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suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

Bryan, Texas
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suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

What towns would you recommend I use as a base (4-7days each) for a month's vacation in England next April?

I'm retired, on a tight budget, travel solo & during the last 5 yrs have spent every April in England. I also lived in London for 3 years thirty yrs ago. Would like to stay a year in a village this time!

My problem now is that I can't walk far anymore, so must use a Brit Rail pass and local buses to sightsee around the base town and for day trips. I love touring the countryside and visiting towns and villages with a center small enough to walk around or that has Hop-on/Off buses I can use to get around.

I could sit on a train/bus for hours as it winds through villages, along the coastlines, among the green hills w/ animals and rock fences, streams and canals, etc. Also, I like talking w/ local people in pubs, shops, while sitting on the promenade, on the buses/trains, etc. I enjoy history, flowers, architecture, theater.

I have used the following towns as bases on prior trips: Bath, Weymouth, Brighton, York, Scarborough, Chester, Exeter, and

Moreton-in-Marsh. Or should I spend more time in any of these towns?(Some of these worked better than others.)

Again, due to my lack of mobility I can only stay in towns that have the town center very close to the rail/bus station/s and that offer day trips easily done using bus/rail.

I'm thinking of some town (undecided as of yet) in the Cotswolds, Canterbury, Salisbury, Worcester, and Windermere

for April 2012. Are these good options? Any others you can suggest?

Using the forum is new to me; hope I've done it correctly!

Thank you from this Texas gal!

london
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1. Re: suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

how about Conwy in north Wales ... it's got its own stunning castle, is compact, has its own rail station, plenty of buses along the north Wales coast (Caernarfon, Angelsy etc etc), see

conwy.gov.uk/upload/public/attachments/464/C…

Conwy is next to Snowdonia so there's lovely coastal in mountainous scenery ... from Llanberis you can take the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the summit (weather permitting the train starts late March) ... nearby is Llandudno, Victorian seaside resort

Canterbury, United...
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2. Re: suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

Personally I can only advise about Canterbury which is the main transport hub in east Kent and itself has much to see within the centre. The bus station is in the centre from which local buses serve all the nearby towns and National Express coaches run up to London. There are 2 train stations 5-10 mins walk from the centre so you have a lot of choice for places to go within half-an-hour or so such as:

Faversham - pubs, market, old buildings, good independent shops

Whitstable - harbour, seaside & seafood, pubs, quirky shops

Herne Bay - seafront gardens & promenade

Margate - beach, art museum, boho old town

Broadstairs - picturesque beach, promenade, good pubs & dining

Ramsgate - marina, regency architecture

Sandwich - very historic town

Deal - seaside promenade, pretty old town

Dover - castle

Folkestone - seaside, promenade, harbour, faded grandeur

Hythe - pleasant high street, historic, canal walks, seaside

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

You've probably picked off the best two already: York and Chester. Chester is particularly compact and has great bus and rail connections to Liverpool, North Wales, Shrewsbury (which is another compact city, but more hilly). Cardiff is another compact city with good connections along the the coast towards Pembroke and also north up the old mining valleys towards Brecon.

Many of the town/cities down the Welsh border with England may fit your interests: Hereford and Ludlow, possibly Worcester. How about a small town/village on the Isle of Wight with the possibility of a trip over the the history in Portsmouth. Possibilities are endless!

We're all going to biased towards our own favourites and I probably come back to Chester as a good base with Cheshire, Liverpool and North Wales to explore by bus or train

East Sussex, United...
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4. Re: suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

I'd suggest - Whitby, Tenby, Lewes or Ludlow as towns. For somewhere a bit bigger - Norwich or Cardiff. And if you can survive largely on buses rather than trains then - Corfe Castle (although it has a steam railway) or the truly wonderful little town of Bishop's Castle (someday, someone will go there on my recommendation...)

Have fun ! I very much like the sound of your trip.

Mike

Southampton
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5. Re: suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

I think you probably don't want somewhere really hilly like Whitby.

East Sussex, United...
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6. Re: suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

Yes, maybe not.

Any suggestions of your own to put forward ? Lymington perhaps ? Or the IOW ?

Mike

Edited: 17 September 2011, 14:16
Southampton
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7. Re: suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

Lymington and IOW both really hilly too LOL!

London, United...
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8. Re: suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

Taking inspiration from BayBOy's suggestion, we'd commend Kent as a whole to you. Canterbury might well be your hub, but you might like to try other towns and cover more of Kent. Perhaps you'll find what you are looking for here http://www.visitkent.co.uk/. There are links within this website to all types of accommodation, details of the various attractions that Kent has to offer, and information about public transport.

Chepstow, United...
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9. Re: suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

If you would like to travel to the far SW of England, Penzance has its railway station on the edge of the town (10 mins walk to the centre) and the bus station next to it. There are plenty of buses to nice villages/small towns and a couple which do circular routes through the countryside.

You could get a bus to Marazion for a pasty and perhaps a level walk across the causeway to St Michael's Mount.

Catch the train to lovely St Ives for a day.

Take the circular bus route from Penzance, through winding narrow country lanes and small farms, passing through Lamorna, Porthcurno and Land's End.

Catch the train to the city of Truro. Take a boat trip on the river Fal.

Penzance's main shopping street is on a bit of a hill but there is a nice promenade which provides for an easy level walk into Newlyn (1 mile) where you can easily catch a bus back into the town if the return walk is too much.

Birmingham
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10. Re: suggest travel bases with good rail/bus for day trips?

Salisbury? You could visit Stonehenge.