Author Topic: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)  (Read 855 times)

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Offline Nick

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Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« on: December 19, 2017, 09:46:52 AM »
Alright, zoning in on our plans for next summer and looking for some ideas. Basically looking like one or maybe two days in Iceland. Thinking about doing a multi-faceted tour of the island, but open to ideas.

Then onto England for a few days to sight-see and hopefully visit some friends. Would be great to see a few DTFers from that side of the pond. We plan to do tourist stuff by day and hopeful hangout at night. We'll likely do a Harry Potter studio tour but don't really have any other plans there yet.

Finally we want to drive around Ireland for a few days seeing as many of the beautiful sights as possible and are again are open to any ideas ya'll have for that area.

Done plenty of looking around online so hopefully some locals or prior visitors have some firsthand experience they can help with.
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Offline TAC

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 10:35:10 AM »
Nick, we did Ireland last summer. Flew Boston to Dublin. And back. We spent a week there. We rented a car. We spent the first three nights right outside of Dublin. We then drove to the very center to a town called Athlone. We went there because my son, whose name is Sean, wanted to see Sean's Bar, the oldest bar in Ireland. After spending a night there, we drove to the west coast and stayed in Shannon, right near the airport.

What's great about Ireland is that from the east coast (Dublin) to the west coast (Shannon/Gallway) is about 3 hours. That allows to go off the path wherever you go.

We didn't do the Ring Of Kerry, but we saw the Cliffs Of Moher (a must), and even shot down to Waterford to see the Waterford Crystal place.

While in Dublin, I even ran into this guy:


would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Nick

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 11:01:21 AM »
Good advice, we'll definitely hit the Cliffs of Moher as one of our stops.

As for that statue, I'm kinda disappointing it's not located out in the fields somewhere.
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Offline TAC

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 11:03:50 AM »
Good advice, we'll definitely hit the Cliffs of Moher as one of our stops.

As for that statue, I'm kinda disappointing it's not located out in the fields somewhere.

 :lol

would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline TAC

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 11:27:49 AM »
Nick, I posted these a while back:

A few pics of the TAC Family Vacation to Ireland last week.

Dublin:





In front of Newgrange. It's a tomb older than the Pyramids, an hour north of Dublin:



Follow that truck!!



Blarney Castle



Cliffs Of Moher



This place looks familiar!



The Rock Of Cashel





Also, don't be intimidated by driving on the wrong side. It's a non issue. The highways are pretty straightforward. A lot of people asked me about all of the round abouts, and TBH, they are actually set up to make it easier, idiot proof. You really can't go the wrong way. Now if you come to an odd intersection...yes, that requires some concentration.

And while you are conditioned to look left/look right, you better make damned sure you look left AGAIN, or you'll get clipped, be it crossing the street, or pulling out into traffic.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline MirrorMask

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 12:58:42 PM »
I have not been to Iceland (....yet), coincidence wants that I just started to read a book about its fairytales, meant to be a "geographic" book that follows the legends going on the circular route that travels all around the island.

What I've read about the landscapes of the north/weast zone, immediately above Rejkiavik, is worth alone visiting, but I'm sure I'll feel the same way about the other parts as well. There are organized tours for the circular route that goes clockwise all around Iceland, maybe one day or two isn't enough but there could be "smaller" tours.
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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 01:25:10 PM »
My coworker went to Iceland earlier in the year.  He loved it, but it seems 2 days might be too short to really see much of the island.  It's pretty big and you'll want to get a rental car and just drive around since it's pretty open for exploration.  Also, the best time to see the Northern Lights is from September to April so if youre heart isn't dead set of doing this all in one trip, maybe the idea of doing a dedicated trip to Iceland and extending your stay in Ireland or something is an idea?

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2017, 01:54:23 PM »
I definitely want to go to Iceland. It is on The List.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Tyrias

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2017, 03:03:04 PM »
I've been to Iceland last summer and can confirm you're gonna need at least a week if you want to go around the island, the drive alone is roughly 24 hours, without any stops or detours (which you absolutely should do, driving through rivers sounds kind of scary at first, but turns quite fun once you've got the hang of it. And a four-wheel-drive with a waterproof engine, otherwise you're screwed ::)).

