England and France Visit--Need Tips

Old Apr 12th, 1997, 10:51 PM
Isabel Chan
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England and France Visit--Need Tips

My husband and I are planning a two-week vacation to England and France this summer. We'll be taking our 11-year-old with us. We have never been to Europe and need all the tips we can get. What is the best way to tour the countries? Local tours, rent a car or other? Any tips on where to stay? What to see? Sightseeing is our main interest. As there are three of us travelling, we wish to to travel as economically as possible. Any help we can get would be appreciated.
Old Apr 16th, 1997, 02:47 PM
Chuck Etheridge
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Don't rent a car whatever you do. You'll be surprised how economical and easy to use the mass
transit is over there. If I was in London with my
children, I'd avoid the museums except for maybe
science and industry. Theatre over there is really
cheap, and you'll find that there are a number
of productions that will interest your child. Plus,
there's a 1/2 price ticket booth (for tickets
available that day only) on Leicester square (I'm the kind of doing things cheaply). Consider Madame
Tousseaud's (sp?) Wax Museum, although the crowds will be awful.
Old Apr 18th, 1997, 11:22 AM
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Our travel philosophy is to take tours only if it is a place that you could not otherwise get to or see. That may not be a problem with you since you are renting a car.
Tours are good for information & getting to places, but you always have atleast a busload of people where ever you go & you are on the time schedule of the tour company.
I have used tours in the past & will use them in the future, but I prefer to go places on our own. But everybody can have different philosophies. We are taking our 9 year
old son with us this June to Paris & England. Some of the things we decide to do in Paris is boatride on the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Versailles Palace,
among other things. In England, do the usual sites in London, but also take a boat ride on the Thames up to Greenwich & see the Cutty Sark & Greenwich observatory. Outside of
London, we want to see some castles. An excellent example in Warwick. Also going to Cardiff & Caerphilly castles in Wales - like the people there also. Go to Windsor to
see the Queen's castle. We will be going down to Portsmouth to go through the 3 or 4 old ships that are there. Besides just site seeing, make sure you make time to
get a taste of & be part of the local cultures of the areas that you visit. & understand that there will be a number of things that will not be like they are in the States.
Use that as a positive experience. You can get all sorts of tips from a number of people on what to do & where to go, but you also need to develope a travel
philosophy that is right for you. Get some information from some travel books to help you sift through things. Enjoy & have fun.
Old Apr 18th, 1997, 12:31 PM
Flo P
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I would highly suggest getting a Eurail Pass and forget about the car. In London, Tower of London, Madame Toussauds with the Planetarium next door. Also just walk around - Parliament, Winchester Abbey, Traflagar Square, etc are very near each other. Also Covent Gardens if you are there on a weekend and a stroll around Soho. Other places in Great Britain would be the suggestions for Greenwich and Wales from a previous respone.

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower and the Pompidou center may work with an 11 year-old. Otherwise everthing I like in France would probably not may one that age very happy - Monet's Garden's in Giverny, cathedrals, museums and palaces.
Old Apr 23rd, 1997, 03:09 PM
Lisa Davis
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Old Apr 23rd, 1997, 03:15 PM
Lisa Davis
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My kids loved the Tower of London. The costumed Beefeaters give a great tour, and the history is kind of gory, just right for some young tastes. Also the guards in their tall fur hats are not allowed to talk or smile. What 11 year old can resist trying to tempt them? We also loved Windsor Castle, especially Queen Mary"s doll house, which is like no doll house you have ever seen before. I had to see it twice! Also at Windsor is a private school (Eton?, I forget the name). The students run around the streets in academic garb; I'll bet your child would like that. If you include some sights which appeal to each member of the family, you'll have a great time.
Old Apr 25th, 1997, 10:18 AM
Mike Wilcox
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I you go to Windsor, Please do.... Enjoy the castle, but don't forget to walk around the town and cross the river into Eton. There are some very plesant shops and shopowners there. For dinner make sure to go to LaTaverna. It is located just down the hill from the castle towrd the river and on the corner near the town car park. It is my favourite resteraunt in the world, both for food and the attitude of the servers. When there be sure to get the zoupa da pische (fish soup). It is wonderful.

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