Planning a trip to London and Edinburgh for honeymoon

Dimplenose

Stranger from the outside
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Hampton Court is one of the easiest places to get to from central London by public transport.

Get a normal train (not underground) from Waterloo Station to Hampton Court Station. Both are terminus stations so you can't miss your stop. You will still be inside the Oyster card area (just - zone 6 I think). It takes 30 minutes. Once at Hampton Court the palace is a 5-10 minute walk from the station, just across the bridge, you can't miss it.

Your palace entry ticket includes an audio guide and live costumed tours (check the daily schedule once you are there.) There are often 2 for 1 ticket offers for those travelling by train. https://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/hampton-court-palace

I love this place (but am probably a bit biased as I only live a 10 minutes drive away.)
 

FSU Girl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
We went through Viator for all of our tours out of London (we also used them when we went to Paris). They use several different tour companies (Evan Evans, Golden, Premium) and I don't recall which one was used for the Windsor/Hampton. I do remember that the admission to Windsor was not included but not an issue for us since we bought a London Pass. Buying Windsor tickets ahead of time will allow you to avoid what can be a long line, something we had to do since we had to get tickets there even though they were no charge for us with the London Pass. I don't think you'll need a full day at Windsor and you can do it on your own by train. We wanted to see both locations on the same day and there was no easy way to get from one to another without a tour. If I had to choose one, it would be Windsor but we liked both. Note that St. George's Chapel at Windsor is not open to visitors on Sunday. We would have planned our tour for a different day if we had known.
Hmm, I think I'd need a company that would provide the entry into Windsor because the website wouldn't let me buy tickets in advance. No problem with Sunday we will be in Edinburgh on one and leaving before the other one.
 

piccolopat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Hmm, I think I'd need a company that would provide the entry into Windsor because the website wouldn't let me buy tickets in advance. No problem with Sunday we will be in Edinburgh on one and leaving before the other one.
You can buy tickets there yourself by waiting on the line. I just remember there was a much shorter line for people who already had tickets.

Edited to add - You can buy tickets in advance at the following link:
https://tickets.rct.uk/windsor-castle/windsor-castle-2019/2019
 
Last edited:
  • FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    Hampton Court is one of the easiest places to get to from central London by public transport.

    Get a normal train (not underground) from Waterloo Station to Hampton Court Station. Both are terminus stations so you can't miss your stop. You will still be inside the Oyster card area (just - zone 6 I think). It takes 30 minutes. Once at Hampton Court the palace is a 5-10 minute walk from the station, just across the bridge, you can't miss it.

    Your palace entry ticket includes an audio guide and live costumed tours (check the daily schedule once you are there.) There are often 2 for 1 ticket offers for those travelling by train. https://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/hampton-court-palace

    I love this place (but am probably a bit biased as I only live a 10 minutes drive away.)
    Thanks for this! That doesn't sound like bad travelling
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    You can buy tickets there yourself by waiting on the line. I just remember there was a much shorter line for people who already had tickets.

    Edited to add - You can buy tickets in advance at the following link:
    https://tickets.rct.uk/windsor-castle/windsor-castle-2019/2019
    Thats the link I tried to buy from. I'm not sure why it didn't work, I've been buying a lot of stuff over there, it's the only one that had issues. They told me to call LOL, that would be a really expensive phone call. So our best bet would be to buy when we got there. I wonder if we did it on our own and got there really early we could beat the line of people.
     

    piccolopat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2014
    Thats the link I tried to buy from. I'm not sure why it didn't work, I've been buying a lot of stuff over there, it's the only one that had issues. They told me to call LOL, that would be a really expensive phone call. So our best bet would be to buy when we got there. I wonder if we did it on our own and got there really early we could beat the line of people.
    We waited about 30 minutes in line, so not terrible compared to rides at Disney!
     
  • FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    So I bought tickets to LNER to go from London to Edinburgh and back. How do I actually find the train when I show up to Kings Cross station? I printed the tickets. Is there a board with the info and tells me what track to go to and someone on the train will scan the ticket or do I need to go to a ticket booth?
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    So I bought tickets to LNER to go from London to Edinburgh and back. How do I actually find the train when I show up to Kings Cross station? I printed the tickets. Is there a board with the info and tells me what track to go to and someone on the train will scan the ticket or do I need to go to a ticket booth?
    There is a huge digital Arrivals and Departures board in the main concourse, just like at an airport. You will easily find it as there is always a huge crowd gathered around it. The platforms are all numbered and they also do tannoy announcements, but depending on the crowd level, these can be hard to hear.

