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kctwinmommy

London to Holyhead - not from a cruise

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I know I asked before for some Ireland advice, and you guys were very helpful. So I know we have some great resources for traveling in the UK. That's why this is the only (and best) place to ask for some more advice. We'll be in London this summer for just 2 days, leaving on a Sunday morning to catch the Holyhead ferry over to Dublin. We will have a car when we get to London (4 days outside it before we get there). We had planned on getting up really early on Sunday to drive and drop the car in Holyhead, but the rental places are closed on Sunday. Now I know some places allow you to do a drop without an attendant, not sure if that's the case in Holyhead. Or, would we be better just to take the train and dump our car when we get to London? It looks like there's a train that goes from Euston train station, with 1 stop, that takes about 4.5 hours to get up there. We're staying near the Marble Arch (Victory Services Club). And no, we're not going to fly from London to Dublin, that's not an option. But having never taken the trains around Europe before, I'm just not familiar with them. I get the feeling people use them for traveling way more than here in the states. We have no problem driving, we've done it before, that's not an issue for us at all, so to me, that's just the way I thought we'd go. But then I realized that there is a train that goes there.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice on which way is better.

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Renting a car just to get from A to B is rarely the wisest option pretty-well anywhere in Europe, particularly where there's a sensible train option. 

 

The rental fee, no-liability insurance, one-way drop fee and fuel make self-drive expensive. Fairly simple but boring and sometimes frustrating motorways, total journey time including a couple of rest breaks about 5 hrs 30 minutes.

 

Usually worthwhile only if you're a large party or want to take an attractive route (there are some, but for this journey they'd add hours to your journey) or to visit places en-route (off the top of my head - Oxford, Blenheim Palace, the Cotswolds, Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick Castle, Ironbridge & the villages of the Industrial Revolution, parts of the Welsh west coat, Snowdonia, and more Welsh castles than you can shake a stick at).  But you'd be hard-pressed to include even one of those into the day's drive.

So one option is to rent a car on the sunday, and return it to Holyhead on a monday - about 3 weeks later :classic_biggrin:

 

Britain's trains aren't as good as those in France, Germany, Switzerland and Holland for instance, but are vastly superior to Amtrak.

They're frequent, fast, tolerably comfortable, easy t board and alight, and used by folk of all backgrounds. Most folk on a train will have a car, they're taking the train by choice.

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/

 

Services on a sunday are much less frequent than on a week-day, but still every 60 to 90 minutes. 

The most significant factor is what time of day you want to travel.

On the current timetable, the fare for most trains is between £140 and£106 :classic_ohmy:.

Multiply that by only two people and a rented car starts to look more worthy of consideration.

But on current timetables you can buy advance tickets at just £31. Advance tickets are only available from about 8 weeks out - to see them select a sunday in March. Only good for the train time that you select - and you'll see that they're only available for the 08.16 am from London Euston (arrives 12.40 pm) and evening trains.

If that 08.06 train fits your schedule, buy the tickets about 8 weeks before the day. Closer to the day the fare goes up a little, and sometimes advance tickets sell-out. Same price flexibility with regular fares, so its difficult to give you precise figures

If that timing doesn't suit, for an expensively-timed train you can cut the cost by buying a "two-for-one" railcard. That railcard will cost you £30 but gives you a 33% discount on the fare. (and on any other train fares). That card for two travelling together. There are also family railcards etc.

I can explain a little more fully if that's a likely option for you. 

 

BTW this train doesn't involve only one stop. It involves one change of train, at Crewe, with 14 minutes to make the connection.

 

Complicated, innit :classic_rolleyes:

But don't blame the messenger.:classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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For a laugh, I thought I'd check National Express coaches https://book.nationalexpress.com

 

There is a coach every day at 1830 that goes from Victoria Coach station to Dublin Port (arr 0600 the next day). OK, I know its overnight  and its a long journey and I'm assuming the ferry crossing is included (as it doesn't say it isn't), but its only £47 per person. Might be worth thinking about.

