UK travel

Old Oct 8th, 2017, 10:17 PM
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UK travel

We have an opportunity to housesit for a friend in London over January. As she doesn't own a car, we would either need to hire one or use public transport; which we don't mind using when o/s. we plan to see as much as we can of UK whilst there; focussing on areas we have not visited previously. Have not been to Brighton area, Isle of Wight, Cambridge, Norwich, Oxford, Nottingham, Liverpool or Wales. This may assist with suggestions as to how we can travel around.
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 10:36 PM
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What part of London does she live? It is ENORMOUS and different areas might get you different advice. So that makes a difference, but in general, no one needs a car in London.

For short trips out of town it entirely depends on WHERE - many places are very easy to reach by train.

So you may want to rent a car off and on for specific trips.

Oxford -- you do not want or need a car. Liverpool -- the same. Wales -- you probably would want a car for rural areas. However January would not be a good time for say Snowdon. etc.

Before we can give any sort of detailed suggestions re transport, we need to know where you will actually be staying.
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 10:56 PM
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National Rail website for train times & fares: www.nationalrail.co.uk

Map of the UK train network: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/css/Ne...tional_map.pdf

My own guide to UK train travel including an explanation of Advance, Off-Peak & Anytime tickets: https://www.seat61.com/UK-train-travel.htm

You can do many of these as day trips using Off-Peak Day Returns: Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton. You can buy these on the day, they cannot sell out.

Longer trips I'd stay overnight if you can, and book ahead for cheap Advance tickets, which work like budget airline fares.

By all means hire a car for rural areas, for cities best avoid having a car and take the train.
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 10:59 PM
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Or put in another way, all of those places (apart, possibly, from rural Wales, but I don't know about public transport there) can be reached by train from London. I've managed perfectly OK without a car in London pretty well all my life.

Have a play around on:
(for travel by public transport within London) tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/
(for trains from London) www.nationalrail.co.uk
(for travel by public transport anywhere in the UK) www.traveline.info
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 11:43 PM
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Many thanks for replies, house is in Twickenham
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Old Oct 9th, 2017, 04:42 AM
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Are you planning to do trips by rail from London and back or a proper rail tour? Most of those places are too far from London for day trips -weekends OK - anyway if going to several places check various railpasses - like Days Out of London - for lots on British trains and passes yes www.seat61.com is great plus for general info and where to go www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Oct 9th, 2017, 06:36 AM
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From Twickenham you'd best familiarise yourself with the suburban trains:

https://www.southwesternrailway.com/...ey/our-network

Much quicker into central London than using the tube from Richmond.

Get 7-day travelcards from your local train station: you might be in Zone 4 (St Margaret's) or Zone 5 (Twickenham). This will cover you for all public transport into the centre, and will get you 2for1 tickets for entry to a lot of attractions: www.daysoutguide.co.uk
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Old Oct 9th, 2017, 11:49 AM
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Twickenham is close to Hampton Court Palace - the English Versailles and stomping grounds of Henry VIII and wives - the ghost of one who is said to still haunt the place. Can take trains or boats right to palace. Hampton Court is IMO an astounding site -right up there with Windsor Castle or any castle/palace in England.
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Old Oct 9th, 2017, 12:12 PM
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"Can take trains or boats right to palace"

Not from Twickenham they can't. (well they could take a train but they'd have to travel in to Clapham Junction and then back out to Hampton Court and it would take about an hour)

But heck, it is less than 3 miles on foot from Twickenham to HCP so very walkable. (it is a little farther by car - maybe 4 miles)

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Old Oct 9th, 2017, 12:15 PM
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Yes walking is nice - do it on northside and come up to HCt thru a vast deer park - so sweet!
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Old Oct 9th, 2017, 12:23 PM
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Just asking - If you are “house sitting” aren’t you suppose to spend most of your time actually watching the house while your friend is away rather than gallivanting all over the UK? Seems like your friend isn’t getting a house sitter.
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Old Oct 9th, 2017, 12:29 PM
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Yes that was a question - is OP thinking they could day trip to places like Wales or Liverpool but the others they mention are easy day trips I have done by train from London - maybe spend a weekend in Wales?
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Old Oct 10th, 2017, 04:16 AM
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Firstly we fully understand the house sit! What we are looking at are some stints of 2/3 days away when we would plan to visit places like Liverpool etc. nothing is set in stone. The majority of the time we would be looking at places to visit that can be done in a day. So would appreciate ideas of places we can get to for a day from this area?
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Old Oct 10th, 2017, 05:00 AM
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I would look at the national rail link above and see where direct trains go from your station. Otherwise you will need to go back into London and change. Not a big deal but will take much longer.

You will be on South Western's line so trains will go South West to places like Portsmouth I believe.

To get North of London you will need to travel in to other stations like Euston or Kings Cross-St Pancras. If you want to go West you will need to go to Paddington. East - Liverpool Street. South East - London Bridge or Charing Cross. South - London Bridge. Just as general examples.
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Old Oct 10th, 2017, 06:17 AM
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Twickenham is on a side route from the south-west main lines (a lot of the Thames Valley is like that). For fast trains down to Winchester, Salisbury (for Stonehenge), Portsmouth (for the Isle of Wight), stations in the New Forest, and the like, you might need to go back to Clapham Junction or Waterloo, but you might be able to pick up the long-distance trains from Richmond (which, depending on where in Twickenham you are, might be within walking distance or more easily accessible by local bus - these are details you could pick your hosts' brains on).
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Old Oct 10th, 2017, 07:12 AM
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you might need to go back to Clapham Junction>

UK's busiest train station sign there says and can be daunting changing between the zillions of tracks - avoid if possible.
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Old Oct 10th, 2017, 07:49 AM
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"UK's busiest train station sign there says and can be daunting changing between the zillions of tracks - avoid if possible"

C'mon now. Waterloo's no less intimidating considering it's the largest terminal station in London and the busiest.

The BBC noted Waterloo is the busiest in the country, Clapham Junction didn't make the top 10.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35105105

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Old Oct 10th, 2017, 08:48 AM
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"avoid if possible."

Since it is a major connection point to get to many parts of the country -- especially from where the OP is staying . . . why avoid it?

It is not the busiest if you mean passengers/boarding. It has the most trains traveling through it because it is a hub.

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Old Oct 10th, 2017, 10:58 AM
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Waterloo's no less intimidating considering it's the largest terminal station in London and the busiest.>

No but trains start there and more leisurely boarding and better choice of seats - trains stop at Clapham just for a few minutes and could be crowded by then?

But you're right otherwise changing at Clapham Jct is fine - better I think Patrick's idea about walk or bus to nearby Richmond.
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Old Oct 10th, 2017, 01:17 PM
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Many thanks for your suggestions, the house is around 10 mins walk to Twickenham station. When o/s we use public transport always, where at home we drive!! This is planning time & feasibility study. All depends upon cost of flights, which are looking quite expensive from Australia at that stage. So we’ll see.
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