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Old 08-17-2011, 08:04 PM
 
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We have 6 nights reserved in London (non-refundable) and are planning to see the city and go for a couple of day trips to Canterbury/Dover and Salisbury/Stonehedge. That leaves us with 4 nights to be spent elsewhere in England - I am thinking Midlands (or somewhere around there). I would love us to stay at a B&B or a comfortable hotel somewhere in a small town/village and drive around to visit what's left - Oxford, Bath, etc. Any suggestions of where to stay during these 4 nights would really help. We are a family of four - parents and two teenage sons. We are not looking for anything fancy, just clean and basic comfort. Would like to stay close to $200/night. Also, any tips on car rentals would be great!

Thank you!
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:44 AM
 
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One option would be to visit Wales which is very nice and you could combine that with Stratford-Upon-Avon (the birth place of William Shakespeare).
If you decide to go to Bath you might want to combine it with the Cornwall area.
Also when you visit the Dover area you might want to add Hastings to your list of places to visit.
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,042,935 times
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I would definitely do Oxford which is a stunning city ( fantastic architecture, world class museums) .

Don't bother renting a car whilst in Oxford as parking is a total nightmare and the Historic city is compact and walkable . Rent the car the day your leave the city.


Walking around Oxford is the best way to see the city ( do a walking tour if you can : Public Oxford Official Guided Walking tours around Oxford) but also allow yourself time to enjoy the little streets and alleyways and wander into different colleges ( over 35, most historic, all with their own libraries, chapels, dining halls and beautiful gardens).



:: Magdalen Bridge Boat House ::
Cherwell Boat House - home ( their restaurant is excellent also though not cheap)

If you stay in Oxford try the fun "Malmaison" ( the Old Jail , the rooms are converted cells, it is a posh boutique Hotel ) Hotel in Oxford City Centre - Malmaison Hotels .It is right next door to St George's Tower, Oxford's oldest building , the only part of the Norman castle left ( Malmaison Brasserie does good lunches and dinner too and their "visitor's room" on the third floor is a very atmospheric place for afternoon tea being the old prison visitor's room).

Malmaison is far more than your budget but they occasionally have amazing promotions making it within your budget depending on dates presumably. Even if you don't stay there it is really worth a visit. For B&Bs try the website above for guided tours, it is the tourism office's website.


Most popular colleges to visit : Christ Church ( where Harry Potter was filmed), New College ( one of the Oldest), Magdelen College ( where Oscar Wilde studied) , All Souls, Trinity , Jesus, Exeter, Merton and Corpus Christi.


A must see is the Pitt Rivers Museum, A Victorian Gem of a Museum ( located at the back of the Natural Science Museum) and the Ashmoleum. The Museum of the History of Science is also fascinating . Do not miss the beautiful High Street and Broad Street. And if you have time the Bodleian Library ( 17th Century and stunning). The Botanic Gardens are also wonderful as is Christ Church Meadows.

A really fun thing to do in Oxford is Punting ( a flat bottomed boat )

I would give the Midlands a miss unless you have a lot of time. Most if it is industrial and ugly.



Instead vist the Cotswolds which has a myriad of Honey coloured stone villages and beautiful historic homes. Welcome to our Official Cotswolds Website

The Cotwolds straddle two counties, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Lovely scenery and one of the loveliest parts of England IMO. Towns and Villages to see : Burford, Bibury, Stow on the Wold, The Slaughters, Great Tew, Broadway , Bourton on the Water and many more.

