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November backpacking through UK with tot.

Travel Forums Europe November backpacking through UK with tot.

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1. Posted by MelonBomb (Inactive 10 posts) 8y

Hello Everyone. This November my boyfriend and friend are off from wild-land firefighting in Northern California. We all decided to go to Europe, specifically the Uk, netherlands and maybe France and Spain. We planned the trip for 24 days and originally just the 3 of us, however,I couldn't really leave my son Simi, who is 2 years and 5 months, So we decided to take him. I know this is going to be a different trip with him,and for myself even better. but..

1> I know it's rainy but how rainy (i'm from central califonia)? I wasn't expecting a summer vacation. I'm not naive.

2> How safe are hostels for a two year old?

3>Any advisories or general information of that part of Europe will be helpful!!!!!

Please,try to keep it positive.

2. Posted by Makini (Respected Member 80 posts) 8y

Dear,

First a question for me to be able to answer better: How will you be traveling? By air, or are you getting the Eurail train pass?

1. Rainy. Northern Europe gets pretty cold, and rain with heavy winds doesn't make things easier. But it's hard to predict. And on a clear autumn/winter day the weather can be very enjoyable, as well as very beautiful. But bring really good rainwear for those days when you're outta luck.

2. Impossible to say. Be sure to stay at hostels connected to a certain standards, such as the HI Hostels. www.hihostels.com. Then you know you can expect something similar every time, and you know the place is under regular control. You have to be a member to live at them, so check out the website.

Generally the hostels of Europe can be quite expensive, so keep in mind low-priced hotels as an alternative. These can often provide better rooms (and privacy!) at almost the same, or sometimes lower, prices. Always check the room, and don't settle for the first place you get to.

3. "On that part of Europe?" :D Haha, I could write an encyclopedia. Throw me some questions and I'll answer them!

Did a backpacking tour of Europe a couple of years back, and have made several trips to specific locations now and then. I'll be happy to help a fellow californian.

3. Posted by MelonBomb (Inactive 10 posts) 8y

Quoting Makini

Dear,

First a question for me to be able to answer better: How will you be traveling? By air, or are you getting the Eurail train pass?

1. Rainy. Northern Europe gets pretty cold, and rain with heavy winds doesn't make things easier. But it's hard to predict. And on a clear autumn/winter day the weather can be very enjoyable, as well as very beautiful. But bring really good rainwear for those days when you're outta luck.

2. Impossible to say. Be sure to stay at hostels connected to a certain standards, such as the HI Hostels. www.hihostels.com. Then you know you can expect something similar every time, and you know the place is under regular control. You have to be a member to live at them, so check out the website.

Generally the hostels of Europe can be quite expensive, so keep in mind low-priced hotels as an alternative. These can often provide better rooms (and privacy!) at almost the same, or sometimes lower, prices. Always check the room, and don't settle for the first place you get to.

3. "On that part of Europe?" :D Haha, I could write an encyclopedia. Throw me some questions and I'll answer them!

Did a backpacking tour of Europe a couple of years back, and have made several trips to specific locations now and then. I'll be happy to help a fellow californian.

Thanks for the response!
Like I said before any advise or info.is so helpful and very much appreciated.

We are arriving by Plane. From there on it will be by rail and foot. What is the the rail system called in England and Scotland? Is it the Metro?Will there subway system take me all the way out to Scotland or Northern Ireland?

4. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 8y

Quoting MelonBomb

We are arriving by Plane. From there on it will be by rail and foot. What is the the rail system called in England and Scotland? Is it the Metro?Will there subway system take me all the way out to Scotland or Northern Ireland?

The intercity rail services in the UK are generally called the National Rail. There are also other private rail operators. Within London, the metro/subway is called the Underground. There are also Overground services, but these are at London suburbs. Refer to the London travel guide for more information on how to get from the airport to the city, which is the best tickets to get for travelling on London's public transportation, etc.

In the mean time, also check out the Travellerspoint travel guide for the United Kingdom. Inside, there are many other individual location guides which should give you some information on travelling about. If the information you want is not written yet (all contents are contributed by members), just post your questions here.

5. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 8y

Quoting Makini

2. Impossible to say. Be sure to stay at hostels connected to a certain standards, such as the HI Hostels. www.hihostels.com. Then you know you can expect something similar every time, and you know the place is under regular control. You have to be a member to live at them, so check out the website.

