The TSF Travel Tips Thread



  • I thought we had one of these, but i can't find it.

    Anyway, we've got a heap of people here who live, or have lived, all over the world. Might be good to have a thread where people going on holidays (thinly disguised "I'm going on holiday fuckers") can ask for advice or must-dos

    Next year I'm doing a month in Europe. Most of it is sorted. In to Rome. Then Venice, Florence, got a villa in Tuscany for a week, then London, and Paris. Any big recommendations there are appreciated.

    But my main question is around London. It's fucking expensive aye? The wife has family in Windsor. Is it viable to stay there and just travel in to the city? Is that a pain in the ass?



  • @mariner4life said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    I thought we had one of these, but i can't find it.

    Anyway, we've got a heap of people here who live, or have lived, all over the world. Might be good to have a thread where people going on holidays (thinly disguised "I'm going on holiday fuckers") can ask for advice or must-dos

    Next year I'm doing a month in Europe. Most of it is sorted. In to Rome. Then Venice, Florence, got a villa in Tuscany for a week, then London, and Paris. Any big recommendations there are appreciated.

    But my main question is around London. It's fucking expensive aye? The wife has family in Windsor. Is it viable to stay there and just travel in to the city? Is that a pain in the ass?

    Accommodation is expensy but not food and booze



  • @mariner4life London is expensive, but IIRC Windsor is a wee way out. If you want to do lots of city things it might be a bit of a drag.... We stayed in the city, the rooms were really small but that's the big city for you. As for London, all the tourist things are well worth doing if you have never been, other things we enjoyed were

    1. Train out to Windsor LOL
    2. Train out to Cambridge and take a uni tour
    3. High tea at the Savoy, more fun than you think
    4. EPL game
    5. If you like eating fancy try going for a set course lunch at a multi Michelin star restaurant. You get all the service for a fraction of the dinner price

    Paris has lots to do, and it is a great city to walk in (although it will be Winter). If you have enough time, TGV out to Reims for a champagne house tour. You will need to book. If your time is limited stay in Paris.

    San Giminagno is a little hilltop town between Florence and Siena, it is beautiful and a World Heritage site. Siena is cool as well, if you have time to venture from Florence

    Do the Roman Forum tour, and the catacombs are meant to be good. The Vatican is worth a look and the Cistine Chapel



  • @mariner4life said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    I thought we had one of these, but i can't find it.

    Anyway, we've got a heap of people here who live, or have lived, all over the world. Might be good to have a thread where people going on holidays (thinly disguised "I'm going on holiday fuckers") can ask for advice or must-dos

    Next year I'm doing a month in Europe. Most of it is sorted. In to Rome. Then Venice, Florence, got a villa in Tuscany for a week, then London, and Paris. Any big recommendations there are appreciated.

    But my main question is around London. It's fucking expensive aye? The wife has family in Windsor. Is it viable to stay there and just travel in to the city? Is that a pain in the ass?

    Yes, pain in the arse.

    If you haven't 'done' London before you will find that you spend a lot of time on your feet and planning out your days is key. Spending ages on a train and changing lines just makes your day longer.

    Staying as far out as Zone 3 works well. As long as you aren't there when the tennis is on there are a handful of cheap but tidy hotels in Wimbledon/Colliers Wood. e.g. a Holiday Inn right near the CW station. Nothing flash but a good pub next door and a Northern Line trip that gives you an option of either West End or City. Easy connections to everywhere and you only need it for a bed at night really.
    Cost wise there is a daily cap on travel using an Oyster Card or Contactless bank card so the max you will pay if you don't go past Zone 3 is £8, that covers tube and Buses.

    Best Tip I would give you is to get CityMapper on your phone. By far the best way to find out your options to move from A-B showing time and cost based on transport/walking/cabs etc (never try to move through inner London in a cab). Uber is also handy for emergencies.

    Use the free accommodation in Windsor though for the day out there. Every free day helps.

    If you have any specific questions about places to go etc fire away. I have just spent the last 3 years looking around London and have had plenty of people come and stay with us an do a few days so know a bit about what works well and what doesn't. Can also point you to some good pubs.



