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Comments on SW England itinerary

Frisco, Colorado
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Comments on SW England itinerary

My mom and I have pretty well set our two week itinerary for May 15 -29, but I'd love some input on it - particularly regarding the Bath/Penzance portions. It is so far as follows:

- 3 nights in Winchester (visiting friend in Winchester and seeing the city, day trip to Salisbury)

- 3 nights in Bath (by train from Winchester), with two Mad Max minibus tours - one of Cotswolds, one of Stonehenge/Avebury/Lacock/Castle Combe

- 4 nights Penzance (by train from Bath) - no set itinerary, but plan to use public transport and stick to Penwith, possibly Falmouth

- 4 nights London

Ottawa, ON
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1. Re: Comments on SW England itinerary

Looks great to me. I'd be a little bit sad that I didn't have time to visit Wells (for the cathedral, bishops palace and vicars close)when I was in the Bath area. And, just because it is so darn pretty, I'd probably stay in St Ives rather than Penzance when in Cornwall. But I suppose Penzance is slightly superior in terms of getting around the area.

Frisco, Colorado
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2. Re: Comments on SW England itinerary

Thanks Ron. I had considered Wells for all you mentioned, but with the time we have, it dropped off the list. It is probably still worth considering, though, possibly by dropping one of the Mad Max tours. Penzance definitely won points for ease of transport, but we plan to take the train to St. Ives.

The beauty of this itinerary is that we will see quite a lot without having the complexities of a car; the downside is that we won't have a car to poke around the countryside! I guess I'm wondering if we're missing out on a lot - say, Dorset and Devon countryside, or more of the Cotswolds - by choosing to train all the way to Cornwall. My alternate plan would be to base somewhere for a week and just explore that area in depth. The benefit of anyone else's experience or insight would be appreciated!

London, UK
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3. Re: Comments on SW England itinerary

As you will be going to Salisbury from Winchester, you could visit Stonehenge while you are there. It wold be a pity to lose Avebury and Lacock from that tour from Bath but you could offset that with a half day in Wells and a bit more time to look round Bath.

Dorset
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4. Re: Comments on SW England itinerary

Hi - this looks like a good itinerary.

You will miss some beautiful countryside in Dorset & Devon but as you wont have a car I wouldnt worry too much. The best places - particulary in Dorset are difficult to get to using public transport.

With 4 nights in Cornwall I am sure you will find more than enough to see.

Frisco, Colorado
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5. Re: Comments on SW England itinerary

Thank you for the additional replies. Railtraveller65 - I'll take your comments into consideration. And MegDorset, I agree we'll be missing some beautiful places, but as you say, public transport is difficult and I'm sure Cornwall will be beautiful.

I've been planning this itinerary for months (with input from Mom, of course!), and feel the one we've arrived at is the best so far in terms of ease of transportation, basing in fewer locations and of course in the sights we'll see... but there is always that nagging feeling that maybe we could be seeing something different or something more if only we went here or there.... how DID they ever cram so much of interest and beauty into such a tiny island??!!

Frisco, Colorado
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6. Re: Comments on SW England itinerary

Well, since my last posting, mom and I have changed our plans. The lure of driving through the countryside was too great, and rather than take the train to Cornwall, we are making a circuit from Winchester to Bath, day trips from Bath, then down into Dorset before returning to Winchester (to say goodbye to friend and return car) for a night before heading to Windsor for our last few days. We are now including Wells (thank you Ron!), as well as some Great British Heritage Pass sights in the area.

My question is - Where to stay for a couple of nights in Dorset? I have been looking at Lulworth Cove. I think we'd like to stay east of Weymouth, just to cut down on driving, but well away from Bournemouth. We'd prefer B & B or guest house, with easy access to coastal walks.

Thanks!

Dorset
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7. Re: Comments on SW England itinerary

Hi

So glad to hear you have decided on Dorset. Having a car too will help you to make the best of the area.

As for where to stay I cannot suggest any particular place but only areas. You are right to avoid Weymouth as there are huge amounts of roadworks going on there right now - and this is likely to last for months to come. Bournemouth is very built up and doesnt have the countryside appeal.

I would suggest Swanage as a place to stay - there are several hotels/guest houses listed on here which get good reviews. You are then in then heart of the purbecks which has some of the best coastline and walks on your doorstep. You are also within a 30 minute drive (approx) of Lulworth cove, Durdle door, Tyneham and lots more.

The browse photos section of this website might help www.dorsetphotos.co.uk.

Any more questions just ask.

Frisco, Colorado
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8. Re: Comments on SW England itinerary

Meg - Thanks so much for your reply. We are considering either Swanage or Lulworth Cove. The latter appears to be a small, lovely village, and that appeals; Swanage also appears to be well-located and has plenty of lodging. Any thoughts on the scenic appeal of Swanage vs. Lulworth Cove?

Dorset
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9. Re: Comments on SW England itinerary

Hi.

Lulworth Cove is a lot, lot smaller than Swanage. However as for the scenic appeal IMO Lulworth Cove is the best, but Swanage also has some very scenic spots.

This website may help www.lulworthonline.co.uk

Swanage has the advantage of more places to stay, to eat etc.

Would you consider staying inland, in the countryside - small picture postcard type village and then travel to the coast? I am asking as there are a few places in Lulworth but they are likely to get booked up quickly. Is your priority the sea or the countryside? Lulworth certainly provides both.

Essex
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10. Re: Comments on SW England itinerary

I always seem to remember quite liking Penzance when I was a kid. But when I went back in more recent years, I was a bit disappointed, it is more of a large 'town' than a picturesque beachy place.

IF your heart is set on staying there, then do - it is far from 'nasty' but is a little bit more 'workaday'. It is, of course, a working town, so that does not make it bad by any means. If you go there, this website might help a bit:

http://www.penzance.co.uk/

But I'd like to suggest St Ives as a somewhat more picturesque and relaxing place to stay. You can still get there by train:

http://www.stives-cornwall.co.uk/

I think you could find it somewhat more attractive.

EDIT - oh drat, I failed to read your post #6 before writing this one. I'll leave it here though, iin case it is of use to others.

Enjoy your travels, you have picked some great places to visit

EW

Edited: 05 March 2011, 17:25