Guest sarahsmartiepants

My trip to the UK

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    Guest sarahsmartiepants

    I just got back from a very short 2 weeks in the Ukand thought I would share my views....

    Changi airport WOW! It really inspired me to visit Singapore. What a fantastic calm place!

     

    Next stop Heathrow, what a s*** hole! What a welcome to the UK!

     

    Weather felt warmer than I expected wore t shirt the whole time, even though it was only between 18 and 23 when I was there, inside the house was warmer than I remember, slept with only a sheet covering me.

     

    Shopping, how disapointing, nothing took my eye much not even in past favourite matalan and primark, so I thought I would go and see waht all the Next fuss was about ( was getting some perfume for a client). That didnt inspire me and the prices were much more than I would have expected, ( which is obviously why I never shopped there in the first palce)

     

    Food shopping, seemed cheaper than I remember, milk def was 2p less! I dont know if its cheaper across the board but the offers def make it cheaper than it was 3 1/2 yrs ago! It is definatly chaeper than food here In Adl. I dont think the cheaper red meat and petrol here would even balance that out, how cheap toiletries are in Uk compared to here ...truely shocking!!

     

    Roads are tiny and cramped, I thought Aussie drivers were bad but there they are not much better, except they do it all faster! Uk drivers just have a bit more curtoesy (SP?) than aussies

     

    On the whole people smile less there, and seem in far more of a hurry. One women in morissons didnt even look at me when she told me how much my shopping was!

     

    Yep I am glad to be back, but then I have never been unhappy here. It was nice to catch up with friends and family especially my 3 nephews I havent met! But I was glad to get to Heathrow event though it was a dump!

     

    Even better to get back to Adl, especially with my Q jumping Australian "E passport"!!

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    I just got back from a very short 2 weeks in the Ukand thought I would share my views....

    Changi airport WOW! It really inspired me to visit Singapore. What a fantastic calm place!

     

    Next stop Heathrow, what a s*** hole! What a welcome to the UK!

     

    Weather felt warmer than I expected wore t shirt the whole time, even though it was only between 18 and 23 when I was there, inside the house was warmer than I remember, slept with only a sheet covering me.

     

    Shopping, how disapointing, nothing took my eye much not even in past favourite matalan and primark, so I thought I would go and see waht all the Next fuss was about ( was getting some perfume for a client). That didnt inspire me and the prices were much more than I would have expected, ( which is obviously why I never shopped there in the first palce)

     

    Food shopping, seemed cheaper than I remember, milk def was 2p less! I dont know if its cheaper across the board but the offers def make it cheaper than it was 3 1/2 yrs ago! It is definatly chaeper than food here In Adl. I dont think the cheaper red meat and petrol here would even balance that out, how cheap toiletries are in Uk compared to here ...truely shocking!!

     

    Roads are tiny and cramped, I thought Aussie drivers were bad but there they are not much better, except they do it all faster! Uk drivers just have a bit more curtoesy (SP?) than aussies

     

    On the whole people smile less there, and seem in far more of a hurry. One women in morissons didnt even look at me when she told me how much my shopping was!

     

    Yep I am glad to be back, but then I have never been unhappy here. It was nice to catch up with friends and family especially my 3 nephews I havent met! But I was glad to get to Heathrow event though it was a dump!

     

    Even better to get back to Adl, especially with my Q jumping Australian "E passport"!!

     

    great post, informative and not much yUK bashing to be seen, some people will be happy...:D

     

    We really enjoyed our 16hrs in Changi, we had the tour of the city and it is a truly beautiful mutli cultural place...

     

    Welcome home Sarah....

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    Wow, I can't wait to see how much the country has changed. I know I will be disappointed with things but I'm getting pretty excited now.

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    Guest kangomik

    Changi is wonderful.

     

    Glad to see you enjoyed the trip

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    Guest Guest75
    Changi is wonderful.

     

     

    Yup it is- I'm here (or there) now.

    T3 added since my last trip:)

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    Thx for posting Sarah. I'm looking forward to our trip back next week to be honest & yes I did shop in Next & George plus Tesco, didn't get much to fit me properly in Primark & Matalan hahaha....but then given the weight I've piled on since living here I will probably end up in that bloody big shop EVANS - not funny !!!

     

    We fly with Cathay via Hong Kong, not hijacking Sarah's thread but has anyone got any views on this flight?

     

    Will post myself in Sept when we get back.

     

    PS must have been brilliant to meet your nephews at last xx

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    Guest Nicky&Andy

    well done sarah , that was a damm near perfect description, i'd never been to heathrow before our recci and i was totally shocked at how horrible it was , what a relief to land in singapore, glad you enjoyed catching up with family

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    Guest cazzie
    Thx for posting Sarah. I'm looking forward to our trip back next week to be honest & yes I did shop in Next & George plus Tesco, didn't get much to fit me properly in Primark & Matalan hahaha....but then given the weight I've piled on since living here I will probably end up in that bloody big shop EVANS - not funny !!!

