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Planning visit next May

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,159 posts
17 reviews
Planning visit next May

Wife's cousin is a big fan of Doc Martin, so she's coming over next spring for 8 days (we will be flying up from Greece a couple of days before to meet her at LHR). Plan at this point is:

1. Train from LHR to Paddington then to Exeter.

2. Hire car in Exeter, then drive to Port Isaac

3. Five nights in Port Isaac-see Doc Martin sights and also various day trips with the hire car.

4. Train to London Paddington for last two days-staying near Paddington, probably Bayswater.

5. Paddington to LHR and she'll fly out.

Questions so far are:

1. Is decent, reliable car hire availble near Exeter train station?

2. According to Google maps, train to Exeter takes same time as driving straight from LHR. In practice has anyone found this?

3. How busy will PI be in May; we are avoiding both Bank Holidays (11th to 16th), I think. Will school half-terms be an issue?

4. We will be three adults travelling and staying in two rooms. Will a single room be difficult to find at that time?

That's it for now. Thanks and Happy Festivus.

Bodmin, United...
Destination Expert
for Cornwall
Level Contributor
12,639 posts
84 reviews
1. Re: Planning visit next May

1 No need to take train to Paddington, take the coach to Reading and pick up train from there. Why Exeter? If you don't plan on visiting Exeter, stay on the train to Plymouth and hire a car from there. Or even stay on to Bodmin Parkway, there are car hire firms who will meet you there.

2 Train can take slightly less than driving if traffic is bad, it's more relaxing, and the scenery beyond Exeter is stunning

3 Probably will be busy as May is a popular time for older visitors or those without school age children to take their holidays. But not as busy as in high summer.

4 No idea, but book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment, and to make sure you get somewhere decent. Also consider a holiday cottage or the like.

Cheltenham, United...
Destination Expert
for Cotswolds
Level Contributor
3,296 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: Planning visit next May

A bit different from the usual circumstances in that you would be able to have the hire car prior to your cousin's arrival. This would minimise the faffing around from her point of view. Whilst agreeing with Annabelle re car hire in Plymouth rather than Exeter I think there is a strong case for hiring at Heathrow, giving a direct journey rather than bus, train, car hire, drive ..., and probably cheaper.

To check the Reading route use traveline journey planner, National Rail refuses to accept useful bus routes.



Cornwall, United...
Level Contributor
4,015 posts
73 reviews
3. Re: Planning visit next May

May Half Term (and Bank Holiday Monday) is the 29th May to 2nd June.... plus May Ist is a public holiday, so that weekend/week might also be busy.

May is a good month to come here overall!

A single room is often difficult and you may have to pay a supplement....

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,159 posts
17 reviews
4. Re: Planning visit next May

Thanks for all of the great tips. Still deciding on the car-we have driven to Cornwall from Bath on a Bank Holiday weekend (and still have nightmares about it). Will investigate decent car hire in Plymouth.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,159 posts
17 reviews
5. Re: Planning visit next May

Thanks! Think we'll go with the car from Heathrow-we're there already so jetlag is not an issue.

6. Re: Planning visit next May

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