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Three weeks to visit London and UK- Any suggestions?

Three weeks to visit London and UK- Any suggestions?

Nov 24th, 2005, 08:46 AM
  #1  
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Three weeks to visit London and UK- Any suggestions?

I live in Honduras, administering an orphanage and nutrition center. After spending the last three years without so much as one day off "work", I am planning on treating myself, my 25 year old son, and my 11 year old daughter to a three week vacation. Currently thinking of London for the entire time but my son thinks we should branch out and see more of the UK. Any ideas, thoughts or suggestions would be welcome. Originally from the US, I have lived in Honduras for six years (it is beautiful here but so poor)- would love to see more of Europe but budget leads me to try to focus on one area. Plus I want to focus on one culture, one area, rather than hop from country to country. My daughter is a Russian gypsy and she is insistent we don't go near Eastern Europe. Thanks for any advice- I am becoming addicted to reading these posts- so interesting to hear all these stories - we are so unconnected with the outside world here, it is refreshing to live a bit vicariously through you all. Ana
anaaleman is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 09:03 AM
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Ana

I'd be inclined to suggest that you pick somewhere rural to contrast with London.

Lots and lots of choices to be made after that. Any notions of the sort of place you might like.
sheila is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 09:09 AM
  #3  
abk
 
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As long as you factor in expensive travelling costs within the Uk you could also spend a few days in Scotland - at the other end of the country, Cornwall is wonderful. A lot depends on the weather too - you don't say when you are going.
abk is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 09:42 AM
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Planning our trip for the first part of June. My son is a writer (aspiring) and is fascinated with London so we thought we would start there. Going to Scotland sounds excellent- train? Budget is fairly tight but this is a well deserved vacation so we will find funding!
anaaleman is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 11:10 AM
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You could easily spend three weeks in London, but you could visit somewhere like Windsor or Oxford.
If you have a car, Suffolk and Norfolk are very near London and are very rural with wonderful old churches and picturesque villages.
MissPrism is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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You options are almost limitless. And June is a FABULOUS time to visit the UK. It is so far north that it won't be dark until very late - like 11 p.m. up in Scotland and after 10 p.m. down south in London.

A week in London is a great intro -- not enough time to see everything of course, but enough time to get a good overview and maybe whet your appetite to visit again. You can rent a nice 1 or 2 bedroom apartment in the center and "feel" like you are living in London.

For your other 2 weeks - you could go ANYWHERE. Do you want to drive or rely on public transport. That will make a big difference. You don't need (or want) a car in the cities, but getting off the beaten path in a lot of areas would require having a car.

Maybe your childreen and you should sit down w/ a couple of guidebooks to help you focus on a couple of other parts of the UK and then concentrate on them.

One really good itinerary would be 1 week in London, take the train to Edinburgh for 2 or 3 days and then rent a car and tour some parts of Scotland for about 10 days. This would be a WONDERFUL trip - but you would miss out on other parts of England/Wales.

London, a week in the Cotswolds and a week in Yorkshire; or London, the Lake District and Wales; or London, the Cotswolds and Devon/Cornwall - these would all also be great trips -- you really can't go wrong whatever you choose.

You should not try to squeeze in too much territory though.

If you DO decide on London/Scotland (probably my very first choice) think about open jaw -- fly into London and out of Edinburgh or Glasgow.
janisj is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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If cost could be prohibitive, then you really should avoid spending too long in London.
There is more to the UK than London !
However it really does depend upon your interests.
Scotland, Cornwall, South Coast of England Cotswolds, Ireland and not forgetting Wales are all great.
Try to focus upon your interests and don't try to 'do' the whole of the UK and Ireland in 3 weeks. Narrow it down to 2 or 3 areas.

Good Luck

Muck
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Nov 24th, 2005, 03:15 PM
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Hi Ana

If there are three of you it could be worth renting a car. Do it before you leave Honduras, look for good deals over the internet. Train fares are horrendously expensive in UK. Yes so is petrol, but at least it is divided by 3 all the time.

I love the Lakes District, or the Yorkshire Dales, such magnificent green rolling hills, little dry stone walls, hump back bridges and everything so English!! The Cotswolds is very picturesque, I find Cornwall, whilst beautiful, a bit of a pain in regards to many of the little "tourist" towns not letting you drive in, charging a fortune for parking etc etc.

With three weeks you could really see a few "different" aspects of the UK. Have a look of the British Tourist board web sights and take your pick of the hundreds of places to see and do. So much history and well organised too - ie caters for tourists. Is it "Iron bridge" (haven't been there myself) that is meant to be fascinating, the 25 yr old son would probably enjoy that. Do lots of research and get the "kids" involved. If you are into walking - even gently, then there are heaps of short organised walks, ie you can get little printed maps at the tourist information centres and then follow the walks which are marked. They follow through the countryside, over fields, though people's farms, into little villages etc. This is what I love about the UK. You can do really short ones, or really long ones, they are so organised at the tourist info places. Make sure you stop in to these places when you are touring around.

