London to Rome Adventure

Walk or cycle the historic trails, picnic under an olive tree, explore the Greek Islands by yacht or just watch the world go by from a Tapas bar in Barcelona.

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London to Rome Adventure

Postby gcc » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:26 pm

I am a single female and new to this forum. I have never traveled to Europe by myself, so I thought this would be a great way to travel, especially since I have a limited amount of time that I can take off. Since I have never taken this trip before and have never used G Adventures before, I would appreciate any thoughts, good, bad, and ugly.
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Re: London to Rome Adventure

Postby georginal » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:48 pm

Great way to travel, solo, or otherwise. You can do all of this trip yourself, but the good thing about G is that you never have to be on your own for long.
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Re: London to Rome Adventure

Postby misfit6462 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:24 pm

Hi.. im going on this tour in June and im in the same boat.. so if anyone has any suggestions for packing or sites to see Id appreciate it too
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Re: London to Rome Adventure

Postby livibeck » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:15 pm

I'm on this tour too! Theres a post in the departure lounge for the tour on the 24th June :)

I did a tour with G adventures to south east asia for 30 days last year, I didnt know anyone on the tour and it was the best experience. Everyone on the trip was great. I would highly recommend doing any small group tour personally. I think small group would be 1000 times better than the tours with 40 people on them. But thats just my personal preference :)
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Re: London to Rome Adventure

Postby dreaded_luggage » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:13 pm

Not knowing whether you're from the UK, I may be preaching to the choir here, but I noticed a certain lack of UK highlights back in the "create your own adventure" days, and made a Northern England tour as a protest. It finished in the top 1%, somehow. :roll:

Advice to someone from overseas coming to Britain: you probably arrive at Heathrow or Gatwick. Both are linked by train to London King's Cross, from which you can take a train north on the Route Of The Flying Scotsman aka East Coast mainline, destination Newcastle, Edinburgh or Glasgow. You should do this immediately. Disembark at York. Highly recommended are the Minster (largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, or some such claim) and Jorvik Viking Centre (they found such a rich archaeological site they just built the museum around it). The ancient walls are still there too, the Dungeon, the Castle and its gardens may be worth a visit and there are quite a few other places of historic interest ... plus a pub that doesn't shut until the floodwater gets so deep they can't fill pints any more. Yeah, York has a flood problem some days.

North-east from York are the North Yorkshire Moors, home of one large White Horse (there's another famous one near Swindon in the south-west), and also Herriot country. East of there, the coast's got some fairly serious features and there's Whitby, which is fully booked and packed wall-to-wall with goths every Hallowe'en because that's where Dracula's ship came ashore in Bram Stoker's book. The ruined abbey there makes a dramatic silhouette against a stormy evening sky.

North-west from York, there's Ripon. As far as I'm aware, the only thing recommending it is that it's the smallest cathedral city in Europe. North-west of Ripon, though, you get to Masham, and there's a nice little bistro in a brewery there, along with at least one hotel within staggering range.

From there, west takes you into the Yorkshire Dales, a region known to the locals and expatriates as God's Own Country. The rest of the planet, according to proud local talk, was just practice. This is the land of Emmerdale, Heartbeat and Wallace and Gromit's favourite cheese. It's also where you'll find: Malham Cove, a 300ft limestone cliff with two greasy marks where the Water Babies slid down to freedom and some lovely waterfalls and gorges nearby; the Buttertubs, a series of sinkholes in a pass; Cam Fell, which is surprisingly lonely for a country with our population density; the Tan Hill Inn, the highest pub in Britain, where the sheep come into the bar for a packet of crisps; the viaduct used in the Harry Potter films; Gaping Gill, a really big reminder of why you don't follow water downhill (there's a hole down there bigger than the aforementioned Gothic cathedral) and the original Three Peaks: Ingleborough Hill, Penn-y-Ghent and Whernside, usually attempted anti-clockwise from Horton-in-Ribblesdale so the long slog (110 magnetic) comes last; Aysgarth Falls; Castle Bolton; Bolton Abbey; Fountains Abbey and part of the Pennine Way. You can try to walk 27 Dales in one big phi-shape if you want, but set aside two weeks and be prepared for BOGS.

West of the Dales there's a bit of a gap, then you get to the Lake District, which may not be God's Own Country but is widely considered the most beautiful part of England. There's actually only one Lake there, the rest being Tarns, Meres and Waters, but whatever. Langdale and the peaks around it are popular with the fairly serious types (note: Dungeon Ghyll is a bit hairy, and you may prefer to take the next path east on the north side, which is far more sensible). Windermere in the SE is the longest lake, and it's crawling with rich types. In the SW, Wasdale has the deepest lake, Wastwater, the smallest church, as Wasdale Head, the wettest place, Sty Head Tarn (over 3 metres of rain per year!) and the highest point, Sca Fell Pike. In the NW, the Buttermere Valley's rather lovely, even if it can't claim any of those titles. To the north, Saddleback aka Blencathr has an arete i.e. knife-edge ridge with a rather grim distinction: about two-thirds of the fatalities recorded in the Cockermouth area Mountain Rescue log book were on that ridge ... or off it, if you know what I mean.