One more thing. It is best to check with the hostel prior to your booking to see if it's fine for you to bring along your baby. They might require you to book a private room for that.

6. Posted by Sam2000 (Inactive 121 posts) 8y

Its currently August and its rained nearly every day - days it hasn't rained its been overcast and miserable...and this is the hight of summer! Plus I live in the South so its supposedly the warmer end of the UK!

As for how rainy, in the UK do not expect weather forcasts to be accurate, the weather is so unpredictable, it can snow one day and be warm enough to wander around in a T-shirt the next. In November it is likely to be overcast every day and rain at some point each day. If you are further north, expect it to snow. Plus, further north you will have a lot of fog, which can be atmospheric, but steal slightly from dramatic mountain views! I honestly think though if you want to experience Britain, changable weather is something you want, if, by a stroke of luck, you have it nice and sunny for a week or two then you haven't experienced it!

I don't really know anything about hostels because I've never stayed in a British one...I've always stayed with friends on my travels or camped!

Don't expect it to be cheap. The trains are ridiculously expensive in Britain (Eurail doesn't extend to Britain) and not the fastest things in the world. However, despite what people say, they are efficient. I take the train everywhere and the delays are rarely more than 10 minutes. Only major delays I've experienced are when someone has decided its fun to have a walk on the track and injure themselves...or the never ending engineering works.

Getting to the airports into London is easy - Heathrow has underground connections and Gatwick has regular trains (don't take the Gatwick Express, its meaninglessly expensive).

The rail system will take you all the way to Scotland from England, not sure if there are many direct trains...check www.thetrainline.com for help on the trains, its a good website and allows you to book tickets well in advance. I would definately advise booking long train journeys like now, a journey that usually costs £150 can be reduced to £80 or less by booking in advance. Furthermore, thetrainline also allows you to check to see if there are any special offers available.

You can't get to Northern Ireland by the train. The easiest way is to fly there, RyanAir do cheap flights from Stansted airport to NI, but they also do cheap flights to the Republic from Gatwick too. If you want to experience the Irish Sea, take a ferry from Fishguard in Wales, or Liverpool up in the North. Its good fun honestly! I would thoroughly recomend Ireland, its an awesome country (well, both of them).

7. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 8y

Quoting Sam2000

If you are further north, expect it to snow. Plus, further north you will have a lot of fog.

WHAT???? Are you another southerner who has never been further north than the Watford Gap?? It will definately NOT snow in November in the north of England, and you will be lucky if it snows in the mountains of Scotland at that time of year. As for the fog up north, well I have never seen any it and I have lived up north for 15 years now. I am a southerner myself and the weather is not that much different in the north of the country to down south.
In November the whole of the UK will be wet but mild for a northern European country in the winter. The temperature rarely goes beneath zero (yes, even right up here in the north) because we are an island and the surrounding sea keeps our winters mild (but wet). But for Californians it will seem very cold!! Expect the temperatures in the UK to be about 6 or 7 degrees in November.

8. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member 1342 posts) 8y

Quoting bwiiian

Expect the temperatures in the UK to be about 6 or 7 degrees in November.

Yeah, it was about there when I went to Scotland in November, around 5 degrees and very windy and rainy. Sometimes it rained for a whole day, other times just a couple of hours. London was comparably warmer, around 10-12 deg or so and not as much rain.

9. Posted by MelonBomb (Inactive 10 posts) 8y

WOW!!! 4 degrees?!? I lived in Mammoth Lakes California, it got about 15 degrees and that was blizzard weather in December!! I am soo excited! This will be a great experience, I can tell already!

Thanks again for the advise!!!

10. Posted by Sam2000 (Inactive 121 posts) 8y

No, I would never go to Watford!

I lived in Yorkshire for a while and it snowed on the Dales in 2003 in November, then I returned south :D. Plus I was up in in Ullapool last year and it snowed then, granted that was end of November, moving into December. So ok, it doesn't snow a lot but it definately does snow in Scotland during November, especially up in the Highlands.

As for fog - I nearly walked off High Cup whilst walking the Pennine Way during September because of the fog. Plus my grandparents regularly moan about the fog once it gets into autumn/winter (they are in Yorkshire).

So ok, granted I may just have experience of a few "freak" incidents that have happened over the years rather than what is the norm...but one thing I think we can agree on is that the weather is changable.