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Cotswold Eagle

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About Cotswold Eagle

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Cotswolds, UK
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
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  1. It may help to have more details of your plan, and what you mean by ‘close’, but the obvious hotel that fits your criteria is the Sofitel at T5, which is attached to the terminal by a walkway. The railway and underground stations at T5 are beneath the terminal. See this useful page for information about other hotels near Heathrow, which will require transfer by bus or taxi (except the Thistle, where guests have access by the Heathrow Pod, a personal rapid transit system). https://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/heathrow_hotels.htm This page focuses on T5 options.
  2. I'd be a little sceptical of that list, at least two of them say they do welcome children on the booking site it directs you too. Eccleston Square and The Mandrake do not, however.
  3. £89 for one of four Park Plazas in London (County Hall, Waterloo, Riverside and Victoria) for May-September is a great deal, as you say. Has to be booked by midnight UK time tomorrow (Friday 26th). Westminster Bridge, which is often mentioned here, is not included, but County Hall is literally across the road. There are good deals on Thistle at the moment too - just over £100 (depending on dates) for Trafalgar Square, for example. I’m sure the same is true for some other brands. If there’s any chance you might need London accommodation, jump on some of these refundable deal
  4. Reports that P&O intend to offer cruises to nowhere around the British Isles this summer, starting shortly after the U.K. health restrictions are hoped to end in June. No ports of call, leave from Southampton for 3/4 or 7 day trips. Only open to passengers with full vaccinations, and some restrictions including masks will be in place. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/mar/17/po-to-restart-uk-cruises-this-summer-but-only-for-vaccinated-passengers
  5. For what it’s worth, the current U.K. roadmap foresees accommodation (such has B&Bs, hotels) and indoor hospitality (pubs, restaurants) reopening in Step 3, which is not before 17 May, and pretty much all restrictions being lifted in Step 4, not before 21 June. This is, of course, subject to continued decline in hospitalisation and deaths, and continuing success of vaccinations. But if all goes well, we should be fully open by the time of your cruise. I can’t speak for the Netherlands, who are still at he highest level of alert and I am not aware of an equivalent roadma
  6. That rate (around GBP 120) will be about right for current circumstances. England is still under a national stay at home order, hotels are only open for essential business travel and offering extremely limited services. It is planned that the economy will be fully open by September, so rates and circumstances will be very different. That said, because of the uncertainty, there are good fully refundable rates to be had, so no harm jumping on anything that offers a good price in September now.
  7. Globaliser (I have assumed the same one) is posting on a frequent flyer forum. To be fair, not much to say round here since March!
  8. Sorry, this was incorrect of me - 10 year old will not need an Oyster, the discount is for those in the 11-15 age bracket.
  9. It’s hard to spot the questions in you long posts sometimes! You may have difficulty with a £50 note in some smaller stores or stalls, so best to check first (occasionally there will be signs displayed), but it shouldn’t be a problem. A new £50 note is due to be issued next year but your old one will still be valid for a while. Some larger stores and tourist shops will take Euros, but probably at a very poor exchange rate. Don’t count on it, though.
  10. The fee is now £5, plus postage. You can now pay for London Walks by card - the guides carry a contactless reader. The walks are limited to 15 people and can be now pre-booked. You get the same card and the discount can be applied by a member of staff, as I said earlier (this is a simple fraud control, obviously). https://visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk/help/travelling-with-children/
  11. You will have to see a member of staff to get the a Young Visitor Discount applied to the Oyster for the 10 year old. Everything else can be done in advance or at ticket machines at any tube station. You’ll need them set up before you step on a bus. But I’m sure a member of staff will help you get it all sorted, if you need help. Millions of people do this every year - don’t overthink it 😀 And I’m sure they’ll advise you NOT to punch a hole in them (there’s a wire aerial running round the edge). They used to supply free little wallets to keep them in, I don’t know if that’s still t
  12. There was a reference in another thread to the UK’s VAT Retail Export scheme, which allows for refunds of VAT to be arranged at the airport on goods purchased in the UK and being exported in luggage to non-EU countries. The scheme is being abolished at the end of this year as part of a tax- and duty-free shopping shake up as the United Kingdom leaves EU arrangements. Tax free sales of things like electronics and clothing at airports are also being abolished. Goods can still be bought VAT-free if exported direct to an overseas address, but will of course be subject to loca
  13. Not after the end of this year, I’m afraid. The refund on exit scheme is being abolished. Goods shipped direct will still be exempt. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/duty-free-extended-to-the-eu-from-january-2021
  14. To add a note of realism here, all advice above is based on “normal” circumstances and at the moment it’s hard to see life returning to that for a very long time. Personally, I would not be confident that international travel, in particular cruising, will be happening on a large scale at all next year, so all planning can only be provisional. Make sure any bookings are flexible or preferably refundable!
  15. Absolutely right, and the trend away from cash has dramatically increased as the government encouraged the use of contactless payments when shops reopened after initial lockdown. More places are card-only than before. Street vendors and market stalls increasingly have a card/contactless solution. Even buskers do. I don’t know about the souvenir stalls in London, but I would imagine they might, if they have survived. A small amount of cash, or access via ATMs, in case is probably best advice.
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