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Destination Benson; help with 2 options, please

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Destination Benson; help with 2 options, please

Old Jan 28th, 2015, 01:55 PM
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Destination Benson; help with 2 options, please

This July, we'll be visiting friends in Germany (Bremen) before flying to England for a week bare-boating (with other friends) on the Thames. We pick up the boat in Benson.

One option is to fly direct from Bremen to London Stansted. But it looks pretty convoluted to get to Benson from Stansted (must go into London and back out).

So one other option is to fly (also direct from Bremen) to Edinburgh instead, spend the night and then take the train down to Oxford and bus or taxi to Benson. Thought we could at least see some of England that way, and avoid the hassle of trying to navigate London with our luggage and a DH who dislikes large cities.

Is the Edinburgh train trip a worthwhile investment of a day? Do you see much from the train?

This is our first trip to England so we're not familiar with what countryside we might see on a train from Edinburgh to Oxford. Nor do we know if there's really an easy way from Stansted to Benson and we'd be smarter to do that. Advice, please!
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 02:19 PM
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mmm - I had to go to google.maps to find Benson, and I'm none the wiser.

do you have a link showing us where it is?
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 02:44 PM
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Benson really isn't a place. It is a marina in Wallingford.

Stansted makes no sense at all. And Edinburgh makes even less sense. The ONLY airport you should consider is heathrow.
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 04:13 PM
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Sorry, annhig! I didn't realize Benson wasn't considered a real town. Google Maps says it's a village near Wallingford.

Those two airports are what's available directly from Bremen on Ryanair, which I was considering because of the cost. I agree, janisj, that Stansted is not handy if there's no way to get cross-country without going into London. I take it that's correct?
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 07:34 PM
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>>Stansted is not handy if there's no way to get cross-country without going into London.
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 07:35 PM
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Maybe if flanner (our resident Oxfordshire transport expert) sees your thread he'll have a better idea.
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Old Jan 28th, 2015, 07:38 PM
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I meant to also add -- I'd be surprised if there are no airlines that serve Heathrow from Bremen. . .

Have you tried AirBerlin or GermanWings????
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Old Jan 29th, 2015, 09:06 AM
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according to Kayak, you can also fly from Hamburg to LGW [easyjet] and from Hannover to LHR. [BA]

i searched for Bremen to LHR but ticked the "include nearby" button. it's showing fares of £48 and £58 respectively.

Hannover -Heathrow is the obvious route as it puts you in the best place for Wallingford. The train from Bremen to Hannover airport apparently takes just 2 hours with departures every 30 mins. it may depend on the flight departure times of course, whether it's a viable option.

good luck - it looks as if there may be no ideal answer.
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Old Jan 29th, 2015, 09:16 AM
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I just checked - GermanWings serves LHR from Bremen starting April 15 but bookable now.
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Old Jan 29th, 2015, 11:25 AM
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Benson (once known as Bensington) certainly is a separate place from Wallingford. It's on the other side of the Thames, and until 1974 they were in different counties.
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Old Jan 29th, 2015, 02:01 PM
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Thanks again, everyone. janisj, it does look like we could take GermanWings at a good price, if we go a day earlier than needed (they don't go on the Saturday we need), so thanks for that suggestion. I'm trying to avoid going in to London for my DH's sake. He's game to go most anywhere with me but he doesn't really like big cities and not knowing where he's going stresses him out. The more logistics I can have figured out in advance, the better.

I was just exploring the Edinburgh train option as a way to see some more of England, since this may be our only trip here. So while we'll probably end up with the LHR option, since it's the simplest, is there pretty scenery viewable from taking a train down to Oxford from Edinburgh?
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Old Jan 29th, 2015, 08:22 PM
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Last Year I took the train from Edinburgh to York, spent a couple of nights there then the train to Oxford. There are a few nice bits between Edinburgh and York or more precisely Durham. From York to Oxford, not much at all. This year I'm looking at going from EDB to OXF and there are several choices as to routes depending on which train you take. Note that you will have to change trains at either Newcastle or Wolverhampton. It'll take about 5 hours and 40 minutes and looking at the different routes, I have pretty much concluded that the chance of any nice scenery is pretty much nil. Personally, I'd give the train trip a miss this time. It's simply not worth the time or trouble.

You do not have to go into London from LHR. You can catch the bus at T5 or the central bus station in Heathrow which will take you to Oxford. There will be taxis at Gloucester Green, Oxford Centre which will likely be willing to take you to Benson or you could book a taxi service in advance.
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Old Jan 29th, 2015, 09:44 PM
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There are National Express buses every couple of hours from Stansted to Oxford. About 3 to 3.5 hrs, depending on traffic.

If you want to avoid the expense of a taxi, there's an X40 bus direct from central Oxford to Benson Marina every 30 mins, taking about 20 mins. See
Traveline.info

Don't jetset in and out of the area. Wallingford's got more history crammed into less space than almost anywhere in Britain: Alfred the Great designed its walls, for example. Town (DON'T call Wallingford a village) explains all this on its website: but do try to find time for Ewelme, just up the road.

Amazing tomb of Chaucer's grand-daughter, terrific almshouses and JK Jerome's grave: just like any other decent village.

The best bit, though is its primary school. Oldest continuously functioning school building in the country - and about five times a year you can get in when they serve tea. Timetable at http://www.ewelmeprimaryschool.com/?...alp_item_id=34
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Old Jan 29th, 2015, 10:00 PM
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PS: "Benson really isn't a place" Bollocks.

Admittedly, the rot set in when some pillock stuck a modern tower on the village's medieval church in the 18th century, and some even greater pillock rebuilt the chancel a century later. But the nave's 12th century and Benson's got a couple of thriving boozers well away from the tat round the marina.

It does have a bit of that glorified suburb feeling you get in a lot of Thameside villages, and it's in one of the few pockets within 100 miles where development isn't virtually banned by Green Belt or AONB restrictions.

But Benson's functioning Anglican church, pubs and (admittedly these days only part-time) post office more than meet the definition of a proper village.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 04:31 AM
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Ah the "Lewis" murder weir.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 09:04 AM
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Historytraveler, that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for, so now I'll cross off the train option and concentrate on plane schedules and pricing. Jannisj and annhig, I wasn't questioining your earlier advice; just didn't want to miss a chance to see more if it was worth doing. Flanneruk, thanks for your info and insights. May come back with some more questions but you've given me homework for now!
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