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Two week visit to England – input appreciated!

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Dec 29th, 2012, 03:19 PM
  #1
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Two week visit to England – input appreciated!

Hello,

I am planning a trip to England in September 2013 and hoping to get some advice. We will have a car. I am looking forward to seeing the countryside, castles, gardens and anything Tudor. The tentative itinerary:

Day 1: arrive Heathrow, overnight Windsor
Day 2: daytrip to Oxford then drive to Chipping Campden (5 nights in Chipping Campden)
Days 3 - 6: touring the Cotswolds, daytrip to Stratford-Upon-Avon/Kenilworth Castle (will there be time for Baddesley Clinton?)
Day 7: Hardwick Hall and Chatsworth House, overnight Bakewell area?
Day 8: day (or two) of half-timbered houses! From Bakewell to Ludlow, visit Little Moreton Hall, Market Drayton, Shrewsbury, Much Wenlock, Bishop’s Castle. Overnight Ludlow
Day 9: Ludlow, overnight Ludlow
Day 10: Gloucester, Castle Combe, Lacock, overnight Bath
Day 11: Bath, overnight Bath
Day 12: Wells Cathedral, overnight Bath
Day 13: Stourhead House and Garden, Jane Austen’s Chawton, overnight Winchester
Day 14: Winchester, overnight Winchester
Day 15: drive by Highclere Castle en route to Heathrow

Is it be better to spend the second night in Oxford rather than Chipping Campden? Would I be able to fit in Haddon Hall? Highclere Castle will be closed so what is the best vantage point to see it from the road? I had originally hoped to go to Sevenoaks, Staplehurst and Tenterden to see where my ancestors lived, but I don’t think that this trip will accommodate it.

Thank you!
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Dec 29th, 2012, 03:34 PM
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Sorry - way too much moving around for my type of trip.

My only advice is NOT to miss Hampton Court Palace - much more Tudor than most of the places listed.
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Dec 29th, 2012, 04:21 PM
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Some thoughts.

- Yes to an overnight in Oxford.
- I think it would make much more sense to then continue on to Derbyshire/Peak District. Haddon Hall is one of the finest houses I've ever seen. Make time for it.
- Then on to Ludlow, etc.
- Next, Cotswolds & Bath, Winchester, etc.
- Skip Stratford & Kenilworth and think about which other stops to eliminate as you really have too many on your list to enjoy them properly.
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Dec 29th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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Not my kind of holiday either, although I have done similar in the past.

I`ll only comment on the Stratford/Kenilworth day. Baddesley Clinton is a small property, should not take more than an hour. Kenilworth is a good two hours at least to see properly. That leaves less than a half day at Stratford upon Avon. Not nearly enough time if you are a serious Shakespearian. The 5 Shakespeare properties would take more than a day by themselves.

Over all, I don
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Dec 29th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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"My only advice is NOT to miss Hampton Court Palace - much more Tudor than most of the places listed."

HCP is marvelous -- but it isn't 'more Tudor' (lots of it is Stuart) than for instance Hardwick Hall

Instead of a big loop a more linear route makes more sense to me. Then you'd have plenty of time to see all the places you mention IMO. You really aren't trying to do too much - mostly multi-night stops.

Have you booked your flights yet? If not, I would fly open jaw into Manchester and home from LHR. Start in the north and work your way south ending up at LHR, drop the car, fly home. (or you could do it in reverse into LHR and home from MAN)

15 days is enough for Derbyshire/Ludlow area/the Cotswolds/Bath/Wichester. You don't have to spend a night IN Oxford -- having a car there is problematic anyway. You can do it as a day trip from your base in the Cotswolds or enroute between the Cotswolds and Bath (either driving south or north).

There is no need to skip Keneilworth and/or Stratford - Stratford is only about 30 minutes from Chipping Campden.

I'm one of the first to say one is trying to squeeze in too much in too little time. I honestly think you aren't. W/ just a little tweaking you can do it all.
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Dec 29th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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Way too much moving around?;

Windsor 1 night (arrival adjustment)
CC 5 nights (1:41 drive)
Bakewell 1 night (2:30 drive)
Ludlow 3 nights (2:30 drive)
Bath 3 nights (2:15 drive)
Winchester 3 nights (1:40 drive)

Except for the trip up to Bakewell and return for a 1 night stay (5 hours return) this is a lovely pace for 15 day with a couple of drives of 1:45 - 2:15 hours broken up by 3-5 night stays. And I presume the OP has a couple of must sees up near Bakewell that are deemed will worth a 5 hour drive.

No need to apologize nytraveler - you aren't delivering bad news because it isn't your trip.

It's 36 minutes to Chatsworth House from Hardwick Hall and then 10 minutes on to Haddon Hall. It is not the distance between them that will decide if you can see all three, but how long you want to devote to each. With a 2:30 hour drive to get up there you would need to move really fast; like leaving at 08:00 and visiting them from 10:30 - 1:00, 14:00 - 16:00 and 16:30 - 18:30, presuming that is still within opening hours.

