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Help for two ladies coming to England?

Louisville, Kentucky
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Help for two ladies coming to England?

Hello! This is my first time on the forums here, so thank you for your patience! Here's the basic outline of what my mom and I have in mind, as it's just the two of us going.

We would like to spend two weeks, between London and Coventry (I have a dear friend who lives there), UK, with possibly an overnight stay in Paris. Mom lives in Cleveland, OH and I am in Louisville, KY. I would most likely be driving up to Cleveland to fly out of there, unless it's less expensive to fly from Louisville. We would like to be gone between 11/17 and 12/1 (or thereabouts). The only things we would like in stone (no pun intended), are that we would like to do a day trip to Stonehenge, and we would like to see both musicals, Phantom and Love Never Dies in London. She and I both love churches, so Westminster might be nice, too. Everything else we can fill in as we go, we're trying not to pack it too tightly, so we're not too stressed. (Or are we already trying to do too much?)

I have a few questions. Would it be less expensive to travel the 24th through the 8th? Would it be easiest to fly in to London first, do the city things and Paris from there, then take a coach or train to Coventry, spend time (4 or 5 days?) there and then come back to London to fly home? Or would it be less expensive to make Coventry "home base" and do day trips to London from there? The focus in Paris is seeing the Opera House and possibly Notre Dame, so maybe a tour while we're there? Even having a tour and seeing a performance at the Opera House would be wonderful.

We don't need to stay anywhere fancy in any place. Just somewhere close to a tube station in London, and somewhere close to the City Centre in Coventry. But if we could find unique, quaint places to stay for the same amount of money, that would be fabulous, too.

I have been to Coventry on my own, about 10 years ago, but that was one city, so it was easy to plan. I stayed at what was once the Leofric in the City Centre. The year before that, I went to London with a friend, and she planned everything. I'm sure things have changed a lot since then, and I wasn't sure how best to handle a multi-city trip. We're trying to do it as efficiently and as economically as possible.

Any advice or pointing in the right direction would be so very appreciated!

All the best,

Christina

Kent, United Kingdom
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1. Re: Help for two ladies coming to England?

since you are still at the planning stage can I suggest you look to see if you can get flights into London then returning home from Paris -I believe its called an open jaw ticket .

Essex
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2. Re: Help for two ladies coming to England?

Hello, Welcome to TA!

I'm afraid that in the UK we don't write dates 'that way around' and it always confuses me! Would you clarify?? Do you mean that your intended dates to visit are 17th November to 1st December?? Is that this year??

If you are planning an 'overnighter' in Paris from London then the best way to travel is the Eurostar train, direct from City Centre to City Centre.

The cheapest fares are released 120 days prior to the date of travel, so you had better look NOW as 17th Nov is only 73 days away, you possibly could have missed out on the best fares already, sadly:

http://www.eurostar.com/

There are many posts on both the London and the Paris forums with lots of advice on how to do this and with trip reports from various peeps who have tried it, with their tips and impressions. Really well worth searching them up - the forum search facility is just above your header post in a green box (for the London forum).

On TA different destinations have their own forums so you are best to visit the Paris forum, Coventry forum etc for further help in those specific places.

Essex
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3. Re: Help for two ladies coming to England?

Coventry is a 'fair distance' from London - you could do day trips to London from there, but it would not be very convenient, you would be better off staying IN London for your London time, especially as you want to see 2 musicals (both are quite long too, late nights....)

Incorporating barb's idea of getting an open jaw flight then what you could do is:

Arrive UK and go immediately to Coventry - visit friend for (4 days??)

Coventry Cathedral is worth a look, Birmingham is not far away, Stratford-upon-Avon is also 'striking distance' and would make a good visit from there. If you are interested in 'social history' then a visit to the Black Country Museum might also interest you.

THEN train/Coach to London

You can do your side -trip to stonehenge easily from here - maybe combine it with a day in Salisbury to see the tallest Cathedral in the UK (and a very pretty one too) OR there are many day tours that combine Stonehenge and Bath that might appeal.

THEN train to Paris for your overnighter (or 2-3 days if you can manage that)

and fly home from Paris.

Louisville, Kentucky
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4. Re: Help for two ladies coming to England?

Thank you so much, everyone.

EssexWanderer, I apologize and you are correct that it is in November.

I regret that I am later in planning than I would like, but it was down to my mom finding out if she could get the time off work. She is less comfy with computers and is leaving it with me to plan, so I'm a bit overwhelmed. Back at the beginning of the year, we went to a proper travel agency and they gave us a figure of about $4,000, and she was convinced we could do better on our (well, my) own. I'm hoping so!

Also, she is diabetic and concerned about finding hotels with refrigerators to keep her insulin cold. She has documentation from her doctor for when we fly, but she is just concerned about it while she's there. Add in the fact that I'm very mildly physically handicapped and can't walk great whopping distances, and we're a fine pair. My boyfriend is helping out with tech issues (our phones and such), but I'm still "head of planning". Wish me luck, and if there's anything else you can think of, I'd be very grateful!

