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Two weeks or so across the South of England and Wales to Ireland

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Two weeks or so across the South of England and Wales to Ireland

Old Jan 30th, 2020, 05:18 AM
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Two weeks or so across the South of England and Wales to Ireland

This is at least the fourth post (and I'm sure not the last) regarding this trip, but we think we have dates. And an actual itinerary. Traveling party is three adults, myself, my DH, and our adult DS with very mild delays.

Current plan is to fly out of PHL on Friday 8/28, spend Saturday locally near Heathrow, get ourselves to Watford early on Sunday for the Harry Potter Studio tour, and spend the night and pick up a hire car there. I would appreciate a recommendation for a Sunday carvery that isn't far from the HP Studio, it's an important item in DS's itinerary.

From Watford on Monday we are planning to drive south and spend several days in self-catering near Hastings, where we will absorb history and do beach things. We had liked the look of Chessington World of Adventures, which we should be almost going past, but we think we're going to play that by ear. We had also wanted to go to Audley End House, but it's very obviously in the wrong direction.

On Friday, we will drive to Southampton (I have a conference and we MUST be there for the 5th and 6th). We are booked at the Jury's Inn Southampton, although I may change that. We are planning to leave Southampton for Bournemouth on Sunday (need another carvery suggestion) in the early afternoon, stay there and visit the Bovington Tank Museum on Monday. Monday night we would like to stay close to Stonehenge and do that and Avebury on Tuesday, then drive west. We're thinking to stay somewhere near Swansea, possibly, and take the ferry from Pembroke to Rosslare on Wednesday. We had originally planned to drive to Holyhead and take the Ulysses from there, but since it far more convenient, I have been informed that the Isle of Inishmore is an acceptable substitute. I am planning to leave the car in Pembroke and pick up another on the Irish side.

We're planning to spend the night in or near Rosslare, and on Thursday drive to Bunratty to visit its castle and folk park, which will probably be on Friday, since it looks like at least a four hour drive. I am thinking not to bother with its banquet. We'll fly out of Shannon on the 12th or 13th (I'd prefer the 13th, but DH has to work on Monday the 14th). If it was the 13th, we could take a Thursday ferry, but the 12th is probably more likely. We are aware that some of these routes have heavy traffic, and drive times are just slower in the UK/Ireland. We can try for less peak times, but particularly at the beginning of the trip, we want to drive in daylight. We have decided to just skip Central London completely for this trip, and try for a separate, carless quick nip in at some point in the relatively near future.

We are planning to join Royal Oak, and I'd particularly love suggestions for National Trust properties near Hastings/Rye (which we picked since it seems to have lots of history and low key beachy things/is in shooting distance of things like Brighton and Chessington/and is more or less in the right direction).

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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 07:12 AM
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I donít know anything about Hastings or Rye but I wanted to say my young adult children went to Harry Potter Studios last summer. We live in LA and they have been to the park here as well. For my 26-year-old son, it was his favorite! We did and saw some spectacular sights on this trip and he loved many of them. (seeing Hamilton was huge!) But he grew up reading every book and seeing every move and the Studios outside London were such a wonderful reminder of his childhood. Iím sure your DD will love it!
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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 07:51 AM
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I don't know if it is of interest to you but Monkey World is just down the road from Bovington Tank Museum.

When in Rye do visit Dungeness, maybe take the Romney Hythe and Dimchurch railway to it. Hythe Chirch has an Ossuary you can visit. It always fascinated and terrifed me in equal parts as a child!
The whole Romney Marsh area is something special, steeped in smugglers tales. If you get the chance do try Romney Marsh lamb, from the sheep who graze the marsh and have a wonderful natural flavour.

Bodiam Castle is NT, as is Lamb House in Rye. Batemans and Smallhythe Place are also close. The National Trust website gives lots of information on buildings and land that they own.

Have a look at this article - scroll down to WInchelsea beach. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2...rthern-ireland
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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 08:22 AM
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Regarding the Ireland part:
Curious....is Bunratty Castle & Folk Park a must? That is quite a drive, as you noted.

I would suggest you explore the portion southeast of Dublin...visit Glendalough and Wicklow Mountains National Park; return the car to Dublin Airport and fly home from Dublin.
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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
I don't know if it is of interest to you but Monkey World is just down the road from Bovington Tank Museum.

When in Rye do visit Dungeness, maybe take the Romney Hythe and Dimchurch railway to it. Hythe Chirch has an Ossuary you can visit. It always fascinated and terrifed me in equal parts as a child!
The whole Romney Marsh area is something special, steeped in smugglers tales. If you get the chance do try Romney Marsh lamb, from the sheep who graze the marsh and have a wonderful natural flavour.

Bodiam Castle is NT, as is Lamb House in Rye. Batemans and Smallhythe Place are also close. The National Trust website gives lots of information on buildings and land that they own.

Have a look at this article - scroll down to WInchelsea beach. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2...rthern-ireland
That all looks wonderful! Definitely the kind of thing we're after, and I think DS is planning to eat as much lamb as possible on this trip.

