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London is getting expensive (!) - critique plans please

London is getting expensive (!) - critique plans please

Feb 26th, 2004, 04:44 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 148
London is getting expensive (!) - critique plans please

Trying to figure out the most economical way to cover sightseeing costs. In general-these are the numbers I come up with,--does this seem right??(I'm converting pounds to dollars at a recent rate of 1.883)(prices are for 2 people---)

Plan A -
Great British Heritage Pass $108
Britrail England 8 days consecutive pass (Mon-Mon & includes Gatwick Express) $430
7 day travelcard central zone (Mon-Sun) $72
London Pass 6 days (Tue-Sun) $240
Total plan A - $850

It seems like this plan provides more flexibility for people like us who do not want to plan every activity for every day ahead of time. But then again, the only things outside of London I have my heart set on seeing are the Canterbury area and the Salisbury/Bath/Stonehenge area. Inside London,- Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, and whatever else we may have time for. However when I run the numbers for tours for these sights, the total comes to only slightly more (within $100) of the $850 number above.

Our stay in London will be Monday-Monday.
hunterblu is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 04:59 PM
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For a London stay there is absolutely no reason to get Brit Rail passes. so delete that $430 to start. For any day trip out of London just buy a day return ticket at the station the morning of your journey.

Don't buy your London Transport travel card until you get to London. two 7-day zone 1 travel passes will cost approx $60.

Do not buy the London Pass - especially if you plan on getting GBHP.
janis is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 05:03 PM
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What about your hotel costs? Perhaps you've visiting someone [lucky!] The hotel where we like to stay gave us a very good rate last year but what they offered this year-the same month-is a lot higher. I should probably wait a few monthes.
daph is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 05:20 PM
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I guess there's a lot I don't get.
If you're leaving town for several full day trips, why even buy a 7 day travelcard? Won't you just take the tube in the morning to a train station and then back in the evening? Simply buy a carnet and you'll probably save money in the long run. Maybe do your in London running around on Saturday and Sunday and get a weekend travelcard.

And I can't imagine that you're going to be saving money with the rail pass. INdividual tickets for your destinations have to be less!!

Also I can't believe you'll get your money's worth out of the London Pass or the Great British Heritage Pass. You can't possibly visit enough of the more expensive sites to make either one pay for itself.

My suggestion is, pay for things as you go, and you'll probably save a bundle.
Patrick is offline  
Feb 26th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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Don't forget to check out the 2 for 1 deals for various attractions in and near London that National Rail is offering with the purchase of a ticket valid on the day of your visit to the attraction (Travelcards qualify!).

sandykins is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 03:56 AM
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topping for hunterblu
Feb 27th, 2004, 04:13 AM
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As others have said, you're buying a LOT of passes and services that you won't use. I'm puzzled by your final comment about pricing tours and spending even MORE money. Almost everything you've mentioned is do-able without escorted "tours". Forget about the GBHP and the London Pass, get a 7-day travelcard for Zone 1 of the tube after you arrive.

The only "tour" you might want to look into is for Stonehenge and Bath or Salisbury. Since Stonehenge is a long trip from London and takes an hour or less to actually visit, most package tours also include Bath OR Salisbury. But you can even do this on your own -- take the train to Salisbury and the bus from there to Stonehenge. It's not really feasible to do BOTH cities in one day.
Anonymous is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 02:38 PM
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too many people go to London and spend too much time doing day trips to other places. when they return home they find out they missed most of London itself, which surpasses most of the places they did visit. spend at least four of your days in London and limit the day trips.
earl30 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 03:02 PM
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I must be missing something because I really don't see the savings in not buying passes. Example,- the Astral Stonehenge private access tour for two costs $244.79 (65*2*1.883). Golden Tours Greenwich, Leeds Castle, Canterbury,Dover & Cream Tea costs $207.13 (55*2*1.883). Just these two days alone out of london will cost $451.92, so why not buy the Britrail passes for $430 and travel to these two places without a tour, plus have access to any other place Britrail pass allows should the occasion present itself on the other days?
hunterblu is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 03:17 PM
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Because train tickets to those two destinations will cost you far less than $430. If you don't want a tour, just buy individual train tickets. I think a round trip train ticket from London to Salisbury costs about £20, and a RT bus ticket from Salisbury to Stonehenge costs £5.25, and admission to Stonehenge £5.
pdxgirl is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 03:21 PM
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hunterblu is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 03:34 PM
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You really seem to be confused. A BrtiRail Pass is not a bargain for 80% of visitors. There are some for whome it makes sense - but those are folks who take several long distance train trips (like to Edinburgh, Liverpool, the far southwest, etc) and cannot drive.

For the vast majority of folks a Brit Rail is a waste of money.

Now for comment your specific itinerary - going by train to those few places would probably cost a total of less than $75, $100 if you splurge for 1st class. Even IF you did buy a Brit Rail pass - that would only get you to the towns - not cover your admission charges. Greenwich is basicallly in London and you can reach it easily by tube and/or river boat. Why pay a tour company for a "Cream Tea" when you can have tea anywhere you want and not have to sit with the other 30 folks on your tour bus.

For most visitors the only passes that pay for almost everyone is a 7-day zone 1 travel card bought in any tube station. The London Pass doesn't pay for most folks. And the Great British Heritage Pass saves some money in London - but its big savings come outside of London.

I have spent a LOT of time in London and almost never spend $850 in a week including ALL meals, ALL sightseeing, theatre almost every night, and transport (tube/buses/trains/cabs).
janis is offline  
Feb 27th, 2004, 03:48 PM
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hunterblu: You were posting while I was writing mine. Looks like you finally had a "light bulb" moment and now get it . . . . . .
janis is offline  

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