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14 days in May 2014

Midland, Canada
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14 days in May 2014

My husband and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary in May 2014 as well as both of our 40th birthdays later in the year.

Initially planned on seeing a bit of Western Europe as well, but given the time constraints we have decided to split our time between England and Ireland.

Must stops in England are Ilkeston because I have family there, Kirkby-in-Ashfield because we have dear friends there and Wetton because that is my ancestral name (Mother's maiden name).

I know that these are rather obscure destinations.

Of course I would like a few days in London just to see the architecture. I am not overly concerned about actually going inside any of the museums on this trip. Nevertheless, I would like to wander around the city a bit to see the landmarks, the river, the palace, etc.

So I am looking for suggestions as to an itinerary. Fly in to Manchester and hit London before we go to Ireland? Vice versa? We would rather not rent a car, but we understand that we may have to. We would like to see some of the villages and countryside along the way. The train would be okay or even a bus.

If you had about 7 days, how would you make the best use of your time?

I have so many questions and I just don't know where to start!

Thanks in advance!

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Essex
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1. Re: 14 days in May 2014

Fly into Manchester?? Well that near to your Derbyshire destinations so guessing you plan to do your visiting there first?

Ilkeston is not that obscure, but not the most lovely of places....

Kirkby-in-A is in Nottinghamshire, by the way, though not too far away

Wetton, although in the Peaks, is actually in Staffordshire....

How long do you plan to stay there before you "hit" London?

How do you plan to travel to Ireland?

IMO too much for only 7 days......

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2. Re: 14 days in May 2014

Given your 'must sees' are in the middle of England and near the Peak District National Park, you might consider using Nottingham as a base. For days out you will find a car useful as you might fancy seeing Chatsworth House, Haddon Hall, Hardwick Hall - any or all of them. As well, of course, your family connections.

The other consideration for having a car is that the weather in March can be grey and wet and a bit miserable for waiting at bus stops.

You can travel easily by train between Manchester Airport, Nottingham and London, St Pancras. The nearest airport to Nottingham is East Midlands (EMA) which mainly handles low-cost airlines like Ryanair, Jet 2 and Easyjet. One or more fly to various places in the Republic of Ireland.

Just read Ms Essex's post - seven days is much too short a time given that travelling between places will eat up a lot of that.

Edited: 4:20 pm, May 21, 2013
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3. Re: 14 days in May 2014

If you only have 7 days in England, why not fly into London and tour there first for a couple of days (it is possible to see the outside of many places in 2 days) before heading to Derbyshire and the Peak District for the rest of the week. Then fly to Ireland from East Midlands airport. No reason to go to Manchester at all.

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4. Re: 14 days in May 2014

I understand that the 3 places I mentioned are not all in Derby but this was my lift-off post. I think flying into London would be the best bet from what I've seen so far and then taking the train to Nottingham. The only reason I mentiond Manchester was because that's the airport my friends us to come to Canada.

I don't plan to spend a bunch of time in Ilkeston or Wetton, but for the family history part, I was thinking that I'd stop by there. When in that area, we will stay with our friends in Kirky-in-Ashfield - hopefull they can take a few days off work and drive us around!

We do want this to be a holiday and not go-go-go trip. We will be back at some point to spend more time in each region.

Since we are travelling in May, I was hoping it wouldn't be quite as rainy as January - March. Fingers crossed.

Edited: 4:43 pm, May 21, 2013
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5. Re: 14 days in May 2014

If I choose not to visit London at all on this trip and just want to stick to the East Midlands area for a week and then go to Ireland for 5 days or so which airport would be the most convenient to get to the towns that I mentioned? Is there a closer international airport that has good trai or bus connections than manchester?

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6. Re: 14 days in May 2014

Well, first off, apologies, got muddled up, thought you had 7 days for thenwhole trip, by time had finished reading header post, but realise now it is 7 for England, then another 7 in Ireland, right?

PKD55 has best suggestion if you want to include London, seems most logical way to organise an itinerary IMO.

Skipping London, then, actually Manchester probably IS your best airport option, however, you could consider Birmingham, but travel to Nottingham or Derby not so easy from there.. Your K-in-A chums surely, can advise what is best? Are they the ones who use Manc to visit you??

Where else COULD you fly to from home?? List the options, and maybe we can comment on what is likely.

It is nice that you have some more unusual destinations in mind! But obscure? The inhabitants would not think so....

IF you have "hit" London before, then do consider skipping it this once, enjoy the Notts/Derbys/Staffs area as there is plenty to see and do, but consider hiring a car, to make the best of it....

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7. Re: 14 days in May 2014

We would be flying from Toronto so essentially we could fly into almost any international airport directly or with a changeover in London.

Neither of us has ever been to any part of Europe before. The only time we can take more than 2 weeks off is in the dead of winter. I'm thinking that January is not the best time to visit the British Isles! LOL

I meant obscure because it's hard to find any travel information on these destinations. No offense intended at all! Try searching wetton on TA for example! Our friends in K-in-A (love it!) have only travelled to Canada once and they don't travel around at home much either.

Thank you for the suggestions so far! Ii am going to think about whether seeing London is crucial on this visit. I think for me that it warrants more time to explore than the day or two I'm willing and able to give it on this visit.

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8. Re: 14 days in May 2014

Ilkeston information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilkeston

http://www.ilkeston.biz/

http://www.ilkestonhistory.org.uk/

Wetton information:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wetton,_Staffordshire

http://www.derbyshireuk.net/wetton.html

K-in-A information:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkby-in-Ashfield

kirkbytowncentre.co.uk/EZ/ktc/ktc/index.php

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9. Re: 14 days in May 2014

There is some lovely countryside around - all of the Peak District, the Staffordshire Moorlands - and a number of historical places, ranging from stately homes (Chatsworth) to literary heritage (DH Lawrence, Brontes)to mythical characters (Robin Hood), all within driving distance, plus Alton Towers theme park and lots of interesting towns & villages, and industrial heritage (coal-mining, lace-making, pottery).

Who needs London??

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10. Re: 14 days in May 2014

You will also need a car to visit Wetton as it is extremely difficult to get there using public transport.

P-t-B

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