Meandering from CARDIFF to LONDON

Jul 9th, 2004, 12:37 PM
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Meandering from CARDIFF to LONDON

Seeking itinerary suggestions for 3-4 day first-time drive from Cardiff (Wales) to London -- considering Cardiff, Cotswalds, Oxford, Bath, and Stonehenge.
vagabondman is offline  
Jul 9th, 2004, 05:57 PM
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in 4 days you could see just about all those places.

I'd suggest frist driving N from cardiff and visiting Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey. Then on the same day continue up via Gloucester and east into the Cotswolds for 2 nights. if you stay in the central/eastern Cotswolds (Near Burford/Stow-on-the-wold) you can use this 2-night stay as a base for the Cotswolds and for seeing Oxford.

Then travel south to near Bath. See Bath on day 3 and then on day 4 drive over to Stonehenge/Salisbury/Avebury and the M4 straight into London. (Or skip Avebury and drive up the M3 from Salisbury into London).

This would be a hectic itinerary but certainly doable. If you could squeeze in an additional day it would be better -- you would have more time to see the Cotswolds..
janis is offline  
Jul 9th, 2004, 06:04 PM
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We found that a surprisingly good guidebook to the Cotswolds was "The Romantic Road" by Joanna Trollope. She outlines lovely routes through the area, allowing you to see all sorts of little places that are off the beaten path. I highly recommend it. You can get it in Cotswolds Tourist Info offices... or if you are lucky enough to stay in Broadway at the Olive Branch Guest House, the fabulous Pam Talboys may loan you her copy - that's how we learned of it.
taggie is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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Hi taggie, You answered one of my other posts. I am thinking of staying at the Olive Branch House in Broadway. It sounds like you really liked it. We usually stay in hotels, but want to try B&Bs this trip for a different experience and to save some $$s. Was there anything you didn't like about it?
WanderingTexan is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 10:02 AM
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Any recommendations on where to stay in York or Cardiff?
WanderingTexan is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 09:07 AM
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Good hotels in Cardiff:

Marriott - good location, cheap, good facilities

St Davids Hotel & Spa - expensive, but excellent facilities; one of Cardiff's 5* hotels, however poor location

Holland House - newly opened by the McDonald Hotel Group chain - good location, excellent facilities, expensive, again 5*

Thistle Park - city centre location, good facilities, excellent location, reasonable price

Village Hotel - situated in Coryton - excellent facilities, out of city centre but next to M4 motorway, reasonably priced.

Hope that helps - if you require any more information on Cardiff, try www.visitcardiff.co.uk

Glyn_Williams is offline  
Aug 29th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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Thanks.
WanderingTexan is offline  
Oct 19th, 2004, 02:57 PM
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Related question for the many expert and experienced travelers here:

I'm thinking of a 7 or 8 day trip to England, and would like to include the same towns, e.g., Bath, Cardiff, Salisbury, with 2-3 days in London. Can that be done easily by train, or is renting a car the only practical way to do it?
flsd is offline  
Oct 19th, 2004, 03:30 PM
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flsd, you could do it by train but you would lose the flexibility of stops enroute such as Glastonbury, Wells, Stourhead, Cirencester, Bristol.

I would be tempted to train to Cardiff, rent a car there and meander back to London. I'm assuming you will be starting in London.
jsmith is offline  
Oct 20th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion!
flsd is offline  
Oct 21st, 2004, 04:37 AM
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WanderingTexan : it was my understanding that the St David's was the only 5 star hotel in Wales, although I hadn't heard of the new Holland House before. I've stayed at the St David's several times and am looking forward to staying there again for a night in February, when we're going to see a Welsh National Opera performance at the new Millennium Centre. To my mind, if you can afford it, it's the only place to stay in Cardiff. Although it's not in the city centre, IMO that's more than compensated for by the lovely views of the bay and being able to sit out on the deck - it does feel like being on a ship. The spa is fab. And there is the Millennium Centre and some quite nice restaurants within walking distance.

I've also stayed at the Hilton which was quite nice but nowhere near as nice as the St David's, Jury's which is an OK midrange hotel, and the Ibis which is an OK budget hotel.

