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Narrowing my focus: London/Bath/Cotswolds or London/Edinbugh

Minneapolis...
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Narrowing my focus: London/Bath/Cotswolds or London/Edinbugh

My husband and I (both in our mid-30s) will be traveling to the UK June 16 - 23, 2013 and won't be bringing kids. I was in London for a few days 10 years ago and wanted to do some additional exploring in the country.

I'm a history nut, anything that is ancient through the Middle Ages, and since I'm a good sport on his various vineyard trips over the years, he's agreed to cater to any whims I have to do historical site seeing as long as we can find good food and drink along the way.

Now I've realized a week isn't very long. I'm torn between a couple days in London and then traveling around Bath, Oxford and the Cotswolds (which my husband is less excited about, since he doesn't want to rent a car), or going with a London and Edinburgh trip with maybe a day and night in York.

I want to see churches, castles, ruins, and the like, and just enjoy the surroundings without getting sucked into touristy things that don't feel worth the time investment (I remember getting to Pisa years ago and thinking, Yes - it's leaning - and then wondering why I spent so much time and effort to see it . . . I worry that Stonehenge will be like that).

Anyway, I'd love any tips, advice, suggestions or feedback. Thanks in advance!

Ottawa, ON
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1. Re: Narrowing my focus: London/Bath/Cotswolds or London/Edinbugh

Well, you can certainly visit Bath and Oxford without renting a car - indeed, a car IN those two places is a handicap. And Mad Max offers very good small group tours into the Cotswolds from Bath.

http://www.madmaxtours.co.uk/

I`d certainly choose Edinburgh over Bath/Cotswolds, but the half day plus travel time each way certainly cuts into useful touring time.

Have you considered York - great cathedral, specatacular abbey ruins near nearby Ripon?

Plymouth
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2. Re: Narrowing my focus: London/Bath/Cotswolds or London/Edinbugh

Hello Carrie . 'Anything Ancient through Middle Ages' The problem you have is that sights going back this far tend to be just an odd building here and there, and scattered throughout the country. Of course as you probably know, most of the cathedrals are Middle Ages, and many cathedral cities have some other buildings from at least the 16th century. For these very old buildings I think you could have better choices than Bath and Oxford (apart from the Roman Baths themselves)

I'ld suggest Canterbury, with a couple of hours side trip to Sandwich which is one of the few towns retaining a substantial number of 'ordinary' buildings going back that far.

You could also seriously consider trying to find time to visit the relatively unknown county of Shropshire. Shrewsbury itself has a wealth of very old half timbered buildings. . Another place with large numbers of at least 16th century buildings, and retaining its original Norman frontier town street plan, is the largely unknown small town of Bishops Castle. Nearby Ludlow also has a lot of very old buildings and a good ruined castle.

For Roman remains, Hadrians Wall is impressive, but a long way North!

Wherever you go, have a great holiday

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Narrowing my focus: London/Bath/Cotswolds or London/Edinbugh

Thank you very much - this is very helpful!

4. Re: Narrowing my focus: London/Bath/Cotswolds or London/Edinbugh

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