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England Oct&Nov: what to prioritize

Boston...
3 posts
England Oct&Nov: what to prioritize

Hello all!

I'm going to England from around October 18 to November 20. I'm wondering what to prioritize in the earlier part of the trip, when there is relatively more daylight, possibly some autumn color, and more things are open. For example, I know Blenheim Palace closes October 28. Along these lines, we would save London till the absolute end, because we like museums and those are fine no matter the weather.

I realize I still have more research to do, but I'd appreciate it if some folks could point me in the right direction of potential regions to visit in the earlier part of our trip. We like the outdoors, history, and fancy estates. It'd be great to see some autumn leaves if it's not too late by the time we get there.

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7 replies to this topic
St. Albans, United...
Level Contributor
208 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: England Oct&Nov: what to prioritize

Hi there

A couple of things that might help you in your research.

The school October half term holidays will either be the week of 22 Oct or 29 Oct depending where you are in England. I know Scotland holidays are earlier and less than a week. The reason I say this is where it is half term there will be extra activities on and more places open. In general most country estates will start shutting around end of Oct but the gardens may remain open).

However some places like Chatsworth are still open all year with more limited opening hours.

https:/…

I would suggest taking a look at the National Trust website to see which of their properties are open.

Waddesdon I know is open in November on certain dates.

Cragside a national trust property in Northumberland is an interesting house - first in the UK to have electricity and has lovely grounds where you may still get to see Autumn colours. Again open in October with limited opening in November.

Alnwick Castle also in Northumberland has a fantastic garden as well as interesting castle. Castle open in Oct then shut but garden open in Nov.

Sites for research

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

https://www.historichouses.org

I would plan a trip starting in the north and then heading south towards London.

Potential regions to research with an estate property in the vicinity.

Northumberland - Alnwick / Cragside

Peak District - Chatsworth

Cotswolds - Blenhiem

York (Yorkshire area) Castle Howard

The list could go on but hope this is a starting point for you.

Remember once you base yourself in London there are plenty of day trips you can do from London to visit places such as:

Canterbury

Cambridge

Windsor

Oxford

Brighton

Don't leave it too late to book accommodation over the half term period though as places will get booked up.

Enjoy your planning.

Watford, United...
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
44,230 posts
50 reviews
2. Re: England Oct&Nov: what to prioritize

It's also worth pointing out that our clocks go back on the last weekend of October, another reason why most National Trust houses and other properties close up after then. It starts to get dark around 4.00pm which restricts the time you have.

Your plan to finish in London makes sense and you can always make day trips from there to towns and cities such as St Albans and Bath which will still have a fair amount to offer.

Netanya, Israel
Level Contributor
13,227 posts
29 reviews
3. Re: England Oct&Nov: what to prioritize

Are you after days out out of London by public transportation, or you wish to plan self driven trip?

IMHO, a self driven trip isn't such a good idea, considering the short daylight hours, weather, etc.

You can visit great many attractions/places by rail. Bath, Oxford, Canterbury, Rye, etc. Blenheim Palace, Waddesdon Manor, Warwick Castle, Leeds Castle, Hever Castle, Hampton Court Palace, etc - all may be reached by public transportation.

Please check thoroughly opening days, dates, and times, prior to visiting! You wouldn't wish to end up by the gates of Leeds Castle, and to find out that it's closed for private venue that day.

Yuri.

St. Albans, United...
Level Contributor
208 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: England Oct&Nov: what to prioritize

Have to disagree slightly with #3.

From what you've said you are in England for around a month so you have time to travel around.

The only consideration you need to make is that in Oct and Nov the days are shorter so think about that for visiting and driving. I wouldn't recommend more than a 4hr drive between places at anytime of the year anyway so even if you set off from one destination at 10am stop for lunch for an hour you will still be there before it's too late.

From your profile you are arriving on a long haul flight so don't hire a car the day you arrive. Give yourself a few days to get over jetlag before you hit the road. It might be worth looking at flying into Edinburgh or Manchester if you are doing a driving tour.

We are having a week's holiday end Oct early Nov in the Lake District and will be driving around. Just plan your trip accordingly and you should be fine.

Winchelsea, United...
Destination Expert
for West Sussex, East Sussex
Level Contributor
6,318 posts
15 reviews
5. Re: England Oct&Nov: what to prioritize

If you do decide to visit Rye, do so to include 10th November - Rye Bonfire Night. It’s not to be missed. But book your accommodation now - as in after reading this post !

Mike

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
7,242 posts
82 reviews
6. Re: England Oct&Nov: what to prioritize

Some trees are already showing signs of autumn tints (say Cheshire, Derbyshire as well as Greater Manchester) with some leaves coming down (and brought down in last week's storms), so you may find some trees bare before the end of your visit. Very broadly the autumn colours are likely to be slightly later as you go south.

Are your flights booked and is so are they to/from one of the London airports? Otherwise it might work to fly into an airport further north (for England Manchester has most direct transatlantic flights outside the London options, but connecting say via Amsterdam or Dublin would add other smaller options). That way you could start from your most northern point and head towards London.

St. Albans, United...
Level Contributor
208 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: England Oct&Nov: what to prioritize

post #5 got me thinking where are the best places for 'Bonfire Night' celebrations and on a google search Chatsworth came up as one suggestion as did Leeds Castle.

https:/…

https://www.leeds-castle.com/What’s+On/Dining+Events+&+Afternoon+Tea/Leeds+Castle+Fireworks+House+Party+2018/

Whilst I wouldn't plan an itinerary around bonfire night the OP might like to look into what events are going on around 5th Nov to mark Bonfire night in the area where they are staying.

If anyone from outside UK is reading this forum and wondering what Bonfire Night is all about this link might be useful.

https:/…history-of-bonfire-night

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