Glyn : do you have any experience of The Big Sleep ? We're thinking of staying there for the other, more budget-minded night of our February trip.

flsd : Cardiff is not in England !!
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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caroline, I'm well aware that Cardiff is not in England. As I was thinking of a visit to Bath in the course of my stay in England, I thought a side trip through Wales might be a possibility.
flsd is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 01:04 PM
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I live in Cardiff. It is a fantastic city. St Davids Spa Hotel is a fantastic Hotel. If you want something a little cheaper try the village hotel, coryton,cardiff. Its just outside town. Takes about ten nimute to get in by taxi but the staff are very friendly and the service very good.
sazzleevans is offline  
Nov 24th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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If you go to Tinturn Abbey, I hope you go on a day like we had. A little misty, but not rainy. Not too many people around. Great light. I took scads of wonderful photos. On the way there, from Cardiff, we were able to watch one of the races at Chepstow from the side of the road. We also went to someplace called the White Castle, which was an interesting ruin. My friend kept stopping at these little out-of-the-way places to show me ruins sitting in the middle of a little village.

Another fun place to visit is Hay-on-Wye, the town of books, on the Wales/England border. You might kill an entire day there, if you're a book freak.
fairfax is offline  
Nov 25th, 2004, 04:40 AM
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Sazzleevans, do you have an opinion of The Big Sleep ? You're quite right, Cardiff is a fantastic city, and we visit it at least a couple of gtimes a year. We're really looking forward to visiting the Millennium Centre.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Nov 25th, 2004, 10:20 AM
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Hi, The Bigsleep is a good option. I've never stayed there (obviously) but its right in the centre of the city and its very cheap. I would book it for its central location. I'm a police officer in Cradiff and we do get alot of young groups coming down for the weekend who stay in the city centre but I am not sure if they stay here. Even if they do I shouldnt think the noise would be too great. For a good location and value for money I would say its a good option! The Thistle Hotel is also a good hotel in the centre but its going to be more expensive! The millenium stadium is amazing and is well worth a tour. I have policed games there and tourists from all over the world are always saying how great it is etc. The millenium centre is also opening in December and that should be a good one to look at too. Its not in the centre of town but in the bay area and looks wounderful from the outside. If you want info about where to etc or any other info just ask.
sazzleevans is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 05:29 AM
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sazzleevans: Thanks very much for all the info. I don't know about the "I've never stayed there (obviously)", though : I live in Edinburgh & have so far stayed in at least 5 hotels here ! (anniversaries, girls' weekends etc)
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Nov 29th, 2004, 06:12 AM
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We stayed at St. David's Hotel in Cardiff this summer. Despite the concerns about it being a bad location --we loved it. It was indeed a beautiful hotel. This is where we "landed" after our big wreck on the way in, and the staff couldn't have been nicer helping me with all sorts of things including the various phone calls and faxes I was doing.
That area is booming. The new opera house must be open now, and there are a dozen nice and fun restaurants and night spots around the hotel. There is a shuttle bus into the center, but we walked it several times. We were glad we chose it, and we had one of the finest meals of our entire trip in their lovely dining room on the water.
Incidentally, although it is pricey, we got it for a very good price by booking on their website about 6 months ahead.
Patrick is offline  
Dec 1st, 2004, 10:31 AM
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Message:caroline girl - maybe I need to get out a bit more?!? Anyone I just thought I would chuck this one is the pot for you to think about. I have looked at the Big Sleep and its fine but the Ibis looks much better and is a fab location!!! Anyone also thinking about staying a little outside the centre will love the village hotel. I have trained there every day for four years and the pool and sauna area are great. Plus the health suite is a great place to get a facial. The staff are always A1.
sazzleevans is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2004, 05:04 AM
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sazzleevans: Are you sure you mean the Ibis ? As per my first posting on this thread I stayed there once before & it was OK but quite basic. As also mentioned before we like staying at Cardiff Bay, have stayed at the St David's more than anywhere else, and the main purpose of our next trip is to visit the Millennium Centre (we have tickets for the opera). So we were thinking of Saturday night at the St David's but maybe somewhere cheaper on the Friday night - which is what I was considering The Big Sleep for. From its website I thought The Big Sleep looked better than the Ibis. However I've now read about a new boutique hotel, Jolyon's, at the Bay - do you know anything about it ? It sounds nice & is cheaper than the St David's, so considering swapping one night at St David's + one night somewhere cheap for 2 nights at Jolyon's. What do you think ?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  

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