which way

Feb 7th, 2010, 03:19 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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which way

we are travelling from Australia to uk/europe in May. We are staying in London then want to go to the following countries but don't know which way to go for cheapest route. I was thinking London - Amsterdam on the dutch flyer (rail/sail/rail) we then want to do Audi tour in Ingolstadt Germany (still waiting until March for them to release dates/rates, if doesnt work then we will skip Germany. what is best way train/plane etc then onto Paris and onto Ireland or Scotland. Or is it better to go London- Munich/paris amsterdam. A bit confused on which direction to go in and how to get around??? can anyone help.
Kathdb is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 03:38 AM
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Hi Kathdb,

I would probably follow a linear path: Ireland, Scotland, England, Netherlands, France, Germany. Not sure of the travelling modes in between, but there are good rail connections to the cities you mention. Since you are potentially leaving from Germany you could fly any of the Lufthansa combinations from Australia as Lufthansa doesn't fly direct from there any more but flies to Singapore and Bangkok and does super combinations with Singapore Airlines (my favourite) or Thai. Flying into Europe, Frankfurt is the hub and you would need to change planes there; Lufthansa flies all over Europe from there.

lavandula is online now  
Feb 7th, 2010, 03:47 AM
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Since you are a bit confused the best thing may be to buy a large map of Europe and lay it out on a table. You can use sticky notes to mark places of interest then get a big picture of distances and logical routings.

For train schedules for all continental Europe I like to use the Germain rail website www.bahn.de. For driving routes I use maps.google.com. You can look up schedules and determine for yourself if an itinerary is feasible.

A quick check shows that train from Amsterdam to Ingolstadt takes 8hrs with a minimum of 2 connections.

To get from Paris to Ireland your best bet by plane.
J62 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 06:01 AM
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flights start skyscanner.net then visit the actual web site but don't just read the price try to buy the ticket. Nearly all cheap airlines are still hiding the taxes element which can more than double the price of a flight. Note that prices are "time variable" that is the price you pay today will change tomorrow. (sometimes it actually goes down)

There is also a good ferry web site called www.ferrysavers.co.uk but even here once you have a price check the company price as well as it may be lower
bilboburgler is online now  
Feb 7th, 2010, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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What kind of a time table? 2,3,4,5 or 6 weeks???

Preferred mode of transport -- rail, bus, self drive?

General age / traveling style (rapid, slow-paced, constantly on the go)?

Interests: Culture, Art, history, scenic, mingling with locals????

Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 07:27 AM
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That's a lot of running around. How long is your trip?
StCirq is online now  
Feb 7th, 2010, 07:30 AM
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How long do you have? Are you flying in/out of London or are you doing open jaw? Have you already booked your flights?

Yes - at minimum you need a map. London > A'dam > (possibly) Germany > Paris > Ireland/Scotland is VERY zig zaggy.

Before we can give really useful advice -- we do need to know how long you have for the trip in full and about your flights.
janisj is online now  
Feb 7th, 2010, 07:31 AM
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Was posting the same time as I_C and StCirq . . . .
janisj is online now  
Feb 7th, 2010, 07:39 AM
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Agree with all the posters (ie. need time frame and a nice map). One thought is that the Eurostar from London to Paris then Thalys from Paris to Amsterdam is faster and more direct than London to Amsterdam than Amsterdam to Paris by a bit. If you go London to Amsterdam, you need to switch in Bruxelles. Also, consider to take flights in London, the airports are fairly far out from the city so add in the cost of the express train rides and their times to your calculations. Every time I do that, I always end up with the train.

Finally, be careful of the discount airlines and their varying checked baggage fees which might take a cheap flight and make it expensive. I recall one flight where my 50 euros flight ended up being 200 euros due to excess baggage that made in internationally fine but was way overweight domestically.
elzevir is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 12:44 PM
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we are flying into London on the 22nd May- hiring car and driving straight to Brighton ( I have been told we are mad but accom is Brighton for first two nights-thought driving easier than trying to work out Public transport when we first arrive)catching last day of brighton festival. Then drive to bath/cotswalds overnight and back to Sydneham for 3 nights, to do our London sightseeing. We are going to do Buck Palace on 27th- the ritz for high tea and then CHelsea flower shower all booked. so either side we will try and see as much as we can we have a London Pass and thought about using Oyster Card for transport. If we go from London to Amsterdam on the ferry the train is at 8pm and then ferry 11pm so thought that would help give us a full day in London and then save a day of travelling as we will be sleeping in a cabin on the ferry, and start the day in Amsterdam at 8am.
We are away for 4 weeks- thinking 2ngt/3days Amsterdam, te audi tour if happening is 2ngt 3 days + 1 day travelling. Paris 2 nights/ 3days to see main tourist stuff and then (ireland not sure that we will fit in)Scotland 2 nights with a hire car and drive back through UK for 6/7days.
Kathdb is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 01:38 PM
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a few miscalculations going on here . .

1) The VERY easiest way to get from LGW to Brighton is to jump on the train that actually serves the terminal and get off in central Brighton.

2) driving from Brighton to Bath and the Cotswolds and then to Sydenham in 1+ days mean you will see almost nothing in Bath and nothing at all in the Cotswolds, and will spend literally hours in the car and in major congestion.

