Travel

Recommend nearby Euro cities to visit while in London for 7-9 days please

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  • May 23rd, 2019 7:24 pm
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Recommend nearby Euro cities to visit while in London for 7-9 days please

Hi all,

Last year was our first foray outside NA and we went to Portugal for 10 days and it was exciting and fun. Got to see some of the amazing castles and beautiful sites.

I'm looking to travel London sometime mid to late July and wanted to do a mini Euro trip. I definitely want to checkout London as it;s been a long time since I was there as a kid. I'm looking for advice here for all savvy RFD travelers who've been to London and visited nearby cities.

Particularly interested if i can take euro train/rail if there's option to checkout nearby cities. Is it possible to go see Paris? Spain would've been doable last year since we were in Portugal but we wanted to ensure we visit all surrounding cities like Cascais, Porto etc.

Budget wise, I don't know how much I should set aside but I know flights, hotels are pretty expensive in Europe (I used my Marriott points while in Lisbon so that helped, flights were $900!!)

Thanks everyone.
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Paris and Brussels are easily reachable by Eurostar train from London. You can also head north and visit Glasgow or Edinburgh. If your total trip length is 7-9 days, I'd budget ~5 days for London itself, a day trip to a place like Bath or Dover and 2-3 days in your second city. With so many low cost carrier flights available, you could feasibly have your second city be further out as well. Just take your travel time into account.
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Jan 17, 2017
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If train, edinburgh, paris, amsterdam, brussels are the closest large cities.

For 7 days i's split time between 2 of those cities. For 9 you can probably fit a third (i.e. london to paris to amsterdam).

Make sure you fly into one city and fly out from the final destination.
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Soty613 wrote: If train, edinburgh, paris, amsterdam, brussels are the closest large cities.

For 7 days i's split time between 2 of those cities. For 9 you can probably fit a third (i.e. london to paris to amsterdam).

Make sure you fly into one city and fly out from the final destination.
Talamasca wrote: Paris and Brussels are easily reachable by Eurostar train from London. You can also head north and visit Glasgow or Edinburgh. If your total trip length is 7-9 days, I'd budget ~5 days for London itself, a day trip to a place like Bath or Dover and 2-3 days in your second city. With so many low cost carrier flights available, you could feasibly have your second city be further out as well. Just take your travel time into account.
Thanks! I should've mentioned I much prefer the euro rail travel as oppose to flight and would rather want to fly back from London. Thank you for recommending those closet cities and the time I should dedicate to them :)
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Instead of visiting other countries, you can also consider day trips to cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Bath, Windsor, The Cotswolds, etc.
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TorontoEh wrote: Thanks! I should've mentioned I much prefer the euro rail travel as oppose to flight and would rather want to fly back from London. Thank you for recommending those closet cities and the time I should dedicate to them :)
Well think about the flight. It will save you a ton of time, money and possibly having to book a night in London if its an early flight. Im sure all of those cities have direct flights as well.
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Jan 8, 2012
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If it were me, I'd do London and Paris.

There are endless good choices within a short distance of London, both in the UK and in Europe. If you have a particular interest in or tie to any of them, then it might be worth a visit.

But if not, L and P are two of the world's great cities, full of things to see and do.

You could take the train, as it goes downtown to downtown, which saves you some time.

Check here for more info:

Your text to link here...

If ten days, I'd probably split it close to equally, perhaps with an extra day spent in London.

But do some research, check out what's on offer, and what you'd actually be interested in seeing. Then apportion your time.

(I'd get on it now, btw, as some of the big attractions have limited access [eg Eiffel Tower] and you'd want to be booking tickets asap.)
Last edited by wudtsilake on May 22nd, 2019 12:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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As what has already been mentioned, if by train only, then Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and any UK city (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

Also, as I've mentioned in a different thread, you can do lots of day trips from London:
heymikey wrote: What the guy said above. For 15 days, you can split it up as London for 5 days, Paris for 5 days, then Rome for 4/5 days.

