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JimF Aug 20th, 2006 07:23 PM

Cost of visiting England beginning to be discussed...
In planning a spring trip to Rome, Paris and London, I have been constantly surprised by the differences in expenses between the three countries. Generally, England is MUCH more expensive for similar items.

This morning's TIMES elevates the discussion to a new level:,00.html

Matters not. We love the place so much we'll just groan and bear it.


Carrybean Aug 21st, 2006 02:40 AM

Same here but I'm more savvy now about where to buy things & rent a flat which saves a lot.

BTilke Aug 21st, 2006 02:51 AM

It is true about everyday items being more expensive in the UK than on the continent. When we come back from car trips to France, Belgium, or Germany, the car is loaded up with everyday supplies like detergent, dog food, coffee, wine, etc., all of which are cheaper over there.

pentway Aug 21st, 2006 03:05 AM

Hi.. I dont know what type of holiday you are looking for but I live in the north of England 30 miles north of Manchester.. and everyday things are cheaper up here than in London we have a lot to offer, castles, stately homes beautiful countryside, and a warm welcome.. Food for thought.

W9London Aug 21st, 2006 03:12 AM


Ah. That's exactly why we go to CostCo--another fantastic American concept!

As for the price of renting a cottage, how much does a Manhattanite pay for Hampton cottaes these days?

flanneruk Aug 21st, 2006 03:15 AM

The Sunday Times runs a "rip-off Britain" story every six months or so.

Britain may or may not be extraordinarily expensive. But a story about it in one of Mr Murdoch's organs is merely a sign that Murdoch Towers can't dream up any new Fads of the Month.

Incidentally, the cover price of The Sunday Times is now £1.80. Are there any other Sunday papers elsewhere in the world charging that much for so much hot air?

caroline_edinburgh Aug 21st, 2006 04:24 AM

This is probably why most Brits don't holiday in Britain ! And the weather of course...

ira Aug 21st, 2006 04:33 AM

>A meal in a family restaurant starts at around £25 a head....

>a 120-mile train journey in Britain was 65% more expensive than any other similar train journey in the world.<

Oh C'mon.....


Sue_xx_yy Aug 21st, 2006 05:55 AM

Climate and cost of agricultural produce are not independent variables, and climate varies considerably between those three cities/respective countries.

Distance from the holiday rental cottage to nearest major city would affect price. Just about anywhere in GB would be nearer a major city than a random spot chosen in Italy or FRance.

GB is an island (although some dispute this, arguing it is but a conspiracy involving, amongst others, the publishers of atlases and the makers of aircraft) - and such geography generally increases cost of goods.

Summmary: Densely populated foggy island in northern latitude is expensive, but loveable anyway.

GSteed Aug 21st, 2006 06:45 AM

Immigrants are flooding into the London area. They are occupying the least expensive housing. Tourists are now faced with a limited supply of housing. Tourist demand is high, hence prices are up.

Dukey Aug 21st, 2006 06:52 AM

I ahd breakfast in a New York City hotel yesterday morning and happened to be sitting between two British couples on holiday.

If it is any comfort to anyone, they all thought that New York is 'expensive' despite what I would consider a favorable exchange rate.

At this stage, I would think surprise might have given way to acceptance or at least dogged recognition as to prices in the UK, especially in London which has been pricey for as long as I've been going there and that started back in 1970.

alan64 Aug 21st, 2006 07:01 AM

I've found that traveling in the north of England (as pentway mentions) to be much more affordable than London. I've had B&B's in Yorkshire & Lancashire at under 40GBP a night. Pints in the pub are less, as are dinners. London's fun, but after a couple days I want to head north to the Dales!

audere_est_facere Aug 21st, 2006 07:23 AM

I was in Norfolk this weekend – hotel room £40 a night, beer £2.50ish a pint (for the good stuff – mass market swilling stuff for less) and a really good meal for £25.00

I really don’t think England’s expensive…However remember that our minimum wage is over $10 an hour, so overheads are expensive.

janisj Aug 21st, 2006 09:45 AM

A £600 cottage - of course there are - but there are just as many £250 or £300 cottages.

And even if meals are more expensive in London - when you consider all the free museums/galleries you can visit London as cheaply as Paris or Rome.

When people complain about a £25 or £30 meal in the UK, for some reason they don't complain about paying €10 or €15 to enter a gallery in Italy

Don't get me wrong - parts of the UK are expensive and especially in London. But there are easy ways to budget -- w/o scrimping.

JimF Aug 21st, 2006 10:13 AM

Excellent point, janisj. Just for grins, I believe I will review costs from total perspective on our trip, since we will be doing similar activities city-to-city, and compare. The no-fee factor in London is, indeed, significant.

I will be curious to find out if it offsets other expenses for our family, to make all three about the same.


jsmith Aug 21st, 2006 08:09 PM

The Swiss bank, UBS, just released a report "Prices and Earnings - A comparison of purchasing power around the globe / 2006 edition" which probably accounts for the rash of articles in newspapers and magazines.

They have been preparing this report since 1970 and this is the 13 edition.
this year it's 52 pages.

They surveyed 122 goods and services and earnings for 14 professions in 71 cities around the globe.

They recognize that using one figure for a category may be simplistic (my word). The methodology for the pricing table says "The cost of a weighted shopping basket geared to Western European consumer habits containing 122 goods and services".

Further "The effetive cost of living in one city may vary considerably depending on the area, lifestyle or life cycle".

Bill_Bolton Aug 21st, 2006 08:39 PM

We are about to commence a 7 week trip through Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Our forecast average daily cost for each country is pretty much the same, allowing for some differences in travel method etc. This based on both previous experience in the countries concerned and some serious resarch on current prices.

We are generally travelling at 3 to 4 star standard with a few B&Bs thrown in.

This time, the nearest we plan to get to London in the UK is flying into/out of Heathrow, but will be visiting some other major Engish cities. I certainly agree that the cost of visiting London is very high.... but not as high as visiting New York!!!!



Bill_Bolton Aug 21st, 2006 08:40 PM

Oppos that should have been Germany, Switzerland, Italy AND the UK! (red face}

Dukey Aug 22nd, 2006 12:33 AM

I think with the exchange rate and some of the 350 Pounds PLUS hotel rooms "available" in London it can be just as, if not even more, expensive than New York!

caroline_edinburgh Aug 22nd, 2006 03:23 AM

London is much more expensive than New York. That's why lots of Brits do regular shopping trips to NY, especially in the run up to Christmas.

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