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Visiting England in Spring 2013

Irvine, CA
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Visiting England in Spring 2013

I'm planning a trip to England in the Spring. This is my first trip outside the United States. My travel agent has suggested a 14 day tour using Brendan or Trafalgar, but I don't really want to stay in a different hotel every couple of days. I'm considering staying in London for two weeks and taking guided day trips to various parts of the country. I'm most interested in the historical aspects and museums of England. Is this a reasonable proposal for visiting England? Does anyone have any suggestions for tour companies that offer day trips from London? I'd appreciate any help you can provide.

Sheffield
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1. Re: Visiting England in Spring 2013

Could you be a bit more specific about your historical interests - by person or period perhaps?

If you decide to stay on London, then quite a lot of England (and a bit of Wales) is about two hours train trip away. You probably will not need a travel company unless you need an historical guide.

Do consider driving too.

Redlands, California
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2. Re: Visiting England in Spring 2013

I think you are absolutely on the right track. Although I took guided group tours around Britain back in the 1970's, there is so much information easily available online now that unless you actually enjoy group travel, there is no need to do it. I'm not positive of the names (Evan Evans? Premium? Golden? others will know) but there are certainly several companies doing day tours if you want a day of letting someone else do it. Otherwise, as was said above, a LOT of England and some of Wales is accessible for a day trip by train. York, Oxford, Cambridge, Portsmouth, Bath, Salisbury/Stonehenge, etc. It is also often possible to find guided walking tours in many of these cities once you're there.

Somerset
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3. Re: Visiting England in Spring 2013

Agree with David. You have the language so socialising & finding your way around should be easy and it is safe here. I also think you have quite the right idea with spending time in London if you are interested in history & museums and the weather should be good & not too busy.

Most of England is historical. Bath is an easy train ride away. Book before you travel and it is cheaper. A simple map or guide book is all you need. Do some research first about what you want to see. There is a hop on hop off bus if that suits.

I think you would enjoy Wells which is a small town but interesting. You would need about half a day for that.

There is a website called Tripomatic that give you a map with the sights, accommodation and public transport. Planning for my solo trips I have found it really useful.

Really need to know more about what type of museum/historical. There are areas for ceramics, Royalty, churches - just all sorts.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Visiting England in Spring 2013

Cities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Bath etc are easily reachable by train from London. I do know that at Cambridge you can do walking tours guided by students. There may be something similar in Oxford. The combination of train tickets plus walking tours should work out cheaper than any of the bus tours from London.

Oxford and Cambridge also have great museums and if you do a tour with a bus company you will not have time to see them.

Edited: 12 October 2012, 00:42
U.S. expats
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5. Re: Visiting England in Spring 2013

You might enjoy guided walking tours like London Walks.

http://www.walks.com/

Two hours long, no reservations needed, and a reasonable cost.

There are also guided tours or audio tours available in many of London's attractions, Westminster Abbey (audio and Verger tour), St. Paul's (audio and guided tour), Tower of London (Beefeater tour), etc.

If you can manage booking a hotel and your airline ticket, we can help you with the rest of your itinerary.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Visiting England in Spring 2013

I've traveled all over England using a Britrail pass and this book: amazon.com/Daytrips-London-Adventures-Southe… (Daytrips London, 55 one day adventures by rail or car, in and around London and southern England). The copyright date is 2000, so some of the information is out of date, but the book is still useful. You can look up train information on www.nationalrail.co.uk. London Walks also do some nice day trips but not on a daily basis.

Irvine, CA
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7. Re: Visiting England in Spring 2013

Thank you to all of you who responded so quickly. Everyone of you made some helpful suggestions.

San Antonio, Texas...
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8. Re: Visiting England in Spring 2013

This is my second trip to London, was here in June with group of ten when the olympic and wimbledon traffic was increasing. First trip did two consecutive days of hop-on-hop-off with Goldentours and a one day later in the week with Original Tour Company. Booked city tours and a one day trip to Paris with English speaking guide on motor coach tour while there with Goldentours and was very pleased. Did a lot of reading and research prior to as this was my first time traveling to United Kingdom. Was not accustomed to city transit like subway and light rail but love it. This trip did not pre purchase or arrange any sightseeing as I had days to myself to wander leisurely. Husband and I purchased 48 hour hop-on-hop-off day tour with Goldentours again but wished we would have used Original tour Company as we stood at a scheduled stop neat Westminster Abby with several others and a bus never came by. Saw many Original Tour buses drive by! So many things to see and do which you can do on your own. Londoners are so friendly and helpful, eve without having to ask for it! Have fun!

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9. Re: Visiting England in Spring 2013

Remember that the Hoho bus is a tour, not transportation....

10. Re: Visiting England in Spring 2013

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