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Interrailing in March! (Requesting some trip feedback)

Travel Forums Europe Interrailing in March! (Requesting some trip feedback)

1. Posted by Thel (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y

Hello all, I'm Thel and I'm new to this forum. In search of a good travel forum I stumbled upon this site in hope of getting some help with a few things concerning a Eurotrip I'm planning in March :)

Okay, so here's the thing: I'm planning on following my favourite artist's (Susanne Sundfør) tour through Northern Europe with some help from a 22 day Interrail Global pass, but I'm a total rookie when it comes to traveling and planning trips! Due to this I was hoping some of you much more experienced travellers out there could give me some advice about my current planned route and about whether or not it's doable

Like most inexperienced travelers (especially Interrailers from what I've heard) I started out plotting a route that would give me my 'money's worth' with quantity over quality. I did however quickly realize that rushing through cities and spending more time on trains and train stations than in the actual locations would be completely pointless, so I sacrificed places such as Tenby, Cardiff, Alton, Dover, Calais, Brussels, The Hague, Aarhus and Malmö and managed to slim it down to the current route:

London - Leeds - Edinburgh - Swansea - London - (Lille) - Ghent - Antwerp - Rotterdam - Amsterdam - Hamburg - Copenhagen - Stockholm

Does this route still seem too 'optimistic' on a 22 day pass? Considering I'm travelling mainly to see the concerts of the abovementioned artist in these six locations and dates make out the trip's 'skeleton':

London (03/03) - Ghent (11/03) - Amsterdam (14/03) - Hamburg (16/03) - Copenhagen (19/03) - Stockholm (20/03)

I arrive in London (Gatwick) by plane early in the morning on the 2nd of March, so in other words, I should have around 8-9 days to spend travelling in Great Britain, 6-8 days in Benelux and 5-6 days to spend in Germany and Denmark depending on where I decide to prioritize :)

I'm aware the whole London - Leeds - Edinburgh - Swansea - London route is awfully inconvenient, but I'm planning on booking tickets for a football match on Elland Road (for Leeds United, by favourite team) on the day after the concert in London, so starting out in Edinburgh wouldn't have worked out (four times as expensive for tickets as well). I'm likely to need at least 3-4 days in London, so I have a feeling I'll have to forget about Swansea. Should I perhaps just forget about Edinburgh altogether and focus about the London - Leeds - Swansea - London triangle instead? It's one of the cities on the top of my list to visit, but do you reckon I'll have enough time there to justify the extra travel time?

As for Benelux, I'm more than willing to drop Rotterdam if necessary. Antwerp can hopefully stay. It's also worth mentioning that unless something unexpected comes up I probably won't even leave the train station in Lille before I head for Ghent, so that should improve the traveling flexibility in the area a bit.

I'm also interested in extending the route from the 21st and onwards if I feel like it, but that won't be included in the Interrail route as of now (Stockholm - Mariehamn - Turku - Helsinki - Tallinn - Pärnu - Riga - Stockholm). Estonia and Latvia aren't a part in the Interrail network either way, so I'll leave that for another thead.

Opinions about and experiences from any of the cities (or good alternative options along the same route) are highly appreciated!

Thanks in advance, and I wasn't sure how to include my embed route here as I'm typing this on my tablet, but here's a picture at least: http://i.imgur.com/pRoJOlih.jpg

Hope I posted this in the right place!

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Feb-2015, at 06:27 by Thel ]

2. Posted by becimarie (Budding Member 10 posts) 1y

Hey hon,

I'm a Brit, and from Swansea no-less. What is it about Swansea that is drawing you there? There really isn't much for a tourist to see, especially in March when it will be cold and wet. The beach is beautiful, but only on a rare summer's day. Otherwise, Swansea is a generic student city with a few decent-ish pubs. Cardiff is a much better choice, with lots of museums and other stuff to do, as it is the capital.

Leeds is very much a dodgy student town, but if you are going for football then fair enough. Personally, I'd spend your first day in London, go to Leeds for your football match, then go back to London, with maybe a stop off in Birmingham on the way back. A much bigger, more tourist, city with more to do than either of the Welsh cities you've mentioned. You also made the right choice by dropping Tenby from your list, as that will be miserable in March. It's a tourist town, that basically only functions in the summer months.

And I'd count Edinburgh out in that time-frame. It's a long journey up from London and you'd have like a day then have to turn around to be able to get back to London to enjoy that.

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Feb-2015, at 06:53 by becimarie ]

3. Posted by Thel (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y

Thanks for the great tips, didn't really expect anyone to reply to this overly long post, especially not now! That said, just a few days after I created this thread I actually decided to drop both Edinburgh and Swansea altogether, and focus on the London area instead. A one-day visit to Leeds is still scheduled though, and hopefully I'll have time to visit Bath as well. I looked at Birmingham a few weeks back (looks great), but with the new approach to this trip I think I'll try to keep it to as few stops as possible this time around :)

As for my reasons for wanting to visit the Swansea area, it was mostly due to an unexpected offer that popped up from a longtime online friend living in Gowerton. I was planning on visiting Cardiff either way, so I figured I'd might as well crash and hang out with him there for a day or so, looking to explore Gower Peninsula (I don't mind bad weather at all when it comes to taking in nature by the way!) to and Swansea's famed nightlife, but I sadly had to cancel in order to fit the rest of my plans for the UK. I'll hopefully get a chance to visit Swansea, Cardiff and the Welsh countryside on a future trip to UK without such time constraints though!

So, anyway...London-Leeds-Bath-London-Lille (2nd-9th) it is!

Oh, and just in case anyone's curious about the rest of the trip (highly doubt it ): Two of the six concerts I was planning on going to sold out before I managed to get tickets, so I only have tickets for London, Ghent, Hamburg and Copenhagen now (not Amsterdam and Stockholm), so that was a real bummer! Will of course still be visiting those cities, and hopefully the black market will treat me well!

Lille-Ghent-Antwerp-Amsterdam-Hamburg-Copenhagen-Stockholm (10th-20th) is still set in stone though!

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Feb-2015, at 09:20 by Thel ]