We took a fantastic trip back in October. We went to London, Paris, and Scotland. We did this trip in a pretty short amount of time, but we have a lot of inside tips and tricks and links that can help you get the most out of your London, Paris, and Scotland trip.
This all came about because Chris is a Titans fan and found out about the NFL experience in London where the Titans were playing the Chargers and the NFL Experience helps plan your trip. Chris had never been to London before, and he and Di decided to add on a few more days to go to Paris and Scotland too.
This is an in depth episode where we walk you through our amazing trip, and we share tips and things that will help you get the most out of a similar trip. We also include all kinds of links and resources that can help with your planning and with getting ideas on how to make your trip your own. We also throw in some great pro tips to avoid things like jet lag.
[02:03] Chris is a Titans fan. The Titans had a game in London against the Chargers. Chris thought it would be great to go to the game. Diane had been to London before, but Chris hadn't.
[02:55] The NFL experience is all about seeing your team play. It's a great way to get tickets, but they also help coordinate the hotels and help plan things. It's a little more expensive, but we had a great time. The event was amazing.
[04:12] We also added some extra days for Paris and Scotland.
[04:22] The NFL experience was 5 days. You get a couple days before the game, then see the game and head home.
[04:31] We got there a day ahead. We also didn't want to have jet lag.
[05:03] We started exploring options. We even considered Ireland, but decided to check out Scotland.
[05:34] Paris was also only a Chunnel ride away.
[06:38] We flew into Heathrow overnight which was a genius idea with helping to combat jet lag. Pro tip: take an overnight trip and don't mess up your sleep patterns.
[07:50] Arriving refreshed will allow you to hit the ground running.
[08:13] From Indianapolis to Heathrow, we had a layover in Chicago and we have the Admiral Club. If you can, get a day pass for the Admiral Club if you have a layover.
[09:46] We stayed in two different places in London. We arrived a day early and stayed at the Hilton on Park Lane for the first night. Then with the NFL Experience we stayed at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane.
[10:20] The Park was right across the street from Buckingham Palace. We also used points at the Hilton and it was fabulous. As diamond members, we had our first afternoon tea.
[11:30] tea is a wonderful experience with tea and pastries. We watched the double decker buses and it was great.
[11:55] Then we began exploring the neighborhood.
[12:07] Chris found a place on Yelp. He found Burger & Lobster.
[14:24] We joined the NFL Experience at the Sheraton. We were all rested, and everyone else was tired. If your room isn't ready, you can leave your bags at the desk.
[15:34] We kicked things off with a Double Decker bus tour. We saw a lot of the city and got to know people in the group. We also had happy hour with the group. They feed you and give you drinks.
[16:27] You have options of things to do, but you don't have to do everything, so you can enjoy down time.
[16:49] We ended up at the London Eye on the Thames. Our London Eye tour was a champagne tour. There was a big cart full of champagne.
[19:44] The second day we saw the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
[22:09] We went to the Barrowboy & Banker Pub Fan Rally where we got to meet some of the players.
[24:19] We also went on a dinner cruise on the Thames (The Dixie Harmony). There was music and drinks, and we went up and down the river and they opened up the Tower Bridge.
[27:03] The next day was game day at Wembley Stadium. All of the teams were represented, because this is a huge event for Europe.
[29:02] It was like a cross between a rugby match and an NFL game. People were dressed in crazy costumes and were like fanatics.
[30:55] We took the Eurostar Chunnel to Paris We were only two or three hours away from Paris. Chris wanted to see the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa.
[33:00] The train was clean and comfortable and it really flies.
[33:46] Pro tips: Give yourself time for Chunnel security and have the things you need. We left our belongings in London, which kept us moving quickly.
[35:01] They took the Hop-on-Hop Off bus, it's an easy mode of transportation, plus you can sightsee. They hopped off at the Louvre and took the skip the line small group tour. We went straight to the front of the line. Another awesome perk was skipping the bathroom line.
[40:59] Chris did research on. There are seven major pieces of art. He found great reviews on his short museum tour where they got to see the main pieces. It was fast, but not rushed.
[43:22] We got back on the Hop-on-Hop off bus and saw Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe. We got to see a lot of things while staying on the bus.
[45:11] There were tons of cafes. We ate at Five Guys.
[46:50] We got back on the train and went back to London.
[47:16] We found a local train to Scotland. Chris wanted to see St. Andrews, go to a scotch distillery, he also wanted to drive on the left side of the road.
[49:45] The train was the best option from London to Edinburgh.
[50:54] We stayed at the Hilton in Edinburgh. The castle was amazing. We walked around town and went up to the castle.
[52:54] We had tacos in Scotland. Chris almost bought a kilt. We discovered the Whisky Experience.
[54:42] They talk you through the five regions of scotch which are Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Campbeltown, and Islay. You learn how scotch is made. We get to try the regional whiskeys.
[57:44] We had pizza at a place that gives you a blanket. We went to a local pub. There was a Scottish jam session.
[01:02:08] We had to rent a car to go to St. Andrews. The steering wheel was on the right side. There are also a lot of roundabouts.
[01:05:58] St. Andrews is a public golf course. We took a tour of the grounds and heard about the history of how the course came about.
[01:09:18] Scotland reminded Di of Ireland. Driving through the countryside was a great experience. It's beautiful and gorgeous during the day, but scary at night.
[01:10:54] We stayed at a gorgeous boutique hotel called the Braemar Hotel – Craigendarroch Suites (Hilton). It was a suite with an old castle type of feel.
[01:11:52] There are little squirrel figurines all over the property, and they all wear different outfits.
[01:12:59] We stopped at the Glenfiddich Distillery. There were woolly Scottish cows that are super cute.
[01:15:39] The Scottish countryside is amazing.
[01:17:41] We took an Uber to the Doubletree Hotel for and early morning airport run. Always give yourself plenty of time.
Links and Resources:
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