Windsor to Oxford is about an hour and Windsor to CC is about 2 hours, so it is halfway. Presumably you want to visit it on the way to CC. I am not a fan of 1 night stops and since you have one to start and one in Bakewell, it might make sense to not create another one on your second day just to get an hour closer to CC. Since you are going to be adjusting to the time difference for the first few days - which usually means waking up early in Europe since it is 5-6 hours ahead of your EST schedule - you can probably easily get an early start from Windsor and be in Oxford by around 9::00 giving you close to 8 hours in Oxford and still enabling you to arrive in CC by about 6:30 p.m. for dinner.
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Dec 29th, 2012, 06:04 PM
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By too many stops I was referring to individual places to see, not locales. It seems to me a more satisfying day to see 2 places at a civilized pace rather than 3 rushed. In the case of Derbyshire, with 3 great houses, stay 2 nights. In other areas there might be some stand-out sights and some lesser ones that could by passed on.

A linear approach or circular one makes no difference if one does not waste time backtracking or trying to see lesser places on the way to the greats just because you're in the neighborhood. To do this well requires organization and discipline.
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Dec 29th, 2012, 07:28 PM
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The main advantage of a "linear" route is less total distance to cover. Instead fo LHR zigzagging north and then back south and back to LHR, one can cover the same exact destinations in 300 fewer miles.
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Dec 29th, 2012, 08:18 PM
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Thank you all for your input and encouragement! We don’t mind moving around, but I also don’t particularly care for one night stays.

I had originally considered flying open jaw, but have points for Virgin Atlantic and for some reason they can only be used for a round trip ticket. I will take another look at the route as you suggested and maybe fly into Heathrow and out of Manchester. I didn’t want to drive too much after an overnight flight so would it make sense to spend the first night in Windsor whether we decide to take the northern route or the southern route?

Day 8 was going to be mostly pictures of the architecture. However, if we see something that we’d like to explore, we would. We could also see some of the closer towns/villages to Ludlow on Day 9 instead of trying to fit them all in on one day. Thank you for noting suggested times for seeing some of the properties. It is very helpful. I would like to do the historic properties justice instead of running through them. I’ve read to avoid taking a car into Oxford so a daytrip from Chipping Campden is probably the best way to go.

The places I mention are those I would love to see, but I try to keep it fluid because we always find some little gem and linger longer than planned or are pleasantly surprised with someplace that wasn’t on the itinerary at all. I will re-work the itinerary and post for additional guidance. Should I start a new thread or continue with this one?

Thank you all again!
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Dec 29th, 2012, 11:06 PM
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Tapping your new thoughts/questions in to this thread is probably best -then folks can see your ideas as they evolve.
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Dec 30th, 2012, 05:52 AM
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Janisj, I have no doubt you're right about the straight line. Only meant whether one decides on one or the other, etc. I'm just back from the 4 months RTW and jetlagged, not expressing myself well. Lovs2travel sounds passionate and sensible and altogether equipped to make it work. And going to some of my favorite spots.
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Dec 30th, 2012, 02:08 PM
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I’ve re-worked the itinerary and would like your feedback. I’ve taken a night away from Bath to allow for two nights in the Bakewell area. I have been to Bath in the past, but my husband has not. I think he would appreciate the Roman Baths and the architecture so I am hoping that the one full day in Bath will be enough.

Day 1: arrive Heathrow, overnight Windsor
Day 2: Jane Austen’s Chawton, overnight Winchester
Day 3: Winchester, overnight Winchester
Day 4: Stourhead House and Garden, Wells Cathedral, overnight Bath
Day 5: Bath, overnight Bath
Day 6: Gloucester, Tewkesbury to Chipping Campden (5 nights Chipping Campden)
Days 7-10: touring the Cotswolds, daytrip to Stratford-Upon-Avon/Kenilworth Castle, daytrip to Oxford
Day 11: Leominster, Ludlow, overnight Ludlow
Day 12: Much Wenlock, Shrewsbury, Market Drayton, overnight Ludlow
Day 13: Little Moreton Hall, Haddon Hall, overnight Bakewell area
Day 14: Hardwick Hall and Chatsworth House, overnight Bakewell area
Day 15: depart Manchester Airport
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Dec 30th, 2012, 02:29 PM
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Looks lovely. None of your days are over full.

And the only even long-ish drive days are Winchester to Bath via Wells, and Ludlow to Bakewell. Both are totally doable
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Dec 30th, 2012, 02:38 PM
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shame you're missing out on Staplehurst, Tenterden etc - perhaps another time.

if you do make it to that area, then yo should definitely try to see Hever Castle [home of Anne Boleyn] and Penshurst Place - which is even older than the tudors!

http://www.penshurstplace.com/page/4...ace-To-Explore
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Dec 30th, 2012, 03:03 PM
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If, as you say, "anything Tudor" then it would be sad to miss Haddon Hall when you're in the neighborhood. It's the least updated over the centuries house I've seen and I've seen a lot of them over the years. Beautifully authentic, 12th to early 17th century, a place where you can feel history, if that's what you want. Try to make time. You won't be sorry.

www.haddonhall.co.uk
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Dec 30th, 2012, 03:45 PM
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MmeP: "If, as you say, "anything Tudor" then it would be sad to miss Haddon Hall when you're in the neighborhood . . . Try to make time. "

She has Haddon Hall in the latest itinerary
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Dec 30th, 2012, 04:03 PM
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Thanks, I missed it. Good job!
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Dec 31st, 2012, 02:16 PM
  #18
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Thank you all so much! I am REALLY looking forward to this trip!
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Dec 31st, 2012, 08:33 PM
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Sounds like a lovely trip! You'll be visiting some of the spots we enjoyed, like Stourhead, Chatsworth, and Haddon Hall.

Lee Ann
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