UK & Ireland FAQ thread
Replies: 235 - Last Post: Mar 24, 2013 2:34 AM Last Post By: keithulka
May 7, 2003 3:54 PM
UK & Ireland FAQ threadWelcome to the UK, described by Lonely Planet in the latest UK guide as "simply one of the most beautiful islands on earth". You'll find that whilst people can appear flippant and/or sarcastic on this branch, it's only part of the unique British sense of humour so don't take it personally.
Please read this thread first before you ask a question, hopefully you'll find your answer already inside!
Feel free to add anything relevant to the thread too. Before we start though, here's some advice from the TT team:
1. Do a TT search! At least five posters a week ask what to do in London, whether to go visit Stonehenge on their way around the world, and whether it's possible to work under the table/overstay a tourist visa. The road is well traveled. Find those threads, add a reply (which brings the topic to the top, restarting the conversation), and then see #2. Ask one question at a time.
2. Be specific. You might include: How much do you have to spend? ("reasonable" doesn't cut it) budget or up-scale? What are your interests?
Finally: If you haven't filled in your profile on the TT, make sure your post mentions anything about you that would be helpful to know. An 18 year old Canadian on his first trip abroad usually wants different advice from a Italian family with an infant or a couple in their 50s from Cornwall.
Airport transfer details are available in this FAQ, check it first. Now back to Fwoggie's excellent post:
To get here by plane Most long haul arrivals will come into London either via Heathrow or Gatwick. The advent of the budget carriers such as Southwest in the US and VirginBlue in Australia has also caught on in Europe and these days many people using them will find themselves arriving in Luton or Stansted airpots as well. If you're interested in who the big players are, try Easyjet or Ryanair. There are many others as well, so if in doubt, ask.
Getting around The train system was the first in the world and as such, bits of it are a bit old these days, leading to the odd delay. Recently the rail industry was privatised and rail fares have rocketed as a result as firms try to make a profit out of the railways. Buying in advance can still get you a bit of a bargain, so try www.thetrainline.com or www.qjump.com. National Express runs coaches throughout the country for very reasonable prices, so try their website (available at www.nationalexpress.co.uk. If you would like to drive around, be aware that traffic levels south of Manchester can be very heavy and especially so in the South East. In the UK we drive on the left, and we tend to drive fast. Most motorways (freeways) are 3 lanes, and cars in the fast lane can often cruise at 90mph (140kmh) despite the density of the traffic. Many people though are frequently unprepared for our fuel costs which are amongst the highest in the world. It varies depending on your region, but an up to date list of prices is maintained by our automobile association at www.theaa.com (direct link to fuel prices here). As a guide, it's about 3 times the cost that it is in the US for example.
Attractions - London. You can't really avoid London if you're a first time visitor and its numerous attractions and sights can easily keep you occupied for a week. I've done the London Eye (London Eye) 4 times now (yes, it does wear thin after a while). Tickets can be booked ahead in advance by phone or on the net and this will supply a given time. Turn up half an hour before the given time and join the queue. Don't be discouraged by the size of the queue - it moves pretty quickly. The attraction sells a photographic guide to London so you can figure out what you're seeing. If you're not totally familiar with London this is definately worth buying and makes for a nice souvenier. Try and ride it in nice weather if possible. I personally prefer it at night, but sunset is also definately worth checking out (is my personal favourite time). Tube: Waterloo is closest - walk out past the Eurostar terminal, over the bridge and you can't miss it. Personally I recommend Westminster, come out by the river, and you can get a good photo shot before you cross over the river to get to it. Talking of the tube, it has a website - see www.thetube.com.
Try also Madame Tussauds (Madame Tussauds) - lots of waxworks in there - some of which you might not have a clue about (eg various politicans, King Arthur), some of which you should instantly recognise (Diana, The Queen). Good chance to educate kids and yourself re the history of famous UK people. However, it is prohibatively expensive these days and is seriously worth questioning whether it's worth the cost. Tube: Baker Street.
