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Which Airports in England Would be Best for My Itinerary?

Which Airports in England Would be Best for My Itinerary?

Oct 12th, 2009, 07:14 AM
  #1  
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Which Airports in England Would be Best for My Itinerary?

I hope you can help. Following a working holiday in Belfast I’ll be going to visit a friend in Gloucester and touring the Cotswolds--and possibly Wales. After that visit I'll need to work in Liverpool on March 12th – and fly back to the U.S. (on Delta or Northwest Airlines) the morning of March 13th.

Questions:

From Belfast … should I fly into Birmingham airport for Gloucester and the Cotswolds? Is there a closer airport?

Should I drive from the Cotswolds to Liverpool? (How long would that take?) Fly? Take a train?

When I return to the U.S. after Liverpool, should I fly out of Heathrow? Gatwick? Other?

And … would it be best to take a train from Liverpool to whichever airport I choose – or a commuter flight from the John Lennon (Liverpool) airport? I’m guessing I will need to arrive at an airport hotel the evening of March 12th in order to catch a morning flight the next day. I won’t be able to leave Liverpool until around 5:00 PM.

Thanks so much for your help with this!
Songdoc is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 08:19 AM
  #2  
 
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Return from Manchester (after Liverpool)and take the train to get there.
Driving from the Cotswolds to Liverpool would take about 3 hours.
Yes flying to Birmingham would be good for the Cotswolds from Belfast
alihutch is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 08:34 AM
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I think Bristol airport would be closer to Gloucester, but it would be the diffence between around 45 miles and around 60 miles. I am not sure what the availability of flights /ease of transport would be from either.
willit is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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This site

http://skyscanner.net/

will help you with the 'Belfast to where?' question....
alihutch is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 08:45 AM
  #5  
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Thanks so much for your responses. This forum is great.

I didn't realize Manchester was even an option. Unfortunately, flying out of Manchester adds a 6-1/2 hour layover in Atlanta. With that in mind, would I be better off flying home from a different airport?

Re: Belfast to Gloucester ... I'll check available flights into Bristol and Birmingham.
Songdoc is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 08:48 AM
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I would agree with Willit,Ryanair and Easyjet fly Belfast to Bristol http://www.easyjet.com/en/book/index.asp
http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/

Flybe fly Belfast to Birmingham and their planes are small. Their nickname here is Fly Maybe!!! http://www.flybe.com
cambe is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 08:53 AM
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I fly quite often with Flybe, and although the Dash 8s can seem a little small, in general they have always been fairly reliable.
willit is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 08:59 AM
  #8  
 
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Willit, they have a very bad reputation here in Belfast for cancelling flights particularly in the Winter and March can be dicey weather wise.

BMI baby also fly Belfast to Birmingham

http://www.bmibaby.com/bmibaby/en/index.aspx
cambe is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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Bristol airport is marginally less convenient for Gloucester than Birmingham because the road links aren't as good. But there's not much in it.

From Gloucester to Liverpool can be - IMHO - a grisly drive, since the only real option (M5/M6) is choked for half the way from 0600 to 2000 every weekday and much of Sunday afternoon. It's a more or less painless train journey, involving a change at Birmingham. At least 3 hrs both ways.

The ONLY way of flying from Liverpool to the US is to change at Dublin or Amsterdam. If you don't want to fly from Manchester (the only intercontinental airport with direct trains or buses from Liverpool), your options are:

- train to Watford junction, then the railair bus to LHR Check timetables of both trains and connecting coaches carefully. (Do Delta and NW use LGW any more?), or
- keep the car (though parking in central Liverpool is surprisingly expensive), leave from Heathrow and dump the car there. The car journey (M62, M6, M6 Toll - this bit is ESSENTIAL - M42, M40, M25, M4) is surprisingly hassle-free, except for the M6 between the M62 and the M6 Toll. Allow 4 hrs except during rush hours.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 09:47 AM
  #10  
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This is all awesome info that I couldn't seem to find on my own. So thank you!

Seems like sitting in the Atlanta airport for 6 hours would be preferable to driving 4 hours from Liverpool to Heathrow --at night after teaching all day.

If I were to fly out of Heathrow I'd still have a 2 or 3 hour layover in NY or Atlanta -- so flying out of Manchester actually only adds an additional 2 hours.
Songdoc is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 10:16 AM
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Flying from Belfast into Heathrow is also an option since it is under 2 hours to drive to the Cotswolds (closer if you are staying in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds). We did that this summer flying from Zurich to Heathrow. (If you arrive on a Saturday in the summer, as we did, the lines for the car rental agencies are long.)
PaulineK is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 09:02 PM
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Heathrow is certainly the most convenient airport for the Oxfordhire Cotswolds.

But the poster wants to get to Gloucester. For which Bristol and Birmingham are much handier.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 11:41 PM
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Songdoc - do you have any idea what time of day you would be arriving in England? And are you going to the centre of Gloucester or somewhere nearby? Both your answers can make a difference.

I live barely 10 miles (25min drive) south of Gloucester, and at 5am I can reach Bristol Airport in 1hr5mins, Birmingham in 1hr15mins, and Heathrow in 1hr30mins. In the middle of the day and in the evening it's about 2 hours to reach them all. At rush hour times it's a nightmare, though Heathrow is surprisingly slightly easier to get to than either of the others.

When looking at flights I always consider all 3 airports because there isn't really that much in it at the end of the day.
julia_t is offline  
Oct 12th, 2009, 11:47 PM
  #14  
 
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Also I'm a good 20 minutes from either of the convenient M5 junctions (for B'ham and Bristol), which your friend in Gloucester may well be closer to so the travelling times would be similar.

Is your friend meeting you at the airport and what is their preference?

If you are going to have to use public transport to travel to Gloucester when you arrive then you might want to look at your options there re trains and buses.
julia_t is offline  
Oct 13th, 2009, 05:58 AM
  #15  
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Again, many thanks for your help and great info. It seems I should probably choose a place to stay before deciding on the airport.

I'll probably stay at least five days--maybe a week. My friend lives right in Gloucester--but we might only be meeting a couple of times. So I'll be looking for a self-catering base--preferably someplace with lots of character--and a central loaction from which to enjoy and explore the Cotswolds area, while also having access to Gloucester.

I'll be arriving on a Monday and will rent a car when I arrive at the airport. My friend won't be meeting me at the airport because he'll be working. I'll be sure to schedule arrival that avoids rush hour.

An interesting side note ... My "friend" is actually a pen pal. We've been corresponding for almost fifteen years--and have never met. We've spoken by phone only once. When I was in London seven years ago, we were excited to meet ... and he had to have emergency surgery!
Songdoc is offline  

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