     

    We fly with Cathay via Hong Kong, not hijacking Sarah's thread but has anyone got any views on this flight?

     

    Will post myself in Sept when we get back.

     

    PS must have been brilliant to meet your nephews at last xx

     

    Sarah,

    Glad you had a great time in the UK - we have just got back today and had a fabulous time too.

    Angela, I hope you have a great time too. We flew to Melbourne which was a surprise as it is not mentioned in the ticketing, then HK with Cathay Pacific and can say that it was really good overall. We opted for the 'bland' food option and this meant that we got our food before anyone else! The service was efficient and friendly but there weren't enough toilets and always a queue. You don't get a toothbrush package with the first leg - shame! There seemed to be plenty of legroom in sardine class too which is great for Bill and I as we are tall.

    Have a brilliant time - I can't wait to go back again as three weeks went so quickly.

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    Even better to get back to Adl, especially with my Q jumping Australian "E passport"!!

     

    My hubby was wondering this very thing - if we have a visa stamp in our Passport can we queue jump?

     

    Glad your happy and back in Adelaide. I can't wait to get over there. :-)

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    Guest sarahsmartiepants

    No sorry, mine is an "E" Australian passport, if you have an english one with a visa in it you have to queue.

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    Guest cazzie

    Like SSP, we are just back from a 3 week holiday in the Uk and I thought I'd share my views. I agree with SSP on Heathrow - it really is a dump compared to foreign airports. While there were plenty of cigarette bins outside the airport, we couldn't find a single rubbish bin and like other people, left our plastic bottles next to the bin. Hong Kong airport was lovely - very sleek and well made - unlike Heathrow with its wires hanging from the ceiling and rubbish toilets. It's terrible that LHR is the first stop for foreigners visiting England.

    Like SSP, I also felt disappointed with the shopping; I missed Tesco and Next lots when I first arrived here, but they definitely did not excite! Next seemed way too expensive. I did buy a belt in the sale and guess where it was made - China! I was longing for Waitrose New York vanilla cheesecake but found Morrison's own brand even better.

    What I loved though, was the English countryside - truly beautiful. My mum lives in a lovely old village and it was fab being in such lush surroundings with ancient houses and churches. Adelaide seemed so plain in comparison on the drive from the airport to Seacliff.

    The driving in the UK seems insanely fast after slowing down in SA, everyone definitely seems to be in far too much of a rush, so SA driving is better except for the courtesy. It was so refreshing for people to wait to let me out and acknowledge me with a wave if I let them out, something that doesn't happen much in SA which is ironic considering the driving is slower here and that the Aussies are supposedly more laid back.

    Unlike SSP - I am not crazy about being back here, but maybe I will change my mind when I walk along the beach later. Seeing family and friends was brilliant and leaving my mum was particularly hard. I can't wait to go back again.

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    That's the same as us Cazzie, ADE-MEL-HK, coming back we are direct to ADE......we have provisionally booked 4 seats together, but subject to any airline changes (bugger) hopefully we will check in with plenty of time & get the seats we want. I just hope there is enough inflight entertainment for the kids, thats my biggest worry, but we will manage ...you have to really lol xx

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    Guest moonraker1959
    Thx for posting Sarah. I'm looking forward to our trip back next week to be honest & yes I did shop in Next & George plus Tesco, didn't get much to fit me properly in Primark & Matalan hahaha....but then given the weight I've piled on since living here I will probably end up in that bloody big shop EVANS - not funny !!!

     

    We fly with Cathay via Hong Kong, not hijacking Sarah's thread but has anyone got any views on this flight?

     

    Will post myself in Sept when we get back.

     

    PS must have been brilliant to meet your nephews at last xx

    We recently flew back to SA from Heathrow (return)via HK with CP!I was very impressed actually with the overall service!Food was good,staff were courteous and helpful,no queues for the dunnies,and wow what a fantastic music selection to choose from!I had taken my own,but after flicking through several genres of music,did'nt even have to resort to my own!Would definately fly them again!Re Heathrow:Can someone please tell me what the problem is exactly?We fly from there quite often and have noticed nothing in particular thats bad.Infact having flown around the world,Heathrow,I think is a pretty good airport in all.Its always been clean,check in is really quick,the shops are pretty standard for an airport,people move through the airport quite fast so whats the problem?:confused:

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    Guest cazzie
    We recently flew back to SA from Heathrow (return)via HK with CP!I was very impressed actually with the overall service!Food was good,staff were courteous and helpful,no queues for the dunnies,and wow what a fantastic music selection to choose from!I had taken my own,but after flicking through several genres of music,did'nt even have to resort to my own!Would definately fly them again!Re Heathrow:Can someone please tell me what the problem is exactly?We fly from there quite often and have noticed nothing in particular thats bad.Infact having flown around the world,Heathrow,I think is a pretty good airport in all.Its always been clean,check in is really quick,the shops are pretty standard for an airport,people move through the airport quite fast so whats the problem?:confused:

    Hi Moonraker,

    I guess the negativity regarding LHR is down to the experience on the day which may then compare unfavourably to the other airports. Our experience was not good: firstly, we waited in the Cathay Pacific (airline of the year 2009) queue for ten minutes and then saw the CP baggage drop desk further away (we had booked in online). As the queue we were in was seemingly not moving (many people were disgruntled!), we went to the smaller queue baggage drop desk. After waiting ten minutes there, a CP staffmember approached the rest of us in this queue and said they were now closing this desk and we had to join the original queue - which was now very long! So we were not too happy by this stage! Queueing took an age and as we were waiting we looked up at the ceiling which had uncovered pipes/wire channels (unsure of terminology) and looked unsightly. The toilets were not clean, there was a great puddle on the floor and no loo roll!! Foreign airports always seem to have immaculate toilets with an attendant and clean as you go policy which is great. As I said previously, there were no bins outside either. Compared to HK and Adelaide, we didn't think it represented the UK very positively. Changhi airport is also fantastic and has all facilities and LHR is usually depicted negatively in the UK papers, so it's not imagined. Anyway, that's just my experience and hopefully on my next journey, the experience of Heathrow will be much improved. Glad your experience of Heathrow was positive though.

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    Guest sarahsmartiepants

    Just thought I would add to this post, I spent yesterday morning at Marion with my daughter. I noticed the summer stuff is coming in now. While I was in the uk I went shopping with my friend and her daughter (who is friends with mine).

    While we were there my friends daughter bought a dress, which in many variations I saw here in Target! All the new arrival clothes in Target were the same as the ones I had just seen in the UK, so to any one who thinks we are behind in fashion, we are not!(unless you count the season, but there is no point in getting the winter stuff they are getting now)

    I think the biggest thing I learnt, was I obviously still had the rosy glasses on where quality and cheapness of clothes in the uk were concerned!

    I came away most dissapointed, I got a couple of plain t shirts for work in Peacocks pre sale price £6, I dont pay $12 for one in what I would call equivilant work t shirt here..I usually buy them in big dun for $8 (its all I deserve as I get bleach and tint on everything!)

    My only bargains were skirts from, dare I say, it M&S £12 each!! That was the only shop that impressed me clotheswise! I only ever went to marks with tunnel vision to the bras! I always had the thought that M&S was where my mum bought me horrible clothes in the 70s and your friends took the piss!:biglaugh:That was an eye opener!

    I will stay firm though underwear in uk is cheaper, as are toiletries and trainers and general food other than red meat and petrol!

    sarah

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    Toiletries definitely are more expensive here, having worked for Boots in England for 20 yrs on all brands of health & beauty, without a doubt, they do hike up the prices here.....you never know if Boots ever sorted out the logistics of shipping costs they may even get to Oz - now that would be fab lol !!

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    Like SSP, we are just back from a 3 week holiday in the Uk and I thought I'd share my views. I agree with SSP on Heathrow - it really is a dump compared to foreign airports. While there were plenty of cigarette bins outside the airport, we couldn't find a single rubbish bin and like other people, left our plastic bottles next to the bin.

     

    The reason they have no bins @ HR is due to security and bombs etc etc, at Adelaide you have to be screened to get to departures whereas at HR you dnt from what i can remember, so at HR you can access most areas without being checked..

     

    A heaps good idea Adelaide of you ask me....

     

     

    HG

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    I buy most of my toiletries now over here from places such as Cheap as Chips, Cunnos and the Warehouse. I know they might not always have the latest brands, but I stocked up yesterday on the conditioner my daughter likes - I think its the Sunsilk one specifically for blonde hair which they don't seem to sell in Coles etc any more - for $1 each. They also had Tresemme (sp?) for $5 for a big bottle of shampoo, and I was told (by someone in Coles actually!) that this is good stuff, so yes, it is expensive in the mainstream shops, but keep your eyes open and don't be too proud to go in the cheapo shops and it sometimes pays off! Someone will probably tell me the stuff in there is all watered down, out of date, or just a copy of the proper stuff, but I'm not enough of a Princess to know the difference so it suits me (sir!)

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    There are many problems with Heathrow (terminal 3). I'm sure terminals 4 and 5 are probably better. They have just announced a total refit of terminal 2.

