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Old 11-20-2012, 08:43 PM   #16
cola
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Originally Posted by Ms. Shuttergirl View Post
Cola - thanks so much for all the info. I didn't realise it was sooooo hilly. It's hard to get a sense of that on the map. I was tossing up about a hop on hop off busy tour and think we might do that now. It will save alot of hilly walking if nothing else, getting to the major sites.

In terms of luggage Cola, we will likely have 1 case and 1 carry on bag each. Is that doable? And yes I might upgrade to first class if that's the case.
I got the shock of my life when I came out of the train station, the hotel looked like it was about a 5min walk from the station on the map, but it turned out to be up a huge flight of stairs, not what I wanted with luggage.
I had a carry on and an oversized duffle bag with wheels and it was a challenge on some of the trains, plus when staying in older places with no lift. I think it is about 30x30x70cm. My first trip to England I stayed budget, after being on the 4th floor with no lift I thought 'never again', though it sometimes can't be avoided, I avoid it as much as possible! Something to watch out for with apartments and B&Bs. It's not like Orlando where anything over 2 storeys has a lift. When you read glowing reviews of places, you need to consider how much luggage they have - UK and Europe most people are doing short trips and travelling pretty light, luggage isn't much of a consideration, the one whiney review complaining there was nowhere for their suitcase may be one of only a hanful of people with a full sized suitcase that stayed there.
It is around the train station and along the Royal Mile up to the Castle, the Old Town side, that is so hilly, but that is where many of the major attractions are. The New Town side and away from the Castle it is pretty flat.


The London Edinburgh train was fine space-wise, though it felt so strange just dumping the bag in the luggage section at the end of the carriage (not enough space around the seat). One of the other trains I got it was ridiculously crowded, could barely get the bag in the carriage.
I found people on trains were either travelling really light with virtually just a carry-on, or had huge luggage that they wouldn't take on a plane.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:57 PM   #17
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http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2923570 is a good photo that sort of gives you an indication of how steep it is, Waverly is the main train station. these are the steps in between the front row of building and the next.... http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1253665 Street photos just don't capture how steep it is around the Royal Mile.

Ahhhh, this model shows it well!!! http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1302117 and how relatively flat the New Town in the foreground is
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:52 PM   #18
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Oh Yay, A PTR

In London, Marks & Spencers have a really good food department (like a supermarket), lots of fresh premade foods that come in handy if you have one hear by. One trip I had an addiction to their profiteroles. Don't know why, they weren't that good.

Harrods have a great food department too, well worth a visit. I was staying with friends on a few visits and I used to go there for the food when I was cooking dinner. I do recall being there in the summer though and it was SO warm and all of the meat was out and it was a little scary I would not have bought any. But aside from that, the rest is great. Selfridges also have a nice food department if you happen to be near them and were wanting something to take home for dinner or lunch.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:02 AM   #19
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There is a place we always go to in London. It's a place my parents went when they lived in London. It's a place my Grandmother used to go when she was a child! Yes, it's been there since the early 1900's.

It would be great to go for afternoon tea or morning tea or lunch if you were in the area. Not really a dinner spot, although it may be open for dinner. I can't say that I remember having a mind blowing food experience there, but I still always go as it is kind of a tradition and has some history. We would always go for tea or sandwiches.

It's called Richoux. They have a few locations now but I've only been to the one in Piccadilly, so not sure what the other locations are like.
http://richouxpiccadilly.com/
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:07 AM   #20
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WOW oh WOW, you trip sounds absolutely incredible. The accomodation you have booked looks truely stunnning, unfortunately out of our league though.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cola View Post
I got the shock of my life when I came out of the train station, the hotel looked like it was about a 5min walk from the station on the map, but it turned out to be up a huge flight of stairs, not what I wanted with luggage.
I had a carry on and an oversized duffle bag with wheels and it was a challenge on some of the trains, plus when staying in older places with no lift. I think it is about 30x30x70cm. My first trip to England I stayed budget, after being on the 4th floor with no lift I thought 'never again', though it sometimes can't be avoided, I avoid it as much as possible! Something to watch out for with apartments and B&Bs. It's not like Orlando where anything over 2 storeys has a lift. When you read glowing reviews of places, you need to consider how much luggage they have - UK and Europe most people are doing short trips and travelling pretty light, luggage isn't much of a consideration, the one whiney review complaining there was nowhere for their suitcase may be one of only a hanful of people with a full sized suitcase that stayed there.
It is around the train station and along the Royal Mile up to the Castle, the Old Town side, that is so hilly, but that is where many of the major attractions are. The New Town side and away from the Castle it is pretty flat.