London, United...
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5. Re: Help for two ladies coming to England?

I believe that Love Never Dies has now closed, but you will still be able to see Phantom.

Essex
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6. Re: Help for two ladies coming to England?

Hey!! No need to apologise - just wanted to be sure of your dates, that's all!! Don't want to be advising stuff for this year, if your triip is next year!! :-)

Anyway, if everyone in the world did things the same way, what would be the point of travel??

Actually, in this day and age $4,000 does not sound that bad for a 2 week trip including 2 countries and 3 different destinations, especially if it alleviates some 'hassle' into the bargain.

It's alright for Mom to say 'we can do better' but you know, if she thinks you can, then she should be the one doing the work, IMNSHO!! To burden you with it when it's her idea is, I say, UNFAIR!!

London has great public transport - buses especially might suit the 2 of you for getting around. Ditto Paris - so your mobility problems should not be too much of an issue, really.

Many Hotels/apartments etc have in-room fridges, but even if they didn't, it would be a pretty heartless proprietor who would not help your mum with her insulin storage, I really feel that that should be a non-issue for you.

Make sure you get good travel insurance though - especially one that will cover you for a DIY trip, rather than a package and one that will cover your pre-existing conditions.

If I can think of anything else to help, I will post back, but you will get loads of good help here and on the Paris forum, for sure!

London
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7. Re: Help for two ladies coming to England?

Hello, barbexpat and EssexWanderer have given you lots if useful information, I don't think there is much more I can usefully add at this stage.

However you might like to know that there is a direct coach (i.e. express bus) from Heathrow Airport to Coventry - some journeys start from Gatwick too if you end up flying into there. If you do go to Coventry first this might be easier than trying to figure your way across London by train with luggage and jetlag. The driver stows your luggage at the Airport and retrieves it for you in the centre of Coventry.

You can get tickets at the Airport, or online. If you flight is delayed and you miss your booked coach, you can transfer your booking to a later coach - you may be charged a small admin fee, but you won't have to buy new tickets.

www.nationalexpress.com

nationalexpress.com/destinations/…210.pdf

You can also use National Express for Coventry to London. Alternatively, Virgin Trains do the trip in just over an hour, and if you buy Advance tickets the journey can be very cheap - although bear in mind Advance tickets on the train are for s specific departure on a specific day, are expensive to change and are non-refundable. Alternatively you can buy an off-peak ticket at the station and catch the next train out if you aim to arrive in London 11.30 or later. The trains are operated by Virgin. There are even cheaper Advance tickets offered by London Midland, but these trains are much slower - essentially they are commuter trains.

www.virgintrains.co.uk

Edited: 15 September 2012, 21:10
Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Help for two ladies coming to England?

The Underground and Metro may cause a headache or two, as both are fairly stair-heavy for the journey from street level to train platform and back again.

Buses aren't as plentiful in Paris as the Metro covers so much of the city, but they do exist. There are masses of buses in London; they're slow at times because of traffic volumes but you will get from point to point and will be able to see London rather than the inside of Tube tunnels.

Have a look at www.london-rental-apartments.com for accommodation along with www.clubquarters.com/loc_londonStPauls.php and marlinapartments.com/queenst-the-city.html The first will be least expensive as it's a bit east of the city centre (it's a short walk from the Tower) but all are worth a look.

Nottingham, United...
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9. Re: Help for two ladies coming to England?

If I was planning this trip I would start off in Coventry then head for London. Take Eurostar to Paris and fly home from there.

Whilst in Coventry maybe visit Warwick which has a beautiful Castle.

In London with an interest in churches then don't forget St Pauls Cathedral.

Love Never Dies finished a while ago because of low ratings.

The Phantom you will enjoy though!

Oklahoma City
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10. Re: Help for two ladies coming to England?

My mom and I are taking a simuilar trip and leave tomorrow. I agree with previous posters. Start in Coventry, then to London and finish in Paris. My husband and I did this trip last October (minus Coventry) although we came back from Paris to London for a few more days, as it's much cheaper to buy round trip airline tickets for one city. The Eurostar from London to Paris is easily the most economical. Fyi, the Louve is closed on Tuesdays. I recommend taking the open top tour bus in each city. The tickets are good for 24 hours, you can hop off and on when ever you please and many points of interests are pointed out that may otherwise be missed. The London bus tour also comes with a boat ride on the Thames. The Tour Bus in Paris will take you right to Notre Dame, the Opera House, Mulan Rouge, The Louve and the Eiffle Tower, among others. The hotel we stay at while in London, Euro Lodge Clapham, is our home base while in London. (www.hotels.com/hotel/details.html…) Definately a no frills location but clean and the people are super nice and helpful. It's in zone 2, so a quick turn down the Northern Line will get you to Liester Square to buy your show tickets and possibly a nice dinner while watching the crowd pass by at Bella Italia. That's what we do, loads of fun! Good luck and enjoy planning your trip!