  • Nice place to eat in Rome https://goo.gl/maps/7fiBKH9vPVzy3Bqj6

    We went back a second time. Very relaxed. You feel more like a local than a tourist and the food and welcome are excellent.



  • okay, that sort of answers my question re Windsor

    We're taking the kids, so our usual holiday of mode of just walking the city will have to be tempered somewhat (as will how much time i spend in pubs).

    @canefan said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    San Giminagno is a little hilltop town between Florence and Siena, it is beautiful and a World Heritage site. Siena is cool as well, if you have time to venture from Florence

    the villa we have is actually not far from San Giminagno. The week in Tuscany is actually the bit i am looking forward to the most.



  • @mariner4life That is a fantastic trip.

    Rome is one of my favourite places on the planet. What time of year are you going? It can be really crowded or everybody has fucked off and you can't do anything.

    Just do the touristy stuff. The coliseum, forum, Trevi fountain, Spanish steps, Pantheon. You can walk most of it, so get a hotel in town, you don't want to drive a car in Rome (or you hire a scooter). One of the few places that a guide can be interesting. Obviously for the history.

    I'm not really into art but got dragged into galleries by women who are, and they are worth seeing in both Firenze and Paris. D'Orsay is good, perhaps better than the Louvre.

    Others here will be more educated on London.



  • That sounds awesome!

    Can’t help with London, but in Tuscany we loved a few places, and had some local friends introduce us to a few places. Depending on location, you could consider trying:

    Enoteca Falorni
    Piazza delle Cantine, 6, 50022 Greve FI, Italy
    +39 055 854 6404
    https://goo.gl/maps/

    Sette Di Vino
    Piazza di Spagna, 1, 53026 Pienza SI, Italy
    +39 0578 749092
    https://goo.gl/maps/VWBRL9p4NbMrrNaj7

    If you go to Sette Di Vino, tell them that you heard about it from a friend of Tatsuro’s.

    And, buy cheese in Pienza too!

    There was an amazing place in Siena too, but I was so drunk by the end of it that I can’t even remember what part of town it was in.



  • Taking the kids? That puts a different perspective on it.

    Unless they are the type that get interested by seeing new sights you will end up doing a balancing act between experiencing London and experiencing 'attractions'.

    One thing that is worth spending on is doing a hop on hop off bus tour. By far the best way to work out where everything is in relation to each other and then work out what you want to go back to. Has the advantage of being sitting down as well.



  • @Snowy we are going June/July. So Rome is going to be fucking packed.

    I think we are going to the Louvre this time, rather than walking around the outside. That can be my art fix.

    We found this tour in Rome where the kids get to do Gladiator school for the day. That way they can sort out which one comes home...

    Most accommodation is sorted, it was just London that we needed to make a call on.



  • @Crucial said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    One thing that is worth spending on is doing a hop on hop off bus tour. By far the best way to work out where everything is in relation to each other and then work out what you want to go back to. Has the advantage of being sitting down as well.

    yeah, i had one of those for NY, and skipped it.

    But

    As i said, Mrs Mariner and i tend to get to a place, and just walk all day. We're going to have to look at it a little bit differently.

    Also, usually i hate the real "tourist" sites. But i am thinking this time it might be just suck it up, because, in Rome especially, not doing them would be retarded.

    I need to teach the kids about gypsies and beggers



  • @canefan said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    Do the Roman Forum tour, and the catacombs are meant to be good. The Vatican is worth a look and the Cistine Chapel

    All of that is worth doing and again walkable. Be careful where you eat (price wise) and be wary of gypsies in summer.

    @mariner4life You beat me to it.The old "throw the baby trick" is common and I have seen it more than once.



  • @mariner4life said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    in Rome especially, not doing them would be retarded.

    It really would.
    The catacombs are a bit out of the way but still pretty cool and worth doing (not a walk that one).



  • This thread should be called ‘look at me I’m a piston wristed gibbon spending a month in Europe everyone look at me’

    Keep in touch mate sounds like an awesome trip!



