June 1-8 London Sojourn

May 1st, 2009, 02:14 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 33
June 1-8 London Sojourn

I can't wait to go to London but I only have limited means good thing my aunt is going to treat me.

I only spend 3 days in London then day trips to Stonhenge, Bath, Salisbury, and going as well to Edinburgh. I'm thinking of going to Cardiff by myself only without the help of tour agency to see my college friend and her family. While I'm waiting for my aunt and cousin to arrive from a day trip to Paris since I don't have a schengen visa, I will go around Central London. I think I'd just buy a 3 days travel card and museum pass, is museum pass good even though most museums i'm planning to go to are absolutely free? what's the deal with it? Then on June 8 i'm heading to Vancouver. Meeting new people in London would be like reaching the stars but I'm already used to walking alone with my tripod and camera. SHould i always bring a passport with me or just a copy, Oh I'm so excited!!!! Culture Vultures I need you!
christiana_ako is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 09:18 AM
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Just a couple of quick comments right now - I'm dashing off but others will see your questions.

- There is no "museum Pass" in London. As you say, most are free anyway. (There is a "London Pass" but it is not just for museums and is not a good bargain for most visitors)

- You plan on spending an awful lot of time out of London - you really won't have much free time to see/do things. Your first day will be fairly jet lagged. I'd maybe reconsider traveling around so much.

- You might want to e-mail katie at [email protected] and ask her to remove the trip report tag from your post. This is not a trip report - that is what you post after you get back. Many people may not open your thread to help you since they think this is an "after the trip is over" report.
janisj is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 10:54 AM
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Edinburgh is a bloody long way from london. It's one or the other. You chose....

(ps scotchland is a bit crap)
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 11:57 AM
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Am I interpreting your plan correctly?
- June 1 - arrive in London
- June 2 & 3 - London
- June 4 - start side trips
- June 8 - leave for Vancouver

If that's right, June 1 you'll be jet lagged and won't see a whole lot. So really you only have six non-travel/jet lag days. I would do one side trip at the most, and you could spend all six days in London and not run out of things to do. I'm not sure Edinburgh would be worth it; it's a four or five-hour train ride from London, as I recall, so you lose one full day just getting there and back. (I assume that your flight to Vancouver is already booked from London, so you couldn't fly straight from Edinburgh.)

As far as your passport, you don't need to carry it around with you all the time, but I would lock it in a hotel safe when you're not carrying it.
jent103 is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 09:34 PM
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Thanks for your messages, sorry I'm new. I will email Katie.

5 hours will give me jetlag? i'm going from JEDDAH, Saudi

I always take 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon as i get up so early in the morning and stay out until 12 mn whenever I have a tour and this helps me regain my enegry.

June 1 arrive at 3 am in heathrow. madame tussauds, southbank, london eye at night.
june 2 total london experience (guided tour booked by aunt)
june 3 salisbury, bath and stonehenge (same as above)
june 4 edinburgh (this i have to reconsider bec of comments, good thing i haven't booked this yet)
june 5 london
june 6 london
june 7 london
june 8 11:30 flight to vancouver

so should i get the london pass or not? probably the travel pass i would get or is oyster enough?

Many Thanks!
christiana_ako is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 10:18 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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OK, I didn't realize where you were coming from. You likely won't have much jet lag due to the time difference, but if you really arrive at 3 in the morning, well, that will make for a very, very long day! Or did you mean 3:00 in the afternoon?

