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London, Liverpool, Scotland Itinerary

Old Apr 21st, 2014, 09:50 AM
  #1  
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London, Liverpool, Scotland Itinerary

I have come up with a tentative itinerary for our upcoming trip. I would love any feedback.

Sunday, June 29, arrive London in am. Day open

Monday, June 30, Harry Potter tour in afternoon

Tuesday, July 1, London, Day open.

Wednesday, July 2, Leave London for Liverpool. Mersey Ferries, Magical Mystery Tour. Overnight in Liverpool.

Thursday, July 3, Liverpool. The Beatles Story, Leave Liverpool for Edinburgh. Overnight in Edinburgh.

Friday, July 4, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Rosslyn Chapel. Overnight in Edinburgh.

Saturday, July 5, Drive towards Inverness, Scone Palace, Blair Castle, Black Isle. Overnight in Inverness.

Sunday, July 6 – Inverness. Culloden Moor, Clava Cairns, Fort George, Brodie Castle. Overnight in Inverness.

Monday, July 7 – Leave Inverness towards Drumnadrochit. Urquhart Castle/Loch Ness. Fort William – take afternoon Jacobite Steam Train. Overnight in Fort William or Glencoe

Tuesday, July 8 – Drive towards Stirling, possibly drive along Loch Lomond, Doune Castle, Stirling Castle. Overnight in Stirling – possible castle stay.

Wednesday, July 9 – Depart for home from Glasgow or Edinburgh

And now for some random questions:
We have done the Hop on/off bus tours in other cities, and are considering it for Liverpool, Edinburgh, and Inverness. I know there are several different companies that do them. Any recommendations?

London pass with travelcard. Is it worth it? We have been to London before and did all the main touristy things, so we don’t necessarily need to inside, although we wouldn’t mind seeing the places again.

When to rent a car? As I mentioned, we are thinking about getting a London Pass with travel card to take care of while we are in London. We could take train London to Liverpool, and then Liverpool to Edinburgh. But do we want to drive to be able to stop anywhere along the way? We will definitely get a car for when we are done in Edinburgh to drive through the rest of the trip. But since we want to go to Rosslyn Chapel, is it worth having a car to explore other things in that area? My husband will be doing most of the driving, and he has driven in England before. He seems to be leaning towards wanting a car the entire time just for the freedom factor, and because he knows that public transport costs will add up. But then of course, we know we need to figure in cost of parking in each city if our accommodations do not have parking available and the insane cost of gas. So right now it's a toss up.

Thank you!
sparkypink is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2014, 10:02 AM
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Between Liverpool and Edinburgh you could easily stop by Hadrian's Wall or the Borders Abbeys region in and around Melrose - off the freeway but a nice break - ideally stay in the Border Abbey area - so many neat things there - especially Jedburgh, Melrose and other ancient abbeys.

Just south of Edinburgh.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2014, 11:07 AM
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I'm dashing out so only a couple of very quick comments . . .

1- Do NOT get the London Pass. A real money waster!!! And definitely do NOT get the transport option - even more wasted £££. More on that later.

2 - Doing the Royal Mile/Edinburgh Castle/Holyrood will completely fill the day leaving no time at all for Rosslyn/Roslin. Perhaps you could squeeze it in between Stirling and EDI the day you depart.

3 - use the trains til you get to Edinburgh -- you simply don't have time to drive up through England. And you 100% don't want a car while staying IN Edinburgh.
janisj is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2014, 11:34 AM
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www.nationanrail.co.uk for train schedules and lots of discounts wiht varying restrictions.

Ditto to what London guru janisj says about the London Pass - though it would perhaps be a good deal for a very few folks with an ambitious London itinerary that includes things many tourists do not co it is overhyped by sellers.

Look up the 2 for 1 scheme where 2 pay the price of admission for one at many London sights with a paper Travel Card or train ticket issued by the national rail system.

http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/?gclid...FYFhMgodJUYA5A
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Old Apr 21st, 2014, 12:52 PM
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<London pass with travelcard. Is it worth it?>

DO NOT GET THE LONDON PASS

Waste your money elsewhere. Considering you want to take a bunch of HOHO buses, you're well on your way (the #9, 15, and others in London will go past major sites without costing $30+).

Inverness is useful as a hub for the surrounding area. It's pleasant-enough for a post-dinner stroll but otherwise, yawn. Does Culloden Moor mean Culloden Battlefield? If it doesn't, it should.

Not sure how you're going to make it to The Black Isle after seeing Scone Palace and Blair Castle. It's more driving than you think.