  • @mariner4life said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    @Snowy we are going June/July. So Rome is going to be fucking packed.

    So it's going to be seriously hot and you have, what, a 4 and 6 year old? I look forward to your travel tales.

    I think it is August when all of the Romans piss off to have a holiday.



  • @mariner4life said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    I thought we had one of these, but i can't find it.

    Anyway, we've got a heap of people here who live, or have lived, all over the world. Might be good to have a thread where people going on holidays (thinly disguised "I'm going on holiday fuckers") can ask for advice or must-dos

    Next year I'm doing a month in Europe. Most of it is sorted. In to Rome. Then Venice, Florence, got a villa in Tuscany for a week, then London, and Paris. Any big recommendations there are appreciated.

    But my main question is around London. It's fucking expensive aye? The wife has family in Windsor. Is it viable to stay there and just travel in to the city? Is that a pain in the ass?

    Don’t forget to pack your narwhal tusk



  • @canefan said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    San Giminagno is a little hilltop town between Florence and Siena, it is beautiful and a World Heritage site.

    Yes, well worth a visit. When I was there the town had a market on where the locals all brought their olive oil to sample with fresh pane. Very Italian.

    If in Tuscany, you will have to go to Pisa. Regional trains will get you from A to B if you won't have a car.

    For Rome, avoid tourist traps like Piazza Navona to eat.



  • @Bovidae said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    For Rome, avoid tourist traps like Piazza Navona to eat.

    Good tip.



  • 4 and 6 eh?

    Here are the bribery/'this is your part' places you can pop into between the interesting stuff...

    Hamley's on Regent St- entry free but you won't get out of there without having to buy something. As toy shops go it is pretty cool. Tip - go later in the day so you won't have to carry purchases.

    M&M store - this one baffles me but for some reason kids love it. Right on the edge of Leicester Sq, full of tourists but free and you can get away will just buying a bit of sugar.

    Lego store - opposite M&M. Go early for a look (early in London is 0930) as queues can form. Not a patch on the one in Copenhagen but still pretty good if they like Lego. Free entry.

    Natural History Museum/Science Museum - also free and have interactive stuff.

    Biggest tip if you are with kids is to plan your day so you get to any 'touristy' attraction early. At that time of year the queues are hell otherwise and you will have to deal with grumpy kids.
    As per the Rome comments don't be surprised if it is hot/very hot. London in the summer can be still unpredictable but over the last few summers sweltering temps are common. I'm talking 38 while surrounded by concrete and in a tube line. The UK was never built to deal with heat so you don't get much relief. Public transport in particular is not geared up for cooling. I stopped using the tube in summer and would rather ride my bike. You get to work just as wet but on your own terms and in a bit of space.



  • @Crucial said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    Natural History Museum/Science Museum - also free and have interactive stuff.

    if you have kids (or even if you dont really) these are must sees IMO...my kids were 3 & 6 when we went and they loved it, esp the NHM.



  • I'm going to swim against the tide and say staying in Windsor is doable. Last time I visited London I stayed in Maidenhead and travelled in and it was no problem at all. 60 trains/day about half hour Windsor - Paddington .however the return fares will probably sting you 35-40 quid / day.

    I just travelled after the rush hours. I only had a couple of days and managed to see everything, however that was probably because I lived there for 12 years and spent five of them as a driver so I know Central London very well.

    One thing I would recommend if you have time is a trip down the Thames to Greenwich for lunch and get the dockland light rail back. Its not a show stopper but its a pleasant change of pace and you get a different perspective from the water - and also from the elevated rail through places like Canary Wharf.

    Otherwise the touristy stuff

    Both Rome and Paris are easily walked although Roman is quite hilly. Both great places just to get a map (open an app) and meander.



  • @Snowy said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    @mariner4life said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    @Snowy we are going June/July. So Rome is going to be fucking packed.
    

    So it's going to be seriously hot and you have, what, a 4 and 6 year old? I look forward to your travel tales.

    I think it is August when all of the Romans piss off to have a holiday.

    11 and basically 9 by then, so not that bad!

