Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Two nioht trip outside of London-not sure where to go

Two nioht trip outside of London-not sure where to go

Jan 7th, 2009, 09:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 12
Two nioht trip outside of London-not sure where to go

I will be tagging along with my husband on his business trip to London next week. He'll be done with work on a Friday afternoon and we will not leave home via Heathrow until the following Monday. So we'll have two nights and two days. We want to get outside of London as we've been there a few times before. We are debating renting a car or taking a train. If we rent a car and left London Friday afternoon, we're thinking of going to the Cotswalds. If we take a train, we don't know where to go. We plan to stay in London the Sunday night before we leave home. We are looking for a beautiful village/town that has some good pubs and that is big enough to keep us busy for full day. I've been searching the internet trying to figure out where to go via train. I thought maybe Arundel would be nice?? We've been to Winchester, Bath, Oxford and Windsor. We are in our 30's and are looking forward to a quiet trip without out three little one's. Any recommendations of a place that shouldn't be missed, considering our time constraints? Thanks for any advice you can give!
musttraveloften is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 10:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
What's the 10 day weather forecast?

I would want someplace that didn't require my driving to get there and back in case the weather was miserable, had a place to stay with a roaring fireplace and plenty of heat, and an activity that happily kept me indoors most of the time.

Actually, I'd probably stay in the environs of London and go to the nice toasty greenhouses in Kew Garden, or spend all day inside Hampton court -- and maybe leave for the airport from there.
zeppole is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 11:25 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,160
Yours is one of the few scenarios where the Cotswolds (more or less) is probably THE solution, though you need to plan a bit cautiously if your return flight is early in the morning.

Train to Oxford, then bus (from outside the station) or cab to Woodstock. Or stay on the train to Charlbury, staying at the Bull or Bell, or getting a cab to take you to Burford. Wider choice of places to stay at Woodstock and Burford.

In all cases, you're in a pretty medieval town in nice old hotel with a decent log fire and reasonable (though little better) food and a good few other pubs around. You're on the edge of loads of footpaths for lots of nice (possibly) or at least bracing walks.

Downside is you're not surrounded by millions of Florence or Avignon-style Great Things, though these three towns (they all get upset if you call them villages, though none have as big a population as a modest apartment block) are all handy enough to Oxford to catch up on museums or whatever you've not seen before.

For a Monday flight out of Heathrow:
- train back to Reading then bus OR
- cab to Oxford Thornhill Park & Ride then bus (buses throughout the night: half hourly from 0600: 90 mins at normal rush hour), OR
- fastest, though can be priciest (if you've checked in online, 95 mins from Charlbury station to clearing any LHR security): train to Paddington then Heathrow Express to LHR.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 12:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,126

Oh, go to York or Durham on the train!! Although both are small cities rather than village/town they have loads to offer (Durham Cathedral is one of my favourite buildings anywhere in the world) and either would IMHO be a better bet in the dead of winter than the countryside and driving.

There's more to England than the south.

There's also an indoor market in Durham and there used to be a small outdoor one in the marketplace on Saturdays too.

I see that the weather in the UK right now is terrible. Hope it improves for your trip wherever you decide to go.

afterall is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 01:23 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,740
York on the train fits a lot of your needs. Other thoughts

Cambridge by train
Winchester by train
Salisbury by train (could rent local car for stonehenge)
Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester are really cities, which if you want city lights might do (but you have just been in London)

Note that loads of Brits will be leaving London that afternoon to get away for the weekend so you need to book rooms or make reservations. Trains will be full and roads may be slow
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 01:25 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,541
The weather has been quite cold but very beautiful with sunny days and a lovely time to visit the Cotswolds.

If you want to see a cathedral, there is one nearer to London in St Albans, easily reached by train in about half hour from central London, there are nice walks along a small river and lake nearby and several interesting old buildings and cosy pubs. There is a market on Saturday mornings and plenty of shops. There is the Verulamium Museum which stands in the site of the original Roman town.
Odin is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,135
My vote would be Salisbury. You can get there by train from London.

Not sure what time is your return flight from Heathrow, but from Salisbury, you can get a "RailAir" ticket which you take a train from Salisbury to Woking, then change for a National Express coach from Woking to Heathrow. I did that last May, and it worked very well for me (entire trip takes 2 hours).

I really enjoyed Salisbury - a nice town with an impressive Cathedral (plus a copy of Magna Carta). They offer a free guided tour. In addition, if you have time, you can take their Tower tour which lasts for 2 hours. I think Fodorite noe847 took the Tower tour a few years ago and she raved about it. While in Salisbury, you can also take the Stonehenge tour to Stonehenge.
yk is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 05:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,773
I would also vote for York, but you could consider Cambridge or Canterbury - arriving by train and possibly renting a car while there (try Enterprise, they're cheap and pick you up) and visiting Ely from Cambridge or Dover from Canterbury.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,582
What about paris - a nice easy train trip.?
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 06:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 12
Wow. Such great advice. Thank you! I am going to show all these suggestions to my husband and we'll narrow it down. I've heard the weather has been terrible and I'm hoping it gets better! We depart Heathrow at 11:15am, so it will probably be best if we make it back to London on Sunday afternoon/early evening. Thank you FlannerUK for all the transportation details. I really appreciate it! Thank you everyone!
musttraveloften is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 07:19 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 444
Paris of course!
letsgo39 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:13 PM.