We're going to try for Monkey World on the Monday if we have time, but while DS loves animals and zoos, the tank museum is his very highest priority.
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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by lrice View Post
I donít know anything about Hastings or Rye but I wanted to say my young adult children went to Harry Potter Studios last summer. We live in LA and they have been to the park here as well. For my 26-year-old son, it was his favorite! We did and saw some spectacular sights on this trip and he loved many of them. (seeing Hamilton was huge!) But he grew up reading every book and seeing every move and the Studios outside London were such a wonderful reminder of his childhood. Iím sure your DD will love it!
It's actually my DH who requested Harry Potter things, but I think we'll all enjoy it, and it looks wonderful!
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Old Jan 31st, 2020, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bette View Post
Regarding the Ireland part:
Curious....is Bunratty Castle & Folk Park a must? That is quite a drive, as you noted.

I would suggest you explore the portion southeast of Dublin...visit Glendalough and Wicklow Mountains National Park; return the car to Dublin Airport and fly home from Dublin.
Bunratty is one of those things that I keep wanting to see and never actually getting to, and my husband likes the idea of driving across Ireland. We've also all been to Dublin, and I've been to Glendalough twice (although not with my guys). It looks like Clonmel is pretty much on the way and we'll likely stop there as well. I was a little torn between Dublin and Shannon, but I really would like to actually go to Bunratty this time, instead of just saying I'd like to and not actually getting that far west.
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Old Feb 1st, 2020, 08:42 AM
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<<We are planning to join Royal Oak, and I'd particularly love suggestions for National Trust properties near Hastings/Rye (which we picked since it seems to have lots of history and low key beachy things/is in shooting distance of things like Brighton and Chessington/and is more or less in the right direction).>>

When I first read this i thought that you meant you'd like to stay in a NT property near Sissinghurst, in which case you're in luck:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hol...w=LIST&sortBy=

However, re-reading it now I realise that you may just have been wanting NT properties to visit, in which case you are eve more lucky as there are loads of them:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sea...=0&pageSize=18

To that you might like to add Great Dixter, a must see if you have any interest in gardens and gardening and only 10 miles from Rye.
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Old Feb 1st, 2020, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by annhig View Post
<<We are planning to join Royal Oak, and I'd particularly love suggestions for National Trust properties near Hastings/Rye (which we picked since it seems to have lots of history and low key beachy things/is in shooting distance of things like Brighton and Chessington/and is more or less in the right direction).>>

When I first read this i thought that you meant you'd like to stay in a NT property near Sissinghurst, in which case you're in luck:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hol...w=LIST&sortBy=

However, re-reading it now I realise that you may just have been wanting NT properties to visit, in which case you are eve more lucky as there are loads of them:

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sea...=0&pageSize=18

To that you might like to add Great Dixter, a must see if you have any interest in gardens and gardening and only 10 miles from Rye.
National Trust properties look nice, but kind of complicated to stay at. Visiting, oh yes... Great Dixter sounds wonderful. DS loves gardens (we've already had a conversation about how the plants are not allowed to come home).
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Old Feb 2nd, 2020, 06:18 AM
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Is there a pressing reason for staying in Bournemouth ? It is only 30 miles from Southampton. I would be inclined to travel slightly further west to the town of Wareham - pretty and unspoilt river side town and only 5 miles from the tank museum. Also traffic in and out of Bournemouth can be slow moving particularly in rush hour times.

Very close to the tank museum you Clouds Hill - Lawrence of Arabia's final home. It is very basic, being only 4 rooms but worth a visit as you are so close. It is now owned by the National Trust. Lawrence was stationed at Bovington.

If military history is your thing then a visit to the Keep museum in Dorchester is a must - it would only mean a very slight diversion on your way to the Stonehenge area.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2020, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Megdorset View Post
Is there a pressing reason for staying in Bournemouth ? It is only 30 miles from Southampton. I would be inclined to travel slightly further west to the town of Wareham - pretty and unspoilt river side town and only 5 miles from the tank museum. Also traffic in and out of Bournemouth can be slow moving particularly in rush hour times.

Very close to the tank museum you Clouds Hill - Lawrence of Arabia's final home. It is very basic, being only 4 rooms but worth a visit as you are so close. It is now owned by the National Trust. Lawrence was stationed at Bovington.

If military history is your thing then a visit to the Keep museum in Dorchester is a must - it would only mean a very slight diversion on your way to the Stonehenge area.
Not really. We had been thinking that it had a good selection of hotels, etc. and we always like being near the seaside, but we'll have gotten a fair amount of beach already, I'll check out Wareham.

DS loves military history. I'm not sure if we'll have time for the Keep museum on the Stonehenge day, but I'll look into it, since he might prefer that to Avebury (although DH probably won't).
Thanks!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2020, 06:58 AM
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Since you are staying in Hastings, I'd recommend watching the series "Foyles War." It is set in Hastings during WWII.

Also, think about visiting Dover Castle. My entire family really enjoyed learning about its role over such a long period of English history.

Last edited by Jennifer_Travels; Feb 3rd, 2020 at 07:00 AM.
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Old Feb 4th, 2020, 02:02 AM
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If youre going to Wales definately visit Cardiff City Centre and Brecon Beacons.

If you go to the Brecon Beacons check out these guys https://www.blueocean-adventure.co.uk/
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Old Feb 5th, 2020, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by danip85 View Post
If youre going to Wales definately visit Cardiff City Centre and Brecon Beacons.

If you go to the Brecon Beacons check out these guys https://www.blueocean-adventure.co.uk/
We're almost certainly not going to the Brecon Beacons, and that would so NOT be us! Not even DS. I use a cane and my husband and I are not exactly spring chickens. We're staying in a carvan fro the near Hastings part, and that's as close to camping as we'd like to be.
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