That's helpful too, Rob. So with your guys advice, I'm thinking of the following plan, which still has holes I need to fill. I actually like the idea of Paris more than Scotland for this trip, plus I worry about the cost of travel to Scotland back so unless I can get a really cheap plane ticket or train ticket to Edinburgh, I think I'll drop that and focus on eastern UK and then on to Paris.
So this is where I'm at now:
1) Arrive in Manchester. Maybe ??2 days
2) Travel Liverpool. 3 days
3) Travel to Chester ?1-2 nights
4) Visit Conway Castle (for the day or part of larger journey?)
BIG HOLE TO FILL IN HERE, ABOUT 7-8 DAYS
5) Cardiff (?2 nights)
6) Bath (1-2 nights)
7) Stonehenge (1 night)
8) London (7 nights)
9) Train to Paris. 3-4 nights.
10) Fly back to Chicago.
I think that sounds like something I could handle, and without lots of time on the train or bus. I'll really need to look for cheap places to stay, but I think I should be able to manage. Need to do some research to see what between Chester and Cardiff is worth stopping at, or if I should head over to other places in England like Nottingham. I'm open to that.
Everyone has been so helpful and I'm excited about this trip! Any advice to help me fill in the gaps and save some cash along the way would be really appreciated!