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We want to visit the UK but

Knoxville, Tennessee
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We want to visit the UK but

We have NO idea where to begin other than deciding our dates and obtaining a passport. My roots are in England and Wales on my father's side and Scotland and Ireland On my Mom's side. I want to begin with a trip to the UK first and my wife is fine with that. She has always wanted visit London. I know the classification for hotels is different from th US and England and the customs are different. Taking all of this in consideration, all help would be appreciated.

Canada
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1. Re: We want to visit the UK but

How long will you be staying? What time of year? Any particular interests? Do you know where in England and Wales your families are from? Will you be renting a car after your stay in London?

East Sussex, United...
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2. Re: We want to visit the UK but

Too many unknowns at this time for you to receive any meaningful answers to be honest. Senior65 has set the ball rolling, and I would add to that what sort of budget are you working with once you arrive here ?

A good guide book would be a good starting point, then come back with specific questions and you will receive a lot more advice. Happy planning

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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3. Re: We want to visit the UK but

I agree with the advice on a good guidebook.

I like the DK Eyewitness Travel Series. You may want to get Great Britain and London. Have a look through these books, and decide where your priorities lie--seeing family, seeing sights, or a combination.

Transportation can be arranged via trains, buses, or rental cars. It really depends on what you want to see and do.

Try and come up with a rough draft of what you want to see, and then figure out how long that will take, and plan your holiday based on that. Too many people choose a random length of time like a week, and then start filling it with an impossible amount of things.

Post a draft of your itinerary here, and people here can help you group things more logically, help you find accommodations, save money, alert you to festivals or events, and basically make your trip make more sense.

In the meantime, get those passports.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: We want to visit the UK but

http://www.visitbritain.com/ and http://www.visitlondon.com/ are official tourist websites you might like to look at.

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: We want to visit the UK but

Obtaining passports is a good start, guidebooks even better. Try the Eyewitness Guides. full of photographs and text; the Rough Guides are rated as well.

There are hotels of all types, from top of the line no comfort or amenity spared, lush properties to family operated bed and breakfast type hotels in refurbished terraced houses - and everything in between. You may decide, depending on how long you wish to stay in a city or town, to book a short stay flat rather than a hotel.

Transport may involve a steep learning curve. London has excellent transport in and around the city, and it is heavily used by Londoners and visitors alike. tfl.gov.uk/assets/…standard-tube-map.pdf This is a starting point, as paying for travel is zone dependent; you might also hear that accommodation in zones 1 and 2 is desirable, for proximity to many sights and attractions. Add to the Underground, DLR and Overground more National Rail trains and plenty of buses and you will be able to travel quite a bit without having to hire a car. Trains to Scotland and Wales may be in your future as well.

In terms of what to see in London, start here: tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/visitor-guide.pdf There is much of interest beyond the southeast as well, so you've got plenty from which to choose.

U.S. expats
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6. Re: We want to visit the UK but

You may want to have a peek at the trip reports to see what others have done on their trips.

You can locate them on the top of the forum questions.

UK
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7. Re: We want to visit the UK but

A third vote for the DK Eyewitness Great Britain guide book.

Boston...
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8. Re: We want to visit the UK but

There's so much to see and do as a first timer it can be overwhelming to get started, but get your guidebook (take several out from your local library to see which suits you). Excellent suggestion to read people's trip reports at the top of the forum to see what others do.

Come back with some ideas of what you may like and the good people here will advise and guide you throughout.

You will have a wonderful time!

Edited: 22 August 2013, 09:15
Bucks, UK
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9. Re: We want to visit the UK but

Best time of year to come would be May-September - weather is better and the days are longer (only 8 hours of daylight in December, for example). A Guidebook is a great idea, use Google Maps to work out where things are.

If you let us know the places you want to visit to "discover your roots" folk here may be able to post up an itinerary. If you want to visit all 4 countries - 2 or 3 weeks is a sensible minimum. There are plenty of cheap local flights and trains to get you around, but travelling takes time which needs to be factored into your itinerary. A flight from London to Dublin only takes an hour, for example, but you have to factor in time to get to the airport (maybe 1 hour) check-in time (1-2 hours) and baggage retrieval and travel from the airport at the other end (1 - 1.5 hours) so it's easy to see how a one hour flight can take up a whole morning or more.

Manchester, Vermont
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10. Re: We want to visit the UK but

May to September

Stay in London 4 nights.

Fly to Dublin 2 nights

Fly to Manchester or Liverpool 2 nights .

Train to Edinburgh 2 nights

Train to London 2 nights.