Travel to UK from Dec 23rd to Jan 4th. Good idea or bad idea? Will things be mostly closed for christmas?

Travel to UK from Dec 23rd to Jan 4th
Good idea or bad idea? Will things be mostly closed for christmas? I figure I'd have enough time to at least make a friend or two to have plans for new years.

I really want to visit the medieval castles- would they be open to the public during this time?

  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    things are open
    lots of train and bus strikes
    only business holidays are xmas, boxing day and new years day

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >train and bus strikes
      how big of a scale we talking here?
      so would tourist attractions like castles be open to the public? Maybe not counting christmas & boxing day.

      How about pubs during those days? Would they be open?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Basically all trains will be off on strike days and they’ll be messed up the day after too. Other stuff will be open as usual.

        Which castles are you planning on looking at? Sone of the more interesting ones if you know what machicolation is are better accessed by car anyway, strike if no strike.

        Pubs will be open. They’re usually open on Christmas Day too, with very short hours. Lots of people like having a pint on Xmas.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      also worth remembering in Scotland 2 Jan is a bank hol too

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Worth clarifying that as Christmas day is a Sunday, the business bank holiday transfers to the 27th. Also, the border security staff will be striking from the 23rd, so your entry might be a clusterfuck.

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    of course if you are interested in medieval castles thats fine - but also consider other historical structures - ruins, cathedrals, palaces, fortifications, grand houses, industrial revolution marvels etc

    In London's sphere - Tower of london is in the heart of the city, very tourist but lots of history. Day trips there are Leeds castle (not the location of the city of Leeds), Dover castle (also famous cliffs, allegedly a shit city), Windsor castle (royal residence), Bodiam Castle (great moat), Winchester Castle (not as striking outside structure but still a historical town)

    Warwick castle in the centre of country is famous.

    Gwynedd region of north wales has like 7 castles built to solidify english rule over wales - Caenarfon famous prince of wales inauguration site, but also ones like Conwy, Beaumaris, Harlech. There are other smaller structures. Snowdonia mountain in the backdrop (there is a train up the mountian but closed for winter)
    conwy and caenarfon have city walls
    not far Chester has medeival town center

    Scotland - travel at new years eve "Hogmanay" is arguably a bigger holiday for them than christmas
    Edinburgh Castle is in heart of city - but also Holyrood Palace is a royal residence in edinburgh (1600s) plus edinburgh has old town and new town both unesco areas.
    Short trip to Sterling another city around a castle.
    Short trip to Glasgow - in the periphery of the city is Bothwell Castle ruins however it is not a traditional tourist draw for glasgow.

    Northumbria
    Newcastle is a neat town but the castle is underwhelming
    Durham is a castle kind of more cathedral
    Alnwick castle
    Bamburgh castle
    Holy Island (first viking invasion?)
    Berwick Upon Tweed - has bastion fort walls
    Carlisle is 1hr from newcastle, has ancient castle too, also not far from hardians wall sites

    York has city walls, and a fortified central "castle", also grand cathedral, ruined abbey, and roman and viking history, and a medieval street

    there is more

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      This is incredibly helpful, thanks anon!
      I definitely want to go to Edinburg and York. Wouldn't mind stopping by Hadrian's wall, Stonehenge, some Roman sites as well. I got a lot to consider with roughly 2 weeks to do it, but I also want to meet people and have fun with locals

      Will I be screwed given the rail strike? And since I'm learning the busses are affected. How would you recommend I get around?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        national rail strike is not every day, the days u said i think just jan 3 and 4 are affected
        duno if some individual lines have bullshit.
        https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/industrialaction.aspx
        east midlands rail disruption dec 23,24

        well if there was no bus or train.. what are the options fly? drive yourself, taxi, ?rideshare
        walk somewhere local

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I'd say hire a car if you can. Remember trains are always jam packed that time of year. Due to the strikes, there will be the same number of people crammed onto fewer trains. And of course trains won't get you everywhere, especially when you're hoping to see castles.
        Also remember - if there are strikes, the days either side are impacted too.
        eg. If there's a strike on a Wednesday, things slow down from Tuesday afternoon/evening, and then there's usually considerable disruption the next day.
        Lastly, trains in this country cost an absolute fortune. You'd probably be cheaper just hiring a car.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          >hire a car
          I'm considering this, but I don't drive stick (yea, I know) and never driven on the left side before

          is it hard?

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            just pay extra for the auto

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    if there is snow you can expect absolute travel chaos.
    our transport infrastructure is not built for snow.
    a few inches of snow and basically everything shuts down and you're going nowhere.

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >medieval castles
    fly to edinburgh. within edinburgh it's self there is 2 great castles, edinburgh castle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh_Castle) (the best castle in the UK imo) & craigmillar castle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craigmillar_Castle).
    Edinburgh old town is basically one giant open air medieval museum, which people live in. The museum of Scotland is also worth a visit, it's free and one of the best museums in europe.
    Edinburgh in general is spectacular in the winter.

