UK 9 day travel plan

Old Sep 19th, 2010, 07:58 PM
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UK 9 day travel plan

Further to my questions on this site a couple of weeks ago, I have taken on board a lot of your comments and also had feedback from English people living in NZ on what we should do and see. Facts, 4 of us, young activity 60 year olds use to travelling at a fast pace and wanting to do a quick overview on some parts of the UK. Have done London 5 times, but not outside of London. Edinburgh is a must see along with Windsor Castle, all 4 of us prefer to use rental cars rather than trains as we like to be able to stop, for coffees etc when and when we want to, also like to explore and get lost. Amazing what you stumble across when you are lost. We are use to travelling together in a car up to 9 hrs per day and doing up to 600 miles per day.
Travel dates are fixed in July 2011 as we are travelling to a wedding in Sweden.
We are arriving in London from a 2 night stopover in LA on the way up from NZ.
Would appreciate all comments on the below travel plan, yes I know it’s tight.
Also recommendations for Hotels or B&B’s around 100 pound per couple
Travel times etc of Michelin, have allowed for these to be 40 to 50% longer.
9 July Saturday arrive London Sat. 11.00am
Pick up Rental – Drive to Windsor 15km (30mins)
Windsor Castle 1.30pm to 5.00pm
Accom overnight -Windsor
10 July Sunday
Bath - Drive to Bath 152km 81miles (2hrs 20min)
Explore Bath
Accom overnight -Bath
11 July Monday
Stratford upon Avon for Lunch 136km 74miles (2hrs)
Drive to Coventry 32 km 20 miles (40mins)
Accom and visit cathedral / transport museum
12 July Tuesday
Drive to York 217km 129miles (3hrs 15mins)
Accom York
13 July Wednesday
Drive York to Carlsile 187 km 115miles (2 hrs 35min)
Accom Carraw B & B Hadrians Wall
14 July Thursday
Drive to Edinburg 157km 98miles (2hrs 10min)
Accom Edinburg 3 nights
15 July Friday
Edinburgh
16 July Saturday
Edinburgh
17 July Sunday
Fly Edinburgh to Copenhagen 8.30am check in

Thanks for your help
KiwiPete
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Old Sep 19th, 2010, 08:54 PM
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Couple of comments

If you arrive LHR at 11 AM you will not be through w/ customs etc till at least 12noon or after; then picking up a car etc. Not sure the 1:30 time at Windsor is realistic.

I'm not sure what the appeal of Bath is. Maybe do a LONG drive on Sunday and head straight for Stratford?

Drive times are about half in some cases - York to Edinburgh is more like 3.5-4 hours, not 2.

I guess if you like driving, and you will be on the same side of the road as at home it's doable. But it sounds unpleasant to me personally. I'd probably do an overnight at windsor and head north the next day or so after that.
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Old Sep 19th, 2010, 10:46 PM
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Why Carlisle. Most the good bits of Hadrian's Wall are on the east side of the Pennines and few are anywhere near Carlisle.

I'd be travelling to somewhere like Hexham then northwards from there passing through some of the best of the Wall. And you'd be in Edinburgh a day earlier (or have a day more to do things.

Can't see the point of hiring a car just so it can sit in a car park in Windsor - by the time you've got to the hire place and picked up your car you could be sitting in your hotel in Windsor.

And getting from Windsor to Bath by public transport is very simple whilst parking in Bath is a major PITA so you don't need a car there.

In fact given your route you could scrap the car for all but Bath to York as public transport is faster - and if booked in advance far cheaper - than a hire car.

The other comment I'd make is that you are basically driving, sleeping, driving, sleeping with very little time for actual tourism as you'll arrive most places in the mid or late afternoon.
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Old Sep 19th, 2010, 11:04 PM
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"York to Edinburgh is more like 3.5-4 hours, not 2. "

they aren't driving York to Edinburgh. It is York to Carlisle one day, and Carlisle to Edinburgh the next.

But still I'd allow a little more time for some of your drives.

I'd make one specific change for sure and a few other suggestions.

• Is there a reason for Carlisle? If not -- I'd stay 2 nights in York and then the next day drive to Edinburgh via Hadrian's Wall. Unless Carlisle is a must for some reason, I'd skip it and eliminate the zigzagging from east to west and back east again. You could head north via Newcastle and either the A1 or A68 into Edinburgh.

As it is now - you really have little free time in York/Yorkshire.

• Why staying in Coventry? The cathedral is definitely worth visiting if you have the time but I wouldn't stay the night there.

• Not quite sure what mtzery means about Bath. It is a beautiful city. But it IS a bit of a detour for you so it is up to you whether to include it or not. It is an easy drive from Windsor to Stratford/Warwick. But Windsor > Bath > Stratford is a lot of driving in two days. Not the drive alone -- but to give you any time to see anything.

• I think you are underestimating things trying to see Stratford, Coventry Cathedral and the transport museum in essentially half a day. Detouring into Stratford just for lunch is more than a bit if a hassle. If you were going to visit any of the Shakespeare properties - then sure. But fighting Stratford traffic/parking just for lunch and then leaving straight away for Coventry. And if you DID visit any of Will's places -- you wouldn't have time left for your stops in Coventry.

Any way you dice it -- a detour in to Stratford for a 'quick lunch' will eat up a couple of hours.
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Old Sep 19th, 2010, 11:11 PM
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I didn't see alanRow's post -- he is right that the trains would be a much faster and more efficient way to do your itinerary. But you seem set on this slog in a car. So w/ some tweaking/cutting you could do it by car. But your reason for wanting a car really doesn't apply.