    When you arrive at the station, walk inside and you will find the Arrivals and Departure board. They will most likely have your train departure listed on the board approx 1 hour before departure but will probally only put the platform number up 20 minutes before departure.

    If you have a reserved seat, it will be listed as Coach A, B, C etc and Seat 1, 2, 3 etc.

    When your train departure platform updates on the digital departures board, there will be a rush of people to the platform. Depending on the time of day and the day, it could be a fully booked train. Not everyone will have a reserved seat and they often sell more tickets than there are available seats, so the rush is to get a seat.

    To get to the platform you will need to scan your ticket at the turnstile. You may also be asked to show your ticket to a train staff member during your journey.

    There are a good number of food places in the station concourse. I would make sure to get some grab and go food and drinks for the journey, as there may or may not be a trolley service on the train

    I would plan to arrive at the station at least 1 hour before departure. This is to give yourself time to ordinate yourselves, have a look at the shops, get some food, and oh you might want to spend some time at a little shop called Platform 9 and 3/4's and at the photo op :)
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    There is a huge digital Arrivals and Departures board in the main concourse, just like at an airport. You will easily find it as there is always a huge crowd gathered around it. The platforms are all numbered and they also do tannoy announcements, but depending on the crowd level, these can be hard to hear.

    When you arrive at the station, walk inside and you will find the Arrivals and Departure board. They will most likely have your train departure listed on the board approx 1 hour before departure but will probally only put the platform number up 20 minutes before departure.

    If you have a reserved seat, it will be listed as Coach A, B, C etc and Seat 1, 2, 3 etc.

    When your train departure platform updates on the digital departures board, there will be a rush of people to the platform. Depending on the time of day and the day, it could be a fully booked train. Not everyone will have a reserved seat and they often sell more tickets than there are available seats, so the rush is to get a seat.

    To get to the platform you will need to scan your ticket at the turnstile. You may also be asked to show your ticket to a train staff member during your journey.

    There are a good number of food places in the station concourse. I would make sure to get some grab and go food and drinks for the journey, as there may or may not be a trolley service on the train

    I would plan to arrive at the station at least 1 hour before departure. This is to give yourself time to ordinate yourselves, have a look at the shops, get some food, and oh you might want to spend some time at a little shop called Platform 9 and 3/4's and at the photo op :)
    Thank you!! You are super helpful :) So we bought 1st class tickets and picked our seats, so when people are rushing onto the train to grab a seat they can't take the one we have reserved right? I definitely want to get there early to ensure everything goes smoothly, I'm always early to stuff. And I really want to see the Platform 9 and 3/4's. Do you think it would make more sense going to that on our trip up to Scotland or on our way back?
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    Thank you!! You are super helpful :) So we bought 1st class tickets and picked our seats, so when people are rushing onto the train to grab a seat they can't take the one we have reserved right? I definitely want to get there early to ensure everything goes smoothly, I'm always early to stuff. And I really want to see the Platform 9 and 3/4's. Do you think it would make more sense going to that on our trip up to Scotland or on our way back?
    You are welcome. Ah ok, well then you need to look for Ist Class coach / carriage. The !st class carriage is located at the top or end of the train. Exactly, UK trains have 2 types of fares, standard and 1st class. Your seats will be reserved and only people with a 1st class ticket will be in your carriage.

    I would check the time of your departure / arrival at Kings Cross. I have seen a 2 hour wait time for the photo OP and access to the shop and I have see no one waiting in line at the photo op. Usually school holidays, weekends or between 4pm and 7pm are the most crowded.

    Also just a side not I have booked a 4 day short break to Edinburgh at the start of April. I used to live there and know the city very well, so I might do a trip report when I get back
     
  • FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    You are welcome. Ah ok, well then you need to look for Ist Class coach / carriage. The !st class carriage is located at the top or end of the train. Exactly, UK trains have 2 types of fares, standard and 1st class. Your seats will be reserved and only people with a 1st class ticket will be in your carriage.