Dunno how you're going to use a bus tour in Edinburgh - the main sites are fairly compact and the traffic sucks. Better to walk the Royal Mile and New Town. Just remember, all streets in Edinburgh go UP.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2014, 06:48 PM
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This is all great advice! Thank you!

We did the math on the London Pass with Travel, so now we see how silly it is. Now we are just trying to wrap our brains around what to do about transport in London. We will be there 4 days. One day we would like to do a sightseeing bus tour so that would help with some of the transport. So we're trying to decide if we should just do the PAYG Oyster card or if we should just get a 7 day travelcard so we don't have to worry about peak/nonpeak times.
sparkypink is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2014, 09:07 PM
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TheH-o-H-o sightseeing tour buses are NOT 'transport'. Not an efficient way to get around and very expensive. Take one if you want to ride around seeing thing from the outside . . . but don't consider them transport. You have so little time in London - I'd spend more time actually visiting some of the biggies than just riding past them.

Before anyone can help you w/ detailed transport advice we need more info. At which airport are you landing? How many of you/ages? What are you staying?

Your best option will be either Oyster cards purchased at a tube station, or a combo of Oyster cards, and paper travel cards purchased from a train station.

The reason for the paper travel cards is you can take advantage of these 2for1 discounts: http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/?gclid...FVJffgodjlEAzQ
janisj is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2014, 11:40 PM
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Just to knock the point home, there is a real difference between a tube station and a train station, so many people miss that and it is confusing as often they are on top of each other and may share a name.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 01:05 AM
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Just to put the point differently:

Your best option will be either Oyster cards purchased anywhere in Britain (no need to pay extra for buying in advance), or a combo of Oyster cards, and paper travel cards purchased from a National Rail ticket office. These are often in railway stations where ticket offices operated by Transport for London (TfL)also sell travel cards. Travelcards sold by TfL offices are not valid for the 2 for 1 entry deal
flanneruk is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 01:09 AM
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We may have nailed it flanner
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 04:10 AM
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We (just my husband and I, no kids this trip -- YEAH!!!) will be arriving at Heathrow, staying at the Strand Palace Hotel (not far from Trafalgar Square, I think?). Our flight will not land until 11 am, so I know that takes up most of the day, especially by the time we get our luggage and get done with all the airport stuff. Is it true we are better taking the train from Heathrow into London vs the tube with luggage? Is that the Heathrow Express? Or is the Heathrow Express something different?

And yes, I know that the HOHO busses are not true "transport". But we do like to be able to see the area, and I like listening to the commentary and learning about the different things we are seeing as well.

For the 2 for 1 Entry deal, is each paper ticket only good for one deal? Or can it be used for multiple entries at different places? I will have to look into that further.

I totally feel like we are putting way too much thought into this and that it is probably NOT as difficult as I am making it out to be.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 05:58 AM
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There is no such thing as over-thinking trip planning, in my opinion. Better to think everything through in advance than to have to deal with it on the spot.

I'd get Oyster Cards. If you're relatively healthy, take the Tube to Central London--Leicester Square is probably the best stop for you. My spouse and I travel with more luggage than most and found the tube convenient. Don't know whether you could catch a taxi from there.

We stayed in the Strand Palace many years ago and found it was fine, although a bit dark and dingy and small rooms.

Concur with Janis--take the train til you get to Edinburgh, pick up your car when leaving, and go from there. Unfortunately, you don't have time to drive from Liverpool.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 06:06 AM
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>>Is it true we are better taking the train from Heathrow into London vs the tube with luggage?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2014, 12:57 AM
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Strand Palace is a 8 minute walk from Charing X tube. Heathrow to Charing X is an hour on the tube with a change at Piccadilly Circus from Piccadilly Line to Bakerloo Line

Depends on how much luggage you have of course as tubes don't have a lot of space for big pieces and it depends on time of day too. Rush hour commuters in any big city are grumpy about luggage disturbing their journey to work/home. Looks like you are travelling in London midday-ish so I would go on the tube

A car service from Heathrow to C London can take 2 hours with traffic

Oyster Card is easiest and cheapest way to get around London on tubes, buses and "overground" trains in the Greater London area
chelseaboy is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2014, 07:13 AM
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>>Strand Palace is a 8 minute walk from Charing X tube. Heathrow to Charing X is an hour on the tube with a change at Piccadilly Circus from Piccadilly Line to Bakerloo Line
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Old Apr 23rd, 2014, 07:32 AM
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Longer walk from Embankment than Charing X
chelseaboy is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2014, 07:34 AM
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I'm not advocating taking the tube -- but it is a LOT easier going the Hammersmith route than negotiating Piccadilly Circus at mid-day.
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