Re hop on hop off tour buses - they're all much of a muchness, usually about Â£14 a daytrip - get on and off as and when you want, children cost around Â£6. Options are Big Bus but the language options are a bit iffy although English is of course included. More appealing could be the original London Sightseeing tour (The Original Tour) which includes a free river cruise. Languages offered are English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Hebrew. For a bit of an off the cuff experience you can always try the totally unique Frog tour - why tour London's roads when you can do the river also in a special amphibious vehicle. See Frog Tours.
An alternative is to get a travelcard which gives you total access to the tubes and buses and use them instead. Much cheaper, but minus the narrative. But they still are almost all double deckers. But they're kinda only good if you're familiar with London. Still, the tour buses are the way to get around London. The tube is mostly underground in central London, so you won't see anything of note, although it is the fastest way from A to B if A and B are a few miles apart - use the buses if you want to keep on filming with your camcorder.
There are McDonalds restaurants seemingly every 200 yards, so if children get desparate for one, it's not an issue, ditto Burger Kings. There's several pizza chains including deep pan pizza, pizza hut etc. If Princess Diana is your thing, try the tasteless but heavily photographed bottom of the egyptian escalators in Harrods - there's a permanent memorial set up by Mr Al Fayed to the two of them, complete with her "engagement ring" and the wine glass she used. The (free) Victoria and Albert museum is just up the road too as well which is very handy. Tube: Knightsbridge.
Make sure you check out Buckingham palace one day for about half eleven for the changing of the guard - it happens at 12, but you'll need to be early to get a good vantage point by the railings. If the queen is in, the royal standard will be flying at full mast. It never flies at half mast even if she dies it'll be lowered, and then raised full mast for Charles as the new king. See info at London Tourist board info. Tube: St James' park, Green park or Victoria.
There's also Covent Garden (Govent Garden) - they have street entertainers that you can watch for free, or often they interact if you chip them 50p or Â£1. There's an indoor market there with small and large items, some of which are under Â£5 for small souveniers. Tube: Covent Garden/Charing Cross/Leicester Square - warning - Covent Garden tube station is shut on Saturday afternoons to anyone wishing to get back on the tube system - this is due to major congestion.
There's a whole bunch of parks for walking in, though I don't recommend picnics at this time of the year, leave that for the summer. Talking about this time of the year - get yourselves warm rainproof coats (or buy them when here). It will probably rain. Trust me on this.
Websites for general tourist info: This is London London Tourist Board.
Do not bother hiring a car for London - it is simply not an option for anyone and nigh impossible if you're under 25. The traffic in London has to be seen to be believed, and car parking prices (if you can find a space) will give you a heart attack. Besides, the public transport system works fine. The good news is that the drinking age is 18 in the UK, so take advantage if this isn't the case back home.
Attractions everywhere else in the UK
Visit Wales is the tourist board website for the principality and you'll find a very warm and welcoming people if you want to off the beaten path a bit. It's only 2 hours to Cardiff (the capital) from London by direct train and arguably doable in a day trip. Cardiff has great shopping opportunities, and in particular has the Millennium Stadium - you cannot miss the bugger when you get off the train at Cardiff Central - it's totally dominates the landscape and is arguably one of the best rugby stadiums in the world, hosting the 1999 world cup final. Go catch a rugby match if possible whilst there - the 6 nations tournament is held every spring and Wales will play several of their games at home each year, but be careful tickets go fast, particularly if they're at home to England. Further outside of Cardiff, Snowdonia park has some of the best scenery in the UK but mind the crowds on warm sunny days. If you're lazy, a train goes to the top of Snowdonia mountain, or you can always walk up it of course. Castles abound throughout the UK but some of the best are to be found in Wales (they do have over 400) including the famous Caernarfon Castle as well as the heavily fortified Caerphilly Castle. Public transport gets iffy internally in Wales, especially trains and a spot of patience will be needed. It is worth considering hiring a car for this part of the UK. As it's in the West of the UK, it experiences considerably more rain at any time of the year. Make sure you're prepared. If you're going hill walking, make sure you have the correct gear (which can often be hired at low cost) and that you've told someone where you're going and when you'll be back.