Basically you want to hire the car in Oxford on your last day there, head into the Cotswolds , maybe spend a night somewhere like Tetbury ( Prince Charles has his house just outside and it is a lovely little market town with great antique shops, delis, home interior shops ) and then maybe a night or two in Bath which is at the end of that itinerary. Bath is fabulous also , the shopping is wonderful as it is one of the few places which still has a lot of independent shops in the UK. Best place for shopping outside of London IMO. The American Museum just outside the city is fascinating and the Museum of the History of Bath also excellent. The Roman Baths are a must and you can even have a dip in the New Spa which uses the same water ! Bath Tourist Information | Bath Hotel & Accommodation Not to miss around Bath is Bradford Upon Avon ( The Bridge tea room is great for afternoon tea) and Castle Combe ( one of the most perfect little villages ever) and if oyu have time Lacock which is an entire beautiful medieval town preserved perfectly and owned by the National Trust.


By the way Canterbury is quite a lovely town but I am not sure it deserves the journey. And Dover apart from the Castle is really quite a dump and not worth the trip either IMO.

I would personally prefer to spend visit Winchester , Salisbury or Brighton even.


If you ahve any questions about anything feel free to ask !


oxford - Google Search

cotswolds - Google Search
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:11 AM
 
12,365 posts, read 18,459,289 times
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York is another option, I really enjoyed it.
The Cotswalds as you mentioned is the obvious choice and their are a wealth of B&B's in the area.
Wales, again another excellent option and the teenagers will probably enjoy the castles around the area. I actually stayed in a castle of sorts up there. Can't remember the name. And that may be something to consider - sleep in a castle.
Do your internet searches - probably much more information you can gather.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:13 AM
 
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Southend or Brighton.. Express train to Glasgow or Edinburgh
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 11,821,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
I would definitely do Oxford which is a stunning city ( fantastic architecture, world class museums) .

Don't bother renting a car whilst in Oxford as parking is a total nightmare and the Historic city is compact and walkable . Rent the car the day your leave the city.


Walking around Oxford is the best way to see the city ( do a walking tour if you can : Public Oxford Official Guided Walking tours around Oxford) but also allow yourself time to enjoy the little streets and alleyways and wander into different colleges ( over 35, most historic, all with their own libraries, chapels, dining halls and beautiful gardens).



:: Magdalen Bridge Boat House ::
Cherwell Boat House - home ( their restaurant is excellent also though not cheap)

If you stay in Oxford try the fun "Malmaison" ( the Old Jail , the rooms are converted cells, it is a posh boutique Hotel ) Hotel in Oxford City Centre - Malmaison Hotels .It is right next door to St George's Tower, Oxford's oldest building , the only part of the Norman castle left ( Malmaison Brasserie does good lunches and dinner too and their "visitor's room" on the third floor is a very atmospheric place for afternoon tea being the old prison visitor's room).

Malmaison is far more than your budget but they occasionally have amazing promotions making it within your budget depending on dates presumably. Even if you don't stay there it is really worth a visit. For B&Bs try the website above for guided tours, it is the tourism office's website.


Most popular colleges to visit : Christ Church ( where Harry Potter was filmed), New College ( one of the Oldest), Magdelen College ( where Oscar Wilde studied) , All Souls, Trinity , Jesus, Exeter, Merton and Corpus Christi.


A must see is the Pitt Rivers Museum, A Victorian Gem of a Museum ( located at the back of the Natural Science Museum) and the Ashmoleum. The Museum of the History of Science is also fascinating . Do not miss the beautiful High Street and Broad Street. And if you have time the Bodleian Library ( 17th Century and stunning). The Botanic Gardens are also wonderful as is Christ Church Meadows.

A really fun thing to do in Oxford is Punting ( a flat bottomed boat )

I would give the Midlands a miss unless you have a lot of time. Most if it is industrial and ugly.



Instead vist the Cotswolds which has a myriad of Honey coloured stone villages and beautiful historic homes. Welcome to our Official Cotswolds Website

The Cotwolds straddle two counties, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Lovely scenery and one of the loveliest parts of England IMO. Towns and Villages to see : Burford, Bibury, Stow on the Wold, The Slaughters, Great Tew, Broadway , Bourton on the Water and many more.