"all 4 of us prefer to use rental cars rather than trains as we like to be able to stop, for coffees etc when and when we want to, also like to explore and get lost. Amazing what you stumble across when you are lost."

You won't have the time/luxury to get lost or explore.
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 12:34 AM
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Agree -if you don't plan on actually seeing Stratford go for lunch elsewhere near Coventry (Kenilworth has as nice gastropub The Cross - or there is the Bull at Meriden which is nice)
Personally i wouldn't stay in Coventry but that is just MHO.
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 02:05 AM
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At least it's better than the last UK itinerary someone presented here
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 03:05 AM
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I'd skip the wall and go up to Edinburgh from York through Northumbria. The wall in most areas needs a fair degree of imagination. The sites are wild and thought provoking but there isn't much of it left. The forts again are mainly ruined.

The castles and beaches of Northumbria are some of the best in Britain.

Carlisle's Tullie Museum has a very good, new wall exhibition but it is a long way out of the dierct route from York to Edinburgh.
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 04:04 AM
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Here's my take

9th Taxi to Windsor (20m)
10th Train to Bath (2h)
11th Bath
12th Pick up car, drive to Coventry (2h), visit cathedral, eat lunch, drive to York (2h30m)
13th York
14th Drive to Hadrians Wall (2h20m), visit Wall, drive to Edinburgh (2h20m), return car
15th-17th Edinburgh

Covers the same ground as you intend but gives you time in several places to get out and smell the flowers.

You could even return the car at York and take the train to Newcastle for the AD122 bus service around parts of the Wall - but you'd have to return to Newcastle for the train to Edinburgh
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 09:23 AM
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We took 9 days this summer to drive (after spending 4 nights in London) from LHR to Oxford, then to Shrewsbury, then to Conwy, then to Carlisle, then (after a day along the Wall) to Durham, then to York, then (after half a day in Lincoln) to near London, then (via Canterbury) to Dover, then (via a couple cool spots) back to LHR for a night. It was about 1100 miles. We are from the US so the driving on the left was stressful but my husband did fine except for being tense the whole time! Our LONG trip report is here:http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-and-wales.cfm

All that to say that a driving trip like this is certainly doable it looks like. Carlisle was a great way-stop for us, but I wouldn't make an out of the way trip to it. BUT the Wall is worth seeing--I can't agree with yanumpty; we loved it. You can read about what we loved in my TR if you want.

All the B&B's, except Durham, I would recommend again and were 100 pounds or less for 3 of us.

janisj would have been right about our trip--no luxury to wander or get lost. But we set out with the mindset of NOT wandering or getting lost so we were fine with our destination-driven agenda. But need to know that going into it.

Also July will be very very crowded. Sites and roads both.
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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alanRow's itinerary is a good way to tick most of your boxes w/o being stuck in a car all day every day. It has two long but very doable driving days.
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 11:22 AM
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KiwiPete have you considered renting an apartment in Edinburgh it can be a lot cheaper if you are staying a few days and lets you spread out. My sister and I did that last year and I have booked the same place on the Royal Mile for a visit by my husband and I next June. You can also do without a car in Edinburgh.
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 11:51 AM
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"At least it's better than the last UK itinerary someone presented here"

Ain't THAT the truth!!

That one is trying to cover more than twice the mileage in just 8 days (!)
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 01:13 PM
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>>

It's more like 4 times the mileage - remember it was doing the length of the UK twice in a week whereas this is half the length of the UK one way
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 01:32 PM
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OH - that's right -- I completely forgot about the Orkneys
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 01:43 PM
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Buy a cannie car, the pair of yas!
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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Appreciate all the feed back, you have me thinking about trains etc,if it was only me I would jump at it, but the others are not keen to be draging bags on and off trains, done that before and they hate it. There is now a possibility that there could be 6 of us and the other 2 wil not ever use trains (can't help the Aussie relations)
Will reconsider overnights stops after Bath and perhaps just stop where we get to each day, if we run short of time, just get on M1 or what every and drive to Edinburgh to get our 3 nights there.
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 04:35 PM
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If there are 6 of you -- it only makes things that much harder.

6 takes more time for just about everything than 4, and much more than 2. Every meal, rest stop, petrol stop, sightseeing stop, morning check out, etc will be determined by the (s)lowest common denominator.

Plus finding rooms for 6 on the fly will take extra time- you'll almost certainly have to pre-book all your accommodations.
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 11:08 PM
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If you don't pre-plan with 6 people your accommodation then the odds are that you'll end up in some of the most expensive accommodation, spread over half a city or even find that there isn't any room at the inn. Along with the time spent doing that and rounding people up the next day it will make your trip harder to do and you may find your holiday consists of "drive" "find accommodation" "sleep".

With 6 people you need to plan most things even simple things like eating, so your lunch in Stratford-on-Avon could become a sandwich in a motorway service station when you find that there's several coach parties in and all the restaurants are full.

It also means that your idea of driving because it allows you to stop goes out of the window as you are likely to require 2 cars or a minibus - the latter will in itself cause problems as it will be too big for some carparks and will be slower than a car.
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Old Sep 20th, 2010, 11:40 PM
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If the only thing stopping you getting the train is hauling bags then book tavel assistance - it's a bit of a pain because you have to know exactly which train you will be on and has to be booked 24 hours in advance, but they will take care of getting you and your bags on and off the train.

They will even carry your luggage to the taxi(s) for you.
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