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Ideas for an epic fortnight in England/Northern Ireland

Ideas for an epic fortnight in England/Northern Ireland

Old Apr 18, 2022, 6:10 am
  #16  
 
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The only Hertz locations in Swindon are 24/7 vans at B&Q. If you see other locations you are looking at an out of date list.
Hertz have a small depot in Oxford, fairly near the railway station, if you want to pick up en route to the Cotswolds
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Old Apr 18, 2022, 10:14 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by rcspeirs
The only Hertz locations in Swindon are 24/7 vans at B&Q. If you see other locations you are looking at an out of date list.
Thanks for confirming. Hertz really should update their website...
Hertz have a small depot in Oxford, fairly near the railway station, if you want to pick up en route to the Cotswolds
That's not too bad, but after looking at their options yesterday, I'm starting to question if this isn't overcomplicating things. Avis is a better bet for me anyways - much cheaper. There might be an alternative in terms of staying near Paddington (e.g., at the Hilton Metropole on points) and taking a train out to Heathrow or sticking with Stratford and going to Stansted, but I'm not sure that accomplishes much, either, apart from maybe better car selection (I once lucked into a VW GTD wagon at an Avis in STN for roughly 50 pounds/day, but it seems like Avis have left Stansted since). Sixt at Stratford would be absolutely ideal, but I'm not quite certain I want to spend an extra $500 on convenience.

Last edited by highlanderfil; Apr 18, 2022 at 10:38 am
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Old Apr 20, 2022, 7:10 pm
  #18  
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Made a few changes. We weren't originally planning to go to the Harry Potter Leavesden Tour, but a new feature was added. Breaks up our drive to the Cotswolds, as well.

Last edited by highlanderfil; Apr 21, 2022 at 3:03 pm
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Old Apr 23, 2022, 8:00 am
  #19  
 
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If you have not already done so, check the ferry availability for your ferry from NI to Scotland and make your bookings early. 12 July is also a major public holiday in NI. If Stena is unavailable there is P&O from Larne to Cairnryan now back in business.
https://www.stenaline.co.uk/ferries-to-ireland
https://www.poferries.com/en/routes/...refinder#route
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Old Apr 23, 2022, 9:13 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by antichef
If you have not already done so, check the ferry availability for your ferry from NI to Scotland and make your bookings early. 12 July is also a major public holiday in NI. If Stena is unavailable there is P&O from Larne to Cairnryan now back in business.
https://www.stenaline.co.uk/ferries-to-ireland
https://www.poferries.com/en/routes/...refinder#route
We haven’t yet, thank you!

Stena's website is truly horrible, I must say. But for now there's plenty of availability on both. Would you recommend one over the other?

Last edited by highlanderfil; Apr 23, 2022 at 10:30 am
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Old Apr 24, 2022, 4:19 am
  #21  
 
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They are much of the same, I take whatever suits my timetable. It is a two hour trip so never much to worry about. The ferry ports in Cairnryan are a mile apart at opposite ends of the village. At the NI end Stena is in Belfast docks and P&O at Larne about 20 miles north. That might make a difference for your onward journey, but does not for me as I am 30 minutes from both - hence why either will do!
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Old Apr 24, 2022, 4:44 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by antichef
They are much of the same, I take whatever suits my timetable. It is a two hour trip so never much to worry about. The ferry ports in Cairnryan are a mile apart at opposite ends of the village. At the NI end Stena is in Belfast docks and P&O at Larne about 20 miles north. That might make a difference for your onward journey, but does not for me as I am 30 minutes from both - hence why either will do!
Thanks. A 20 mile drive doesn't bother me in the slightest, so we'll take whatever ends up being cheaper and/or more convenient. Waiting for my Amex Platinum points to post to buy tickets and then the ferry will be the first thing we book after.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 6:54 pm
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Tickets booked, same with the ferry and a couple of hotels. The road between Watford and Cairnryan is still somewhat undecided, but I'm not sure we need to figure it out in advance.
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Old May 21, 2022, 7:10 pm
  #24  
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Bumping this thread for some ideas on things to do in London. So far the plan is as follows (obviously contingent on weather behaving):

