Thinking about a weekend away...

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Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby TeresaFoodie » March 9th, 2019, 5:25 pm

I haven't spent time away from home since 2006! Mostly reasons being partners who didn't want to join me, lack of money or cats needing to be looked after.

It's just dawned on me, none of these constraints apply anymore! :bounce:

So, thoughts have turned to taking a Friday and a Monday off work and nipping off to Luton with my camera, picking up the National Express or the train and heading off to a B&B or somewhere with a spa for a night or two and letting my wings unfurl.

My first thought was York city. Then I thought countryside? Coast? Not sure. My travelling is a bit rusty. There has to be the opportunity to photograph, explore the food scene, relax, maybe a spa thrown in, markets?

Up for any suggestions... N, S, E, W. Not London though.

Thank you in advance. Plenty of time by the way. This will probably be May / June. :grin:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby earthmaiden » March 9th, 2019, 5:51 pm

I would see where the National Express coaches go from Luton (you can get some great deals with them) and then plan round it. I think until the weather is nicer that a city might be nicer than coast as the season won't have started. If you went somewhere like Norwich, you could visit the city and pop to the coast on a bus or train as well.
Sign up for emails from places like Travelodge and National Express and they tell you when there are offers on.

Also, local coach companies do very good day trips and sometimes weekends as well as holidays. They are usually very friendly and take you right to where you need to go, lovely for a day out.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Herbidacious » March 9th, 2019, 10:17 pm

York would be lovely and very photogenic, but 6-8 hours by coach, Norwich, 4-5, so you'd need to factor in how long you want to be travelling for. Oxford or Cambridge might be nice abt 2 hours to Oxford.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby TeresaFoodie » March 9th, 2019, 11:19 pm

Well, food for thought so far. :tu:

I will certainly sign up for offers EM & check out coach destinations from Luton Interchange. National Express website kept crashing earlier.

I adore Cambridge, have visited many times but never alone, good idea, and have only been to Oxford once in a rush. That could do with being explored, especially after recently enjoying Endeavour. Norwich is going to be an option too. Had a wonderful day trip there once.

I have just got all excited at the thought of planning an itinery that suits just me, start to finish.

Hmm, lots to consider here! :grin:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby EmWilk » March 10th, 2019, 12:46 am

My mum often goes off on National Holiday coach trips... the value for money is actually unbelievable.

I thought the trips were mainly for much older people but my mum is mid 50s and been going on them for years and she says there's always people younger than her too.

Some of them are real bargains and you get the advantages of certain meals being included if you want them, planned days out (or you're free to do your own thing) and the company of others if you want it.

They often incorporate one day in one place and another somewhere else, etc. So many to choose from and so many types of breaks.

My mum will talk to anyone so she loves chatting away and I know she's been on these trips with her OH, with friends and also on her own. Always enjoys them!
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby scullion » March 10th, 2019, 1:18 am

oxford is well worth a visit, as is bath. lacock is very photogenic - and is the home of photography (lacock abbey was the home of fox talbot).
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby suffolk » March 10th, 2019, 7:24 am

Just to point out that National Express to Norwich direct is under 4 hours and some interesting scenery on the way. I usually enjoy that sort of coach ride, as long as I can wangle a window set ;)
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby TeresaFoodie » March 10th, 2019, 10:24 am

I was wondering about Bath. I went there 16 years ago as my sister was living in Wiltshire when my eldest nephew was born and Bath was our halfway meeting point, and delightful as I remember it being, especially the baths, it would probably be more enjoyable without having a new born baby papoosed to my back. :lol:

Em - your mum's trips sound very good! I have just had a look at National Holidays and am actually signing up to whatever services newsletters that I can. When I took the NE to Royston to see a good friend just before Christmas to do lunch and Christmas gift exchange for around £25 I could not fault the service. I had always associated such trips with older people but no, a real mix. It was a very pleasant experience.

I am at this point angling towards Oxford... :grin:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Seatallan » March 10th, 2019, 11:02 am

TeresaFoodie wrote:I am at this point angling towards Oxford... :grin:


Oxford is a lovely place to explore. Sounds like a good plan Tezza, especially if you can get your trip in before the height of the tourist season (when Oxford tends to be heaving).
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby earthmaiden » March 10th, 2019, 11:28 am

If you choose Oxford, look out for the guided walks which run from the information centre in Broad Street. They are very good and usually access the grounds of one of the colleges as well. Also an extended tour round the Bodleian library is well worth it.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby scullion » March 10th, 2019, 11:35 am

as is the pit rivers museum - a wondrous place.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby earthmaiden » March 10th, 2019, 11:42 am

Oh yes!!!
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby TeresaFoodie » March 10th, 2019, 12:17 pm

Oh I am loving these ideas. I love libraries, colleges, the history of buildings. I'll have to look at Oxford's tourist info site if there is one. Shame our library is currently closed at the moment, in transition to the new build that has delays on opening. They had a heavy travel section last time I looked. There's plenty of time to plan eating there. On my one and only flying visit I ate in Pizza Express. I bet, like Cambridge, there are some more off the rail studenty / veggie eateries to be had...
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Seatallan » March 10th, 2019, 12:30 pm

