Hi All, we are leaving for a trip to Great Britain next Wed. We will be in Bath, Chipping Campden, Ambleside, Edinburgh (Residence Inn), York (Marriott), and finish with five nights in London at the Marriott County Hall. I have been reading all the great insider tips on London and now would love some tips on any of the other towns I've listed. We will rent a car and drive from Bath to Chipping Campden, and then up to Ambleside. From there we will train to Edinburgh, York, and London. Your favorite sites and restaurants would be welcomed
I've posted four different blogs regarding England - "Experiencing England" - like this initial one: EXPERIENCING ENGLAND -1
Thanks for your reply. You mentioned that you would be renting an auto and driving some in England. If you've never driven in England ("wrong side" of the road, with driver's perch on the right), I'd suggest reserving an automatic transmission auto. You'll pay a bit more than manual shift, but you'll find the automation an advantage.
Also, take time to buy an Atlas (roadmap) of England and plot your course ahead of time. Again, if you haven't driven much in England, navigation is a bit trying for the first time on the M, A and B roads. If you find you've taken the wrong road on occasion, don't worry, you can often correct your path at the next round-about.
Don't know if you'll stop in Oxford ("Gateway to the Cotswolds"), but if so, I'd suggest parking at remote spot, outside the city, and taking bus into town. It's easier than driving in Oxford. If you do go, make sure you eat at Brown's Restaurant (on the Banbury Road), a few blocks off the High Street. For us, the best food in England, however, is at the local pubs.
In York, make sure you take in all the tourist spots, such as the Cathedral, but also the "Shambles", an old street that shows how many townsfolk used to live.
If you go to Ambleside (Lake District), don't pass up Windermere. My favorite spot here is the Linthwaite - just out of town:
http://www.linthwaite.com It's a bit pricy, but lovely spot for the day, or overnight, and wonderful food.
Edinburgh could fill an entire discussion on its own. Definitely tour the castle. If there is one must see attraction in the city, this would be it. Wander down the Royal Mile. Stop in a pub (the White Hart Inn is a good choice - The White Hart), a tea room (Clarinda's), and/or a restaurant serving traditional Scottish fare (The Royal MacGregor http://www.royalmcgregor.co.uk/). This last place has the most wonderful dessert (crannachan). You won't want to miss it.
There is plenty to do in the area, but you almost never have to leave Old Town if you choose not to.
If you are adventurous (and up for a hike) climb to the top of Arthur's Seat for a look down on the city. Or for another good view with a little less climbing, visit the Scott Monument. The view from the top is great. An easy day trip is Sterling (an hour or so by train). Sterling is the gateway to the highlands and the castle there is probably just as worth visiting as Edinburgh Castle (and probably less crowed). If you would like more info on Sterling, please ask.
I'll find some photos to post while I think of what else you might do in Edinburgh. I'm sure you'll get more comments on several of your other destinations.
Have fun. I know you will.
Here are just a few of the places I mentioned in my previous post.
Here is the Scott Monument. You can climb all the way to the top.
Here's a view of Edinburgh Castle from the top of the monument.
Looks a bit different from below.
In any case, Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities. Peek into the courtyards and closes (alleys) along the Royal Mile. There are all manner of surprises at the other end (at least one museum and a couple restaurants and tea rooms)
I love that the "New City" is almost 400 years old. That says quite a bit about "Old Town."