pinknotes and I bought our tickets for our trip yesterday, so now the planning is on! We arrive in London late on 7/21 and leave for Yorkshire either 7/25 or 7/26. We will stay with my in-laws for a few days, then leave for Ireland 7/29 or so, and finally fly out of Dublin on 8/4.
Obviously, there is some travel involved. London to Yorkshire, then Yorkshire to somewhere in Ireland (probably Cork), then Cork to Dublin.
London to Yorkshire: Any thoughts? I have looked at the Virgin Train site (http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/) and it looks good to me, but I would love to hear anyone’s experiences with it. Then, of course, there is BritRail where it looks like I can get tickets for about 12 pounds. Again, anyone with experience with BritRail?
Yorkshire to Ireland: I am looking at Aer Lingus (Manchester to Cork) or Ryan Air (Bradford to Cork) as we want to be in that area of Ireland. We would then need to eventually make our way to Dublin. No ideas about that, and suggestions gratefully welcomed.
Any thoughts on places to stay? We get in horribly late on 7/21 (about 11 PM) so we might need to stay the first night near Heathrow. I know of one B&B search engine (smoothound) but would appreciate others.
Finally, anyone want to meet a couple of crazy American women?
It’s been a long time since I was in the position to answer your last question, so all I can say is, have a great time! I loved Ireland. There are a bunch of threads here on advice for places to go. I’m sure you’ll have a great time.
Smoothhound is a good site, but confirm with Tripadvisor.
Some of those Smoothhound photos look awesome, but then you get to the place and it’s right on a motorway.
I’ve never done your itinerary, but it looks wonderful. FWIW we once ferried to Ireland (but from Wales) and that was a nice trip.
Just a note that BritRail is not a train company, it just deals in rail passes for foreign tourists. There are a plethora of rail companies operating services on different routes. Virgin has the inter-city franchise on the west coast main line (London Euston, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, and nearby cities). The London to York route is operated by East Coast or whatever they’re called this week.
Lots of smaller companies operate regional services, so depending on when and where you are travelling you might use an inter-city company for part of the journey and a regional one for local connections.
You don’t have to worry about any of this if you have a BritRail pass, but if someone talks about their experience on a British train it’s probably relevant to know which train company it was.
A quick heads-up on RyanAir…while they might appear cheap at first glance, they’re the king of add-on charges. The CEO was quoted on tv this morning saying ‘it’s not that we don’t want your money, we don’t want your luggage’, this was in a response as to why they are charging quite high amounts for checking luggage. Given the lenght of your trip I assume you’ll be carrying more then one piece of luggage.
Don’t touch Ryanair with a fucking bargepole. Bunch of wankers. If anything goes wrong with their flights, too, you are hosed - no chance for flexibility etc. BA are strike-prone so avoid them too. Aer Lingus are OK.
Yorkshire’s quite big. Which bit are you going to? If it’s York, use Hull Trains to Selby, which is about ten miles from York (easy taxis/direct bus, or there are hotels in Selby and you could visit Selby Abbey) but the whole thing will work out significantly cheaper, in my experience.
For hotels, have a look at laterooms. It says “cheap hotels” in unappealingly large letters all over the site, but I’ve never had a bad room booked through them, and I have had some amazing ones.
Hmm. My term ends on the 21st. I’ll probably be driving to Yorkshire at just about the time you want to go up there…
One of the routes from London to Manchester is in the hands of Virgin Trains so be careful what time you plan to travel as they have recently amended their definition of “off peak” travel. It makes a significant difference to the cost of your ticket.
Also, if you are travelling at the weekend, you can travel on a standard price ticket and upgrade to first class for £15 per journey with Virgin - if you travel with Cross Country, I believe the upgrade price is £10. You don’t get much in the way of service at the weekends but there’s usually free tea/coffee and snacks, and the extra legroom and generally less crowded carriages make it worth considering.
I second jjim on avoiding Ryanair, they are the embodiment of all that is bad in a “budget” airline.
Yes, avoid Ryanair, unless you are fit and strong since you will have to pedal the plane. Starting the engines is an optional extra that is not included in the price of ticket.
Going to the toilet is also extra.
One of the above statements might be hyperbole, the other is true.
As far as rail travel goes, you can use Virgin or Midland Mainline. Midland Mainline departs from St Pancras and goes up the centre of the country via Leicester and Nottingham and onto Sheffield. If your in laws are able to pick you up from a mainline station, find out which one is closest to them first as it might affect your route.
I’d *really *recommend avoiding Virgin. My partner’s parents live in Lancashire and mine live in Yorkshire, so we’re regularly up and down both the East and West coast main lines. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time we had a good journey on Virgin (West Coast, Manchester). After the last journey, we ended up writing to the ombudsman (and not just because I love that word!) because it was such a nightmare, involving criminal behaviour by other passengers and a complete refusal to deal with it by Virgin, then or later, despite the Transport Police being available and us being able to point to the exact sections of the law which meant they should have called them and had the mentally disturbed man who was wandering about racially abusing and threatening people (including my partner) removed from the train.
Hey **Brynda **- I’d be happy to meet a couple of 'murican gals whilst you’re in London. Do you want any help planning sightseeing? Or indeed happy to play tourist guide again if you want showing around (I really enjoy it )
Can’t offer much advice on travelling out of London though, I try and avoid doing so whenever I can due to cost/drain on one’s emotions it entails.
This one. Leave Kings Cross at about half past ten, arrive in Leeds about quarter to one, for a grand total of £18.70. Then you could take the Transpennine Express to Halifax and save your in-laws the horror of driving into the centre of Leeds! Takes about half an hour, costs about £3.50, and the Transpennine line is one of the most beautiful in the world (in sections - can’t remember offhand if that’s one of them though!).
Thanks, everyone. You guys are the best. I am knee deep in work right now, but will check out all the links later. Illuminatiprimus, we might take you up on that! Thanks so much for such a generous offer.
Anyone with any thoughts on what area to stay while in London? My thought is someplace convenient to a tube station, but not in central London so as to save some money.
Have a look at Camberwell and Peckham. They’re not on the Tube, but they have direct buses into town or you can get off at Elephant and Castle and take the Tube from there. In fact, a couple of consultants from work have been put up here (pretty amazing price offers on that page at the moment, BTW), and though it’s not the Ritz, they’ve been perfectly happy with it. A woman I used to work with has a B&B somewhere round here; I’ve lost her number, but I’ll keep trying to find it. It’s about 20 minutes to Westminster on the bus from Peckham. Buses are nicer anyway; you get to actually see some stuff. You know to look out for blue plaques, don’t you? I’m always impressed by some of the random famous people who’ve spent time in some seriously random bits of London.