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Wales

Old Jul 24th, 2009, 02:49 AM
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Wales

Okeydokey......another question for you helpful Fodorites. What would be the best inland route to take from south to north wales? We are interested in the scenery and unique villages/towns along the way.

By the way, thanks melnq8 for the hint....I was finding the posting info a little confusing. Maybe I should read fodor directions before I started on here. Cheers.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 04:17 AM
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Not sure of the best route from south to north. We visited Northern Wales. We stayed in Bets-y-Coed - loved this village. Visted the castles, the slate mine, Snowdonia National Park, etc. Bets-y-Coed is popular for hikers. Loved Northern Wales.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 04:46 AM
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Where in south Wales are you starting and where do you want to end up? North South routes are tricky.

brats it's Betws-y-Coed
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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I have several times stayed in southeast Wales. Once Chepstow as a base--highly recommend. Once in Caerphilly--didn't enjoy that so much (except for the wonderful castle). Once in Monmouth.

Stayed in North Wales twice. Both times Conwy was the base. Loved the town and all the surrounding area.

Only once drove between the two areas. Took a route that wandered back and forth between Wales and England. Up the Wye Valley to Hereford, Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Wrexham, Chester,
Conwy. Overnights in Hereford, Shrewsbury, Chester. Lots to see on this route--castles, great houses, cathedrals, wonderful little churches, architecture, gardens,etc. I was traveling without reservations and when the time was right toward mid afternoon, began looking for a B&B. Always found one without much searching.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 06:45 AM
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Early last September we spent a week at a cottage on a sheep farm just outside Llanidloes on the A470. It was a beautiful area and terrific base for drives to Ludow, Powys Castle, Hay on Wye, Barmouth, Aberdovey, the Brecon Beacons, Shrewsbury, Aberystwyth, etc.

On a Saturday in a driving rain we drove down from the north coast (Llandudno) through Snowdonia in about 4 hours, which included a long stop. The other drives were all around 1.0 to 1.5 hours one-way from Llanidloes.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 07:44 AM
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lifetrip, your question might as well be, what is the best route from the east to west coast of the USA? You need to provide more details, time available, how far you want to go in a day, where you start from and finish, etc. Scenery of all sorts and attractive villages/towns aren't a problem. The responses above are just sandblasting you with ideas. There is no 'best inland route'. It's up to you and what you want from it. South, Middle and North Wales are all different.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 09:39 AM
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lifetrip: You are asking all these totally sensible questions -- however no one answering sees all your other threads. The trips is one big picture but the piecemeal posts are not getting you that much useful info. The suggestions for what to see/how to get to N Wales would be different if they knew you were spending less than a day there.

stfc: "time available, how far you want to go in a day, where you start from and finish, etc."

They won't really have the luxury of choosing a route - check out the OPs plan (pieced together from other threads):

The itinerary seems to be Bath (staying over but only a morning in the city), Cam, North Wales, Chester, York, Durham, Edinburgh, Lake District, Peak District, Cam again as a base for a day trip to Oxford/Blenheim Palace, Windsor via Stonehenge, London. All apparently are one night stops except 2 nights in Durham.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 10:16 AM
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So no south Wales involved at all? How long do you want to spend actually in Wales? If it is really only one night, then skip it and add a night to the lakes. You will be going way out of your way otherwise. Especially if you want to see Chester too.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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janisj, thank you. Another eyewatering trip, everything and nothing. I've just shared a delightful bottle of South African chardonnay with my dearly beloved and this itinerary is making the room spin. I surrender.

I see Stonehenge rears its head once more. Is 'Rick Steves' anything to do with it? I had a couple of days off in Tucson last week and found his England guide in Barnes & Noble. Hysterical, I loved the American-English translations at the back.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 11:41 PM
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I appreciate and are amazed by all the response to my questions here on Fodors. We have one day to drive through Wales to north wales and one whole day in North Wales. I have heard that Wales is very different from the rest of England and we simply cannot miss it out.

Any suggestions for a central Wales route from south wales? Thanks
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 12:07 AM
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...I have heard that Wales is very different from the rest of England
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 12:25 AM
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lol
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 05:42 AM
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hetismij Betws-y-Coed Thanks for pointing that out. I thought it looked a bit strange but too lazy to check it out. And it may make a difference if someone was searching the Internet for it. Loved that town and the b&b we stayed at and the food - except for all the smashed peas.

lifetrip - We found it a little slower driving in Wales so 2 days may not be enough time to really enjoy it.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 06:23 AM
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lifetrip: You do not have 2 days in Wales (maybe it would help if you started thinking in terms of "nights" instead of days - a night staying someplace does not give you a full day there).

The way things are now, you are staying in Cam Gloucestershire and want to drive through S Wales enroute to N Wales -- this will take almost all of your day. Then you arrive in N Wales in the evening, and leave the next morning/noon-ish for Chester. You will have no time at all to explore North Wales. You spend half a day in Chester and the next morning leave for York . . . . and so forth. (The Durham to Edinburgh to the Lake district in 2 days boggles - truly. You won't have more than a few hours in Edinburgh - much of which will be spent dealing w/ the car, and NO time in the Lake district - but that is for another thread.)

