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ENGLAND TRIP REPORT: London & The Cotswolds

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We just returned from 10 nights in England. As usual, a big thank you to everyone on this board that helped us plan accordingly. I will be posting this in chunks as I complete it.

OVERVIEW
DH and I went to London to visit a friend and his new family. We have both been to the city several times before, so we spent a lot of our time there visiting and wandering. I won't have a lot of details about London, but do have knowledge that I will happily share if anyone has questions. =) We broke up our stay with these friends by spending 4 nights in The Cotswolds, a destination neither of us had been to thus far.

ITINERARY
London: 5 nights
Stow-on-the-Wold: 2 nights
Chipping Campden: 2 nights

FLIGHTS
We spent over $900 on r/t direct tickets via Seattle on British Airways. Other than the high price, our experience was a pleasant one. They kept us entertained with a nice selection of movies and we were fed two meals. My only complaint would be leg room. Anyone over 6' would seriously want to consider upgrading from the World Traveller level because the seats are quite cramped. We are both average in size, so it wasn't much of an issue, but I could tell some people were uncomfortable.

WEATHER
We were in England from September 8 - 17. The weather was darn near perfect during the daytime, and a bit chilly at night. We live in Seattle, so it was fairly similar to what we're experiencing at this time of year. The mornings were a bit overcast, but the sun was out by lunchtime every day. We were able to wear shorts/skirts on a handful of the days. A light jacket/sweater was sufficient for evenings.

RESTAURANTS
We chose reasonably-priced restaurants/pubs throughout the trip (entrees priced at £12 or less). We are fans of pub culture, so you will see that a lot of our meals were found there.

ATM & CREDIT CARDS
Out of a dozen or so ATM machines, we were only able to withdraw cash once. I don't want to create anxiety here, but we took precautions before leaving only to find the card not working once overseas. A week before leaving, we called our bank to make sure the card wouldn't be put on hold due to foreign transactions being made. We also took along approximately $300 in Pounds Sterling. Never having had any trouble with ATM machines overseas in the past, we thought this would be sufficient. We weren't aware, however, of the recently mandated chip & PIN laws in the UK. When we used our cards at restaurants or stores, we had no issues. But, the ATM machines were an entirely different situation. We somehow got cash out once, but were never able to after that one instance. What a mystery! For future trips to the UK, we hope to apply for a chipped card, but will also memorize the PIN numbers for our credit cards should we need them to withdraw cash. Here is a related thread I wish I would have discovered before we left:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessages.jsp?fid=2&tid=34753247&numresponses=65&start=0&keyword=157&searchText=credit+card+chip

Up next: London

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