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More realistic 2 week trip: Itinerary for Great Britain

More realistic 2 week trip: Itinerary for Great Britain

Old Mar 10th, 2011, 08:06 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 16
More realistic 2 week trip: Itinerary for Great Britain

I posted a topic a couple of days ago asking for suggestions on a trip to England, Scotland and Ireland over two weeks for my sister and I. The responses made me finally admit what I already knew, now that we had only 2 weeks (we originally had 3 and a half) it would be better to stick to one island, so we chose to do England and Scotland which still gives us plenty to cover. I saw Fodor's 14 day itinerary for England, Scotland and Wales but it does not quite cover what my sister and I want to do. We are thinking of flying into London and out of Edinburgh. I love history and would love to see historic towns, castles, etc. Both my sister and I enjoy nature and outdoor activities such as horse-back riding so we would love to see some of the beautiful natural areas of the island. Finding spots to ride should not be difficult in most places in Britain, I have been researching that. On this trip we want a mix of cities and smaller towns and countryside.
I would like some advice on traveling by train and bus through Great Britain as well as how much time to say in each place. These are some of the places we were thinking of going in England: London, Salisbury and Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford, Coventry (a friend of mine lives there), Lake District. In Scotland, I definitely want to see Edinburgh. Glasgow also would be nice and maybe Stirling as I love history. I am more open to suggestions with Scotland as I do not know as much about it. Is there a place full of natural beauty accessible by public transportation from Edinburgh or one of the other cities? The only two places we would not compromise on are London and Edinburgh; I would like at least 4 days in the first and 3 in the second. I would also like to stay with my friend in Coventry for a night, but if I have to I can get her to meet us somewhere. It would be great if we could see everything we want to, but that may not be possible so I am willing to cut out any of the above places if they are hard to get to, out of the way, not enough time, etc. We have 14 nights, 13 days for this trip and it is in June. Thank you!
Duda_Radulovic is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 08:28 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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So basically you have 6 days for Salisbury, Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford, Coventry, Lake District, Glasgow & Stirling.

I'd be tempted to leave London until the end of your trip and start in Oxford (assuming arrival at LHR) where you can then hire a car the next day to get you to Salisbury / Stonehenge / Bath / Coventry / Lake District and then Edinburgh - that will take 3 days plus your arrival day. Which leaves 2 days for Glasgow and Stirling both of which can be done by train from Edinburgh. You then take the sleeper train to London from Edinburgh.

Don't know though where you are going to get the time to go horseriding & other outdoor activities.
alanRow is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 08:36 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,142
I'd try to streamline your choices further!

If your 13 days includes your arrival day then I'd not count that due to jet lag. If you sleep on planes and feel great when you land then that day will be a bonus but generally just getting from the airport to the hotel plus perhaps a walk in the neighbourhood and getting dinner is enough for many people.

Plenty of history, castles, etc in and around London and very easy to make this a base for a longer stay.
Hampton Court (half day), Windsor (half/full day)for example,
So, I'd allow first 6 days for London and take a day trip by train to Oxford during this time.

Take a train to Bath for 2 nights and also see Salisbury and Stonehenge. Take a tour or hire a car. Possiblity of fitting in a horse ride tour.

The Lake District is not really close to any of your other places so I'd skip it and fly from London to Edinburgh or take the train.
Spend the remaining time in Scotland..4/5 days? hire a car, get out to the countryside, horse ride and see Edinburgh.

Skip Coventry and ask your friend to meet you in London or for the day trip to Oxford or in Scotland depending on her wishes.

If you really don't want to drive just be aware that reaching the places you want to see by public transport will eat into your time considerably.
sassy_cat is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 08:39 AM
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Yeah, I agree with alan and if you really want to use public transport then just getting to the countryside would eat too much of your time to actually do any outdoor activities!
sassy_cat is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Does your 2 weeks include the travel time to/from the UK -- or is that 14 days on-the-ground?

Really does make a significant difference. Either way -- you'll want to fly open jaw into London and out of GLA or EDI (or vice versa)

(an important call just came in -- I'll finish this up in a bit . . .)
janisj is online now  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 09:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Back again . . .

If it was me (and working w/ 14 days 'on-the-ground' -- 16 days total) I'd do something like this:

Fly into EDI (or GLA if it is cheaper/more convenient schedule) and stay in Edinburgh 3 nights. 2 days for Edinburgh and 1 day trip either on your own to Stirling or a guided coach trip to the Highlands w/ Rabbies or some other local tour company

1 night in Glasgow -- easy/quick train trip

train to Windermere - 2 nights (try to do some of your riding here)

train to Coventry - 1 night.

train to Oxford - 2 nights -- 1 day for Oxford and 1 day to explore a bit of the Cotswolds

train to Bath 1 night

train to London 4 nights

This is still pretty rushed but is doable.

If you only have 14 days total including travel time -- then cut either the Lake District or Oxford,
janisj is online now  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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Thank you for all the suggestions.

I am on exchange in Oslo, Norway so there is no time difference for me and my sister is coming from Paris, so she will get over her jet lag there. We will arrive at our first stop on the night of June 10, and we will leave our final destination June 24 so that we can be back in Oslo for our flight home the 25. We may have a few extra days in the beginning if I can get my exams switched around, but as it is I am looking at 14 days/15 nights. So it is 13 days on the ground then, since the last day (June 24) we will be flying to Oslo, though it is a short flight and we will be able to spend the morning in whatever city we are in.

Leaving London for the end is a doable suggestion. I can also cut out Coventry and get my friend to meet me in one of the places. I still do not have my full license as I have been abroad, my sister does but only recently and would not be comfortable driving in England.

alanRow, you suggested that we "hire a car the next day to get you to Salisbury / Stonehenge / Bath / Coventry / Lake District and then Edinburgh - that will take 3 days plus your arrival day". Do you mean renting a car to drive or hiring a car and driver? If the latter, how expensive/difficult would that be?
Duda_Radulovic is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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OK - you are essentially flying in locally (no jet lag or long flights) That helps a LOT. You have 14 days so you do have a little wiggle room. And stopping in Coventry isn't a big deal since it is enroute between some of your other destinations. So you could stop over there on your way south (or north if you reverse the route)

I'm pretty sure alanRow meant renting a car - not hiring a driver guide. A driver/guide for that itinerary would be enormously expensive. My draft itinerary is entirely by train/bus. Since you can hit the ground running, you could manage most of your wish list.
janisj is online now  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 10:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,498
skip coventry? Fie.

but seriously yes, much though it pains me, if you have to, skip coventry.

though if you don't, a half day spent at the New and Old Cathedrals, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museums, and a wander around the older bits of which used to be an important medieval town [now sadly interspersed with some pretty mediocre stuff] is very worthwhile.
annhig is online now  
Old Mar 11th, 2011, 01:31 AM
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I would really rather see Coventry as, like you said, there are beautiful Cathedrals and the place itself is very nice. But also because my friend has been on exchange there for a year and I would like to see her, meet her friends, etc. But I think I will follow janisj's plan. It covers most of the places I would like to go and I looked up train information, it is completely doable and works out pretty well. So thank you for that, janisj.

My only question is about the Lake District. Is Windermere the best place to go? The train from Glasgow changes in Oxenholme Lake District. And the train from Windermere to Coventry changes there as well. I was wondering if would not be better to stay somewhere around there for convenience? It is close to Kendal. Which place would you recommend is nicer to see? If they are about the same, then I would prefer to stick to Kendal for convenience. But if Windermere is better in terms of beauty, sights, location, then I would make the extra train trip.
Duda_Radulovic is offline  
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