The Ashmolean is nice too, especially if there's a special exhibition on. And there's lots of 'Alice in Wonderland' related things in Oxford due to the Lewis Caroll connection which is rather splendid. :D
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby suffolk » March 10th, 2019, 12:45 pm

Cambridge is great for a few days visit ... the Fitzwilliam and loads of other museums too, interesting galleries (especially Kettles Yard), the Botanical Garden (in the city centre and a great veggie cafe apart from the gardens and wonderful greenhouses) and of course lots of bits of the colleges can be visited, and Kings College Chapel, and a punt down the Cam, and lots of good coffee and food everywhere and good shopping opps too ... oh, and level easy walking :tu:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... _Cambridge
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Zosherooney » March 10th, 2019, 10:24 pm

Yes Sea. Ashmolean was good when we visited. Will also 2nd Lacock, beautiful area - 30 mins max from us. Whitehall garden centre is to die for. Unfortunately Stonehenge is so commercialised these days we do not go but instead recommend Avebury, quite a moody spot. Some fab walks around the area too and of course the Pewsey Vale with its white horses.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Seatallan » March 11th, 2019, 7:29 am

Oh yes Zosh! Avebury is wonderful. :tu:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby earthmaiden » March 11th, 2019, 8:43 am

I don't think think that Lacock, Avebury etc would be practical to reach by coach for a quick weekend away, lovely as they are.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Zosherooney » March 11th, 2019, 7:13 pm

Actually EM you are right I did not take coach into consideration. I just had my wish list in mind.....
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby karadekoolaid » March 11th, 2019, 11:36 pm

Oxford or Cambridge are super places to visit. Just so many wonderful historical and artistic sights to see!
Lincoln is a pretty little city - it´s got a lovely castle.
Or go west; Winchester, Bath....
Or south.. Canterbury, and from there on to Rye, Sussex.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby jrc » March 12th, 2019, 7:10 am

Vote Canterbury :tu:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby TeresaFoodie » March 12th, 2019, 8:07 am

Ooh, I have never been to Canterbury or anywhere near. I need to research today. :tu:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Bubbles » March 12th, 2019, 9:53 am

Hi Tezza, don't know if you subscribe to Groupon but they are advertising 40% off Nat Express fares ( email recd today). Haven't looked at full T&Cs and can't do links but on their website. :tu:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby earthmaiden » March 12th, 2019, 10:10 am

Tezza, I meant to mention Youth Hostels. As well as sleeping in dormitories with noisy youngsters, many also offer private rooms with everything you need and they can be very good value. Worth checking prices and facilities against B&Bs, Travelodge etc.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Bubbles » March 12th, 2019, 10:58 am

Had to attend a funeral last month on IOW. Two double rooms in Travelodge @ £29 per room - not per person. We stayed 2 nights (Ryde) and it was perfect for us. Worth a look on their website but read the reviews on Tripadvisor, as Newport one was poor wheareas Ryde all good!
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Zosherooney » March 13th, 2019, 6:39 am

We might have an overnight (by car) in South Kirkby (DIY Kitchens) ! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby jrc » March 13th, 2019, 9:16 am

TeresaFoodie wrote:Ooh, I have never been to Canterbury or anywhere near. I need to research today. :tu:


Whitstable is only six miles from Canterbury. Some very good foodie places. :drool:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby karadekoolaid » March 14th, 2019, 12:01 am

You could take a trip round the cathedral and look at the place where Karadekoolaid used to sing Evensong :lol: :lol:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby jrc » March 16th, 2019, 8:28 am

I fell down the stairs in the Cathedral once. :oops:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Ratatouille » March 16th, 2019, 10:06 am

jrc, DD tripped up the steps when she was presented with her degree there by Joe Grimmond in 1990!.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby jrc » March 16th, 2019, 12:56 pm

Ratatouille wrote:jrc, DD tripped up the steps when she was presented with her degree there by Joe Grimmond in 1990!.
:oops: :lol: :lol:
:lol:
I was at a very serious ceremony there. We were sat just behind the Lord Mayor of Canterbury. One of the guys was going up and down, swinging his thingy full of insence. My colleague elbowed me in the ribs and said quite loudly “does he know his handbag is on fire” :lol: :lol:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Seatallan » March 16th, 2019, 5:27 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Sorry to hear events have intervened re your son jrc. How wonderful of your DIL to donate an organ though... :luv:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby jrc » March 16th, 2019, 6:38 pm

Sea :hug: I think it is Sloe’s family that are having health issues, not mine. :?

Hope they all get on ok. :hug:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby TeresaFoodie » March 16th, 2019, 11:21 pm

Thanks to a repeat.of a Rick Stein programme this morning I am rethinking plans...

A clue.

The Little Mermaid.

