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Trip to England

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Tanzanite
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Trip to England

Postby Tanzanite » Tue September 7th, 2010, 12:45 am

OK guys, I need some serious help here. For our 20th anniversary my husband is taking me back to the UK but this time we will be renting a car and driving up to Scotland and back (we did London last year so aren't planning on going into the city). I have compiled my "long list" of possible places to visit and of course, there are more than we can possibly fit into the 9 full days we will have. Any definate "do not miss" places here or are there any that are just "ho-hum" and we could skip? Did I leave a "do not miss" off the list? You can probably tell from the list what our interests are. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Here's the list:

Windsor Castle
Salisbury
Hever
Hastings (they will be having a battle re-enactment the first weekend we are there - has anyone been to this??)
Bodiam Castle
Arundel Castle
Rochester Castle
Leeds Castle
Dover
Canturbury
Ely Cathedral
Framlingham Castle
Lincoln
York
Warwick Castle
Corfe Castle
Bambaugh Castle
Alnwick Castle
Melrose Abbey
Edinburgh Castle
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Denfermline
Falkland Palace
Stirling Castle
Fountains Abbey
Glamis Castle
Harlech (Wales)
Conwy (Wales)
Caernarfon Castles (Wales) (we did Southeast Wales on our last visit)

We will be staying in Hilton family hotels throughout our entire stay (of which there are a lot more than I expected; we have lots of Hilton points which equals free nights!!)

M.M. Bennetts

Postby M.M. Bennetts » Tue September 7th, 2010, 6:54 am

If you're driving up to Scotland--don't know how many days you'll be doing that, but it's not exactly a short drive. So you might wish to look for houses or sights that are roughly en route--a good place to start might be a National Trust map. And even a National Trust membership, which if you visit several of their properties will make entrance cheaper.

Up in Fife, there's also Falkland Palace--don't know if you ever read Dorothy Dunnett, but that features in Queen's Play.

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LoobyG
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Location: Derbyshire, UK

Postby LoobyG » Tue September 7th, 2010, 9:23 am

York is a gorgeous city with history oozing out of it Tanzanite, a must visit and on the drive up to Scotland. I've not visited everywhere on that list but Hever Castle is lovely and Corfe Castle too, with gorgeous scenery and you can access it from Swanage by a steam railway. Conwy is picturesque and you can walk round the castle walls if I remember rightly.

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: A Trail through Time by Jodi Taylor & Angel by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Tue September 7th, 2010, 9:40 am

I'll second that about Corfe and Hever Castles, both beautiful, even though Corfe is a ruin it's quite a spectacular ruin, and the village and surrounding countryside are lovely too - try a side visit to Lulworth Cove, which is near Corfe, if you can but check the roads first - there are a lot of Army ranges in that area and sometimes they close the roads if they're practising their firing! Leeds Castle is also well worth a visit, in fact most of the castles are worth seeing, Ely and Cambridge are also beautiful.

Are you a Bronte sisters fan? A trip to Haworth might be worth it too, when you're in Yorkshire.
Currently reading "A Trail through Time" by Jodi Taylor & "Angel" by L J Ross

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Vanessa
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Currently reading: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell & And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Tue September 7th, 2010, 9:51 am

I can vouch for Bamburgh Castle and Alnick Castle - I visited them last year and thought they were both great. Visiting Northumberland is a little like going back in time!

Yorkis fantastic, too - but, then, I'm biased! :D It's lovely for a browse around, a visit to the Minster and a trip up The Shambles. There are all sorts of museums, too, and a river trip is always nice.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue September 7th, 2010, 2:53 pm

"M.M. Bennetts" wrote:If you're driving up to Scotland--don't know how many days you'll be doing that, but it's not exactly a short drive. So you might wish to look for houses or sights that are roughly en route--a good place to start might be a National Trust map. And even a National Trust membership, which if you visit several of their properties will make entrance cheaper.

Up in Fife, there's also Falkland Palace--don't know if you ever read Dorothy Dunnett, but that features in Queen's Play.


Our current plan is to stay a few days southeast of London and then head north. Will probably try to stay around Nottingham area a day or so and then drive up to Edinburgh. The trip back south is a little less certain since I have to decide if we can swing through northern wales. It's a lot like choosing what book to read next--too many choices, too little time...

There is a special pass that visitors from outside the uk can get. We got one last time and will probably get one this year as well. For about £65 for a seven day pass we can visit almost everything on that list except for Windsor and the cathedrals in the various cities. Plus you don't have to wait in line to buy tickets.

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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue September 7th, 2010, 3:02 pm

Looby--the steam railroad was one of the things that interested me about corfe. I thought my husband would really like that and I guess the entire trip can't be about me!!

Madeline -I'm not a Bronte fan but Leeds is one I considered a must. Glad to hear that's the case!

Vanessa-York does look lovely and I thought it would make a nice stop in the trip north.

Thanks guys--keep it coming. This is helpful! (although so far no one has said anything is a dud! ;)

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: A Trail through Time by Jodi Taylor & Angel by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Tue September 7th, 2010, 4:05 pm

A word of warning - you may already know this, but if you don't, Leeds Castle is actually in Kent, and no I've never found out why it's called Leeds! I did go there many years ago on a school trip and it's very beautiful, but it's actually near Maidstone in Kent, so maybe one to visit when you're "doing" Canterbury.
Currently reading "A Trail through Time" by Jodi Taylor & "Angel" by L J Ross

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Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell & And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Tue September 7th, 2010, 4:33 pm

There's only the Armouries Museum in Leeds that I can think of. It's an industrial city - it's the financial capital of the north.

And there're Harewood House in north Leeds, Lotherton Hall and Temple Newsam.

In North Yorkshire there're Castle Howard,Newby Hall, Ripley Castle and Beningbrough Hall(which was used by Cynthia Harrod Eagles as inspiration for her Morland Place in the Morland Dynasty books). Plus Fountain's Abbey which you've mentioned.

You could always stay at Hazlewood Castle! :D
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Margaret
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Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Postby Margaret » Tue September 7th, 2010, 7:02 pm

Smart idea to skip London if you've been there already. Salisbury is delightful, within easy day-trip distance from Stonehenge, and easy to reach from the airport, so you could spend your first night there rather than in London, which saves a lot of travel time.

I loved Fountains Abbey, Hever Castle, and York - but that's not to say some of the other places on your list where I haven't been might not be even more fun. In the general area of Canterbury, I also enjoyed Sissinghurst Gardens. If you're into gardens, this is a great one.

One tip: don't cram your schedule too full. Really savoring a few great places will be more fun than if you feel you have to cut a visit short so you can get on to the next sight. And it's good to leave some room in your schedule for last-minute impulses. You never know what funny little spot you will find deeply fascinating, and it's great to be able to indulge yourself in discoveries along the way.
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