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Drive or tour for warwick castle and stratford-upon-the-avon

Santa Barbara...
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Drive or tour for warwick castle and stratford-upon-the-avon

My family will be in London over Christmas. We are thinking we would like to see Warwick Castle and Stratford. We've looked at tours but aren't sure with the limited light that leaving Victoria on a coach at 8 am will really give us much time especially since they add a stop at Oxford. So I wonder if renting a car is a better choice?

Also if you had a choice between Windsor and Warwick Castles in late December which would you pick and why?

Thanks in advance,

Ed

Manchester
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1. Re: Drive or tour for warwick castle and stratford-upon-the-avon

The light will indeed be limited, and will make it hard to do both in a day.

However, you could simply take the train. Its about 1 hr 20 mins to Warwick (with a change at Leamington Spa) and under half an hour from Warwick to Stratford. Both places are small and easily walkable.

London, United...
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2. Re: Drive or tour for warwick castle and stratford-upon-the-avon

Renting a car would be a relatively easy option depending on where you get it from in London. I drive London - Warwick regularly and it can often take me as long to get out of London with traffic etc. as it then takes for the 75 miles up the motorway. The journey is an easy one in the car with it being straight up the m40 motorway so therefore I would recommend doing this if you want more control/flexibility over your day.

The drive between Warwick and Stratford should be about 20-25 minutes.

London, United...
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3. Re: Drive or tour for warwick castle and stratford-upon-the-avon

Whilst I agree tp3 that a train is a good idea, over Christmas you run the risk of delays caused by adverse weather and the regularity of trains between Leamington Spa/Warwick and Stratford isn't great so any issues and you might get stuck with an expensive taxi ride.

Why not stay in Warwick/Leamington/Stratford for a night and split the trips to avoid hassle with train worries and issues around the light?

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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4. Re: Drive or tour for warwick castle and stratford-upon-the-avon

I would pick Windsor. From London Paddington, you can be in Windsor in under half an hour. Windsor has a great deal that is indoors, so if the weather isn't cooperating, you'd be better off than you would be at Warwick. If you time it right, you can also see the Changing of the Guard.

Warwick, to me, is more of a family oriented place to visit, and feels a bit Disneyfied. Of all the Castles I have visited, I enjoyed it the least, (except for the Flaming Trebuchet).

If you are interested in Stratford-Upon-Avon, you might have a look at London's Globe theater. It may be a replica, but I feel it has far more to show a visitor about Shakespeare's plays, than the town of S-u-A. S-u-A is a lovely place to visit, but is much more beautiful in fine weather.

The Globe website...

http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/

Info on visiting the Castle at Windsor...

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

Getting to Windsor by train...

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

Wolverhampton
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5. Re: Drive or tour for warwick castle and stratford-upon-the-avon

I would concentrate on one or the other to it justice. Warwick could easily occupy a whole day especially in the summer months and the town is not too bad either. It's the same at Stratford as well although I find it a bit too touristy even though it is nice to spend some time by the river with the swans for company. To do both in one day would be a bit over ambitious as it would just end up as a whistle stop tour without getting to grips with the place. Remember as well that if you are traveling by train in the week then you will not be able to leave London on an off peak ticket prior to 9.30 which will reduce your day. Anytime tickets on Chilton are expensive.

Kenilworth
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6. Re: Drive or tour for warwick castle and stratford-upon-the-avon

You might get a few more replies if you post this in the Warwickshire forum. As a local, I would confirm that it is easy to get to Warwick and Stratford from London by car, but it is also simple by train. I would recommend getting off the train at Leamington - frequent buses to Warwick and Stratford stop at Leamington station. I would also recommend staying in the area overnight as there are lots of things to do - you could easily spend a whole day in Stratford alone. Many people (myself included) think Warwick Castle is very overpriced - but you can get cheaper tickets if you book online 2 days or 7 days in advance. Note that some of the attractions at the Castle are closed for the winter for refurbishment. However Warwick town is very interesting even if you don't visit the castle. Leamington is also a very attractive town which you should look around if possible.

Manchester, United...
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7. Re: Drive or tour for warwick castle and stratford-upon-the-avon

Given a choice of Windsor or Warwick Castles I would pick Windsor, whatever the time of year unless I was already close to Warwick. I agree with LauraRW's description of Warwick as "Disneyfied" - it is operated by Merlin Entertainments who also operate Madame Tussauds. Windsor is lived in by the Queen & has been in use by her family for hundreds of years so it has a more "authentic" atmosphere.

If you do choose Windsor it's worth going in St George's Chapel - this is closed other than for worshippers on Sundays and at some other times over Christmas - listed on the Castle's website.

If you're in London for a short visit my suggestion would be to visit places nearer than Warwick or Stratford at this time of year, precisely because of the short days that you've identified. If you've time to have a night or more away from the capital then the balance may change.

8. Re: Drive or tour for warwick castle and stratford-upon-the-avon

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9. Re: Drive or tour for warwick castle and stratford-upon-the-avon

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