With Edinburgh, I think you might want to consider either giving it an overnight trip, or removing it altogether in favor of either more time in London or another day trip, depending on your interests. Just the train ride to Edinburgh is 4.5-5 hours one way, so it's very hard to do a day trip there. You could also take the sleeper train, which is longer but runs overnight so you end up in Edinburgh in the morning.
jent103 is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 10:36 PM
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I agree that you should remove Edinburgh from this trip. It would just be too much travel time. There are plenty of other places to visit in London itself. The British Museum, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, etc...
see_the_world7 is offline  
May 1st, 2009, 11:11 PM
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Are you sure you arrive at 0300? I thought there was a strict curfew at LHR - sure used to be.
janisj is offline  
May 2nd, 2009, 01:54 AM
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1. You can't arrive at Heathrow at 0300 UK time. No flights arrive before 0500

2. As everyone has told you, there's absolutely no point in getting the London Pass. Why you're still asking the question is incomprehensible, as a second on its website will show you it doesn't get you into the places you want to see anyway.

3. If you're short of cash, there's also no point in wasting it at Mme Tussauds. London's stuffed with interesting free stuff: the waxworks is both extortionately expensive and completely pointless.

No doubt others will say they liked it. Very possibly - but they didn't start their holiday preoccupied with cash constraints.
flanneruk is online now  
May 2nd, 2009, 03:22 AM
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Oops, sorry. I am going to arrive at 6 am not 3 am, does that sound sensible? I would ask again my travel agent but he's going to pull my hair this time as I always bug him.

Re: cash constraints. Even I want to slap myself for being so frugal. But I wouldn't miss the good attactions even if I have to pay. but Id really find cheap things to do. A friend told me Id already be entertained just observing the activities there. Plus the fact that I still have to spend 22 days in Vancouver, but I don't worry much as I am staying with my uncle's family.

I went to Alexandria, Egypt last Nov 2008 and the best time I had there was a 30-cent bus ride along the corniche and finally hopping off the alex bridge to observe local activities.

Good thing I'm only paying $25 dollars for a Hilton accommodation (staff rate) and it has free breakfast.

I seem to doubt about the london pass because the attractions they put there are either free or i don't even want to see.

Edinburgh - 4 hours train ride just to get there, no way. I could be finishing 2 walks for that time.

Hop on Hop off bus good or not?

Many many thanks to all of you. I already know I'd besaving a lot of money for all your advices.

I'd probably go back to Fodor's to make a proper trip report once my soujourn is finished! ^_^
christiana_ako is offline  
May 2nd, 2009, 04:27 AM
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Some people like the hop-on hop-off buses as a means of seeing the sights (at least from the outside) with a bit of introduction from a guide: but they're not cheap. You can also use the ordinary service buses to get to and from the main attractions:

and if you do a bit of research with a guidebook you can use the buses to make a similar sort of itinerary for yourself.

If you get yourself a travelcard you can also get one-third off boat trips on the river.
PatrickLondon is online now  
May 2nd, 2009, 05:30 AM
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Posts: 5,521
Use your Edinburgh day to go to Cardiff. It's less than 2 hours by train from Paddington and makes a good day trip. For cheap people watching, go to any of the parks and sit on a bench or head for Covent Garden with its street entertainers.
VirginiaC is offline  
May 2nd, 2009, 08:23 AM
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If you plan on visiting Cardiff, I'd book the train tickets in advance. Two one ways will probably cost less than a discounted round trip. A train ticktet form London to Cardiff will cost more if you buy it on the day of travel. Check prices and schedules on www.nationalrail.co.uk I had been to Cardiff last year and I had paid just under GBP 30 for two one way tickets. You can book your tickets online and pick them up at a rail stn in London. You need to specify which rail station when making your reservation. Check which rail stn is near your hotel. Pick up your rail tickets early in your visit and you can use the tickets for discounts at attractions in London. Here's a link to the website that has information about which attractions participate in the 2 for 1 offers:- http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/attrac...or1london.aspx

Re: Hop on hop off bus, I've never used this bus, it's a good way to visit the sights in a short time. You can use the regular London buses too. If you travel around by regular bus you will have to use a few different bus routes to get to the main tourist sights. The hop on hop off bus will cost you much more than the regular buses. If you plan on travelling around by bus only (and not by underground) you can buy a bus pass when you are in London. You can buy a one week bus pass which will cost less than buying a bus pass everyday. However, a bus pass is not valid on the underground. Underground passes are valid on buses too. Not sure if you plan on travelling by bus, underground or both. Buy your transit pass accordingly.