    And i live in the Tropics, i reckon I'll handle the heat



  • @Virgil said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    This thread should be called ‘look at me I’m a piston wristed gibbon spending a month in Europe everyone look at me’

    Keep in touch mate sounds like an awesome trip!

    little from column A, little from column B



  • @taniwharugby said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    @Crucial said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    Natural History Museum/Science Museum - also free and have interactive stuff.

    if you have kids (or even if you dont really) these are must sees IMO...my kids were 3 & 6 when we went and they loved it, esp the NHM.

    I went to them four years ago and loved it, but then I'm still a big kid.



  • @Crucial said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    4 and 6 eh?

    Here are the bribery/'this is your part' places you can pop into between the interesting stuff...

    Hamley's on Regent St- entry free but you won't get out of there without having to buy something. As toy shops go it is pretty cool. Tip - go later in the day so you won't have to carry purchases.

    M&M store - this one baffles me but for some reason kids love it. Right on the edge of Leicester Sq, full of tourists but free and you can get away will just buying a bit of sugar.

    Lego store - opposite M&M. Go early for a look (early in London is 0930) as queues can form. Not a patch on the one in Copenhagen but still pretty good if they like Lego. Free entry.

    Natural History Museum/Science Museum - also free and have interactive stuff.

    Biggest tip if you are with kids is to plan your day so you get to any 'touristy' attraction early. At that time of year the queues are hell otherwise and you will have to deal with grumpy kids.
    As per the Rome comments don't be surprised if it is hot/very hot. London in the summer can be still unpredictable but over the last few summers sweltering temps are common. I'm talking 38 while surrounded by concrete and in a tube line. The UK was never built to deal with heat so you don't get much relief. Public transport in particular is not geared up for cooling. I stopped using the tube in summer and would rather ride my bike. You get to work just as wet but on your own terms and in a bit of space.

    The Harry Potter theme thing is supposed to be brilliant too.



  • We did London with the kids last year, they loved it - stayed in a pretty reasonable apartment in Sth Ken, was such a convenient spot. We always found the tube pretty easy, but as warned about, if the temp hits 30 they turn to shit (the rails actually start buckling...)

    All the London tips above are good, the 3 parks are also fun for a wander, morning job (me and the 2 oldest ran them a couple of times in the morning, really nice), paddle on those stupid aqua bike things.

    We took a train out to see Warwick Castle one day, that was a good change of scene - found a great country pub for a looooong lunch afterwards that had lots of grass for the kids to run around while we are and drank in the garden.

    London in a summer is so great for beer gardens - light till 11pm, great atmosphere. I miss that.

    I'd echo all the thoughts re Rome - it is the 1 country in the world where none of the touristy stuff disappoints. Vatican, Forum, all amazing - don't miss the Collosseum, you can just stand there on the concrete seats and just feel the atmosphere of the place, its fcking amazing.

    Hopefully Venice is above water when you get there! Interesting city, not sure what you'd do there after a day or 2 though. Dave in Florence is obviously good, as are the leather markets if that's your thing.

    I was lucky enough to be in Siena for the Paleo (completely by chance), holy shit that is insane.

    My only tip for eating in Italy is if the menu is more than 2 pages, go somewhere else. There are a few horrible chain places that try to do everything, pizza, pasta, burgers, american stuff - and it's all done horribly. Italian food should be simple!

    Re Harry Potter, I have also heard good things, but booking months in advance is apparently a must



  • @mariner4life With kids that age it should be owesome. Get them into the history before you go. Rome is seriously cool.



  • Knowing how old your kids are makes me feel like adding to the ageing thread. How did they get so old? Or how did I?



  • @Snowy said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    Knowing how old your kids are makes me feel like adding to the ageing thread. How did they get so old? Or how did I?

    you're telling me.



  • @voodoo said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    We took a train out to see Warwick Castle one day, that was a good change of scene - found a great country pub for a looooong lunch afterwards that had lots of grass for the kids to run around while we are and drank in the garden.

