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Best way to see England and Wales, mother daughter bucket list trip

Best way to see England and Wales, mother daughter bucket list trip

Old Jan 17th, 2013, 12:36 PM
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As said the driving issues will be, manual gear stick, drive on the left (so wheel is on the right, pedals don't change round but the gerar stick does), roads in Wales are narrow. None of this should worry you and your mind will compensate. The one thing it will not do is remind you to drive on the Left. So that is what your mother has to do "drive on the right".

Did I mention roundabouts...?
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 01:57 PM
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yes, you can catch a train called the Heathrow Express to Paddington, then the train to Cardiff from Paddington.

but the direct coach from Heathrow to Cardiff looks like a much better idea, unless you really dislike coach travel.
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 03:29 PM
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We spent two weeks in Cardiff 4-5 years ago. Lovely city. We took the bus from Victoria Station to Cardiff for 9Pounds each. We bought the tickets early and on sale. We were in London already. In Cardiff, the bus station is beside the rail station, basically. Once in Cardiff, there are several things to see: The castle is interesting. The covered open air market is great. There are some well preserved Roman bath ruins a few miles out. Drop by the tourist office to see about bus trip there and back. Swan Sea was a nice bus one day trip. If you drink beer, try a Brains beer. Makes Guinness look pale.
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 06:40 PM
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Roundabouts and stick shifts are not an issue. (I can drive a 47 Ford tractor on a side sloped hill, and got hopelessly lost looking for Hyannis Port in a roundabout, I know their evils!) and thanks for the car rental sites.

I'm discovering alot with all the suggestions here and really appreciate the details.

Sounds like I'm leaning towards to bus from Heathrow to Cardiff, rent a car, then rail back to London to stay ??

jkbritt, did you like where you stayed in Cardiff? Did you rent a car while there or were you able to see it all from busses and trains? Fodors has some nice places they recommend. And I will be sure to try the Brains, I love a good dark beer.

Question, do hoilday inn free nights with points apply overseas? We accumulate them quickly. I'd love to stay close to the $100/ night range, give or take $50 depending on location, but if necessary we can inch a wee bit higher. Looks like we may be able to hit that in Cardiff but London might be another chunk of egg money.
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Old Jan 17th, 2013, 09:30 PM
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AFAIK all the major chains have loyalty programs that work in the UK - including Holiday Inn.

I'd try to use your HI points in London because that is where rooms cost the most. Out in the countryside of Wales you'll probably stay in B&Bs which are very inexpensive.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 03:21 AM
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I wasn't able to post yesterday so I'm trying again.
It is worth you finding out exactly where Granny was from as Swansea today doesn't have any pits. It is likely they may have lived outside Swansea(but when recounted in a country a long way away, translated into Swansea). The Swansea valley however and many other valleys around here had many pits.People didn't always live where they worked. Its part of history that some walked a long way every day to get to work.
This is important in deciding whether you need a car to make best use of your visit.
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 02:40 PM
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Frances, we are in the process of attempting to find out anything we can about the family history, but just being in the area will be very special and something to hang a bit of history to in the future. I wonder if there are any places there in the Swansea area that have genealogical records that we might be able to peruse....
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 02:44 PM
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Have you tried the census records on-line?
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:18 AM
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Hi Pigfeathers,
I live in Cardiff and would be happy to help if I can.

Transport from London is quite straight forward.
Either. Hire a car for the duration,
Get the train from Paddington around 1 hr 45
Get national express bus- http://www.nationalexpress.com/home.aspx
or Megabus- http://uk.megabus.com

Car out of london can be a drag due to the M4 traffic.
Train from Paddington can be very reasonable depending upon the time and day you travel. National express is good value and megabus is cheap as chips.
All stop in Cardiff City Center.

You can easily arrange this yourself. Cardiff is full of hotels for every budget all in close proximity to the bus and train station.

Swansea is 1 hour away by car/bus and less than that by train.

As Frances mentioned, Swansea is a City and did not specifically have pits, although the swansea Valley and surrounding areas did. There were hundreds.

I found this list of a few collieries in the area, its not definitive but may help.
Abercrave Colliery, Henrwydd
Birchgrove Colliery
Bath, H.& Son (Copper Ore Mining), Tyrllandwr
Cwmllynfell Colliery, Ystradgynlais
Llansamlet Colliery, Gwernllynwith, Llansamlet
Primrose Colliery, Pontardawe
Vivian & Sons Colliery, Hafod
Waunclawdd Colliery, Ystalyfera

Do you have any other place names to go on?

Do you know where in Cardiff the family are from?

Within cardiff, Bus travel is quite good.
Depending where you are going of course.
You can get an all day ticket for £3.20 and use all cardiff busses all day.

Lots to see here, cardiff bay is the old docks area that has in recent years been regenerated, the home of the Welsh government is here. We also have the Millenium Center which is a world class theatre, used for many things from Musicals to ballet to opera.
White water rafting centre, international pool, sailing and speedboat trips, Norwegian church and even a new Dr Who exhibition. All within a bout 2 square miles, not to mention pubs and restaurants.

