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Staying in one place in the UK for a week at a time

Staying in one place in the UK for a week at a time

Oct 14th, 2001, 04:41 PM
  #1  
Paul
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Staying in one place in the UK for a week at a time

Hello...
On two trips to Europe in the past few years, my family of four has enjoyed renting chalets and apartments for a week. It's very affordable for a family, and we like being based in one area to get to know the region a bit better. We rent a car and enjoy day trips.

I'm in the early stages of planning a possible trip to the UK for next summer, and I was wondering whether anyone had advice on places that would make good places for exploring. On past trips we've rented Sat to Sat places for three weeks with time at the beginning and end for travel.

My daughters are interested in castles, catherdrals, and the rural countryside. We like a quiet vacation that includes all of us reading medieval mysteries while sitting in the ruins of a castle. We don't need to constantly be on the go to enjoy ourselves.

We would like to be in Scotland for a week, although I am concerned about the driving distance or the cost of going by train up and then back to leave from Heathrow. I would like for one week to be close enough to London for a few daytrips. Cornwall and visits to Tintagel and the Atlantic coast sound nice. We're more interested in the countryside than in cities.

I know that there are many wonderful posts on the UK from the Fodors group here, but I wanted to just get opinions on places we might enjoy for a week at a time. In advance, thanks for any experience and advice you can share with me.

Paul
 
Oct 14th, 2001, 05:42 PM
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BB
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topping
 
Oct 14th, 2001, 06:17 PM
  #3  
pete
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Paul,
Visit the British National Trust website below:
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main...ays/index.html

They have a catalog of approximately 300 National Trust properties that can be rented for a week (or less) throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (Scotland has their own holiday cottages available through the Scotland National Trust). I got the catalog last year (ended up not going so didn't book anything), but the properties they offer are really interesting. They range from cottages in the Moors with no electricity etc., to luxury apartments in stately homes with TV and all amenities. The best thing about them is that most of them are historic properties and very unique (turret apartments, castles, gatehouses, thatched cottages, former lighthouse keeper cottages on the coast etc.). Some are on the grounds of National Trust properties (or in the actual castles/statley homes) and you have after-hours access to the property.

As for a good base, I'm not familiar with southern England, but recommend North Yorkshire for beautiful countryside (dales & moors), castles (Skipton castle), stately homes (castle howard), churches (York Minster), abbey ruins (Fountains Abbey, Rivaleaux Abbey, Bolton Abbey), and small villages & medieval towns (the shambles in York, all the villages throughout the dales). York is approx. 2 hours by train from London.
 
Oct 14th, 2001, 06:42 PM
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Lori
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We've done this several times - staying in one place for a week that is. I'd recommend Lewes - it's close enough to get into London and easy to get to Hever Castle, Herstmoncea & Bodiam Castles, Hastings (Battlefield), Rye, and many other sights. We spent 6 days there and really enjoyed the area. We don't need to be on the go every instant either and it's a nice town to be in. Likewise Salisbury. Spent 1 week there and loved it (Great Cathedral & nice small city) - went to Wales, Castle Combe, Longleat, Beaulieu, many coastal towns,Bath, etc. etc. Great place for day tripping. York is good too .. lots to see there. We also enjoyed thoroughly 4 days we spent at a small hotel called Pride of the Valley in Surrey (day trip into London if you like). It's real countryside and altho it is not an apt.or chalet it's a great little hotel with lots to see around the area. It's near Farnham, in an area called Churt.

If you do a search on self catering you can come up with hundreds of places, it's a matter of zeroing in on your wants and likes. One problem with the National Trust properties (if you can call it a problem) is that they are mostly Sat. to Sat. rentals - they don't allow for flexability.
 
Oct 14th, 2001, 07:34 PM
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Gayle
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When traveling in England 18 months ago, we regretted that we only spent one night at Tor Cottage -- near the border between Devonshire and Cornwall. The e-mail address was [email protected]@demon.co.uk It was not self-catering--more of a b&b in a lovely setting. You could take day trips around the area, or use it as a stayover on a trip deeper into Cornwall.
 
Oct 14th, 2001, 07:36 PM
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Gayle
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Correction. I used too many @ Should be [email protected]
 
Oct 14th, 2001, 08:02 PM
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xxx
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I second Cornwall/Devon. Beautiful, beautiful area!
 
Oct 14th, 2001, 08:51 PM
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Lisa
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How about London itself, at least for half the time? It's certainly the best place for day trips.
 
Oct 14th, 2001, 10:46 PM
  #9  
xxx
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Hi Paul; that's the way I'd do it too, if I were you.

First, I'd be inclined to suggest you see about flying into London and out of Glasgow. That sorts one of your problems

Second, I'd suggest you look to rent in Scotland either in the are just north west of Stirling or in the are just north west of Perth.

Picking the right place will give you a central location from where you can visit the central belt honeypots like Edinburgh and St Andrews but be in relatively quiet countryside.

I'd also be inclined to suggest that you come north by train, and rent again when you get to Scotland.
 