 

Simon

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3 hours ago, John Bull said:

Renting a car just to get from A to B is rarely the wisest option pretty-well anywhere in Europe, particularly where there's a sensible train option. 

 

The rental fee, no-liability insurance, one-way drop fee and fuel make self-drive expensive. Fairly simple but boring and sometimes frustrating motorways, total journey time including a couple of rest breaks about 5 hrs 30 minutes.

 

Usually worthwhile only if you're a large party or want to take an attractive route (there are some, but for this journey they'd add hours to your journey) or to visit places en-route (off the top of my head - Oxford, Blenheim Palace, the Cotswolds, Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick Castle, Ironbridge & the villages of the Industrial Revolution, parts of the Welsh west coat, Snowdonia, and more Welsh castles than you can shake a stick at).  But you'd be hard-pressed to include even one of those into the day's drive.

So one option is to rent a car on the sunday, and return it to Holyhead on a monday - about 3 weeks later :classic_biggrin:

 

Britain's trains aren't as good as those in France, Germany, Switzerland and Holland for instance, but are vastly superior to Amtrak.

They're frequent, fast, tolerably comfortable, easy t board and alight, and used by folk of all backgrounds. Most folk on a train will have a car, they're taking the train by choice.

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/

 

Services on a sunday are much less frequent than on a week-day, but still every 60 to 90 minutes. 

The most significant factor is what time of day you want to travel.

On the current timetable, the fare for most trains is between £140 and£106 :classic_ohmy:.

Multiply that by only two people and a rented car starts to look more worthy of consideration.

But on current timetables you can buy advance tickets at just £31. Advance tickets are only available from about 8 weeks out - to see them select a sunday in March. Only good for the train time that you select - and you'll see that they're only available for the 08.16 am from London Euston (arrives 12.40 pm) and evening trains.

If that 08.06 train fits your schedule, buy the tickets about 8 weeks before the day. Closer to the day the fare goes up a little, and sometimes advance tickets sell-out. Same price flexibility with regular fares, so its difficult to give you precise figures

If that timing doesn't suit, for an expensively-timed train you can cut the cost by buying a "two-for-one" railcard. That railcard will cost you £30 but gives you a 33% discount on the fare. (and on any other train fares). That card for two travelling together. There are also family railcards etc.

I can explain a little more fully if that's a likely option for you. 

 

BTW this train doesn't involve only one stop. It involves one change of train, at Crewe, with 14 minutes to make the connection.

 

Complicated, innit :classic_rolleyes:

But don't blame the messenger.:classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

Yes, the train I looked at was that one, because it was like £90 for the 3 of us. And yes, we weren't planning in renting the car just to drive to Holyhead, we'll already have it. We have 4 days all around before we come to London. Bovington and Duxford are basically where we're going (major history buff teenage son!), so we come into London on Friday night, for a Saturday night event. The Euston train does work (and yes, I should have said I knew it had a change in Crewe, not a stop). But thanks for the tip on buying the ticket in advance too! I think we'll look at doing that then. Otherwise, we'd have to park the car for 2 days in London, although I know the hotel does have options for that. But this way, we can drop it on Friday and be done with that.

 

And thanks for your info! I was hoping you'd chime in!

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10 minutes ago, sddsddean said:

For a laugh, I thought I'd check National Express coaches https://book.nationalexpress.com

 

There is a coach every day at 1830 that goes from Victoria Coach station to Dublin Port (arr 0600 the next day). OK, I know its overnight  and its a long journey and I'm assuming the ferry crossing is included (as it doesn't say it isn't), but its only £47 per person. Might be worth thinking about.

 

Simon

 

Yeah, that wouldn't work. We have an event on Saturday in London. Then we want to be in Dublin on Sunday night so we can enjoy the day there on Monday, before getting a car again and heading out into the country!

