UK Sightseeing Help

Old Oct 10th, 2022, 05:13 PM
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UK Sightseeing Help

Hi Everyone. We're starting to plan a fall, 2023 vacation in the UK and would like some advice. Our tentative itinerary looks like this: Edinburgh - Newcastle - York - Cheltenham (the Cotswolds & Oxford) - Bath (and the West Country) - London. Total time = 20 days.
We won't have time to stop in the Pennines and Lake District. But I'd like to get a glimpse of that area and I especially want to see Hadrian's wall for myself. My question is this: Do any of you know of day tours out of Newcastle that would do that? Something in a minivan or a tour bus? I haven't found anything yet except custom tours for groups.
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Old Oct 10th, 2022, 06:55 PM
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Rabbie’s has a one-day tour from Edinburgh that includes Hadrian’s wall.

https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...rders-day-tour
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Old Oct 10th, 2022, 07:59 PM
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Are you going to have a car??

If so, doing Hadrian's Wall is totally easy -- there is a road that parallels almost the entire length of the Wall. If not -- the the Rabbies tour k_marie linked is great (though a teensy bit rushed).

Or you can search the offerings on 'Tours by Locals' -- I'm sure there should be some based out of Newcastle. For 'do it yourself' using public transport the Wall Bus is terrific https://www.gonortheast.co.uk/ad122/

Do you plan on using Cheltenham as a base for Oxford and the Cotswolds? That's okay (okay-ish) if you are using public transport. But if you have a rental car, there would be better bases farther east (Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, etc) that are both lovely Cotswold towns and much nearer to Oxford.
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Old Oct 10th, 2022, 11:55 PM
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For a DIY visit to Hadrian's Wall, get the train from Newcastle to Hexham, then the AD122 bus from Hexham station to Housesteads, where there is a museum and the remains of a fort on one of the more scenic stretches of the Wall itself, then take the bus round to Vindolanda, a major museum and the remains of a supply base and associated settlement - lots of fascinating detail of daily life on the Wall.

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Old Oct 14th, 2022, 05:41 PM
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The AD122 bus is a great tip. Thanks janisj and PatrickLondon.
Janisj -- you guessed right on Cheltenham. But now I'm considering using Bath as the base for both the Cotswolds and the West Country. The train goes from York to Bristol direct, with a change there to take the train on to Bath. We could stay in either Bath or Bristol (probably 6 nights). We would rent a car for local use; of course we could rent the car in Bristol and drive on to another town for our stay. We would take the train or bus on to London from there.
Any thoughts you wouldn't mind sharing? Thanks!
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Old Oct 14th, 2022, 06:30 PM
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Bath is really lovely - but having a car IN Bath is a huge PITA if you get my drift. And having a car in Bristol isn't much better. However -- IF you'll have a car you can stay in any nearby town or village. Then to explore Bath you'd drive to one of the Park N Ride lots and take the bus into the city centre. Castle Combe, or Chippenham or Corsham or many others to pick from.


You might also consider driving down from York . . . York to say Castle Combe is around a 4 to 4.5 hour drive which is faster than the train by a fair bit -- harder on the driver though With the current 'issues' with UK rail service I'd maybe drive instead - especially on a route where there would be multiple changes with different rail companies.
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Old Oct 15th, 2022, 06:51 AM
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Chippenham looks very central. I'm going to research the idea of taking the train to Bristol, renting a car there near the station, and driving to Chippenham to stay there.
It's been a lllooonnngg time since I drove on the left side of the road, at least 50 years. That's why I want to use the train where it makes sense. I'm hoping that driving is a little easier in the Cotswolds and West Country; less traffic hopefully. What do you think of this itinerary for six nights in Chippenham --
1. Saturday - Travel day, pick up car in Bristol
2. Sunday - Explore Bath
3. Monday - Glastonbury
4. Tuesday - Oxford
5. Wednesday - Cotswolds
6. Thursday - Salisbury plain / optional, may drop this day
Then drop the car back in Bristol and take the train to London.
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Old Oct 15th, 2022, 07:25 AM
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Looks fine - I might move Bath to a weekday. It will be busier with locals but a lot fewer tourists and day trippers so the Roman Baths would be much less crowded.

On whichever ends up being your Glastonbury day, definitely include Wells and maybe Cheddar Gorge (I'd avoid Cheddar Gorge on a weekend though)
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