a VirtualTourist member from New York State
Next May my family of four will be travelling around England by rental car (!) We have a few hotel ideas for the Midlands but when we come to the South of England we are confused about what town we should stay in. We don't want to get a hotel too far south because of the prices and tourism. We are looking for a nice town in upper south England where hotels are reasonable in price (can be rural if necessary, we don't care). Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
Well, I am curious by what you mean by the "upper South England"...do you mean the greater London area? There are a lot of towns outside of London you can stay in...but why? Are you looking for a place that is of great interest on its own, or are you looking for a place that is mildly interesting but gives you access to other stuff, like London? I am not sure what you are looking for...
I don't really plan on going to London because I want a slower paced trip as I don't enjoy going to big cities with my two kids in tow. I will be renting a car, hopping around interesting historical points along the way in a leisurely fashion. Woking, for example, seemed a prime location on the map as it was close to the airport for my home flight, yet reasonably close to the southern shores where I will be visiting. Is Woking considered the greater London area? lol Either way, is it ideal or are there better areas nearby- that is to say, a town that is mildly interesting but gives me access to other stuff.... :-)
If you're hiring a car from the airport and don't mind an hour's drive, Winchester is a small, historical city in which to stay (Roman - formerly the capital of England) or ninety minutes from Heathrow, Salisbury (similar size). Both are fairly handy for Southampton, Bristol, Bath and Stonehenge and other historical sights in the south.
I agree with Winchester. Thought that was a lovely city with plenty to see there and the surroundings.
Winchester and Salisbury would be my suggestions too. Both historic, interesting towns - and near the New Forest, my very favourite place.
Yes, Winchester is indeed lovely...and Salisbury would be a good base too. Or Oxford, perhaps, if you are going to the Midlands as well?
If you're happy to be a bit further away (and depending on where else you are going) then Shaftesbury and Dorchester are both very pleasant small towns.
Are you looking to stay IN these places (i.e. in the town centre)? If not, as you have a car, you can save on hotel bills by going for hotels in the Premier Inn, Travelodge and similar chains which are located on the outskirts (often at motorway/major road junctions). They are 'no frills' but have all the basics (bed, hospitality tray, shower/wc) and free parking.
I have looked into Salisbury and Winchester and you are right, they seem ideal. Getting a hotel room seems to be difficult though because they are all sold out as far as Jan (getting price ideas in the meantime) Hopefully I can grab something when Spring bookings open up! Thanks all!
I'm very surprised you're having difficulty in finding rooms. Without knowing your dates (can't remember if you've told us) it's hard, but I do suggest you try the reliable www.booking.com I found plenty of availability on there for Winchester, two rooms on random dates in June and August. Custom isn't so good in the UK that hotels won't be taking bookings now for the spring/summer months.....
Mind you, if you are looking for a room with two double beds (quite common in the US, I believe) you will struggle at any time of year. We just don't have that type of room as a norm in the UK (or Europe). You'll need a 'family' room for four (probably a double, a single and a pull-out) or two rooms, one for you and one for the children.
O duh! sorry...it's May, isn't it? My apologies....
Well, same thing applies. Plenty of May availability on booking.com for both Winchester and Salisbury.
By the way, we have a bank (public) holiday on 6th May and 27th May. If your dates include either of those you should book your accomm as soon as possible.
I was looking at winter availability to give me an idea of what next May could provide (16-25th) they obviously don't book that far in advance (January is the cutoff month for advanced booking, it seems) but I was trying to get an idea of pricing and room options. I would need one room for 4, which includes a 15 year old and an 11 year old and I can't really afford two rooms. In the US it is easy to get a room with two double beds, accommodating 4 people. I will have to keep looking...thanks for the link! :-)
www.booking.com has availability for your dates and beyond. That will give you pricing. I can't imagine a site having a cut-off within three months of a date...or are you looking for 2014?
You will, however, struggle to find rooms for four. That's just the way it is, I'm afraid. In the US two double beds is common, in the UK we think it really rather odd. There are two separate cultures: neither is right, they're just different.
Your best bet will be a 'family room', but you'll find fewer of those available.
Apart from anything else, simply fitting two double beds into a UK hotel room would be physically impossible in most cases. European buildings, be they houses or hotels, are not the same as US ones.