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huskerdan25

Currency for cruise around British Isles

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Hi everyone.  Our 8 day cruise around the British Isles that includes the optional Tattoo is coming up quickly (8/17).  We will be visiting Helier, Miflord Haven, Wales, Dublin, Ireland and Invergordon and Edinburgh Scotland.  Most of my expenses will be paid for via credit card but for smaller purchases with cash, will all we need to have is British Pounds or will we need Euros as well?  Also, Any recommendations on how much currency I should get for those who have done this cruise or something similar would be greatly appreciated.  We are going to London a week before the cruise that leaves our of Dover so we will definitely be getting a few hundred in British Pounds.  But will having just British Pounds be enough for cash purchases in Wales, Ireland and Scotland?

 

Thanks in advance for your input!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, huskerdan25 said:

Hi everyone.  Our 8 day cruise around the British Isles that includes the optional Tattoo is coming up quickly (8/17).  We will be visiting Helier, Miflord Haven, Wales, Dublin, Ireland and Invergordon and Edinburgh Scotland.  Most of my expenses will be paid for via credit card but for smaller purchases with cash, will all we need to have is British Pounds or will we need Euros as well?  Also, Any recommendations on how much currency I should get for those who have done this cruise or something similar would be greatly appreciated.  We are going to London a week before the cruise that leaves our of Dover so we will definitely be getting a few hundred in British Pounds.  But will having just British Pounds be enough for cash purchases in Wales, Ireland and Scotland?

 

Thanks in advance for your input!

Wales and Scotland both use Pounds. (They are part of the Great Britain.)

Edited by gnome12

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, huskerdan25 said:

 

If you’re going to Northern Ireland eg Belfast , you’ll use GB pounds there too. Part of UK of GB and NI. 

Also, St Helier, (Jersey), Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own  Sterling notes. Easiest to use CCs 😳😄

Edited by turnip eater

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53 minutes ago, turnip eater said:

Also, St Helier, (Jersey), Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own  Sterling notes. Easiest to use CCs 😳😄

But you can use British (Bank of England?) Sterling notes on a pound for pound basis. Just make sure you get your change in British Sterling. (I think that is what I learned here from previous discussions on this subject.) It isn't the same as trying to use pounds in Dublin. They might take them, but you aren't likely to get a good exchange rate.

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You've got the currency answer, but honestly you can use credit cards, including Apple Pay and Google Pay, almost everywhere for almost everything. Including those minor purchases. The days of needing hundreds of pounds or Euros are mostly gone. Pull a few out, but almost everyone will take your card, with no fumbling for coins and change. Always select the local currency and let your bank sort out the exchange. Bonus if you you can get a contactless card from your bank before traveling.

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Only be aware Amex is not universally acceptable in Europe.  Smaller shops also limit CC use to purchases over £5.

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We just did the British Isles cruise and found it extremely helpful to have some Euros and GBP with us. We used them for smaller purchases (keychains, magnets, bottles of water, etc.).  Also at some places you have to pay to use the public restrooms, like at the Stephen's Green shopping center in Dublin and in downtown Edinburgh. These are small amounts (think coins) and I doubt they take credit cards.  

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22 hours ago, turnip eater said:

If you’re going to Northern Ireland eg Belfast , you’ll use GB pounds there too. Part of UK of GB and NI. 

Also, St Helier, (Jersey), Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own  Sterling notes. Easiest to use CCs 😳😄

 Just make sure you don't get change in Jersey Scottish or Northern Irish local notes,as you will have difficulty using these outside there countries of issue

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1 hour ago, rocklinmom said:

We just did the British Isles cruise and found it extremely helpful to have some Euros and GBP with us. We used them for smaller purchases (keychains, magnets, bottles of water, etc.).  Also at some places you have to pay to use the public restrooms, like at the Stephen's Green shopping center in Dublin and in downtown Edinburgh. These are small amounts (think coins) and I doubt they take credit cards.  

 

Not the UK, but we were just in Amsterdam, and after buying water to break a 50 Euro note to pay for the toilet at the train station, I noticed a contactless payment reader on the turnstile. I'd still carry some small bills, and really coins for just that sort of thing, but the need for actual currency in much of Europe is really diminishing...

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On our trip last year, I needed pounds just once at a fish and chips place that did not take credit cards. I used cash several other times for small purchases, but that's the only place I remember that did not take credit cards.

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We are going in August too on Princess.  We will get our first round of cash at an ATM at Heathrow.  We have some private tours that want cash after the tour so we will need quite a bit of currency for those tours.  We have some private transportation set up too.  They will take credit cards, but there are 3 couples traveling so it will be difficult to use 3 different cards so will need cash for that.  Otherwise, all hotels, meals and purchases will be on our credit cards.  

 

Notify your credit card companies of when and where you will be traveling so they don't put a hold on any of them.  We each carry 2 different cards just in case one of us would loose a card to heaven forbid get one stolen.  At least we will have something to use.

 

Our plan is to use up all our GBP prior to going to Paris after our cruise.  Once in Paris it is Euros and we will keep any leftover as we will be going again in 2020.

 

Hope this helps a little

Cheryl

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22 minutes ago, cherylakers said:

We will get our first round of cash at an ATM at Heathrow.

Be very wary of ATM's at Heathrow or indeed any airport.  You would be better to wait until you can use an official bank ATM (hole in the wall or an ATM lobby) rather than the airport ATM which is probably connected to a third party and may make a charge for the withdrawal.  Also ensure that you do not accept their offer to charge you USD for your Sterling withdrawal as the exchange rate is abyssmal. 