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Advanced tickets are typically available about 12 weeks before date of travel.  Sign up to the Avanti West Coast website for notification of advanced ticket releases.

 

However weekends are when many repairs are undertaken and if timetables have not been set due to possible closure advanced tickets may not be available.

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7 hours ago, Thejuggler said:

Advanced tickets are typically available about 12 weeks before date of travel.  Sign up to the Avanti West Coast website for notification of advanced ticket releases.

 

However weekends are when many repairs are undertaken and if timetables have not been set due to possible closure advanced tickets may not be available.

 

 

Yes, for sundays advance tickets don't appear to be released until about 5 to 6 weeks out.

For the OP's  journey they're currently shown only out til the last sunday in March

 

JB :classic_smile:

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8 minutes ago, John Bull said:

 

 

Yes, for sundays advance tickets don't appear to be released until about 5 to 6 weeks out.

For the OP's  journey they're currently shown only out til the last sunday in March

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

Hmm... I just looked on Avanti's website and I could book tickets for June.

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6 hours ago, kctwinmommy said:

 

Hmm... I just looked on Avanti's website and I could book tickets for June.

 

Yes, in fact today you could book a train right up to sunday 9th August.

For £106.20 :classic_ohmy::classic_ohmy::classic_ohmy:

 

But the websites of both  https://www.buytickets.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/ (the route operator) and https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ (the national site, which covers all operators) currently show me the cheap advance tickets available only up to sunday 29th March.

For £31.50 :classic_smile::classic_smile::classic_smile:

(the national website and the individual operators' websites should (and in my experience always have) shown the same train times and fares) 

 

As per my earlier post & other threads, cheap advance tickets are only available from about 8 weeks out (in fact currently only about 5 weeks out for sundays on this route).

As the Juggler (and others in the past) have noted, advance tickets usually seem to be available for sundays at shorter notice than for weekdays 

 

But to add a further complication, :classic_rolleyes:, you also have the option of "split-ticketing" 

Buy separate  advance tickets for the two trains, Euston to Crewe and Crewe to Holyhead.

Those cheap advance tickets are actually available further out (currently to 10th May) but the trains with individual cheap advance fares don't connect well at Crewe :classic_rolleyes:

 

So  simplest to make a note to start looking for the cheap Euston to Holyhead fares from about 8 weeks out. 

And / or sign up for the operator's  notification of advanced ticket releases, as suggested by the Juggler.

 

The different train operators, the complicated fare structures and limitations, the often-cheaper split-ticketing  (which can even include separate tickets to and then from an intermediate station on the same train), etc make figuring the best  deal a headache-inducing experience. But a price difference of up to £135 x 3 passengers = over £400 makes it essential.

 

I'm broadly a capitalist, and don't believe in nationalisation of industries.

But the raft of different train operators, who operate in different parts of the UK thus have a government-sanctioned monopoly, is a mess. 

No worries about the trains - they broadly operate on time, not a bad service. Just a ridiculous pricing and ticketing system.

Come back British Rail (just one govt-run train and track operator), all is forgiven.

(Rant over. Now I gotta go lie-down :classic_wink:)

 

JB :classic_smile:

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2 hours ago, John Bull said:

But the websites of both  https://www.buytickets.avantiwestcoast.co.uk/ (the route operator) and https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ (the national site, which covers all operators) currently show me the cheap advance tickets available only up to sunday 29th March.

For £31.50 :classic_smile::classic_smile::classic_smile:

(the national website and the individual operators' websites should (and in my experience always have) shown the same train times and fares) 

 

There's Advance availability currently beyond that on the EUS-HHD route - e.g Sunday 26 April shows on National Rail, Sunday 12 July on Avanti's website. 

 

OP - if the tickets you want are available for an Advance price, book them now (assuming you decide to take the train!) They will not go down in price and may well sell out (or there may only be one or two left, when you want three). 

