Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > where to stay and itinerary ideas - 2 weeks in England/Scotland

where to stay and itinerary ideas - 2 weeks in England/Scotland

Reply

Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:15 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 7
where to stay and itinerary ideas - 2 weeks in England/Scotland

I'm just beginning to look at a plan for 2 weeks in mid-June. The trip will include my husband, myself, our two children--ages 8 & 11--and my father. We would like to spend about 9 days in England and 5 in Scotland. The places we would most like to visit are the usual: London (I think 2 days ought to be OK for us), Stratford, Canterbury, Stonehenge, and Bath in addition to spending a few days checking out the quintessential English countryside in the Cotswolds.
My delimma right now is where to stay and how to get to these places. Obviously, we would need 2 rooms if we stay in a hotel in London, but I was wondering if it's cheaper or even feasible to actually rent a cottage for a week in the Cotswolds, making that our base, and take day trips to London, Stratford, Canterbury, and Stonehenge/Bath.
I also think that at some point in the trip, it would be amazing for the kids to be able to spend the night in an honest-to-goodness castle. I have read that the majority of these are in Wales, which I hadn't planned to visit because of time. Should I try to squeeze that in somewhere, maybe taking a day out of England and a day out of Scotland?

Any advice will be much appreciated!
tracitoad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 22nd, 2012, 09:30 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60,176
Sure you can rent a cottage in the Cotswolds. Would be a lovely idea. However NOT as a base for places like Canterbury (the complete other side of the country)

"I have read that the majority of these are in Wales, "

Not true. There are castles in just about every corner of the UK -- and TONS in Scotland.

But my main concern is you want to see/do a an awful lot in a very short time. Have you been to London before? In 2 days you won't have time to see more than maybe 3 major sites (if you are lucky) . Plan on 2 major sites a day and your arrival day is likely jetlagged.

What sorts of things do you want to do in Scotland?? Five days doesn't give you very much time to see much. And it takes an entire day to get to Scotland no matter the mode of transport (when you factor in driving or turning in the car and flying or taking a train)
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 23rd, 2012, 02:08 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
Look at the website for the Landmark Trust, an organization that restores old buildings and rents them or apartments in them for short stays.

We have stayed in one, friends have stayed in four, and all have been fantastic. Best of all, they have an apartment in Roslyn Castle, near Edinburgh that would certainly meet your expectations.

Your kids are a perfect age for a first trip to the UK, by the way.
Ackislander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 23rd, 2012, 07:07 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 7
Thank you so much! So it looks like we're better off to stay in London several nights and spend that time in the city and take most of our day trips from there, then go to the Cotswolds to explore them for a few days before moving on to Scotland. Can we get by with all of this by train and bus?
tracitoad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 23rd, 2012, 07:25 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,084
Hotel rooms in Europe tend to be small. Quad rooms (rooms for 4) are relatively rare. You should start looking now.

The Cotswolds are best seen by car. Public transportation isn't that convenient.

If you're in the Cotswolds, Warwick Castle isn't far. It's not a hotel, more of a theme park. Your kids should love it. www.warwick-castle.co.uk
Mimar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 23rd, 2012, 08:35 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,146
I think the new plan is a better one - London, then Cotwolds, then Scotland. I suggest you take the train from London to the vicinity of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham for instance where I've gotten a car on visits to the area. Then the same again, train to Scotland which will save time and you'll probably want to get another car if you plan to venture into the countryside there.

My preference, though, might be to save Scotland for another visit. A week in London, especially if you plan to do day trips, and a week in a Cotswold cottage to my way of thinking would be a nicer, more relaxed plan.
MmePerdu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 23rd, 2012, 08:56 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60,176
I'm w/ MmeP. A week in London (rent a flat). Day trip to Canterbury by train. Week in the Cotswolds in a rented cottage. But I would instead of picking up a car in Cheltenham or someplace -- I'd take public transport to LHR and collect a car there. Then you could visit Salisbury/Stonehenge before heading upto your cottage. Bath could be done as a day trip from your Cotswold base.

But your problem may be finding accommodations at this relatively late date. I'd just contact some of the well known agencies and let them find you a place

here are a couple of good ones

http://www.manorcottages.co.uk/
http://www.cottageinthecountry.co.uk/

The problem w/ Landmark Trust (I've stayed in 5 or 6) is they do tend to be expensive (but worth it) and usually book up far in advance because they are so unique.

If you really want to visit Scotland instead --then I'd spend a week in London w/ 2 day trips (Canterbury and Salisbury/Stonehenge or Bath) and a week in Scotland. Fly up, rent a car, tour around for 5 days (fit in a castle stay if you can find availability), drop the car, 2 days in Edinburgh, fly home.
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 23rd, 2012, 09:22 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,146
Sudeley Castle, a short walk from the Cotswold town of Winchcombe, has cottages to rent: http://www.sudeleycastle.co.uk/cottages

The castle is a very nice stop whether you stay there or not. Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's last wife, is interred in the little chapel in the garden.
MmePerdu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 25th, 2012, 11:01 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 7
Thank you all for your advice! I generally love planning vacations, but this is our first out of the US, and it's just a little stressful!
tracitoad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 03:27 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 44
Too much to see in London to be in and out in two days. We stayed at the Victoria Plaza Hotel across from Victoria Station. Ideal. Do Priceline. You have trains, buses, tours just across the street plus inexpensive restaurants and a supermarket. Area is fine. Take the kids on the London Eye (make reservations now), Tower of London, royal stables, maybe a London show, day out to Hampton Court and do the maze, etc. Friends say Edinburgh is wonderful especially the Viking Museum complete with smells. Kids will like that.
PatriciaOne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 03:41 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,993
I believe the Viking Museum PatriciaOne mentions is actually the Jorvik Museum in York.

I don't think there is a Viking Museum in Edinburgh, at least, I don't know of one.
historytraveler is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2012, 04:02 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 60,176
The stables are called the Royal Mews in case you try searching for info.

And yes, PatriciaOne's friends may be a bit confused. The Viking Museum w/ the famous 'smells' is the Jorvik Viking Centre in York
janisj is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:01 PM.