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Planes, boats and trains? Netherlands, England and Ireland

Planes, boats and trains? Netherlands, England and Ireland

Old Mar 14, 07, 3:00 pm
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Planes, boats and trains? Netherlands, England and Ireland

I'm traveling in November/December to Amsterdam. I'll be staying with my friends in Noordwijk and then we'll want to go to England...where we're likely to be visiting friends in Surrey and then Penzance. About 10 days into all of this, we want to travel over to Dublin, Ireland, where we'll probably rent a car and tour about for a week visiting absolutely no one.

I'm traveling with my mom (66 years old) and my son (3.5 years old) and I think it will be fun to try different means of transport (especially for my son). Any general suggestions?

1. Was thinking of the ferry from Holland to England. Then trains within England and then a ferry over to Ireland. Is this completely unrealistic?

2. Are there any ways of getting "passes" to allow us to do all this with some flexibility?

3. Any recommendations on great places to go in Ireland would be welcome, along with accomodations etc. Our budget is not super cheap, but I recognize these places are pricey.

Thanks,

Lorna

p.s. I realize it's not the best time of year to go...

pps I am crossposting this in the UK/Ireland forum.

Last edited by Lornag; Mar 14, 07 at 3:02 pm Reason: to add to UK and Ireland forum,
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Old Mar 14, 07, 10:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Lornag View Post


1. Was thinking of the ferry from Holland to England. Then trains within England and then a ferry over to Ireland. Is this completely unrealistic?.
Nope - not at all unrealistic - ferries can be a great (albeit slow) way to travel. You should look at the prices for cabins on the ferry, as I would imagine a long trip with a small child might be easier if you have some private space to retreat to. Ferry tickets can include the train from Amsterdam to Hoek van Holland, the ferry, then the train from Harwich to London, so it's very easy to make the connections.

Originally Posted by Lornag View Post
2. Are there any ways of getting "passes" to allow us to do all this with some flexibility?.
This combination of countries doesn't work well with railpasses, as there's no single pass that covers Holland, England, and Ireland. There's a Britrail pass, or Britrail + Ireland, or Benelux, France, and Ireland, but nothing that exactly works for your countries. My guess is that it will be cheapest just to buy individual tickets.

Originally Posted by Lornag View Post
3. Any recommendations on great places to go in Ireland would be welcome, along with accomodations etc. Our budget is not super cheap, but I recognize these places are pricey.
Personally, I'd suggest the West Coast - possibly the Ring of Kerry and Galway or something like that. It's a good mix of beautiful scenery and charming small towns. If you do end up wanting to go to Western Ireland, you may want to nix the second ferry and fly from England to Kerry, Shannon, or Galway.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old May 26, 09, 7:23 pm
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any reviews of the night train-ferry-train from Amsterdam to London? Considering doing this in July with my family.
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Old May 27, 09, 1:55 am
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The seat61 site is a good resource for options available - although it varies (IMA) from first hand experience through to arm chair traveller.
http://www.seat61.com/Netherlands.htm#train+ferry
...but having not done that route I have no idea if it is correct.
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Old May 27, 09, 2:32 am
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It's certainly feasible, although the journey to Ireland via ferry is nothing to write home about.

The Stenaline site allows you to book through tickets from Dutch stations to UK stations - although you'd need to book to London Liverpool Street, and get across to London Waterloo to get down to Surrey.

From Surrey down to Penzance, you have several options: Woking to Exeter and change, Guildford to Reading and change, or the latter to connect to the Night Riviera: the sleeper service down to Cornwall. However, the journey between Exeter and Dawlish, and later over the Tamar, is utterly stunning.

(If you wanted to break the journey, the Woking to Exeter route takes you via Salisbury, which is a great place to stop off).

Over from Cornwall to Ireland is frustrating: although there's campaigns for ferries from Cornwall/Devon to Wales, there's nothing there yet, so an overland route is quite circuitous. The ferry routes that are probably most convenient are Pembroke/Fishguard to Rosslare, or Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire/Dublin. It's quite a long train journey to either port, requiring a connection in either Bristol Parkway (and possibly Cardiff/Swansea) for the former, and Birmingham New Street for the latter.

(Again, there's plenty stop-off opportunities if you'd like them - particularly in Wales, such as the Gower and the West Coast).

You can get passes before you get to the country - I'm not sure of the prices. To travel cost-effectively by train in the UK, though, you need to pre-book and commit to specific trains, no more than 10-12 weeks in advance of travel (and preferably no less, to get the best fares!)

Your final alternative for getting from Penzance to Ireland is on the ferry via France - you can travel quite easily up to Plymouth, and then over to Roscoff. From Roscoff, there are ferries to both Cork and Rosslare. Not the fastest route, but if you like ferries, it could work well.
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Old May 27, 09, 2:40 am
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Just to avoid confusion, the OP is from over a year ago. dlwalt just posted the question about ams-lon today (no Ireland involved AFAIK)
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Old May 27, 09, 4:49 am
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Good point, I hadn't noticed that!

Haven't been on that ferry for a long time, I'm afraid.
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Old May 27, 09, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by dlwalt View Post
any reviews of the night train-ferry-train from Amsterdam to London? Considering doing this in July with my family.
I used to do this a lot when I was much younger. Haven't done it for a while, and haven't been on the current ferries since they underwent major refurbishment (more like a rebuild!) a few years ago, but I don't think the basics will have changed all that much, so...:

It's quite a good way to travel - quite leisurely, and probably a lot less stress and hassle than flying. The train and ferry are about a five minute walk apart, but you have to allow extra time to go through passport control at both ends.

I don't know how popular the ferries are these days (they used to get quite crowded in the summer), as you are travelling during the peak holiday season you probably want to book quite soon. Apparently you now have to book a cabin for night crossings (I used to sleep in the bar or on the floor in my student days...), but travelling as a family you would probably want to book one even if you didn't have to.

When you get on the train in Harwich try to get seats on the right - the first part of the journey is along a river bank and is quite pretty (pretty rather then spectacular - "pretty" is all you're going to get in East Anglia!). Once you get past Manningtree (where you get a quick glimpse of Constable Country) the rest of the journey will be quite boring.
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