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No accomodation reservations in Oct in UK?

No accomodation reservations in Oct in UK?

Mar 22nd, 2008, 05:32 PM
  #1  
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No accomodation reservations in Oct in UK?

What's your opinion on travel in the UK in the first 2 weeks of October without hotel or B&B reservations? We're renting a car for two weeks after a few days in London. We have a rough itinerary as the plan is to rent the car in Gatwick & drop it off in Glasgow. I just want to keep things as fluid as possible. Is this a reasonable thing to do at this time?
Joanne28 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2008, 10:26 PM
  #2  
 
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We tried the same thing in October 2003 and had a heck of a time navigating and finding vacant B&B's.We are doing the same thing again this year BUT with a GPS and heeded advice to get where your going early!
jimmixxx is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 03:48 AM
  #3  
 
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You can use Tourist Information Centres in one town to book ahead at the town you're going to.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 03:52 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi J,

Do you plan to throw a dart at a map each morning and then head there?

Mid-Sept to mid-Oct is still shoulder season, and high season for some places.

At least make a list of places you would want to stay and call ahead.

ira is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 04:16 AM
  #5  
 
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In general, the first two weeks of October isn't a school holiday, so there is no great pressure on accommodation. Some places are busy throughout the year, London certanly but also places like York, Stratford-on-Avon and Edinburgh. For these places, pre-booking is highly recommended. If you are going to slightly off the beaten track, you are bound to find accommodation on spec, esp with a car, as you can always drive to the next village. Just bear in mind that B&Bs in UK can be highly seasonal, and in October (outside the half term holiday at tne end of month), some places close completely or only open for pre-booked parties, restricting availability. Also look out for any local events - sporting, cultural, etc - that can create shortages. If stuck, local tourist information centre can always help you find vacancies.
Alec is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 06:30 AM
  #6  
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Thanks, Patrick. I am planning on using the TIC offices.

Ira, I do plan on having a list with me of places that look interesting.

We will pre-book in London and Broadstairs. Then the plan is to head to Portsmouth, Wareham/Wool, Wells, Shrewsbury, Preston, Kendal, Carlisle, Dumfries and then Glasgow. I don't think this is really off the beaten track much but I'm hoping having the car will make things easier. We plan on staying a couple of days in a few place.

I've been surfing for B & Bs in all of these locations, which is a lot of fun. If the consensus is that we should make reservation, then I will. In May of 2005 we did a short car trip (5 days) without reservations in Scotland & had no problems. But that was Scotland.
Joanne28 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 06:43 AM
  #7  
 
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I had to smile when I saw Wareham/Wool. Stayed at a nice B&B in Wool. In this area I would book ahead as when I was making my plans I found not a lot to choose from. Second, what is in Preston? Just curious.
rogeruktm is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 07:20 AM
  #8  
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Roger,
What's the name of the B&B? We're going to Monkey World so Wareham/Wool is a definite stop.

Preston? Well I was simply looking on the map & pulled it out of somewhere. It's not a mandatory stop. If you have anywhere else to recommend, please do so.
Joanne28 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 07:30 AM
  #9  
 
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Just a bit off the motorway through Preston and you could be in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty:

http://www.forestofbowland.com/visit_intro.asp

PatrickLondon is online now  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 07:40 AM
  #10  
 
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I don't think I'd want to stay in Portsmouth. Too dense and sort of industrial feeling. But I highly recommend the Historic Shipyard. That's worth a day. Look for a B&B in a neighboring small town.

Also look to stay outside Carlisle and Kendal rather than in the town.
Mimar is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 07:54 AM
  #11  
 
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Now that others have chimed in, I think you might be better off picking other towns to stay. I have been taking train trips through Great Britain for many years and have found out the hard way places best avoided. As a matter of fact I still am finding more to avoid. Preston didn't much for me nor Shrewsbury. I have spent two nights in Carlisle and really wouldn't do it again. So, what I would do. Drop Shrewsbury and add Welshpool. Drop Preston and add Chester. Maybe Prenith rather than Carlisle. But hey, its your trip and you should go where you want. Who knows, perhaps something exciting will happen. Oh, if either of you are interested in Military museums, there is a terrific tank museum near Wool.
The B&B in Wool was Fingle Bridge B&B. Let me know if I can be of help.
rogeruktm is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2008, 03:55 PM
  #12  
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I picked Shrewsbury because I'm a big Brother Cadfael fan. We only have a couple of spots that are mandatory - Dumfries, London, Broadstairs & Wareham/Wool.

Wells I've been to already & really liked so now my DH gets to see it. Portsmouth is not mandatory to stay at but we want to pass through as DH's parents lived there (before he was born). We also want to go through Southampton to have a look where the Titanic left on her voyage. Plus his parents arrived in England in Southampton.

The places that are open to change are Preston, Kendal, Carlisle and maybe Shrewsbury. Is there somewhere around Portsmouth that's more attractive/interesting to stay at? I'm trying to keep the drives between towns down to a dull roar. The longest ones so far are between Canterbury & Portsmouth and Wells & Shrewsbury. Then there is Shrewsbury to Preston which is a bit lengthy. So some of my choices were based on driving times also. The Wells to Shrewsbury is a killer.

Chester does sound interesting.
Joanne28 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2008, 05:54 AM
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>>Is there somewhere around Portsmouth that's more attractive/interesting to stay at?<<

Winchester/Meon Valley?
PatrickLondon is online now  
Mar 24th, 2008, 09:46 AM
  #14  
 
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Romsey and the New Forest are only about half an hour's drive from Portsmouth, and even closer to Southampton.
Nonconformist is offline  
Mar 24th, 2008, 11:32 AM
  #15  
 
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I would also recommend Chester. Unlike the other poster I liked Shrewsbury - because of the Cadfael books, the river, etc. To each his own. It was a great place for day trips into Wales (Port Marion, for example).

I also think that the TIC is a great way to take the guessing out of things. Just stop into one by 2pm or so...
JoeCal is offline  
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