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I bought something today that cost 84p and they said it was fine to pay with credit card.

 

Gnome 12, your answer is a wee bit confusing -       "But you can use British (Bank of England?) Sterling notes on a pound for pound basis. Just make sure you get your change in British Sterling". 

 

All the countries which make up the United Kingdom use sterling - pounds and pence. Scotland and Jersey (the island where St Helier is situated) have their own bank notes but the pound is the pound is the pound and of equal value wherever you are

 

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51 minutes ago, tartanexile81 said:

Gnome 12, your answer is a wee bit confusing -       "But you can use British (Bank of England?) Sterling notes on a pound for pound basis. Just make sure you get your change in British Sterling". 

 

All the countries which make up the United Kingdom use sterling - pounds and pence. Scotland and Jersey (the island where St Helier is situated) have their own bank notes but the pound is the pound is the pound and of equal value wherever you are

 

That is what I meant; I just wasn't sure how to word it. I know that you want the English(?) banknotes not the Scottish ones if you are going to be in London after, so you want to make sure that is what you get in change. I realize that a pound is a pound; but you need to make sure that your banknotes will be accepted at your next stop.

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7 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

That is what I meant; I just wasn't sure how to word it. I know that you want the English(?) banknotes not the Scottish ones if you are going to be in London after, so you want to make sure that is what you get in change. I realize that a pound is a pound; but you need to make sure that your banknotes will be accepted at your next stop.

 

I live in Edinburgh now and I'm Scottish but I lived in England for many years. I never had any trouble using my Scottish bank notes in England including in and around London. 

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1 hour ago, tartanexile81 said:

 

I live in Edinburgh now and I'm Scottish but I lived in England for many years. I never had any trouble using my Scottish bank notes in England including in and around London. 

I haven't been to London in over 20 years, and this will be my first trip to Scotland, so obviously I am only going by what I hear. It was here on these boards that I heard people say that trying to use Scottish bank notes in England could be a problem.

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21 hours ago, VMax1700 said:

Be very wary of ATM's at Heathrow or indeed any airport.  You would be better to wait until you can use an official bank ATM (hole in the wall or an ATM lobby) rather than the airport ATM which is probably connected to a third party and may make a charge for the withdrawal.  Also ensure that you do not accept their offer to charge you USD for your Sterling withdrawal as the exchange rate is abyssmal. 

 

21 hours ago, VMax1700 said:

Be very wary of ATM's at Heathrow or indeed any airport.  You would be better to wait until you can use an official bank ATM (hole in the wall or an ATM lobby) rather than the airport ATM which is probably connected to a third party and may make a charge for the withdrawal.  Also ensure that you do not accept their offer to charge you USD for your Sterling withdrawal as the exchange rate is abyssmal. 

Yes, but there are usually bank ATM's in airports.  We have always found one and have never had any trouble.  In Berlin Deutsche Bank and several ATM's, etc.  I have heard to always withdraw in their currency and let our bank do the exchange rate.  That makes sense.  We have a no fee checking account so we are not worried about fees either.  They reimburse for their fees and any ATM fees or foreign bank fees.  Thanks for the tips.

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2 hours ago, cherylakers said:

 

Yes, but there are usually bank ATM's in airports.  We have always found one and have never had any trouble.  In Berlin Deutsche Bank and several ATM's, etc.  I have heard to always withdraw in their currency and let our bank do the exchange rate.  That makes sense.  We have a no fee checking account so we are not worried about fees either.  They reimburse for their fees and any ATM fees or foreign bank fees.  Thanks for the tips.

 

The ATMs in the arrivals hall at Heathrow if memory serves (and also Paddington) are Travelex, not a bank. There may be bank ATMs at Heathrow, but I've never found one, and I've looked. When I've needed to, I've pulled a few pounds there, but normally wait until I'm in the city where there are abundant banks and ATMs. And on my most recent trips, I've been able to get by on plastic and Apple Pay.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, cherylakers said:

 

Yes, but there are usually bank ATM's in airports.  We have always found one and have never had any trouble.  In Berlin Deutsche Bank and several ATM's, etc. 

 

There seems to be a bit of a trend on this board for anecdotes that have no relation to the question asked 🤣

 

Whatever the situation in Berlin, I can assure you that ALL ATMs at Heathrow are operated by Travelex. 

 

However, I have read several reports recently on other travel boards that they no longer use Dynamic Currency Conversion for sterling withdrawals and that folk have got the same rate as later using bank ATMs. I have no way of testing that as a Brit without a foreign bank account, of course. 

Edited by Cotswold Eagle

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On 6/29/2019 at 2:17 PM, mapleleaves said:

I

On 7/9/2019 at 5:37 PM, tartanexile81 said:

 

I live in Edinburgh now and I'm Scottish but I lived in England for many years. I never had any trouble using my Scottish bank notes in England including in and around London. 

Hi there,

 

I'm asking for a group of 4 couples who will walk down the Royal Mile after visiting the Castle.  Would you be able to recommend a few restaurants where we can grab lunch that can handle a group of 8 walking in at once?  Thanks.  

 

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Does Belfast use GBP? Thanks 

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1 hour ago, RM said:

Does Belfast use GBP? Thanks 

Yes Belfast uses GBP. Even though they are in Northern Ireland they are part of UK. 

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Thank you all for your input.  I think we will go to a bank ATM in London nearest to your hotel to withdraw some cash but plan to put most of our expenditures on a major credit card.  I don't feel the need to purchase local currency prior to landing in London.

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