I just returned from my big trip of 2014! It was my second ever trip to Europe and was every bit as amazing as I had hoped it would be. I’m really excited to get to share all of the details with you guys in the coming weeks. I’m first going to start by giving you guys an overview of where I went so that you can get a big picture idea of the trip.
I also know that when I’m planning out a trip that the hardest part is usually picking the overall layout. Choosing how many days to spend where and making sure that I’m taking the best option for getting from Point A to Point B are usually the hardest things for me to figure out. Once I get those items nailed down the rest tends to work out pretty easily.
If you’ve never been to England or France before I’d recommend a different itinerary than this one (see my suggestions below) but this is also a great itinerary for someone who wants to get a good mix of big city (London & Paris) and countryside (northern England & Wales) in a short amount of time!
Here’s how my trip shaped up:
Day 0 – Friday November 21
Flew from PHX to Manchester via PHL (losing a day due the the time difference and flight duration)
Day 1 – Saturday November 22
Arrived in Manchester (England) around 9 AM & drove to Harrogate (England) (about 2ish hours)
Related Posts: Driving On The Opposite Side of The Road // The Day I Got Lost Driving Around in a GPS Equipped Car (Harrogate, UK)
Day 2 – Sunday November 23
Took a quick train ride over to York (England) to spend the day
Spent the night in Harrogate again
Related Posts: Visiting York
Day 3 – Monday November 24
Drove from Harrogate to Conwy (Wales) (3ish hours)
Spent the day in Conwy
Drove to Manchester to return the rental car and spend the night
Related Posts: Visiting Conwy Castle in Wales
Day 4 – Tuesday November 25
Took a train from Manchester to London (Euston station) (2ish hours)
Day 5 – Wednesday November 26
Entire day in London
Day 6 – Thursday November 27 (Thanksgiving)
Eurostar train from London to Paris (2ish hours)
Day 7 – Friday November 28
Entire day in Paris
Day 8 – Saturday November 29
Entire day in Paris
Day 9 – Sunday November 30
Flew from CDG (Paris) to PHX via PHL (16 hours)
If I had it to do over the only thing I’d possibly change would be to trade the first day in London for another day in Wales. I have however already been to London so if that wasn’t the case then I would say way more time in London would be needed.
+ For London & Paris first-timers
If you’ve never been to Europe before and want to check out London and Paris I’d recommend splitting your week equally between London and Paris and then spend a day or two from each location taking day trips. From London my top day trip recommendation would be Oxford. Taking a trip out to the Warner Bros studio is also something I’d highly recommend for Harry Potter fans. I’ve heard good things about Cambridge as well and I’ve used Day Trips from London to think about other great options.
I don’t have any day trip recommendations from Paris yet, but spending a day at Versailles is at the top of my list for when I go back!
+ Adding Wales onto a UK trip
If you want to add Wales to your trip I’d recommend flying into Manchester and spending a couple of days driving through Wales before heading down to London and Paris. If you need to fly into and out of London then you could still easily accommodate Wales from there as well. You could also fly directly into Cardiff.
Detailed posts about this trip are coming soon so stay tuned!