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Archive for the ‘England’ Category

London Heathrow to London Gatwick

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Many international flights arrive to London Heathrow Terminal 5, but if London isn’t your final destination, your connecting flight may leave from London Gatwick. This was the case for us Tuesday, and the transfer between the two wasn’t nearly as bad as some websites make it sound.

First up after arrival is the immigration process. TripAdivsor says that this has recently (March and April 2012) taken up to 2-2.5 hours, but for us on a Tuesday morning in May 2012, it took 20 minutes. Some friends on a recent Saturday morning took 30 minutes, so not too bad at all. The key is to walk fast through the terminals to get as far ahead in line as possible. After 15 minutes of standing in the immigration line, the line had grown quite long, with people just arriving probably having to wait upwards of an hour.

After collecting the bags, we proceeded to follow the signs to “Coaches” where we got in line at National Express to purchase one way tickets to Gatwick North Terminal for 25£ each. Note that you can purchase from the machines with a regular (non-chip) credit card, but you need to leave it in long enough for the machine to read it.

The Gatwick National Express bus picked us up 5 minutes later right outside the terminal at stop 16. After showing the tickets to the driver, we loaded our bags on the bus and boarded for the 53 minute, ~40 mile ride to Gatwick – 2 minutes faster than the scheduled arrival time.

The airlines recommend 3 hours minimum for this transfer and we had 3 hours and 50 minutes from touch down at Heathrow to take off at Gatwick. Today it took us 2 hours and 10 minutes from wheels down at Heathrow to the gate area past security at Gatwick. Lady luck has smiled on us once again. 😉

London

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

After Edinburgh came London. London was alright, but I think it would’ve been better to 1) have accommodation pre-booked and 2) visit with a friend. Once I arrived, I looked for hostels, but everything was booked (on a Thursday in November even!). So, I spent the night on the street. Needless to say, it was a long night, and quite the experience.

The one full day I had in London I managed to walk along the river, see the famous bridges, straddle the Prime Meridian, ride the London Eye, fill up with an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, and tour Westminster Abbey.

My flight back to the Netherlands was an early Ryanair flight, so I spent my second night in London at the airport. Overall Eurotrip II was a success, but looking back I probably would’ve done London a bit differently.

The night on the streets.

Piccadilly Circus water fountain with a newspaper: my home in London!

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

Standing in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

Big Ben and Parliament from the London Eye.

Buckingham Palace.

My bed at the airport - it’s better than a water fountain!

Newcastle

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Upon arriving in Newcastle, I made the decision to spend half of my time in the UK in Scotland (Edinburgh) and the other half in England (London). I bought a train ticket to Edinburgh, and I allowed myself enough time for a quick walk around Newcastle.

The Tyne Bridge.

Downtown Newcastle.

From Bergen to Newcastle

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

After Bergen, my next destination was the UK (specifically Newcastle) by way of the MS Queen of Scandinavia. The ~28 hour journey gave me a chance to enjoy the views of the North Sea and catch up on some homework.

Sunrise over the North Sea.

Doing some homework over a tasty all-you-can-eat seafood buffet.

MS Queen of Scandinavia at Newcastle’s port.

Eurotrip II

Monday, December 10th, 2007

From October 23 – November 3, I traveled solo on my second major trip through Europe. Over 11 days, I managed to visit four countries (Ireland, Norway, Scotland, and England), explore a monument older than the pyramids, experience an aborted plane landing, meet new people through CouchSurfing, sail across the North Sea, celebrate Halloween in Edinburgh, and spend a night on the streets of London. My goal is to have Eurotrip II blogged before Christmas.