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Holidays without air travel
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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #21
06-05-2009 11:42 AM

Valid point.
I recall late 60's when you were only allowed to take something like GBP 20.00 out of UK. Not saying that is correct but with so many unemployed in resort towns people staying in UK would feel they are doing their bit for Britain.
Anyway I agree people should make their own choice but should take all factors into account.
For instance your holiday in ZSA probably included a vastly subsidised air fare ( because air fuel not taxed anything like fuel used in domestic transport ) . Also more green to take a UK Holiday.
I guess with the falling GBP more people will stay here for pure financial reasons.
I agree people should make their OWN choice. But people who take long flights should be wary claiming to be green.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #22
06-05-2009 02:40 PM

Apart from the lack of sun, the UK is very expensive, Brian, in comparison with most of Europe, even with the euro exchange rate being what it is, and not always as much fun. At least you can get decent food and service when you go elsewhere.
Everything in the UK and especially around London is just too much hassle. I'm being polite as actually I think its all total utter c**p.
For instance a day trip to Leeds Castle from London by public transport - ?8 return by train, total ?16 plus ?5 return each for the shuttle bus, total ?10 then ?32 entrance fee for 2 people. Grand total ?58. And thats a fairly local day trip to an historic house that someone may consider doing. Not us unfortunately so thats ?58 less spent in the UK.

At Xmas we went to the London Aquarium. What a load of tat. Loads of posters of fish but not too many, er real fish.

At Easter we thought we'd take our child to Battersea Park and Zoo on Good Friday. The park website suggested free parking. When we arrived they'd changed their minds and were seeking full charge which was circa ?20 for over 4 hours. We stayed 2 hours and drove home, the whole trip cut short, already costing us over ?20 for parking, cups of tea and entrance fees.

I'll bore you a little more;

Our trip to Sussex at the weekend cost us ?95+?16+?20+?20+?12+?20 = almost ?180 for one night in a reputedly decent but modest hotel, two modest pub meals and a short boat trip. It took us a whole day beforehand of trying to get accommodation before we left as everywhere was booked up for days and we had to wait for a no show. It then took us over 4 hours to get there because of the traffic rather than the usual 2. Most of that was spent getting down to Purley. Had we been a little more intelligent we would have risen at 4am for an earlier start. Silly us.

We looked to fill up with petrol half way but all the petrol stations we were directed to had closed down so we were down to our last ml of gas when we stumbled upon a BP garage. When we got to our hotel they tried to palm us off with a damp room. We managed to get another but the feeling of them trying to rip us off rankled. The TV didn't work, the electricity went off the next morning and there was a row amongst the kitchen staff so the manager had to step in and cook the breakfasts, which was abysmal quality. All in all we had a nice time but frankly our experience of holidaying in the UK is reminiscent of Fawlty Towers - too much like hard work.

We also looked at a holiday in the Western Isles this summer - we love the area- but 10 days of independent travel plus b+bs would be IRO ?800 for two adults and one child - totally prohibitive. Getting a ?59 Eurostar ticket to Paris is a little more attractive and holds more promise of a good time than staying in the UK. The only thing I would rate highly for comfort and value is the Youth Hostel Association and thats probably the way forward for us in the UK.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #23
06-05-2009 03:19 PM

OK Roz I give in.
I agree of tack a bit just expressed surprise so many people went to Mexico. I am sure 30 years ago would be measured in hundreds.

You can get very cheap rail fares if you book a long time in advance.
Last year got a return to Birmingham from Forest Hill for about GBP 12.00.
Also return Forest Hill to Penzance only about GBP 18.00
Both booked over 4 weeks in advance .

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Johnc


Posts: 138
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #24
06-05-2009 03:25 PM

You can do things very cheaply in London if you look hard enough. For example you can bay a return ticket on the river cruisers in the summer for about ?10. Get on at Westminster or Waterloo and go out to Greenwich. You can even stop off at the Tower of London to have look around the outside and get back on. At Greenwich visit the observatory and meridian (free). Have a picnic in the park.