Visit Scotland is the tourist board website for Scotland. They're proud of the fact they're not English and won't let you forget it in a hurry. The capital is Edinburgh, full of life and colour and it boasts the Military Tatoo as well as the world famous Hogmanay celeberations. Glasgow is the major international airport for direct entry into Scotland and the two cities are only an hour apart from each other by train or bus. Glasgow is home to Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The Burrell collection is a haven for culture lovers, a wonderful display of art objects from across the world. The Lighthouse, right in the heart of Glasgow, is where a Charles Rennie Mackintosh conversion houses a variety of dynamic exhibitions on art and architecture. The Gallery of Modern Art, set in the neo-classical elegance of the former Royal Exchange displays the work of living artists from across the world. But the real delights of Scotland arguably lay outside their cities. Wind the way through the twisting roads past the countless lochs and find your way to the Highlands. Gliding, golfing, salmon fishing, pony trekking and nostalgic steam train trips are available as is snowboarding or downhill skiing. But when you finally tire of enjoying the scenic outdoors, don't forget to try some whisky. Campbeltown used to boast more than 20 distilleries in the 19th century, but there's only 2 left. Islay is only a small island, but has its own distinctive brands due to the level of peat used, whilst the highlands has some of the most famous whiskys in the world with others that are smaller yet arguably even better.
Staying a while in London?
Money - 6 months.
Self catering will cost Â£20 minimum, probably Â£25 per week
Going out in London will set you back, oh Â£40 per week if you go easy (that's assuming two easy nights a week, getting in and out of town).
Rail passes are available online.
Hostels can cost anything you like, assume an average of... hmm... Â£10-11 outside London per night for a dorm bed, Â£12-14 per night in London.
So, at a rough guess, ignoring travel costs and flights, I would estimate 6 months would cost you
Â£600ish on food
Â£1000 going out, sightseeing etc.
So that's Â£3600 before a rail pass or flights or whatever. Should you want more information, try the downunder friendly gumtree, www.loot.co.uk for advertising and www.ukvisas.gov.uk to find out what type of visa you're entitled to. Finally, another useful London website - www.tfl.gov.uk - a London wide journey planner to help you figure out how to get from a to b or even back to the airport.
May 8, 2003 9:39 AM
May 10, 2003 3:22 PM
2Don't know if this is repeating links or not - taken from Sophie Butler's column in the Sunday Telegraph 11/5/03
www.londontouristboard.com - accommodation information: phone 020 7932 2020
www.londontransport.co.uk (phone 020 7222 1234)
www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk (phone 020 7557 6700)
www.toptable.co.uk (phone 0870 850 8454)
May 11, 2003 1:30 PM
I know it's no match for Fwoggie's excellent piece, but would there be space for Dublin FAQ there.
The "Which hostels are good in Dublin?" questions are getting a little repetitive.
May 11, 2003 10:36 PM
4Getting There and Away
HomeOffice Border Agency regarding passport & visa requirements for short term stays (6 months or less) as well as long term stay to study & work in the UK.
Click here for citizens of the EU and EEA (European Economic Area to include Norway and Iceland (non-EU states)) and Switzerland (neutral) seeking entry to the UK.
Click here for customs and what can be brought into the country.
Click here regarding tax requirements for foreigners seeking to work in the UK
Irish Immigration & Natrualisation Service or the Dept. of Foreign Affairs on entry & visa requirements.
Irish Tax & Customs collects taxes and customs dept. So the same site is also used to search tax requirements for those of you working or seeking work in Ireland.
United States of America
... and Ireland entered into a preinspection arrangement in 1986. In Dublin Airport, only immigration checks are performed, with customs and agriculture inspections still done on arrival in the U.S. — therefore passengers from Dublin must still land at international terminals. Full preclearance services are available at Shannon Airport, although not to Aer Lingus passengers, as the airline has opted out of using the facilities. This will be followed by preclearance facilities at Dublin Airport that will be available when terminal 2, which is currently under construction, opens in 2010. Both airports will have full CBP facilities, which will allow passengers arriving in the U.S. to leave airports upon landing without further inspection. This will also save travellers the uncertaintly if they will be detained & deported. If there's a problem U.S. officials here can only turn away travellers who don't have valid docuuments to travel to the U.S. but if anybody's detained it can only be done by Irish officials.