June 29: Get in and chill. Probably go for a walk in Hyde Park, but given neither one of us sleeps on planes, even in spite of us traveling Premium Plus, I don't really think this is going to be a big day.
June 30: Zookeeper for a day in Kent. Turns out there are multiple furry creatures we'd like to interact with apart from the binturong, so we figured in for a penny, in for a pound. Perfect day to do it, as well, as we'll still be riding the jet lag and should be able to wake up sufficiently early to make it to Kent at 9:30.
July 1: The day is open; my wife is going to the theatre at 19:30 (The Seagull), so I'm going to need to find something to do for about 2.5-3 hours. Normally I would just hop on the tube and explore the first new-to-me London neighborhood I could point to on a map (or hop on a Thames boat, or go plane watching at LCY), but the trouble is that, given I won't have much sunlight left by the time the play starts, it may not be the best of ideas. So, could use some tips here. Preferably outdoors.
July 2: Another play, this time together (The Southbury Child), in the evening. Day is open.
July 3: No plans as yet.

Appreciate any suggestions. No more football until August, which would have been another good alternative.
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Old May 22, 2022, 3:31 pm
  #25  
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Could also use some advice with respect to SIM cards. I'd like to buy one that I will then be able to use in August for a trip to Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey. Minutes not as important as data. Any tips?
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Old May 22, 2022, 4:05 pm
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Check if you phone supports eSIM, it’s great, cheap and very easy to install. Airalo typically around $15 for 5GB for 1 month. 3GB will typically last me almost 2 weeks.
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Old May 22, 2022, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Hornetcoach
Check if you phone supports eSIM, it’s great, cheap and very easy to install. Airalo typically around $15 for 5GB for 1 month. 3GB will typically last me almost 2 weeks.
It does, but, alas, that slot is already taken up with a card I cannot lose access to. Also, given what I know about my data consumption, 3GB will typically last me less than a week. Ten is a safe-ish number. I've got a Vodafone sim bobbing around somewhere from last year's trip to Italy, but not 100% sure it's still viable.
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Old May 23, 2022, 2:55 am
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Originally Posted by highlanderfil
It does, but, alas, that slot is already taken up with a card I cannot lose access to. Also, given what I know about my data consumption, 3GB will typically last me less than a week. Ten is a safe-ish number. I've got a Vodafone sim bobbing around somewhere from last year's trip to Italy, but not 100% sure it's still viable.
SIMs do often expire after a year. You can check it wherever you are by putting it in your phone. If you get an error like unprovisioned or SIM error then it is dead. If it logs onto a local network and perhaps you get a SMS welcoming you to wherever you are then you could try a top-up to keep it alive. Buying a SIM on arrival is easy enough though.
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Old May 23, 2022, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by DaveS
SIMs do often expire after a year. You can check it wherever you are by putting it in your phone. If you get an error like unprovisioned or SIM error then it is dead. If it logs onto a local network and perhaps you get a SMS welcoming you to wherever you are then you could try a top-up to keep it alive. Buying a SIM on arrival is easy enough though.
It seems like it's picking up T-Mobile in the U.S., so there might be hope for it yet. Wish I hadn't lost the second one we had, but that does mean we'll need to buy one more on arrival. Any recommendations with respect to operators?
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Old May 23, 2022, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by highlanderfil
It seems like it's picking up T-Mobile in the U.S., so there might be hope for it yet. Wish I hadn't lost the second one we had, but that does mean we'll need to buy one more on arrival. Any recommendations with respect to operators?
I have not done any research on the best provider - I would guess all are comparable. O2 does not charge extra for roaming in Europe so that is worth looking at if you want to use it in Europe. Turkey is not included in that though.
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