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Itinerary help - Bath or York in between?

Itinerary help - Bath or York in between?

Old Feb 7th, 2024, 02:22 PM
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Itinerary help - Bath or York in between?

Hi,

I'm having some trouble deciding on itinerary for our upcoming UK trip. We have 2 weeks and will be focusing on London and Edinburgh. Unfortunately we have to fly in and out of London because one way from Edinburgh to where we live is really expensive. This is also our first time in the UK (my husband's first time out of the US ever). We also will be using public transport and not a car. So here's my general plan:

Day 1-6: London, with one day trip to Oxford, and another day for Windsor Castle
Day 7: Travel to Bath
Day 8: Bath
Day 9: Bath with a Mad Max tour to Stonehenge and the Cotswolds
Day 10: Travel to Edinburgh
Day 11-13: Edinburgh with tour to Scottish Highlands
Day 14: Travel back to London
Day 15: Depart

My struggle is, I'm trying to decide if I should to York instead of Bath. I like to be able to enjoy a place without rushing too much and spending too much time in transit, and I want my husband to enjoy his first big trip without being too overwhelmed. York would be more on the way to Edinburgh but my husband does want to see Stonehenge so if I did York I'd have to add another day trip out of London. Plus Bath looks like a romantic type place that would fit us well. But York looks great too. I don't know, what do you think?
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Old Feb 7th, 2024, 03:04 PM
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Welcome to Fodors.

First of all one way fares are seldom the best option (except a few lower cost airlines that emphasize on one way bookings) What may have been a better option is what is called Open Jaw (in to one city and home from another -- like Home > LHR and either EDI or GLA > home all on the same booking). But since you apparently already booked R-T in/out of LHR you'll have to work with that.

a couple of initial comments:

• I would not do your plan as is. You have a very short time in the UK so extra hotels stays for no real reason should be avoided if possible.

• You can't really plan on much day 1 what with border formalities, travel into the city, checking in and jet lag. So you have 13 usable days - and three of those are travel days.

• Stonehenge does sort put a spanner in the works.

One option would be:

Nights 1- 4: Immediately upon arriving at LHR, fly up to EDI and spend 4 nights there (days 1-4). Take the Highlands tour on day 3.

Day 5 take a morning train to York (2+ hour train ride). Spend the day touring the city and take an evening train on to London (2+ hour train ride).

Nights 5 to 11 Stay in London seven nights with a day trip to Oxford and half day trip to Windsor (or Hampton Court Palace)

Nights 12 to 14 ** . Take the train to Bath. Explore the city and take a Mad Max tour.

Day 15 take the Express Coach from Bath to LHR/fly home

** If your flight home is in the morning - take the Express coach to LHR the evening of day 14 and stay at a LHR hotel. the last night

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Old Feb 7th, 2024, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj
Welcome to Fodors.

First of all one way fares are seldom the best option (except a few lower cost airlines that emphasize on one way bookings) What may have been a better option is what is called Open Jaw (in to one city and home from another -- like Home > LHR and either EDI or GLA > home all on the same booking). But since you apparently already booked R-T in/out of LHR you'll have to work with that.
Oh dang, I feel stupid I didn't know that til now. Luckily I actually haven't booked a flight yet, so I'm really glad I posted here and you told me that, so thank you. Okay, this makes things MUCH easier. So this way, maybe 6 days London, 2 days Bath, 2 days York, 4 days Edinburgh, fly home on the last day.

Last edited by tharmony; Feb 7th, 2024 at 04:09 PM.
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Old Feb 7th, 2024, 04:48 PM
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Rather than a day trip to Oxford from London and another day traveling to Bath, go to Oxford early in the day by train. Tour Oxford. Travel on to Bath by train. I love Bath. You are right. It is romantic and also historical. The baths are incredible. The architecture and the Aby is beautiful. The Mad Max tour is long, but you see a lot and have plenty of time for lunch and walks.
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Old Feb 8th, 2024, 12:55 AM
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Route now much better

York is a very special place, easily walkable it has multiple sites of interest starting with the ancient walls which are basically still in place and accessible for free, the Shambles (medievel design) shopping area, the Cathederal and the National Railway museum are the big pulls. Below them is a whole level of secondary sites including the Merchant Venturer's hall, Yorvik, York Museum etc etc

Bath has got the Roman baths and some nice stone buildings

Oxford or Cambridge knock Bath into a cocked hat with barely a glance
To be fair Durham knock Bath into a cocked hat as well

Where Bath sort of makes sense is if you visit it as part of a longer trip incuding the Cotswolds, the Henge and Salisbury but that would take a few days. The danger is you try to do this tour as part as mad dash from London in one day in a coach with 70 crazy tourists from around the world.

Last edited by bilboburgler; Feb 8th, 2024 at 12:57 AM.
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Old Feb 8th, 2024, 07:49 AM
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It sounds like a lovely trip . Jumping off the train to Edinburgh at York makes so much sense to me. Let us know how it goes.
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