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Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

West Palm Beach Fl
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Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

I am going to pepper this forum with questions :>)

We plan on taking day trips to Cambridge, Stamford, Ely, and a few others. I have not yet worked it out - the exact where and whens - but am starting to, using informaiton I've gleaned from this Forum. You know, finding out what town has what on which days and what towns are grouped near each other so I can be effecient with our time.

I have read that parking can be terrible inthese towns and the train is often the best choice. Are there specific towns that I really really should take the train to visit?

The fact is, we are American and we drive. Period. So not having the car so we can come and go as we please feels really weird. Being tied to a train schedule feels.. tied. But I am willing to take the advice of those who know better - you all! Maybe a blend of car and train trips where going to maybe 2 towns in one day makes more sense to drive.. or to train it.

So please, tell me a good approach to this. Thanks!

Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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1. Re: Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

You could combine Ely and Cambridge by train but you may have to buy tickets for Peterborough to Ely and Ely to Cambridge

Rutland
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2. Re: Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

If you are staying at Barnsdale (from another post), then drive to Stamford (6 miles) - parking can be difficult at times, be we locals manage so no reason why you will not. Prices are not too bad.

Cambridge may be worth taking the train from Oakham or Stamford, or if you want to drive, look for one of the park and rides out of town.

Ely is an easy train ride, but I always find a tedious drive to get to, however as you are on holiday in a new country you may enjoy the drive across the fens. I always enjoy being able to see Ely cathedral from a long way off as approaching.

Not sure about parking there as I tend to work just outside of the town.

middle england
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for Leicestershire, Norfolk
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3. Re: Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

The answer could depend on your "few others". An hourly service throughout the day links Melton Mowbray, Oaham, Stamford, Peterborough, Ely and Cambridge as a section of the Birmingham-Stansted Airport service and it would be sensible to use this when visiting these places. Not all places are so easy by rail so you may need to use the car for other places.

Sheffield
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4. Re: Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

If you are staying at Barnsdale, then you need a car to get to a railhead anyway (Oakham or Stamford) and parking is difficult at Oakham station.

Parking is no problem in Stamford except Friday (Market Day) or Peterborough. Cambridge I'd use the Park and Ride. Don't know about Ely.

And if you have a car you can look round Rutland - stone built thatched cottages, splendid pubs. Some call it the 'East Cotswolds'.

Hertford, United...
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5. Re: Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

Parking in Ely is not easy so it would be easyer to us the train dont even bother going by Car to the centre of Cambridge use the park and ride. I am not sure about Peterborough. I would recomend a trip out to wickham fen from Peterborough.Apart from the cathederal and the steam train line its a bit of a dump.

middle england
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6. Re: Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

Bit of confusing advice from bp53. I think he means Wicken Fen, which is actually much closer to Ely than Peterborough, and it's not to everyone's taste. If you like shopping, for example, Peterborough is not a dump - there are far worse towns in the UK! And it has a very pleasant riverside.

Sheffield
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7. Re: Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

Peterborough is fine...you can park easily and at reasonable cost at the main shopping centre by the station or near the cathedral. The city centre and cathedral area are really attractive. The shopping centre has John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and so forth.

West Palm Beach Fl
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8. Re: Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

I need to follow up on suggestions but let me thrown in that we are not shoppers. And even if we were, the exchange rate would kill us. Add in that this is one week out of a very long summer visit in Europe and we simply can't shop in most places - no room in the baggage! We are into historical buildings, architechure (not modern), roman stuff, etc.

I did read about a steam train and one that we could ride on as a sight-seeing activity is right up our alley as well.

Does anyone have a link to a good map of the general areas we are discussing here so I see where things really are? Thanks!

Cambridge, United...
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9. Re: Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

Hi, Ely you should be Ok finding a parking space, the train station is on the edge of thye town and can take 5-10 minutes to walk in but a new town centre service startred last year operated by Norfolk Green linking the train station, a new Sainsburys Supermarket and the town centre if you don't want to walk it although if you do head along to the river, when you reach the bridge for the boatyard walk straight up the road, and contnue straight on and you'll be in the centre in 5-10 minutes.

It's a similar story with Cambridge, park and ride is best but the direct trains from Peterbriough are only hourly, but the buses are literally every couple of minutes into the centre if you don't want to walk it, in either case a plus busa add on should cover what you want for the buses to and from the station. There may be more frequent trains by changing at Ely though, but if you are coming from the other side of Peterbrough if you don't use the main train station it could be a problem.

With Peterbrough train station,m traiins to and from Cambridge seem to use platform 4 over the footbridge, but I gather there is building work starting soon to improve the station. If you have luggage, here's a handy tip, wlak up to the right end of the platform and walk up the ramp and use that footbridge may be easier if you have luggage than worrying about stairs.

Now, Peterbrough is fine for parking, some of the cheapest around, there's plenty of parking and there is one multi--story next to the station which is pretty cheap and just a footbridge walk into the town centre and literally two minutes to the train station.

Just please be aware all train stations in the area have had ticket barriers fitted so you will need to insert your train ticket into the barrier to let you through, but for return tickets it might keep the outgoing sectiopn, I don't know about when plusbus is added, as since the national bus pass scheme I've not had to worry about that. If you have questions at Cambridge just ask them to let you through there shouldn't be a problem there. It's again normally plunged for me due to my eyesight, so I don't normally have to worry about ticket inserts etc.

10. Re: Driving VS Trains for Day Trips

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