First Trip to England - Transportation & Pub Questions
Replies: 17 - Last Post: May 16, 2012 2:30 PM Last Post By: ambilobegirl
May 2, 2012 6:27 PM
First Trip to England - Transportation & Pub QuestionsMy husband and I will be traveling in England for 11 days, the 2nd week of September. We will be flying into Heathrow. Our itinerary will be 4 days in London, 2 days in Liverpool, 3 days in Bath and returning to London to fly out the next day.
- Is the tube the best method of transportation to get from the airport to Pimlico? Any issues with luggage?
- Is the Oyster card the best method of transportation for the 4 days of travel within London?
- Recommendations for local pubs with good food or local inexpensive restaurants in London, Liverpool and Bath?
- Is the best method of transportation to Liverpool and Bath by rental car? If so, any recommendations on Company
- Approximate travel time from London to Liverpool, Liverpool to Bath and Bath to London?
Thank you, in advance, for any information and suggestions.
May 2, 2012 9:13 PM
May 3, 2012 12:33 AM
May 3, 2012 2:10 AM
3Do you want to use the 2 for 1 offers?
May 3, 2012 2:28 AM
4Hi OP and welcome to TT. As with many things it is all in the detail. And budget.
In the broader sense, LHR take Picadilly line to Green Park and change to Victoria line for Pimlico station (presuming that is the closest). As a general rule (and not knowing your travel intentions within London) Oyster is usually best.
Stockpot is an inexpensive sort-of chain restaurant which serves Britishy food. Check out Sally Lunns in Bath, they have an early bird of two courses and a glass of wine for EUR12 or something and the twice I have eaten there it has been good. They get busy, so book if you can.
As mentioned, 3 days in Bath IMO is a long time but you can visit Stonehenge or Avebury (IMO much more pleasant and rewarding) or Glastonbury which has an overhyped town with hippies dodging taxes and selling pigeon feathers as hair pieces but a really nice ruined abbey.
In terms of Bath, go to visitbath.co.uk - it is better than many other such sites, well organised.
I would rent a car if you can afford when you leave London.
May 3, 2012 6:20 AM
5Agree with the above - absolutely pointless having a car in London, it will be a serious amount of hassle and you probably won't be able to park it anywhere near where you're staying. Tube would be best (or taxi if you have a bigger budget!), there are tube stations everywhere (every several hundred metres in Central London). Oyster Cards make Tube and Bus travel considerably cheaper (and easier).
Have you got a ton of baggage? If not, then tube it to Pimlico, it's too easy, takes about an hour but you need to change tube lines as stated. Otherwise the Heathrow Express is good and gets into Paddington, it's about 4 times the price but only takes 20 mins or so. But then you need to hop on the tube (Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus, Victoria line to Pimlico).
Check out Little Bay restaurants in London, there's one on Farringdon Road - it's ridiculously cheap, friendly although some wierd decorations. Then opposite there is Exmouth Market which has some quirky bars. I'd recommend Pizza East (will need to book) in Shoreditch, it's a very cool setting, not cheap, but not expensive, in a trendy (read: a little bit gritty) area, but again, it depends on your preferences. If you like Vietnamese, head to Kingdland road in the same area or Cay Tre on Old Street - that is an awesome, cheap restaurant. Since you've never been before, you should check out Brick Lane for cheap curry, perhaps not the best curry in the world but definitely a good experience. Unless you don't want to experience anywhere slightly 'edgy', in which case go to Covent Garden.
Transportation to Bath/Liverpool - I'd recommend train. Car is fine, but you'll need to navigate your way out of London (which is an actual nightmare if you've never done it before), and trains can be quite cheap and are definitely quicker. But as above, book in advance. Even 24 hours in advance makes it cheaper than turning up on the day. You can book online www.thetrainline.com, and then pick your tickets up from one of the Self Service machines at all major stations.
Train - c.3 hours London --> Liverpool, 1.5 hours Bath --> London.
Agree- 3 days is a little to long for me in Bath, a weekend is adequate.
May 3, 2012 7:14 AM
6Since you plan to spend your time in cities, forget about hiring a car. Train is the fastest and most pleasant way to get around the UK, although the service to rural locations is somewhat inadequate.
For your stay in Bath, consider going to see nearby attractions such as Wells; Glastonbury; Avebury (or even Stonehenge) as well as the nearby and wonderful city of Bristol. (You might find a day tour from Bath the most convenient way to do this.)
May 3, 2012 12:24 PM
7I hope that I will be able to help.