    40 minutes on the train or an hour on the bus and you'll be in Stirling, and Stirling castle (the second best castle in the UK imo) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_Castle).
    You could also head up into the highlands where there are a variety of castles dating from prehistoric (brochs) up to late medieval (forts) and everything in-between, set amongst some of the most incredible dramatic scenery you've ever seen. Though to do this during late December i'd recommend you rent a 4x4 with winter tyres. Public transport up that way is sparse at the best of times, let alone in the depths of winter.

    Alternatively you could head down into the lovely and often overlooked scottish borders, where you can find a variety of castles and tower forts linked to the lawless and violent history of the border regions, not to mention several incredible medieval monasteries. All this is set amongst beautiful prime rolling british countryside and charming little villages.
    very comfy.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      to add, if you head down into the borders you can head right to the border and visit Hadrian's wall the various roman ruins within it's vicinity.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        https://i.imgur.com/RqGucLk.jpg

        >medieval castles
        fly to edinburgh. within edinburgh it's self there is 2 great castles, edinburgh castle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh_Castle) (the best castle in the UK imo) & craigmillar castle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craigmillar_Castle).
        Edinburgh old town is basically one giant open air medieval museum, which people live in. The museum of Scotland is also worth a visit, it's free and one of the best museums in europe.
        Edinburgh in general is spectacular in the winter.

        40 minutes on the train or an hour on the bus and you'll be in Stirling, and Stirling castle (the second best castle in the UK imo) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_Castle).
        You could also head up into the highlands where there are a variety of castles dating from prehistoric (brochs) up to late medieval (forts) and everything in-between, set amongst some of the most incredible dramatic scenery you've ever seen. Though to do this during late December i'd recommend you rent a 4x4 with winter tyres. Public transport up that way is sparse at the best of times, let alone in the depths of winter.

        Alternatively you could head down into the lovely and often overlooked scottish borders, where you can find a variety of castles and tower forts linked to the lawless and violent history of the border regions, not to mention several incredible medieval monasteries. All this is set amongst beautiful prime rolling british countryside and charming little villages.
        very comfy.

        Now I'm even more pumped to go! Thanks for the recommendations anon. I have plans to visit Hadrian's wall, but I never knew about this string of castles and forts and monasteries beside it

        I think I'll pretty much have to rent a car when I go. But I'm a bit hyped up about driving your roads as they are winding and completely reversed from what's here in Canada. Is there any hope for me driving solo everywhere?

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Just go somewhere in Africa or the middle east, it would probably be cheaper and you'll meet the same people

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Nothing is open on Jan 1st in Scotland except a few supermarkets and petrol stations. Zero public transport. Similar on the 2nd but less so. Weather will be shit in Scotland that whole week, people are at home seeing friends. Do not visit Scotland as a randomer that week. Worst week to visit.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Weather
      So?
      >Everything will be closed
      Doubt it
      >Public transport
      I'd be walking in the old city center anyway

      Don't ruin it for me man, I already set plans

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Other famous landmarks

    Cornwall area
    Tintagel Castle "king arthur birth place" a tin mining settlement since roman era.
    Saint Michaels Mont (the less exciting version of french mont saint michel?)

    More London and surrounding area
    Hampton Court Palace - famous for Henry VIII era
    Rochester Castle another Norman Castle, some neat details like one of the towers is round vs square
    Canterbury has cathedral and tries to do medievl town feel

    Avebury - is maybe the most famous megalithic structure after stonehenge,
    Nearest "city" to stonehenge is Salisbury which is is another famous cathedral town but there are like a dozen famous cathedrals in uk.
    Old Sarum is an archeological site of an abandoned hill fortification
    Bath is not far from this area - most famous for most of the town being georgian era architecture, but there is also the excavated roman baths.
    And surrounding area of Cotswolds which have many little villages with famous cottages - expensive and more an old people attraction, even for history autists.
    Wells - very small town famous cathedral, but also has things like oldest residential street in europe

    The famous university towns have great architecture - within one uni they will have different colleges that the old ones have their own minicampus with a medieval chapel type of thing.
    Cambridge - king's college has the most famous building prob. Nearby towns like ely and bury st edmund have nice cathedrals. Far from here but close to nowhere there is Sutton Hoo - anglo saxon burial site found on some family cottage property - they made netflix movie The Nig about it.

    Outside Oxford, there is Blenheim Palace (Churchill family) - biggest non royal estate in uk i think.
    stratford upon avon - will try to have the medieval look, leaning into shakespere heritage.

    I don't think i'd go in winter - but the biggest concentration of prehistoric structures is Orkney islands with skara brae being msot famous.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Cotswolds old people attraction
      Seriously? Thanks for the heads up. I won't stay there too long then, just a day and night.

      Rate my trip thus far anon:

      Arrive at London
      Go straight to Oxford
      Then to Winchester
      Stonehenge
      Castle Combe
      Gloucester Cathedral
      Bourton on the water
      Warwick
      York
      Edinburgh
      Hadrian's wall
      Back all the way to London

      All in 11 days. I might tweak it a bit. Maybe go with the flow of certain things depending on circumstances and or company I find. It's a shame I don't have more time to see it all

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    go to north wales. shit is like a fantasy novel
    i recommend conwy, snowdonia, anglesea, holywell (for st winifried's well)

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