Now, if you only have two days, I'd try to get out of Reykjavik in that time. The city is nice and pretty, but not all that special imho, especially if you're going to Ireland afterwards anyway. Unless you want the hassle of renting a day for two days, your best choice is probably to do a tour. If you do want to see at least some of Reykjavik, there's a free city tour that's absolutely brilliant and only takes about 2 hours, then you can pay whatever you feel the tour was worth (here's the link: https://www.tripadvisor.at/Attraction_Review-g189970-d6638776-Reviews-CityWalk_Reykjavik-Reykjavik_Capital_Region.html).

For tours, I guess the Golden circle (just google it) would be the standard thing. While it is pretty nice, it's also definitely the most tourist-y part of Iceland. Whatever you end up doing, just try to get out on the countryside and away from the masses I'd say, at least as much as is possible while staying near Reykjavik.

Also, unless you're dead set on seeing Northern Lights (and even then, there's no guarantee you will in winter), I'd go in summer. There's just so much daylight that you can really get a lot done in a day, and personally, I got a lot less tired because it never got really dark.

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2017, 03:25:34 PM »
Thanks Tyrias. The trip is definitely in summer, July, so Northern Lights is likely out. I definitely want to get out of Reykjavik, but it's a timing thing. Essentially this trip was for Ireland and England and I kinda stiffarmed Iceland in there because I've heard great things and Icelandair, who I used this year and really liked, has free stopovers in Iceland. I'm hoping that a day or two now may make for a longer stay on a future trip.

So with that day or two we're likely going to do a Golden Circle tour. I know it seems touristy, but it allows for a lot to see in minimal time and at a reasonable price. I'm looking into a longer tour that offers a Golden Circle + something, that would get us a bit outside the norm and take advantage of the longer day.
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Offline Nekov

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2017, 06:05:40 AM »
Never been to Ireland or Iceland so can't comment on that.

Not sure how long your stay in England will be but I do recommend you spend a day in Oxford which is the most beautiful and peaceful town I've been in. Not much to do there other than visiting Tolkien's grave and resting, but still a place you wouldn't want to miss.

There's tons of stuff to do in London and people to meet and to be honest I don't have anything out of the ordinary to recommend there, other than trying to find a hotel north of Hyde Park. Even though it's a little far away from the touristy things, it's a quite place, it has cheaper accomodation options, lots of transportation and if you feel like walking, you can cross the park each morning which is a great way to start your day  :smiley:

Also, Liverpool is a very boring city, only worth it for the Muscial background and if your a soccer fan that might be the place you want to go and watch a game, though it will be expensive.

And my out of the box recommendation is to ditch Ireland and visit Scotland, it's a magical place with beautiful landscapes and cool castles and monuments. They have great food, they have great scarfs and people are a lot lovelier than those pesky British guys, even lovelier than Rich and that's not easy. If for some reason you decide you want to go there, I recommend you rent a car and drive, you can get there in less than a day from London and you could make a quick stop in Lancaster which is another little but beautiful town near the border.
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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2017, 07:49:43 AM »
I have no advice but reading for London recommendations because I'm going in three months!
Nekov, I have an airbnb booked that looks to be.. west of the park, so I'll have to walk across it to get to stuff which sounded appealing when I was mapping stuff out.

I kinda wish my layover in Iceland was longer, but maybe next time. And yeah, Icelandair customer service was super helpful when I had issues with their website- the lady was able to find the booking I tried to make with the really good price ($504 round trip and no hidden fees) and she also helped me pick out my seats for the best views. And they had Bjork as hold music. So I fully endorse them.
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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 07:54:56 AM »
That's some pretty good business for Icelandair to get people to stop in the country (and a good price)

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2017, 08:03:10 AM »
For real.
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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 08:17:10 AM »
Nekov, I have an airbnb booked that looks to be.. west of the park, so I'll have to walk across it to get to stuff which sounded appealing when I was mapping stuff out.

Well, the park is quite big from west to east so walking through it might be nice the first day but it will probably kill your legs if you do it every day  :P
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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2017, 08:31:16 AM »
Nah, I'm a walker. I wasn't planning on walking everywhere daily, but I already mapped it and that walk will not be an issue.
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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2017, 09:54:13 AM »
Never been to Ireland or Iceland so can't comment on that.

Not sure how long your stay in England will be but I do recommend you spend a day in Oxford which is the most beautiful and peaceful town I've been in. Not much to do there other than visiting Tolkien's grave and resting, but still a place you wouldn't want to miss.

