HELP!! two weeks in the UK in October: where to go?
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Sep 15, 2012 6:29 AM Last Post By: frugal_traveler
Sep 13, 2012 9:28 AM
HELP!! two weeks in the UK in October: where to go?Hi everyone,
I am a solo traveler who is visiting England and Scotland for two weeks from October 10-24. I will start in London (where I will stay for 3-4 days) and finish in Edinburgh.
This website (http://www.findingtheuniverse.com/2012/04/two-weeks-in-ukmy-perfect-itinerary.html) gives me some good ideas of where I can go, but I am not sure what places are still worth visiting in October.
For the time being, I am sure that I will visit London, Edinburgh and the Scotland Highland (will join the tour) .
I am interested in walkable cities/towns where I can immerse myself in the local history, culture, festivals, and charming shops. I would like to experience as many regional differences as possible to get a sense of contrast... also would like to visit cheaper places as I have a tight budget.
Some questions I can't resolve:
---My friend suggested that I stop in Sheffield and hike in the Peak District National Park. But is it too cold to hike? And I am visiting the Scotland Highland anyway...
- How many cities should I visit between London and Edinburgh?
- Is it out of my way to visit Wales and Southeast England?
I'd love to hear your suggestions!! Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much!
Sep 13, 2012 10:24 AM
Sep 13, 2012 11:37 AM
Sep 13, 2012 12:20 PM
3A day trip from London to Oxford or Cambridge would be nice, very picturesque and are quite interesting. York is also lovely, but you'll be pushed to find cheap accommodation unless happy to stay in a hostel. If you can do that, I'd HIGHLY recommend York, it's such a beautiful and interesting city. A walk down the shambles is an absolute must. On the train it's 2 hours(ish) but be sure to book a specific train in advance to avoid hefty fare prices. East Coast trains serve London to York. The same company also keep going up to Edinburgh.
In my opinion, Sheffield as a city isn't that interesting, it doesn't have the charm that Oxford, Cambridge, York, Bath, Durham etc. have. As you've said you are going to the Scottish Highlands, and given you don't have a car, I'd skip the Peak District. Besides, in my opinion, as lovely as the Peak District is, I think the Lake District is far better!
As a general rule, things tend to be cheaper in the North than in the South.
Wales would be out of your way, but it is a beautiful part of the UK. Again, there's the Brecon Beacons, but if you don't have a car, it will be tricky getting around. South East England is however very easy to do in day trips from London.
I couldn't really say how many cities to visit between London and Edinburgh as it depends on how much time you want to spend in each place you visit!
Sep 13, 2012 12:28 PM
Sep 13, 2012 2:20 PM
5Look at a couple of day trips from London for seeing parts of the south of England - depending on your interests, consider Winchester or Salisbury and perhaps the New Forest, all by train from London Waterloo, though lots of other possibilities too - Canterbury, Brighton, historic towns in Sussex like Lewes and Arundel.
I now live not too far from Sheffield and think it is one of the nicest industrial cities in UK. It has a very vibrant night life as a result of two universities and has a reputation as the greenest city in UK. The Peak District is on the doorstep, easily reached by train and bus to places like Bakewell, Buxton, Matlock and Chatsworth House. In the opposite direction, Lincoln is a bit over an hour on an hourly train service.
It is around an hour by train from Sheffield to York, and a London - Sheffield - York - Edinburgh trip would make sense. York is worth a couple of days, and there are a couple of worthwhile trips out to Castle Howard or even Scarborough and Whitby, all reachable by direct bus. You could also add Durham and Newcastle - on - Tyne between York and Edinburgh.
Sep 13, 2012 3:36 PM
Sep 13, 2012 6:04 PM
7I would personally recomend the Peak District. It is much better connected than the Lake District. You have a kind of axis of the country with Chester, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and York. It is also in the heart of the area where the industrial revolution happened. In my humble opinion South East England apart from London is really dull and won't give you a very broad view of the country as a whole.
Sep 13, 2012 10:39 PM
8Thanks much for your ideas. I am less clueless now!
I am glad one of you mentions industrial revolution - especially I saw flamboyant displays of it during the Olympics opening ceremony.
About Peak District National Park - will it be too cold to hike there by mid-Oct? Also Is it easily accessible by train/bus from Sheffield?
Sep 13, 2012 10:47 PM
9Well it depends on your definition of cold OP. You'd probably get highs of around 15C max at that time of the year in the Peak District. Personally that's T shirt weather for me still, but friends I have from Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong would strongly disagree that 15C is T shirt weather.
It's unlikely to go below 0C at least. Your biggest problems would be rain and/or wind. A waterproof jacket for any kind of hiking would be a must at that time of the year.
Sep 13, 2012 10:48 PM
10PS - for public transport, see http://www.transportdirect.com
Sep 13, 2012 11:56 PM
11As a Games Maker who was on duty in a windowless room, within earshot of Olympic Stadium on night of Olympics opening ceremony, I'm delighted to hear that it has inspried you to look further into industrial history. As I grew up in Birmingham, I have to recommend that city, with its canals, Jewelry Quarter and Science Museum (although Thinktank is more slick and expensive than the free entry to industrial workshops, steam train etc at the Science Museum of my childhood); Ironbridge area in Shropshire has many open air museum sites, with factories, workshops, pharmacy shop, old breeds of farm animals etc; Beamish Open Air Museum, between Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne covers 3 periods of industrial history: Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian, mine / pit, trams, dentist's surgery, farm etc. You'll also find ruins of mines etc in places such as Cornwall (tin mines), Peak District, Lake District, Snowdonia (mines for various metals and stones) etc.
Having seen how competitors from Hong Kong, USA and mainland Europe fared on Dragon's Back Race in Wales last week, I'd say that as long as you are well prepared with layers of clothing (and suncream in case it is sunny :-) ), you'll be fine - be prepared to adjust clothing several times eac hday.
Sep 14, 2012 2:58 AM
12If you're looking for industrial heritage, Sheffield is a good place. For general tourist info see http://www.iknow-yorkshire.co.uk/tourist_information/south_yorkshire/sheffield/sheffield.htm
For industrial heritage see http://simt.co.uk
For buses between Sheffield and the Peak District see http://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/timetablefinder.aspx?searchtext=peak%20district&mode=bus
Trains are a bit more limited - roughly hourly to the northern peak (Grindleford, Hathersage, Eyam) which is mostly hiking territory, or twice an hour to Derby which is a bit too far south.
For industrial heritage in the Peak District see http://www.visitpeakdistrict.com/see-and-do/museums-and-heritage.aspx. Quite a lot of this is south of Matlock (i.e. the opposite side to Sheffield) but at least this should give you some opportunity to research.
Sep 14, 2012 3:07 AM
13This is always worth a quick shout out....
I've done it several times. It's great - and there's no more to pay on the train - just the usual fare.
Sep 14, 2012 4:56 AM
(0 star Hotel)
From US$24.18 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$232.32 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$64.90 per night