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10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

Greenwich, CT
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10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

Hi,

We are planning a trip to either London + some English countryside, or London + Scotland. It will probably be a 10 day trip. My husband and I have both been to London and environs numerous times, but except for Dartmoor, have not explored the countryside much. Neither of us have been to Scotland. Our kids enjoy walking, nature, beautiful scenery and can do several hours hiking or biking - as long as there's promise of good food at the end!

We will probably do a fair share of cultural stuff in London, so not sure we would want to do London + Edinbugh, for example.

Any suggestions?

Thanks great TA community!

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Devizes, United...
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1. Re: 10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

Hi there

Could I just ask please how you intend getting out and about?

Greenwich, CT
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2. Re: 10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

Hi and good question.

We are open to every possibility re transport - trains, plane, renting car (have driven the small winding roads of Ireland, so no worries about that).

Nottingham, United...
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3. Re: 10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

What time of year are you planning this trip for and does the 10 days include arrival and departure days?

Greenwich, CT
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4. Re: 10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

Most likely we will travel mid-August, though late June is a possibility. 10 days would probably include travel time, though we might be able to do 12-14 days. I guess the 10-day trip is a definite, while the 12-14 days depends on some other things which we won't know until the Spring. The reason we're researching so early is because we usually try to do at least one home exchange, which people tend to firm up in January.

Dunfermline, United...
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5. Re: 10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

Late June would be a better time, schools here won't be on holiday so the roads should be quieter.

With 10 actual days and the fact that you've seen London numerous times, it might be worth having a couple of days in London to get over jet lag before driving up to the Lake District (or train from London Euston to Oxenhome) for a couple of days then drive (or direct train) up to Edinburgh for a few days. You can fly back to Newark direct from Edinburgh on United.

You can use Edinburgh as a base to visit places like Stirling and St Andrews, or if you are looking for scenery and hiking over cities, then base yourself somewhere further north like Aviemore, Pitlochry, Inverness or Fort Augustus

When weighing up the relative costs, bear in mind that petrol is around £1.31 per litre (roughly $9.50 per gallon) and the roads are extremely congested so a 250 mile drive to the Lake District could take over 8 hours on a bad day.

www.theaa.com

www.nationalrail.co.uk

Edited: 02 December 2013, 14:05
Manchester, United...
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6. Re: 10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

How strong is the desire to visit London? If you wanted you could fly into Edinburgh, say, and do "cultural stuff" there and then move. If August is a possibility you'd need to be aware that is Edinburgh's big festival month, so plenty of cultural choice, but you will need to book accommodation in good time.

edinburghfestivals.co.uk/planning-for-edinbu…

You could then pick up a car and choose whether to explore more of Scotland which could easily occupy the rest of your time. Alternatively you could choose a different departure airport (many UK airports have direct flights to New York and/or Newark which I'd guess are your nearest for transatlantic flight) and meander towards that.

As an example you could travel through the Scottish borders into Northumberland (there's the Northumbria national park for hills etc and miles of glorious beaches); go further south and there's the national parks of North Yorks Moors and Yorkshire Dales with the historic cities of York & Durham. To the west is the Lake District - all these national parks offer plenty of "walking, nature, beautiful scenery".

http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk/

After that Manchester may be the best departure airport.

Edited: 02 December 2013, 14:41
Hollister...
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7. Re: 10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

I agree about going in June. No crowds! If you like walking and beautiful scenery, the Lake District would be ideal. There is also good hiking along Hadrian's Wall.

If you opt for Scotland, Edinburgh is a must. I suggest either flying or taking the train and rent a car for exploring Scotland upon leaving the city. Parking is difficult and expensive.

From Edinburgh, you could drive the coast to St. Andrews for spectacular scenery. If you hit St. Andrews on a Sunday, you can even walk the Old Course.

Greenwich, CT
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8. Re: 10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

Thanks for the input!

London, United...
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9. Re: 10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

Scottish schools break up in late June, so the last weekend in June can be busy as Scottish families start their summer holidays. English schools continue well into July. The other advantage of June is the extremely long daylight hours. August is still relatively long, but you will be amazed by how late it stays light (and how early it gets light again) in June in Scotland.

For travelling in the British countryside, I generally prefer to travel by car because it gives you more flexibility, particularly where the public transport links are poor or where the alternative is to take a taxi to a particular location. It is really the best way to see amazing countryside, of which there is plenty to choose.

I definitely agree with the suggestion to look at bypassing London entirely and flying to from EWR directly to Edinburgh. You won't need a car for Edinburgh itself (and it's not generally recommended for navigating the compact centre with narrow medieval streets and expensive parking), but you can pick up a car on your way out of town and see the Scottish and northern English countryside very easily.

London, United...
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10. Re: 10-days London/English countryside or London?scotland

How abo0ut a few days in London and then take the train to York ( 2 hour journey time ) which is full of history and interest. Then hire a car there and get out into the Yorkshire Dales .

www.yorkshire.com/places/yorkshire-dales

If you have time move again northwards for a couple of days and do the Roman History of Hadrian's Wall .

http://www.vindolanda.com/

Both areas would give lots of opportunities for walking or biking in open countryside