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where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

Montevideo, Uruguay
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where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

Hi, we are a family ( my wife, myself and 2 11 year old girls) that will be driving from Edinburgh to London on Easter Sunday night. We need a place to stay near London ( between a 1 to 2 hours drive on Monday morning). We have tickets for the Eurostar leaving St. Pancras at Monday 1pm and need to return the car about 11 am in a Hertz location close to the train station. I was thinking it will be more convenient to stay outside London, rather than getting in the city with the car late at night. We also need to check in the hotel/ lodge / b&b very late at night ( probably between 1and 2 am Monday).

Any suggestion will be welcome

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1. Re: where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

Do you have to drop the car off at a Hertz location near to St Pancras, as driving into London should be avoided if at all possible

I would drop the car off at a town outside London (Welwyn Garden City for example) stay the night there in the Premier Inn, then in the morning take a train to Kings Cross/St Pancras for the Eurostar.

London
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2. Re: where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

Easter Monday is a holiday in the UK, so some car hire locations will be closed. I suspect your only options will be Marble Arch (very central, navigation difficult if you don't know the area) or LondonCity Airport. Don't underestimate how long it may take to go through car return admin then get across to St Pancras - I think that 11am is right on the edge of how late you can drop the car. To be clear, neither of these options is very near St

Pancras, you'll need a tube or taxi ride. The Hertz location at Russell Square is close to St Pancras but is unlikely to be open on a bank holiday.

That said, driving from Edinburgh is a long dull drive. I think your plan just creates a lot of logistic headaches. The most relaxing option would be drop the car in Edinburgh and come down by train.

Bingley, United...
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3. Re: where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

I would have flown from Edinburgh to Paris / Brussels and saved myself all this hassle, second choice would be train - which is under 5 hours to Kings Cross which is next door to St Pancras or the sleeper to Euston which is 10 minutes walk from St Pancras. I would even consider taking the first train on the 21st April which reaches London at 10:40am or even flown to a London airport on the Sunday.

My last choice by a VERY large margin would be driving

If you want to cut your losses then drive to somewhere like York and stay there overnight and drop the car at 9:00am before travelling by train to London

Edited: 17 March 2014, 16:54
Wales, United...
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4. Re: where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

Any chance you can re-think your plan Pablo? I agree with Alanrow, driving is the last thing I would choose.

Hampshire, United...
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5. Re: where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

Where are you picking car up?- one way rental charges will increase cost of car travel, you could get a family rail card to reduce cost of train journey Edinburgh London,

Flying direct from Edinburgh to Paris/Brussels would be a quicker and more pleasant journey.

Hampshire, United...
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6. Re: where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

Train would cost only £86.70 + £30 for rail card take 4.5 hours and you could leave Edinburgh on the Monday morning …nationalrail.co.uk/service/…dep

Compared to 7 hours driving, car rental, fuel for 400 miles, drop off fee, congestion charge and several hours of 'are we nearly there yet' it would seem to be a no brainer.

Montevideo, Uruguay
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7. Re: where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

Hi there, thank you all for your responses, I' got useful info and pieces of advice from each and every answer.

There are a couple of points I think I should have mention before: we are taking the car in Lindon Thursday April 17 and driving North, visiting Cambridge, York , Durham, Edinburgh, Stirling, St. Andrews and Stonehaven. I consider dropping off the car in Edinburgh, but found the fee quite high. The other important point for me ( the real one) is that I really love driving, so I made a point of having a " road trip section" in our short European journey ( before picking up the car we will stay a week in London and after 5 days in Paris).

Having said that, it doesn't bother me a long night drive fromEdinburgh to Welwyn Garden City , and then a relatively short drive in the morning to London Russell square Hertz location ( because of the holiday there are no many options for drop off on Easter Monday.). In fact, the idea of a nice car, a not very busy highway, the girls sleeping in the back seat, and a few hours of uninterrupted conversation with my wife , appeals to me.

However, I was not aware of the sleeper to Euston, so I will explore that possibility. I will keep you posted.

Wales, United...
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8. Re: where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

Have you ever driven in the UK, Pablo? The motorways are always busy with large lorries, and these tend to be more evident in the evening and at night as this when much of the supermarket deliveries, post and other time sensitive items tend to be on the road.

I hope I am being pessimistic, but your expectations in regard to a quiet highway and sleeping children, may be unrealistic!

An alternative view would be a busy but boring motorway, overtired and bored children, and a stressed out wife, inevitably leading to a miserable, frustrating and long journey. This what many locals would have experienced over and over again when driving here!

Oakham, United...
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9. Re: where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

It will take you twice as long in a car as in in a train by the time you've stopped for toilet breaks etc. Even if you enjoy the drive (seems unlikely!) your passengers would I'm sure prefer the train.

7 hours (plus stops) of this is not my idea of a good day out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6wBabI0tYU

Add an hour if there's an accident on the motorway.

London
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10. Re: where to stay near London, driving from Edinburgh

Are you 100% sure that the Hertz location at Russell Square will be open on Easter Monday? That location is usually closed Sundays and Bank Holidays.

You are looking forward to "a not very busy highway"? The traffic shoud be lighter than usual at the time you travel, but the roads won't be empty, the south east of England is just too crowded for that.