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1 hour ago, Cotswold Eagle said:

 

There's Advance availability currently beyond that on the EUS-HHD route - e.g Sunday 26 April shows on National Rail, Sunday 12 July on Avanti's website. 

 

OP - if the tickets you want are available for an Advance price, book them now (assuming you decide to take the train!) They will not go down in price and may well sell out (or there may only be one or two left, when you want three). 

 

 

All that's done, my feathered friend, is to make me more and more pi@@ed-off with the ticketing system. :classic_angry:

 

Yes, you're right. Advance tickets showing on both websites for 26th April - at just £19.50

And £22.10 for 19th,

And £40 (still significantly cheaper than walk-up) for 12th April.

But the full £106 for 5th April. Presumably because the advance allocation is sold-out 

I'm guessing that I checked thro as far as 5th April, saw no advance fares available for that sunday, so presumed it was too far out. 

 

It all kinda figures - fluid pricing of advance tickets, rising as the date approaches or because of high volume of bookings.

 

But..............

Yes, advance tickets available  on Avanti West Coast's website for 12th July (National Rail website doesn't go out that far).

But not (yet??) for any other sunday between 26th April and 12th July !!!  All sold--out?  Too early?  Not going to be offered? 

Leaves me mystified - can you think of any explanation?

To me that demonstrates that the whole system is a  cockamamey lottery, and it''s  the reason I drive everywhere except into London. 

 

Perhaps the OP should start checking their date today, and every day from now on :classic_rolleyes:

 

Time for yet another lie-down :classic_sleep:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

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OK thanks for all the conversations on the train ticketing system! LOL! I'm actually finding tickets, for our date in June, at the 31.50 price. So once we confirm everything (sitting down to figure things out tomorrow, hubby just got back in town), then I will book it. I know it says no refunds on it, which is fine. Not a huge loss if we did change things. But I'd be more worried about it selling out, which certainly sounds like a possibility based on all the back & forth here.

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13 hours ago, John Bull said:

But the full £106 for 5th April. Presumably because the advance allocation is sold-out 


There is Advance availability in the afternoon on 5 April. 
 

Avanti West’s current Advance ticket horizon for weekends is 2/3 May. They are clearly offering tickets within that period via the national system. Sunday 3rd May there is engineering work at Euston so that will explain the lack for that day and I believe the next couple of weeks. After which availability picks up via their own website, which allows booking further out. For example, Sunday 14 June, in contrast to you statement:

 

13 hours ago, John Bull said:

But not (yet??) for any other sunday between 26th April and 12th July !!!


There are rational explanations for all this and I don’t think sweeping, and sometimes inaccurate, statements are particularly helpful to our guests. Clearly you hate the system and don’t use it very much. That’s not to say it isn’t very useful in saving money for many passengers. 

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4 hours ago, kctwinmommy said:

OK thanks for all the conversations on the train ticketing system! LOL! I'm actually finding tickets, for our date in June, at the 31.50 price. So once we confirm everything (sitting down to figure things out tomorrow, hubby just got back in town), then I will book it. I know it says no refunds on it, which is fine. Not a huge loss if we did change things. But I'd be more worried about it selling out, which certainly sounds like a possibility based on all the back & forth here.


A sound strategy 😀

 

The fact that they are offering Advance tickets indicates a high confidence by the train operating company that the service will run as they plan that day. I would suggest that you check back via the National Rail site once that date appears on their system, which will indicate that the timetable has been agreed (in the next month or so, probably). You should be notified of any changes once you have booked tickets, but it doesn’t hurt to be proactive. 
 

Sundays are the most vulnerable days for disruption, through engineering work and staffing problems - theres a historical quirk that Sunday is not a rostered day on the railway, so services rely on voluntary overtime that can be withdrawn during labour disputes. There is also a regular timetable update across the network in May and it looks as if publishing that nationally is on a tight timescale again. 

