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Heading to U.K. and Paris, any advise


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Hey all, last year I went to Japan and got a lot of great tips and advice from you TPR members, well now I am planning another overseas trip to U.K. and need help / advice again from the seasoned pros here on TPR. Here is what I have so far so any help would be fantastic, I will be arriving at Manchester international airport (MAN) on Wednesday September 21st at 10a.m. (I need help on how to get to Alton Towers from here preferably by train or bus). We already booked 2 nights at the Splash Landing hotel at Alton Towers (Wednesday night & Thursday night) so Friday morning I need to get to the Saint Pancras train station to catch the chunnel train to Disneyland Paris, I read I have to catch a bus to Stokes on Trent train station BUT I have no idea what train to take to get from Stokes to Saint Pancras, any help would be awesome here, Thanxz. The times and prices for the chunnel train from London to Disneyland Paris won't be availiable until 90 days out so I still don't know what time I need to catch that train but I am figuring it'll be mid-afternoon. The plan is to spend the night at Disney on Friday and Saturday night so I will be at Disney all day Saturday and part of Sunday then we will have to take the chunnel train back to London Sunday afternoon (again I can't get times until 90 days out) and get a cheap hotel in London in the area of London Heathrow airport (LHR) to fly back Monday morning. Again, any help in figuring out how to get to and from Alton Towers would be great, also I hear Alton Towers is in a residential area and there is nothing to do there after the park closes... is this true? This trip is looking to be fun (I wanted to do Blackpool Pleasure beach also but just did not have enough time to fit it in) and I'm starting to get excited about it just need to clear up these few loose ends. Thanxs all. Tom

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^ It is true that there isn't anything really to do in the Alton Towers area, which is why they have been building it up into their own resort. As far as how to get there from MAN, you will end up needing to take a train to Stoke-On-Trent, and then get a taxi or a bus to the park. Not sure exactly which train, though, but I'm sure if you go to the British Rail site, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

 

I'm going to move this into the main forum so some of our UK members may also chime in....

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There are regular connections from Manchester Airport to Manchester Piccadilly Station (6 trains an hour, so every 10 minutes)

 

There is a train going from Manchester Piccadilly to Stoke On Trent roughly every 15 minutes, so that isn't going to be a problem

 

The times of the bus from Stoke to Alton are 0710, 0820, 0915, 1010, 1110 1545, 1730, 1830, 1930, tickets for bus travel cost approx £4/5 or I believe you can buy your park tickets on board the bus and get travel for free, depends if you have any 2 for one deals, don't know if they accept them on the bus.

 

You will have to get a train from Stoke on Trent to London Euston Station then get the Underground over to St. Pancras for Eurostar, which is one stop on the Victoria Line, shouldn't be too bad (ie, not very easy to get lost!)

 

P.S. Good website for planning train journeys etc..... www.thetrainline.com although they are not quite ahead as september yet

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Andy's given you pretty much all the info you need!

 

I'll add that finding the bus stop from Stoke on Trent station to Alton Towers is very easy - Go out of the front of Stoke on Trent station. On the same side of the road as you are on (and to your left) there is a bus stop. This is your bus stop! Useful bus information for the route can be found here: http://www.traveline.info One bus (bus 15 last time I went) takes 45 minutes to Alton Towers and stops at the hotels as well as the front of the park. Another bus (bus 14 last time I went) takes longer because it stops off at local villages along the way.

 

Alton Towers isn't really in a residential area - more like in the middle of nowhere! So, it's good that you're staying at the Splash Landings hotel.

 

The train from Stoke on Trent terminates at London Euston station as Andy says. This is actually just down the road from St Pancras station and is even walkable (take a look on Google maps). Allow enough time to make your connection from the return bus to your Stoke - London train (this train journey takes about 2 hours usually) and then to get to Euston - St Pancras with enough time to 'check-in' for your Eurostar journey. I've never been to Disneyland Paris by Eurostar, but I'm sure the Eurostar website has info on their special direct trains.

 

I'm sure you've already figured out that when the train tickets first go on sale they will be cheap (but you have to specify fixed train times to get the lowest fares) and then they quickly go up in price!

 

Robin

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  • 1 month later...

Thanx everyone for all the useful info. just booked the train travel and now everything on this trip is paid for, except the food of course(gotta prepay because the dollar to pound conversion is horrible now and only gonna get worse). Again I want to thank you all for helping me plan this trip. Now the stress part is over and the waiting begins.

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Hi TPR'ers

 

Of course, if time is tight and your wallet can spare a little expense, a taxi from Stoke-On-Trent train station to Alton Towers' front gate is do-able. I did it in the reverse direction a few years ago, and it wasn't wholly unreasonable.

 

Of course, you can check with the taxi driver at S-o-T station before you set off... Anyone any idea how much the taxi is these days?

 

Simon

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanx to all for all the great advise. All lodging and transportation is now paid in full. Now all I need to know is am I bringing enough. I am planning on buying $1000 USD worth of british pounds (yesterday it was 644 pounds but today it is 620 pounds) so I am hoping to have around 600 pounds for 5 days. This should be enough for food (we do not drink so money savings there) and whatever else pops up, right? Thanx again for all help.

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