Museums are still mostly free and many of them have been updated since most peopel went as children. The Imperial War museum is very interesting, particularly the WW1 experience. Plus of course all those on Exhibition Road leading up to the Albert Hall, and Memeorial, which is spectacular.

The royal parks are also a very pleasant way to spend a half day or so. If you plan tour route you can walk from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square with very few visits to concrete.

Hampstead heath and Hampstead itself, with its village feel and shops is also very pleasant

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gingernuts


Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #25
06-05-2009 03:33 PM

You often forget just how brilliant and cheap London can be. Eating out can be a bit hit and miss though, but the real killer is the weather.

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #26
06-05-2009 08:02 PM

I'm with Roz. I'm still reeling from having worked out that two nights B&B in Yorkshire (cousin's christening) will cost me approx. ?250 for a family room. Adding on the two evening meals and incidental drinks/snacks will be another ?100-150. Plus petrol ... Whole weekend will be pushing ?500. Ouch!!

Went to the Horniman last weekend - new exhibition in the bees room, plus all the old favourites - kids loved it. Completely free! Picked up buns for tea and pop at Tesco/petrol station on the way home - total cost ?4. What a fabulous resource and right on our doorstep.

Also, in a rush of blood to the wallet, we joined English Heritage last year. Quite expensive, but with a family ticket at larger attractions being approx. ?25, it pays for itself after just three "big" outings and you have a whole year of free trips to follow. In the last month or so alone, we've been to Down House (Charles Darwin's home), Eltham Palace and Upnor Castle nr. Chatham. Highly recommended!

Rant over. I thank you!

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #27
06-05-2009 11:09 PM

I have indeed forgotten how brilliant and cheap London can be as its been so long since that was my experience. There are probably bargains to be had but as far as I'm concerned not when you really want them ie Bank Holidays and peak holiday times. Joining something like the National Trust or EH is indeed a good idea so we will probably look at that this summer- at least we can get out somewhere every weekend. There is a cluster around Sevenoaks and the M25 which is still fairly accessible however it is still fairly difficult to get out and about cheaply. I did use to belong to a group called Red Rope which was egalitarian and inclusive about trips to the countryside so may look into that again too.

Overall , its still a very crowded island and I hate having to be competitive when trying to organise a leisure break. Its so difficult to just get up and go anymore in the UK without planning weeks ahead which for most of us is probably not the way we really live.

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Cellar Door


Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #28
07-05-2009 11:00 AM

Hi roz,

Last August you wrote about when you returned to Gatwick Airport after a few days away visiting relatives. I?ve just found it and it was in the thread Passengers break out of airport.
Did you ever get anything sorted out about that?

I?m starting to observe a trend in your travels between this thread and the other one - e.g. London Aquarium ? Posters of fish and not many real fish, Sussex ? traffic delays and Fawlty Towers style hotel, Gatwick Airport ? caught on the plane and trapped in the airport etc.

Could you please let me know where you are planning to holiday next? Since I?m risk averse I?ll go in the other direction!!

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steveb


Posts: 113
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #29
07-05-2009 12:20 PM

Quote:
We also looked at a holiday in the Western Isles this summer - we love the area- but 10 days of independent travel plus b+bs would be IRO ?800 for two adults and one child - totally prohibitive. Getting a ?59 Eurostar ticket to Paris is a little more attractive and holds more promise of a good time than staying in the UK. The only thing I would rate highly for comfort and value is the Youth Hostel Association and thats probably the way forward for us in the UK. .


Paris I love, but you'll be lucky to manage 10 days there on ?800 for 2 adults + child. And no lochs or mountains in sight

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #30
07-05-2009 01:16 PM

Er, yes, but you don't need 10 days in Paris when you can pack everything into two or three. Even a short trip is good for the soul.

As my partner was with me for all the travel calamities I can safely conclude that its not just me who is jinxed but that is safe to assume that our experiences were and are probably typical of travel experiences in the rather crowded UK.

Unfortunately, or fortunately for you CD, we can't afford any more trips for some time so you are safe for this summer at least.

