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What to Do???????

TENNESSEE
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What to Do???????

I will apologize upfront for the length of this message but I need help!!!!!

I need to know the best way to get around on my trip to London from June 14th to June 23rd. Here is what I have planned but I cannot figure out the best way to purchase all the transportation. Please be specific in your responses....

1. SouthHampton to London = we are coming in on Cunard cruise ship on June 14th. Thinking about staying in Kensington/Earl's Court area.

2. Staying in London for about 5 days. Will use tube to sightsee. Want to take a day trip to Paris using the Chunnel. Also would like to see Normandy.

3. London to Edinburgh = We will leave London on day 4 or 5 and stay in Edinburgh for 2 to 3 days. Want to travel by train for this roundtrip. Possibly get over to Dublin (how?).

I need help knowing what is the best way and cheapest way to pay for all this transportation.

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Earl's Court
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1. Re: What to Do???????

Travel isn't your problem, time is, you are trying to cram far too much in. Unless you go on a private tour (and even then) a day tour is very difficult for Normandy from the UK. Doing that *and* Paris in a day, isn't possible.

In 9 days, London, Paris, Normandy, Edinburgh, and Dublin just don't fit. I suggest you forget Dublin and Normandy, even the three left will be tiring.

Yes, train is best for Edinburgh (by a long way, but book in advance or fares are expensive).

The train to Paris is called Eurostar, (it seems only Americans call it the 'chunnel' these days - been a lot of discussion on this recently :-) Again, book well in advance to get the best fare which will be around USD$120 for a day return.

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Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: What to Do???????

You'll need to book hotels and trains pretty d@mn pronto if you've got your dates set.

If you would like to go to Edinburgh, Paris and Normandy, you'll have next to no time in London. Adding in Dublin will more or less guarantee a brief sojourn in London but lots more travel time.

www.eurostar.com for tickets to Paris. www.nationalexpresseastcoast.com for tickets to Edinburgh, if you must. If train tickets are pricey, consider flights from LHR or from LCY - the latter is easy to get to, and you can show up 25 minutes before departure and get on board with few problems.

Which Travelcard to buy (or whether or not to use PAYG on Oyster) depends on how long you'll be in London.

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TENNESSEE
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3. Re: What to Do???????

What is the travel card and oyster stuff, is it benefical considering the travel listed above

Itasca, Illinois
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4. Re: What to Do???????

Don’t try and do Paris in a day. Just because you can get there and back in one day via Eurostar doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. My friend and I did that last September and felt way too rushed. Unless you plan to spend your entire time at the Louvre or another museum, I suggest that you give Paris at least an overnight stay.

I have been to London on dozens of occasions and would advise against Dublin and Normandy as well. Edinburgh and London have more than enough to offer for the time you are there. I still have many things on my ‘London To Do’ list and am planning my first trip to Edinburgh this August. I have friends that perform at Edinburgh Festival every year and they finally convinced me it was time to join them.

By all means, use the tube around London but take the advice of the locals on which travel card to buy since options and rules have changed recently. Use the site link given in a previous reply for your research.

If you decide that the price of the train ticket to Edinburgh is too dear there are many great day trips to take out of London by rail. My top three suggestions are Bath, Salisbury (Stonehenge) and York.

I can't give advice about where to stay since I have always stayed with friends but I can tell you that a co-worker recently stayed in the Knightsbridge area and loved it.

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Stonehenge
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Itasca, Illinois
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5. Re: What to Do???????

Oops - maybe I only dreamt a previous post with the helpful London tranit site. Here's what I used last time: http://www.tfl.gov.uk.

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Dublin
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6. Re: What to Do???????

JuneBug, it really depends on why you want to visit Normandy. If you had a father or brother killed on the Normandy beaches (or buried in North-West France), I can understand why such a visit would be of emotional significance for you personally. If this were the case, I would cancel both Edinburgh and Dublin to visit Normandy.

If, however, Normandy is just something you wish to do on a whim, I think I would give that particular whim a miss, and focus instead on London, Paris and Edinburgh.

But, at the end of the day, we do not know your motivations in visiting Normandy. So we are not in a position to advise you conclusively on this issue.

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7. Re: What to Do???????

What's with the sudden ressurgance of the word "chunnel", I've seen it 4 times in a week!?

Dublin
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8. Re: What to Do???????

There still seems to be confusion about the origins of the word 'chunnel'. Most take it to refer to the physical tunnel under the English Channel and not the Eurostar train. There also a difference of views over whether 'chunnel' is a word used only by Americans. As was pointed out in two posts on this topic a few days ago, however, British newspapers use the term 'chunnel' all the time because it fits more easily into their headlines than the longer, 'Channel Tunnel'.

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The English Restaurant
The English Restaurant
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Watford
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9. Re: What to Do???????

It depends somewhat on the actual time of your flight back to the US from Heathrow or Gatwick but I would be tempted to stick to 6 nights in London which would include a day trip to Paris (although an overnight would allow you to see more without rushing) as well as possibly a day trip to the countryside and then head by train to Edinburgh on the 20th for three more nights. Then an early flight to either Gatwick or Heathrow on the 23rd to catch your transatlantic flight home. I would give Dublin and Normandy a miss on this occasion unless you have compelling reasons to go.

Kensington/Earls Court is a good area for a first timer but knowing your budget and the sort of hotel you like might allow us to suggest some places. You would certainly need to book somewhere quickly.

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The Kensington
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Heathrow Airport
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10. Re: What to Do???????

junebug, once you get your London stay sorted out, then we can sort out your travel arrangements in town.

There have been a handful of threads here on the forum about Travelcards, Oyster, PAYG and other TfL ephemera. Do a wee search, and if you have the strength left after reading the threads and info at the TfL website, you may wish to ask a question or two. If you find the info bewildering, two things to keep in mind: first, you're not alone; secondly, riding the buses, Tube and DLR and using Travelcards or PAYG on Oyster is considerably easier to do than to describe.

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