Thoughts??? 8/9 weeks Europe with Kids

Old Jan 18th, 2013, 04:10 AM
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Sorry goldenautumn, but when we lived there four years ago we used to get from Arezzo to Rome and back in a day quite regularly. It's a long day but it can be done. We also used to get the train to Florence once a week and often caught the bus to Siena which was a 90 minute journey each way, departing at 8.30am and home on the 3.30pm bus. The bus delivers you right into the centre of the old city. No hills, no climbing. You can also get an early train to Florence and then pick up the train to Pisa or Lucca fairly easily as well. There are dozens of small towns in the area that you can visit. We also caught trains to Assisi, Perugia and Orvieto for the day on more than one occasion. These trips require an early start but are quite do-able.
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Old Jan 18th, 2013, 06:04 AM
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Hi cf,

I know nothing about Disneyland,

>It has been over 10 years since we last went have things changed?

Somewhat.

>I like the sound of the drive from Barcelona to Varenna . .what would you suggest in regards to time spent in these places.

Take the route from Barcelona through the Pyrenees (Pigcuerda, Quillian) to Carcassone - 4:30 hr. Overnight in Carcassone, and visit the town again in the morning before going to Avignon - 2:30 hr.

Spend the next two weeks in Provence.

Avignon and vicinity are worth 4 nights.
Visit the city, Pont du Gard, L'isle-sur-la-sorgue, Gordes and Saint-Remy-de-Provence.

Take the route through Apt, Forcalcquier, Sisteron and Briancon to Lake Orta - 5:30 hr
Two nights and a day in Orta San Giulio and then drive to Varenna via Locarno and Lugano.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Jan 18th, 2013, 04:44 PM
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goodmorning >>
Thank you for your advice!

In regards to 5 days in Varenna being too long. We thought it might be best with the kids. We thought to use this as a base and then if we feel like we could drive to other towns etc We could stay less days and I love your idea of the other places but we thought we should stay in one spot for 5days for the kids and the view is amazing and they have a pool so if wanted to only do a small activity in the morning and come back with the kids to relax we could do while still enjoying an amazing view etc.

Milan is where we got engaged so we will be having lunch in the place where this happened

Thankyou for your recommendation about Tuscany ...I'll look into the prices and it sounds great!

Will change Innsbruck to Salzburg again thank you everyone!
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Old Jan 18th, 2013, 05:00 PM
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OMG >>>how embarrassing!!! didn't even notice that! hahahaha point taken!

>> Yes we thought that it made sense to pick the lease up in Paris . .we also save money this way I believe Day trips from Paris would be great!.

I like the idea of starting the UK part of your trip with the Cotswolds or Cornwall, then do London, so we can take the eurostar direct to Paris from St Pancras station in central London. Something to seriously look into! I guess we just thought if we started in London . . since we had been before . . .that it would be a little easier but I guess we could just go straight into the unknown

>>thank you for your input >>I like your suggestion from Barcelona
( the Pyrenees (Pigcuerda, Quillian) to Carcassone - 4:30 hr. Overnight in Carcassone, and visit the town again in the morning before going to Avignon - 2:30 hr)

As much as I would love to spend the next 2 weeks in the Provence alas 4 days will be it..so I have made note of your suggestions in Avignon.

>seems very long for us

but I have made note of this suggestion never the less.

AGAIN EVERYONE - THANK YOU!!!! I FEEL WE ARE GETTING SOMEWHERE
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 12:16 PM
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Disneyland Paris has a website with plenty of info on tickets and prices, and you can even get an eticket. They also have one that includes bus transportation from the center of Paris, although that isn't necessary, given you can get there on the RER. But it might be convenient. It's an all day pass that covers everything with a few exceptions. http://us.disneylandparis.com/index.xhtml
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 04:07 PM
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Disneyland Paris also has two parks, i spent 3 days with my then 3 year old enjoying both parks just over 3 years ago and that didn't feel like long enough lol. Their Disneyland Park (the original one) is definitely the better of the two however, a one day pass will cover all rides but as someone else said dining can get expensive and also things like disney outfits and souveniers which of course you don't have to buy! If you buy tickets in advance they have some offers on at the moment
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Old Jan 19th, 2013, 05:49 PM
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Thank you Christina and fredandgingermad . . . I think I like the idea of staying in Paris for longer and then taking trips out to the park. If we feel we need another day or two we can do that instead of something else but at least the kids will have the same beds for the 10days in Paris etc.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 06:38 PM
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Ok so here is where we are at.

