We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

We have our UK itinerary!

Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
70 posts
12 reviews
Save Topic
We have our UK itinerary!

Three weeks in the UK in the late spring, my husband, two daughters (11 and turning 12 during the trip), and I've got it all booked now (well, all the hotels):

Day 1: Arrive at Heathrow and rent a car, head to Dover and Canterbury.

Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral

Overnight at Victoria Inn, Canterbury

Day 2 & 3: Up through Cambridge to York. Overnight 2 nights at York Priory Hotel.

Day 4 & 5: Up from York to Whitby and to Alnwick Castle, then on to Edinburgh. Two nights in Edinburgh at the Duthus Lodge B&B.

Day 6: Over to Inverness. Premier Inn, not exciting, but practical. Culloden Battlefield, and surrounding countryside.

Day 7: On our way down to Glasgow, casting regretful eyes toward the Isle of Skye, because we can't get there this trip. Stopping at Onich for one night at Camus House B&B.

Day 8: On to Castle Levan, near Glasgow, and exploring both. Overnight at the castle.

Day 9 & 10: Down to the Lake District, with two nights at Mary Mount Hotel

Day 11 & 12: Southward through Wales to Cardiff. Two nights in Cardiff at a Premier Inn. Doctor Who Experience, Conwy Castle, etc.

Day 13: Cheddar Gorge. Premier Inn, Sidcot.

Day 14 & 15: Bath, Stonehenge, Salisbury, Byways Guest House, Salisbury.

Day 16 & 17: Cotswolds, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Oxford, Warwick Castle, etc., at Salamander House in Stratford.

Days 18-22: London - return car at Heathrow, and get into the city, staying at a Premier Inn. All things London, to the best of our busy ability.

Day 23: Up at the crack of dawn...back to Heathrow to fly home.

We're SO EXCITED.

Oakham, United...
Level Contributor
2,837 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: We have our UK itinerary!

Phew.. that sounds a busy trip. I'm sure it'll be fun though. I'm not sure I follow all of it: Conwy is in North Wales.. and from the Lakes to Cardiff via Conwy must be a 7 or 8 hour drive before you get out of the car to look at the Castle, so I'd expect an overnight stop in North Wales, but there doesn't seem to be one? I'm sure you have a plan though!

days 16+ 17. Wow.. are you going to see all those things in 2 days? I'd miss Stratford itself unless you're Shakespeare nuts. I'd have thought Oxford & Warwick'd want a day each.. Warwick town is pleasant to wander in for a while.. you can hire a rowing boat on the river for a bit which is fun. The castle is outrageously expensive though.. if you go in you wnat to get your money';s worth and stay for hours. Consider Kenilworth Castle nearby as an alternative. Oxford.. great place. If you're driving, you'll need to use the park & ride to get into town. I'd have thought it'd take most of the day - there won't be much time in those 2 days to see Cotswold villages.

Edited: 09 May 2013, 17:28
London, United...
Level Contributor
5,246 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: We have our UK itinerary!

Good heavens. That's hectic. I will just add two thoughts. On the way from Edinburgh to Inverness driving up the A9 you will pass Aviemore. Your children might like to try one of the activities or attractions in the link below

dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do/aviemore

Lots of dolphins in the Moray Firth that borders Inverness. Best place to spot them is by their feeding ground off Chanonry Point. From Inverness drive over the Kessock Bridge and head for the village of Avoch. There is a lighthouse and viewing point and small car park just beyond there. No guarantees that they will be there at the day and time you visit but even so, there is usually quite a good chance.

Edited: 09 May 2013, 18:06
Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
70 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: We have our UK itinerary!

Oops - Cardiff Castle, not Conwy.

Yes, we're Shakespeare nuts...

Somehow I made an error with the kids' ages - they're 14 and 11, turning 12 during the trip.

I know it's a lot; we may not see everything. I've cut and cut and don't know if I can bear to lose any more. John and I might get back - I hope so - but I doubt we'll do this again as a family. This is the trip of a lifetime for us. Everything I've ever loved reading, studying....I'm sure we'll just get a sample of most places...but we love a busy pace. And we're so excited.

I'll check out that link, thank you!

Hampshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London
Level Contributor
6,922 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: We have our UK itinerary!

I'm going to have to look out for your trip report!

That is going to be very, very exhausting, and I'll admit I'm not sure I could cope with that amount of unpacking and packing! But I hope you have a good time. Exciting, indeed!

Norwich, United...
Level Contributor
23,307 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: We have our UK itinerary!

