Unsure how to set up order of itinerary

Old May 12th, 2024, 04:42 PM
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Unsure how to set up order of itinerary

We're headed in the UK in mid-September (my husband, active 67 yo and me, mobility-challenged 59 yo). I use a mobility scooter for longer distances but can do shorter distances, stairs, etc. depending on the day - but no countryside ambles. I had rough plans for other destinations for this trip, but we went with LHR due to a much lower airfare, so this trip planning started late and from scratch. We have 13 days not including travel days from and back to US. W I think we'll do 4 full days in London, beginning with the day we land. We'd like to do a few nights in Bath and do a day trip from there to Cardiff and another to the Cotswolds. The rest of the time, tentatively, meandering in Cornwall.

In a perfect world, I'd like to fit in Oxford and Bletchley Park, and Seven Sisters on the south coast, but am unsure those can fit it. We'll rent a car for part of the trip (not London), and will need an automatic, so am assuming picking it up at LHR would be best. But we prefer to start our trip in London, just because we like to end vacations on more on a more leisurely note.

I'd appreciate any and all suggestions on how to order our itinerary given these locations (and hoping it's mostly doable!).
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Old May 12th, 2024, 05:43 PM
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It would help if you think in terms of 'nights', not 'days'. Does your 13 days = 13 nights on the ground, or is it 14 nights?? Cornwall is really lovely. But it does take time -- both because of the distance to the far SW and because of the narrow roads and slow driving. With just 13 nights you'll have to be selective what to include/exclude.

Are planning to take a mobility scooter with you, renting one there, or not using one? Since you seem to be at least nominally mobile, perhaps using a rollator or a lightweight folding wheelchair would be more practical.

If you travel to Cornwall then Seven Sisters and Bletchley PK would be the outliers - most everything else is doable.

LHR is the easiest place to collect a rental car but other options could work. And you could do Oxford as an easy day trip from London by train. Easy using a rollator.

One problem just to think about is that driving in and through Bath is a Bee-atch (Oxford is much worse BTW) and relatively few properties provide parking.

Assuming you can find a convenient hotel in Bath with parking what I'd consider is something like: Do Oxford as a day trip from London. Collect rental car at LHR and drive to someplace like Burford or Stow-on-the-Wold and stay 2 nights. Then drive to Bath and stay 2 nights, On to Devon/Cornwall and plan on about 4 nights total, Drive back towards LHR breaking the journey with a night in Dorset or Hampshire. Then depending on you flight time either drive straight to LHR on the day, or the evening before staying at a LHR hotel the last night.

So if you have 14 nights this would look like
4 nights in London
2 nights in the Cotswolds
2 nights in Bath
4 nights in the SW
1 night in Dorset or Hampshire or Wiltshire en route back to LHR
1 night at LHR

If its 13 nights massage the above to remove one night.

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Old May 12th, 2024, 10:01 PM
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I can't see a much better route. You could do Bletchley as a day trip from London, there are tours. I've not been to the main building but I have been to the Museum where they have still functioning machines. https://www.tnmoc.org/ as you may know the UK government destroyed most of the machines as not required but a group have rebuilt them. My housemaster (heavily crippled) was one of the youngest Latin scholars at the start of WW2 and spent the war there as part of the process.

Euston to Milton Keynes by train and then a taxi, but it is a short walk.
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Old May 13th, 2024, 03:44 AM
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Sorry - repeated info

Last edited by nyse; May 13th, 2024 at 04:06 AM.
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Old May 13th, 2024, 07:25 AM
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I agree with bilboburgler that Bletchley can be done as a day trip from London --Its just that you'll have very little time in London as it is. So it depends on things like - whether Bletchley or Oxford is higher on your wish list, or if you've already been to London so don't mind spending half your time on day trips, and if you have the stamina for back to back day trips.
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Old May 14th, 2024, 04:46 PM
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Thank you all for your input. I wasn't planning on doing Oxford or Bletchley (if either remains in the itinerary) as day trips from London. Maybe we could wrap the Cotswolds, Bletchley, and Oxford together - if we can't make the wish list work, we'll have to save it for another trip or take time from Cornwall.

Ideally, I'd like to rent the car as we're leaving Bath and use trains prior to that. I'm not sure about the availability of automatic shifts outside of the airport, but since it's September and not the height of summer, hopefully that won't be a problem.

I'm bringing my own scooter. It's light and compact, 37 lbs and doesn't look like a typical mobility scooter. I don't use it in everyday life, but need it for traveling and locally for places like museums and the botanical garden as it's the cumulative effects of walking or extended standing that cause problems - taking breaks doesn't help. We're somewhat used to the challenges that can arise regarding access, public transport, etc. since we've taken a couple of trips with it. Dh pushed me in a wheelchair around Belgium for two weeks a few years ago, so we learned quickly to just roll with whatever happens, pun intended.

