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are 1st class britrail passes worth the extra bucks?

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Oct 1st, 2000, 11:50 AM
  #1
kathy stenger
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are 1st class britrail passes worth the extra bucks?

I'm getting myself laid off soon and have a little money saved for a vacation, cheap airfare to london,and about 2 weeks.
I've never been overseas and would like to spend a couple days in Ireland also.
york is also a place i want to visit.
are the rail passes always the best way to go ? I think for ist trip i want to see london, dublin and york. any suggestions to some with limited funds,inexpensive places to stay etc.
any suggestions would be apprieciated.
thanks ....kathy
 
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Oct 7th, 2000, 06:43 AM
  #2
Nigel Doran
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You could first of all visit www.thetrainline.com and work out whether your point-to-point fares in either class would be cheaper than a Britrail pass. Sometimes it does, but it does mean that you are more or less stuck with the dates and times you have chosen.
First class is often not worth the great difference in price, but if you are doing a lot of travelling on your Britrail pass and you fancy a splurge, then it would be worth it. Carriages are rarely busy unless you use the early and late trains and there is often complimentary food and drink. I think in two weeks you will have only time to visit a few spots, so a series of one-way tickets might be better than buying a pass that you don't really need.
Buy a guide, get yourself an itinerary sorted out and then try the website above.
 
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Oct 7th, 2000, 06:54 AM
  #3
s!
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Kathy:

I found what I consider a inexpensive hotel rate in London. The Hilton London Olympia has a rate of 77 GBP ($111 US) listed on the Hilton website. $100 bucks for a Hilton seem pretty good to me. You may want to post a message with a heading like "Inexpensive Lodging in London, York and Dublin?" Good luck.
 
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Oct 7th, 2000, 10:26 AM
  #4
Beth Anderson
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HI,

a really nice place to stay, and cheap too (25 pounds single, 35 pounds double) is a B&B called Iolanthe. I have stayed there twice. It is near Golders Green tube stop. maybe 20-25 minutes into central London on the tube - but that area alone is very pretty and worth taking a look around! (very posh area - HUGE house, right on Hampstead Heath).

the owners are Rosy and Simon Gill and I bet they do a lot of business off of my recommendations! Their number is

011-44-181-455-1417 from the States, or try

011-44-0-208-455-1417 (the area codes are changing but there is still a grace period).

Dublin - I stayed in a youth hostel right near Temple Bar, but I stayed in one of their single rooms. small, but very clean. it was about 28 punts, which was maybe 32 bucks. I don't remember the name right off the top of my head. darn it. they do have a website though. wait, Temple House, I think that is it. try doing a search and let me know if you cannot find it.

York - I stayed in a lovely B&B 4 years ago, near York, maybe 4-5 miles out of town. you would need a car though. It was pretty cheap though. about 30 pounds if I recall correctly. It was called the Old Farmhouse and can be found in the Fodor's guide to B&Bs of England Scotland and Wales. sorry I don't have more info on me, I am not at home as I type this.

I always rent a car if I go out of London (you will NOT need or WANT a car in London). so I cannot help you on trains.

if you are going to go to Dublin as well, check into flights BEFORE you leave. Ryanair and Easyjet among others have very cheap flights, but you will have to leave from Stansted if I am not mistaken - a ways away from London itself. You could take a train to Wales and catch the ferry. Wales IS BEAUTIFUL. that would be a nice thing to do actually.

Do not underestimate costs. or travel times. leave yourself a TON of time to travel. public transport is very efficient but rather time consuming. coming from a car culture that can be easy to underestimate - even taking the tube around London can take a while if you are trying to see two (or more) different things in a day, which are not close to each other. I spent a few HOURS on the tube when I was there a few weeks ago - from my friend's house, to Notting Hill, then to East London to visit a different friend, then back to the West End - wow was that a long time on the train.

ok this is becoming a book! email me if you need more help.

Beth
 
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Oct 7th, 2000, 10:30 AM
  #5
Beth Anderson
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one more thing:

if you can swing it, check into car rental costs. you will see a lot more that way - the York area is gorgeous, and so is the trip to Wales. try to go through the Cotswolds. I think a one week rental would not break the bank, you could even take it on the ferry to Ireland if you wanted to. or, probably drop it off in Wales and ferry over & train it back to London.

oooooor, look into flying into one city and out of another. that way you don't have to pay to get back to London. fly to london, hang out a week, rent a car, go to York, go to Wales, drop the car off, and ferry to Dublin, spend 2 or so days there, fly home. there you have it.

Beth
 
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