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First time to UK for 10 days !!

New Delhi, India
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First time to UK for 10 days !!

We (2 adults + 1 infant) are planning to visit UK in the 1st-2nd week of July this year. Needed some assistance in planning our trip.

1. Since this is our first visit to UK and we are travelling with a baby, we wouldn't like to keep a packed schedule.

2. We would be staying at Windsor at our friends' place. Have the option of travelling by car wherever possible.

3. Have considered a 5 day window for exploring London. Some shortlisted places are London Bridge, Change of guards at Buckingham palace, Westminster, Lord's cricket ground, Natural history museum, 221B Baker Street, Greenwich, London eye (any advice on other major attractions are welcome).Is it advisable to move around London by train with a kid?

4. Would like to visit Stonehenge, Oxford, Bath, Stratford upon Avon also. Would like to have some recommendations on the best options around London for a one day trip.

5. We have kept a 2-3 day window for travelling to Wales/Northern Ireland/Scotland. I understand covering all these wouldn't be possible in such a short duration. We are more inclined towards Wales/Northern Ireland since it is closer to Windsor.

6. And how would the weather be like during July?

Thanks in advance :)

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9 replies to this topic
London, United...
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1. Re: First time to UK for 10 days !!

How old is your infant? You may find it easy to travel around London by bus, trains don't serve many stations in central London but you can use them to reach Paddington or Waterloo stations from Windsor.

The underground aka the tube serves the main places but will you have a buggy for your child?

You might have missed the Tower of London and Tower Bridge (rather than the plain concrete London Bridge).

Depending on your child's are there may be things to do with them.

Wales and NI in a couple of days is a waste of time, use them to visit Bath or/and Stonehenge but allow for your child and travelling to those places and not rush around ticking places off a list.

Will your friends be driving you around or driving yourself? Remember you will need a child seat.

Edited: 29 March 2018, 11:03
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2. Re: First time to UK for 10 days !!

Who knows what the weather is likely to be - it is why Brits are always talking about the weather. July is in our Summer, but it could be anything from a torrential downpour to a Mediterranean heatwave. You need to wear layers and carry a light waterproof jacket, preferably with a hood. It is unlikely to snow though. I would stick to the mainland if you have a car and leave Ireland for another time. The roads in late July are very busy near the tourist attractions and the coast and roads to them. If you use Google Maps or have access to a SatNav it can help regarding times and routes. How old is your infant? If they are over two years, they can get very bored in the car and it is recommended that you stop every two hours. From your maps plan as many of the visits as close to each other as possible (this includes within London). We are small countries, it is not far as the crow flies, but we are very built up with narrow congested roads.

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3. Re: First time to UK for 10 days !!

We are more inclined towards Wales/Northern Ireland since it is closer to Windsor. - really? this is a ridiculous idea.

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4. Re: First time to UK for 10 days !!

3. Have considered a 5 day window for exploring London. ———— travelling in and out from Windsor means you are getting pretty full anyway. You probably mean Tower Bridge rather than London Bridge so visit the Tower of London too. The only realistic ways around London quickly is the Tube (underground railway) and in some places use buses. Lots of chiidren use them - how old is your “infant”

4. Would like to visit Stonehenge, Oxford, Bath, Stratford upon Avon also. Would like to have some recommendations on the best options around London for a one day trip.————- that’s at least 3 days out, if you have only one day go to either Oxford or Bath - by train is pretty easy whereas parking can be a real issue. Note many coach tours have minimum ages for children

5. We have kept a 2-3 day window for travelling to Wales/Northern Ireland/Scotland. I understand covering all these wouldn't be possible in such a short duration. We are more inclined towards Wales/Northern Ireland since it is closer to Windsor.————— it will be as easy to get Scotland as N.Ireland. i would go to Edinburgh for 3 nights and spend a day trip around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. Don’t drive to any of these other countries as it will use most of the time you have allocated just to get there and back.

6. And how would the weather be like during July? That’s the time if Wimbledon Tennis. Which means therecwill one or two rainy days and the rest hopefully warm and sunny - low 20s

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5. Re: First time to UK for 10 days !!

<<1. Since this is our first visit to UK and we are travelling with a baby, we wouldn't like to keep a packed schedule.>>

Got it. It looks very packed already, so let's try and narrow things down a bit.

