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Help with travel plans and tips - London - York - Amsterdam - Paris

We're planning a trip that starts in London April 23rd and ends in Paris May 6th. I was hoping some of you could help answer just a few quick questions:

Itinerary already set as follows:

Arrive in London
April 23rd in AM
Leave London
April 28th in AM (5 nights)
*Never been to London

Arrive in York
April 28th in AM
Leave York
April 30th in PM (2 nights)
*Never been to York

Arrive in Amsterdam
April 30th in PM
Leave Amsterdam
May 3rd in PM (3 nights)
*Never been to Amsterdam

Arrive in Paris
May 3rd PM
Leave Paris
May 6th (3 nights)
*We have been to paris before.

After we leave York we would like to fly to Amsterdam what airport would you suggest flying out of one of the London airports or Bradford or maybe the one in Manchester? also what would you consider a fair price for that flight and a good airline?

We were also trying to book a train ticket from London to York what site would you suggest for purchasing the ticket and what is a fair price? The last time I looked tickets were not available for sale for the April 28th date.

We will leave Amsterdam to head to Paris we were wondering if that would be a nice drive with any scenery or significant sites or should we should take the train?

And lastly we have 5 days in London and we would like to take a day trip to a small city in the country which would you suggest, Bath, Canterbury, or other? all ideas welcomed!!

Posted by
92 posts

I'd probably post over on the UK forum at TripAdvisor as well as here, and perhaps you did not mean to post this in the Trip Reports section?

I think you don't have a lot of time in any of these destinations, and what I would do is cut one of them, but it's your trip.

I wonder about beginning in York, then going to London, then Amsterdam OR Paris, and flying home from there.

I would do an open jaw/multi-city/multiple destination ticket to avoid spending time backtracking.

For train travel in the UK I think you want the National Rail website, and I think you might be able to save money by booking ahead (on the York to London journey) but this would restrict you to a particular date and time.

If you go to Amsterdam and Paris, I would take the train between them, but I like trains. Also, I feel that your schedule doesn't allow much time for a leisurely drive, and given that there is good and high-speed train service between the cities, I wouldn't travel any other way (I believe you'll want Thalys for this journey). See the website for the Man in Seat 61 for all things train in Europe. I think Amsterdam-Paris is about 3 hours, 20 minutes by train.

The way I read your itinerary, you have four days and one arrival/travel day in London. With only four days, I wouldn't take a day trip, other than perhaps staying nearby and going to Greenwich, Hampton Court Palace, or Windsor Castle. However, again, it's your trip and is up to you. I'd go to Canterbury if you want to see a university town, Bath if you want the Roman baths and Georgian architecture, or somewhere else if you want something else.

Enjoy your travel planning, and your holiday!

Posted by
1976 posts

I agree with the previous poster - you don't have a lot of time in cities where you've never been. Are you flying home from Paris? If you haven't bought your tickets yet, I'd suggest flying into Manchester, visit York, take the train (Virgin East Coast is the company you want for these tickets) to London, take the Eurostar to Paris, take the TGV train to Amsterdam, and fly home from there.

But if you have bought your tickets -

You'd take a budget airline (like easyJet) from Manchester or London to Amsterdam. Tickets on these airlines only increase in price as time goes on, so as soon as you figure out which airline and which flight, buy your ticket.

The train company Virgin Trains East Coast goes from London Kings Cross station to York. Like the budget airline tickets, these only increase in price. The cheapest tickets are sold farthest in advance. I took the train from London to York for a day and paid 41 pounds because I didn't buy very far in advance. The train ride is about 2 hours.

If you're heading from Amsterdam city center to Paris city center, take the train.

I visited Canterbury as a day trip from London and enjoyed it. The cathedral is beautiful; the city gates are really cool; and just a ten-minute walk from the cathedral are the ruins of a Norman castle between a traffic circle and some apartments. Amazing!

Posted by
16893 posts

Other airlines (flybe and KLM) fly from Manchester to Amsterdam at more convenient times than the 7:00 a.m. EasyJet departure; see Direct train from York to Manchester airport takes 1 hr 45 m, which is faster than returning to London.

Train tickets are also for sale now, if you're ready to lock in dates and times through National Rail and Thalys. I don't agree that your time split between cities is inadequate, but I probably wouldn't find time for a daytrip from London. Or you could spend the two nights in Bath instead of York.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks for all the tips and help.... flying out of Manchester seems to be the best option again thanks everyone for their help it is appreciated.

Posted by
22 posts

We were in Amsterdam last year. The city center area is a delight, but can be very crowded with lots of foot traffic up and down the narrow streets. Seek out an Indonesian restaurant for lunch or dinner...very good food! Plenty of friendly taverns and coffee/pastry shops. The signs you see for "cafes" are actually marijuana bars. They are fun to drop in a visit...and partake in if you are so inclined...we were not. Try to book a canal boat tour and be sure to at least visit the Van Gogh Museum (get tickets at the Visitors Information booth near the main light rail/tram station. We took the #5 tram from the city center to the's further than most folks would want to walk. The tram driver will tell you when to get off...very friendly. Everyone speaks English.

We also visited a diamond merchants and the Heineken Brewery.