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England & Scotland - Sept 2010

3 9 7651
舊 2011-02-06, 21:48
I have benefited a lot from the forum when I planned for the trip. Here I am to share with others my trips and planning. I know I should be writing in Chinese to benefit most backpackers but I type faster in English, so.... if you need to clarify anything just post the question and I will reply in Chinese.

Day 1
Arrived at Heathrow Airport in the evening. We went to Earl's Court EasyHotel right after that and checked in. Due to budget constraint, we booked a room without windows. The room is very small, too small to open the luggage in the room. But it comes with attached bathroom, towels and shower gel are provided. Room rate is only 25 pounds if you book early enough.

After check-in we went walking around the area to look for convenience store and food for breakfast. Nearby the hotel, a lot of food were available e.g. Nando's Subway, McD, and etc. We took some pictures too. Weather was cool and it just rained.

原文載於: 背包客棧自助旅行論壇 https://www.backpackers.com.tw/forum/showthread.php?t=438221

Day 2
We woke up early to wait for my brother's arrival. He's flying from Japan and we arranged as such that he met us at the hotel, had a bath then we started the day's journey. The flight was delayed and we didn't know. I was worried that he couldn't find the hotel. An hour plus later, my brother showed up and we were all delighted. He had a bath before we checked out. We left our luggage at the hotel for 2 pounds per piece, then went for breakfast at Subway. Subway was having promo i.e. half-foot long sandwich with coffee for 1.99 pound, very cheap.

After breakfast we took tube to Portobello Market.

We met my brother's friend who's working in London at Oxford Street, then he brought us to interesting places.

In the evening, we went to buy dinner at Tesco nearby EasyHotel and had it in front of the hotel. Cheap and simple dinner but it's some experience we never had. After dinner we got our luggage from the reception and left to London Euston to catch the Sleeper Train to Glasgow.
Normal fare for Sleeper Train is very expensive. I booked the bargain berth for 29 pounds per person, which is a lot cheaper than normal rate. Bargain berth is opened for sale 12 weeks before date of travel. Check the website everyday to grab the cheap offer from as low as 19 pounds.
Once booking is made, you have to monitor when your credit card is charged. It took a few days in my case and I was worried if the berths were actually successfully booked. Until transaction takes place e-ticekt will not be sent to you. You must present the e-ticket when boarding. For me all three of us board with one e-ticket, which carried our names.
The service from Caledonian Sleeper was good. We booked 3 berths and the conductor changed us to berths with connecting door in between. We could still talk in the "rooms" without passing through the isle. It's very kind of him. There's a set of disposable toothbrush & toothpaste provided. There's also a basin in the "room".

Day 3
The next morning before the train reached Glasgow the same conductor knocked on the door to "wake" us up, just in case we overslept. Soon after that, he came by to serve the morning snack and coffee, as complementary light breakfast. I really love the thought of that.
The train reached Glasgow Central on time. It was still early to get the car at Entreprise, so we hanged around at the unique train station.

Entreprise is located within walking distance from the train station. Nonetheless, it took us longer than usual to reach the destination because we were attracted to the old and new buildings along the street and couldn't stop snapping photo.

After we collected the car, we went to the nearby supermarket to buy lunch. We picked anything with offer e.g. buy one free one. We bought bread, ham, yogurt and milk. We happily carried the food to the car and started the driving journey. First destination was Balloch, the gate to Loch Lomond.

It's a beautiful place, quiet and peaceful. There were nobody else at the shore. We had picnic there, eating the food while enjoying the view. Later there came a caravan with children. The parents brought the children to canoe on the lake. While they were warming up, we took the above picture. The canoe simply added colours to the scene. What a beautiful memory!
After lunch, we headed to Luss, which is only about 15 minutes' drive from Balloch. It's a beautiful village located along the shore of Loch Lomond.

With the help of GPS, we could estimate how much time we had at one destination. So driving to the chalet we booked at Onich was a much of a pleasure. It's about a 2-hour drive, but we stopped at stopping-point to view the scenery and took pictures here and there. Many cars stopped to take pictures too. We asked for others' help to take picture for 3 of us. We stopped by a cafe to have coffee and we found him! Wouldn't you agree that he looks like one of the character from Lord of the Ring?

One of the breath-taking stop is Glencoe. Wind was strong and it was very cold. Although we were freezing, we refused to get into the car to continue the journey! Of course we didn't expect the weather to be so cold! It could be 15 degree but the wind was so strong.
原文載於: 背包客棧自助旅行論壇 https://www.backpackers.com.tw/forum/showthread.php?t=438221

Finally we reached Inchree Chalets before dark. We booked a room for three but the owner (I guess it's the owner) upgraded us to a 3-room chalet. So lucky! After check-in, we drove to Fort William to buy some food for the tomorrow's packed lunch. For the dinner, we had Korean instant noodles I brought from Malaysia, the taste we missed when in UK and not forgetting Nescafe, of course.

These show how the chalet looks like.