There's tons of stuff to do in London and people to meet and to be honest I don't have anything out of the ordinary to recommend there, other than trying to find a hotel north of Hyde Park. Even though it's a little far away from the touristy things, it's a quite place, it has cheaper accomodation options, lots of transportation and if you feel like walking, you can cross the park each morning which is a great way to start your day  :smiley:

Also, Liverpool is a very boring city, only worth it for the Muscial background and if your a soccer fan that might be the place you want to go and watch a game, though it will be expensive.

And my out of the box recommendation is to ditch Ireland and visit Scotland, it's a magical place with beautiful landscapes and cool castles and monuments. They have great food, they have great scarfs and people are a lot lovelier than those pesky British guys, even lovelier than Rich and that's not easy. If for some reason you decide you want to go there, I recommend you rent a car and drive, you can get there in less than a day from London and you could make a quick stop in Lancaster which is another little but beautiful town near the border.

In England we'll most likely be staying in or near St. Albans.

The original plan on this trip was to include Scotland, but since we're coming through Iceland anyway it made sense to spend some time there and cut out Scotland to make more time for Ireland and England. Ireland is a definitive no question hit for Jennie, and England is a definitive for me, so Scotland got the ax.

I have no advice but reading for London recommendations because I'm going in three months!
Nekov, I have an airbnb booked that looks to be.. west of the park, so I'll have to walk across it to get to stuff which sounded appealing when I was mapping stuff out.

I kinda wish my layover in Iceland was longer, but maybe next time. And yeah, Icelandair customer service was super helpful when I had issues with their website- the lady was able to find the booking I tried to make with the really good price ($504 round trip and no hidden fees) and she also helped me pick out my seats for the best views. And they had Bjork as hold music. So I fully endorse them.

Damn, $504 for Colorado is an insane price. We'll even end up paying more than that here on the East coast.

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Offline XJDenton

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2017, 01:27:15 PM »
Edinburgh. Go to Edinburgh.

Offline ganpondorodf

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2017, 03:54:03 PM »
Avoid Northern Ireland as if your life depends on it. Mostly because it does

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2017, 03:59:33 PM »
Edinburgh. Go to Edinburgh.

But that's in Scotland, to which we aren't going. :lol

Avoid Northern Ireland as if your life depends on it. Mostly because it does

But that's a whole different country, to which we aren't even going. :lol
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Offline ganpondorodf

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2017, 04:20:37 PM »
Hoo boy. Avoid saying that while you're in Ireland

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2017, 04:27:00 PM »
Hoo boy. Avoid saying that while you're in Ireland

Will do, I also plan on saying I'm Canadian my entire time abroad. :lol
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Offline XJDenton

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2017, 04:34:31 PM »
But that's in Scotland, to which we aren't going. :lol

Dude the distance to Edinburgh from London is smaller than some US states are wide. Get your arse there.

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2017, 07:42:48 PM »

Damn, $504 for Colorado is an insane price. We'll even end up paying more than that here on the East coast.

Well, I'm going in late March so I'm guessing that's not the high tourist season. I also bought the ticket seven months in advance because the trip overlaps with Easter and I wasn't sure if that would impact fares... and I figured there was noo way I'd get a better price than that waiting. Some friends hyped up Norwegian because they're now flying direct to London from here, but those fuckers are like the Frontier of Europe. $440 plane ticket, $70 round trip if you want to pick ANY SEAT on the plane, $90 to check one bag, etc. By the time I was done adding stuff on it was $6-700 and I started looking elsewhere.
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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2017, 07:48:24 PM »
Agreed on the Scotland thing.

Also, if you go to Ireland, go to GALWAY.   And if you can't, still, go to GALWAY.  Finally, if nothing else, go to GALWAY.   

I'm planning a trip for next year to take my two daughters to Ireland, and we'll do the obligatory Dublin, I'll take them down south, past Limerick (I had a great time in the shadows of the Murphy's Brewery in Cork) but the main time will be on the west coast, in Galway.  It's some of the most beautiful geography on the planet, in my estimation. 

Galway.

Offline Adami

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2017, 07:50:17 PM »
I will repeat what my brother from another species Stadler said.

Only ignore the Galway part and replace it with Killarney.
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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2017, 08:19:39 PM »
But that's in Scotland, to which we aren't going. :lol

Dude the distance to Edinburgh from London is smaller than some US states are wide. Get your arse there.


It would be one thing if we could visit in a day, but 5 hours of trains each way doesn't really make that feasible. So the only other option is to add another layer of packing, travel, and hotel into the trip and cutting down our time in England from 3 full days to 2 or fewer, and I just don't know if that makes sense. Gonna be a ton of travel and planning in this already, and I don't want to overstack it more than it is already.
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Offline ariich

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2017, 02:38:53 AM »
You definitely want to be in south east England where I am. :P

Jackie, you're coming to London too?!

