Looking for tips to keep cost down in England. There are 4 of us travelling. Flying into Heathrow Nov 4 and staying 5 nights. We have a rental car but don't want to stay in town(traffic, parking nightmares). Any advice or hints anyone has for reasonable accomodations in the surrounding areas and daytrips in that area would be greatly appreciated.
You need to get advise from someone further south about where is best to go but, If you are looking for god prices, you could do a lot worse than start with looking at Youth hostels. They have gone up in the world and came third in a major newspaper readers' quiz on favourite places to stay. Start with http://www.yha.org.uk/Stay_at_YHA/Regional/South_West_England.html
About an hour west of London, things will calm down a bit, and prices will drop significantly. YHAs are great if that's your thing, but you will find things like Travelodges and Travel Inns, for about £50.
These will often sleep 4 so work out equally cheap but more private and a bit more luxurious.
Another hour West and you can be in Salisbury (Cathedral, Tudor houses) and then on to Stonehenge (crowded, expensive, but still impressive).
Try to visit Avebury, about half an hour north of Stonehenge. Nobody seems to have told the flock at Stonehenge about this place - the stones actually encircle the village, and you can walk amongst them and touch them. Much more atmospheric.
Then there's Bath, Stratford etc and the Cotswolds, or you could head to Newquay in Devon for some surfing!
What about staying in Cambridge? My friend lives there and she loves it because it's nice and quiet. It's about 45 minutes by train from London, but I'm not sure by car. If you want more info on it, I can ask her!
Chester was one of my favourite places on our drive around England, again on the western end of the country, so could be tied in with quite a few of the others mentioned already. Salisbury is nice, for Stonehenge I would just drive past or maybe stop and look from behind the fence - I can't see how it is worth the entrance price to get a slightly closer up view. Bath is nice, the abbey there is absolutely beautiful and it has a great river aspect. Cambridge is also very nice, unfortunately when we were there though it was raining, which put a major dampener on the whole thing. Still, it's quite fun to look around the various colleges and if the weather is good, you can hire a boat and go 'punting' along the canal - would be a lovely way to spend a sunny day.
Stevieh, I wish I'd known about Avebury- that sounds great!
For accommodation, B&Bs are very popular and can be found around the 35-50 pound mark for a double - not sure for 4 people. If you haven't found anything closer to the travel dates, last minute bookings are a great way to go in the UK as well. www.lastminute.com has a good UK database and you can find some more last minute choices in our own accommodation booking system as well as hostels, b&bs and other budget hotels (www.travellerspoint.com/accommodation.cfm)