Travelling to UK/France....please help!

Nov 26th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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Travelling to UK/France....please help!

My husband & I have booked air tickets to London (Heathrow) in late March 2009. We have booked for 1 month. It will (almost!) coincide with our 10th wedding anniversary (May) so decided to do something special!

We have previously been to London and loved it, but thought with the limited time we have, we should get out of the city.

We are open to any / many suggestions. Is it worth going south and north….perhaps up into Scotland or is it not enough time?

Hubby will be attending at least one football match at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, early April, so would appreciate any advice on what to do in that area and whether it is worth staying over at least 1 or 2 nights?

We desperately want to get over to France, Mont St Michel in particular, so would really love any advice on how to build time, and how much time is needed?, into the itinerary to spend in regional France!

Thank you very much for your advice!
AussieTraveller76 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 12:20 PM
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You already posted this and got several answers. To find all your posts, click on your name.
janisj is online now  
Nov 26th, 2008, 12:48 PM
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How embarasssing! Thought it hadn't posted!

Thanks janisj!
AussieTraveller76 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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I believe that there is a ferry service between England and St. Malo, which is fairly close to the Mont St. Michel.
Michael is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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hi aussie,

wow- a whole month. what are your priorities? how much time do you want to spend in London? in France?

if your two ideas are london and normandy, that's one trip.

if you are wanting london and scotland, that's another.

OTOH, you could start in London, work your way north to scotland, then fly to Paris, and go to mont st. michel from there.

my DH went to a match at anfield a couple of weeks ago and stayed near-by in Crosby -click on my name and look for "Mr. Annhig enters a convent" for the trip -report.

A nice trip taking in [most of] your ideas woudl be as follows:

london - 5 days.
train to liverpool - 3 nights.

rent a car - drive up through the lake district [avoiding easter week like the plague] to Scotland - 5 nights.

return car and stay in Edinburgh - 4 nights. [or head for the highlands - depends on how long you want in France]

fly to Paris - stay 5 ngihts.

rent car - drive to MSM and tour Normandy/EAst Brittany. 4 nights

get ferry gack to Portmouth from st. malo/cherbourg.

drive back to Heathrow through southern england. [?tour New Forest?]

there are of course endless variations on the above.

regards, ann
annhig is online now  
Nov 26th, 2008, 03:18 PM
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Don't worry AussieTraveller - not embarrassing at all. Happens to just about everybody while they learn how the forums work.

annhig has laid out a really good option for an itinerary. One issue would be picking up a car in France and dropping it in England. Difficult and very expensive.

One variation on her plan would be to flip drop your UK car in Edinburgh, then you can fly from EDI to Southampton. Take a ferry to France, rent a car there to tour around. Drive to Paris, drop the car off and spend a few days there. Then return to London to fly home.

(OR - if you can change your tickets w/o huge change fees, you might consider doing open jaw - fly into LOndon and fly home from Paris, saving you from having to travel back to the UK)
janisj is online now  
Nov 27th, 2008, 07:12 PM
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We combined a trip to London and the nearby countryside with a trip to Normandy so I will give you another idea to play around with on how to structure your trip.

We took the English Channel tunnel to Calais. We drove with my brother and sister-in-law who live in Wokingham, a London suburb, (their car) but I know you can take the train from London to the coast and make your way over via ferry. It's pretty quick compared to going over by ferry from Portsmouth. Of course you end up in Calais, which is a day's drive from Mont St Michel, but that's the point. The French countryside is beautiful!

We drove from Calais to the pretty walled town of Boulogne-sur-Mer for lunch and from there to La Bouille, a small town outside Rouen. Stayed there overnight. Then on to Bayeux with stops at Jumieges Abbey and Honfleur and a few other places. We used Bayeux as a base to see Mont St Michel. That was a good day trip--Avranches for lunch and on the way back the lovely cathedral town of Coutances for dinner.

We spent just under a week in Normandy and although we did a fair amount of driving, there was never a stick of landscape that we weren't happy to see. Oh, I should mention that our car had GPS, which afforded us the opportunity to travel by backroads and scenic routes. We never got lost and we got a real flavor of Northern France. Just enough to whet our whistle: I can't wait to get back.
mermaid_ is offline  
Nov 27th, 2008, 07:34 PM
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You can fly from London to Dinard, France. You can rent a car at the airport and drive in a short time to Mont St Michel. We flew Ryanair from East Midland Airport to Dinard and it was a great flight.

bratsandbeer is offline  
Nov 28th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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ooh, janisj,

you spotted my "deliberate" mistake. silly me.

i'll have to think how the OP could achieve the same sort of thing without bankruptcy.

the obvious way is to adapt bratsandbeer's suggestion and fly back to London from dinard.

the Normandy/Brittany section could actualy be extended that way as you don't need to allow for time to drive back from Portmouth to London.

regards, ann

annhig is online now  
Nov 29th, 2008, 02:07 AM
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Thank you very much to all of you for your suggestions! We have taken them all into consideration and welcome more on the idea of going north of UK (and into France ofcourse!)