Southeast out of the Lakes, that "bit of a gap" has an intriguing geography for a certain kind of geek. Compare the rivers and coastline to the maps in The Lord Of The Rings and you may notice they're basically The Shire. That would make the Grey Havens the Lake District and the Vale of York Rhovannion. Middle Earth has no Yorkshire Dales, so all the Yorkshire Dales stereotypes (i.e. Hobbits) live in Lancashire instead.

Southeast again, south of the mess that is Leeds and Bradford (you've got to feel sorry for the Aire, flowing from Malhamdale into that!) you get to the Peak District, another popular outdoor area with a different character to the Dales and Lakes.

Southwest along the Pennines will bring you to the Welsh border, neatly bypassing Manchester (unless you're really keen to see Old Trafford) and Liverpool (unless you're really keen to see the Cavern Club), and I should ask someone from Wales to take over here but Wales is ... like the Yorkshire Dales only taller. Same dry-stone walls, same sort of people, same businesses, all kind of similar but they have whiter, rounder sheep. Yr Wyddfa, I think, is the proper name for the highest point in England and Wales combined, in Snowdonia. It's a bit touristed, but still good. Further south, Cadair Idris is wilder. On the culture side, Hay-on-Wye literary festival may be worth a look, if you pick the right time of year. One caveat for Wales: 3 metres of rain per year!

Further south than Wales, across the Bristol Channel (of Pobble fame), you come to the Southwest. They're almost as much a separate country as Scotland and Wales, and they have their own scenery with its own ponies. Dartmoor and Exmoor, if you want to check it out in advance. Plymouth had a sailing-ship-themed pub and restaurant last time I was there, with the rafters rigged like a square-rigged galleon and the waitresses dressed as pirates, carrying raspberry and Mars bar vodkas in their holsters and shot glasses in their bandoliers. The south-west coastal path's supposed to be a challenge ... but I've walked Austria, so I'm allowed to say "neener" to the south-west coastal path. Lizard Point and Land's End are places to say you've been, and there's some good surfing as long as you've got a good wetsuit.

Going north instead, you can get out of England (and maybe out of the EU) by crossing the border into Scotland. Gretna Green is in the west, famous due to being the easiest place for a young couple from England to get married in Scotland where they wouldn't need their parents' permission. Other than that, you get the Borders, then Glasgow and Edinburgh with a tiny gap between (and loads of cultural stuff in Edinburgh) then you're into William Wallace country around Stirling. Stirling University is the reason Exeter only claim to have the second nicest campus in Britain. North and west from Stirling, you get into the Highlands. It's heavy on the tourism up to Fort William, at the foot of Ben Nevis, the highest point in Britain. (side-trip west to Mallaig to stroke a ray's back in the big aquarium.) Beyond there, there's Kyle of Lochalsh and the Skye Bridge (wasn't there when I was a teen, had to get the ferry), that'll take you out to Skye for a small sum and let you come back for about 5 times as much. Skye's famous for hills, midges and one whisky. It also has ferries out to the Outer Hebrides, which are ... peaceful. Back on the mainland, north of Kyle of Lochalsh is where motorcycle heaven starts, touring the Highlands and the coast. The Shetlands and Orkneys to the north from the NE corner are supposed to be worth a visit ... in summer. All over Scotland, you get the distilleries. If you're into whisky, check out where it's made and sample some. 18-year-old single malts are quite something. Personally, I'd go for the very mild-mannered Glenmorangie or the honeyed Glenfiddich, with Glenlivet a close second behind Glenfiddich, but your tastes may differ. Main caveat for Scotland: midges. They're like mosquitoes, but small enough to crawl through the zip on a tent ... and they come in their thousands on still days in season. Check the local midge season before planning a visit.

(Slightly more to visit in the UK than Tower Bridge and the Giant's Causeway, eh?)
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Re: London to Rome Adventure

Postby luckyluke » Mon May 06, 2013 5:00 am

Wow - Dreaded Luggage that looks great! Thanks so much for the tips - I am going to England soon so will definitely check out some of the things you suggested.
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Re: London to Rome Adventure

Postby bgirl » Thu May 23, 2013 8:33 pm

Hey guys,
I just started a thread in the Departure Lounge for the June 24 London to Rome Adventure (EELR) I believe this is different from the London to Prague. Correct me if I'm wrong!
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Re: London to Rome Adventure

Postby traveltrevor » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:46 am

Hey, this tour does also sound like the perfect option for me - maybe we can team up? :D I'm thinking about starting it in July or August.
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Re: London to Rome Adventure

Postby gcc » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:13 pm

I just came off of the London to Rome adventure. It was great. It is the same as the London to Prague except some of us came home after leaving Rome and the rest continued on to Prague. It was a lot of walking and a lot of going from train to train. Be prepared to walk A LOT and PACK LIGHT!
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