need advice on UK plans

Jun 5th, 2005, 12:14 PM
  #1  
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need advice on UK plans

Planning a 5 night stay in England next June before going on to a guided tour of France. Because of health problems we need to keep it simple, allowing for rest if needed. So far--arrive at Heathrow, catch Hopa bus to Slough Windsor Marriott for 3 night stay. Pick up car on second and use second and third days to tour countryside towards Oxford, Bath, and Stonehenge, as we feel up to it, returning at night to Slough. It seems like it might be the easiest not to change hotels. But, I am questioning that. Fourth day catch train from Slough to Paddington. Stay at hotel near Paddington for 2 nights. Use one day to take day long city tour. Second day for Harrods, seeing a play, or whatever. Next day we catch train from Victoria Station to Dover, hop on the hovercraft and on to France. Is there a one ticket way to get from London to Paris using the trains and hovercraft? Thanks for any advice.
Tekla is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 12:41 PM
  #2  
 
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I'm a bit confused. Where are you planning on going in Fraance? If it is Paris or Calais for that matter, why not just take the Eurostar and skip dover and the Hovercraft altogether?
jody is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 12:46 PM
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I don't like the itinerary. Even though you're trying to keep it simple, that's a lot of transferring between hotels, driving back to Slough for two consecutive nights after being in the west, etc...

Why not just pick up the car right after arrival at Heathrow and the tour the west for 2-3 days? You can make it real easy by booking first night at Oxford or Bath, second night at Salisbury, etc...

Visit Windsor and then drop the car back at Heathrow and go into London.

And why the ferry? Why not just take the Eurostar straight to Paris?
rkkwan is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 01:19 PM
  #4  
 
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Driving back and forth to Slough will do NOTHING to simplify your plans. The area around LHR is very congested and you will have some very long drives (Bath to Slough is nearly 100 miles)

A better idea is to choose one place in the triangle of Salisbury/Marlborough/Bath for 2 nights, and a place in Oxford for 1 night.

This will give you a LOT more down time/rest, shorter drives each day, and you could drop the car in Oxford and take the train directly to Paddington.

Also need to know more why you want to take the ferry and where your destination is in France . . . . .
janis is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 10:55 PM
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You're several years too late for the hovercraft, I'm afraid. It stopped running quite a while ago.

The company called Hoverspeed now runs high-speed catamarans, which are used all over the world. Nothing at all exotic. Useful if you're taking your car to the Continent. But horribly inconvenient for foot passengers (involving buses from the railway stations, or actually I think cabs, as I can't find buses, and walks from the bus to the catamaran that are fine if you're off to Calais for the day but that I really wouldn't want to do with luggage). Mildly unpleasant inside: no nice healthy long walks round the deck like the real ferries, and a much less nice view of the receding white cliffs than you get from real ferries, since Hoverspeed runs from a different, and less attractive, dock. The train in France goes through France's dullest scenery: if you're planning all this to see the French countryside, get a cheapo Eurostar day return and throw away the return half. Far quicker, cheaper and a very great deal less inconvenient.

Totally agree with Janis about Slough. The Slough Marriott is, as you'll see if you use it, THE best hotel in the world if you're planning a meeting for colleagues from lots of different countries. Apart from anything else, there's little in Slough to distract any of them from the business in hand. But about as suitable for a tour of the English countryside as the Crowne Plaza, Cleveland.

My suggestion, if you don't want to drive straight off the plane, would be to take the bus from LHR to Oxford (up to every 20 minutes, about 60-90 mins journey), stay the first night there and collect your car on day 2 from Oxford station. Stay the other nights somewhere in Janis' triangle. Return the car to LHR, and stay at the Paddington Hilton, which you can walk into straight (no stairs) from the Heathrow Express.
flanneruk is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 03:24 AM
  #6  
 
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Quire right - do you realise Slough is horrible ? It sounds like it ought to be some sort of joke, tourists coming to the UK & staying in Slough.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 04:46 AM
  #7  
 
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Re Slough..I was going to say that but it's been 30 years since I've been there and thought it might have improved!
jody is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 05:21 AM
  #8  
oldie
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John Betjeman

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs, and blow to smithereens
Those air-conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town --
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week for half-a-crown
For twenty years,

And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women's tears,

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It's not their fault that they are mad,
They've tasted Hell.

It's not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It's not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sports and makes of cars
In various bogus Tudor bars
And daren't look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.
 
Jun 6th, 2005, 05:25 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Poor Slough. There must be some nice parts to it.

If you've seen the comedy TV series "The Office", it's set on a trading estate in Slough.
MissPrism is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 05:31 AM
  #10  
 
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>>There must be some nice parts to it.<<

Nope . . . . .
janis is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 11:12 AM
  #11  
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Thank you SO much!! I am going to redo this whole plan. My husband wanted to ride the hovercraft--I took it 20 years ago and it was a unique experience. I'll post in a couple of days and give the new improved plan--Wow!! you guys are great--more later
Tekla is offline  

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