In the early planning stages of a 21-day trip to the UK. Wanting to see as much as we can see, hopefully mixing a few slow days among the packed ones. We rarely return to the same place to travel, as we like exploring new countries. Which means we have to make hard decisions about what to cut ... already off the list include Oxford, Canterbury, Jersey/Guernsey, Liverpool, Glasgow, Stratford, Warwick ... just to name a few! The one must-see that is really killing us is Orkney. We really really want to see Orkney, but realize we would save two days if we skipped it.
THE QUESTION IS ... We're planning to rent a car. Do we just stick to one car rental and accept that fact that will mean a few days spent mostly in the car traveling on to the next location, or do we try to do a combination of train/car? Just attempting to balance motorway congestion with time spent in car rental agencies and train stations.
Here's the rough, rough itinerary as it now stands. I referred to the Rick Steve's 21-day trip as a starting point, but that's my no means our travel bible. Sleeping locale for the night in parentheses, absolute must-sees are starred, and first-to-drops are ?.
Day 1 -- arrive in London, train to Bath* (Bath)
Day 2 -- Bath* (Bath)
Day 3 -- Rent car: Salisbury*, Stonehenge?, Avebury, Lacock, Castle Combe (Bath)
Day 4 -- Wells*, Glastonbury*, Cheddar?, Tintern* (Lydney*)
Day 5 -- Cardiff?, Tredegar House?, Caerphilly Castle, Llanthony Priory* (Llanthony)
Day 6 -- Cotswolds* (possibilities: Bibury, Broadway, Snowshill, Stow-on-the-Wold?, Chipping Campden) (Chipping Campden)
Day 8 -- Lake District* (Keswick)
Day 9 -- Drive from Keswick past Glasgow (so sad!) to Kilchurn Castle, Glencoe/Ft William and on to Inverness (Inverness)
Day 10 -- Culloden*, Clava Cairns*, on to Orkney* (Orkney)
Day 11 -- Orkney* (Orkney)
Day 12 -- Drive from Orkney* to Edinburgh* (Edinburgh)
Day 13 -- Edinburgh* (Edinburgh)
Day 14 -- Drive from Edinburgh to Alnwick?, Melrose, Hadrian's Wall, Durham (Durham)
Day 15 -- Durham Evensong* (Durham)
Day 16 -- Thirsk*, York, drop off rental car (York)
Day 17 -- York (York)
Day 18 -- Train to London (London)
Day 19 -- London (London)
Day 20 -- London (London)
Day 21 -- fly home
TA is always so helpful. Appreciate it!