Click here for non-U.S. residents/international visitors including links to the visa waiver program and other information you may need regarding entering the United States. If you are travelling to the USA on the visa waiver programme you are required to pre-register online PRIOR to travel. Click here for ESTA registration
The British Isles is a Common Travel Area that allows for passport-free travel between the two countries. It also comprises of Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The area's internal borders are subject to minimal or non-existent border controls and can normally be crossed by Irish and British citizens with only minimal identity documents. The maintenance of the Area involves considerable co-operation on immigration matters between the British and the Irish authorities.
The Irish government has imposed immigration controls on people entering from the United Kingdom since 1997. These controls have been compulsory for air travellers, selective on sea crossings and occasional for land crossings. In 2008 the British government announced that it planned to impose similar controls on travellers entering the United Kingdom which would, if implemented, effectively bring an end to the passport-free zone.
Both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are NOT members of the Schengen Treaty and the other countries may require a passport for Irish and British citizens to enter into their country. Maybe a visa for states outside of the EU may be required, like Russia or Belarus. It varies between countries. For those of you travelling from outside the British Isles if a visa required for one it is not valid for travel to the other and a seprate visa is needed if required.
If you need a passport the Identity & Passport Service issues passports or click here to see what the regulations are and the necessary forms. In Ireland the Dept. of Foreign Affairs issue passports. Click here to learn how to apply, the rules, and find the links to download the necessary forms.
With deregulation in the skies above the EU, lifting of tariffs between countires, and entrance of multiple carriers it became cheaper to travel over longer distances by air between the UK, Ireland, and the continent then by train or coach. Even for domestic travel WITHIN the UK, air travel can be more economical than surface travel across longer distances like travelling from Plymouth to Aberdeen or London to Belfast while for shorter distances like Bristol and London it would be economical to go by train or coach if you consider the time it takes to get to AND through the airports.
Ireland is a smaller area and most places within the republic can be reached by surface transport within a reasonable amount of time. Although it is still possible to fly like from Cork to Belfast.
Yet despite the competitiveness of airfares it still subject to ongoing fluctuations it Will still require some searching and planning to get the best fares. So here are some suggestions:
Lower cost fares exist on almost every commercial plane, but they get snapped up early by those who plan ahead. To find the best fares on a trip, check at least a month before you plan to fly. If you see a great fare early, snap it up, it's more likely to increase in price before it gets any cheaper. Flying at the last minute, especially showing up at the airport without a ticket and asking to get on the next departing flight, is usually (and becoming) the most expensive way to fly. If you HAVE TO travel at the last minute (like going to a funeral) look on and Lastminutetravel.com to see what's offered.
Due to a poorer economy that resulted in a fall in demand many are once again rolling out incredible deals. Some may include hotel stays (sometimes in 5 star properties) and/or car rentals for the same cost or a few dollars more then just airfare alone. Yet still cheaper or comparable then if you try to book them separately youself at a "budget" levels. So be sure to compare and consider those options.
Fares change constantly throughout the day - major booking systems receive price updates on an ongoing basis. Check for low fares throughout the day and into the evening. Prices often seem to creep up during the business day and fall back to more reasonable fares late at night. To really find the lowest fares, search at odd times. For example, some great values are often found late on a Tuesday night. You can have them (airlines, travel agents, online search engines, etc) help you by signing up on their e-mail notification so when something comes up it automatically notifies you by e-mail or friend/like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Your local or corporate travel agent can often get you better fares than you can find online and a person on the phone is guaranteed not to crash your operating system. Travel agents often have corporate deals with the major scheduled & charter carriers that allow them to offer lower prices to their customers and are experts at combining hotel and other costs into packages that can save you money and time in the long run. For long haul fares beyond the EU, also check with bucket shops that market to certain ethnic groups like an Indian or Pakistani agent for a ticket to south Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangledish, etc) or a middle eastern agent for travel to the middle east or northern Africa. Their services may also include arranging visas and invitations (as in the case with travel to Russia and some of the former Soviet states) for a small fee or for free if you buy the ticket from them. They usually advertise in local ethnic newspapers and are not necessarily known by the mainstream public outside their respective enclaves even in the cities where they are established at.