London has some great options for a day trip outside the city:

Brighton (vibrant seaside town that some say is a smaller version of London, which I somewhat agree)
Oxford
Cambridge
Salisbury (for the famous cathedral)
Canterbury (cathedral town as well and famous for Chaucer)
Bath (beautiful town famous for the Roman baths -- I recommend this to be an overnight trip)
Stonehenge (there are tours that visit this, plus Salisbury and Bath but it seems a bit too much for a day trip)
Dover (white cliffs)
Bournemouth (seaside resort town with a large sandy beach)
Windsor Castle and Eton College
Hampton Court Palace (technically within London -- take train from Waterloo station)
Kew Gardens (a UNESCO World Heritage site and technically within London as well -- take district line bound for Richmond)
Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Winston Churchill near Oxford)
Stratford-upon-Avon (if you're not into Shakespeare, you may skip this)
Cotswolds (Chipping Norton, etc)
Chiltern Hills (for some hiking on the countryside -- you'll need a car)

There are lots of other beautiful small towns surrounding London that are within commuting distance by train and remain unknown to most tourists (like Winchester in Hampshire for example). Since your time is limited, then I wouldn't recommend them, so stick to the above.


For Paris, you can do day trips to:

Versailles
Chartres (for the famous cathedral)
Loire Valley (various chateaux such as in Chambord, Amboise, etc.)
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I took the train from London to Edinburgh last year and the city was amazing. I'd love to go back.
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Two years ago, I did a 10 day trip split between London and Paris. Excluding travel time, it was about 4.5 days per city. I thought that was really good. It allowed me to try many restaurants, shops and see all the main tourist sites and museums. Travel on Eurostar is extremely easy and smooth. I did fly into London and out of Paris though but going back to London would only be an extra few hours so it's not a deal breaker if you have to do that.

If you are not too into art or museums (e.g. 1 or 2 per city is enough) then you could probably do a 3rd city. I think going somewhere in England by train would be easier. I've always wanted to stay in a country manor estate like downton abbey style or a night or two in Oxford. Had seen photos from friends that went to Oxford and it looks great (totally different from city vacation).
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This be the days that I'll head to London as well, but will be there till late August.
TorontoEh wrote: Hi all,

Last year was our first foray outside NA and we went to Portugal for 10 days and it was exciting and fun. Got to see some of the amazing castles and beautiful sites.

I'm looking to travel London sometime mid to late July and wanted to do a mini Euro trip. I definitely want to checkout London as it;s been a long time since I was there as a kid. I'm looking for advice here for all savvy RFD travelers who've been to London and visited nearby cities.

Particularly interested if i can take euro train/rail if there's option to checkout nearby cities. Is it possible to go see Paris? Spain would've been doable last year since we were in Portugal but we wanted to ensure we visit all surrounding cities like Cascais, Porto etc.

Budget wise, I don't know how much I should set aside but I know flights, hotels are pretty expensive in Europe (I used my Marriott points while in Lisbon so that helped, flights were $900!!)

Thanks everyone.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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thank you everyone! These are some amazing ideas, i'm gonna plan my trip with the suggestions you've outlined, I want to ensure I don't spend too much time commuting so maybe nearby London cities in UK probably fits the bill. If by plane go Paris etc.

THANK YOU all.
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TorontoEh wrote: thank you everyone! These are some amazing ideas, i'm gonna plan my trip with the suggestions you've outlined, I want to ensure I don't spend too much time commuting so maybe nearby London cities in UK probably fits the bill. If by plane go Paris etc.

THANK YOU all.
Like you, we are new to all this Europe stuff.

One thing that we’ve found handy to remember is:

That Europe & the USA are roughly the same size... but instead of 50 States, there are 50 Countries
So nothing in the same geographic region, is really that far away from anything else
Flying is for the most part short hops
And the trains go everywhere
And because of the higher population density (2x as many people as the USA)
Transportation is both cheaper, and more frequent

Examples...

Paris to London is about 450 Kms = 300 Miles
A distance the Eurostar covers in about 3:15 Mins.
Or almost twice as fast as a Via train between Montreal & Toronto (550 Kms = 335 Miles)

Likewise ... ALL of the UK is equal in size to approximately the state of Michigan
OR less than half the size of Manitoba
So not nearly as imposing ... as history books may have lead us to believe
(Impressive for sure as a historical country ... but not massive)
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PointsHubby wrote: Like you, we are new to all this Europe stuff.

