Where to from London?

Old Jan 12th, 2020, 04:53 PM
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Where to from London?

Hi! I've been reading these forums for the last 2 weeks and just getting more confused. I'm looking for a 10 day itinerary starting and ending (but not including) London. We are a family of 5 (kids 11, 9, 6). We have 3.5 weeks in Europe but need to be in London for the first and 3rd week. That leaves us 10 nights to explore another location. We would like to keep travel time from London down and would ideally train somewhere. Therefore, have been kicking around France. But where?

We have lived in Europe (London) and did quite a bit of travel while living there. Our most memorable trips have been to cities - we loved Paris, Prague, Seville, Athens, and Rome. The only city we didn't care for was Cologne/Bonn.

We are happy to spend more time in Paris but struggling with where else to go. Was thinking Paris and Amsterdam but I do kind of want some countryside thrown in. We like to wander, love wine (mom and dad , and combining sightseeing with running around at the park.

Would love some help coming up with a fun trip for our family.

Thank you!
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 05:22 PM
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Did you visit Scotland, Ireland, and Wales while you lived in London?

Bruges is nice. Giverny? Chateaux?

Last edited by TDudette; Jan 12th, 2020 at 05:29 PM.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TDudette View Post
Did you visit Scotland, Ireland, and Wales while you lived in London?

Bruges is nice. Giverny? Chateaux?
Hi - yes, we did do a few days in Edinburgh, but no where else in Scotland.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 07:04 PM
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Are you planning to rent a car to see the countryside of France?

Two years ago, I did a London-Paris split and last year did an Amsterdam-Paris split. Both were great trips.
The London-Paris trip was originally planned as a London-Scotland trip. I think that would be a good option for your family if that is of interest.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 07:25 PM
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Scotland would be great -- however there are more than 100 cities you can reach from London in less than a day by train -- lots in France, everywhere in Belgium, and Netherlands, several places in Switzerland and Germany - even a handful in Spain and Italy. So your options are limitless. But there is almost no better destination for children/families than Scotland - History, castles, gobsmacking scenery, wildlife, falconry, close to Northumberland with Alnwick (Harry Potter connections) and Bamburgh and Hadrian's Wall. 10 days is nothing for Scotland though so if that's where you decide to go you'll have to be very selective
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 07:55 PM
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When is the trip?
This is at the top of my wish list = renting a cottage for a week on the grounds of the Queen's estate at Balmoral -
https://www.balmoralcastle.com/availability.htm

Limited availability, but really great rates. Less than 900 pounds for a week in one of the smaller rentals that sleeps 5.
VERY limited availability. Check the white spaces (available weeks) on the calendar and then look at the available cottages. A few options in June. More in November/ December. Everything else is booked.
(A real deal in Feb = 300 pounds for a week!)
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 08:10 PM
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There are many (thousands)of wonderful cottages in as good or much better locations than on Balmoral - unless one just wants to say they 'stayed with the Queen' - which they wouldn't have of course.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 08:11 PM
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To Clarify - By >> however there are more than 100 cities you can reach from London in less than a day by train << I meant on the Continent. There are of course many more in the UK itself.
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Old Jan 12th, 2020, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
There are many (thousands)of wonderful cottages in as good or much better locations than on Balmoral - unless one just wants to say they 'stayed with the Queen' - which they wouldn't have of course.
Then suggest some.

Do you ever think about what you post? Post YOUR suggestions and stop tearing down other suggestions. That's what makes this forum (Europe) so negative. The regulars here shoot down other people's suggestions like it's a shooting game at a carnival - but never take the time to suggest alternatives.

I knew the moment I posted that what the result would be. What always happens on here. No wonder Fodorites who have traveled in Europe for decades refuse to post on the Fodors forums anymore.

"There are many (thousands)of wonderful cottages..."

How about this -
List five.
That shouldn't be difficult, out of "thousands".

I look forward to reading your recommendations.

Last edited by starrs; Jan 12th, 2020 at 09:13 PM.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 12:29 AM
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Rouen for a city.....Normandy and Brittany for easy to reach regions of France.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by LancasterLad View Post
Rouen for a city.....Normandy and Brittany for easy to reach regions of France.
You donít say what time of the year, that could make a difference. Scotland would be wonderful, a mix of Edinburgh and the highlands, your children may enjoy the Harry Potter viaduct and a few days on the Isle of Skye for a taste of the western highlands.

Paris and Amsterdam are easily accessible by Eurostar and would make perfect loop. Also Paris and Normandie, or perhaps even 10 days in Provence, I believe you can buy a through ticket from London. Of course there are cheap flights too, but taking Eurostar and going under the Channel may be exciting for the youngsters, though you donít actually get to see the sea at all. But the whole experience of the superfast trains would be something different. Booking well in advance gets you very good fares and oftentimes first class is just a couple of euros more than second.

