is what I had. Due to finances and time, got the one limited to England only, not Scotland, Wales or Europe. Any train, going anywhere. Was awesome. BritRail Journey Planner
When taking any train randomly, this is invaluable. Or not so randomly. Which ever.
However, for London, you want an Oyster Card
. I got one when I got the rail pass, but you can pick them up at the stations, highly recommended than trying to get a single ticket every time. Also work on the buses.
Outside all of the major rail stations in London, as well as inside any city centre, you should be able to find a Travel Information Center
. From there, you can book accommodations, find the best local places to visit, coupons, etc.
I was able to do this for Stratford-upon-Avon, and not so successfully in London and York. (You'll want to go to Victoria Station
for accommodation in London, its open til Midnight)
One of the nights I ended up in a strange unplanned city after the Visitor Center closed, I asked the Police Station for where the B&Bs are, they tend to be in groups. 10 minutes later, I had a room. ^__^
B&Bs, which included Breakfast, were between £26-40 a night.
If you've forgotten anything, head to the
Pound Shops. Pound World
were the most common, followed by 99p Only
If you've forgotten anything, these are the places to go. Not only toiletries (socks!), neat gift stuff, but luggage stuff as well (tags, straps, passport holders).
The 99p Only store also had 'Visitor to the UK' adapter plugs, the rest had 'UK visiting Europe' or 'UK visiting US' adapter plugs. (may have the chain wrong, but pretty sure it's the right one)
Which is much better than £10.99 at Curry's Electronics
. (better adapter too) The Boots Pharmacy
in St. Pancreas Station had them for about £5.99
As for clothing, it's not 'Thrift Stores', it's 'Charity Shops'. I had better luck with The British Heart Foundation
, which is more of a vintage shop.
Due to it being summer, two things I noticed.
One: No one wears hats. Apparently hats are a cold weather thing, the only people I spotted wearing hats had either American or Australian accents. If you're trying to blend in, ditch the hat, enjoy the sun. (which is how I returned from chilly damp england to the hot dry arizona desert with a sunburn. the irony burns)
Two: Scarves. Light weight cotton, flimsy viscose, heavier acetate or wool, I'd guess at about half the girls under 40 were wearing some sort of scarf around their neck. If you pay more than £3, you're playing too much. Look at Charity Shops or Touristy sidewalk stalls.
Between those two and picking up about 6 different distinctive accents (including Scottish while in Scarborough), pretty much blended in as 'British, on holiday'. Which was nice, because apparently American is awful difficult for people to understand, and people would just walk away. (I got a little crazy for lack of genuine human interaction towards the end)
Food... Food was cheap. My budget was under £10 a day for food. Tesco
(which, contrary to BBC Sherlock fandom, the Chip and Pin machines are easy to use) and Sainsburys
both have a deal: a sandwich, a drink and a side (fruit or crisps or candy) for £3. Regular groceries were cheaper as well, even accounting for exchange.
Bakeries, such as Greggs
, are a great place for a cheap meal. Meat pies and Pasties are love. West Cornwall Cornish Pasty
were good for on the go, under £4 was usually a meal and a snack. In Stratford-upon-Avon, dinner was £1, I caught them at closing and got two meat (non-pork!) rolls. ^___^ Keep an eye out.
Um... Any other questions? This is all I can think of at the moment, and MOrgan would prolly like her computer back...