So no, you do not have 1.5 days in N Wales -- you'll have about 3 hours.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 06:29 AM
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meant to add -- " . . . you'll have about 3 hours, unless you decide to drop Chester. Then you would have 1 full day in N Wales. After 2 nights there, you'd leave the next morning to drive to York."

2 nights in a place yields approx 1.5 days there after subtracting travel time, checking in/out, etc
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 02:12 PM
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Janisj.....I see you are following my itinerary with great interest and concern. Would you suggest missing out Chester? Would the time spent in Wales IYO be better spent considering we will then go on to York/Shambles etc?
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 03:19 PM
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lifetrip,

the others here are being very polite about your itinerary. may i be more blunt?

don't do it. it's madness. if janisj has got it right [and I suspect she has] virtually all your time is being spent on the road, with a few half days in the odd town/city. you won't care what country you're in by the time you get there, because you will just want to sleep.

in 10 days, [if that is what you have] I would pick one area, or possibly two adjacent ones.

eg starting out from London, you could drive to Bath, seeing Stonehenge en route. Stop 2 nights there. then travel on into wales, stopping in ross on wye - three nights.

set off north, stopping in, say, Ludlow, one night, then Chester, 2 nights. finally, head back to london via cam to see oxford. that's 9 nights/10 days.

even that is pushing it, and missing out loads of good stuff like North Wales, where you could easily spend a week or two.

why not post your itinerary, and then we can help you make sense of it.

and just in case you think I'm exaggerating, I live here.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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If you honestly want to know - I think you should drop Durham/ Scotland and the Lake District altogether (or drop North Wales/Chester/York/Durham). And this is from someone who loves Scotland more than anyplace else on Earth. You are sort of stuck because you are set on the Gloucestershire bits. -- OR -- just go back to the drawing board and find out what is actually doable.

You're looking at a map and seeing what looks like short distances. Then planning 1 day driving and seeing a tiny bit of a place, driving to the next stop and seeing a bit of it, and so forth around three countries in too few days for even one country. You seem to be seriously underestimating how long things take -- the driving, the checking out/in 2 places every day, visiting sites, meals, just everything.

Except on motorways you will average about 35 mph. 40 mph absolute tops. And if you stick to motorways - they can be very congested and are generally not scenic. Besides, there are no M's in several places you are touring.

You are simply trying to cover way too much territory in too little time. Each and every one of those places are well worth visiting, you just don't have time to visit them.

Just a few examples:

"a morning in Bath" - not at all realistic. By the time you reach the Park-n-Ride lot, wait for the next bus, get into town, walk around for a bit/bus back to the lot - it will have taken most of the morning w/o seeing the Roman Baths or much else. Just the Baths and the H-o-H-o bus mentioned on one of your threads and lunch will take at least 6 hours.

or driving from Chester to York, then the next morning driving over to the coast and up to Durham in the afternoon. Visiting Robin Hood's Bay and/or Whitby are not quick photo ops. Just parking at RHB and walking down/back up will be at least an hour even if you don't stop for a meal.

Durham to Edinburgh will take about 3 hours so you arrive at noon or later, then have to find your B&B and check in. So at most you'll have one afternoon in Edinburgh. The next day, Edinburgh to the Lake District will take a minimum of 4 hours - again then finding your hotel/B&B and get settled will give you less than one afternoon for the Lakes.

It is your trip and your decision of course - but just so you realize you are spending as much or more time behind the wheel than "being" anywhere.
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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Oh - I didn't see annhig's post (was interrupted in the middle of mine and she posted while I was away from the keyboard)

As you can see - I'm not the only one . . . .

We REALLY are trying to help you, not just rain on your plans . . . .
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Old Jul 25th, 2009, 11:06 PM
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I am now so confused...maybe back to the drawing board WOULD be the best. If you can help me Janisj and Annhig I would be grateful. The must do's are Durham (family) and Cam (friends). We could do day trips from Cam - maybe in south wales and to Oxford (Blenheim Palace?), possibly Stonehenge and Bath. We would love to see Chatsworth. Also York is close to Durham so would be silly to miss that. My SIL wants to see Windsor.

My original itinerary was
Day 1rive to Bath -
Day 2ee Bath then drive to Cam through some cotswald villages/towns.
Day 3:Cross bridge over Severn driving through central wales.
Day 4:North Wales - a slate mine
Day 5ee Chester (briefly) Drive to York - B&B walk to Shambles Do original ghost tour in the evening.
Day 6rive to Thirsk. Then on to Durham via the coast.
Day 7urham with relatives
Day 8rive to Edinburgh. Brief look at castle and royal mile.
Day 9rive to Lake District...see Hill Top farm
Day 10: Drive to Matlock Bath via Chatsworth.
Day 11: Drive to Cam
Day 12: Day trip to Oxford - Blenheim Palace
Day 13: Drive to Windsor....see Windsor Castle
Day 14: Train to London...London bus....train back to car and head to Heathrow for flight home.

We have a hire car and 4 capable drivers. Nothing, except our flights in and out of Heathrow, is booked as yet.

Thanks for all your time/help and suggestions.
lifetrip
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