The London Edinburgh train was fine space-wise, though it felt so strange just dumping the bag in the luggage section at the end of the carriage (not enough space around the seat). One of the other trains I got it was ridiculously crowded, could barely get the bag in the carriage.
I found people on trains were either travelling really light with virtually just a carry-on, or had huge luggage that they wouldn't take on a plane.
So did you chain your luggage somewhere into the luggage section so it couldn't be stolen? This is my greatest fear, seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cola View Post
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2923570 is a good photo that sort of gives you an indication of how steep it is, Waverly is the main train station. these are the steps in between the front row of building and the next.... http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1253665 Street photos just don't capture how steep it is around the Royal Mile.

Ahhhh, this model shows it well!!! http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1302117 and how relatively flat the New Town in the foreground is
Off to check this out, thanks for the links Cola.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussietravellers View Post
Oh Yay, A PTR

In London, Marks & Spencers have a really good food department (like a supermarket), lots of fresh premade foods that come in handy if you have one hear by. One trip I had an addiction to their profiteroles. Don't know why, they weren't that good.

Harrods have a great food department too, well worth a visit. I was staying with friends on a few visits and I used to go there for the food when I was cooking dinner. I do recall being there in the summer though and it was SO warm and all of the meat was out and it was a little scary I would not have bought any. But aside from that, the rest is great. Selfridges also have a nice food department if you happen to be near them and were wanting something to take home for dinner or lunch.
I've got Marks and Spencer down as a good place to get food items, along with Harrods.

Is it embarrassing that I really want to buy one of those Harrods bags .

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussietravellers View Post
There is a place we always go to in London. It's a place my parents went when they lived in London. It's a place my Grandmother used to go when she was a child! Yes, it's been there since the early 1900's.

It would be great to go for afternoon tea or morning tea or lunch if you were in the area. Not really a dinner spot, although it may be open for dinner. I can't say that I remember having a mind blowing food experience there, but I still always go as it is kind of a tradition and has some history. We would always go for tea or sandwiches.

It's called Richoux. They have a few locations now but I've only been to the one in Piccadilly, so not sure what the other locations are like.
http://richouxpiccadilly.com/
Off to have a look at the restaurant now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline NZ View Post
WOW oh WOW, you trip sounds absolutely incredible. The accomodation you have booked looks truely stunnning, unfortunately out of our league though.
Thanks Caroline. Some of the places are very nice indeed. I think the fact that MIL is coming along and my DH and MIL love "nicer" things made me up the budget a little more than usual for some of the accom, although some of the pricing is comparable to what we paid for hotel rooms in NYC.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:44 AM   #22
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So did you chain your luggage somewhere into the luggage section so it couldn't be stolen? This is my greatest fear, seriously.

Is it embarrassing that I really want to buy one of those Harrods bags .
Oh you totally HAVE to get one of the bags!!!!!

On the luggage, we were a little freaked out about the luggage. On our last trip we did two long train rides and they were fine both times! There was one time at the France Swiss border that the swiss did a bag check so we had to go back and open our suitcases. You can get these travel chain things for when riding trains, so you can thread them through all of the handles of your bags.

There is a brand called "Pacsafe". They have the best bags, handbags, travel bags, accessories all for travelling. Both DS and I each have a couple of their bags, which we both used in France and the UK (due to the very high pickpocketing crime there, particularly in France). That brand also has the wire thingy that you can tie your bags together or to a pole or both eg, like this http://pacsafe.com/wrapsafe-adjustable-cable-lock. LOVE their stuff.

A friend of mine (who I was with at the time) had her handbag pick pocketed on the train in Paris. We just can't work out how they did it as she had her hand in the middle of the zip part of the bag, but they managed to unzip it, remove her purse and zip it back up without her knowing!!!! Something I have never forgotten. They work in teams and are very skilled in their craft!
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:46 AM   #23
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Shuttergirl, your trip sounds simply wonderful. You are going to have an amazing time.

I remember that a lot of places were shut on Easter Sunday but Covent Garden was open and full of people - we had a nice lunch there in a cafe.

Good idea to go to Westminster Abbey well before the Easter weekend - because it's only open for services for so much of the weekend everyone tries to go on the Saturday - the entry queue was colossal.