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4 hours ago, Cotswold Eagle said:


There is Advance availability in the afternoon on 5 April. 

Yes, at the outset I did mention advance ticket availability for evening trains, but since the early morning train was clearly ideal for the OP (suits their ferry crossing) I've not referred to evening trains since 
 

Avanti West Coast's current Advance ticket horizon for weekends is 2/3 May. They are clearly offering tickets within that period via the national system. Sunday 3rd May there is engineering work at Euston so that will explain the lack for that day and I believe the next couple of weeks. After which availability picks up via their own website, which allows booking further out. For example, Sunday 14 June, in contrast to you statement:

I'm not sure how your "Advance ticket horizon is 2/3rd May" (which is vaguely what I'd expect) ties in with Advance tickets currently being available for 14th June? 

For the early morning train, advance tickets are shown for just that one sunday between 26th April and 12th July.

(By process of elimination, 14th June happily appears to be the OP's date :classic_smile:).

Yes, sorry, I probably missed it when trawling through - although its possible that it's since been added


There are rational explanations for all this and I don’t think sweeping, and sometimes inaccurate, statements are particularly helpful to our guests. Clearly you hate the system and don’t use it very much. That’s not to say it isn’t very useful in saving money for many passengers. 

Yes, although it's blindingly obvious, I too made that point ("makes figuring the best  deal a headache-inducing experience. But a price difference of up to £135 x 3 passengers = over £400 makes it essential") . And a 400% price penalty for those who don't know the system is gross. :classic_angry:

I've apologised for missing Advance fare availability for that date, but I stand by my sweeping statement that ticket pricing is an unnecessarily complicated minefield - much like utility bills and mobile phone contracts. 

 

 

4 hours ago, Cotswold Eagle said:


A sound strategy 😀

 

The fact that they are offering Advance tickets indicates a high confidence by the train operating company that the service will run as they plan that day. I would suggest that you check back via the National Rail site once that date appears on their system, which will indicate that the timetable has been agreed (in the next month or so, probably). You should be notified of any changes once you have booked tickets, but it doesn’t hurt to be proactive. 
 

Sundays are the most vulnerable days for disruption, through engineering work and staffing problems - theres a historical quirk that Sunday is not a rostered day on the railway, so services rely on voluntary overtime that can be withdrawn during labour disputes. There is also a regular timetable update across the network in May and it looks as if publishing that nationally is on a tight timescale again. 

I didn't know that sunday services were reliant on voluntary overtime, but like you I checked for planned track maintenance which might affect that date.

https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/currentAndFuture.aspx

Those advance notices only go out to mid-May, therefore I could neither assure the OP  that no works were planned for that day, nor forewarn them that there might be a difficulty (eg a bus replacement service between affected stations). So I felt it best not to add in that complication.

But since you've brought up the subject, would you advise the OP to hold off buying for a couple of weeks to see if track works will affect that train, or buy now to avoid the risk of advance tickets increasing in price or selling out?

 

More rants from JB :classic_biggrin:

Life use to be so simple :classic_smile:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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Posted (edited)

The OP doesn't say if they really need a car for their two days in London, or where the event they are attending is. 

 

I just wanted to say that a car in London is generally more liability than help and they should seriously look at returning it as soon as they get there. Indeed, it might be better to stay out of the congestion charge area (say at Heathrow) and travel into London on Public transport.

 

Hertz have a depot at Hollyhead and in their Ts&Cs they say this:

 

Quote

Outside Operating Hours:

You may return the vehicle outside location opening hours with our prior agreement, in which case you must:

 

– Parking: lock the vehicle and park in our car park or, if unavailable, a secure place nearby.

 

– Information: complete the Return Details on the back of this Rental Terms booklet and leave it in the vehicle with any other documents (such as an Accident Report Form).

 

– Keys: do not give the keys to anybody when you park the vehicle, even if they appear to be our employee, but post them with clear instructions where to find the vehicle through the location’s key box.

