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Travel UK for a month next year

Fairbanks, Alaska
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Travel UK for a month next year

I am starting to put together my wish list for a trip I plan on taking to the UK next year. I am planning on staying for about a month. I want to spend most of my time in Scotland but also see England and Ireland. Wales too if time allows. Scotland had been my dream vacation for many years which is why I want to spend most of my time there. I love the history and what I know of the culture. But, I love to travel and being that close to other places, I want to see as much as I can. I'm not sure of my budget yet but want to keep it lower since I'll be there for a month. I want to see some of the main cities but would like to spend more time seeing the 'real' UK and not just the tourist places. I would love to stay in bed and breakfasts at least some of the trip. I figure I will have to rent a car at some point but is it fesable to think I can do most of my travel via public transit? Things I want to see and do: castles, get some great photos, try local food and drinks, historic landmarks, short/day hikes. I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton of other reasons why I want to do this now that I'm trying to think of them. I'm looking for and advice you can give on your favorite places, things to do, etc so I can start to put together a general itinerary over the coming year. Thank you inadvance for any suggestions and insight you can give me.

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Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Travel UK for a month next year

With respect to budget, think in sterling for Scotland, England and Wales and euro for the RoI as prices will be shown and charged in those currencies. Use www.oanda.com or www.xe.com to calculate the exchange rate but know that it will be fluid over the next year.

www.nationalrail.co.uk is the information website for rail travel in the UK. Fares will change, but make some dummy bookings for a few trips to get an idea of how long it will take to travel from point to point. www.citylink.co.uk for scheduled coach travel in Scotland is a handy website as well. It can be a plus to have a car in the countryside in Scotland, as with your own transport you will be able to travel on your own timetable, get away from motorways and A roads and explore thoroughly.

What are your expectations of 'the "real" UK'? For many, that 'real' life includes travelling to and from work, shopping for dinner and perhaps going to the pictures, a concert or a play. Add the occasional visit to a gallery or museum and perhaps an evening class, and life may not be considerably different from elsewhere.

Guidebooks will be useful to help you decide what you would like to see and do. The Eyewitness Guides and Rough Guides are recommended. Have a look at www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk and www.nts.org.uk as well.

Fairbanks, Alaska
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2. Re: Travel UK for a month next year

Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Knowing where to start looking is a huge help. As for the "real" life stuff, I do want to experience some of the day to day stuff as well as some of the tourist type stuff. I'm looking for a holiday, not a 'fit as much as you can see into as little time as possible' trip. Thanks again!

Plymouth
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3. Re: Travel UK for a month next year

If you seriously want to see a tiny bit of 'real' everyday life, my advice is to go to any town, and take a bus and/or walk, well away from the town centre. Look out for shops, hospitals, schools, garages, housing estates - both private and social housing, chat to the other bus passengers who will all be locals. Even in major tourist destinations like York or Bath, this plan will put you in touch with everyday UK

4. Re: Travel UK for a month next year

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Suffolk, United...
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5. Re: Travel UK for a month next year

Hi Morrgan,

For accommodation in England and Wales have a look at the Youth Hostel link below and for Scotland the Scotland YHA

http://www.yha.org.uk/

http://www.syha.org.uk/

They have some modern purpose built places and some in fantastic country houses or old farms. They are clean and tidy and fairly cheap.

Enjoy the UK

Bob

England, United...
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6. Re: Travel UK for a month next year

Scotland by public transport can be reasonable if you plan well.

edinphoto.org.uk/1_map/1_map_railways_scotla… gives you an overview to locate places you might stop.

The West Highland line is supposed to be one of the best in the world for scenery but there is a lot more. The man from Seat 61 posts reguarly on the Train Forum. His site will give you everything you need with ferry connections and accommodation connections and a lot more on here.

seat61.com/…20Line

I have a plan to travel the line but finding Skye you need a car to go round I plan to go back to Oban and take day trips to the smaller islands of Lismore and Kerrera which are less touristy I hope. You can also go to Arran and there is a distillery there though not sure how you get around without a car.

http://www.kerrera-ferry.co.uk/ and www.calmac.co.uk/destinations/lismore.htm

B&B is ok but some are a distance away from somewhere to eat so do check if you haven't got a car. The same with self catering. Even in some of the towns they lack all but small supermarkets which can easily run out of the essentials so shop early.

Edinburgh and Glasgow are only a short train ride apart. I would stay in Edinburgh which is very easy to get round and so much to see easily. Being smallish you are not too far from anything. Buses do a day ticket for £4 when you can travel on any. They are double decker so travelling on top gives you wonderful views. You don't need to spalsh out on the HOHO. There are left luggage lockers at the bus station which is near the centre. Walking in Holyrood Park behind the palace is lovely too. There is a Scotish food restaurant at the National Gallery as well as a smaller cheaper coffee shop with views across the Princes Gardens and often live music in the square on the other side.

For Edinburgh see Lothian Buses.

For the countryside and longer journeys I think West Coast Motors and for ferries to the islands Calmac Caladonian MacBrayn but they are on the Seat 61 website.

If you can I would say drop down to the Lake District in England and make your way to the ferry to Ireland as the shortest route.

The websites for all these are easy to find and it is worth asking on the Scottish forum for details of transport and places you can do by public transport. They are a lovely lot and will give you plenty of information.

Edited: 27 March 2014, 19:19
Stroud, United...
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7. Re: Travel UK for a month next year

Just be clear that the RoI isn't in the UK but Northern Ireland is.

8. Re: Travel UK for a month next year

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