Check out seat61.com for information on train travel and how best to book your tickets.

Last edited by geetika; Jan 13th, 2020 at 04:37 AM.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 04:54 AM
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Have a look at this article in the Guardian today: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2...asgow-aberdeen

and this one. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2...undy-vineyards

Maybe they will give you some ideas.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 06:26 AM
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July? November?

Top of the head -

- Edinburgh then a drive south along the east coast to York via Northumberland castles, Hadrian's Wall, Durham and the North York moors and coastline. https://goo.gl/maps/k8XQRFtoxdgj4T1T6
- Amsterdam and Delft
- Strasbourg and Alsatian countryside
- Brittany
- Copenhagen (flying is quite cheap)
- Geneva and Annecy
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 06:56 AM
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Hi - thank you for all of the replies! I can't believe I didn't specify the time of year - this well be the last 10 days of June.

Scotland does sound lovely, we loved Edinburgh. I'm not sure we are up for driving there though.

We did think to do Paris and Amsterdam - do you think we could throw in a 3rd stop? Maybe somewhere that is more rural? Keep in mind that we have already been to Paris.

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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 06:58 AM
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The first link I posted is Scotland by train, ferry and bus. No driving needed. Read it - it may inspire you. Glasgow is worth a visit and you can set off from there by train for some islands and countryside and adventure.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 08:28 AM
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>>How about this -
List five.
That shouldn't be difficult, out of "thousands".<<

I wasn't attacking you. I just think you were really jumping the gun. I could give many though (I've rented more than 30 cottages in Scotland) but kinda sorta useless until the OP picks at least some sort of itinerary - or even a country. Recommending a specific property on Deeside / Balmoral just because one has read a link - let's wait until they actually have an idea where they are traveling.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Recommending a specific property on Deeside / Balmoral just because one has read a link ...
No. I didn't "just read a link".
Did by chance you read my post, before discounting my suggestion - or just jumped at the chance to do what you do on a regular basis, but drop in a snarky comment about thinking someone will see the Queen?

If you take the time, you'll see the varied options of activities ON the estate that a family of five may be interested in. They could also use the cottage as base for sightseeing via day trips.

I doubt very seriously you took the time to do that, but if interested here's a link -
https://www.balmoralcastle.com/activities.htm
The family may enjoy the ranger led walks, the Land Rover safaris, fishing, etc.
ALL are of interest to me. The family may not be interested in distillery tours, but I am. There is plenty to do on the estate and nearby.

I did not just "read a link". I am planning a trip for myself. As mentioned before, the London trip two years ago was going to be a joint London-Balmoral area trip but the total was only one week. When I found the option to rent a cottage on the estate, I changed my plans to a London-Paris split so I could return for a full week. I've been to Scotland before, but it was too short a period of time. I hope to return. As I said this was an out of the box suggestion, but worth a look if it's of interest to the OP. You aren't the OP so I don't understand the need to shoot down other's suggestions. Let the OP decide if it works for them or not. Responding that there are many/ thousands of other cottages in Scotland isn't helpful in any way. Suggest one if you have one you like. Why the need to shoot down other poster's suggestions? I don't think I'll ever understand that. But that IS a reason so many former Fodorites refuse to post on the Europe forum. Daily really good information is shared among hundreds of former Fodorites without what happens here on the forums. It's a shame really.

I still look forward to your suggestions of one to five cottage rentals that would be a better option to the suggestion I made.

Last edited by starrs; Jan 13th, 2020 at 08:56 AM.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 10:19 AM
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"We did think to do Paris and Amsterdam - do you think we could throw in a 3rd stop? Maybe somewhere that is more rural? Keep in mind that we have already been to Paris."

You might consider parts of Belgium-we did a driving trip last year around the Netherlands headed to France and really enjoyed Spa for a few nights but on earlier trips we also loved Ghent and Brugges. So those might be possibilities as well-I can't remember if you said if you will be driving or taking public transport-because that might also change my ideas about where I would suggest.
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 10:23 AM
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I look forward to reading your recommendations.
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Old Jan 14th, 2020, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by stephanoko View Post
I look forward to reading your recommendations.
for a few days including some wilderness I would simply recommend the northern coast.
Go to Boulogne (nausicaa) cap gris nez blanc nez honfleur etc up to Rouen which is a hidden gem.

I fully agree that recommending a specific place when OP has no real idea of where to go is foolish. Just looks like boasting about where one has been not unlike attaching unsollicitated itineraries on your posts.

Besides one's recommendation can be another's hell.

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