<<2. We would be staying at Windsor at our friends' place. Have the option of travelling by car wherever possible.>>

Using a car for London isn't a good plan. Getting into London by car is a miserable experience, it's congested, expensive (a congestion charge fee applies), and it's very, very hard (and again expensive) to find parking. Stick to public transport.

<<3. Have considered a 5 day window for exploring London. Some shortlisted places are London Bridge, Change of guards at Buckingham palace, Westminster, Lord's cricket ground, Natural history museum, 221B Baker Street, Greenwich, London eye (any advice on other major attractions are welcome).Is it advisable to move around London by train with a kid?>>

Try to group where you've visiting, otherwise you're dashing all over London and not seeing much. For example, Tower Bridge (you don't want to see London Bridge) is next to the Tower of London. You can take a river boat from there to Greenwich. Those 3 things will fill a whole day easily. Buckingham Palace and Westminster are close together, and Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and other points of interest (including the London Eye) are also close by. The Natural History Museum is next to the Science Museum out in Kensington. Get yourself a map now (and possibly a guidebook), and start to outline where things are. London is huge.

<<4. Would like to visit Stonehenge, Oxford, Bath, Stratford upon Avon also. Would like to have some recommendations on the best options around London for a one day trip.>>

Yes Stonehenge and Bath are just about doable in a single day in a car, though it's a long day. Oxford is a pleasant day trip on the train or bus, but congested for cars. (You'd need to look at the Park and Ride solution if you insisted on car). Brighton would be a nice day out from Windsor and is more driveable.

<<5. We have kept a 2-3 day window for travelling to Wales/Northern Ireland/Scotland. I understand covering all these wouldn't be possible in such a short duration. We are more inclined towards Wales/Northern Ireland since it is closer to Windsor.>>

Yeah even with 3 days, you need to reconsider travel time in the UK; Driving to Scotland (Edinburgh) takes roughly a whole day, i.e. about 6-7 hours solid driving (depending on traffic, could be less, could be more), plus breaks on top... but way more with a young one in the car who needs more regular feeding, toilets etc. It's a non starter for me, if my child is on board I take 2 days to do London to Montrose (90 minutes further North from Edinburgh), that's about 4 hours driving each day (but more like 5-6 hours all told, with toilet breaks etc) taking an overnight break at Carlisle. Young children don't like long periods strapped in a car seat I find. Train is much, much quicker (approx 4.5 hours from Central London), but again you'll be devoting most of a day just getting there, and you need to get from Windsor to central London first. And then you have the same coming back. Are you going to see much of Scotland in the day in the middle? It's doubtful. If you're at Windsor, fly to Edinburgh or Dublin... it'll take you an hour plus another hour or two faffing at the airport. But at least then you have some real time to actually see something.

<<6. And how would the weather be like during July?>>

Probably somewhere in the high teens to low/mid 20s celcius, bit of sun, bit of cloud, bit of rain.

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6. Re: First time to UK for 10 days !!

Adding one practical consideration to advice already offered: can your friend add you to his insurance if it is his/her car you intend to use? These days adding another driver to a policy in circumstances such as yours can be a non starter or prohibitively expensive.

Have you discussed this itinerary with your friend? I am surprised if you did that the serious pitfalls were not pointed out to you.

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7. Re: First time to UK for 10 days !!

>>we wouldn't like to keep a packed schedule.<<

The moment I read this, I knew you were about to describe the packed schedule you have in mind. I was right!

Take the advice in post #5 and drastically cut down your list of places to go. You will have a better time as a result - promise.

New Delhi, India
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8. Re: First time to UK for 10 days !!

Thanks for all your advice folks ! Shall plan my trip accordingly. Once i sort of freeze my plans, will post here :)

Edited: 29 March 2018, 15:59
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9. Re: First time to UK for 10 days !!

In 10 days you simply do not have time for Wales & Northern Ireland and 2-3 days for them plus Scotland means you will see nothing of any of them. I think you also need to get hold of a better map - Windsor is on the outskirts of London and nowhere near Wales and even further from Ireland.

At best you might take the train to Edinburgh (driving will take twice as long) for 2-3 nights, maybe with a day stop at York on the way. If you want to visit Bath, Stonehenge, Oxford & Stratford-upon-Avon and see something of London then you don't have time for Scotland.

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