Cardiff center has Cardiff castle, National museum of Wales, Cardiff University is here and some beautiful shopping arcades with individual shops as well as the new St David's 2 shopping centre which covers most things.

The home of Welsh Rugby Millennium stadium, stands in the middle of town next to the river Taff, wedged in between offices restaurants and pubs.
Probably not all for you but worth mentioning just the same.

Cardiff has a new Library where you could possibly do some research, resource here is electronic but still has newspapers from a very long time ago viewable on screen. Staff here and also at the national museum of wales are very knowledgable as you would expect and may be able to help you.
We also have Llandaff Cathedral, Castle Coch, Caerphilly Castle and the Museum of Welsh life at St Fagans.

Let me know if you need any specific local information, don't dismiss arranging this trip by yourself, it can be done quite easily.

One thing that I would recommend is probably best to hire a car for the areas outside of the city especially if your heading up through the Welsh valleys.

Good luck

Muck
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 12:31 AM
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Just checked the Cardiff and area telephone directory, but there are no Rotgers there at all.
Is that spelling correct?
Or no one stayed behind

Muck
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 06:53 AM
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Pigfeathers your grandmother's birth certificate will tell you where she was born and she may well have kept this safe. Alternately she may have had a family bible which will have room in the first few pages for such information about her family. This is likely to be a big heavy book covered in black leather and possibly with a metallic clasp to keep it closed.
If you cannot find any of these perhaps you would like to give us your grandmothers name and date of birth and if possible the manes of her parents. If you don't know these its very possible that the eldest of your grandmother's children bear the names of their grandparents.
I also searched Rotgers and came up with this as a christian name with connections to Germany and the low countries. It is very possible that this was misspelt at some time. Maybe it is Rogers?
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 06:54 AM
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Forgot to mention that if your Gran sailed to the States she may well have done so out of Liverpool. Liverpool has a fascinating Maritime Museum.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 07:16 AM
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FYI, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Mayfair (London) on points (25000/nt). One of the better uses / values for points that I've found. Excellent location.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 07:24 AM
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I understand the immigration officers in NY tended to write down people's names as they felt they should be spelled. It may be that Rogers or Rodgers was changed into Rotgers.
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Old Jan 20th, 2013, 07:39 AM
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Have to recommend Hay-On-Wye and Hereford.

http://www.hay-on-wye.co.uk/info/hay-on-wye.htm

Good luck!
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 07:58 PM
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Ethel Williams was my mothers grandma. We know very little about her except that she lived in Swansea. We do not even know if she had brothers and sisters as she came from Wales alone. I am attempting to get some dates and birthyear. We know she was somehow tied to the Rotger (sp) family, a very wealthy family who had a castle in Germany that was destroyed in the war. (Again, looking for more details.) The mystery is how was Nanny (Ethel) tied to the Rotger (checking on the spelling..) family and why did she leave Wales alone as a 17 year old girl, and had ties to her "Aunt" Lilly Rotger.... We don't know how this piece of the puzzle fits.

Muck, can you recommend a few reasonably priced B&B's that would be easy to access the public transit and would give us a good stay there in Cardiff? OR have reasonable parking rates if we do rent a car for the time there.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 11:10 PM
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There are hotels in the city centre that have parking and are reasonably priced providing there is not a concert or rugby match on.
Try:-
Park Inn by Radisson (city centre location <10 mins walk from station)
Radisson Blue-(city centre location <10 mins walk from station)
Holiday Inn- Overlooking Cardiff Castle and the Millennium stadium <5 mins walk to station)
There is a Marriott, Hilton, or the Angel Hotel.
There are plenty of others too.

If it's specifically smaller B&B you want you might like to google Cathedral road B&B.
Cathedral rd is very close to the city centre usually there is parking available.
Cathedral road is around 10-15 mins walk from the station.

If you want budget hotels, try ibis, travelodge, and I believe we have a Premier Travel Inn too.
These may have limited parking.

There are plenty of car parks in Cardiff but they are not exactly cheap, although your hotel may have a deal at one of them.

The best B&B around the centre are on Cathedral road.
Muck
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 11:12 PM
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Just did a lengthy reply and it didn't show up !!!!!!!!!

Will re do later !

Damn computers will never catch on.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 11:12 PM
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oh it did...................... weird !!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 02:40 AM
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Pigfeathers, I am also considering a jaunt into Wales from London next June.

To set the mood, I recently watched the film HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY which won the 1941 Academy Award for Best Picture. Stars Walter Pigeon, Maureen O’Hara, Roddy McDowell, produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. The film “tells the story of the Morgans, a close, hard-working Welsh family at the turn of the twentieth century in the South Wales coalfield at the heart of the South Wales Valleys. It chronicles a socio-economic way of life passing and the family unit disintegrating.”

I think that you and your mum would enjoy the movie. Have a great time…
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