where to go from London?

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Sep 18th, 2004, 01:15 PM
  #21
 
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I agree with MK (for once). An overnight plane trip is not wise. You will not arrive at your destination before about 1 pm (probably much later). I don't think you can "experience another culture, etc" in a few hours. You will travel/wait 10-12 hours during this overnight trip. better to get to know your chosen destination better. the english countryside is a contrast to london and does have a different culture.
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Sep 18th, 2004, 01:39 PM
  #22
 
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Is anyone here old enough to remember "Getting There is Half the Fun"?*

I think train and boat travel is one of the most appealing parts of a trip abroad. Perfect "down time" in the middle of a hectic schedule. Nothing to do but vegitate, watch the scenery drift by, maybe read a little. There's nothing I'd rather do for an afternoon than get on a Rhine steamer and watch European history float by with a stein of Kölsch in my mitt. (Granted, you can't do that - at least not the history part - on a cross-channel ferry, but the principle still holds.)

* I know, it was about transatlantic liner travel, but stay with me, okay?
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Sep 18th, 2004, 01:56 PM
  #23
 
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Travel used to be elegant, but flying from a crowded airport and rushing around with modern nylon luggage quite simply isn't the same.
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Sep 18th, 2004, 03:42 PM
  #24
 
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I agree with the other posters that flying out of the country is impractical. Why not take a train journey from London and do a simple day trip. Oxford is lovely, and there are two 24-hour bus services that can get you there. I recommend buying/borrowing a copy of Earl Steinbicker's "Daytrips London". He gives you maps of each destination, and some basic information on train journeys.
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Sep 18th, 2004, 03:42 PM
  #25
 
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somebody suggested Amsterdam..i think that's a good idea! I flew on easyjet from London (Gatwick) to Amsterdam..Gatwick is generally pretty easy to get to, and then ride from Schipol to Centraal Station in Amsterdam is pretty quick--about 15 minutes. You can see a fair amount of Amsterdam in one day--when I went, I got their pretty early--around 8 or 9 AM, and spent the night at a hostel. I enjoyed my time there and remember thinking it could totally be done on a day trip.

Anne Frank house and a walk around the Jordaan..just walking in general is very pleasant there. Of course you won't get to see the red light district at night, but that's not for everyone anyway.
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Sep 18th, 2004, 05:48 PM
  #26
 
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Another overnight trip might be to Wales. I haven't been there yet myself but I have been researching it. Don't think you would have time to go to Northern Wales but could do the Southern area.

Closer trips might be to Brighton or Isle of Wright.
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Sep 21st, 2004, 06:21 AM
  #27
 
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You could get to Edinburgh by air or train. I've just checked random dates & times in November on www.thetrainline.com & you could currently get a train at 9am on November 15 & return at 5pm the next day for £25 - bargain ! The journey takes c.4.5 hours so can be quicker than flying since you're departing from & arriving in the city centres & don't have to check in an hour or more early. This would give you plenty of time to take one of the hop on / hop off bus tours & visit the major sites like the castle and the palace.
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Sep 21st, 2004, 06:48 AM
  #28
 
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With limited time and energy, you certainly don't want to eat up a whole day touring airports. Also, don't overlook the fact that many of the super-cheap flights also have super-tiny luggage allowances and make a lot of money on surcharges. Eurostar to Paris would be a non-flying possibility.

There are so many lovely places to see in Britain, even day trips by train or bus out of London, this would be delightful rather than exhausting. If you want to experience another culture, you can easily seek out some of the areas of London that have been settled by various immigrant groups. Great Indian food!
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Sep 21st, 2004, 07:29 AM
  #29
 
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It's true that it's easy and cheap to hop across the pond for the weekend - this week Rome, next week Madrid, next month Amsterdam - Londoners do it all the time.

Difference is, we'd go for 2 nights at least, as the drag out to Stansted airport, the looong check-in and heightened security measures and the drag into town at the other end mean that I may be able to leave work and head for the airport at 6pm, but I'm not checking into my hotel in Venice til midnight - remember that the continent is one hour ahead.

I've done overnight trips, but it's just exhausting.

