Not just for visiting London but for any cheap tickets, the National Express web site is good
This shows you the range of tickets available for a journey and allows you to find (say) just the journeys with £10 single or whatever. It's also much quicker if you want to browse a few days than the Trainline web site.
Late Rooms is quite good for finding hotels all over the place. A quick check finds the Leisure Inn in Bayswater for next weekend for about £40 per night. This isn't the most beautiful bit of London but it's not bad and it's walking distance from Hyde Park, Marble Arch and the rest of the West End.
If you can get a family train ticket for less than £80 then I'd do it - that's only just more than the cost of the petrol and it's much, much less hassle and almost certainly quicker now that the works on the west coast mainline are finished.
If the children are under 11 they travel free on buses and tubes; from 11 to 16 it's still free but they need a photo card - there are details of all the costs on the Transport for London web site.
I'd be stupid to say that London is the best city in the UK, but there is a huge amount to do here which is free and worth doing. The big museums (Science, Natural History and V&A) are pretty impressive (they're just round the corner from me and they're always busy!) but there are loads of others to visit if you want something a bit different. A quick Google found an A-Z of London's museums but there are also places like the South Bank where you can just wander along from Westminster to the Tate and beyond.
You can get good deals on the train, for example I recently bought tickets for Edinburgh -> London for £14 each way. Virgin Trains on the West Coast are a bit more expensive at £30-50 each way from the North West.
I used to be all in favour of travelling by train or plane but tbh it can be a complete rip off. At christmas I drove from the North West to London in 4 hours and it cost less than £40 in petrol. If there are a few of you in the car it will definitely be cheaper than public transport. Just remeber to use the M6 toll, its worth it. The time taken to get to the airport, go through security, get a train into london at the other end will be longer than driving, especially from Manchester / Liverpool.
Last edited by somabc; 15th January 2009 at 11:29 AM.
Maybe I'm biased because I lived there for so long, but I always get a smile on my face, more up beat and happier when I visit the capital. Got to move back there one day. Norfolk is too quiet!
Before I forget, on the subject of Museums.
Both the Science Museum (my personal favourite, they have Cray 1 on show ) and the British Museum (esp. the Egypt antiquates) are fantastic venues and well recommended. Both are free entry AFAIR.
Last edited by tmcd35; 15th January 2009 at 11:33 AM.
I used to call in and provide technical support at Prenton High, back in the days of Bob Winterton? or whatever the Headteachers name was at the time! Techie there called Dave something?
Anyways, hope all is well, for my penny's worth on travelling to London - I would drive!
West Derby School
If you do go by train, get a family railcard, you can save around 30% on the fare and will probably pay for itself straight away, as well as having it to use in the future.
The reason we travel down by bus is purely psychological, because it is so horrendous approx 6.50 hrs there and the same back we thoroughly enjoy the experience as we have it so good in every other aspect of our lives, we just like to give something back for the balance.
Someone else has probably posted it but I just used National Rail Enquiries - Official source for UK train times and timetables
And as someone mentioned, buy a family railcard and it would be cheaper still
Automobiles were always a good invention~!
National express is good tbh. They have discount prices for kids and always loads of coaches going + always on time. I always use them and have never had any problems.
Though I did drive past the greyhound murder scene in Canada. So always sit @ the back so you know whos where.
You can get some pretty decent rail fares - book as far in advance as possible to get the dirt cheap tickets. As others have said also get a family railcard, as these now give you an added discount on ap tickets.
I've done this twice now, it's great. Same idea. Travel down in the motor, maybe spend £30 in disel, return, with my foot down, from West Yorkshire, then about a tenner on the tube return and about 3 quid for parking. Because you're at the end of the tube line you've got all zones return, you can do pretty much what you wanti in between.
Last edited by dhicks; 19th January 2009 at 09:57 AM. Reason: m, even.
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