The chalets are on the hill where as the pub is at the foot of the hill. After dinner, we drove to the pub and had some local beer, relaxing ourselves.
此篇文章於 2011-02-12 18:11 被 twkhim 編輯。
感謝 3
7651 次查看
舊 2011-02-12, 17:32
Day 4
In the morning, we made sandwiches for breakfast. We bought cheese, sausages, milk, juice and fish fillet the night before. We didn't fry those because we didn't buy cooking oil. So we used oven to bake the sausages and fish fillet. Somehow the smoke alarm went off and we panicked because it was so loud and we worried it would wake everyone in the nearby chalets up. Quickly we opened the front door to let the smoke out (though we didn't see any at all ) and the alarm stopped soon. We also made extra sandwiches for lunch.
It was raining but the rain didn't stop us. We drove to nearby Corran ferry terminal and took the ferry. It's about 5-min drive from Inchree Chalets. Below is the route for the day. In fact we drove to Ardnamurchan point on the west. It's the most westerly point of Scotland and it was very cold the day we went.

Ferry charged according to headcount. We paid 6.40 pounds for 3 and the car. After the ferry we headed to Strontian. Then we passed Salen and headed to Ardnamurchan lighthouse. The roads on the route were narrow. At times we reached single lane with passing places on left and right for drivers to give way when another car is coming from the opposite direction. Nonetheless, driving became fun. Scenery was breath-taking and we stopped along the way to take plenty of pictures.
原文載於: 背包客棧自助旅行論壇 https://www.backpackers.com.tw/forum/showthread.php?t=438221#post2702305

Passing place on the right

Note the narrow roads ahead

View from Ardnamurchan Point

Be reminded that GPS cannot lead you to Ardnamurchan lighthouse. Read the signs on the roads to guide you there.
Before leaving Ardnamurchan we had the sandwiches in the car. We met some friendly Scottish and they shared with us their driving route . We said goodbye to the Scottish and continued our journey. This was a long drive to Glenfinnan. We went there too late that the visitor centre was closed . We only stayed there a while to take pictures of the monument and the railway where Hogwart Express passed by.

After Glenfinnan we headed back to Fort William to complete the journey of the day. We had dinner at Fort William - one of the worst fish and chips in UK.
此篇文章於 2011-02-12 18:35 被 twkhim 編輯。
舊 2011-02-12, 20:57
GlenCoe is my favorite! I've been there twice and stayed in the King's house hotel.....


舊 2011-02-12, 21:18
Wow! You went in winter! It must be freezing!
舊 2011-02-12, 21:48
Day 5
After breakfast, we said goodbye to Inchree Chalets. Before leaving Fort William, we went to Inverlochy Castle which doesn't require admission fee.

After this, we filled the car with petrol and headed to Isle of Skye. As usual we stopped for coffee and snacks. Look at the flags outside the window and you can tell how strong the wind was.

We dropped by Eileen Donan Castle too.

In the afternoon (we drove slowly and enjoyed the scenery), we reached Isle of Skye. The hotel we booked was White Heather Hotel, located at a port near Skye Bridge. Room for 2 plus added bed was 87.50 pounds, breakfast included.

View from the room

Our lunch. This time the fish and chips tasted a lot better.

I love the blue sky there.

After lunch, we went for seal boat trip, 6 pounds per pax. But we also paid for admission to the garden (because that is the only way to go to the boats).

Dunvegan Castle

It's getting dark when we reached Portree. Temperature dropped suddenly and these pictures were taken with frozen hands
原文載於: 背包客棧自助旅行論壇 https://www.backpackers.com.tw/forum/showthread.php?t=438221#post2702776
此篇文章於 2011-02-12 22:24 被 twkhim 編輯。
舊 2011-02-16, 23:23
Day 6
We woke up early to walk around the hotel, or the port indeed, and enjoyed the sunny morning by the sea. It was still early and the breakfast was not ready yet (a little note to add - White Heather Hotel provided the best breakfast of the trip). Breakfast served include choice of eggs (poached or fried), toast (with/without cheese/jam/butter), bacon, sausages, baked tomato and so on. The order was made the night before and we were given a small printed menu to tick what we like, then hanged it on the door knob. Besides the order, there's also buffet bar serving juices, milk, muesli, yogurt and fruits. It's comparable to a standard hotel continental breakfast but this is a B&B! Isn't it great?
After breakfast, we started the journey back to Glasgow. We planned to go to Oban but due to time constraint, we had to abort the plan. After hours of driving (we stopped by Fort William to pump petrol - we had to returned the car with half tank of petrol as what we got when collected the car on first day), we reached Enterprise at Glasgow. Then we walked to Central Station to catch the train. Didn't want to be late, we were there a little early. Our train to Edinburgh departed at 15:50, so we had enough time for lunch.
Glasgow to Edinburgh is about an-hour journey by train. We reached Edinburgh at about 5pm. Getting out of the unique station, we were stunned with the beautiful heritage buildings along the street.