Basically you want to hire the car in Oxford on your last day there, head into the Cotswolds , maybe spend a night somewhere like Tetbury ( Prince Charles has his house just outside and it is a lovely little market town with great antique shops, delis, home interior shops ) and then maybe a night or two in Bath which is at the end of that itinerary. Bath is fabulous also , the shopping is wonderful as it is one of the few places which still has a lot of independent shops in the UK. Best place for shopping outside of London IMO. The American Museum just outside the city is fascinating and the Museum of the History of Bath also excellent. The Roman Baths are a must and you can even have a dip in the New Spa which uses the same water ! Bath Tourist Information | Bath Hotel & Accommodation Not to miss around Bath is Bradford Upon Avon ( The Bridge tea room is great for afternoon tea) and Castle Combe ( one of the most perfect little villages ever) and if oyu have time Lacock which is an entire beautiful medieval town preserved perfectly and owned by the National Trust.


By the way Canterbury is quite a lovely town but I am not sure it deserves the journey. And Dover apart from the Castle is really quite a dump and not worth the trip either IMO.

I would personally prefer to spend visit Winchester , Salisbury or Brighton even.


If you ahve any questions about anything feel free to ask !


oxford - Google Search

cotswolds - Google Search
I second the motion! Do pop into the newly improved Ashmolean Museum in Oxford - it's quite amazing. (I really wish they hadn't closed The Oxford Story!) And I would choose Salisbury as my second place to visit if you can't get as far as Bath. The cathedral and its grounds are really beautiful. I wouldn't bother with Stonehenge tho, you can't get close to stones any more and it's always packed with tour buses - Avebury would be a better choice.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:45 AM
 
Location: SW France
14,284 posts, read 14,165,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
I second the motion! Do pop into the newly improved Ashmolean Museum in Oxford - it's quite amazing. (I really wish they hadn't closed The Oxford Story!) And I would choose Salisbury as my second place to visit if you can't get as far as Bath. The cathedral and its grounds are really beautiful. I wouldn't bother with Stonehenge tho, you can't get close to stones any more and it's always packed with tour buses - Avebury would be a better choice.
As someone who lives close to these places I very much agree with what was said.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,042,935 times
Reputation: 19914
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
I second the motion! Do pop into the newly improved Ashmolean Museum in Oxford - it's quite amazing. (I really wish they hadn't closed The Oxford Story!) And I would choose Salisbury as my second place to visit if you can't get as far as Bath. The cathedral and its grounds are really beautiful. I wouldn't bother with Stonehenge tho, you can't get close to stones any more and it's always packed with tour buses - Avebury would be a better choice.
Absolutely ! Stonehenge is grossly over-rated IMO. Avebury is far more impressive and far more interesting . Avebury Manor nearby used to be a lovely place to visit but I believe it is now privately owned and no longer open to the public.



It is a shame about the Oxford story, I am usually not one for those made for tourist attraction but that one was actually quite good. I can't wait for the Museum of Storytelling to open in a couple of years though. Work is underway . Story Museum - The Story Museum. "Alice's Day" was good fun this year.
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:20 AM
 
Location: SoCal
6,077 posts, read 9,552,853 times
Reputation: 5839
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
Absolutely ! Stonehenge is grossly over-rated IMO. Avebury is far more impressive and far more interesting . Avebury Manor nearby used to be a lovely place to visit but I believe it is now privately owned and no longer open to the public.
I think Stonehenge is worth a visit, if you've never seen it. Yes, you're kept far away from it. But so is everyone else, which makes it better ... if it were swarming with people it wouldn't look nearly so iconic. And it's large enough that being far away isn't a problem.

Avebury is also impressive, and has the advantage that you can walk right up to the standing stones.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:07 AM
 
Location: SW France
14,284 posts, read 14,165,988 times
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Stonehenge looks lovely from a distance, for example if you're a passenger in a car on the main A303, especially at twilight.

As for Avebury you also have Silbury Hill and the Long Barrow, which you can go inside, very close by.
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