    I would check the time of your departure / arrival at Kings Cross. I have seen a 2 hour wait time for the photo OP and access to the shop and I have see no one waiting in line at the photo op. Usually school holidays, weekends or between 4pm and 7pm are the most crowded.

    Also just a side not I have booked a 4 day short break to Edinburgh at the start of April. I used to live there and know the city very well, so I might do a trip report when I get back
    Oh please do a trip report that would be so helpful to read! We are traveling north during the week and morning train so maybe if we can get there early enough we can beat a crowd. Coming back it'll be the weekend and we'll arrive around 4, but it might be our only option if we don't want to be stressed about missing the train. I know me I'll be stressed lol. I figured we'd splurge on the train since its our honeymoon and never done it before.
     

    jf256

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2018
    on your Tower of London day be sure to go up to tower bridge and take in the views pricey but worth it, after I would suggest walking down the thames and having a look at the HMS belfast which is very impressive even from outside, and then go over to Borough Market and grab some food. The food around the tower is often very overpriced and not very good quality.

    I would also suggest the British history museum if you have time but it seems like you are Jam packed
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    on your Tower of London day be sure to go up to tower bridge and take in the views pricey but worth it, after I would suggest walking down the thames and having a look at the HMS belfast which is very impressive even from outside, and then go over to Borough Market and grab some food. The food around the tower is often very overpriced and not very good quality.

    I would also suggest the British history museum if you have time but it seems like you are Jam packed
    Thank you for the advice! I'll definitely try and get to all that. I think we'll be able to fit in the British History museum on our arrival day now that we'll be staying next door to it. I might be a bit sleepy, but I'll try and power through
     

    jf256

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2018
    If you're lucky that day they may set off the guns on the belfast. However; it is quite terrifying if you don't know they are going to do it.

    We can see it from my office and we are never informed- scares the bejeezus out of you.
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    If you're lucky that day they may set off the guns on the belfast. However; it is quite terrifying if you don't know they are going to do it.

    We can see it from my office and we are never informed- scares the bejeezus out of you.
    LOL that sounds fun. I hope we get to see that.
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    If you're lucky that day they may set off the guns on the belfast. However; it is quite terrifying if you don't know they are going to do it.

    We can see it from my office and we are never informed- scares the bejeezus out of you.
    Goodness I had so totally forgotten about this, The 1pm Gun At Edinburgh Castle https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/discover/highlights/one-oclock-gun
    They fire the gun every day except Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. You can hear it from The Royal Mile, you dont necessarily have to be right up at The Castle.
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    Goodness I had so totally forgotten about this, The 1pm Gun At Edinburgh Castle https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/discover/highlights/one-oclock-gun
    They fire the gun every day except Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. You can hear it from The Royal Mile, you dont necessarily have to be right up at The Castle.
    Not sure I'll be able to hear it. We get in around 2pm on our arrival day and leave at 12pm on our last day and then have tours all the days in between. But it would have been cool to hear!


    I just put all my stuff into a chart to keep my itineraries organized. We have some free time where I don't have anything booked for two days in London, one of them my 30th birthday. I was thinking maybe booking one of those river cruises for the afternoon? Trying to think of something fun to do. Was going to go to Harrods, but I don't think we'll be there that long there's only so much shopping DH can take.
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    Not sure I'll be able to hear it. We get in around 2pm on our arrival day and leave at 12pm on our last day and then have tours all the days in between. But it would have been cool to hear!


    I just put all my stuff into a chart to keep my itineraries organized. We have some free time where I don't have anything booked for two days in London, one of them my 30th birthday. I was thinking maybe booking one of those river cruises for the afternoon? Trying to think of something fun to do. Was going to go to Harrods, but I don't think we'll be there that long there's only so much shopping DH can take.
    When I lived in Edinburgh I used to forget about it and it was something that just blended in to the sounds of the city. Every so often though I would be out and about and it was funny to see tourists get startled by it.

    For London have you thought about doing a Hop On Hop Off bus ? They often include extras like a river cruise. I did one last year and it had a Jack The Ripper walk included
     


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