The only other comment I have is regarding the London Eye. It's best to go up when the weather is clear. So, I'd be flexible as to which day you go on the London Eye, depending on the weather.
retiredinflorida is offline  
May 2nd, 2009, 03:15 PM
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I chose to ride the London eye at night but I'll see what I can do if I still have the time or probably not. Thanks for the advise regarding the bus hop on and off.

I just received a message from my cousin that she included me on their Edinburgh trip. I think i'm still going to enjoy it as it would be my first time to meet her (they live in the US) and my aunt so 4 hours back and forth would give us the chance to talk and know each other. There's always better things to do in London. It would be a blast no matter what I could be doing there.

I'm getting the travel pass without the london pass, since I won't be spending anymore on the edinburgh trip.

I'll see if I can go to Cardiff as well to see my college friend.

I visited the 2for1 site, really interesting i'd check out some more later.

Thank you guys, I really appreciate you accommodating my concerns even though I'm in the wrong forum.

What about the luggages? I'm planning to take 1 roll-on luggage that carries 20 pounds and one that carries 10 pounds for my hand carry.

I also have tickets to the ceremony of the keys, is that even good? But I might be late for it as i'd be going from salisbury on that day.

Many thanks!!!!
christiana_ako is offline  
May 2nd, 2009, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,248
You're in the right forum - no worries! If you're referring to janis's comment about emailing Katie, she was just saying that you'd accidentally described your post as a trip report (instead of just a regular question).

You CANNOT be late for the Ceremony of the Keys. They won't let you in. So you might need to rethink your plans for Salisbury.

I really, really think you don't want to add in yet another day trip to Cardiff. Could you see if your friend could meet you in London so you can see more there? If you went to Cardiff, you'd be left with 2.5 days in London at the most. That's just not very much time at all.

As far as luggage goes, just take as little as you can. Wheels will be very helpful. How are you planning to get into London from Heathrow? If you're taking the tube or Heathrow Express or Connect, remember you may have to carry your luggage up stairs, or walk awhile from the tube to your hotel.
jent103 is offline  
May 2nd, 2009, 05:38 PM
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As jent103 says - you cannot be even one minute late to the keys ceremony. They are very strict about being on time -- 9:30 sharp. You could make it back from Salisbury by then for sure -- but I'd still re-think going out of town on a day when you have a firm appointment like that.

The suggestion for your friend to come up to London to see you is excellent. The two of you could do something in London instead of taking so much time out of the city -- Unless you just want to see Cardiff.
janisj is offline  
May 3rd, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Posts: 33
Thank you for your responses. I got my U visa today so not I'm planning full force!

It turns out:
June 1 and 2 London
June 3 Salisbury trip
June 4 Edinburgh
June 5 - 7 London
June 8 flight to Vancouver

I guess this should be a good itinerary for me. I cannot re-think the going out of town as it was booked by my cousin and they are treating me for these two out of town trips so I'm already grateful as it is.

With Salisbury trip. I'd probably be back to London by 7 or 7:30 pm so i'd have plenty of time for the Ceremony of the keys. I hope!

I think I have to do a raincheck on cardiff trip.

I will be arriving to heathrow. Thank you for the advice on the luggage, I can check the things i'd be bring for two more times and as what they say, i'd be bringing hald of what I really need!

I really want to go see the madame tussaud's, and body world exhibition.

It was kind of a relief when my aunt didn't book the Total London experience guided tour as i really want to see major attractions by myself. Take time to photograph every detail. I would enjoy more than listen to a tour guide and give me 5-10 minutes to picture taking.

Thank you very much for the advice, please feel free to tell me more! where can I find chinese food? i am really craving for a delicious dimsum!

christiana_ako is offline  
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