     

    The check in area is usually packed, as lots of people seem to bring their whole family along with them to say goodbye. However last time we flew we were late checking in with Malaysian (stuck in a traffic jam on the M25) and we just sailed through, no queues, very good service. The trick is to go through security into the departures area as soon as possible to get away from all the crowds. Once there the shops are fine and it is pretty much like any other airport.

     

    Arriving at Heathrow (T3) can be a very depressing experience. There is usually a long cold walk to baggage reclaim, which resembles a multi storey carpark with low concrete ceilings and all the carpets are looking old and tired. The passport control hall is huge and usually packed, with long queues (but nobody there to manage them). Even if you are British you are in a queue with all the rest of the EU, last time we arrived on a Friday evening it was packed and I almost had to jostle in the queue with all the young thrusting executives back after a week working in Europe and Europeans over for a weekend in London (not easy with 2 young very tired and jetlagged children).

     

    On the other hand, Stansted Airport is really nice. When you arrive there everything is light and spacious and new and it gives a really good impression to overseas visitors. That is what is so annoying about Heathrow, that it doesn't seem to be trying to make people feel welcome.

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    Toiletries definitely are more expensive here, having worked for Boots in England for 20 yrs on all brands of health & beauty, without a doubt, they do hike up the prices here.....you never know if Boots ever sorted out the logistics of shipping costs they may even get to Oz - now that would be fab lol !!

     

    Hi there

    I understand that Boots products were imported into Oz until fairly recently but for some reason they were stopped. A couple of pharmacies over here in NZ used to stock all the Boots stuff then closed down (it was an ozzie chain). There is one shop here that stocks some Boots stuff still - I bought a large jar of Botanicals Body Butter the other day - $8nz ($6.50AU) . It is brilliant! I'm not one for harping on about stuff I miss from the UK but it is good stuff. Ill def. stock up before we come to Adelaide next year.

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    Guest sarahsmartiepants
    The reason they have no bins @ HR is due to security and bombs etc etc, at Adelaide you have to be screened to get to departures whereas at HR you dnt from what i can remember, so at HR you can access most areas without being checked..

     

    A heaps good idea Adelaide of you ask me....

     

     

    HG

    I am confused Heaps, you say at HR you dont get screened to go to departures, you do have to be screened to go to all departures form HR even domestic as you do here. Are you confusing the fact that at ADL anyone can go to departures even if they are not flying and see someone off at the gate (unless it is international). There is 2 screenings at ADL, 1 for domestic which everyone, even non flyers can go through then the one at the international gate which only flyers can go through.

    The screening part at HR was the nightmare part, queuing in front of us were about 20 (wont say what nationallity) who were still hugging and saying goodbye to 2 people they were holding up the queue and generally getting in the way, then to make matters worse they tried to exit the queue when they could go no further:arghh:.

    Arriving at t3 HR is a disgrace IMO, check in there has been re fitted since I was last there and not too bad, the departure lounge is not too bad, but surely it would make sence for the arrival hall to look inviting!

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    I am confused Heaps, you say at HR you dont get screened to go to departures, you do have to be screened to go to all departures form HR even domestic as you do here. Are you confusing the fact that at ADL anyone can go to departures even if they are not flying and see someone off at the gate (unless it is international). There is 2 screenings at ADL, 1 for domestic which everyone, even non flyers can go through then the one at the international gate which only flyers can go through.

    The screening part at HR was the nightmare part, queuing in front of us were about 20 (wont say what nationallity) who were still hugging and saying goodbye to 2 people they were holding up the queue and generally getting in the way, then to make matters worse they tried to exit the queue when they could go no further:arghh:.

    Arriving at t3 HR is a disgrace IMO, check in there has been re fitted since I was last there and not too bad, the departure lounge is not too bad, but surely it would make sence for the arrival hall to look inviting!

     

    What i am saying is to go anywhere in ADL apart from downstairs you get screened.....whereas from my experiences in yUK airports you can rock up and go viewng planes, have a beer etc etc and not get checked at any point.....to get any where near the planes at ADL you gotta remove all your metal stuff and get xrayed...

     

    It may have changed since my time back there....

     

    HG

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    Guest sarahsmartiepants
    What i am saying is to go anywhere in ADL apart from downstairs you get screened.....whereas from my experiences in yUK airports you can rock up and go viewng planes, have a beer etc etc and not get checked at any point.....to get any where near the planes at ADL you gotta remove all your metal stuff and get xrayed...

     

    It may have changed since my time back there....

     

    HG

    Ah I am with you now! Yes there is far more to "do" landside in other airports, shops bars etc. Where as Oz airports have less landside, mainly check-in, the other stuff is airside, and you get screened to go there! Then there is second screening for international flights, much better!!

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