We have currently got a little bit of a crisis going on at the moment, so the trip itinerary is taking a back seat but will be checking to see what is happening on Fodors and will hopefully be back to planning asap!

Thank you again!
AussieTraveller76 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2008, 02:08 AM
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PS - Who is "OP"??
AussieTraveller76 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2008, 06:51 AM
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OP = Original Poster = the person who started the discussion
Noirceuil is offline  
Nov 29th, 2008, 08:52 AM
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OP = you
janisj is online now  
Nov 29th, 2008, 02:46 PM
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*Of course* there's things to see in Liverpool. Ride the ferry, shop at Albert Dock, visit the museums, or take the Beatles-oriented tours. Take a couple of days and see "Europe through the back door".

Post again, Aussie, when your schedule permits...
Merseyheart is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 05:56 AM
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My input on France: it is nice to drive around on your own, but it can remain a superficial vision of things. If you want to learn about the culture, meet locals, you may consider joining a workshop or a theme trip. For example, French Escapade is offering a cooking trip in Provence for English speakers at the end of April. France and food in Provence, irresistible: if your spouse is not interested, the tour always offers alternative activities for spouses.

If not, another input: you do not have to rent a car (driving on the right may be challenging) and you can reach very interesting places from Paris by using the Tgv : Strasbourg, Avignon,lyon,Bordeaux...

Have fun
sonyzen is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Liverpool: in September, I spent two weeks there one afternoon.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 12:01 AM
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Dear all Fellow Fodorites

Things have settled down a little (enough of everyone else’s issues!) and we are back in the business of organising our trip away!

A few things have changed since our last post.

Here is the updated itinerary:

Sat March 28 – arrive Heathrow……….stay awake all day to combat jet lag…..what suggestions of things to do to combat jetlag (ie.what to do to stay awake all day?!) on the first day and then for the next 3 days/nights??

Weds April 1 – London to Bruges (Brussells), stay for 3 nights. Where to eat? What to do in Bruges?

Sat April 4 – Bruges to Amsterdam, stay for 3 nights. Where to stay? Where to eat? What to do in Amsterdam?

We will then travel back from Amsterdam to stay with friends in County Kent, UK for 4 nights.

Sat April 11 Liverpool vs Blackburn, we hope to be at Anfield for this game (still waiting to hear if we have tickets for this) so will stay in Liverpool 2 nights if so. Any suggestions of where to stay? Where to eat? What to do in Liverpool for a night / day?

Monday April 13 to Friday April 17 is an unknown at the moment. Friends have suggested that we stay at Atlantic Heights B&B in St Ives, Cornwall. Also have suggested Victoria Guest House in Cambridge. Obviously they are in completely different places however we do have 5 nights to play around with.

Liverpool vs Arsenal play on Sat April 18, and again we hope to be at Anfield for this game (still waiting to hear if we have tickets for this game or the one the week before, April 11). If we get the tickets for this, we will stay in Liverpool for 2 nights this weekend. Any suggestions of where to stay? Where to eat? What to do in Liverpool for a night / day?

We will then have 2 nights to decide what to do with, Monday April 20 and Tuesday April 21 before having to meet friends in Sussex for the remaining time of our holiday!

Hope all of this is makes some sense and you have suggestions to make!

Thank you so much for your input and look forward to hearing from you!
AussieTraveller76 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 02:39 AM
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Hi! Just a little further to our last post............
With regards to the Liverpool leg of the trip, our contact is pretty confident that we will be able to get tickets to one or the other matches....unfortunately we won't know until much closer to the dates. It makes it extremely difficult to plan our exact itinerary but it is very good to know about the easter weekend! Had not even thought of that!

We were planning on hiring a car once we arrived back fro Amsterdam and love the idea of spending some time in the Lakes District. We are both pretty active and would love to do some hikes....any suggestions as to what to do? where to stay? where to eat?
AussieTraveller76 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 02:45 AM
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You might like to link your two threads so that you can get to all the comments from one place:
PatrickLondon is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 02:49 AM
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Thanks Patrick....would love to! Bit of a dumb Aussie do I link all three messages?!
AussieTraveller76 is offline  

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