Please help me finish my itinerary!

Old Jan 30th, 2001, 08:59 PM
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Please help me finish my itinerary!

I would love some input & advice to help me finish up our itinerary. I have read & read for months, I have the travel books & maps, I've even become an addict to this website.... But I am planning our wedding, a 2 week honeymoon AND my sister's first baby shower all at the same time & I am starting to tire out! <BR> <BR>Our honeymoon is in 7 weeks -- we are flying SFO to LHR renting a car, driving for 5 days through the country side, returning the car at LHR & then on to London for 4+ days.... chunnel to Paris for 4 days, back to London & home. We are set with most of the itinerary, but the drive through the countryside is what I would like help with. <BR>We will spend our first day/night in Winchester -- then on to Stonehenge/Salisbury... we would like to drive through the Cotswolds. Definitely want to see Bibury & Stratford Upon Avon... We want to continue up as far north as the Leeds area where my husband-to-be lived as a child. We love castles & churches especially.... <BR> <BR>I am just wondering about distances to drive each day, what to skip, what to see (we plan on going back again in a year or so) while also having a somewhat relaxing drive & being able to just enjoy the beautiful country. <BR>Can anyone help me? I would appreciate it. <BR>--Lyn
Old Jan 31st, 2001, 12:51 AM
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I'll start by generalising. In England the roads are categorised as follows:- M for Motorways (freeways) A for major roads, often divided highways, but by no means always, B for country/rural roads. Try and avoid the motorways, except for long distances, such as your trip back from Leeds to London. To really saviour the English countryside plan your routes to use as many B roads as possible. These roads bring you into the more charming villages etc. Using A roads and B roads you will find that you don't cover a lot of mileage partly because the roads are slower, but mainly because you will want to keep stopping to see it all, and taking refreshment at the wayside pubs. Allow about 100 miles or so a day unless using the motorways. <BR>For great detail including the marking of castles, stately homes and churches etc, I would recommend you buy maps with a scale of about 2 miles to the inch, no more than 5 miles to the inch. These maps are very detailed and add to the enjoyment of the trip. Your trip looks quite interesting, although I would personally skip Stonehenge, which I think is over-rated, and possibly approach the Cotswolds from Winchester via Oxford - very crowded, but worth seeing. <BR>North of Stratford try and allocate a day for Derbyshire, en route to Leeds. The scenery is lovely and there are lots of halls and churches, though not castles. Chatsworth House, about 15 miles North of Matlock is possibly the pick of all the stately homes and parks in England, with the adjoining village of Edensor. From here you are only a couple of hours or so from Leeds.The market town of Bakewell and the spa town of Buxton are also well worth a visit, both close to Chatsworth House. <BR>Hope this local knowledge helps a little.
Old Jan 31st, 2001, 03:56 AM
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DO see Stonehenge, and Avebury and Glastonbury and approach the Cotswolds with a stopover in Bath - a real jewel. <BR> <BR>Joe
Old Jan 31st, 2001, 05:58 AM
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Stratford is a great base for touring the Cotswolds, as is the town of Cirencester. Both give you a chance to do beautiful drives at different ends of the district. If you want to see castles, I recommend Warwick and Kenilworth, both right near Stratford. (We did both in a day.) Blenheim Palace, associated w/Churchill's family, is nearby. <BR> <BR>The Cotswolds is such a lovely area, as is much of the English countryside--why not just get there and enjoy each day without overplanning?
Old Jan 31st, 2001, 11:28 AM
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Thank you everyone. This is exactly the kind of help I am looking for. Tony -- the A,B,M, etc... roads is GREAT to know. That helps a lot. <BR> <BR>We're definitly going to Stonehenge. Husband-to-be has seen it before, but it's my first time to England & I must see it... I am not trying to over-plan the trip, but I want to have an outline of the route we're taking & where to end up each day (to keep on a time schedule) -- with some must-sees along the way. But we will enjoy the drive & stop here and there to savor the area. <BR>Lyn

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