UK Itinerary (ist draft)

Feb 8th, 2010, 07:19 AM
  #1  
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UK Itinerary (ist draft)

A snowed in day is a good time to get serious about planning our UK itinerary. Time frame is late April to mid May.

This will be an open jaw, flying into Edinburgh and ending in London - or, the other way around. We have been to London several times so will only spend a few nights there. DW has been only to London.

First draft.

Edinburgh, 3 nights
train to York

York 2 nights
Rent car in York

drive to Stratford upon Avon and Cotswolds, 5 nights
best way to divide nights here? Would like to see play at Stratford u A if possible. We like gardens, so hope to take some in.

drive to Salisbury ?? nights
would like to see Cathedral and Stonehenge (I have been there twice and it is high on DW's list).

Would like to spend a night or two in Bath - where best to fit in?
Would like to see Blenheim Palace - where best to fit in?
Would Oxford be a reasonable side trip?

Return car in Salisbury
I assume that a pick -up in York and return in Salisbury is a reasonable idea. Is it?

train Salisbury to London 2 nights.

Should we do it the other way around? Airport convenience and Springtime weather being considerations

History, architecture and gardens are main interests
basingstoke2 is online now  
Feb 8th, 2010, 07:29 AM
  #2  
 
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I won't comment on your plans other than to say it probably makes more sense in spring to start south and move north - it spring in London long before it reaches York, never mind Scotland.
hetismij is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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I'd say that you are missing out Glasgow...
alihutch is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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you can't count on the weather so no telling whether north to south or south to north would be better.

>>drive to Stratford upon Avon and Cotswolds, 5 nights
best way to divide nights here? <<

Don't 'divide' the nights at all. Stay in one central location (near Chipping Campden or that general area would be good). It would be convenient to Stratford, Warwick and all of the Cotswolds. You will be close to Hidecote Manor Garden and Snowshill.

>>drive to Salisbury ?? nights<<

Two nights would be a nice stopover -- but if you are in Bath the day before you could easily do w/ just one night. Drive from Bath to Stonehenge and then on to Salisbury. Try to fit Avebury in as well. You'd have more than 1/2 a day and then the next morning/early afternoon to wander around Salisbury.

>>Would like to spend a night or two in Bath - where best to fit in?<<

After the Cotswolds and before Salisbury.

>>Would like to see Blenheim Palace - where best to fit in?
Would Oxford be a reasonable side trip?<<

Both are an easy day trip from Chipping Campden or wherever you stay in the Cotswolds. You can actually do both in the same day. Arrive at Blenheim at opening time and stay 90 mins to 2 hours. Then drive the short distance to Oxford, park in the park-and-ride lot and take the bus into the city for teh rest of the day

>>Return car in Salisbury. I assume that a pick -up in York and return in Salisbury is a reasonable idea. Is it?<<

Could be -- depending on if the rental agency has a location there. Some do. Or you could drive up to LHR and drop the car there and take public transport into London. That would give you the chance to visit Windsor if you haven't been there.
janisj is online now  
Feb 8th, 2010, 08:34 AM
  #5  
 
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Though you can't predict the weather, you can predict the climate.

Around May 1, lambs get smaller as you drive north, whatever the weather at the time. And spring around Edinburgh is always at least 2 weeks behind the English Midlands. The Cotswolds etc are greener and more burgeoning - and driving south to north will always give you a better spring.

Sod's Law says the weather up north will be drier and warmer, of course. But it also says it'll be the opposite of what you expect.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 08:53 AM
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To clarify -- my >>After the Cotswolds and before Salisbury.<< comment is for IF you go north to south as your OP was laid out.

If you go the other direction - then you'd do London > Salisbury > Bath > the Cotswolds > York > Scotland
janisj is online now  
Feb 8th, 2010, 09:33 AM
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My advice is to check online about buying your tickets for a play in Stratford before you arrive there. Not sure about April and May, but they were sold out when we arrived in Stratford which was in the fall.

We purchased our tickets online before leaving home for Warwick Castle - the evening dinner and castle tour.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 11:53 AM
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I'd get a Great British Heritage Pass instead. It will cover Edinburgh Castle, Warwick castle, all the Shakespeare properties around Stratford, Hidecote, Snowshill, Blenheim, the Roman Baths, Stonehenge and lots more.

They are only offered to non-UK residents. You can order them ahead from home or wait to buy it in the UK. They are sold at LHR, GLA (though not at LGW or EDI), at some of the covered properties and at major TICs (Regent St in London, Waverly Station in Edinburgh)

I usually order them from home even though there are shipping costs. You get the catalog listing all covered properties so it is a good itinerary planning tool.
janisj is online now  
Feb 8th, 2010, 01:43 PM
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I'll second janisj's recommendation of the Great British Heritage Pass. We saved quite a bit of money with ours; you can buy them at www.visitbritain.com

Her itinerary looks good to me too. Have a great time, and be sure to post a trip report when you return.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Feb 9th, 2010, 11:18 AM
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Thank you all. I would appreciate any suggestions for what in your opinion are "don't miss" sites along the way. So far Royal Shakespeare tickets are available for the time we will be in the Cotswolds, so that is good. We will take the suggestion to do the route south to north, starting with a few days in London.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Feb 9th, 2010, 11:32 AM
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OK - London > Salisbury > Bath > the Cotswolds > York > edinburgh is the way to go.

However - instead of the train between York and Edinburgh, I'd consider keeping the car until you get to Edinburgh. You don't need a car IN York -- but you do to easily tour any of the wonderful places nearby plus there is an absolute TON of stuff to see between York and Edinburgh.

The only reason I'd drop the car in York is if I was very short of time and didn't care to see Castle Howard, Fountains Abbey, Hadrian's Wall, Alnwick, the Border Abbeys, etc . . .
janisj is online now  
Feb 9th, 2010, 04:22 PM
  #12  
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Ok, so tickets are booked. Leaving April 23 to London, returning May 10 from Edinburgh. Now to fill in the details.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Feb 10th, 2010, 10:15 AM
  #13  
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Is Waterloo Station correct for the train from London to Salisbury?
basingstoke2 is online now  
Feb 10th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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'Is Waterloo Station correct for the train from London to Salisbury?' Yes.

http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/networkmap.aspx#

Whatever you do, don't get off at Basingstoke. Avert your gaze from the windows. Where did you get your tag from?
stfc is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 02:32 PM
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I am a huge Gilbert and Sullivan fan - I have played in the pit orchestras for most of them. Basingstoke is from Ruddigor - a word that brings Mad Margaret's down from her flights of madness.

"Basingstoke my dear"
"Basingstoke it is."
basingstoke2 is online now  
Feb 11th, 2010, 07:32 AM
  #16  
 
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I see, thank you, understood. In one of life's rich coincidences an aunt of mine performed in many G&S amateur productions about 40 years ago ... in Basingstoke. I have a vague memory that Ruddigore was one I saw, but I was only 10 years old or so at the time.

Even more reason not to look out of the window. Then it was a charming Hampshire market town. It has since been 'developed', modelled I think on somewhere in the Soviet Union.
stfc is offline  
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