London side trips without a car

Old Feb 8th, 2003, 05:07 PM
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London side trips without a car

We (my husband, myself and 8 year old) are going to London for the first time next week. We will be there for 8 days and wish to do a few day trips but would like to avoid renting a car. I would appreciate hearing suggestions that involve public transportation and/or good tour companies. I'm especially interested in Bath, Hampton and Canterbury but open to other ideas as well. Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 8th, 2003, 05:13 PM
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Hampton Court and Kew Gardens are very easy to get to by train. Bath is also.
We have always found that there is so much to do in the city, that it is hard to tear ourselves away for one of those day trips. But we have friends who live in Kew and that is very pleasant morning out of the city. Bath might take more than a day.
Have a great time, London is wonderful!!
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Old Feb 8th, 2003, 05:44 PM
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Windsor is a nice easy day trip. And the tour of the castle is excellent.

Rich
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 06:09 AM
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FloriS, Recommend you look thru the book,Britain by BritRail, author Ferguson. Lots of short trips to interesting cities. Filled with details on train stations, times, things to see, etc. I agree with Scarlett that staying in London has so much to offer that you end up returning over and over again.
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 06:52 AM
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Public transport is very good in England, and driving can be a nightmare, especially in London. Getting in and out of London is a major hassle, especially during rush hour. The M25 ringroad has been described as the world's largest car park. Take the train.
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 07:39 AM
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I went to London in November and did the following day trips:
Greewich, loved it
Bath, it cost quite a bit A ticket from Paddinton to Bath costs £28.50. For the time it took to get there and return and the cost I am not sure if it was worth it.
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 07:40 AM
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Sorry one more went to Oxford for the Day and loved it.
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 08:15 AM
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I don't consider anything I can get to on my 1-6 zone pass out of London but-
take your 8 year old to Greenwich. If you take the London Light Railway to Island Gardens you can take the foot tunnel to Greenwich. How many people have walked UNDER the Thames. You then walk to the observatory where your youngster can straddle the prime meridian and be sure to take his/her picture. Then down the hill to the National Maritime Museum.

You can get back to London by bus - your travel pass is good - or preferably take the river cruise back. Or you cold reverse the order.

We did this with our grandchildren - boy 14 and girl 11 - and they loved it.

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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 08:50 AM
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Sorry, should have identified it as the Docklands Light Railway to Island Gardens. We connected at Canary Wharf from the Jubilee Line.
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 10:29 AM
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Hampton Court is an easy day trip from London. Either take the train from Waterloo station or the tube to the end of the district line to Richmond and then a bus on to Hampton Court Palace. Hampton Court is easy to do on your own without the need of a tour company. Your admission ticket includes a headset that will give you a self-guided tour of the palace. Also, there are two costume guided tours. You have to make a reservation for the guided tours, but it's easy to do. The grounds are also quite extensive. Your 8 year old will probably enjoy the maze, along with the medieval kitchens and gardens. If time and weather permit, think about taking the boat back to London instead of the train, check to see if it's running this time a year.

I've also been to Bath and Canterbury, but I think that for ease of transport and the entertainment level of our 8 year old, Hampton Court would be the best bet.

Tammy
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Old Feb 9th, 2003, 12:38 PM
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I always like to recommend a visit to Oxford, since transporation is so easy. There are *two* 24-hour coach services to the town. You can board them at Marble Arch. The trip is about 1 hour, 15 minutes, and you can come back anytime. A nice view of the English countryside both ways, as well as a charming English town with a lovely walk along the river. http://www.stagecoach-oxford.co.uk
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 05:09 PM
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Just wanted to add this suggestion:
Being a Navy buff "Portsmouth" was interesting to me....not much literature on it....but it is the home of the Royal Navy...great naval museums,
Royal Marine Museum....also in the summer months "The Isle of Wright" is just across the harbor.....It is a couple hour train ride (Waterloo station).....If an avaition buff...."Duxford" just 8 miles from Cambridge is also wonderful....8 buildings full of all types of aircraft..and one of the nice WWII Memorials I have seen: Memorial to American WWII avaitors killed while serving in England.
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 07:04 PM
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i vote first for windsor--something for everyone there, then greenwich...have your son straddle the time zones up on the hill at the observatory--my kids ages 31 and 36 still remember that...hampton court also good, but there is so much in london you really don't have to leave..there are books on children in london, check it out....windsor by the way is very near to heathrow airport if you could fit the two together...train to windsor and then taxi to airport if you have a late flight....oh yes luggage???
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Old Feb 11th, 2003, 04:17 PM
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Americans may be surprised at the number of Londoners that do not have a car. Many people travel a long time from outside London every day.

You may also know that next Monday the congestion charge starts in London. It's 5 pounds per day to enter an area bounded by Marble Arch, Elephant and Castle, Old Street, Kings Cross. Check their website for the exact boundaries.

Parking is also difficult in Central London anywhere closer than Holland Park Avenue or Islington. That's my observation though I don't live in the UK.
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