First trip to British Isles
Posted on Nov 11, 2013 by
I have traveled to the UK eight times since 1999. Most of the time I have gone in the spring (late April / early May) and twice I went in September. Both times are considered shoulder seasons and I highly recommend them for getting lower airfares and fewer crowds at the main attractions. I found it warmer in September (it was in 70`s in the Scottish Highlands three years ago!) but the weather can certainly vary in temperature and amount of rain any day, any time. I recommend bringing a fleece and wearing layers.
As far as one week, I feel that is really too short of a time to fit in the entire UK. If all you can take is one week, I would recommend going to London for a few days, then either take the train to York and two other towns/cities or find a base outside of London to use as a base for daytrips to Bath, Blenheim Palace, etc. Staying outside of London will certainly be cheaper than using it as base for daytrips. I am planning my next trip for this April and between the exchange rate and the rate hike for my favorite B&B in London, I am in sticker shock.
Instead of hotels, I would recommend B&Bs. The countryside and cities are full of them at all levels of service and I feel you do get a better flavor of the country and its people. And since breakfast is included you can save on your food bill! Some B&Bs in the cities/ large towns operate as hotels. One website I would recommend for finding B&Bs is
As far as what to see I would recommend:
In London: Westminster Cathedral, Buckingham Palace (only open to the public in August but still fun to walk through St James Park to look at it!), St Pauls Cathedral, British Museum, Traflagar Square, one of the Tates, Tower of London, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Harrods Outside of London: Hampton Court, Windsor Castle, Blenheim Palace, Bath, Cotswolds, York, Chester
Have fun planning!