    I love castles, Warwick Caste was one of my faves, Leeds Castle in Kent was also awesome, especially with a moat it looked more like a 'Castle' 🙂



  • Two things:

    @mariner4life said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    Anyway, we've got a heap of people here who live, or have lived, all over the world. Might be good to have a thread where people going on holidays (thinly disguised "I'm going on holiday fuckers")

    #humblebrag

    Next year I'm doing a month in Europe.

    Fluffybunny



  • Do the hop on hop off in London, as you will get preferential access (jump the queue) to the Tower of London, The London Dungeon etc, if you buy your tickets on the bus



  • @dK lived in London for 12 years - I've never visited either. Didn't get to most of the touristy things until I came back as a tourist.



  • Off peak day weekday returns from Windsor by coach or train are £12. You can get family supersavers at weekends which are about that for a family of 4:

    https://www.thetrainline.com/
    https://tickets.southwesternrailway.com/sw/en/JourneyPlanning/MixingDeck
    https://www.omio.co.uk/coaches/london/windsor

    Lots of good stuff in London is free: https://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/budget-london/101-free-things-to-do-in-london

    Lots of other good stuff in London is 2 for 1 if you travel by train: https://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/2for1-london

    I am big fan of this website/app when trip planning: https://www.visitacity.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIt8KdgOms5gIViaztCh1sPgTOEAAYASAAEgL-zvD_BwE



  • @Snowy said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    @canefan said in The TSF Travel Tips Thread:

    Do the Roman Forum tour, and the catacombs are meant to be good. The Vatican is worth a look and the Cistine Chapel

    All of that is worth doing and again walkable. Be careful where you eat (price wise) and be wary of gypsies in summer.

    @mariner4life You beat me to it.The old "throw the baby trick" is common and I have seen it more than once.

    The money changer one is a good one too. Don't take your wallet out for anyone



  • In Rome we stayed in the old town and ate around there, it was frikken excellent. I'll try dig up the names. That was in November for the ABs test and it got bloody hot during the day still.

    In London, we've got a shed and a garage en bloc, I'll leave the back gate unlocked. Only 20 minutes into London Bridge! But seriously we have a couple of spare bedrooms at the moment too.



  • If you are here on 17th June, I'm going to see Faith No More at Brixton Academy and currently have a spare ticket.



  • London. Well, where to start.

    Firstly, commuting in/out with kids vs staying in the city is not a big deal. If it saves you a ton, then just do it. As an aside, Windsor is a lovely town with a buzz to it, and a castle, so probably worth checking it out anyway.

    Borough Market is always first on my list for guests. It's a bit more of a tourist trap these days as opposed to a market, but it's still a fantastic spot. Afterwards, tie up your shoelaces and walk along the south bank of the Thames to Tower Bridge. There will be something going on there (often small festivals on there during the summer) and then you can walk across Tower Bridge to the Tower of London. I've not been in there so can't comment, but doubt it's worth the entrance fee's.

    Of the tourist traps, I'd say London Eye is the one that gets the best reviews from people who have been there. But book in advance as queue's can be off the charts. The Museums around Kensington way are excellent as well, but gotta get there for opening. Great for kids too, and (when inevitably) you have a shit day or two weather wise, these are great spots to hit. You gotta check out Harrod's too, as it must be done.

    I've not been to Camden Market in years, but when I was younger I spent plenty of time there as it was so eclectic. Also always worth grabbing a curry in Brick Lane too which isn't far from there.

    Last piece of advice, Hyde Park. Like Central Park in NY, it's just a massive fucking park in the middle of the city. But if here when British Summer Time festival is on, go and check it out. Some massive acts (Pearl Jam confirmed next year (I'm going but no spare tix)), but on the off days (no massive act), you can go in and wander around and ther ewill be some smaller bands playing. Well worth doing. Then you can finish off by walking out and strolling up Edgware Road, which must be the most cosmopolitan street in the world.

    This could go on for hours, but the above is some initial thoughts.



  • @MajorRage to add to that, something I never knew but found out recently, the Turkish equivalent to Brick Lane is Green Lane.



  • @MajorRage s compass is a bit off if he thinks Brick Lane is near Camden Market but maybe it is after too many pints?
    I wouldn’t try walking it anyway.


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