I will need a passport...
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Zosherooney » March 17th, 2019, 6:33 am

Sometimes it can be less expensive to go abroad than stay at 'home'.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby TeresaFoodie » March 17th, 2019, 6:37 am

I thought that too Zosh. I have ordered the DK guide on Amazon. So, passport first then think about flights and accommodation.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby suffolk » March 17th, 2019, 6:48 am

Do your research Tezza ... we went some years ago and found Denmark to be extremely expensive, especially for eating out ... even a coffee or a beer cost an arm and a leg ... DS went with a friend fairly recently and the price of stuff made their eyes water ... it’s a lovely place and the Danes are generally delightful ... but I’m waiting until I win the lottery before I go there again :(

This may help with budgeting https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-guid ... avel-tips/
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby smitch » March 17th, 2019, 8:52 am

Agreed, I love Copenhagen and it is one of my favourite cities. However, it is very expensive and the Little Mermaid is probably the most disappointing attractions I’ve ever visited!

Have you considered Berlin if you want to go abroad? Loads to do and much cheaper than other European cities I’ve been to. Loads of veggie and vegan food too. Plus it is easy to get a cheap flight, public transport is easy to use and it isn’t too far away.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby musselsandfries » March 17th, 2019, 8:56 am

I am another that would try to persuade you off Denmark 'for now'... I would say its expense doesnt quite correlate with its beauty, its very nice etc but other places offer a far better price/enjoyment ratio.

Holidays revolve usually around food, architecture and relaxing.
Favourites are Bavaria, Czechia, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

Many low cost companies from Luton/Stanstead, quite ridiculous how cheap some flights are.

Planning is 99% of the fun !!
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby TeresaFoodie » March 17th, 2019, 9:09 am

Thanks folks for the nods in the right direction. I agree that the planning is the best bit! I had a chat with my much travelled friend last night and whilst she has mainly done Egypt and Europe alone, she has never done Scandinavia. We got talking about if I feel I could fly to Copenhagen, why not Venice or another European destination?

More research required.

I can feel my wings twitching.... :)
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby slimpersoninside » March 17th, 2019, 10:40 am

I have a well travelled colleague who visited Denmark recently and commented how expensive it is....she then went on to say hey ho what's a credit card for!

We visited Berlin last easter and would second it as a destination with plenty to do and see.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby earthmaiden » March 17th, 2019, 11:07 am

You would probably need a long weekend to make a trip abroad worthwhile. Again, it is worth looking at your local coach company to see what breaks they offer - a nice way to ease yourself into something a bit different with some security and you have an idea of what you'll be spending. Another thing is to look for deals in national and local newspapers, I have been on a couple of trips bought that way, both very successful.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Bubbles » March 17th, 2019, 11:21 am

I have travelled and stayed on my own a few times but only in Glasgow, although I have loads of friends and family there so maybe not the same? I am probably biased but it's a great base for a long weekend. You can be in Loch Lomond in 30 mins, Edinburgh in 40, or lovely places like Largs or Ayr quickly as well! Last time I stayed in a fantastic, and cheap Air Bnb, in the West End (university area), with loads of lovely coffee shops and bars. Having been to Copenhagen twice, I would agree it's very expensive!
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Herbidacious » March 18th, 2019, 8:32 am

My mother set off for Luxembourg by coach at 4.30am this morning :o (from north Wales.)

I have done a lot of coach trips in my time - to Berlin from Sheffield, to Munich from London - but not for a long time. It's all coming back now. Restless leg sydrome, travel sickness if I read... :(
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby earthmaiden » March 18th, 2019, 8:41 am

Oh no, you don't want to go too far into Europe on a coach in one day! (gosh Herbi, that's a trip for your mother!). That's where local companies are good as they usually make you feel comfortable and the driver is friendly. I did a trip to Maastricht and there was no commentary, we had no idea where we were (it hadn't occurred to me we would need a map) and we felt like children wanting to shout out, 'are we there yet?'. On the way back we had a chattier driver and also stopped off in Bruges which was much nicer.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby suffolk » March 18th, 2019, 9:57 am

I love Bruges ... I’ve had several lovely short breaks there :tu:
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby earthmaiden » March 18th, 2019, 10:10 am

Yes, you can get there on the train now too (when there are no strikes and before 29th March :evil: ). It'd be a lovely place for a long weekend.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby uschi » March 18th, 2019, 11:11 am

May I suggest the Keukenhof on the Dutch coast? It is a gorgeous park cum showcase for Dutch flower breeders and well worth a visit. It is open in spring and if you can, go during the week, not the weekend!
https://keukenhof.nl/en/
If you can't get a direct coach trip from Britain, go to Amsterdam and take it from there. It's a super day out and not too far from Britain.
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby scullion » March 18th, 2019, 11:45 am

dublin?
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Re: Thinking about a weekend away...

Postby Herbidacious » March 18th, 2019, 11:58 am

I really liked Maastricht, although I had been in the shopping desert that is rural Normandy immediately before I got there :) I would go back though!

I was supposed to got to Keukenhof last year, but we ended up staying in Amsterdam for the whole trip. I wanted to go this year, having a long weekend and a mini road trip, but have put it on hold because of Brexit. We may need a green insurance card, and our insurance company won't give us one until after Brexit, but you have to give them two week's notice... Plus husband won't let me book a holiday full stop anyway :( :evil:
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