Two of my children and I will be in London three days before my husband and daughter arrive (semester exams!). They fly in about 8 am into Heathrow. My husband is trying to save money (there's five of us, and that really adds up), and so he wanted to take a rental car from Heathrow to York. Our hope is to go to York, spend two days, drive back toward London stopping at Hampton Court on the way. We would drop the rental car off before we got to London.
I however, hate this plan. Granted my husband is a business traveler and flies across time zones once a week so he is used to it. However, I told him tonight: I know you want to save money, but you will fly into London after an all night flight, and drive in a country that has quite different road rules than we do. And it's not just driving on a different side of the road. I think you have to look at the big picture and not just about money. Thankfully, he finally agreed with me and told me to book what I needed to book. So here is what I have found:
They will meet us at King's Cross station and take a train to York, about 10:00 AM. That's on the 19th. Stay in York until the 21st, then take about a 10 AM train to Hampton Court. I picked the time on the 21st as it's a little cheaper, and I know Hampton Court closes in the afternoon. Then we will take a train back into Waterloo station, although I am a little uncertain on the time to leave.
Does this itinerary work or am I making mistakes? And do I need to purchase a ticket ahead of time from Hampton Court to Waterloo or can we purchase it when we get to the station?
I am also planning on purchasing a Family and Friends railcard when I arrive with the two younger kids. That gives a discount on these tickets and I believe we will be able to use them before they get here with a day trip or two.