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Trip to London, help needed!

Discussion in 'London UK' started by Mitt, Jan 29, 2004.

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  1. Mitt

    Mitt Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 1999
    I know about the difference in the DVD playing formats. But luckily if I see something I must have my brother works for a video company here that can burn the dvd onto one that will play here or however it works.

    Thanks for the tip on the store!

    But speaking of plastic, I know this may sound stupid but, I've heard you can use American Express cards there just as much as here, true?
     
  2. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Yes, AmEx is used quite a bit here. Also Visa and Mastercard as well. (I don't know if Forbidden Planet takes Amex, though. Most stores will take Visa and Mastercard). In addition, if you have a US bank ATM card that belongs to one of the major ATM
    groups (i.e. Cirrus, Maestro) you should be able to use it at machines with their symbols to withdraw British Pounds. Your bank will normally give you a good exchange rate when they convert the amount. You may incur a fee on this, so it is probably best to check with your bank before coming here.
     
  3. Mitt

    Mitt Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 1999
    My bank(As well as my parents) is actually a credit union for federal government workers. So I dunno if they have branches for us over there. ;) A friend who goes to London a couple of times a year always changes her money in the airport. But we got Mastercard and Visa as well.
     
  4. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    It's not so much the branch. Most banks belong to at least one ATM network so their customers can get cash at other banks in the same network. Cirrus is one of the big ones, as is Maestro, and I think Link is another. Normally if your card can be used in places within these networks it will have a logo on the front or back for valid networks. But since you are in a credit union, I don't know if the same thing applies. I know a friend of mine had problems when he came over. His bank card worked fine but his credit union card was useless. But if you have Visa/Mastercard you should be ok.
    I will say that the airport (at least here) is one of the worst places to exchange money - you rarely get a real good rate since the airport bureau-de-changes are the only choice at that point. If you are in a city in the US it might be possible to order some British pounds through a bank to have some before you come.
    Over here Thomas Cook Travels has currency desks in some of the banks for exchanges. If you have a travel agent for this trip you might ask him or her about exchanging money.
     
  5. Mitt

    Mitt Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 1999
    I don't think my ATM network is on any of those you mentioned, but I am not going to worry about it then.

    When my dad went to England he did order money through our bank. I'll do that again, thanks for the tip.

    Technically I live in a city. Although most people wouldn't have heard it so I say I am from the "town" ten miles away, Washington, D.C.
     
  6. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Another East-Coaster...I grew up in Connecticut. Have been to Washington DC a couple of times, but not recently.
     
  7. keithabbott

    keithabbott Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 1998
    Hi guys. I'm returning to London for I think two days sometime in May. Just thought I'd see if there's anything interesting going on in May Fan Force or non-Fan Force related for another Star Wars fan to enjoy. Maybe you guys would like to meet up? :)

    Keith
     
  8. keithabbott

    keithabbott Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 1998
    Just found out I'll be in London on the 9th and 10th of May. Probably not much going on for a Sunday but you guys got anything planned on the 9th? :)

    I'd bring my stormtrooper armor but well..that's a lot of luggage! :)

    Keith
     
  9. Yoshee

    Yoshee RSA FFUK/EUROPE, CR Emeritus: London star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 2002
    Hey there :)

    As far as i know there isn't anything planned as of yet, but i'm sure we could arrange something for then. :)
     
  10. Mitt

    Mitt Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 1999
    Pity I leave before the 9th I think. Be fun to meet you all though. Plus the added bonus of being in contact with other fan forces more often then my own. :D

    BTW, I figure summer is a big tourist time, but late April/early May should I really plan to have to fight the crowds at anything?
     
  11. keithabbott

    keithabbott Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 1998
    That would be awesome Yoshee. I might have a friend of mine drive into London too that day so maybe we could all do something entertaining in the afternoon. He's also a big Star Wars fan so it would work out perfect.

    Anyhow, Mitt I thought your nick sounded familiar. I'm down in Richmond 2 hours south of DC. Sort of part of the Richmond contingent fan base.

    Keith
     
  12. Mitt

    Mitt Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 1999
    I use to go to the D.C. Fan Force and I think there was talk of having a big Halloween party with Southern VA Fan Force. Not that I went though.

    Last night I dreamed I was in London, it was cool.
     
  13. keithabbott

    keithabbott Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 1998
    Better than my dream. Somehow an ex of mine popped into my head. I hadn't thought of her in years either. Weird.

    Anyhow, that Halloween thing must have been two years ago right? I organized a costume party/dance thing that didn't go well thanks to the sniper incident that night blocking all traffic south and north on 95. Only one DCer made it down.

