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London to Edinburgh Road Trip - Advice appreciated

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May 22nd, 2015, 04:52 PM
  #1
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London to Edinburgh Road Trip - Advice appreciated

I'm planning a 14 day trip to the UK this August with my husband. Would ideally like to start in London and end in Edinburgh, hitting a number of stops along the way. Below is the itinerary I'm currently playing with -- trying to factor in a mix of different areas (villages, cities, national parks), and fine skipping some of the more obvious spots like Bath and Stratford-upon-Avon. Definitely want to rent a car for the mid-section, but am trying to avoid having to drive in London and Edinburgh if possible.

I would appreciate any suggestions on whether this looks reasonable, particularly given driving time and such. Thank you so much!

Day 1 - arrive London
Day 2-4 - London
Day 5 - Train to Oxford (a must for my husband), rent a car, stay somewhere in the Cotswolds
Day 6 - Cotswolds
Day 7 - Drive to York
Day 8 - York
Day 9 - Drive to Lake District
Day 10 - Lake District
Day 11 - Drive to Edinburgh (suggestions on how to avoid driving in the city?)
Day 12-13 - Edinburgh
Day 14 - Fly out
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May 22nd, 2015, 05:35 PM
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>>Day 11 - Drive to Edinburgh (suggestions on how to avoid driving in the city?)<<

Easy - drop the car at EDI when you arrive at Edinburgh and take the tram or a cab (depending on where you are staying) into the city.

Your plan is doable w/ only one long driving day. Somewhere in the mid-Cotswolds to York is a 4 to 4.5 hour drive w/o any stops. The rest of your drives are in the 2-3 hour range.

However I'd do it a bit differently. I'd pick up my car out at LHR in the early AM (absolutely the easiest place to get a car and acclimate to driving on the left). Drive out to the Cotswolds and stay your two nights. Explore the Cotswolds that fist day, visit Oxford on the 2nd day and more of the Cotswolds late that afternoon.


BUT -- do you already have your accommodations booked in Edinburgh? The city literally doubles in size during August and hotels charge very high rates. If not, you need to book someplace ASAP -- like yesterday. I'm in Edinburgh a couple of days in mid August for the Tattoo and two months ago my first 3 choices of hotels were unavailable.
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May 23rd, 2015, 02:08 PM
  #3
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janisj, thanks so much for your quick reply. I quickly went online and booked a hotel in Edinburgh, so we are all set. Now just looking at the other locations to see what I can find. And thanks for the advice on the car, both at LHR and EDI - we are definitely open to where we pick up, so glad to have the advice.
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May 23rd, 2015, 05:01 PM
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What you can do for Oxford (and what most locals do if they have to drive in) is use a park-and-ride lot on the outskirts of Oxford -- The Park & Ride at the Pear Tree roundabout is on the Cotswold side of Oxford. Parking is £2 and there are frequent buses into the city centre - not sure about the bus fare but probably £2 or £3.

MUCH easier than driving/parking IN Oxford. So you drive in from your base in the Cotswolds (Burford is good -- or Stow on the Wold or several other towns) park and go into the city by bus.
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May 24th, 2015, 03:30 AM
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You want to be in the centre of York and parking is a bitch, see if the hotel has a car park. You could use "park and ride" for York too, but probably not the best idea.
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May 24th, 2015, 05:00 AM
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There are two alternative strategies for the Oxford/Cotswolds problem: there's not the remotest possibility the traffic or the shortage of parking will get better in Oxford for at least the next decade.

- stay in or near one of the handful of pretty places more or less in the Cotswolds with decent transport into Oxford and reasonable free parking. The bus from Woodstock doesn't take significantly longer into Oxford than the bus from the Oxford P&Rs: nor does the train from Moreton in Marsh or Kingham, though other stations on the line have a severe parking shortage.
- stay in Oxford at one of the equally small number of hotels in the attractive parts of the city with free parking that are possible to drive to without risking a heart attack and within walking distance of the really historic centre. The Old Parsonage, the Cotswold Lodge and (far less pretty) Parklands B&B are just about the only such places.
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May 24th, 2015, 09:12 AM
  #7
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"You want to be in the centre of York and parking is a bitch, see if the hotel has a car park."

We recently stopped in York and were wanting somewhere in the centre of York which had parking. We chose the Dean Court Hotel which is directly opposite the west end of the Minster
http://www.deancourt-york.co.uk/

It has a car park (charge £13 if booked when making a booking, otherwise £18). The car and luggage can be dropped off as soon as you arrive in York (don't have to wait until check in time). Car and luggage can be left at the hotel after you check out until you are ready to leave York.

Everywhere in the historic centre of York is within easy walking distance.
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May 24th, 2015, 02:28 PM
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Thanks all! We booked at St. Denys Hotel in York, which provides use of a nearby carpark for no extra change, so hoping we'll be in good shape.

janisj, you mentioned the Tattoo - I'm assuming since you are going, it's a worthwhile outing, so checking it out to see if we should get tickets as well.
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May 24th, 2015, 04:14 PM
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Definitely worthwhile. I've been 4 times over many years. In August I'm doing a special package that included dinner in the Castle prior to the Tattoo -- but it is pricey.

You don't need to book high end tickets -- there really are no bad seats.
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