 

https://images.hertz.com/pdfs/RT_FULL_GB_EN.pdf

Edited by Bob++

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On 3/1/2020 at 5:29 AM, Bob++ said:

The OP doesn't say if they really need a car for their two days in London, or where the event they are attending is. 

 

I just wanted to say that a car in London is generally more liability than help and they should seriously look at returning it as soon as they get there. Indeed, it might be better to stay out of the congestion charge area (say at Heathrow) and travel into London on Public transport.

 

Hertz have a depot at Hollyhead and in their Ts&Cs they say this:

 

Thanks for that info as well. For some reason, I couldn't seem to find the exact details on returning the car when they're closed. I have a feeling we're going to end up dropping the car in London, then taking the train.

 

Oh, and I wasn't meaning it to be a big secret as to our event. 😉 LOL! We're doing Duxford and Bovington for our WWI/WWII loving teenager when we first get to England. I know, 2 things in very opposite directions. But he really wants to see them both. Plus, my husband was stationed up near Duxford if the 80's so he wants to see the area up there. Then we're coming into London Friday afternoon for the Chicago Cubs game on Saturday night! 🤩 So we definitely don't need the car to get to that. We're staying at the Victory Services Club, so we're familiar with that area and getting to the tube. I did look, and we can take that to London Stadium, and it will take us back to the hotel after the game (that line runs at night).

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Posted (edited)

“Oh, and I wasn't meaning it to be a big secret as to our event. 😉 LOL! We're doing Duxford and Bovington for our WWI/WWII loving teenager when we first get to England. I know, 2 things in very opposite directions. But he really wants to see them both. Plus, my husband was stationed up near Duxford if the 80's so he wants to see the area up there. “
 

 

Can’t argue with going to Duxford...straight up the M11 and a place I love, but then I’m mad on aeroplanes! However, Bovingdon is a good drive. I would suggest rather than going there, visit the Imperial War Museum in London. Lots of great exhibits. Also, as Duxford is part of the IWM, you might get a deal on going to both...check their website.

 

Simon

Edited by sddsddean

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6 hours ago, kctwinmommy said:


We're doing Duxford and Bovington for our WWI/WWII loving teenager when we first get to England. I know, 2 things in very opposite directions. But he really wants to see them both.

 

Yes, as per both your post & Simon's, Bovington is about an hour in the opposite direction to the other places. But it's probably the biggest and best tank museum in the world ! Worth a full day (well, for junior at least :classic_wink:). Attractive route too.

And just a mile up the road from the tank museum is Lawrence of Arabia's tiny cottage at Clouds Hill (read up about this enigmatic guy at  https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/who-was-lawrence-of-arabia ) - nothing much to see there, but you pass it on your way to / from the tank museum.

 

Not far from the cruise terminals in Southampton is https://www.solentsky.org/ an aircraft museum dedicated to aircraft which were designed and built (eg Spitfire) or operated (eg seaplanes & flying boats) in Southampton.

 

And only 40 minutes from Duxford is https://www.shuttleworth.org/ at Old Warden airfield

 

And I agree with Simon that the Imperial War Museum  https://www.iwm.org.uk/ in central London's Lambeth is a must-see (again, for junior at least :classic_wink:).  But no discount there if you also go to Duxford -  like many other London museums, entry to the Imperial War Museum is free :classic_smile:

 

So now you're gonna have to re-book your flights home for at least a week later. :classic_wink:

Or mebbe just junior's flight home :classic_biggrin:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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Thanks guys! And Bovington is actually one of the MAIN reasons for this trip! Our son loves history, and we went to our WWII Museum here last summer (supposed to be the best, and it really was). But, he LOVES tanks!! I mean, like more than normal! LOL! He can ID just about all of them, it's crazy. So this is like a total bucket list item for him. The crazy thing is we were there 3 years ago, stayed in Southampton before a cruise. And then came back to to England for a week after. So we were right in that area, but he wasn't into any of this back then. Honestly, it's the online gaming he does that got him into it. I even ordered items from Bovington for his for Christmas this year. He's really big on the German and Russian items too. So he'll get to see THE Tiger tank, which is just incredible for him. As it is, because we planned this around the Cubs game, and my husband's vacation, it sucks that we're missing Tankfest by like 2 weeks. 