One thing that we’ve found handy to remember is:

That Europe & the USA are roughly the same size... but instead of 50 States, there are 50 Countries
So nothing in the same geographic region, is really that far away from anything else
Flying is for the most part short hops
And the trains go everywhere
And because of the higher population density (2x as many people as the USA)
Transportation is both cheaper, and more frequent

Examples...

Paris to London is about 450 Kms = 300 Miles
A distance the Eurostar covers in about 3:15 Mins.
Or almost twice as fast as a Via train between Montreal & Toronto (550 Kms = 335 Miles)

Likewise ... ALL of the UK is equal in size to approximately the state of Michigan
OR less than half the size of Manitoba
So not nearly as imposing ... as history books may have lead us to believe
(Impressive for sure as a historical country ... but not massive)
Thanks pointshubby for putting things in perspective.
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Edinburgh for sure!
If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, there's the Highclere Castle, and not too far there's Stonehenge.
I also just spent 3 days in Cornwall and really loved it, particularly Kynance Cove.

If I were you I'd just split between London and Paris.
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London and Paris is doable and so many carriers offer flights both ways (so you can fly into London out of Paris).

I took the Eurostar once between Paris and London it’s certainly convenient given you don’t have to leave the city centre. Depending on pricing though and travel times from the airport(s) flying is inexpensive and an option (but a flight to Paris from London Gatwick will likely be more time consuming to get back to LGW).

Lots to do in Paris even outsider the city centre. I was there 2 months ago and spent a day in the Champagne region and it was wonderful! Lots of trains to get you there from Paris.

Also south of France is another option (Cannes - Nice - Monaco) are all within the same vicinity and you could fly direct from London. You have the coastal city atmosphere but with lots to see and do as (I would stay in Nice or Cannes). There are flights from Nice back to Canada (Transat? Or your return would be NCE- Paris connection - Toronto).

I would NOT waste my time traveling back to London for your return flight.
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If you do decide to fly look at flights from the London City Airport (LCY). I've found inexpensive flights (less than the Eurostar) to Paris. Obviously it will depend on the dates and times but it's easy to get to from any of the TfL stations. From King's Cross / St Pancras it's about 30 minutes and under 3 pound off peak. Probably also depends on the time of day but off peak I've found it to be very quick there, no line ups for checkin or security.
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BrunetteGirl wrote: London and Paris is doable and so many carriers offer flights both ways (so you can fly into London out of Paris).

I took the Eurostar once between Paris and London it’s certainly convenient given you don’t have to leave the city centre. Depending on pricing though and travel times from the airport(s) flying is inexpensive and an option (but a flight to Paris from London Gatwick will likely be more time consuming to get back to LGW).

Lots to do in Paris even outsider the city centre. I was there 2 months ago and spent a day in the Champagne region and it was wonderful! Lots of trains to get you there from Paris.

Also south of France is another option (Cannes - Nice - Monaco) are all within the same vicinity and you could fly direct from London. You have the coastal city atmosphere but with lots to see and do as (I would stay in Nice or Cannes). There are flights from Nice back to Canada (Transat? Or your return would be NCE- Paris connection - Toronto).

I would NOT waste my time traveling back to London for your return flight.
stacksonstacks wrote: If you do decide to fly look at flights from the London City Airport (LCY). I've found inexpensive flights (less than the Eurostar) to Paris. Obviously it will depend on the dates and times but it's easy to get to from any of the TfL stations. From King's Cross / St Pancras it's about 30 minutes and under 3 pound off peak. Probably also depends on the time of day but off peak I've found it to be very quick there, no line ups for checkin or security.
ckay1980 wrote: Edinburgh for sure!
If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, there's the Highclere Castle, and not too far there's Stonehenge.
I also just spent 3 days in Cornwall and really loved it, particularly Kynance Cove.

If I were you I'd just split between London and Paris.
Thanks all, 八(^□^*) Have learned a heck a lot more about planning my routes and travelling in Europe in the last few days here :)
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Another thing worth looking at...
Foreign Carriers... like British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France etc

We were looking at Paris as a starting or end point awhile back
And Air France was considerably cheaper ... although I think they are solely based in Montreal / YUL
Flights with them for dates we were considering, were A LOT CHEAPER than any of the Cdn airlines
But hey, if it fits and means a savings of several hundred dollars, that more than covers the train fare from Toronto

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