As Cola says Edinburgh is VERY hilly, we were grateful to have our hop on-hop off bus tickets to get up the hills. However, the trafiic down the Royal mile can be extremely slow so the bus does take a long time to do the full circuit.

Try to be up in the Castle at lunch time so you can see the 1 oclock Gun set off - there's also a cafe which is a great place to stop for lunch - we sat by the window and had glorious views looking down to Princes gardens and across the New Town.

We caught the train the opposite way that you're going ( from Edinburgh to York) I'll be honest with you it was not a great trip for us - the train before ours was cancelled so 2 trainloads of people were all trying to cram onto one train. We had reserved seats but the confusion meant that the seat reservations were not displayed when we boarded and we had to ask some people to move - one chap was pretty nasty about it. Theluggage racks were all full when we boarded and the aisle was full of people standing so we spent the first part of the trip with our suitcases on our laps We also had a big delay outside Newcastle because someone had run a lorry into a railway bridge and they were checking the bridge before letting trains run over it. Our 2 hours trip took 4 hours.

HOWEVER - I think we were unlucky. I don't think trains are cancelled all that often and I'm sure the experience would have been better otherwise.

Looking forward to reading more of your evolving plans

Andona
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:00 AM   #24
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So did you chain your luggage somewhere into the luggage section so it couldn't be stolen? This is my greatest fear, seriously.
No, I didn't have anything to chain it up, and no-one else seemed to be chaining their luggage up either.
The whole getting on the train at King's Cross was strange, they literally only let you near the platform at the last minute, so it is a mad dash up the platform to the carriage, with all your luggage. It seemed to be very normal for everyone else!

This might be making getting a plane sound more and more attractive, but the actual train journey is lovely, and considering the limited time, it is great seeing so much of the countryside, and there are some stunning views along the coast in Scotland. Get the train, travel like a local, see the English countryside!!! just be prepared for the luggage situation and the dash up the platform and the hills in Edinburgh. I loved Edinburgh. It was more Harry Potter-ish than Universal's WWoHP!
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:03 AM   #25
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We caught the train the opposite way that you're going ( from Edinburgh to York) I'll be honest with you it was not a great trip for us - the train before ours was cancelled so 2 trainloads of people were all trying to cram onto one train. We had reserved seats but the confusion meant that the seat reservations were not displayed when we boarded and we had to ask some people to move - one chap was pretty nasty about it. Theluggage racks were all full when we boarded and the aisle was full of people standing so we spent the first part of the trip with our suitcases on our laps We also had a big delay outside Newcastle because someone had run a lorry into a railway bridge and they were checking the bridge before letting trains run over it. Our 2 hours trip took 4 hours.

HOWEVER - I think we were unlucky. I don't think trains are cancelled all that often and I'm sure the experience would have been better otherwise.
I caught a train Edinburgh to Leeds, change at York, Edinburgh to York was lovely York to Leeds, an earlier train had been cancelled and it sounds like exactly your experience!!!!
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:57 AM   #26
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No, I didn't have anything to chain it up, and no-one else seemed to be chaining their luggage up either.
The whole getting on the train at King's Cross was strange, they literally only let you near the platform at the last minute, so it is a mad dash up the platform to the carriage, with all your luggage. It seemed to be very normal for everyone else!
I always find the whole getting the luggage on and off the train quite stressful! If it's the start of the end of the line (like Eurostar at DLP), it wasn't so bad, but the TGV, and the trains in Switzerland and the train in London (Kings Cross and St Pancras it was one in the train, one out, throw the bags out to the one on the platform or quickly get them on. But loved the end of line, not such a rushed feeling.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:44 AM   #27
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In Japan, everybody uses luggage forwarding, it's very reliable, you leave your bags with the hotel concierge and they turn up the following day at your next destination! I wonder if there is any service like that?
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:23 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by aussietravellers View Post
Oh you totally HAVE to get one of the bags!!!!!

On the luggage, we were a little freaked out about the luggage. On our last trip we did two long train rides and they were fine both times! There was one time at the France Swiss border that the swiss did a bag check so we had to go back and open our suitcases. You can get these travel chain things for when riding trains, so you can thread them through all of the handles of your bags.

There is a brand called "Pacsafe". They have the best bags, handbags, travel bags, accessories all for travelling. Both DS and I each have a couple of their bags, which we both used in France and the UK (due to the very high pickpocketing crime there, particularly in France). That brand also has the wire thingy that you can tie your bags together or to a pole or both eg, like this http://pacsafe.com/wrapsafe-adjustable-cable-lock. LOVE their stuff.

