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Best way to get to Nottingham, from a UK airport or central London

Best way to get to Nottingham, from a UK airport or central London

Old Jun 11th, 2009, 12:46 PM
  #1  
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Best way to get to Nottingham, from a UK airport or central London

I want to get to Nottingham for an event, either Sept. 21 or 22.
I am flying into Madrid a few days earlier. I may go directlyto Nottingham, or I may spend a night or two in London or another UK city before heading to Nottingham.
I can get to the UK via Ryanair or EasyJet, and maybe other airlines, but I am trying to figure out the best airport, and method.

It appears that from central London, I have two options to get to Nottingham. Please let me know if there are others.
* From Victoria Coach Station, take a National Express bus. The time is about 2:30. Tickets can be as cheap as 5 pounds.
* From London St. Pancras, take a train. The time is about 1:30. Tickets can be as cheap as 17 pounds.

Alternatives:
From London Luton airport, I think I could get to Luton (town) and take a bus, which knocks some time off the journey from central London.
I could fly to Nottingham - East Midlands Airport, but options are much fewer for this route.
I could fly to Manchester. But I can't find a quick way to get from Manchester to Nottingham, which is surprising considering they aren't that far apart. But so far as I can see, it's a lengthy process on either Transpeak or National Express.
I could fly to Liverpool. But the time from Liverpool to Nottingham seems even worse.

I would not mind seeing more of the Midlands, but I'm surprised that it seems so awkward to get to Nottingham from Liverpool or Manchester. Any ideas?

Also, how attractive is Nottingham as a destination in its own right?
WillTravel is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2009, 01:13 PM
  #2  
 
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Nottingham is just over two hours by train from Manchester - not sure you can beat that.

The National Rail website seems to like routing you through Wilmslow which save you about 15 mins at the cost of an extra change. If you want a simpler trip use the advanced search options to route yourself via Manchester Piccadilly which is just one change - local train from the airport to the city and then the express all the way to Nottingham. This does push you up to 2.5 hours though - mostly because you have to wait at Piccadilly (plenty of time to get a coffee, use an ATM etc. though.)

Nottingham is nice enough, not somewhere I'd fly halfway around the world to see though.
Pete_R is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2009, 01:15 PM
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My personal opinion: Nottingham is kind of fun for a day. I was just there a couple of weeks ago; we went to the castle (more a museum) and spent the afternoon shopping (there are a lot of stores not near me in the States). Past a day, though, I'm not aware of anything that exciting.

As far as getting there, there are lots of trains from St Pancras that stop at Luton Parkway. It looks like there's a frequent shuttle between the airport and rail station. That seems like it could be your most flexible option, if there are lots of flights from Madrid to Luton and you don't want to fly into East Midlands. See http://www.london-luton.co.uk/en/con...3/by-rail.html.

For whatever it's worth, as best I can tell the bus service from East Midlands airport will drop you a bit closer to the town centre (Market Square) than the train would. Of course, how relevant that is depends on your plans in Nottingham, and the train station is only a 10-15 minute walk from the Council House.
jent103 is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2009, 01:41 PM
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There are direct trains to Nottingham from:
- Luton Airport Parkway
- Liverpool South Parkway (5 mins from LPL airport by bus)

There's a one-change train from
- Birmingham International (the station at Birmingham airport), changing at Birmingham New Street

And a two-change train from:
- Manchester airport, unless you go into town first

There are VERY occasional one-change trains from Stansted, but mostly they involvce three changes

East Midlands is the easiest airport for Nottingham : Madrid isn't a terribly popular destination (most people go to the coastal resorts), so you're going to be struggling.

Liverpool or Luton seem the obvious alternatives to EMA: I really wouldn't mess with anything that involved going into London unless you want to go to London.

There's no fast way from South Lancashire to Nottingham. Although one version of the history of organised travel claims it started when Mr Thomas Cook organised a trip from Nottingham to Liverpool, there's been next to no traffic between the two since. The trains are definitely leisurely.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2009, 02:05 PM
  #5  
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I can't find a train that goes from Nottingham to Liverpool in under three hours. Am I missing something? Maybe Liverpool is still a good option, but I'm failing to see why it's better than London given the time it takes.

I want to see the pre-Raphaelite collection in Liverpool, but there are also lots of things left to see in LOndon.
WillTravel is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2009, 02:50 PM
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I thought Thomas Cook's first excursion was a temperance outing from Loughborough to Leicester, or it could have been the other way round. Loughborough is not a place to visit sober.
chartley is offline  
Old Jun 12th, 2009, 02:41 AM
  #7  
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I've decided on the following itinerary for the UK portion of my trip. It was a combination of convenience and cost. I wanted to avoid early morning departures from Madrid so that I could easily take the metro to/from the airport and not pay for a taxi. I was always interested in visiting Cambridge, and I see a perfect opportunity here. I'll get a day in London on the way back. I won't get Liverpool or Manchester, but that will have to be another trip.

The Ryanair roundtrip fare, with every last fee considered, including checked luggage, web check-in, and credit card fees, is 90.64 Euros. The ticket prices were 0 cents, but you know how Ryanair adds fees. Still, 45 Euros each way to the UK and back is hardly anything to complain about.

Sept. 19 - fly MAD-STN, and take the National Express 50-minute bus ride from Stansted Airport to Cambridge.
Sept. 20 - evening, take the train from Cambridge to Nottingham (about 2.5 hours). Booked in advance, it looks like I can get an 18-pound fare. This is more convenient than the bus. I'll have one full day to explore Nottingham before my event.
Sept. 24 - evening, take the train to St. Pancras.
Sept. 25 - evening, go to Stansted Airport and take a flight to Madrid.
WillTravel is offline  
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