Half a year of living in Scotland has taught me one thing about travelling in Britain: it’s bloody expensive. Full stop. When you think about it: what expense can there be in taking a weekend away trip in the SAME country? Well, pretty much everything.
Last year I told Andrew that I really wanted to go to Loch Ness. Just for a weekend, do some hiking, see some monsters, you know, the usual. Andrew listened to me and laughed: darling, I’m afraid I can’t afford it. I looked at him from the height of my travel experience and wondered what on earth did he mean, how much could those hotels in the middle of nowhere be?
And then I started looking and understood what he meant: the prices somewhere near Loch Ness were on average £650 per NIGHT. Yikes! It is too much.
No, no, we didn’t give up and eventually, we found a b&b in a small town on the way back to Edinburgh, but the price shock wouldn’t let go. Everyone here confirmed, that yes indeed, nobody from Scotland normally has vacations in Scotland because it’s so expensive! Most of my friends based in England have never been to Scotland either. It’s cheaper to fly to Tenerife than to get to one of the Scottish islands. Local airlines simply have a monopoly and getting from Edinburgh to the Isle of Islay by plane would cost the same as getting to New York. How is it normal? Driving is also not so straightforward: in many areas, there are no roads, so instead of just driving diagonally you’ll have to make a huge loop. In this way what should have been a day trip becomes a long weeekend journey most part of which you spend on the road.
But I am, of course, on a mission to find an affordable solution to see this country.
When my old buddy invited me to Cornwall I was very excited but had no idea how to get to the very bottom of England. Andrew kept on suggesting a flight to Southampton as the easiest option, but it was also getting over the top expensive and time-consuming. After applying liza-search-system, I found a beautiful solution: I booked a flight from Edinburgh to Newquay (a town I had never heard of before, apparently it’s in Cornwall), spent a few days with friends, then got a train to London and should have flown back home. The entire journey turned out to be just £84. Unfortunately, I had to leave London a day earlier and book a last minute ticket. A plane was the first idea, but then I decided to check the trains. Voila! I guess I was lucky to get a Virgin train for the next morning for £50, from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley. Just 4,5h, no hassle – fantastic journey! Next time when I’m going to London I will take a train again, saves all the pain of the traffic and airport securities and delays and all that. Plus if you book in advance you can get tickets for ~ £20. Which is funny considering the fact that a ticket to the nearby Glasgow is always 13 pounds…
Anyway, what I’m saying is that Britain IS tricky to travel. But tricky doesn’t mean not possible. Give me a few more years and I’ll crack the code of travelling in the UK :)
If anybody knows how to find hotels cheaper than £650 per night let me know!
Have a great week <3
xx, love, Liza