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Help on itinerary planning!

Singapore
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Help on itinerary planning!

Dear fellow travellers,

I'm from Singapore and is currently planning a trip to UK with my bf from Jun 26th to Jul 13th (18 days), meaning that we have about 16 full travel days. We have many ideas on the places to visit and wish to understand and enjoy the culture and sights, rather than at a "touch and go" pace.

London-Gatwick will be where we are flying in and out and we plan to cover England and Scotland for our UK trip and possibly add another city outside of UK, e.g. Paris.

As this is our 1st trip to Europe, we hope to get some valuable advice from you all so that we can map out the skeletal structure of our itinerary. We aim to keep to a low budget and our travel likes include nature trails, driving along scenic scenery, exploring heritage like castles & museums, outlet shopping, food and theatre. Some of the places to plan to visit are as follows:

Arrive in London-Gatwick at 1230, travel to Edinburgh:

- Fly or take the rail? (noted a BA deal for £38 but departs at 1700)

Places we plan to visit in Scotland are:

- Edinburgh

- Isle of Skye

- Inverness

- Loch Ness

- Eilean Donan castle

- Glencoe (recommended hikes here?)

- Scottish highlands (Loch lomond, Fort william)

- Glasgow (should we factor in Glasgow too for a loop back to England?)

Which of the above are recommended for overnight stays and are there any clean budget accomodation less than £50? To get between these places and enjoy the scenery, would driving be the best option?

Return to London & take rail to Paris? Or fly direct to Paris?

Is 2-3 days sufficient to visit Paris? (planning to visit Eiffel tower, Champs Elysees, Notre Dame cathedral, Louvre and versailles garden)

Last few days will be in England before flying back to Singapore. Places we plan to visit in England are:

- Soccer stadiums, Manchester, Liverpool (bf is a diehard soccer fan)

- London Eye, tower of London, Big Ben, Westminister Abbey

- Greenwich

- Bath, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Cotswolds

- Chester for outlet shopping

- 1 night to catch a theatre act

The above list seems exhaustive for a 16 days trip. So we would greatly appreciate any valuable advice to add or remove. We would also appreciate any views on the order of places to visit to make our planning easier..

Many thanks and we look forward to any valuable advice!! =)

Lincoln Cathedral
Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Churches & Cathedrals
Salisbury Cathedral and Magna Carta
Architectural Buildings, Churches & Cathedrals
Gloucester Cathedral
Churches & Cathedrals, Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites
Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Help on itinerary planning!

Hi,

As you are already at the airport fly from Gatwick to Edinburgh.

In the interest of time, cut out the north of England side-trip (Liverpool, Manchester, Chester). See a London football ground. There are about 10.

For Scotland, there are a number of tour companies that woudl do that tour, eg Haggis, Rabbies,etc. or just hire a car and drive. It's a fairly well-travelled loop.

Fly from Glasgow or Edinburgh to Paris, and get the Eurostar train back to London.

Bath, Salisbury, Cotswolds - do as a 2-day tour, eg Mad Max.

Paris - ask on the Paris forum.

Enjoy

York, United Kingdom
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2. Re: Help on itinerary planning!

I am exhausted just looking at how much you plan to do . A car is your best option .I would think to get accommodation that is reasonable but comfortable would be £60-70 for 2 people per night - In towns it could cost more.

UK
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3. Re: Help on itinerary planning!

You have at least 2x as much to fit in as is possible even if you just tried to visit every place, not going in, just taking a picture as you passed by, and I doubt you could even get to everything in the time let alone actually visit and enjoy it.

Scotland alone on your itinerary could take two weeks. Once you add in actually entering places, doing things there, you'll have to cut out ata guess half of what you wrote.

Something else to consider - upon arrival in gatwick, go to London. Get a day or two there, then a cheap return to Paris vi Eurostar. Then, back to London, bit more time there, then an overnight sleeper train to Scotland. Saves one nights hotel cost, travel while you sleep. Fly back to Gatwick from Scotland the evening before you fly back to Singapore the next day.

Also research organized coach trips as peterscot said, to fit the most places in, (if that's your style of holiday), just accept the more you "visit", the less you'll experience and the more time you'll spend travelling *between* places, rather than *at* places.

I agree with peterscot, skip Man U and Liverpool they are too far away from the other places you are looking at, visit London teams (Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs?) instead. You just dont have the time. If you do visit them, you'll have to miss a couple of days elsewhere.

Edited: 11 April 2010, 09:19
Singapore
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4. Re: Help on itinerary planning!

Hi guys, thanks for your prompt replies!

Yes, I do agree it is exhaustive. As such, we were wondering how we can cut our certain places in Scotland to make it smoother...or even sacrifice Paris so that we can experience more at each place.

For Scotland, how many days do you think is sufficient if we wish to at least cover edinburgh, Inverness, loch ness, eilean castle and glencoe? In that sense, perhaps it would be more sensible not to try a loop to Glasgow?

Singapore
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5. Re: Help on itinerary planning!

Perhaps to be clearer, we actually plan on travelling free & easy rather than going with tour groups..

Stanley, Falkland...
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6. Re: Help on itinerary planning!

Hi,

Why not look at the organised tours of Scotland? These companies don't hang about, so you can tell from the itineraries how long you need.

At a guess, Edinburgh - Inverness- Skye - Glencoe - Edinburgh would be a minimum of 2 days. (Glasgow doesn't add more time, by the way).

Cut out Skye and Inverness if you want a shorter tour. Try a day tour from Edinburgh around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

Singapore
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7. Re: Help on itinerary planning!

thanks so much for the info! It did provide us some direction in our planning!

Are there any trusty and cheap car hires in Edinburgh with auto cars?

UK
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8. Re: Help on itinerary planning!

<<Perhaps to be clearer, we actually plan on traveling free & easy rather than going with tour groups...>

Fair enough, but if you are traveling by yourselves, you'll probably be able to fit fewer things in than if on a tour, because the tours know how to stick to a timetable, where to go (they wont get lost) where to park, the best routes, etc. So, as you have so much you want to see, if you cant cut it down, that might be an option.

If not, and self guided would be my preference and probably most here, you can still "steal" their itineraries, eg at least use them for ideas and importantly to see whats possible. If a coach tour visits A, B, C in a day, don't imagine you can visit A, B, C plus D & E as well :-)

( When people talk about rushed coach tours, the reason they are rushed is because the itineraries are so crowded. It would be just as rushed by car )

9. Re: Help on itinerary planning!

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