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UK Christmas/New Year vacation.

Seattle, Washington
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UK Christmas/New Year vacation.

We are planning a short trip to UK from 23rd Dec to 1st Jan. We are particularly interested in London (and nearby towns), a few places in Scotland and Liverpool (only because I am Beatles fan). In Scotland so far we have shortlisted Edinburgh, Lake District and Loch Ness. I had a few questions about these places:

1. Would any of these places be open around Christmas?

2. Should we rent a car once we are in Scotland or it would be better to rely on bus/train?

3. Is Liverpool worth a visit in such a tight schedule?

4. Is this going to be too hectic? Should we exclude a few places?

So far the plan to is spend 5 days in London, 1 day in Liverpool and 3 days in Scotland.

3 replies to this topic
Yorkshire, United...
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1. Re: UK Christmas/New Year vacation.

I'm intrigued... Where in Scotland is this Lake District? You're the second poster today that's mentioned the Scottish Lake District!

Yes it will be a hectic plan. Plot the places on a map and see how far apart they are. Loch Ness is so far north, and not really the most scenic part of the highlands/lochs.

Trains work well between cities (no trains on 25th Dec, and probably none on 26th Dec too), a car is required for the more rural parts of Scotland.

What do you plan to achieve with 1 day in Liverpool, when presumably part of that day will be taken up by travelling there from London?

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: UK Christmas/New Year vacation.

Please put a location in you profile. Without knowing where you live it's impossible to determine if you're familiar with some of the details that will have a fairly substantial impact on your plans.

'We are particularly interested in London (and nearby towns), a few places in Scotland and Liverpool (only because I am Beatles fan). In Scotland so far we have shortlisted Edinburgh, Lake District and Loch Ness. I had a few questions about these places: Would any of these places be open around Christmas?'

The Lake District is in England, not Scotland. London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, the Lakes themselves and Loch Ness (there are more interesting lochs in Scotland) are very unlikely *not* to 'be open around Christmas'. Having said that, some sights and attractions in those places may have decreased hours from about 23 December until early January.

'Is this going to be too hectic? Should we exclude a few places?' Yes and probably; see below.

'So far the plan to is spend 5 days in London, 1 day in Liverpool and 3 days in Scotland.' You've allowed zero time for travel from point to point, which will almost certainly mean changing your plans.

There will be no trains operating in England and Scotland on 25 December. Virgin Trains won't operate any west coast mainline services on 26 December and there will be a reduced timetable on 27 December. Virgin East Coast aren't operating trains on 26 December; there may be other service reductions announced in the next couple of months.

Have a look at sunrise and sunset times at www.timeanddate.com to determine the very limited amount of daylight you'll have to sightsee in Scotland. It's not an impossible task, but if you're unused to driving on the left and if the weather misbehaves you may not want to spend six or seven hours on unfamiliar roads.

If you must travel in late December and have not yet booked flights then consider an open jaw ticket, to fly to London or Edinburgh and to return from the other city. You should book accommodation fairly soon and ensure that you'll have a room and meals sorted out for 24 and 25 December, especially if you want Christmas lunch.

Check train times and fares at www.nationalrail.co.uk but double check the train operating companies' websites as well for more information on what to expect for late December travel.

Arrival and departure days won't count, so you'll have eight days on the ground with reduced transport on two of them; consider what's most important and what can wait until your next visit.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: UK Christmas/New Year vacation.

I am sorry for including the Lake District with Scotland :P. I mean the Lake District National Park.

I only included Liverpool for something like The Beatles Tour/Cavern Club. Nothing more. I read online that these could be covered in a day trip to Liverpool.

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