The cheapest method of transportation from Heathrow to central London is a National Express coach. The one-way ticket costs between £ 6-8 per person. You can travel with them from Heathrow T1 & T3 (Central Bus Station) to London Pimlico, but you'll need to change to Victoria Station. You can also travel to Victoria only and take city bus to Pimlico. Travel time approximately 90 minutes. Coaches run every hour from 5 am to 9 pm. Each passenger can take 2 pieces of luggage and one hand luggage, this is included in the ticket price.
Details can be found on this site, or you can even ask there http://www.europebus.co.uk/destinations/
The cheapest option to travel around the UK are coaches: Currently, the best transportation lead National Express and Megabus:
Megabus: London to Liverpool 6hrs, 2 services per day, from £1 per person.
Nat Exp: London to Liverpool 5-7hrs, up to 10 services per day, from £7.50 per person.
Nat Exp: Liverpool to Bath Spa 8-10hrs, up to 5 services per day, from £20 per person.
Megabus c/o South West Trains, it is a train service: Bath to London 2hrs, 2 services per day, from £1 per person.
National Express: Bath to London 3-4hrs, up to 13 services per day, from £5.50 per person.
May 3, 2012 2:29 PM
May 3, 2012 11:02 PM
9Forget about the Heathrow Express - it's expensive and puts you in London miles from Pimlico.
Either use the Tube - Green Park is an option but take the escalators up to the exit, DON'T go through the exit barriers but turn around and descend to the Victoria Line
As you are here for 4 days then get Oystercards at Heathrow and add about £5 per day - don't worry if you run out as it's easy to add cash. Use them for general travel within London. IF you want to use the offers on daysoutguide.com - and giving the potential savings you are mad not to - then go to a National Rail ticket office which is in MANY (but not all) London train stations and buy a one day Travelcard for the day you want to use the offers and use that for all your travels leaving the Oystercard behind and to get the offers. In your case the easiest station to use is probably Victoria. Purchase it the previous day (but ensure it's dated correctly) so you don't have to make a special trip. Don't try to do this in the rush hour as not only will it take a long time, you'll end up being tutted at.
Map of Victoria Station, the ticket office you want is marked "ticket counter" on the main concourse and NOT the one marked London Underground Ticket Office
May 4, 2012 1:26 AM
10#9, true, but if they are travelling to Pimlico that means two changes and the Victoria change is never pleasant (steps?). But you are right, if just going to Victoria them Hammersmith is a better option (I'm trying to remember the changes at Sth Ken and Barons Court and seem to remember pain in the arse steps).
May 4, 2012 4:02 AM
11In response to #8:
While National Express and Megabus advertise some very low promotional fares,typically they are not terribly cheap. I find that when I plan a journey a couple of weeks in advance, lower fares are usually available on the trains than on the bus.
More importantly to people who can afford an international holiday but have limited time, trains are a great deal faster, more comfortable, and offer far better views of the glorious English countryside.
Note that in the UK there is a separate web site for Megatrain, enabling one to buy cheap tickets for rail travel. The route between London and Bath is operated by Southwest trains, which leave from Waterloo. This might be more convenient for people staying near to Victoria (the faster service departs from Paddington) but the journey time is a good deal longer. On the other hand, the seats offered by Southwest trains have more leg-room and are a bit more comfortable.
May 4, 2012 5:42 AM
12Wow, I don't know where you find these cheap train fares, I went on the bestwestern train website and the comparison website (forgive me for not getting their names exactly right here - I did when I checked their website!) and +£200 to get to Falmouth return sounded exorbitant to me! That was for ex-King's Cross on Sunday 3rd June returning Tues 5 June.
Edited by: patriciatbrogan
May 4, 2012 7:10 AM
Wow, I don't know where you find these cheap train fares, I went on the bestwestern train website and the comparison website (forgive me for not getting their names exactly right here - I did when I checked their website!) and +£200 to get to Falmouth return sounded exorbitant to me! That was for ex-King's Cross on Sunday 3rd June returning Tues 5 June.
1) don't book from Kings Cross, book from "London"
2) The National Rail Website gives prices from £80.80 return which is quite good given you want to travel on not only a Sunday but a public holiday weekend. For dates like that you are at least a month too late and you should have booked when the cheapest tickets became available around 12 weeks before date of travel. BTW the FGW website gives the same result so at a guess "I" is "we" and you are seeing the price for two people plus Tube fares for KX to Paddington
May 5, 2012 12:02 AM
14I think £80 return to Falmouth on that particular weekend is very good - I'm also finding the same prices as alanR. By hire car it would be about 30 minutes slower (on a good day), and on a bank holiday that could be several hours slower if you're unlucky. Given it's 300 miles each way, it would cost you a tank and a half of fuel. Chuck in the cost of the hire car itself for 3 days and you're probably looking at paying more than 2 train tickets anyway.
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