Combining the expertise of a travel agent and online sources could also yield some good fares too. I've listed some travel search engines that aggregates information from multiple online sites like BAA, Odopo, Expedia, EBooker, Travelocity, the airlines themselves, each other, etc and return the totals to include taxes & fees added on in one place on:
Kayak & Sidestep
Farecast, Bing Travel (Bing.com is Microsoft's response to Google's evergrowing web presence)
See Post #120 for additional search engine links.
No one source is always the cheapest so it's prudent to shop around & compare. So if you can find multiple sources in one sitting the better. Also note that some airlines like RyanAir and the smaller commuter/regional carriers may not be displayed in the above (as they do not allow their prices to be shown nor pay the percentage commission to the above) and must be searched individually. Be sure to also compare their hotel+airfare packages vs. airfare alone in the above sources too. It may be a better deal to buy the combination package instead of airfare only as many are working harder to earn your business in this poor economy.
Being flexible about the travel dates in traveling a day or three early or later can save some considerable cash. Thus, extending or shortening the length of the trip. Usually flying midweek (Tuesdays & Wednesdays) is the best but it's all subjective. If you're willing to include a Saturday night stay over at the destination and/or returning on Wednesday, or on even on redeye instead of Monday morning, you can save on the difference in the airfare too. Even some of the sites are displaying your options to show what the fare would be a day or two earlier or later.
Being flexible also means traveling from/to a different airport then the one nearest where you intend to go or live at. In some cities, there are multiple airports (like in London). 'Multiple airports' can also mean traveling from one city, by coach or train, to another. For example, someone going from Birmingham to Eindhoven might drive or take a coach to London Stansend to catch a direct flight to Eindhoven or fly to Amsterdam and then take another train to Eindhoven instead. Take a coach or train from City 'A' to 'B', fly from 'B' to 'C', and, maybe, another coach or train to 'D' (if 'C' is not the final destination). Even with the coach/bus fares and local transport (to/from airport) added in, it could still be cheaper then flying direct from 'A' to 'D' or even taking the train, coach, and or ferry from 'A' to 'D' which could mean a VERY long trip. Willysnout explains more on post #242 of the USA Branch.
Airlines often partner to offer tickets on planes that fly other corporate colors. For example, Iberia code share with British Airways for traveling to Central America. Meaning flying on Iberia on a British Airways ticket could be cheaper then an Iberia ticket on the same set of flights to Central America.
The airlines are also doing what they can to cut out the middle-men (IE travel agents) and avoid having to pay a percentage to them. Because they don't have to pay that percentage to a third party they can better offer a better deal than booking through a third party. Some like Ryan Air does not show up on travel search engine or travel agents and therefore must be searched & purchased separately on their respective sites. Keep in mind that if you buy the ticket over the phone there could be a booking fee which would of been free if the same ticket was bought on their website. Another advantage to buy direct then through a third party (like Odopo, Travelocity, EBooker, etc) is if there is a problem they will better accommodate you. Whereas if the ticket was bought through a third party nobody will take responsiblity. The airline can try to re-direct you to the agent or online source where you bought the ticket from while the other party will insist that it is out of their hands and you need to work it out with the actual provider. So the reason to book on the third party sites is that they could be the only ones selling a particular fare level that undercuts the competition or the airlines (hotels, car rental companies, etc) themselves through a bulk discount or other agreement they may have with the carriers.
In the UK there are:
BMI (British Midlands)(BD)
BMI Baby(WW) BMI's response to the budget craze.
