South Wales/ London 2022

Old May 7th, 2021, 02:00 PM
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Sorry for bringing up Snowdonia, just in love with that area.
I had to go find this link, we always said we could all get our own room here. https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hot...id=GLBC_CARROA

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Old May 7th, 2021, 08:37 PM
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"Tenby seems to be a little bigger, busier? Is that correct?"

Depends on what you consider 'bigger'. Tenby's population is less than 5,000 so more a small town than a village. But outside of Bank Holidays and mid July-late August it won't be hectic. Carmarthen is at least three times the size of Tenby - maybe 14-15,000. I'd personally rather be on the coast. (an aside -- in 2019 The Sunday times named Tenby the "Best Beach of the year" in 2019. Plus 6 more of the top 40 are in SW Wales)
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Old May 8th, 2021, 04:20 AM
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Staying on the coast appeals to me as well. Iíd spend an entire vacation there, maybe another trip!
Hereís what Iíve come up with so far, but because of some of these properties requiring a 3 nite minimum stay I may have to adjust. Iíd love everyoneís opinion.

Fly out Thursday
arrive early Friday, Day 1 National express to Cardiff. Spend night in Cardiff
Day 2 take public transport to Cardiff Airport, rent car. Drive to either Tenby, Burry Port or
Llanelli. Each has a pretty flat on flip key or Airbnb. A couple have 3 nite minimum (night 1 here)
Day 3 South Wales- visit sites of interest (night 2here)
Day 4 hereís the dilemma. I was planning on driving to Abergavenny here to use as the second base to explore. But if I settled on a flat that requires 3 nites, weíd need to stay for this day leaving just two days ( and really itíd be a day and a bit bc of the drive there) and a night in Abergavenny. For this itinerary letís just say I found a place that allows 2 nights by the coast.
Day 5 Abergavenny- see sites around there
Day 6 drive to Cardiff airport and return car. Train back to London London nite 1
Day 7 london
Day 8 London
Day 9 London
Day 10 London
​​​​​​ Day 11 fly home from LHR

I would like to see what your thoughts were about this plan. Especially the part in Wales. Should we just try rework that first day, see Cardiff after we arrive and rent the car in the late afternoon to drive to the coastal base in order to secure that first night of the three minimum? Would it be enough time to only have the one night in Abergavenny? Should we subtract a day from London and make it three full days instead of four?

Any and all opinions are welcomed! Thank you all so much!
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Old May 8th, 2021, 07:37 AM
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A few thoughts/options:

I would definitely NOT rent a car and drive that first day. That will be a real slog of a day with the overnight flight, arrival formalities, long coach ride and just plain acclimating.

Consider reversing the order and doing Cardiff > Abergavenny > Tenby > Cardiff. As it is you have the coast on a weekend and many places are more likely to allow shorter stays mid week. Also, if you do find a property with a 3 night minimum -- IME it is a good idea to phone them because sometimes they are willing to do fewer nights depending on what adjacent bookings they have..

Instead of a flat, consider staying in a hotel or B&B on the coast. Few would have more than a 2 night minimum.

Or you could cut one night from London and add it to Wales.

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Old May 9th, 2021, 03:52 AM
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KandKsmom, I love watching Penelope Keith's British Village show on Amazon. I watched her Pembrokeshire one last night. It was very good and she is driving so will give you some perspective on the roads. The show was towards the end of season 2. She visits the area you are interested in btw.
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Old May 9th, 2021, 04:01 AM
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Iíve been drilling down some on the plan of splitting Wales into two locations, and feel we would possibly be better off doing a hub and spoke type of tourism arrangement by selecting one base for the four nights after Cardiff then returning to car and heading back to London to finish out the trip.