3) Sydenham (assuming you mean the one south of London) is not at all convenient for touring London or the Chelsea Flower show. Are you staying for free w/ friends/relatives? If not, you will waste a lot of money and a huge amount of time commuting.

4) The London Pass is a major rip off - but since you already purchased it - make the most of a bad situation and cram in as many of the covered sites as you can.
janisj is online now  
Feb 7th, 2010, 04:58 PM
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1) what I looked at train wise looked like changing trains about 3 times. We are flying into Stansted Airport.

3) Sydenham yes south of London is free- apparently 20 mins by train to London and using the oyster card approx 7 pound for whole day using all transport.

4) I thought that about the London Pass also -but they had a special on and got last year price and no postage when I added up tower of London and 3 other major sites I want to visit it worked out way cheaper. (have got 3 day pass 19.50pound a day, tower of london is 14.45pound river cruise 12pound-kensington palace 12.50pound,kew gardens 10pound etc)

3) I was trying to have 2 nights in Bath but free accom only avail on the dates I have organised as they are going away.
Hopefully we will have 1 1/2 days in Bath may do Cotswalds on way back at end of tour trying to see as much as we can in the little time we have.
Kathdb is offline  
Feb 7th, 2010, 08:43 PM
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Oh - sorry. I misunderstood - since you were talking about driving to Brighton I just assumed you were flying into LGW. It is the only London airport remotely near Brighton.

Driving from Stansted to Brighton after an international flight would be very VERY difficult - you will be on some of the most congested roads in the country.

And driving from Stansted to Brighton to Bath to the Cotswolds (note the spelling) to Sydenham in three days really won't leave you any time to see much.

Stansted to Brighton on a weekday morning will take probably 2.5 - 3 hours (or more if you run into even normal traffic). So adding 90 mins at the Stansted end for immigration, collecting bags and arranging the car, you are talking 4.5 hours - after a long haul flight.

Brighton to Bath is about 130 miles and would take about 4 hours.

Bath to Sydenham = about 3.5 or 4 hours. Where are you dropping the car? Is there a rental agency near Sydenham?

Dropping the Cotswolds won't help much - in your 3 days w/o the Cotswolds you will spend at least 13 hours just driving time w/o stops and are cris-crossing the whole country twice.

Aren't there some other places you'd like to visit other than Brighton and Bath? Lots and LOTS of great places would be more convenient for you.
janisj is online now  
Feb 8th, 2010, 04:38 AM
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I thought both were really popular areas to visit, after reading foders and lonely planets etc as well as Uk tourists sites- tours go to bath/salisbury/stenhenge all in one day so thought with us having day and half at Bath would be doable, I know we don't have time to see all but thought that the drive there would be scenic and seeing other areas of Uk. On our last bit of trip with car we will 2 nights in most spots or more if we like place and not rush- if we miss something we miss it. There are too many sites and beautiful towns and history to see all- even if we had 3 months. We hopefully will get a good taste of what we see.

I beleive there is a hire car drop off in Lewisham and we can catch train to Sydenham.

We have 7 days at end of trip to do tour hire car driving, the 3 days is just Central London sites.
Kathdb is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 04:54 AM
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Unfortunately the driving parts on the M roads are not scenic at all. Think large 4 lane highways. If you want scenic you will have to go on the smaller roads, which will take A LOT longer!!!

I know its a small islands, but everything takes so much time...especially driving. And to go from stansted (north of london) to Brighton (south of London) you will need to drive all the way round London...if there are any issues you could spend hours sitting in traffic. It always amazes me how long driving in and out of London takes.

I personally wouldnt bother with the driving for that little time out of London. You can do a day trip to Bath on the trains from London and it would be a lot less stressful.
jamikins is offline  
Feb 8th, 2010, 07:41 AM
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"I thought both were really popular areas to visit, after reading foders and lonely planets etc as well as Uk tourists sites"

Sure they are -- so are 100 other places. It is just that neither is at all convenient to Stansted. Since you are stuck landing at Stansted - you really should base your decisions on that.

If you take the "scenic" routes, your drive times will be considerably longer. My guesstimates were based on the most direct drives, not the most scenic.

Assuming the Sydenham accommodations are not available those 3 days, IMO you'd be better off spending that time in central London and seeing the sites w/o all the commuting. It is best for a first timer to be in the middle of things because there is so much to see and do and sometimes you'd want to go back to your hotel in the middle of the day.

Then you could use Sydenham and the car as a base to tour around Kent/East Sussex. For instance, Sydenham is only about 30 miles from Hever Castle/Gardens (45 mins to 1 hour's drive)
janisj is online now  
Feb 9th, 2010, 09:58 PM
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I too am an Australian,so I sympoathise with your views BUT ...... We come from such a vast country compared to UK, but don't be fooled!! It takes a long time to get around England - much longer than similar distance in Australia. Take heed of the travel times being advised here by experienced travellers. Also, don't underestimate the traffic - it can be horrif at certain times. Sometimes "doing" less can be much more rewarding. Good luck with your planning.
PRLCH is offline  
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