City Jet A subsidiary of AirFrance to fly within the UK or from the UK to elsewhere.
British Airways(BA), BA CityFlyer (for the shorter hauls on Embraer & Avro Rj planes) They do compete in the budget, short haul, craze too.
Eastern(T3) operates scheduled domestic services and private charters from Humberside.
Jet2(LS) is another low-cost airline based in Leeds. It operates services from six UK hubs to 45 European destinations
Monarch(ZB) goes from Luton to Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, India and Africa, serving mainly leisure destinations.
Thomson Mainly a charter carrier but also offer limited scheduled service.
Virgin Atlantic(VS) operates long haul flights between the United Kingdom and North America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia from main bases at London Heathrow and London Gatwick.
Thomas Cook(MT) a chartered airline
Or seewww.airlineroutemaps.com to see the route maps as to where they fly to. Note that some of the information is outdated.
In addition, there are regional commuter airlines operating as Flybe, Island Air, City Jet, and others on an outsourcing basis or on their own names. Some do offer international flights to the continent as well.
Air Atlantique(7M) more of a pleasure flight on vintage planes than to get from here to there.
Titan Airways also operate on their own name as a chartered and ad hoc, scheduled service.
The airports are generally owned by private companies or local governments. There are no uniform aiport site or operation except through the Civil Aviation Authority which regulates air traffic & travel in the U.K. The below, links to additional airport websites which gives information such as flight departure & arrival times, ameneties, etc. Some of the airports listed (especially with Wikipedia) include general aviation airports (used by private and/or chartered planes) as well as commercial airports (served by the commercial airlines). Click here
The taxi is to expensive and I can't rent a car. What are my options in getting into town?
Most airport websites include a ground transport page listing all available local & long distance buses & shuttle that leave from the arrivals area of the airport. The below list & link to additional airport websites.
If you have a pre-booked hotel room they may also have a shuttle bus or van or contract with another company (along with other hotels) to bring guests to them from the airport. The shuttle can be arranged prior to arrival, called for upon arrival, or running on a scheduled fixed route basis. The cheaper hotels, motels, and hostels may also offer the same service so ask. They can be free or for a low cost. Same thing with car rental companies especially if they are located in a separate location from the airline terminal(s) or somewhere off the airport grounds.
Edited by: anyone101
May 12, 2003 10:01 PM
5Cars: AutoTrader is probably the largest online secondhand car publication in UK. If you're buying from a private seller, it's a good idea to do an HPI check to see if it's been stolen etc. Also try and find a copy of Glass's guide to see what sort of price you should be paying! Insurance is a legal requirement - 3rd party is the minimum you can buy, but may not available for a high-performance/newer vehicle - getting insurance is next to impossible for a high-performance car until you're at least 25. Any vehicle over 3yrs old needs a valid MOT (Ministry of Transport) test certificate. You also need to get the car taxed for use on the road. Remember that fuel is expensive here - you may be tempted to buy that cheap car with a big engine, but after the first tank of fuel goes through you'll understand why it was cheap! TheAA publishes a guide to UK fuel prices online, it can be found here
Booking travel tickets: May seem obvious, but remember to use credit cards when booking flights (unless they're covered on your travel insurance) - airlines do fail occasionally, and if you've booked an expensive ticket you'll want to get your money back if they do!
Also remember that prices (hotels/flights/cars) are often dependant on when you travel. Some places are weekend destinations, others weekday - you can save quite a bit if you choose the correct times - generally tourist destinations are more expensive at the weekends, work destinations during the week.
Linking to things: The TT doesn't automatically pick up links, so to get your links to work you can post them in one of two ways:
1) You could click on the http button above the text area and follow the prompts, or (if you prefer doing things by hand, or the prompt doesn't appear):
2) you could copy'n'paste this template: **L=Description of websitehttp://yourURLgoeshere.com
Films and airport security: If you have any photographic films remember they must go as hand luggage - there are powerful X-ray scanners in the hold luggage path of most international airports. Generally a hand luggage scanner should be safe enough for most print films, but if you're in any doubt politely ask staff for more information - particularly if you're using fast/IR or other special films. In the UK there is no right to a hand inspection...