I often fly to Edinburgh or Paris just for the day on business, but I'm going Business class, so have minimal check-in agravation and a fast journey to Heathrow, and I'm STILL exhausted at the end of the day.

I just don't think it's worth taking that amount of time out of your precious holiday. Look internally - there's a lot more to England than Stonehenge! How about Cambridge, Oxford, Canterbury or Brighton for starters.
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Sep 21st, 2004, 07:46 AM
  #30
 
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I'd say that if you know London and have done the major tourist spots, then you might as well take the time to pop over to another country. I would suggest that you stay a night though. Personally I'd go for Amsterdam or Barcelona, or anywhere within reason really! The cost is so very reasonable - and if you got with easyjet or an equivalent, you don't have to turn up at the airport so it doesn't cut too much into your trip.

Whilst weekending around Europe is something we take for granted (though not as often as I would like!), you have to travel so far - and so expensively - that I think that if you can get a couple of countries in then you should make the most of it. If only so that your daughter can impress her friends - ha ha!

I do tend to rant on about it but I can't stand the tendency to lump 'Europe' together as one place. Yes, technically, it is one continent - but it only takes a very short experience in each country to realise how different we all are.

I say go for it. Even if it's just a case of turning up at Gatwick and taking pot luck!!
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Sep 21st, 2004, 07:48 AM
  #31
 
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Oooops! That should read that you don't have to turn up too far in advance to the flight at the airport!!
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Sep 27th, 2004, 02:49 PM
  #32
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Hi,
Just wanted to say thank you for all of the responses.
I am more confused then ever. Train air, stay put, go.
Not quite sure what to do!
Any other ideas are welcome.
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Sep 27th, 2004, 10:09 PM
  #33
 
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Ask a question I often ask myself: if I had five years to live, what would I do? In this case, you can amend it to: if I won't return to England/Europe for five years, what would I do? Then maybe you'll know your priorities.
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Sep 28th, 2004, 01:26 AM
  #34
 
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I have just got back from Rome. Travelled RyanAir from Stansted to Ciampino Airport Rome. It is only about 12 km from the centre and a return coach ticket costs 13.50€. They do 5 flights a day and we were in Rome by 10:00 a.m. and flew back to Stansted at 21:40, so had two full days in Rome. A return ticket cost £47.50 and it is even cheaper on weekdays! The earlier you book, the cheaper the tickets. I have just checked on their website (ryanair.com) and to travel out on 14th and back on 15th December the total cost, including taxes is £28.93 return. Stayed at the Jolly Leonardo de Vinci hotel, quite close to the Vatican for 140€ a night, double room, including breakfast. Had dinner at Dante-Taberne just a couple of blocks from the hotel at 266-268 Via dei Gracchi. Such a warm and friendly reception and lovely food, reasonably price.
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Sep 28th, 2004, 06:27 AM
  #35
jay
 
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How about paris? You could see alot in two days and one night.
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Nov 6th, 2004, 05:23 PM
  #36
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Hi,
We are leaving for our week in London in 2 weeks and I still haven't decided whether or not to try to see another country.
I am leaning towards just doing day trips from London.
Seeing some shows (have tickets for the Producer).
One thing that is making me think that staying put might make sense, is that my son,(doing a college semester in London) has told his roommates that I will be there to cook them Thanksgiving dinner!
Will I have any problem buying all of the traditional Thanksgiving trimmings there? We are staying in S.Kensington.
That being said:
What are your favorite day trips?
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Nov 6th, 2004, 08:03 PM
  #37
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Wow,
This was moved ahead quickly!
TTT.
Thanks.
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Nov 6th, 2004, 11:49 PM
  #38
 
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Waitrose at Gloucester Rd tube station will have virtually everything (and, amazingly, staff who'll probably tell you where to get anything you can't find. It's employee-owned, and generally has, by London standards, extraordinarily helpful people).

The rather bigger Sainsbury's a bit west used to be reliable, till they hired Anderson Consulting (or whatever balmy name it trades under these days)to create an inventory control system. Now it looks like a 1980s Russian food store.
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