I'm planning to travel alone next January. It's the first time I'll be travelling to Europe, and all by myself. I'm thinking one month in London and one in Paris. But let's just focus on London in this post.
Thing is my family is telling me that it is not such a great idea to stay just in one place, that I should use my time to see a lot of places (different countries and cities, from Spain to Greece, just to say something), but I'm reeeeeally digging the idea of staying in one place and getting to really know it. I'm not saying that I'll get a room in Westminster and never ever leave the Queen and the Big Ben since I do want to visit as much as I can. I've even thought about leaving for the day and then taking a night train or so to come back, so I could sleep there, but I don't know if that's just madness.
Priority number one is London, of course - but I'd love to get to visit another cities like Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol - even another country: maybe Glasgow and Edinburgh.
My question is... Is it a good idea? Getting a room in London and then using transportation for getting to other cities/countries? Is my plan a good one? In which city should I get a room? Any advice or things I have not noticed/mentioned? Any places you think I must visit?
I'm really really lost, and I'd absolutely appreciate if you could give me some information and tips!
P.S: If you'd like to help me out with the Paris part, you can do it here: http://www.travellerspoint.com/forum.cfm?thread=86945
[ Edit: Edited on 14-Mar-2012, at 18:26 by everymanjack ]
It really depends on your budget. London is VERY expensive (Paris also for that matter) and lodgings will charge you a "single supplement, per occupant, per day" If you have a lot of cash to use on this trip, it might be a better idea to spend a few days in each place rather than try to base in London because many of the places you list are not "day trips". Might be a better idea to explore Southern England from London (Brighton, Arundel, parts of Kent, Southampton, Dorset etc) or spend 2 weeks getting around in London with all that it has to offer and then a week in one other place and maybe a week in Scotland.
Similarly with Paris, a couple of weeks there, perhaps visiting Versailles which is relatively close by, and then maybe a week in a couple of other places. The Loire valley for instance with the Chateaus and Wine country, and maybe Southern Provence or Marseilles...
Hope that helps!
It surely helps! I'll definitely consider two weeks in London, one in some other place and one in Scotland. Thank you!
If you decide to explore southern England you could consider taking the ferry from Portsmouth to Guernsey -- a charming island -- one of the Channel Islands -- which is a mixture of English and French cultures. January is off season and the numerous guest houses on the island offer reduced rates. Their climate is milder than England but in the winter can be chilly. The people are friendly and helpful. The island is small enough that you could use a bike to get around and can walk to most places in St Peter Port. Then you could take another ferry to St Malo, France and then to Paris via the scenic route :o) Of course, you could also fly there and then fly from there to France.
Thanks for the info, JosephaA! I'll keep it in mind
I would not rent a room for a month in London if you are planning to travel around to other cities. Why tie up your money for a room in London that you are not even staying in? Rent a room for a few days in London while you get your bearings. Talk to other expats/travelers your first few days there to get your bearings. Then if you don't like the hotel or pension you can leave. Or if you meet people...or if you just want to go check out a new city.
It would be easier to help with some clues from you about what you want to find - such as scenery, history, modern cities. Do you definitely want all your stays (if you do London plus 2) to be in cites as such or would you consider somewhere smaller for one?
I'll come back with advice if you let me know.
I'd love to get to visit London as much as I can, but I'm definitely open to travelling to other places. I'm kind of a city person, so that's what I'm looking forward to see - I love a great view with mountains and trees and unicorns, but my life does not depend on that. I'm a city gal, definitely.
I intended to stay in London because it's a place I want to visit since I was fourteen, but I'm open to other options. Again, London would be priority number one and I want to stay there as much as I can, but if you tell me about some really awesome smaller cities that you think are really worth it, I'd definitely consider it!
One or two weeks is definitely enough to see most of what London has to offer. Even if you plan to check out Greenwich, Camden, Notting Hill, Hampstead, Shoreditch and suchlike.
If you like cities, I'd recommend taking trips up to:
Manchester and Liverpool. (Big cities with a completely different atmosphere to London, but with great bars, clubs, shopping, culture and people).
Glasgow and Edinburgh. (Edinburgh is amazingly beautiful and Glasgow is great for music and art).
If you want some day trips from London:
Oxford (24-hour bus service from Victoria). Great for history, architecture and feeling like you're in a Harry Potter film.
Brighton. (train from Victoria.) Party town with a beach. Good if you like 'alternative' stuff.
Casiokerry, you came here with that post just in time. I'm really bad with geography so I downloaded a map (so I could visualize where everything was, because I'm really awful with locations) and started colouring the places I'd like to see, and you totally nailed it.
This is what I've been thinking:
- 5 days in Glasgow, then 5 days in Edinburgh;
- something like 10 days in the North of England: Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds (I have a bit of a fixation with Leeds. Is it worth a visit?) Are 10 days enough for these 3 places?
- 14 days in London, visiting the obvious places. Oxford was in my plans but I did not know I could go so easily from London and then return. I'll check that out. Brighton was not in my plans but I'll think about it, if it's as easy to get there as Oxford!
What do you think? I'd really appreciate if you let me know!