We are now flying in to England on the 10th of June and picking up a rental car. Driving straight up to Drayton for2 nights at Thomas the Tank place ( HAPPY BIRTHDY PRESENT FOR MY BOY!) Then from there we are going to drive South. Hopefully we can get to Bath in the day (it said 2hrs) and spend a night or 2 there then continue South to Exeter for a night then we are not sure but we have 3 days to fill before returning the car and head into London.

Then London for a week and then catch the train to Paris!

10days in Paris - but this is so we can do our day trips to Disney and other places etc

We pick up our lease and drive South to Barcelona. We have allowed 3-5days I think. Barcelona for 3 nights.

Drive from Barcelona into Italy - not sure which way ... I am pretty sure Avignon way since we have been to Nice.

We have allowed 2-3weeks in italy. It is looking like 4 days at the lakes, a week in a villa in Tuscany.

Then we drive from Italy through Germany to get to Prague.

Prague to Berlin

Berlin to frankfurt

frankfurt to home

At this stage we just really want to sort the week in England- someone asked what is it that we really want to see and I guess it's castles and little picture perfect towns. I am tempted on driving down to see St Michael's Mount. I know we will want to go to Tintagel Castle and perhaps Pendennis castle. Any other thoughts this week for me to think about?
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 07:05 PM
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"We are now flying in to England on the 10th of June and picking up a rental car. Driving straight up to Drayton for2 nights at Thomas the Tank place"

OK - big problem here. Your are not going to 'Drayton', but to Drayton Manor (That is where the Thomas theme park is) which is near Tamworth. That is a minimum 2.5 hours from LHR and not a good idea on jet lag. Terrible idea actually. I'd stay the night near LHR (Windsor is good) and tackle the drive north after a good night's sleep.

And Tamworth to Bath will take about 3 hours (Hint: when using any of the on-line mileage calculators you need to add between 25% and 75% to the drive times)
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 12:59 AM
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Hi janisj ... Being his birthday we really wanted to be there for his birthday dinner etc any other way of getting there? How much would a taxi cost? Thanks for the tip re jet lag etc and adding time
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 01:56 AM
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Make sure you get a hotel in Bath that provides adequate parking. Bath is horrible for parking and a lot of hotels have more rooms than parking spaces.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 02:13 AM
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oohhh thanks for the tip CarrieAnn40!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 04:36 AM
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We are now flying in to England on the 10th of June and picking up a rental car. Driving straight up to Drayton for2 nights at Thomas the Tank place ( HAPPY BIRTHDY PRESENT FOR MY BOY!) Then from there we are going to drive South. Hopefully we can get to Bath in the day (it said 2hrs) and spend a night or 2 there then continue South to Exeter for a night then we are not sure but we have 3 days to fill before returning the car and head into London.>>

crazy, as others have said, not the best plan. if you haven't bought flight tickets yet, i suggest flying from Paris straight to Exeter, and going from there to Tintagel. stay 3 nights, then drive to Bath, and thence to Drayton Manor ,and back to London.

flybe fly from Paris to Exeter: http://www.flybe.com/

as for Paris, i understand your kids desire to go to Disney [i think] but if you want a real french experience, consider Parc Asterix: http://www.flybe.com/

our kids loved it, and counted it one of the most fun things we'd done on holiday - and we loved it too.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 05:01 AM
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If your boy is 3 does one day really matter in terms of celebrating his birthday? Taxi from Heathrow would cost a bomb but the driver would sure think it was HIS birthday!

Why not stay in Windsor your first night--very close to Heathrow with probably the most impressive castle in England. Legoland also very close.

Then get to Drayton and on to Bath. What happened to the Cotswolds? I've forgotten how your are splitting the number of days between rural England and London. You don't want to bounce all over the place, at least I don't think you do.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 05:30 AM
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Hi annhig And cathinjoetown.. Flights are booked so we are flying into heathrow. Is it really going to be too hard to get to Thomas land ??? I know it's not going to matter which day but we thought it might be the easiest ... We get in around 4ish so we assume driving around 5 so we thought check in have tea and get an early night then enjoy the next day at the park and either stay another night or start our drive somewhere. We have planned a week(could go to. 9 days) to travel the countryside of England ... We just really want to see castles and those postcard villages before going to London for 5 days to a week and then train it to Paris.

