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Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

Cape Girardeau...
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Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

We are looking at around a 14-day trip to England (in July/August of 2015 - I start planning and researching WAY ahead!), and our base is definitely London. I'm wanting to do some day/possibly overnight trips and need help "grouping" things together! I did a semester in London in college and got to see many of these places, but my husband has never been overseas. Any help is MUCH appreciated! Here's what's on our list:

-Possibly Oxford and/or Cambridge (I've seen both and am not sure which to do - I'm thinking Cambridge offers a bit more?)

-Blenheim Palace

-Hever Castle (I'm a Tudor buff and would love to see this for the first time)

-Highclere Castle (I'm also a HUGE Downton Abbey fan and want to catch this during its tour season). Was considering the Brit Movie Tours trip for this one?

-Cotswolds (nothing extensive, just want to experience it a bit)

-Stratford-Upon-Avon (would love to tour Shakespeare's home and Anne Hathaway's cottage)

-Bath (We want to spend the night here and give it a good amount of time)

-Windsor Castle

-Ightham Mote (I saw this during my semester abroad and LOVED IT!)

How can I group these and also have a good amount of time in London? How would you allot the time? We are open to doing "organized" tours for a few of these if that's the best option (maybe for Cotswolds, etc.?). I know it's a lot to ask, but I'm hoping there's someone out there who really enjoys putting together itineraries and can offer advice! Thanks in advance!

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London, United...
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1. Re: Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

I would do an overnight trip in Oxford. You can take the train to Oxford from London Paddington (or bus) and spend a day exploring the city. Then on your second day, take the S3 bus to Chipping Norton (a nice town in the Cotswolds): http://www.stagecoachbus.com/pdfs/XOAS003.pdf . Spend a bit of time there and then take the S3 bus back towards Oxford and get off at Blenheim Palace Gates. Spend the rest of the day at Blenheim Palace, then take the S3 bus back to Oxford, collect your luggage and head back on the train to London.

Stratford Upon Avon can be done as a day trip by train from London Marylebone. Quite a long train journey but it's the best way to get there.

Windsor Castle can also be done by train. There's lots of threads on this forum about doing Windsor as a day trip.

Can't comment on any of the others.

Watford
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2. Re: Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

I thought I planned ahead but this has to be the longest between question and intended date of travel. A lot could happen between now and then so I wouldn't stress too much. Indeed until you book your flights (11 months beforehand is the soonest) then I would be reluctant to plan an itinerary.

In the meantime it is worth purchasing a guide book and map so you can start to group the places and thus maximize your time.

For instance Hever and Ightham Mote are fairly close together and could be seen on the same day although public transport in that part of the country is quite poor. Windsor is a half or three quarter day trip from London and is best done on your own.

Blenheim could be tied in with Oxford and Stratford either as a day trip with a tour operator (long day sat on a coach but guided) or as part of a two day DIY trip by rental car or possibly public transport that could take in some of the Cotswolds. Equally you could take the train to Bath and stay there for a night or two during which time you could take a day trip around the Cotswolds with a recommended local operator such as Mad Max.

That should at least get you started but there really is no substitute for using guide books and tourism websites. Where we can score is spotting things that are not practical as well as dotting i's and crossing t's nearer the time of your trip.

Southampton, UK
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3. Re: Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

Check the days Ightham Mote is open - it is currently closed on Tuesday. Highclere Castle is oversubscribed for visitors, so book in advance to make sure of admission.

London, United...
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4. Re: Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

Bath is easy to get to by train from London so that shouldn't be a problem. You could go from Oxford, changing trains at Didcot Parkway. But then you'll only have an evening and then 1 day, whereas ideally you want 2 days here?

Some trains go from London Victoria/ London Bridge to Hever Station: hevercastle.co.uk/hever-castle-directions.as… So you could then walk to the castle, or there are other details on that website.

See this site for Highclere Castle: highclerecastle.co.uk/visiting-us/planning-y… You could do that on the way back from Bath, do like a 3 or 4 night trip.

And this is the site for getting to Ightham Mote: nationaltrust.org.uk/ightham-mote/…

Almost all British tourist attractions have a directions page on their website and almost all include information about reaching them using public transport.

Fife, Scotland
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5. Re: Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

Have a look here to get ideas

www.viator.com/London/d737-ttd

Tours can be good but you have no control over how long you spend at each place.

U.S. expats
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6. Re: Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

I would do either Oxford *or* Cambridge, but not both. Since you have a lot of other locations near Oxford, it seems logical to go there for a few nights. As pointed out above, you can take the bus the a Cotswolds town and then to Blenheim Palace.

Windsor Castle is outside London, but easy to do as a day trip. Visiting the Castle...

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186419-c157824/Winds…

Info on taking the train there from London...

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186419-c157699/Winds…

If your "we" is an even number, you might look at this 2-4-1 offer through National Rail for Windsor.

www.daysoutguide.co.uk/windsor-castle-by-bike

If you are not familiar with the 2-4-1 offers, please read this article...

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186338-c195600/Londo…

For Highclere Castle, you take the train to Newbury, and taxi from there. I don't think a tour is necessary, but I would buy tickets in advance.

highclerecastle.co.uk/visiting-us/opening-ti…

If you are a Tudor buff, I would recommend seeing Hampton Court Palace instead of Hever. Far easier to get to, way more interesting, and almost a full day. I'm glad I saw Hever--once. I have been to Hampton Court Palace again and again.

http://www.hrp.org.uk/HamptonCourtPalace/

Cape Girardeau...
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7. Re: Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

I definitely know its early! Planning trips is my hobby and is a stress-reliever for me :) Plus, like you said, I just like taking time to get a grasp on time management and how to group things together - no firm details until much closer to time!

8. Re: Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

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9. Re: Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

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Cape Girardeau...
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10. Re: Day Trip Itinerary Help Please!

I LOVE Hampton Court Palace!!! I noticed Hever because it was near Ightham Mote, so I thought it might be nice to group those together for a day. But if they're really hard to get to, maybe we should reconsider.