I am planning a self drive trip to UK next June for our family of 5. Our 3 kids will be 17, 14 and 7. The 2 older ones are boys. The youngest is a girl. This is what I have worked out:
1 Arrive in Heathrow and drive to Windsor (1 night)
2 Visit Windsor castle & Stonehenge. Drive to Bath (stay 2 nights)
3 Sightseeing in Bath
4 Drive from Bath to Stratford upon Avon. Visit Chipping Camden, Shakespeare House etc (Stay 2 nights)
5 Stratford upon Avon Stratford. Visit Bichester and Warwick Castle.
6 Drive Stratford upon Avon to Manchester (stay 1 night)
7 Drive from Manchester to Lake District (Stay 2 nights)
8 Sightseeing in Lake District.
9 Drive from Lake District to Edinburgh (Stay 2 nights)
10 Sightseeing in Edinburgh
11 Drive from Edinburgh to York. Visit Hadrain's Wall enroute. (Stay 1 night in York)
12 Drive from York to Cambridge (Stay 1 night in Cambridge)
13-15 Drive from Cambridge to London (Stay 3 nights in London) (return rental car in London). Besides the usual sights in London, we'd like to do the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
16 Drive from London to Heathrow to catch flight home
I have some questions which I hope TA members can help me with:
1. Should we just stay 1 night in Bath or 2 nights?
2. Is there sufficient time to visit Warwick castle when we are at Stratford, and still vist Bicester?
3. Should we stay another night at Stratford so as to visit Oxford? I had not included Oxford because I was told by friends that Cambridge is nicer, so I had instead planned a day at Cambridge. If you have to choose one, would it be Oxford or Cambridge? or not at all?
4. I have included Manchester in my itinerary. But really cannot decide between Manchester and Liverpool. Are they very different?
5. Should we stay a night at Cambridge as I have planned, or should we just drive on to London and stay the night in London instead?
6. I am toying with another idea, ie to catch a domestic flight to Edinburgh on arrival at Heathrow on Day 1 and drive from there to London on the reverse route via Lake district, Manchester, Stratford, Bath, Windsor and finally London. We can always do Cambridge as a day trip from London. But what we'll miss are York and Hadrain's Wall. Would you miss York and Hadrain's Wall to save some driving and perhaps use the extra day in London or anywhere else?
Lastly, since we are 5, I am thinking that we need a 7 seater MPV so as to accomodate us and our luggages comfortablely. But I'm wondering how save it'll be since my bags will be in full view in an MPV while we're driving from places to places for sightseeing.
Would appreciate feedback and advice. Thanks!