York or Lake District?

Old Nov 10th, 2014, 11:18 AM
  #21  
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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So many great ideas. I am writing all these suggestions in my notebook.

I have already booked our airfare. We fly into London and depart from Edinburgh. Cornwall has always been on my bucket list of travel destinations, but it will have to wait for another time.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 01:32 PM
  #22  
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Don't spend too long in London (now wait for the howls of protest). Yes it is amazing and there is so much to do and see there - but it is always busy with tourists. There is a lot to do and see in the rest of the country too.

Thinking about Cardiff and the Dr Who exhibition - I think the previous poster was a bit dismissive of Cardiff. The area does have a lot to offer. Cardiff Castle is definitely worth visiting. Just a few miles away is Castell Coch, a real fairy tale castle with turrets. This was restored in the C19th and no expense spared to fulfil the fairy tale dream. It is definitely worth adding to the list. Caerphilly and Raglan castles are both ruins but again interesting. Outside Cardiff is St Fagan's a folk museum where old buildings from across Wales have been reassembled here. If you are interested in how people used to live this makes a fascinating day out.

If you are serious about Dr Who then it may make sense to take a night out of London (more howls of protest) to do Dr Who and hit the high spots of the Cardiff area before heading north.

Problem is that with only 15 days, difficult decisions do have to be made and something will have to go. You may have to prioritise depending on what the kids want to do and what their interests are. Don't try and cram too much in. One of the dangers of a forum like this is that you get innunated with ideas and they all sound so attractive too!
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 01:59 PM
  #23  
 
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Great - you have the flights booked. You are on the way

. . . now please clarify how many days you actually have. In the OP you mention 15 days. Is that 'on the ground' (i.e. 17 days total) or does the 15 days include your flights to/from? If the latter -- you will have a total of 12.5 days free for seeing/doing.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 03:47 PM
  #24  
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Thirteen days total on land. We arrive in London at 6:30AM on Saturday, June 26 and depart Edinburgh at Noon on Thursday, July 9. So, we have a full day on our arrival; however, I'm not quite sure how I am going to pull it off (was going to think about that one later). I would like to rent a flat in London (most I've seen have a minimum five day stay). In a bit I'm going to post a question about accessible neighborhoods in which to base ourselves in London.

We have always enjoyed the less touristy destinations. We are jumping head first into London with all the iconic destinations (Tower, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, etc.) and hope to find a few off the beaten path/lesser known attractions as well. Again, another forum post.

The more I look at the map and the natural route to Edinburgh, I'm thinking following the East Coast might be the best plan for us. Once in York, I would like to ditch the trains and have a bit more freedom via car. I agree with the comment about not cramming too much in. That is going to be the key to this trip.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 04:57 PM
  #25  
 
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My recommendation for your arrival day in London (and in fact consider this for the first few days) is stay outside London.

Heathrow is very close (10-15 min. by taxi) to Windsor. In fact, often on arrival or departure, you can see Windsor Castle from the north-facing side of the plane, shortly before landing or just after takeoff.

Windsor is a lovely little town with so much going for it - the castle, obviously, but also Eton just across the river, the enormous Great Park.. but also many good restaurants, pubs, hotels and B&Bs. You can take a train from Windsor Central station to Paddington - around 30 min., often faster than the Underground within the city. You'd also find accommodations cheaper.

With four of you, and given the cost of rail travel in the UK (NOT cheap) I'd also strongly suggest you run the numbers on simply renting a car (at Heathrow) when it's time to leave London, and heading north to York and beyond. It's around a 3 1/2 hour drive on motorways, not hard at all. Having a car would also let you stay - again, if you choose - outside congested and rather touristy York itself, and travel into the old town by train. The picturesque town of Knaresborough, for example, is less than 30 min. from York, but, again, would offer cheaper accommodations and the ability to make a quick get-away when the time comes.

For that matter, the same could be said in Edinburgh. Look at South Queensferry, for example - a very historic little town on the Firth of Forth (R.L. Stevenson wrote part of "Kidnapped" while staying there) that's only a short drive from Edinburgh airport, where a tram can take you into the central part of town. But then, if you want, you can take the car over the Forth Road Bridge and in an hour you're in the "East Neuk" of Fife, with some gorgeous little fishing villages such as Pittenweem or Crail, or a short distance farther and you're in St. Andrews.

All these places have the advantage of being very close to fabulous cities, but not IN them where crowds and prices can be oppressive. And at the same time, all of them are close to marvelous countryside, small villages, fresh air, or other things that might help balance a very urban two weeks with some alternative environments. I'd think with kids this might work better for you than wrangling them to and from tube stations and coping with overpriced and/or underwhelming hotel rooms. Just a thought.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 05:17 PM
  #26  
 
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>>So, we have a full day on our arrival; however,
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