UK travel in 9 days

Old Jan 10th, 2013, 12:38 PM
  #1  
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UK travel in 9 days

Current itinerary is:
3 days/nights in London
1 night between London and Edinburgh
2 nites in Edinburgh
2 nites in York
last night in London to fly out the next day.

Do you think we're biting off too much? I heard that Edinburgh is a full day (7 hr) train ride. Are there other areas outside of London, that would be better to stay on this trip? I'm traveling with my 16 yr old daughter, my girlfirend and her 7 yr old.
Thanks!
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 12:42 PM
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The train from London to Edinburgh is only 4.5 hours or so - not sure where someone got 7! There is a sleeper train that takes longer, but the regular daytime train is half a day.

I would add that "one night between" to either London or Edinburgh. You really only have a day and a half or so in Edinburgh, and if you're coming from North America, you'll be jet lagged your first day in London.

Have you looked at the possibility of flying into London and out of Edinburgh (or vice versa)? It might be around the same cost and would definitely save you time.
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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"I heard that Edinburgh is a full day (7 hr) train ride. "

No more like 4.5 hurs.

Are you flying into London at the beginning? Instead of splitting up your time in London and wasting almost a full day of your limited time . . . consider flying up to Edinburgh immediately after landing in London. Spend 2 nights in Edinburgh at the front end of the trip.

Then on the 3rd morning take the train to York (2+ hours). Spend that day and the next morning in York.

Then midday or there abouts, take a train to London (2-ish hours) and spend the rest of your time there.

Fly home.
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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we were posting at the same time.
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 01:14 PM
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I already have my tickets to fly in and out of London. And accommodations for while in London too. Hotel is not changeable.
Yes, we're all coming from California.
If it only takes 4.5 hrs on train to get there, then maybe we will add another day onto either place...unfortunately I can't extend my stay at the hotel we have in London, so I'd have to move for that one night before heading up to Scotland...
Any recommendsations for hotels in Edinburgh or York?
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 02:47 PM
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You do realize that York is between Edinburgh and London, right? So . . . you can add a night to London, travel to York, travel to Edinburgh, then return to London.

Problem solved?
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 03:01 PM
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Or add the day to London at the end, if your first hotel is completely unchangeable.

Day 0 - leave US
Day 1 - arrive London (won't be ready to do anything till lunchtime)
Day 2 - London
Day 3 - London
Day 4 - travel as far as York
Day 5 - York
Day 6 - travel to Edinburgh (or you could take a late train the night of day 5, if you want to maximize time in Edinburgh)
Day 7 - Edinburgh
Day 8 - back to London
Day 9 - London
Day 10 - go home
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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Since you have to return to London it would make sense to take the night train one way, and day trains the other. That will save you half a day.

See: http://www.seat61.com/CaledonianSleepers.htm
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 04:03 PM
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Yes and no - the night train arrives early so you still have to stash your stuff at the hotel/B&B and it won't be ready for you to access your room.
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 04:32 PM
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I can't see that is a problem. You can drop the luggage at the hotel, or even leave in left luggage at the station, and get right out and sightsee.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 03:37 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions! This is a great forum to get answers...
Our updated plan is:
March 28th Leave CA
March 29th Arrive London - Have afternoon to site-see.theatre
Have tickets to Mathlida
March 30th London site-see - All day Oxford, Windsor Stonehenge tour
March 31st Sight-see
April 1st Leave London by train to Edinburgh...not sure if I should do a night train or enjoy the day trip up there...ideas?
April 2
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 03:41 PM
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April 2 Edinburgh sight-see
Any one stay at the Premier Inn?
April 3 More sight-seeing
April 4 Head to York - Any suggestions on where to stay?
April 5 Sight see
April 6 Head back to London - See another play (Maybe Singing in the Rain...anybody see that?)
April 7th - Leave for home
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 04:06 PM
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hi Debra - you do realise that leaving aside the day you arrive, which may be written off by delays or jetlag, you have only one whole day devoted to seeing London, don't you?

What have you planned for that day?

if you did the night train to Edinburgh, you'd increase your time for London.
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 04:16 PM
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You're going to need lots of caffeine to stay awake at a show the day you arrive!

You have at most one full and three half days in London itself, and doing Oxford, Windsor *and* Stonehenge in a day seems like a LOT. Is this a package tour?
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Old Jan 21st, 2013, 06:44 PM
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jent beat me to it. Definitely TRY to change your theatre tickets to a different night.

Theatre on your arrival day can be BIG problem. I know better but one trip I had no choice. Wanted to see Maggie Smith in The Lady in the Van and my arrival day was the only availability. Had front row seat and there 8 feet from me was Maggie herself and it was absolutely miserable!

I struggled the entire first act to just keep my eyes open - I could just imagine falling sound asleep and TOTALLY annoying Dame Margaret Natalie Smith and her coming to the apron and slapping me upside the head

I went outside during the interval -and that helped wake me up a bit. It was a fabulous show but I was totally miserable . . .
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 08:21 AM
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Oh goodness, janis, that'd be horrible! But I can completely picture Maggie Smith doing that.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 09:02 AM
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since you are doing similar things on trains and have an under 16 year old and three folks who can avail of the Party Pass I copied my response to a similar situation on another current thread:

a family of nine may want to look at a BritRail Pass simply because kids under 16 go free and with the Party Pass the 3rd thru 9th adults on the same pass pay ony 50% of what the first two adults do - and you can hop any train anytime - good for arrivials by plane - head to the London station and hop on the first of about two an hour or so trains to York and ditto from York to Edinburgh - plus you can use the pass on the Heathrow Express train the same day if going to York straight away.

Normally only two train trips would not warrant a look at a pass but if you have kids under 16 and with the Party Pass this could be a great deal - check normal fares at www.nationalrail.co.uk - fully flexible fares can be dauntingly high - and yes the pass lets you hop on any train anytime.

For loads of great info on British trains I always spotlight these fine IMO sites - www.seat61.com (click on this site's commercial link to RailEurope for pass prices) and http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id11.html and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 10:08 AM
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Thank you all! We'll make our reservations for Mathlida for the second night!!
Maybe going from London, to York to Edinburgh back to London would be a better route, the the other way around?
Yes, we have an all day tour lined up to see Stonehenge, etc...
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 11:17 AM
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Oh good - your post sounded like you'd already bought the Mathilda tickets, so I'm very glad to hear you hadn't.

I don't think it much matters whether you do York on the way to Edinburgh or back from - the main concern is that you're cutting your in-London time very short. If you haven't already, I'd make a list of the things you want to see in the city, and decide if you really want to spend that whole day running around Oxford/Windsor/Stonehenge. That'd be a VERY busy day.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2013, 01:23 PM
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Great about changing the theatre night!

"Maybe going from London, to York to Edinburgh back to London would be a better route, the the other way around?"

Doesn't much matter which order. However what does matter is splitting London into two stays. That is awfully inconvenient and time wasting.

Consider something like: Land at LHR, immediately fly to EDI - stay 3 days, train to York - stay 2 days, train to London for the rest of your time. (Or vice versa - stay in London first, train to York - 2 days, train to Edinburgh - 3 days, fly home from EDI- or fly EDI to LHR the morning of your flight home).
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