Iíve seen several places of accommodation interest that are very central - maybe a bit more so than going as far West to base ourselves as Tenby. I would like to get feedback on them if you are so inclined. I used the aa drive time function and I think these all would put our trips under an hour and a half. The furthest spot is Hay on Wye. If we wanted to go to hay on wye we could maybe drive a loop up through Brecon Beacons on that last day before returning to Cardiff? I just think not having to drive to settle twice is best for our traveling style. We may have to sacrifice seeing a spot or two, but thatís what return trips are for, right? Here are the towns I am considering:

Burry Port-cottage
Llanelli- flat right on the water
Laugharne- cottage

Is there one town that is easier to navigate into, out of? Other information? Again, thank you all for taking your time to share your advice and thoughts!
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Old May 9th, 2021, 04:03 AM
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Oh that’s a great suggestion! I didn’t know of that show! A Mother’s Day gift to me! I’ll watch this evening- thanks so much Macross!!
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Old May 9th, 2021, 06:59 AM
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I honestly think your original plan of splitting between two bases - Tenby area and near Abergavenny is better than trying to do hub and spoke for the whole time. The roads are narrow and the range one can cover from one place will be limited. If you just wanted to tour coastal areas they'd be fine though.

Of the three I would definitely avoid Llanelli. It is a pretty large town - about 40,000 population.

But in yourdecision making, factor in that ALL of the on-line mileage calculators are overly optimistic. No way you could get to Hay on Wye from say Burry Port in 90 minutes. Best case I'd count on is 2 hours. 2.5 hrs wouldn't be out of the question. So you are talking 4 to 5 hours just for the round trip drive and that would mean you wouldn't have the chance to see anything else en route or back. If Hay-on-Wye is one of the musts as you said up thread -- then you need to stay at least some time up in that general area.
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Old May 9th, 2021, 09:07 AM
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Navigation is easy, getting there at the speed that the AA thinks is normal is less easy.
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Old May 9th, 2021, 09:11 AM
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Thanks Janis and biloburgler, your input is invaluable. I’m going back and forth with this. Honestly I can see why people make a vacation to just Wales a choice. That idea has even crossed my mind. I’m such an outdoors, landscape oriented person and love small intimate towns and country. It just seems almost blasphemous to come to the UK and not go to London. I’m thinking either sticking with the original or just doing Wales. I did find a couple of B & Bs as well as some flip key and Airbnb owners who would go for a two night stay. That’s good news for that scenario. Thanks so much again!
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Old May 9th, 2021, 09:31 AM
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Very easy fix IMO. You have 11 nights. Cut London to 3 or 4 nights and add the time to Wales. You'd have one night in Cardiff and 3 or 4 nights in the two bases on the SW coast and the Abergavenny area.

That solves just about every dilemma -- no two night stays, no long day trips, chance to see a lot more in Wales, still a usable time in London.

Make things simple . . .
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Old May 9th, 2021, 11:00 AM
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I think that wasn't as clear as I intended ". . . and staying 3 or 4 nights in each of the two bases . . ."
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Old May 9th, 2021, 12:08 PM
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I think it’s only 10 nights if my calculations are correct. June 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, July 1, 2, 3. If I decided on 3 in one Wales city and 2 in another, which city would be best for the 3 nights? For the 2 nights? (Abergavenny or Tenby or Burry Port or another coastal choice)

For sites, we’d like to see the Brecon Beacons, Hay on Wye, maybe Tintern, Chepstow out that way, st. David’s, Pembrokeshire, maybe the Gower Peninsula on the coast.

What if we trained from LHR to Abergavenny upon arrival. Picked up car. Spent three night nights there.
Drove to Tenby, spent three nights. Drop car off in Tenby. Then trained back to London for 4 nights. We would skip Cardiff, but could maybe drive to see it if we chose as part of a day trip from Abergavenny?

Are there car rental places near the Abergavenny train station? Could a drop off occur in Tenby?




If we drove from Cardiff to I was wondering if it would be helpful to do a one way rental and drop off at Tenby before training back to London. More $$ for the rental, but it would be a five hour train ride (from my checking) in comparison to a 2 hour drive +/- from Tenby to Cardiff and a 3 hour train trip back to London so it seems to be equitable.
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Old May 9th, 2021, 01:19 PM
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Oh shoot! I wanted to delete that whole bottom paragraph and didn’t see it until it was too late to edit! Please disregard or stop reading after the question about a rental car drop off in Tenby! My apologies!
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Old May 9th, 2021, 01:57 PM
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Amazon Amazon
Hidden Villages

If you have amazon prime on tv it is available still. I could listen to her talk all day long. I had one complaint with the sound as sometimes the music was so loud.

