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Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

Sydney, Australia
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Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

We will be in England at the start of December, and have the following itinerary in mind. Open to suggestions and feedback, particularly about whether we are packing too much in, or if we are missing highlights along the way.

Would also appreciate feedback on whether hiring a car to drive from Bath to Durham is a good idea, and have the car with us to go to the Lake District, or if it would be easy enough to do this by train.

Day 1: Arrive in London

Days 2 to 6: London, including day trips to Oxford/Windsor

Days 7 and 8: Bath

Day 9: Hire a car and drive to Durham, stopping at Birmingham on the way to meet friends for lunch

Days 10 and 11: Durham, including the Lake District

Day 12: Catch a train from Durham to London airport, fly out

Thanks!

Bingley, United...
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1. Re: Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

I would just take the train to & from Birmingham, it's a long drive for a day trip and Brum isn't car friendly.

As for Durham to London (which one, there are 6) airport, see if you can fly from Newcastle to the same London airport you are flying from and have that as part of your main ticket (ie multi-city ticket) or book someone like Emirates who fly from Newcastle to Dubai

Southampton
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2. Re: Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

You know that Durham is nowhere near the lake district, right? Why don't you stay in the lakes?

Also, be aware of short day length. Dark by 4pm ish.

London, United...
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3. Re: Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

You can do Bath as a day trip from London by train. Journey is only about 90 minutes. Then from London take the train to Birmingham maybe and plan the next phase from there onwards. The drive from London to Birmingham would be on the M1 or M40 motorway which has little attraction about it which is why I am suggesting the train instead and then maybe drive on from there if you want to on the same day or on the next day. Or train on to Durham ( why Durham ; any special reason ? ) and then drive around the north of England.

Edited: 30 August 2013, 10:40
London, United...
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4. Re: Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

If you do Bath as a day trip, you can then take the train up to Durham (takes 2hrs 51mins from London Kings Cross) spend a night there, and then take the 2 hour drive to Keswick to spend a couple of nights in the Lake District. You can't do both Durham and Lake District in 2 days. You can then return the car back to Kendal and catch a train into London to go to the airport. Enterprise have a car hire place in both Durham and Kendal.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

Alan: We fly out of London Stansted airport. Our flights are already booked and we can't change them, but I'll look into flying from Newcastle to Stansted.

Akkarin: Thanks, this is exactly the type of feedback I was hoping for. Google maps told me the Lake District was only an hour and a half away from Durham, which sounded doable to me. Do you think it's not a good use of time to drive to the lakes from Durham, or do you think the lakes would be a better base?

HardyGeranium: I liked the idea of spending a couple of nights in Bath in a little B&B with a fireplace, visiting the Thermae Bath Spa, and going to the Christmas markets. But I have noticed though that Bath is often suggested on the forums as a day trip from London. Maybe we can spend only one night there instead of two, which would still allow us to experience the B&B and markets. I like your idea of catching trains and not hiring a car till we get to Durham. We have friends in Durham who we'd like to visit, which is why we're heading up that way.

Richard: Excellent, thanks for the feedback. We'll plan a day in Durham and two in the Lake District. Thanks also for the car hire info.

Harrow, United...
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6. Re: Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

The only thing I would be aware of is the there may be very bad weather in december and driving cross country from Durham to the lake district could take a very long time.

Bath UK
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7. Re: Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

Given the time of year, I think I would consider catching the train down to Bath from London for your stay then flying from (fairly nearby) Bristol International Airport up to Newcastle (Easyjet flies daily) You could hire a car in Newcastle to get up to Durham.

Bath is rather beautiful in the run up to Christmas. I recommend looking at www.visitbath.co.uk (or posting on the Bath forum) closer to your visit for winter activities.

Just spotted the "Birmingham" bit. You could do that as a day-trip and/or you could see if there are domestic flights from there.

Edited: 30 August 2013, 14:26
London, United...
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8. Re: Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

I have just returned from a lovely week's break in Yorkshire and if it were me based in Durham then I think there is lots to enjoy in and around the north- east of England . I would investigate that area on-line before deciding on the long drive to the Lake District. It may seem not too far on a map but in reality its not as simple. Yet one more idea to keep you busy !!!

Yorkshire Dales...
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9. Re: Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

The Lakes are lovely but I too would stay in the north east. If the weather is fine you could easily reach the two National Parks in North Yorkshire - the Moors and the Dales.

Have you thought about staying in York? Beautiful city and it is lovely in December. The summer crowds are gone and it will be gearing up for Christmas. There's so much to see and do there, in the city itself. Or you could hire a car and go exploring.

From York you can quickly get to Durham by train.

Solihull
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10. Re: Feedback on 10 day itinerary - London, Bath, Durham

As you are finishing your holiday in London (well near London, in Stansted) why are you starting with so many days in London, then travelling further and further away from London as the holiday goes on, so you finish your holiday almost the furthest point from London.

Why not, for example, spend 3 days in London at the start, then go on your trips, then finish with 3 days in London at the end.

That way you have a short trip from London to Stansted on the last day, rather than a long trip from Durham or the Lake District at the end.

Also as others have said, if we get bad weather in December you could well get snowed in and not be able to get to Stansted from Durham or the Lake District, but probably can get to Stansted from London.