July 18th, 2008

A Pocket Full of Murder

Travel Frazzle

So originally I thought I was doing this research trip to the south of England and west Wales in late October, and it would be the off-season so finding accommodation would be easy and there was plenty of time to make plans.

Now it looks like we're doing it in mid-to-late August, and... not so much. Especially as it seems unavoidable that we'll be there over the dreaded Bank Holiday weekend.

I am, frankly, overwhelmed. Flights aren't a problem, but once we get into Gatwick, my planning brain freezes.

I know London is ridiculously expensive to stay in, so I was thinking it'd be better to take the train out of London and find a B&B in some pleasant town in Kent, although I am not entirely sure which. Any suggestions from those in the know? We'll need easy access to a train station, so we can get back into London on a couple of day trips, but it would be nice to travel a bit around Kent as well.

I'd like to visit Squerryes Court in Westerham, on which my fictional "Waverley Hall" is partly based; I've had my eye on Eynsford in Dartford as a possible location for the village nearest to where the McCormicks (and the Oakenfolk) live. But other than that, I know nothing, and would be glad of recommendations for other nice places in the area that we ought to visit or where we might stay overnight without utterly impoverishing ourselves (and which can be easily accessed using public transportation, please -- I don't think we'll rent a car until we get to Wales).

After we've spent 3-4 days touring Kent and visiting London, I'd like to take a train to the Cardigan Bay area of Wales and do some touring around there before we return to London and fly back home. Again, any suggestions for what we should see (or avoid) in that area?

Thanks for any help you can offer...

ETA: By "we" I mean "my husband and I", as we will not be taking our kids on this journey. So we'd only be needing a double or twin room, no "family" accommodations or attractions. Thanks.