It took us some effort to leave Princess Street to look for our hotel to check in. We stayed at Elder York Hotel for 2 nights. Rate inclusive of breakfast was 40 pounds per pax per night. We had a room for 4 but charged for 3.
Isle of Skye is an island of nature, and Edinburgh is a city of heritage! I love them both, very much. In the evening till night, we shopped along Princess Street.
Edinburgh at sunset

Edinburgh after dark. See the moon? It's actually中秋节! And my birthday too!

原文載於: 背包客棧自助旅行論壇 https://www.backpackers.com.tw/forum/showthread.php?t=438221#post2713112

Day 7
Breakfast was just fine when compared to the one we had the day before . After breakfast we started the walking tour:
Calton Hill - Royal Mile - Edinburgh Castle - Rose Street (stopped for lunch) - Dean Village - Princess Street (coffee time and shopping again)
Royal Mile

Dean Village is a bit far on foot but it's worth the walking.

Day 8
Again another so-so breakfast. After breakfast, we checked out and went straight to Waverly Station to catch the train at 11:10. We were going to Windermere, the last stop before we went back to London. The journey took about 4 hours (due to transit), so we ordered Burger King (take away) to eat on the train. We were tired and we slept in the train. When we reached Windermere, we were energetic again! Wow! The scenery is so beautiful - the houses, the colours of the buidings, the blue sky, the flowers, the lake and yacht! The B&B we booked is just 5-min walk from the station, opposite Orrest Head. It's named Orrest Cottage. We had 2 rooms for 94 pounds. My brother got the one at the attic. There are only 3 rooms, all 3 have different theme.
It's quite late after check-in, that we had to rush to Bowness to catch the cruise. Nonetheless, we took lots of pictures along the streets (yeah, we walked to the pier).

A little advice to those who are planning to go to Windermere from Edinburgh, never travel on Sunday because there's no earlier train. We didn't have enough time to visit other places around the lake, not even some time to try the steam train

Day 9
Due to late arrival on the day before, we booked the evening train to London, departure at 18:15. We started the day with hiking Orrest Head. It's still quite dark in the wood, and we didn't get to see sunrise because it's cloudy in the morning.

After the morning hiking, we went back to Orrest Cottage for breakfast. This was the second best breakfast we had during the trip . After breakfast, we checked out, left the luggage at the B&B and took bus in front of the station to Ambleside. We did shopping there too.

After having light meal at Ambleside, we took the bus back to Windermere and shopped at Lakeland Kitchenware near the station. It's still early and many restaurants were not opened for business yet. We had fish and chips at the cafe near Orrest Cottage. Yes, it's fish and chips again! I couldn't take anymore of those after I came back .
Hubby started to feel tired already since the journey had almost come to an end. We reached London after dark. Again, we checked in to EasyHotel Earl's Court. This time we got a slightly bigger room, with more space to move around. The night was a quite night, as hubby slept early, and my brother and I were transferring and exchanging pictures on laptop.

Day 10
Wait! The trip is not over yet. Our flight left at night, we still had the whole morning and afternoon to go sightseeing. Since it's my brother's first time to London/UK, we went to Buckingham Palace to see changing of guards. We didn't plan for it but found out about it the day before. In the morning, we checked out and left the luggage at the hotel. Again, we went to Subway for the cheap and tasty sandwich for breakfast. After breakfast, we headed to Buckingham Palace. Bonus of the trip - we saw a police on duty who looked like Hugh Grant (isn't it cool?).

We went to Covent Garden and had lunch there. It's one of my favourite place.

Having enough shopping, we went back to EasyHotel to collect our luggages. Along the street before reaching hotel, we had early dinner at Nando's. Hmmm , Nando's in London tastes so good that till now I miss the taste so much! Despite some not-so-nice meals these days, Nando's put a pleasant end to our trip, left some mouth-watering memories too!
My brother was flying back to Japan and both of us to Malaysia. We said goodbye to my brother when he got down from the tube at Terminal 3. That's the end of our trip, an enjoyable one. I always love UK and though it's expensive to visit there again, I may still go, may be in autumn. When will you plan for your trip?
原文載於: 背包客棧自助旅行論壇 https://www.backpackers.com.tw/forum/showthread.php?t=438221#post2713112
I hope I shared enough info here and didn't bore the readers. I am not good at story-telling . Have a good day!
此篇文章於 2011-02-17 00:53 被 twkhim 編輯。
舊 2011-04-15, 19:30
Thanks for your sharing.
I really love woodcutter LOL
and also those broad grassland
It seems that good weather seldom present in England
I wish someday I can visit there too.
舊 2011-05-29, 17:19
作者: entesove (原文章)
Thanks for your sharing.
I really love woodcutter LOL
and also those broad grassland
It seems that good weather seldom present in England
I wish someday I can visit there too.
I am thinking of revisiting already. Too many places to go but too little time...
舊 2011-06-01, 17:11
How lovely ~
I've been to Island of Skye and Lake District 5 years ago,
I love there very much. Your photos recall all my memory indeed.
Thanks for the sharing.
舊 2011-06-04, 16:21
I enjoyed reading your travel notes, the pictures are amazing!
It reminded me of the time when I visited UK. Thanks for sharing.