A friend of mine (who I was with at the time) had her handbag pick pocketed on the train in Paris. We just can't work out how they did it as she had her hand in the middle of the zip part of the bag, but they managed to unzip it, remove her purse and zip it back up without her knowing!!!! Something I have never forgotten. They work in teams and are very skilled in their craft!
You are scaring me Aussietravellers .

I've looked at that lock and it looks great.

Would it differ that much from one of those curly bicycle locks do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andona View Post
Shuttergirl, your trip sounds simply wonderful. You are going to have an amazing time.

I remember that a lot of places were shut on Easter Sunday but Covent Garden was open and full of people - we had a nice lunch there in a cafe.

Good idea to go to Westminster Abbey well before the Easter weekend - because it's only open for services for so much of the weekend everyone tries to go on the Saturday - the entry queue was colossal.

As Cola says Edinburgh is VERY hilly, we were grateful to have our hop on-hop off bus tickets to get up the hills. However, the trafiic down the Royal mile can be extremely slow so the bus does take a long time to do the full circuit.

Try to be up in the Castle at lunch time so you can see the 1 oclock Gun set off - there's also a cafe which is a great place to stop for lunch - we sat by the window and had glorious views looking down to Princes gardens and across the New Town.

We caught the train the opposite way that you're going ( from Edinburgh to York) I'll be honest with you it was not a great trip for us - the train before ours was cancelled so 2 trainloads of people were all trying to cram onto one train. We had reserved seats but the confusion meant that the seat reservations were not displayed when we boarded and we had to ask some people to move - one chap was pretty nasty about it. Theluggage racks were all full when we boarded and the aisle was full of people standing so we spent the first part of the trip with our suitcases on our laps We also had a big delay outside Newcastle because someone had run a lorry into a railway bridge and they were checking the bridge before letting trains run over it. Our 2 hours trip took 4 hours.

HOWEVER - I think we were unlucky. I don't think trains are cancelled all that often and I'm sure the experience would have been better otherwise.

Looking forward to reading more of your evolving plans

Andona
So you enjoyed the hop on hop off bus tour? I think this might be the answer considering our limited time and the hills.

You are making me nervous about the train option which I wasn't completely sold on in the first place

Quote:
Originally Posted by cola View Post
No, I didn't have anything to chain it up, and no-one else seemed to be chaining their luggage up either.
The whole getting on the train at King's Cross was strange, they literally only let you near the platform at the last minute, so it is a mad dash up the platform to the carriage, with all your luggage. It seemed to be very normal for everyone else!

This might be making getting a plane sound more and more attractive, but the actual train journey is lovely, and considering the limited time, it is great seeing so much of the countryside, and there are some stunning views along the coast in Scotland. Get the train, travel like a local, see the English countryside!!! just be prepared for the luggage situation and the dash up the platform and the hills in Edinburgh. I loved Edinburgh. It was more Harry Potter-ish than Universal's WWoHP!
The plane journey is seeming alot more attractive.

You girls have me running scared
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:57 AM   #29
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We have left luggage in the luggage racks at the end of trains while travelling within Europe (mostly in Italy and France) with no issues. We have them locked (padlocks) but nothing special although we also don't have anything important to steal or worry if they were broken into-thats in our Pacsafe bags that we keep on our laps/by our feet. DH does carry a simple chain and lock he can use to chain to eg a bar but don't think we have used it on a train so far (sorry not very helpful-he is the supersafe security guy-I'm a bit more slack).

I have friends who work on one of the British train lines-every now and then an incident causes massive delays and crowding but its not that regular an event I gather. Mostly train rides are nice and peaceful with nice views of the countryside-I wouldn't discount it as a means of getting up to Scotland. My parents,who were in their late 70's at the time, travelled from South Wales changing trains in London to Southend-on the day of the London bombings and wondered why there were a few delays and reroutings! Totally oblivious til they saw the news that night! Meantime we (in a guesthouse where no-one spoke English) in Slovenia were panicing about them big time as we pierced together what had happened from the news items (which were also all in Slovenian and German-the first time I could really relate to Tom Hanks character in The Terminal).
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:00 AM   #30
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Cola thanks for all your useful tips and info on Edinburgh-following your info to Ms Shuttergirl and its gratefully appreciated by me too! Now I am working out if we will be heading for flat land or steep land! Seems we'll need to get fit before the visit.
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