BEST OF IRELAND & ENGLAND SCOTLAND WALES SUMMER 2014
HELLO FELLOW TRAVELLERS. I AM TRAVELLING JULY/2014 TO IRELAND AND THEN DIRECTLY TO SCOTLAND ENGLAND AND WALES. I WAS WONDERING IF ANYONE HAS TRAVELLED SOLO ON EITHER OF THESE EXCURSIONS WITH TAUK?. ALSO, DID ANYONE GET A CHANCE TO RIDE AT ASHFORD?
That is too bad, we really enjoyed it! Portmeirion is quirky and interesting- more modern history since it was built over a period of 50 years starting in 1925. But, it does have interesting Mediterranean architecture, a history of noted visitors (Noel Coward, Gregory Peck, Paul McCartney, George Harrison just to name a few), TV and film history (probably the most famous and one most recognized by US visitors was the Brit TV series "The Prisoner" which was filmed there), and beautiful vistas of the estuary.
I thought the hotels on the E, S, and W trip were (including Portmeirion) very nice. We were graced with great weather. The only real rain (we did have a couple of sprinkles) we had was in Oxford and that didn't last long.
Portmeirion was a unique place with some great vistas and nice areas to walk around. It is dated, but that gave it some "character." It is on a very steep hill so if you have walking problems I could see how that could be an issue.
There is a lot of driving around and you will see a lot of sheep (I am sure there are more sheep in Wales than there are people). We were in a small group tour so seating on the bus was pretty comfortable. If you wanted it, you could go to the rear and have two seats to stretch out on.
One of my favorite places is Blenheim Palace. It is Winston Churchill's home during his youth. You don't get to spend a long time there, but you'll enjoy the time you get. We had gone there in 2003 on a driving trip through England and Wales. We spent the day there and still didn't have enough time to see it all. We drove (yes, on the "wrong" side of the road) from London to Pennmanmaewer, Wales to visit with some of my wife's family, one of which still lives in my wife's grandmother's home. We only took back roads and it was a challenging ride. At points we actually got off any real road and were 4-wheeling it. You'll understand when that big bus is on some of the roads we drove on. Two lanes (maybe on 1.5) with stone walls on either side (no berms) and sometimes when you come up to another vehicle coming at you, someone has to give way and move back....maybe a mile or so. Most cars give way to your bus...that is the good news.
We took the train from London to Liverpool in between the two trips and again, rented a car to go visit with family. (I always rent an automatic in England. I have enough issues with driving on the "wrong" side of the road as it is. I scared some poor lady to death when I went the wrong way on a roundabout.) If you are doing both trips you will enjoy both of them. It certainly makes sense to only have to fly across the "pond" once and see both places.
Hopefully you are going to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August. I had never heard of it until we were told we were going to see it, so I looked on YouTube for some videos. They were pretty impressive on video, but much more impressive in person. I am glad we got to see it.
Enjoy the trip(s).
We spent two extra days in London at the Royal Horseguards. It is a GREAT hotel and has a perfect location. Enjoy.