Thursday, February 13, 2014

Travelling on Thursday - Getting to Kettlewell

All of our recent trips to England have been from Chicago and we've always taken U. S. Airways.  Chicago --> Philadelphia --> overnight flight to Manchester arriving in the early morning which is a perfect itinerary.  This time, however, we will most likely be flying from the West Coast - ugh, that's going to be a long haul.  We still want to fly overnight, but we'll be flying to London this time, so I did a little playing around with schedules (using similar dates in December 2014). I've always used or for flying and I'm not surprised that both of them have the same flights, same schedules, same prices.  Interestingly enough, the cheapest flight is on Icelandair so that would be a first for us.  The price is a mind-boggling $1081 EACH and booking directly with Icelandair doesn't change the price.  U. S. Airways or United, always preferable because we have frequent flyer accounts with them, are higher up the price scale at $1700 and $1400 respectively.  I think we'll go with Icelandair, thank you very much.

The flight arrives in London (Gatwick, not Heathrow) a little later than I'd like, at 11:15am so it's a quick hop over to the British Rail (although it seems to be National Rail now) site to check rail schedules.  We take possession of the holiday cottage on Saturday so our plan is to leave Seattle on Thursday afternoon, and overnight to Reykjavik (in this case) arriving in England on Friday morning.  Then it's a hop over to get on the train and take the scenic, stress-free (for Vic, no driving on the motorway) route to Skipton where we will overnight at a hotel and then, rental car in hand, we'll drive to Kettlewell.

A quick Google search "How to get from Gatwick Airport to King's Cross Station" yielded an interesting chat thread with the following answers:

1) Take a Gatwick Express to Victoria, then take the Victoria tube line to King's Cross. Duration = 51 minutes.
2) Take First Capital Connect to St. Pancras and then walk to King's Cross (it's literally next door). Duration = 56 minutes.
3) Take a Southern Trains train to Victoria, then take the Victoria tube line to Kings Cross. Duration = 55 minutes.

Option #1 was offered but strongly discouraged because the person posting said Gatwick Express was "a tourist rip-off".  Thanks for the warning.  If, as recommended, we allow three hours from our time of arrival, we can take a train at around 2:30pm from Gatwick to St. Pancras and walk to King's Cross.  A quick search on Mapquest UK did in fact reveal that St. Pancras and King's Cross are literally next door - 1 minute from each other.

A little farther research just to make sure, "Can you walk from St. Pancras Station to King's Cross Station?" yielded this great site with step by step (literally!) directions.  One only has to hope that it's not raining when we arrive!

The only problem with this itinerary is that it gets us to our ultimate destination, Skipton, at about 7:30pm and I really wanted to arrive in the afternoon.  I'll have to play around with the schedules to see if I can get a bit better plan.

So, there we go, Seattle --> Skipton.

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