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Our itinerary

Fort Lauderdale...
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Our itinerary

Hi all

Thank God for this web site and this forum right. I don’t even know how people travelled pre internet and TA lol.

I am planning a one week London - Paris vacation for my DH and I and I am strictly adhering to the reviews of hotels, attractions and etc on this site. I am well aware that we will not be able to see everything there is to see in London in the small time frame we have and we are somewhat on a budget, but I do not mind spending $$ if the attraction is really worth it. I also do not wish to make a very strict plan because we want to take it easy and not stress that I have to get to certain attractions.

We are flying in from Bulgaria to Stansted on July 24th late in the evening. We are staying one night at the Premier Inn at Stansted airport before we take the Stansted express the next morning to London. Here is my first question

Would you recommend we purchase Stansted express tickets in advance? I will only buy tickets in advance if there is a possibility that no available tickets will be available on the day of our travel. Could such thing happen? I mean this is a regular line where a lot of professionals take I would assume?

The train stop is at Liverpool station and our hotel is close to Euston (St Pancras/Kings Cross) station.

I tossed and turned, booked, cancelled and re-booked a few hotels while going through about at least 100 different hotels on booking.com (love the site) and finally decided in a three star Studios2Let hotel. I was surprised to find out that there is no reviews on TA about that hotel (I did find an old forum thread about it only), even though its rated “very good” on bookings.com. Most all four star hotels were booked and the ones that were left were out of our budget or had not so stellar reviews.

I was a bit apprehensive on booking a three star, because three star hotel in Europe is like one star in the US. I have never been to London though so I am not sure that same applies, but I read somewhere that the star rating of a hotel in London is based on the services provided not the overall hotel? I don’t know if I should be worried or not about that .. lol.

I was planning on us walking mostly to attractions and places of interest or taking the double decker buses if we get tired. I know that the underground is the most efficient way of transportation there but I really do not wish to be stuck underground when I can be sightseeing from the bus. I might be wrong here though(and looking for advice) since the bus routes might be longer than taking a 10 min subway ride? I am yet to research the oyster and travel card , but question

Is there a combined card we can purchase (buses and trains) to use for the 2 days we will be there ? How much are we looking at ?

As I mentioned above we want the trip to be a bit leisurely … my DH hates to be rushed and he does not like large crowds, but here is what I am thinking

1. July 25th –Stansted express to London (at around 9:00 -10:00), Buy oyster/travel cards? Transfer to the hotel (I think we have to go out of Liverpool station , walk to the pink line underground station and take to Kings cross). Check – in to the hotel. I am assuming this will take a couple of hours. Get something quick to eat and meet 1:00 pm Sandemans free tour. That takes 2.5 – 3 hrs. Then we are free to do whatever (any pub/lounge/bar suggestions? We are in our mid 30s and my DH is not very social, but I love to meet new people.

2. July 26th - Going to Tower museum and spending a lot of time there. Will try to go and see whatever we were unable to see on the tour or return to sights we saw on the tour to explore some more

3. July 27th – Breakfast, check –out , walk a little around the St Pancras station and Eurostar is at 11:45

Any suggestions or anything that you think is worth seeing (paid or free) in the time frame we have … please let me know. We are not picky eaters , but my DH loooooves fish and chips so suggestions for places where its very good are welcomed.

Also , do you think it would rain in July :) , i keep imagining a sunny sky while we are there , but I think rain shoes and some poncho might come handy? Would you suggest any shopping places there to buy good rain shoes and other rain gear :)

I am so sorry it’s so long. I appreciate you reading and the feedback.

Hampshire, England.
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1. Re: Our itinerary

"The train stop is at Liverpool station and our hotel is close to Euston (St Pancras/Kings Cross) station."

It's VERY important not to truncate names in the UK, asking for a train ticket to "Liverpool Station" could have you ending up 200 miles from London.

Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Our itinerary

>>Studios2Let hotel. I was surprised to find out that there is no reviews on TA about that hotel (I did find an old forum thread about it only)...<<

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g186338-d192484…

Fort Lauderdale...
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3. Re: Our itinerary

oh oops .. thanks!

London
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for London
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4. Re: Our itinerary

Absolutely do not worry about booking Stansted Express. There are no reservations on this service and tickets are sold freely.

If you buy a one-day travelcard at Stansted Airport, this covers your train ride into London and gives you unlimited travel on Underground and buses in London for the rest of that day. You will also qualify for the '2FOR1 offers with these tickets. If you wait until the 09.15 departure from Stansted Airport you will get the cheaper 'Off-peak' rate which will be £28.40 each.

For your second day, buy one-day travelcards for zones 1-2 at a National Rail ticket office - NOT an Underground one - and again you will be eligible for the 2FOR1 offers. You will find National Rail ticket offices inside the main line station at St Pancras and Kings Cross, so just go to whichever is more convenient. Again, if you wait until 09.30 they are at the cheaper off-peak rate - £7.00 each.

As you are staying close to St Pancras and leaving at 11.45, I doubt you will need travelcards for that day!

Fort Lauderdale...
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5. Re: Our itinerary

perfect! thank you for the reply

Roeselare, Belgium
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6. Re: Our itinerary

On your departure morning, if you're interested, you could walk up to the nearby British Library, which has an imposing collection of historic manuscripts I find intriguing (+free access!):

http://www.bl.uk/

Fort Lauderdale...
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7. Re: Our itinerary

thank you!

london
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8. Re: Our itinerary

To reach your hotel, I would suggest you take the train to Tottenham Hale from Stansted, and then change for the Victoria Line there. This about 15 minutes quicker, and a cheaper, simpler journey than going via Liverpool Street.

The cheapest way to do this journey is to buy these two tickets at Stansted Airport ticket office:

Single ticket from Stansted Airport - Boundary Zone 6 £14.40

London Off-peak Day Travelcard zone 1-6 £8.50

Total = £22.90

Bingley, United...
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9. Re: Our itinerary

< We are staying one night at the Premier Inn at Stansted airport >

I wouldn't, even at most ungodly hours there are coaches to central London. Even if you have to get a taxi from where the coach drops you it probably will still work out cheaper overall than staying at STN and travelling the next day

Fort Lauderdale...
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10. Re: Our itinerary

Thanks!

I guess I didn't want to spend the steep London price for the night when we will not be seeing anything that evening really. Plane lands at 21:30 by the time we get to London it will be most likely 23:00 -00:00 and since I don't know the city I am bit reluctant to travel at night and trying to find the hotel at night ..

Is the Premier Inn that bad ? :)