Oh my gosh that's one jam packed trip! I'm not sure I'd have the stamina but I admire your ambition. You possibly won't have time but whilst in Alnwick try to check out the Duchess' gardens as well as the castle. If you get the chance, perhaps have lunch in the Treehouse Restaurant, I think your kids might like it -

www.alnwickgarden.com.

Good luck!

Solihull
Level Contributor
4,250 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: We have our UK itinerary!

I am going to be blunt here, but I believe if you do a trip like this you could be had up for child cruelty.

You are trying to visit FAR too many places, you are trying to cover FAR too many miles, and your kids will be sitting in the back of the car for HOURS.

I also see no trip to the seaside and very little (if anything) aimed at the children.

While our motorways are pretty good and you can often do 60 or 70 miles an hour, many of a A roads are not and with towns and villages in the way, and roundabouts and traffic lights, it can take you a lot longer to get to places than you think.

I think by the time you get a third of the way though this punishing schedule you will be phoning ahead and cancelling some of the hotels and changing your plans.

Lets look at the itinery.

All the mileages below are based on "as the crow flies" and dont allow for any places you visit on the way that may take you out of the direct route. I used Google maps but they are only rough mileage estimates (true distances covered will probably be higher).

Day 1 - Heathrow - Canterbury (and also Dover) - over 100 miles

Day 2/3 Canterbury - York - 262 miles (about 4.5 or 5 hours driving)

Day 4/5 York - Edinburgh - 220 miles

Day 6 Edinburgh - Inverness - 150 miles

Day 7 - Inverness - Onich - 75 miles

Day 8 - Onich - Glasgow - 100 miles

Day 9/10 Glasgow - Lake District - 100 miles

Day 11/12 - Lake District - Cardiff - 280 miles. This looks an AWFUL days driving. You say go THROUGH Wales but the roads running North / South trough Wales are not that great and you may finsih up using the M6 motorway which is an unpleasant road to drive.

Day 13 Cardiff - Chedder Gorge - 60 miles

Day 14/15 - Chedder - Salisbury - 60 miles

Day 16/17 - Salisbury - Stratford - 100 miles

Day 18 - Stratford - London - 90 miles

I am sorry to be so blunt but I really think you need to revisit this schedule as I think all of you will find the packing and unpacking, and the hundreds of miles covered, will make this a holiday you look back at with some regret.

Edited: 10 May 2013, 13:32
Winchelsea, United...
Destination Expert
for West Sussex, East Sussex
Level Contributor
5,565 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: We have our UK itinerary!

It would be too busy for me and my daughter to really enjoy - but child cruelty ?!!!!

Mike

Oakham, United...
Level Contributor
2,837 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: We have our UK itinerary!

I must admit I did think there was a shortage of children's activities here but was a bit reticent as it's already been booked.. and I guess it depends how time is spent too. I'd expect them to get fed up with sitting in the car.. unless they are spending most of the trip playing on electronics. I'd certainly ask the children what they want to do. There are good beaches in the UK (weather permitting .. though you can have fun on a beach even when it's a little chilly), some of them in nice places too.

It might be a good idea to add up the grand total of driving times for all your journeys, plus packing and unpacking, checking in, checking out .. and see what percentage of the trip is being spent travelling rather than looking at things.

Southampton
Level Contributor
4,460 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: We have our UK itinerary!

It's physically possible, apart from days 16 and 17 which may only be possible if you don't get out of the car. As long as you understand that the vast majority of your time will be spent driving (in many cases on stressful busy roads) then you can do this. As you can see from the above, most people would not recommend it.

I don't know if you have any experience of driving in the UK but make sure you familiarise yourself with what it is like. Most of us do not drive for fun much. Also make sure your accommodation has parking. A lot of places it will be very difficult/expensive to park, or you may need to use a park and ride, which can be time consuming (eg Bath, Oxford).

The other thing you need to be aware of are closing times of attractions you wish to visit. It may be broad daylight at 9pm, but that doesn't mean anything is open. An issue to bear in mind if you plan on arriving places after 5pm.

Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
70 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: We have our UK itinerary!

Oops - Cardiff Castle, not Conwy.

Yes, we're Shakespeare nuts...

Somehow I made an error with the kids' ages - they're 14 and 11, turning 12 during the trip.

I know it's a lot; we may not see everything. I've cut and cut and don't know if I can bear to lose any more. John and I might get back - I hope so - but I doubt we'll do this again as a family. This is the trip of a lifetime for us. Everything I've ever loved reading, studying....I'm sure we'll just get a sample of most places...but we love a busy pace. And we're so excited.

I'll check out that link, thank you!