Thanks again. Time to make some decisions so I can start researching accommodations!
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Old May 21st, 2024, 04:44 PM
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Starting in London and gradually winding our way through Bath, Oxford, and the countryside worked well for us. Since you're landing at LHR, picking up the car there makes sense. Just remember to take it easy and enjoy each stop along the way.
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Old May 21st, 2024, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dreamer320
Thank you all for your input. I wasn't planning on doing Oxford or Bletchley (if either remains in the itinerary) as day trips from London. Maybe we could wrap the Cotswolds, Bletchley, and Oxford together - if we can't make the wish list work, we'll have to save it for another trip or take time from Cornwall.

Ideally, I'd like to rent the car as we're leaving Bath and use trains prior to that. I'm not sure about the availability of automatic shifts outside of the airport, but since it's September and not the height of summer, hopefully that won't be a problem.

I'm bringing my own scooter. It's light and compact, 37 lbs and doesn't look like a typical mobility scooter. I don't use it in everyday life, but need it for traveling and locally for places like museums and the botanical garden as it's the cumulative effects of walking or extended standing that cause problems - taking breaks doesn't help. We're somewhat used to the challenges that can arise regarding access, public transport, etc. since we've taken a couple of trips with it. Dh pushed me in a wheelchair around Belgium for two weeks a few years ago, so we learned quickly to just roll with whatever happens, pun intended.

Thanks again. Time to make some decisions so I can start researching accommodations!
OH -- somehow I missed your post from last week. IMO you need to decide between London/Bath/the Cotswolds/Oxford/Bletchley - or - London/Bath/Cornwall/the southwest. Either of these would be a great 13 day trip.
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Old May 31st, 2024, 04:27 PM
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I've reworked our itinerary a few times, and have what I think is close to a final plan. An earlier iteration had us going from London to Bath and then Oxford by train for several nights, then backtracking to LHR to get a rental car before spending time in the Cotswolds. However, we'd rather not waste time doing that, given that it would involve some backtracking.

The tentative plan now is 4 nights in London (with essentially 4 full days, arriving on an overnight flight; we're generally able to sleep pretty well on these flights and can do some sightseeing the first day). We'd get a car and go to the Cotswolds for 7 nights. From there, in addition to meandering among various villages, we can do day trips to Bletchley Park and Blenheim Palace. We'd also go to Oxford and/or Bath via train for a day. This leaves two nights unplanned - we could add a night to London or fit in one or two nights somewhere else. I have a couple of ideas but haven't quite formed a plan yet.

In any case, while I had to cut out some places I wanted to include, this latest plan keeps dh happy and uses our time wisely (I hope). Since I want to make lodging reservations by mid-June at the latest, knowing I just have to plan those two nights is a weight off my mind. Thanks for the input y'all have provided!
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Old May 31st, 2024, 07:06 PM
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Good plan -- one little thing re Oxford. The train station is a fair distance from the main sites in the city. Whereas if you drive in to say the Pear Tree Park n Ride you can park and take the bus right into the very center of the city.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 07:01 AM
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You will have a wonderful trip, we just did this in May!
Are you interested in Stonehenge, or Salisbury and the Cathedral? We included that on our trip, Stonehenge was on DH's bucket list.

I recommend taking the train to Bath from London. Bath has a small easy train station. Stay 2 or 3 nights there, depending on if you do a day trip to Salisbury/Stonehenge. We absolutely loved Bath! Pick up your car rental there, and head for the Cotwolds and stay for several days. We did hire a driver for 6 hours there to take us around one day for his advice, perspective and to have a break from driving.

End up in Oxford for 1 or 2 nights depending, on if you are going to visit Bletchley and Bleinham from there. You can turn in your car in Oxford and take the train to LHR the night before your flight or turn the car in at LHR. I do recommend staying at the airport the night before your flight. We got our car from Enterprise because they were open on Sunday. We picked up in Oxford and turned it in at Bath( the reverse because we went from LHR to Oxford.) It was very easy and we had a choice of several automatic cars. Enjoy!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 08:03 AM
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Good info -- just one little thing . . . "You can turn in your car in Oxford and take the train to LHR the night before your flight or turn the car in at LHR."

There is no train from Oxford to LHR -- it would either be a train to London Paddington and Elizabeth Line or HEX to the airport, or train to Reading and bus from Reading yo LHR. If traveling directly from Oxford to LHR the Express coach would be faster/easier.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 10:36 AM
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Of course, janisj is correct!
It is the express bus that I meant to recommend from Oxford that goes to LHR. We went to London at the end of our trip from Bath by train and I had train on the brain! Thanks for the good catch!
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