Oct 15th, 2001, 01:33 AM
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mig
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I'd suggest renting a cottage in the Cotswolds.(a 2 hour drive from London) You're about 10 miles from Stratford upon Avon (riverside setting with Ann Hathaway's cottage and Shakespeare's birthplace) and Warwick Castle (great location) with Kenilwoth Castle close by (atmospheric ruin. You can easily get to London for day trips (1.5 hours from Banbury to London Marylebone) In fact you're well placed for so mnay trips as places like York to the NE, North Wales castles to the NW, Oxford to the S and Cambridge to the East are all within an easy 2-3 hour drive.)
 
Oct 15th, 2001, 02:04 AM
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sylvia
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Have a look in http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...ilne6/tour.htm under accommodation.
There are several links to cottages.

We recently stayed in a very nice cottage in Sandsend near Whitby.
You can see it at http://www.english-country-cottages.co.uk/ under North Yorkshire Coast.
The address is Raithwaite Hall Cottages
Sandsend, Whitby, North Yorkshire.
I quote from the description "Fine country cottages in a secluded woodland retreat - just a short walk from three miles of golden sands . . ." Just 500 yards from one of the finest stretches of sandy beach on the Yorkshire coast, these seven very comfortable cottages nestle in a secluded estate with 60 acres of shared grounds which include mature woodland, rare plants, tumbling streams, a lake and a wide variety of wildlife such as deer, badgers, swans and herons."
 
Oct 15th, 2001, 03:35 AM
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Alison
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Paul,

If you do make it up north I would highly recommend Northumberland. We've just come back from a week's break on the coast near Alnwick - fantastic beaches, a string of impressive castles along the coast, Holy Island, and beautiful hills and villages inland. It is a great area with lots to see and do. Check out the local tourist information site and you should be able to get information on cottages etc.

Have a great trip.
 
Oct 15th, 2001, 08:18 AM
  #13  
top
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Topping for Paul.
 
Oct 15th, 2001, 11:04 AM
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Mavis
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What about North Wales, Cornwall and Kent/Sussex? And depending where you are in Kent/Sussex it would be fairly easy to make daytrips into London. It would mean a bit of driving to do all three, but certainly you can get from place to place in a day and most self catering cottages want you out by 10 a.m. and you can't get in until 4:00 p.m. We've rented cottages in all three places and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Just the right combination of things to see/do and beautiful surroundings in which to relax. Please feel free to contact me with more details about specific cottages.
 
Oct 15th, 2001, 05:42 PM
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Ann
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Paul, we're renting a large house (okay, my sister calls it a castle) through the Landmark Trust in Scotland, near Stirling. Will be there in a few weeks... I've promised the forum to post the experience for others who've asked about renting through LT. If you're not familiar with the trust, it's primarily a UK concern, although they also have villas in Italy... our rental is Friday to Friday, an is advertised as "functional, not luxurious" but you could fool me from the photos. Fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, etc. The trust saves architecturally or historically significant properties and renovates them, then provides the upkeep via rental. Castles are includes (as is an apartment in Hampton Palace!!), cottages in the Cotswolds, thatched-roof farmhouses, an entire island (!)and many more. You can be as "in town" or out in the country as you wish, and they sleep from two persons to 16+. If you can wait for about six weeks, I'll give you a first-person report on the experience. Meantime, you might want to order the catalog, which you must have to book and to really get an appreciation for the properties (floorplans included). Check www.landmarktrust.co.uk. I think you'll appreciate their offerings from the tone of your post.
 
Oct 15th, 2001, 05:57 PM
  #16  
Paul
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Thanks so much for the quick and speedy responses. On our other trips I've been much further along in my planning by this time in the fall, so I feel like I'm scrambling to catch up.
Thanks so much for the kind sharing.
Paul
 
Oct 20th, 2001, 04:10 AM
  #17  
topper
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topping.....
 
Oct 20th, 2001, 07:23 AM
  #18  
steve
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I totally agree that renting is a great way to go. I would certainly recommed going to Sxcotland - it isn't really that far.

We stayed in Callendar which is near Stirling, midway between Edinbough and Glasgow. We stayed at the Leny Lodge in a nice cottage on their farm. They have the traditional cottage (actually two units in one bldg), some more modern looking units, and then also run a b&b in the big house. It was very reasonable. There are a great many places to see in the area, and took a long day trip around Loch Ness.

I also like the cotswolds as a good center to base at. Stayed 6 days at Fairford Air base and had no shortage of interesting places to see
 
Oct 21st, 2001, 06:53 AM
  #19  
ttt
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Oct 21st, 2001, 07:21 AM
  #20  
Ann
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You could consider making Winchester a base for a week. London is easily accesible by train (approx 1 hour) and you would also be able to do trips to other cathedral cities such as Salisbury and Chichester, and to Portsmouth to see the historic ships - the Victory, Warrior and the Mary Rose. If you add Windsor, Bath and/or Stonehenge, your week is full!
 

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