late, but try to get your hands on a list of the Welsh Male Choirs that invite visitors to their rehearsals. Your son will love it and might even be invited to sing along.
VirginiaC is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 04:33 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,506
as for how far you can manage for day trips: Yes, much of the travel can be slow. But easily reachable from Cameron House are places like Oban/ferry over to Mull/Iona, Stirling/Doune castles, the Trossachs Glencoe, Glasgow, Ayr, a ferry over to Arran, Edinburgh (you can take the train). You will run out of days long before you run out of places to visit.

From Torquay -- all of north and south Devon including the coasts and Dartmoor, Cornwall, The Dorset and Hampshire coasts. Bath is a bit farther but it's a doable day trip.

The Michelin Green Guide for Scotland is good - more info than in the general Great Britain one.

I don't think they still publish the Green Guide for the West Country - but you should be able to get a used one from amazon.co.uk It is a great guidebook for the area from Bath to Cornwall.

Another book you might want to consider is Scotland the Best by Peter Irvine. Just the best source for info about everything to see/do in Scotland.
janisj is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 08:24 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 31
VirginiaC,

I found a list of the male choirs in Wales somewhere that encourage visitors, but I haven't sat down yet to see how close they are to us. Plus it didn't mention what nights they rehearse, just the phone numbers to contact. I hope we can work this out, as we'd all very much enjoy it.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Sheila
swilshire is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 08:26 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 31
Thanks for the tips on the books. I haven't made it to the bookstore yet either. So much to do. So little time.

Sheila
swilshire is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 02:27 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,472
A great place to find used books is www.abebooks.com - it is a site where thousands of book dealers list their books. There are several Michelin Green Guides to the West Country, some as cheap as $1.00 - and from US sellers. My dad was a used book dealer and sold through abe, and I've bought many a used book this way.
noe847 is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 02:38 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,506
Great site, noe847! And shipping/postage would be lots less than from the UK

Thanks
janisj is offline  

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


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:50 AM.