Monthly Archives: May 2014

Train Travel

For the first 9 days of our trip we will be walking and using public transport.  Most of it will be by train and the major trip will be the overnight trip from London to Fort William in the the Scottish Highlands.  This website is a mine of useful information.


I knew that since we are travelling in early August which is the peak season that the tickets would sell quickly.  In fact, when I checked today, there were no sleeper berths available for the week prior to when we are going.

After months of studying timetables and ticket prices we were finally able to book the tickets tonight.  Using trial and error and dummy travel dates over the past few weeks, I was able to ascertain that the tickets are released at about 9am on Friday, London time.

I sat at the computer this afternoon and kept checking until the tickets I wanted came up as available and I was able to book a 2 berth sleeper for £122.60 for The Duke and I.  A mere 3 hours later, the cheapest price for a 2 berth sleeper had risen to £184.50 so it was definitely worthwhile getting in early.

The other thing I found was a new Railcard.  I had planned to get a Senior Railcard for The Duke which provides savings on train travel for people aged 60 and over.  However, there is a new type of Railcard which was only released in March 2014 and it is called Two Together Railcard.  We can make greater savings with this than the Senior Railcard so we will be getting one when we arrive in London.  As well as discounts on train travel you can get 2 for 1 admissions to many attractions in London.  One of these is the Churchill War Rooms which is on our agenda.



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Packing – A Trial Run

It is now 12 weeks until we leave on our trip.  I have bought my case and have the clothes I plan to take so it was time for a trial of the packing.

My list of clothes and footwear for 6 weeks in the UK in August/September:

2 pairs of travel pants ( can zip off to shorts if required) – charcoal grey
1 pair jeans (the are NYDJ and not bulky) – dark denim
3 fitted tops (cap sleeve) – red/blue/black
3 fitted tops (3/4 sleeve) – red/white stripe and black/white stripe
1 rugby top – navy stripe
1 polar fleece jacket – red
1 vest – red
1 spray jacket – red
1 fine wool jumper – black
1 pashmina/wrap – jade green
2 pairs shoes (squashable) – red and bronze
1 pair lightweight walking shoes – red
2 pairs socks
2 camisoles
1 pair boxer shorts
3 bras
4 pairs knickers
1 thermal top

This is what I will pack in the case.

Clothes to pack
In addition, I will wear/carry these on the plane.

Clothes to wear
Here is everything packed in the case.

Case packed
The top half of the case is empty and the total weight is 6.5kg

I will pack a few other things includings:

Travel clothesline
Microfibre towel

It is unlikely that I will actually take it as cabin baggage.  My main interest was in being able to take one small case that is easy to manouvre on trains, ferry etc when we are travelling.

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3 Month Countdown

Yes, only 3 months until we leave so the planning is stepping up a notch.  I have given quite a bit of thought recently to what we will pack and how lightly I can travel.

Here are a couple of purchases I have made recently in my quest to travel as lightly as possible.

This is a new suitcase that I bought.  It only weighs 2.4kg.  Although it technically meets the size requirements for carry-on luggage I will probably check it in.  This is the only luggage I plan to take for a trip of almost 6 weeks in the UK and Ireland.  We will be travelling by train and ferry as well as hiring a car while we are overseas so I want to keep my luggage small for ease of getting on and off trains as well as getting up and down flights of stairs in some of the B & B accommodation.

This is the inside of the case which includes a couple of zip pockets, one of which is plastic and therefore is waterproof.

Inside of case
My other purchase has been 2 pairs of shoes.  These are incredibly light and comfortable.  They weigh a mere 300g per pair and literally feel like walking on air.  I decided to get 2 pairs as I do not like wearing the same shoes every day.  They are comfortable for walking and sightseeing but stylish enough to wear to dinner or the theatre.

If we strike really hot weather I can always buy a pair of cheap sandals but I think that is highly unlikely.

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