Spend a week or so in London and then head off, your son is right - branch out.
schnauzer is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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We had just over 2 weeks for our first trip to the UK. We stayed in London 5 days, train to York for 2 days, train to Edinburgh for 2 or 3 days, pick up car and drive back to England through the Lake District, the Cotswolds and back into London. For us, this was a great introduction to the UK and we were inspired to return 10 times or more. I agree with a previous poster that you should read several guide books to find out what you really want to see and do. If you're renting a car, do check prices with Autoeurope.com. We've always been satisfied with their prices and service.
crckwc is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 05:24 PM
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Just bear in mind that London is the most expensive city in Europe, perhaps the World (in my opinion). Saying that, get an apartment in London, something small as you won't be spending a lot of time there. You can eat some meals in just to keep you going - restaurants will be expensive. I spent a month (one week London, 3 weeks driving all over England). Picked up a car outside London, drove north to Cambridge/York, west and then south. If I only had 3 weeks I would choose the same car pickup, head to York then west and south thru the Cotswolds which, to me, epitomizes what I think of as "rural England" - cute villages, small towns, picture book. You'll get a great overview. If you'd like my trip report, please e-mail me at [email protected]
nancy is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 07:13 PM
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You say that you'd like to see more of Europe, but budget leads you to stay in one place. I would consider staying in London for at least a few days, economizing as much as possible, and then taking a budget airfare to a cheaper city - which could be just about anywhere. Given you could get an airfare for a few pounds plus tax, and other cities are so much cheaper, you could likely make up the transport cost within a day - literally. Berlin is one cheap, very interesting place. Many places in Italy would qualify. Even Paris would likely be cheaper than London.
WillTravel is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 08:39 PM
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A lot of posters will try to scare you away from london due to the perception that it is sooooo much more expensive.

Well - there are wonderful ways to economise and I can - truly - do London cheaper than Paris or Rome.

Hotels in London ARE more expensive than comparable places in Paris as an example. But there are so many hundreds of flats for rent and due to the competition flats in London are cheaper than comparable apartments in Paris.

Meals generally DO cost more in London - but with the full kitchen in the flat you can really save by eating just a few meals in.

Public transport in London is a tremendous bargain.

And the TKTS booth at Leicester square offers some great bargains for the best theatre in th world.

And finally -- almost every museum and gallery in London has free admission. Virtually nothing in Paris or Rome is free.

People look at the cost of typical hotels and meals in London and leap to assuming everything costs more. Simply isn't the case if you plan well . . . . .
janisj is offline  
Nov 24th, 2005, 09:43 PM
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If your son is a writer and is interested in London, it seems like that is a prerequisite.

However, someone mentioned Paris -- you could do a week London, a week in the English countryside and conclude with a week in Paris.

It is not a large grand destination, but I really enjoyed Charles Dickens' house.

5alive is online now  
Nov 25th, 2005, 04:39 AM
  #14  
abk
 
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Suggest you look at www.eastjet.com
and also bmi.baby as well as BA for a flight to Ediburgh. Train will take about 5 hours and is very expensive
Easyjet is from Luton - so you would have to get there. Ideally use Heathrow which you can take the Paddington Express train to from London
Edinburgh would be good for three days and you could try to go out of town into the Highlands.
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Nov 29th, 2005, 11:05 AM
  #15  
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Thanks for all these wonderful ideas. We spent the weekend browsing for information online and have concluded that flying to Paris for 9 days and then the train to London for another 10 days is the best plan. Planning lots of day trips outside of London as well. My son and daughter have agreed to avoiding restaurants to save money and just making picnics and light fare. Will enjoy a couple meals in each city of course. We are getting so excited about our trip that my other daughter might leave her job in Texas for a while and join us. Should be a welcome change of pace from our lives here. Have set my 12 year old to work researching both Paris and London so she will appreciate and understand what she is seeing. My son is delighted as he anticipates following in Hemingway's footsteps while in Paris...don't know if that is good or bad but should prove interesting. Thanks for all the advice and I am sure I will be asking more detailed questions as the time for our journey approaches. Airfares seem a bit high right now so I am waiting till after the first of the year to book..plus Expedia seems bent on using Delta which I want to avoid until we see what happens with them. Thanks again..new to all this and I just find this forum incredibly interesting. Ana
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Nov 29th, 2005, 04:59 PM
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The post above had a typo - I believe they meant to point you to easyjet.com. Don't forget about ryanair.com also. Ryanair has never disappointed me ! Super cheap fares ! Enjoy your trip ! I love the UK !
flbronc is offline  
Nov 30th, 2005, 10:44 AM
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We had a most enjoyable time in the UK 8 years ago. Two days in London, then two days in a B&B outside Bath, then two days in a B&B outside Shrewsbury, then two days in the Lake District, then two days in Stratford, then two days in Kent, then home. Having a car permitted lots of day trips. Regretted not adding Scotland and York and Cornwall, but there's always time for more.

If you go to Paris, I'd suggest trying to find a way for 2 days in Burgundy.

Enjoy your trip!!
tomboy is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 11:53 AM
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My favorite part of England...the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

kay in Michigan
kay6213132 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2005, 11:26 AM
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Try Newcastle and Gateshead.
It's only 3 hours away up the east coast main line. It's also surrounded by lots of undiscovered countryside. The Northumberland National Park in particular.
There's Hadrian's Wall and lots of other things to do.
You'll find this website very useful:
www.visitnewcastlegateshead.com
Happy Holidaying in the UK!
MM_PIE is offline  

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