London travel advice

Old Feb 26th, 2012, 08:27 AM
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London travel advice

I know I need to do my own research, and I HAVE BEEN, but I was just wondering if anyone is willing to offer advice.

We will fly into Gatwick from Ireland on 20th (tuesday) and will arrive around noon. We want to stay in London that night, then probably do a day trip on both Wednesday and Thursday and Friday (though it is not set in stone yet), but stay in London at night. Sat, Sun, and Monday morning we will be in Cardiff, but return Monday afternoon. We want to spend Monday afternoon, Tuesday, and Wednesday exploring London, but will leave from Stansted on the 29th, Thursday.

We are only two people, so of course the 2for1 deals would be nice, but it seems we wont be in London for 7 full days. Any advice? Anyone done something similar? Our Cardiff plans ARE set in stone (Doctor Who Convention, of course). Thanks Please don't respond rudely if you aren't going to help, I'm already stressed out of my mind planning!!
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 08:37 AM
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You could get day tickets for the days you are there.
Remember to get them from the mainline station and not from a tube station.
Print out as many 2 for 1 tokens that you think you might need
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_...ne-london.html
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 08:37 AM
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I hope you won't think this rude, but it's hard to see what sort of advice one could reasonably give, on the information you've given. What day trips/exploring you do depend on what you're interested in, and what tickets/travel arrangements you might need advice on depend on what day trips/exploring you decide to do.
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 10:21 AM
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I would suggest you check the opening hours/days etc of things you want to see and do in London, and the schedules of any day trips you want to take (if you go with a guided tour group) such as the ones London Walks run, and then plan which days to tour London and which to do day trips. For example, some events etc are only every other day during the winter months. My impression is that three day trips out of London plus your excursion to Cardiff is a lot of traveling around. And if you want to see shows, it may be hard to get back in time from out of town. So if I were you I might do two day trips instead of three; however, if you've seen a lot of London already then your plan would make sense.
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 11:31 AM
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Hi Katers!

First, please report back on the Doctor Who convention -- I'd love to hear about that!

Miss Prism's info is great, so you have the answer to that question.

Have you been London before and if so, does your question include what to see or just the info about the 2 for 1 deals?

I see from another one of your posts you're 23, so there's a couple of things I'd recommend. For an overview of the touristy portion of the City, you could start by a walk down the Kings Road from Sloane Square, then hop on the number 211 bus, which will take you on a great little route to Waterloo south of the Thames via Victoria and Westminster. If you can be in the front of the top of this double decker bus, you get a brilliant view of the sites Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Parliament, the whole lot. Get off just over the bridge (last stop before Waterloo) and you can walk down to the London Eye.

Another great area to prowl around is Camden Town (on the Northern Line). Camden lock, Camden markets (you could probably find a Doctor Who t-shirt at a reasonable price in one of the open air stalls).

The streets that shoot off from Piccadilly Circus are also great for exploring -- up Shaftesbury or along Coventry to Leicester Square. Maybe get cheap theatre tickets at TKTS in Leicester Square.

Covent Garden is a must on a nice weekend, always lots going on there.

And if I had one thing to see at your age, it would be the Tower of London.
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 03:19 PM
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Thanks a bunch! Sorry, I've just been told on other forums "do your research!" etc and I'm just so overwhelmed with information! But super excited.

Yes I agree maybe only 2 day trips would be better. We just weren't sure if we should do the 7 day ticket and just figure we won't use all the days, or if we should do the Oyster card instead. But first I will look into exactly what we'll want to see with the 2for1 and see if there are enough to make it worthwhile.

I'll definitely report back about the convention! Very excited. Thanks again
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 03:28 PM
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Actually yes, I guess my main question is would it be worthwhile to have the 7 day ticket, even if on a few days we're just using it to get to a location to join a tour, and then return back to our hotel again. Also, I read one can visit Windsor with the 7 day Travel Card, so we could theoretically make our own day trip there without paying anything more? Or maybe I was misreading.
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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Windsor is not in London and is not part of London transport. You can't travel there on a travelcard.

Regular trains from either Waterloo or Paddington.
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 11:55 PM
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Where are your day trips? If they are to the west of London it may be better if you flew into Cardiff / Bristol / Heathrow and stayed locally to your day trips.
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 12:35 AM
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I always tell my guests if they are here 5 days or more just get the 7 day travelcard. You have the freedom to ride as mucuh transit as you like, access to 2for1s (I think the Tower 2for1 alone makes it worth it and you should definitely include 1/2 day to see the Tower) and you dont have to stress about how much you are using, how much is left etc.

If you are that concerned about this already, I would just get the 7 days and be done with it. The other options is to get out a spreadsheet and map out where you are going, when you would be using it and determining if you save money. Seems like a lot of stress for little reward to me.

As janisj says, Windsor is not in London and therefore the travelcard will not cover your travel there - you would need to buy tickets at either Paddington or Waterloo. The 2for1 might be available with train tickets but you will need to check that out.
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 04:20 AM
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If you get a 7 day travel card, you will still have to get 1 day cards (or an Oyster card with some funds loaded on it--PAYG) because the card is for consecutive days and you are leaving for 3. You could do this, of course.

Another option (which would probably be a tad cheaper but I'm not going to run numbers--just a guess) is to get an Oyster card and use it as PAYG. Then those days when you don't use it, you won't be paying for transport you're not using. On the day before you want to use the 2for1 vouchers, go get a 1day travel card at a RAIL station. The bit of effort to plan a ticket-buying stop at a RAIL station will be worth the savings.

About your day trips. Well, you could stay in London the whole time other than your trip to Cardiff and not run out of things to do. You can't see it all. But of course there is much available to do by day. BUT I would suggest to not do them back to back. If you really want to do 2 (3 is just too many IMO out of 5 days--your part days in London might not be very long), then do 1 before Cardiff and 1 after. Where are you thinking of going? Lots of suggestions on this forum; my favorite day trip is to Oxford. Stonehenge can be combined with Salisbury for a wonderful day. Winchester is an amazingingly charming and full-of-sites city close by. Dover Castle and cliffs make an appealing destination. Oops, see, I'm giving too many options! Really, I urge you to NOT plan 3, maybe not even 2--enjoy London.
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 10:50 AM
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Thank you all!!!! OK 2 day trips sounds much smarter. I wish I had more time...maybe I'll see if I can add onto my plans Thank you thank you. Such great advice on here!
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