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Cellar Door


Posts: 356
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #31
07-05-2009 01:21 PM

Ha! Cheers roz for the heads-up about this summer.

Did you bother following up on the Gatwick thing? I re-read it today and it still is quite amazing. I feel like I was there.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #32
07-05-2009 01:28 PM

Felt intent enough at the time but too much going on unfortunately to take any further....

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jon14


Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #33
07-05-2009 02:20 PM

shlz400 Wrote:
Adding on the two evening meals and incidental drinks/snacks will be another ?100-150. Plus petrol ... Whole weekend will be pushing ?500. Ouch!!


Sometimes it depends what your expectations are - it wouldn't have to cost ?150 for two evening meals plus drinks and snacks - it easily can cost that much but if you're happy with less you can get by. Isn't it about keeping up a standard of living?

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #34
07-05-2009 07:48 PM

Jon14 Wrote:
it wouldn't have to cost ?150 for two evening meals plus drinks and snacks


Modest meal in a pub + drinks (soft not much cheaper than booze!) for four (and the kids always want dessert) can easily be ?50. Coffee/juice & cake for tea or elevenses, say ?2 for drinks and ?2 - ?3 for bun etc. x 4 there's another ?20. You'd be amazed how quickly it racks up with a family of four - actually, now I think about it, ?150 is really a very modest estimate!

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jon14


Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #35
08-05-2009 09:56 AM

shlz400 Wrote:
Modest meal in a pub + drinks (soft not much cheaper than booze!) for four (and the kids always want dessert) can easily be ?50. Coffee/juice & cake for tea or elevenses, say ?2 for drinks and ?2 - ?3 for bun etc. x 4 there's another ?20. You'd be amazed how quickly it racks up with a family of four - actually, now I think about it, ?150 is really a very modest estimate!


The point is, you only have elevenses because you can afford them - if you couldn't, you wouldn't - you'd just go without and I'm sure you'd be ok for it.

I can see your point, and I know what you mean - it is amazing how things add up, but it's also amazing how much you can do without if you really have to. The trouble is that you don't tend to do without unless you really have to...

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #36
08-05-2009 06:14 PM

Jon - you don't have children, do you? (if you do, I eat my worms ....Blush) Then you'd know that they constantly demand food & drink. Elevenses and tea are required for the sanity of the parents. However, I would say, with a big "full english" under their belts, having stayed in a b&b, the demands can be substantially reduced....

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #37
08-05-2009 07:40 PM

Children demand ! Guess that sums up modern society.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #38
08-05-2009 09:19 PM

Children have to eat and drink? Dreadful indulgence, lets stop that modern practice immediately.

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michael


Posts: 3,217
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #39
08-05-2009 11:46 PM

You could always go self-catering in England for a reasonable amount. For example you can spend a wet week in Cornwall in a mobile home. Another relatively good value option is to hire a boat and explore the waterways of Britain, again mostly self catering if you wish. And there is always sleeping under canvas and with modern tents you can have a fair degree of luxury and a bit of an adventure for children.

If you want a cheap holiday there are actually plenty of choices in Britain, and with a low value of the pound, they are better value in comparison to the continent than they were a couple of years ago.

We are very lucky living in the British Isles to have such wonderful scenery in the Scottish Highlands, but if it were any closer to London it would have been ruined by now. Personally I would recommend visiting the Highlands at least once. It is a little more expensive that a package holiday to Costa Brava, but if you get good weather it is a magical place. (Children won't like it as they don't appreciate scenery or walking).

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #40
09-05-2009 08:10 AM

Michael I agree with your comments about The Highlands.
I use to ask younger persons in the office and was shocked to find far more had been to Spain than Scotland ( still part of the United Kingdom )

Roz
I am not saying children should not have food and drink whilst out on day outs , of course not. I just thought the words ( children demand ) a bit strange. But having seen many middle class parents out with Cedric and Gertude I can well believe some of them demand and get everything they demand.
Not sure how we got here but here we are.
Perhaps we should not go back to Victorian values ( seen and not heard ) but back to the 1950's about inbetween Victorain strictness and current children do exactly what they want with no repercussions

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