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Which City To Start Our Travels?

Germantown, TN
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Which City To Start Our Travels?

I don't know where to post this, so I will start with London.

My wife and I plan to travel to England and France next Spring. In England we plan to tour London and go north to Scotland. In France we plan to tour Paris, Normandy and the Loire Valley.

My question is which city is the best to start from? London or Paris? Does one have an advantage over the other? Is ones airport better than the other? We plan to use the Channel Tunnel between cities. Any suggestions would be very helpful.

Thanks for any help

Mauser

Illinois
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1. Re: Which City To Start Our Travels?

If this is your first trip to Europe, I think the UK is a little easier to start with since we speak (mostly) the same language. I haven't found a huge difference flying into Heathrow or CDG (Paris). How much time do you have for your trip? I hope a long time, as you have a lot planned. I would need probably 5 weeks for that trip.

Assuming you really have enough time to go all those places, I would probably fly into Edinburgh (not sure where you're going in Scotland, but I could easily fill a week in Edinburgh with day trips) then train to London, see London, train to Normandy or Loire via Paris, rent a car for Normandy and the Loire Valley, return the car in whichever one you do 2nd, train to Paris, see Paris, and fly home from there.

To get from London to Paris (or the other way around) you want www.eurostar.com . Tix are supposed to go on sale 120 days in advance, but I've heard they sometimes go on sale earlier on the .com site than on the UK or French site. Tix are cheapest when they first go on sale.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Which City To Start Our Travels?

I'd agree with starting in Edinburgh. If only to save travelling from London to Scotland and then back down again to get to Paris.

UK
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3. Re: Which City To Start Our Travels?

You should also look into what's called an open-jaw ticket, which will be sold on the airlines website as multi-city, so that you fly into (say) London and back from Paris. This saves a day spent pointlessly backtracking.

I'm not sure I necessarily agree you are better off flying into Edinburgh unless you can get a direct flight there. You could fly to London, then when done there train to Edinburgh, tour Scotland, back to EDI airport and fly to Paris, tour France, fly back from Paris, no need to use the Eurostar at all in that case. (That could also be done in reverse, fly to Paris, when done fly to Edinburgh, when done, train to London, London last.

Dunfermline, United...
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4. Re: Which City To Start Our Travels?

United from Newark is the only US>Edinburgh flight. It goes daily, twice daily in summer

How long do you have to do this trip? As BTGM said, you will need around 5 weeks to cover this and get some enjoyment out of it

Italy
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5. Re: Which City To Start Our Travels?

I would also book an open jaw ticket and start in the city that has the best flight price/schedule as i don't think it matters which city or country you start with.

Germantown, TN
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6. Re: Which City To Start Our Travels?

Thanks for the very good advice. This will be our number 4 trip to Europe. Our first was a Cruise to the Greek Isles out of Venice. The second was to the Czech Republic after which we rented a car and drove through southern Germany and over into Austria. Our last was a Cruise of the Western Mediterranean with stops in Italy, southern France and Spain.

On our upcoming trip we would plan to travel for about 3-4 weeks.

Thanks again.

Mauser

Groomsport, United...
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7. Re: Which City To Start Our Travels?

Not sure the car rental companies will let you take a car through the Chunnel to France....I would fly to France first, hire a car there and return it before catching Eurostar to London - no point having a car in London.

!! Then fly to Edinburgh before flying home from there.

Hampshire, England.
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8. Re: Which City To Start Our Travels?

"Not sure the car rental companies will let you take a car through the Chunnel to France....I would fly to France first, hire a car there and return it before catching Eurostar to London - no point having a car in London."

Am I missing something here, where is it mentioned that they're taking a car through the Channel Tunnel?

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Which City To Start Our Travels?

In my opinion you should start from England. Because you will not face any language issue over there form start.

Minneapolis
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10. Re: Which City To Start Our Travels?

My family and I did a similar trip in 2011. We were chaperones on a school trip to France. While the kids were doing their home stays with their French families, my husband and I went to Edinburgh and London. We then met up with them in Paris and went on to Brittany and Normandy.

We had to work around a round trip plane ticket to/from Paris (CDG). We got into the Paris airport in the late afternoon, stayed the Ibis hotel right on site in the airport. Then flew out on Air France to Edinburgh first flight the next day. Now this was kind of a wasted day, but I don't sleep well on the plane and we had extra days. So we didn't mind taking an extra day to adjust to the time change.

After our time in Edinburgh, we took the train to London. We spent time in London and then took the Eurostar train to Paris. We met up with the kids, toured Paris and had a private bus tour of Brittany and Normandy. Then back to Paris.

It worked. Doing it on our own, I probably would've gone straight to Edinburgh even if I had to connect through another European city. I would still take the train to London. Then if you can take the train into the Loire Valley or Normandy (not sure about train service to those areas as i didn't research it) I would do that. See those areas and then finish up in Paris. Fly out of Paris open jaw.

Though flying open jaw can be more expensive, there are train tickets to get back or plane tickets to fly back to the starting city. I try to take that into account when planning multiple city trips. Sometimes it can be closer in price when you add all the travel expenses.