From looking at travel brouchers it seems Exeter is the place to stay and then do day trips from ... Annhig do you agree?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 07:04 AM
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Seriously, take a deep breath and reflect. How many hours will you have been flying with two small children?

You get in at 4-ish. Best case you will be on the road by 6-ish. Thomas is very best case another 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours. Those are estimates on viamichelin which do not take into account traffic and there is always traffic on the motorways out of London.

I would not do it. Windsor is less than a half hour, reasonable taxi or pick up the car and drive over. Lots of nice places to stay and eat on the high street, literally across from the castle. Take time to tour the castle the next morning then head for Thomas Land around 1:00 or so.

From there you could come down through the Cotswolds and on to Bath, then you could go along the North Devon coast, which is beautiful, then come down into Cornwall to Tintagel. You can from then work your way down to St Ives. Lots of ground to cover in the time you have so I think you ought to start planning some reasonable routes, you're still very scatter-shot at the moment.

Just to throw out some ideas, do you really want two nights in Bath? Bath is lovely, not much for kids as I remember, but you can see a great deal in a day. Regarding the Cotswolds, I really think it's that area and Bath or Bath and Cornwall or some combination. You mention using Exeter as a base for Cornwall, not a good choice, imo, large-ish city to get in and out of and not on the coast.

Anyway, have to run but get out a map and think a bit about what you want to accomplish. You can certainly do a circular route that takes you as far as the SW corner of Cornwall and loops back up to London but it's a lot of ground to cover, particularly with the Thomas park to factor in. My Australian friends who come over here always talk about under-estimating travel time, we all do that but you still have time to think it through.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 07:30 AM
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"We get in around 4ish so we assume driving around 5

In your dreams W/ a 4-ish arrival you might be ready to get to the rental shuttle by 5:00 - 5:30 is more likely. By the time you get to the cars and are ready to drive off - easily 6:00-6:30PM.Then a 3-ish hour drive. Insane (meant in the nicest possible way).

Do NOT even consider it!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 08:09 AM
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cathinjoetown and jj are dead right.

at the moment I'm confused about where you're hoping to see in Cornwall [or Devon] but I'm pretty sure that Exeter isn't where you'd really want to stay, nice city though it is.

so much depends on the no,. of days/nights you've got that it's difficult to advise you, but I agree that a night in windsor would make a great start, MUCH better than driving for 3 hours after a long flight.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 09:48 AM
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Just an added note on Disney -- unlike in the U.S., you are allowed to take food and drink into the park without a hassle. So definitely pack snacks for the kids and a few water bottles. You can save money by buying your tickets on line, but you may want to wait until you are in Paris just to make sure you are really up for it.

My daughter (aged 9) really enjoyed our day trip to Disney; it's a more manageable park and it was fun and quite convenient taking the train out there. We went in March, however, and the crowds were relatively light. Another thing to keep in mind is that we were at the park 12 full hours and didn't see one character -- so if seeing Mickey is important, you might have to make an effort to ensure it happens.

My husband still gives me grief over giving up a day trip to Chartres for Disneyland Paris, but my daughter had been a real trooper while I dragged her through museums and churches for several days, so I thought it was only fair (but really only because she saw the blasted Disney shuttle at the airport and knew it was there) .
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Old Jan 23rd, 2013, 02:38 AM
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thanks everyone! Ok we will do a night in Windsor ...tour the castle the next day and take the drive to Thomas Land after that. Basically we have the 12th of June to 26th of June to do whatever in England. We want to go to London and will take the train from here to Paris . .we want to see castles and pretty towns We have been told Cornwall is amazing but we are not really sure what and where . .you guys and other topics have guided my thoughts to be honest so...if you had 12th of June to 25th of June . .what would you do?

Looking forward to your thoughts . . Claire..PS I could always add more days for Paris if we can't fill them in England.

Oh and keep in mind hubby is a bit of a go go type of person so having a base and then travel from there would be great!
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