May 13, 2003 9:11 AM
6If one is politically inclined and enjoys history, I recommend getting in line at around noon outside the House of Commons in London (there's only one public entrance that I know of) and sitting in the Strangers Gallery. The line can get long but you will get in eventually. The day I went last September I got to hear Foreign Secretary Jack Straw address the issue of the horrible Bali terrorist bombing -- and then the opposition questioned him about what the govt. knew, when and why there wasn't a sufficient notice for British travelers. The other topic of discussion was a new system that would allow pensioners to retrieve their checks from ATM machines. Fascinating stuff -- to me, anyways. I've always loved looking at the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, so sitting inside there was pretty surrealistic, esp. after all those years of seeing the House of Commons in session on CSPAN or CNN.
Oh yeah, I'm half Irish, so I could go one for a while about what I think one should do in Ireland. Here are some starters: St. Stephen's Green, Phoenix Park, Temple Bar, and the Old Jameson Whiskey Mill in Dublin. The Arran Islands (you can take a commuter plane over and stay for just a day if you want), Giants Causeway, Belfast (Mill Town Cemetery, Ballymurphy Estate murals), Derry (the Castle Walls and the shopping center inside are interesting). The Western resort towns of Sligo and Donegal. Cork and Cobh back down in the Republic. Too many places to mention here really....get a good guide book (I like Rough Guide's personally).
May 17, 2003 8:45 PM
7There's free road traffic information here:
Traffic @ highways.gov.uk
Good site for free map info here:
Useful London route planner here:
Routeplanner @ tfl.gov.uk
(covers most forms of public transport - buses/tube/trams/)
Getting across the channel, this site lists most non-airbourne options (haven't booked with them myself though):
Providers list @ Cheapest-ferry-crossing.co.uk
Transfers between airports:
Airport Transfers @ visitBritain.com
May 18, 2003 3:28 PM
8And no, I dont work for them, but its such a good site it should be mentioned somewhere!
May 31, 2003 11:56 PM
10UK TV listings @ Radiotimes.beeb.com
Interesting way to explore some of London's more famous streets online: StreetSensation.co.uk
Official St Paul's Cathedral website
The National Trust maintains thousands of historic sites across the UK (including Stonehenge)
If you're interested in wildlife, then have a look at the Wildlife Trusts - you can find details about most reserves in the UK here. There's also more general natural history information to be found at Wildfile
If walks are your thing then have a look at The Ramblers' Association for information about paths etc. The UK has many public rights of way, they're usually best found on the Ordnance Survey maps - the 1:50000 and 1:25000 series are most useful IMO.
If gardens are of interest, the Royal Horticultural Society website will probably be of interest - they also organise the Chelsea Flower Show (usually held in late May)
Jun 12, 2003 12:42 PM
11One day in London, my suggestion for someone who has a day stopover at Heathrow.
I'm putting it here cos I sick of posting it elsewhere
1) Wet / Miserable Day
Tube to South Kensington, spend day in lots of FREE museums
2) Nice Day / Don't care about the weather
Tube to South Kensington, change for District / Circle line, get off at Westminster
Look at Parliament, Big Ben, cross river, go up London Eye (if you have money), continue downstream to Tate Modern. Then either:
cross the river by footbridge, see St Paul's & the City, then get the District / Circle line back to S. Kensington, Piccadilly to Heathrow
keep going down river, past Globe Theatre, past Ken Livingstone's house, cross Tower Bridge, walk around / enter Tower of London, then get the District / Circle line back to S. Kensington, Piccadilly to Heathrow
Jun 16, 2003 5:50 AM
13I particularly like having all the kings and queens and other important personages and events ... at my finger tips!
Jun 18, 2003 9:47 PM
14For Edinburgh Fringe Festival accomodation try edfringe - use message boards.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$271.00 per night
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(3 star Hotel)
From US$94.00 per night
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(3 star Hotel)
From US$95.00 per night