Budget holiday ideas, early September
June 28, 2007 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Where to go from London for a few days of vacation?

My wife and I are leaving NYC for a conference in London from September 6-8 and are looking for something to do for nearly a week following the conference. We have friends in Brussels we might visit on the way somewhere, and we were looking at Marrakech, which we know practically nothing about, and Vienna, since she's never been, but we would like more ideas.

We're on graduate student budgets, and we really like nature, history, and food. We don't really like resort culture, shopping or nightlife, although a periodic bar or club is not out of the question. We speak German, French, Portuguese and a little bit of Spanish. We'd like to stay in one place the entire time, if possible.

Returning to London is not entirely necessary since we are using miles with AA to get across the Atlantic.
posted by billtron to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
We'd like to stay in one place the entire time, if possible.

Barcelona. It's got everything you mention - well, it's got history and food, and if you take a day trip down the coast, you'll get nature.
posted by pdb at 2:32 PM on June 28, 2007

Chunnel to Paris, avoid Paris and head for the French countryside. Find a DD friend and take a day to wine taste and picnic.


Go up to Ireland where life is good and enertainment is cheap.
posted by Viomeda at 2:48 PM on June 28, 2007

I would avoid Costa Del Sol, it's really built up, hot and touristy like Florida every day of the year. If it's Spain to go Girona and day trip to Barcelona. Girona is smaller and very beautiful on a river, food is good.
posted by Viomeda at 2:49 PM on June 28, 2007

Go to Birmingham. You can stay at the Perry Barr hotel, see a show at the Birmingham Royal Ballet, and enjoy fine dining in the Balti Triangle. Sounds like a honeymoon!
posted by parmanparman at 2:49 PM on June 28, 2007

posted by goml at 2:49 PM on June 28, 2007

Go up to Ireland where life is good and entertainment is cheap.

As long as you avoid Dublin, that is. If you do go to Ireland, go West, young man (and woman). Kerry's beautiful, Clare's nice (but becoming way too touristy), and Donegal's just as beautiful but far less touristed.
posted by pdb at 2:59 PM on June 28, 2007

I agree with pdb on Barcelona, but I'd also say the south of France. Somewhere like Avignon's got loads of interesting history, and you can pop out into the Provançal countryside which is beautiful. There are a few other towns around that area that are interesting, and the food's great.
posted by minifig at 3:41 PM on June 28, 2007

Ooo! I loved loved loved the
Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland (wikipedia). They're small and peaceful and feel like they're in the middle of nowhere, a nice contrast to the crowds in London and New York, and big on nature and history (though not so much when it comes to food). You could fly over to Galway from London, spend a couple of days there (it's a fun and very Irish place) and then head over to an island of your choosing.

I stayed on Inis Meáin two years ago for about a week. It was lovely. The b&b was charming, scenic and reasonably priced. You can hire bikes so that you can zip about, though I think the pace of the islands is more suited to walking about. The island's pub was great, too. It was a lovely place to visit and I certainly mean to go back.
posted by lumiere at 4:11 PM on June 28, 2007

posted by A189Nut at 4:40 PM on June 28, 2007

I've mentioned it before and I'll say it again - Berlin! Lots of culture, lots of history and for those on a budget, one of the cheapest cities in Europe! Plus, it's just a hop, skip and a jump away from London.

I'm going there tomorrow!
posted by triggerfinger at 12:49 PM on June 29, 2007

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