    But I digress. :) So you think you might be in town the same time I'm there? sounds like you might not have permanent plans in place yet. I know mine are locked but it would be cool to have someone to hang out with for the two days I'm there in London.

    Keith
     
  14. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Mitt, the weekend of May 3 is a long weekend here in the UK. May 3 is a 'Bank Holiday' (which is what they call public holidays here). If you are around at that time you might encounter some crowds, especially if the weather is nice. If you are flying in that weekend or the Friday before the airport may be quite crowded as well. Other than that I think you will be OK
    crowd-wise.
     
  15. Mitt

    Mitt Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 1999
    I think I maybe be flying out around the bank holiday. (Overnight flights) What closes on a bank holiday? I think schools are and I'd expect banks would be. But, should I expect trouble getting a taxi or anything like that?
     
  16. ask-the-younglings

    ask-the-younglings Jedi Youngling star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 18, 2004
    There'll be no problems getting a taxi! Most shops will be open, restaurants, etc. etc.

    The service industry takes advantage of the fact that most people are on holiday to sell them stuff - you'll be fine!

    Banks will be closed, but there are atms everywhere, and you can pay by any major credit card just about anywhere.
     
  17. Rogue4809

    Rogue4809 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 2, 2003
    I'm traveling to London in early April too, and this thread has been very informative. But you missed two very important subjects: London night life; and where do USA fan meet UK fans?

     
  18. ask-the-younglings

    ask-the-younglings Jedi Youngling star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Night life? You're talking my language... tell me what you want from a night out, I'll give you the options available.

    Meet up with us lot? You are indeed brave... look out for meets I guess? Ask Yosh? Or the Younglings, they seem to know a lot.

    edit - find a missing planet they did
     
  19. keithabbott

    keithabbott Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 1998
    The question I have is..what do Londoners do on Sunday nights when they don't have to work? :) I'll probably be in bed early Monday night since I fly out on a Tuesday but Sunday night..I could do just about whatever is available so long as it's not too expensive.

    Keith
     
  20. Rogue4809

    Rogue4809 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 2, 2003
    Of particular interest would be a hot spot for the school age crowd - my daughter is 15. I know she would enjoy a London spot to hang out.

    As for meeting you guys - I'm a brave sort, and love meeting fans from all over.
     
  21. Stormtrooper_fan

    Stormtrooper_fan Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Speaking from personal experience Sunday nights are spent clubbing and pubbing (well they were when I was down there). It depends on what you like doing really though, if you can give us an idea if what you like we can recommend some stuff... do you like the Theatre etc?

    As for school age kids, what does your daughter like doing? It's a bit hard to recommend things randomly as what one person would like another probably wouldn't.

    I hope you all enjoy your time in London and our website will EVENTUALLY have some tourism ideas to help you guys out. Also, if you have any ideas of what you would find helpful on a tourism page I can put it together a little better than from an English persons point of view! :)

     
  22. Rogue4809

    Rogue4809 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 2, 2003
    Theatre suggestions would be great. I live in Chicago and have seen all the current "big" productions. I would be very interested in a suggestion for something small, or new.

    As for what my daughter and I would enjoy - It's a London vacation. We plan to try new things. As far as she is concerned, anything English is cool. Is there a good movie house, mabey playing old or forgien films - sorry, cinema.

    As for tourist info - there are plenty of good books out with "tourist" info. Off the beaten path, or specifically Star Wars focused sites would be great.

    Thanks for all the info - whatever you offer is great.
     
  23. Stormtrooper_fan

    Stormtrooper_fan Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Cool! I'll have a dig around, I'm not ACTUALLY from London myself but I am the London Webmistress so I need to find some tourism info for the site anyways so when I find some ideas I'll post them here for you too :)
     
  24. Imperial_Empire

    Imperial_Empire Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2004
    As for accomodation, check out the Generator youth hostel. Obviously it is cheaper than a hotel and you get to meet a lot of really interesting folk from around the world (mainly from Commonwealth, Europe & USA). There's quite a fun bar there with something happening every night like a quiz or other team competition games or pool tournament - that sortuv thing. It is very near to Russell Square tube station.
     
  25. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    [link=http://www.travelstay.com/]Budget hotels[/link]

    Tracy and I got an AWESOME Deal here.

    26 pounds a night for a single room with private toilet and shower in Padddington.

    The 'rack rate' (normal rates) were around 80 Pound a night for the same room. It REALLY pays to hunt around!
     
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