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Old May 9th, 2021, 02:29 PM
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FWIW, we were in Wales for 3 weeks a couple years ago, planned to rent a car for 10 days but were so freaked out driving those narrow windy roads that we turned it back in after only 3 days of driving. The nice folks at the rental agency said it happens all the time. Of course we might just be chicken poop and you'll do fine, but the lesson was don't overestimate what is doable. We had to radically scale back, with or without the car. Still there's more than enough to see. Have a great trip.

Edit: Bummer, Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages is "unavailable in my location".
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Old May 9th, 2021, 04:28 PM
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"Of course we might just be chicken poop " . . . ^^^ this

KandKsmom: Once in a while someone does pop in to say "EEK - don't do it!!! Too scary. Couldn't manage" -- but the vast majority of Yanks manage just fine. Honest.

Now, Don't think in terms of 'cities'. Other than Cardiff, the places we've talked about about are either small towns, very small towns or small villages. Even Abergavenny which is the largest place on your itinerary is barely 12,000 people. It isn't like there are car rental places on every (or any) street corner. Most towns / villages do not have rental agencies of any kind and definitely not national ones where you can do one-way hires. That is why I specifically suggested renting a car at CWL. All the big brands are there. You aren't going to find a Hertz or Budget or Avis in Tenby or Abergavenny where you can drop the car. One other option would be to pick up the car at CWL, keep it and drop it at LHR (where again all the national brands are) and take a car service or public transport in to London. Abergavenny to LHR is about a 3 hour drive.

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Old May 10th, 2021, 06:25 AM
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Been talking seriously to family about this trip and how to manage the traveling. Husband is not an avid traveler- thank goodness my kids enjoy it as much as me! He’s decided he is going to sit this one out and take care of our dogs- one of which will be almost 11 be then. Anyway, he’s concerned-as am I if I’m totally honest- about driving. It’s not just the fact that it’s different from here, but I wonder if I would enjoy my time as much if I’m so concentrated on the roads, signs, staying out of trouble. Everyone has their comfort zone and the more I think about it, maybe I’m biting off more than I can chew at my age. I’ve asked the kids if they’d want to drive and they were not jumping at the chance either, plus neither can drive a manual and the automatics are quite a bit more money.

So, I’ve been looking at the 5 day Wales Rabbies tour for us. It hits most of the big attractions we were hoping to see and more even because they add in two nights in North Wales. We could fly into London and arrive on Friday, get a one night hotel near the pick up area and see a days worth of London shaking off jet lag before starting the tour on Saturday morn. Return and go to our London home base for the rest of the trip.

I know many folks on this site have posted favorable reports about Rabbies. Has anyone been on this particular tour? I think I would like to pick our own accommodations so we can find one that the three of us can share a room.

I’m feeling more comfortable with this decision already. Thanks to all who are continually helping me work through this!
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Old May 10th, 2021, 06:37 AM
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Good for you. I grew up in England, and drove a manual for several years before moving to the US, but I haven't driven there on a trip since 2004. I need an automatic these days, and they're expensive and not guaranteed, and I don't need the stress, even though navigating is simpler with GPS. I use public transport, but the Rabbies tours look interesting.
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Old May 10th, 2021, 06:40 AM
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I think you are doing the right thing. Enjoy your trip, have a pint for lunch though I hear the cider there is great. We are thinking about Rabbies also. My friends did a Scotland tour with them from Edinburgh and loved it. They picked their own accommodation with approval from them. They want you to be close to pick up and drop off locations. My husband said he won't drive there so it is train and bus or Rabbies for us. He can drive but he hates being stressed with the responsibility. It is vacation after all.
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