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2017, 05:19:01 AM »
But that's in Scotland, to which we aren't going. :lol

Dude the distance to Edinburgh from London is smaller than some US states are wide. Get your arse there.


It would be one thing if we could visit in a day, but 5 hours of trains each way doesn't really make that feasible. So the only other option is to add another layer of packing, travel, and hotel into the trip and cutting down our time in England from 3 full days to 2 or fewer, and I just don't know if that makes sense. Gonna be a ton of travel and planning in this already, and I don't want to overstack it more than it is already.

Ah right, fair enough. If you only have 3 days I would stick around the London area. You could easily spend 3 days in London and not get bored. Don't waste your time travelling if you have so little time.

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2017, 08:41:12 AM »
But that's in Scotland, to which we aren't going. :lol

Dude the distance to Edinburgh from London is smaller than some US states are wide. Get your arse there.


It would be one thing if we could visit in a day, but 5 hours of trains each way doesn't really make that feasible. So the only other option is to add another layer of packing, travel, and hotel into the trip and cutting down our time in England from 3 full days to 2 or fewer, and I just don't know if that makes sense. Gonna be a ton of travel and planning in this already, and I don't want to overstack it more than it is already.

Ah right, fair enough. If you only have 3 days I would stick around the London area. You could easily spend 3 days in London and not get bored. Don't waste your time travelling if you have so little time.

Yeah, as much as I'd love to see Scotland, and a ton of other places, it's just going to wait for another trip. For England, on top of sight seeing and museums which I'm sure could easily take two days, we plan on a tour of the Harry Potter studio another day. And nights we'll likely be busy visiting with Rich and other folks from the area.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2018, 10:09:55 AM »
I just booked an Ireland trip last night. The lady and I will be leaving on Oct 1. We got the trip through Groupon. We got round trip flights, a rental car, and 8 nights of hotels for $1100 a person. I think that's pretty good seeing as just flying to California from CT could cost well over $500.

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2018, 10:15:55 AM »
I just booked an Ireland trip last night. The lady and I will be leaving on Oct 1. We got the trip through Groupon. We got round trip flights, a rental car, and 8 nights of hotels for $1100 a person. I think that's pretty good seeing as just flying to California from CT could cost well over $500.

The wife and I are looking into one of those as well.  Helps that Bradley (our airport) is now offering non-stops to Ireland.

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but if you go, go to GALWAY.   

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2018, 11:48:24 AM »
I just booked an Ireland trip last night. The lady and I will be leaving on Oct 1. We got the trip through Groupon. We got round trip flights, a rental car, and 8 nights of hotels for $1100 a person. I think that's pretty good seeing as just flying to California from CT could cost well over $500.

Nice, I'll be sure to report to you about our trip.

Speaking of which Iceland's itinerary is set, and we have some ideas for our time in England. What's the big up in the air thing that I want to strangle her for is that for a month I've basically had info from here and facebook and such and just asked her to make a list of the different places she has to hit. Still haven't gotten said list and thus still have not been able to plan when we'll need a car and where our nights will be spent. All the while the US dollar continues to plummet.
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Offline soupytwist

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2018, 04:24:54 AM »
Went to Iceland as part of a cruise two years ago, obviously only got a short time there but I'd highly recommend going to the Blue Lagoon - It's an absolute must.

I live in the England - and I hate London with a passion, I was there again this weekend and I just find it such a depressing, crowded, dirty place.  But as a tourist you'll probably want to go there, ugh!   ;D

If you want to do Cities - Bath, York, Oxford, Cambridge. 
If your going for Countryside - The Cotswolds (Cheddar Gorge in particular), The Peak District, The Lake District & Devon.

Oh and one thing - Do not go to waste your time with Stonehenge.



« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 04:32:37 AM by soupytwist »

Offline Nick

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Re: Help me plan our vacation (Iceland, England, & Ireland)
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2018, 10:07:44 AM »
I live in the England - and I hate London with a passion, I was there again this weekend and I just find it such a depressing, crowded, dirty place.  But as a tourist you'll probably want to go there, ugh!   ;D

I understand, I'm not all that far from NYC and hate it with a passion, but I understand why it is a hot bed of tourism. Thanks for the other advice, I'll look into that as we finalize our time there.
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