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limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

Melbourne, Australia
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limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

I am travelling with my mother and sister and it is our first time to the UK. We only have two weeks of which we would like to spend a few days in London and 3 or 4 in Cornwall. My mother would like to also travel to Grasmere, Endinburgh, Glasgow and York and Dublin if possible. Could this all be done in 14 days as well as having time in London? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

We are looking at travelling in early May 2011.

Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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1. Re: limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

You've at least 3 weeks worth of things to do in there. Cornwall and Dublin present problems as the others make a nice simple circuit starting and ending in London.

Suppose you could do Dublin as a day trip flight from London as you'd be able to cover most of the attractions in one day. Just means an early start and late finish. You could look into "open jaws" or "multi-city" tickets allowing you to fly into London and out of Dublin

Cornwall though is tricky as unless you are willing to take a sleeper train both ways you'll be spending most of 2 days just travelling - London to Penzance is over 5 hours each way by train and getting around without a car is not easy as Cornwall has few areas with a concentration of things to see.

Dunfermline, United...
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2. Re: limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

If you are hiring a car then it is just about doable although you won't be able to spend more than a day at each place if you want to do a few days in Cornwall and a few more in London.

Maybe have 4 days in London, drive to York (3 hours+) spend half a day there then drive to Edinburgh (5 hours) and spend two nights there. Then drive back through the Lake District (2 hours) and carry on to Cornwall (6 hours +) for a few days and then drive back to London (5 hours +) where you can get a cheap flight to Dublin. You could also drive from Cornwall to Bristol (2 hours) and get a flight to Dublin from there. Bristol is an interesting place and worth a stopover for a night

So, London 4 nights, Edinburgh 2 nights, Cornwall 4 nights, Bristol 1 night and Dublin 2 nights (13 in total).

UK
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3. Re: limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

Why do visitors always come up with the same list of places to dash around. Are these the only destinations mentioned in US or Australian guidebooks?

4. Re: limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

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Winchelsea, United...
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for West Sussex, East Sussex
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5. Re: limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

To be fair, many of us do the same when going abroad. But it's a good point.

I went to LA years ago. I wanted to do the obvious thing and go to Universal Studios, but my travel companion suggested the NBC (I think) studio tour instead. It was great, plus we got free tickets to see "The Golden Girls" being filmed. The warm up act was an unknown Ellen Degeneres and one of the extras (an Elvis impersonator) was a totally unknown Quentin Tarantino. It was a brilliant day - and had we not gone "off piste" then it would never have happened.

Last year we went to Canada. Much-heralded Banff turned out to be a boring tourist trap, yet many of the other local towns (Nelson, Nakusp) were delightful.

I know that I'd certainly I'd rather spend a day in Cockermouth than Grasmere, Lewes rather than Brighton - and a few days in a B&B in a village meeting locals rather than all my time in a city. I know our visitors have a wonderful time in our great capital; I reckon they'd have an even better experience if they moved outside London and the tourist traps for a while during their time here.

Sermon over !

Mike

england
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6. Re: limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

I'm afraid that's trying to do too much really. Britain is a small and crowded country and journey times are slow. You can use the AA route planner to help with driving times but I always add 10% to them and that doesn't allow for road works and traffic jams. Also don't forget you may suffer some jet lag and not want to dash around much to start off.

London is a lovely city but its also crowded and expensive. Think about what you really enjoy doing/seeing and then you might like to ask for suggestions. Cornwall has lovely beaches, york is old and fascinating.

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

actually these are the places that my mum wants to visit as there is family history involved so it is not about what was in the travel books but more about seeing places that mean something to her.

Thank you to everyone else that had some helpful suggestions.

South London
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8. Re: limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

You could always fly to save time.

I.e you could fly into London, drive to Cornwall, fly from Cornwall (Exeter) to Edinburgh with someone like flybe and then from Edinburgh to Dublin with Aer Lingus?

Bucks, UK
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9. Re: limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

Well it's just about doable in a "we're doing this mad dash for charity but not planning on enjoying it" sort of way, but you will spend most of your time travelling between destinations rather than seeing them and you're making no allowances for jet lag, the time it takes to board a plane, hire a car, get to the station, check in and out of accomodation, all of which will eat into that schedule.

If you want to do all of those destinations you realistically need to drop Cornwall or add another week.

If you look at these websites just for routeplanning purposes (I'm not suggesting that they are the best or cheapest) you can work out for yourself the logistics of what you are proposing:

www.viamichelin.co.uk (note that all driving times are for optimal traffic and make no allowance for rest stops, which you will need every 2 hours)

http://www.thetrainline.com/buytickets/?

http://www.aerlingus.com/home/index.jsp

U.S. expats
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10. Re: limited stay in UK - any suggestions on what places to visit

Not sure of your date in May, but there are two Banking Holidays in May, and just about everyone will be on the road then--it will double your driving time if you are planning on driving then, and also impact your ability to get accommodations.

I can certainly appreciate that you are coming a long way and would like to see all that you came to see. But as others have said, while the distances may not appear that far on a map, journey times are much slower than you'd think.

Is it possible to extend your trip for even a few days? It would calm your schedule so much more, and allow you to enjoy yourselves, instead of becoming exhausted.