 

I did look up IWM since we might have some time in London when we get there Friday. So we may go there. We did Churchill War Rooms last time. What stinks is they have 2 new galleries they're working on there, but they won't be open until next year. So some things have also closed in the museum it says.

 

Anyway, right now we're landing in Heathrow, getting our car, and then heading to Bovington. If we can find some stamina, we're going there in the afternoon for an hour or two, we have a hotel nearby, then we can spend the whole next day there. From there we'll get up to Duxford. Not sure yet on which route we're going to get there, and if we stop halfway to do something else. I want to give us a little open time for that, since Ireland is going to be fully packed days.

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6 hours ago, kctwinmommy said:

Thanks guys! And Bovington is actually one of the MAIN reasons for this trip! Our son loves history, and we went to our WWII Museum here last summer (supposed to be the best, and it really was). But, he LOVES tanks!! I mean, like more than normal! LOL! He can ID just about all of them, it's crazy. So this is like a total bucket list item for him. The crazy thing is we were there 3 years ago, stayed in Southampton before a cruise. And then came back to to England for a week after. So we were right in that area, but he wasn't into any of this back then. Honestly, it's the online gaming he does that got him into it. I even ordered items from Bovington for his for Christmas this year. He's really big on the German and Russian items too. So he'll get to see THE Tiger tank, which is just incredible for him. As it is, because we planned this around the Cubs game, and my husband's vacation, it sucks that we're missing Tankfest by like 2 weeks. 

 

I did look up IWM since we might have some time in London when we get there Friday. So we may go there. We did Churchill War Rooms last time. What stinks is they have 2 new galleries they're working on there, but they won't be open until next year. So some things have also closed in the museum it says.

 

Anyway, right now we're landing in Heathrow, getting our car, and then heading to Bovington. If we can find some stamina, we're going there in the afternoon for an hour or two, we have a hotel nearby, then we can spend the whole next day there. From there we'll get up to Duxford. Not sure yet on which route we're going to get there, and if we stop halfway to do something else. I want to give us a little open time for that, since Ireland is going to be fully packed days.

 

There's also a small tank museum on the Isle Of Wight (which you can ferry to from Southampton easily)

http://www.wmahm.org.uk/  Just a few miles from where the ferry docks.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, scottbee said:

 

There's also a small tank museum on the Isle Of Wight (which you can ferry to from Southampton easily)

http://www.wmahm.org.uk/  Just a few miles from where the ferry docks.

 

 

 

Yeah, we're not going to Southampton. And honestly, I think Bovington has all the premier tanks

in the world. I know they have the Tiger, that's the most important thing, at least in my 16 year old's eyes! LOL!

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Thanks again for all the replies and help! We went ahead and booked our train tickets. I figure, even though their non-refundable (cheapest option), it's still less than what the extra 2 days of a car will probably cost! LOL! So even if something totally changed, it's not a major monetary loss. We also were able to book our ferry across to Ireland as well. Plus I confirmed on the Stena FB page that the train station is basically right with the ferry dock, so we don't have to walk far to get there. I'll be honest, I've never ridden a train for any length of time/distance (just basically into the city here), so I'm kind of looking forward to that. Just something a little different. Plus, we'd like to consider it for future trips within Europe. So although I know it was mentioned that the UK system isn't quite on par with the rest of Europe, it'll be nice to try it.

 

 

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Your 16yo son might find this from Military History Visualized interesting.

 

 

If he takes that lot in, he will be a lot more knowledgeable than the guys he plays games with.

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