Travelling to UK with stop over in Iceland

posted 2 years ago in Travel
Post # 2
Member
1286 posts
Bumble bee

Iceland: Reykjavik is seen in one day. it’s nice little city. blue lagoon is amazing, geysir is touristy but weirdly exciting. I would also recommend a day trip of hiking to the volcanoes. on the mountains there are natural jacuzzis that are very nice.

UK: London is my favourite city to travel. there is everything you can imagine. closeish to London is Canterbury in Kent which is a nice little old city with a lot of history and nice to walk around. Richmond in London is a nice place if you want something less busy. 

Post # 3
Member
6291 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

djbeats :  I would stay in London for the UK part as from there you have a number of options easily reachable by train eg:

-Brighton: traditional English seaside town, also lots of quirky shops and some good restaurants. 

-Bath: lovely city with, of course, the Roman Baths. 

-Windsor: makes a nice day trip, some cute pubs, the castle, and the river. 

All of these are within 2 hours of the city centre, so easily accessible for a day trip. 

Post # 4
Member
2064 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

djbeats :  Iceland I don’t think you need long in the city. The golden circle should be doable in a few days. Some people don’t like to visit the golden circle as it’s too touristy but I think it gives a wonderful view of the beauty of Iceland. Plus there’s a reason it attracts so many visitors.

UK – staying in London might be more expensive. Personally I think there’s so much more to our little country than just London. My favourite UK city is York which is in the north of the country. It’s got a lot of touristy things, some shops and I think it’s very quaint. Within the wider county of Yorkshire there are some beautiful walks and scenery. Another firm favourite is Bath, a beautiful city with so much history. The Lake District and Peak District (both in the north) are stunning with some beautiful hikes. The Cotswolds are also stunning and your English countryside – it can be expensive though – that’s in the south. Wales is stunning generally, Snowdonia is beautiful for hiking and there’s a beautiful coastline in wales (although might be wet and windy depending on when you visit). For Scotland, Edinburgh is fantastic, loads of history there, lots of things to explore in the city. I’d fly into London and spend a couple of days exploring the capital, then hire a car and drive to other places, working south to north. You should be able to get a flight to London most UK airports and if you rent a car with a national chain (hertz, enterprise) then you can take your car back to any branch – check which Ines are based at airports too. For accommodation heck out booking.com I’ve never had a bad room through them yet and we’ve stayed in some beautiful places for a fraction of the cost. National chain hotels that can be quite cheap if you book in advance are ibis, premier inn, Britannia inns, travelodge and best western.

Post # 5
Member
43 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2018

If you’d consider skipping Iceland I would recommend northern Norway instead. Less expensive although still not cheap by any means. Not sure how flight costs would work out for you. Look into places like Tromso and Lofoten. Iceland is incredibly overrated in my opinion. Norway will not disappoint.

Post # 6
Member
1286 posts
Bumble bee

Beck Lowe :  I found Norway to be more expensive than Iceland 😁

Lake district in the UK is amazing. It feels nothing like England. I really liked Newcastle. In the summer Cornwall is great. But I did fall in love with Kent so it’s nice go around there 😊

Post # 7
Member
916 posts
Busy bee

I was just in Iceland last week!

If you do the blue lagoon go first thing in the mornign when they open at 8am straight from the airport. We rented a car and drove to the southern region Vik for a day which is 2 hours outside of the city. Very beautiful waterfalls, a glacier, and the black sand beach. 

Post # 8
Member
30 posts
Newbee

I’ve traveled to Iceland for about 3 weeks, and I have found that prices can vary greatly. I am assuming that the flights you are talking about are WoW Air, with luggage restriction?

 

Getting out of the airport is very expensive in Iceland. Renting cars is moderately priced, depending on your standards. We rented from a company called ‘Sad Cars’, who lived up to their name! To their credit, it was not very expensive. Restaurants are $$$, but you can do some grocery shopping in ‘Bonus’, which will save you quite a fair amount. Airbnbs are affordable. Reykjavik is rather small, and you could easily do it all in one day. No need for a hop-on-hop-off. 

I did not do the Blue Lagoon as it was SO expensive to 1) get there, 2) entry fees, 3) other fees (locker, bathrobe, etc), 4) food. There are so many great public areas for bathing. If you’re athletic, there is a place in Hveragerdi (about 1h drive from the capital) where you can walk 2h in the mountain, and find hot springs to bathe in! Much more private and fun. Also, Blue Lagoon is man-made, a fact I did not know at first. 

The golden circle can be seen within a day if you are going at a leasurely pace. Iceland can be a very expensive place, but you can probably shave 30-50% of the cost if you do airbnb (you get a kitchen) with some grocery shopping, use the public pools (they’re great!), and do outdoors activities. 

Post # 9
Member
1552 posts
Bumble bee

How long would you have in the UK? If its just a couple days then base yourself in London but if its around a week or more spend a few nights in London before exploring other areas. Great places nearish London are: Bath, Salisbury, Stratford-upon-avon, The cotswolds, Lacock (Harry potter was also filmed here) and Avebury. You can actually do Salisbury, Avebury and Lacock as day trips from London. 

Post # 10
Member
14970 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Iceland is amaaazing!!!  Hands down one of our favorite places to this day.  Here’s a recap I did a few years ago: https://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/iceland-picture-recap/

With 3 days, I’d do 1 night (the last day so you can fly out easily) in Reykjavik, and then the other 2 nights near the Golden Circle and exploring that.  Iceland is really about it’s natural beauty, so I woudln’t spend too much time in the city.

No specific places in London, but as long as your near city center and near a metro, you can get anywhere easily.  We stayed a little further away to stay in budget a block from the Lambeth North metro and it was perfect.

Post # 11
Member
604 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

Seconding the Hveragerdi hot springs! It’s an easy hour hike past all this bubbling, steaming landscape and sooo relaxing and peaceful in the stream. Plus, it’s free! 

I agree you can knock out Reykjavik in a day. We stayed overnight before leaving for the country, the nightlife/live music scene is cool and artsy, and those late night hotdogs were worth the hype!

We went snorkeling at Silfra in Thingvellir. It was pricey ($95 USD) but sooooo incredible!! Like floating over a canyon, looking down and watching a rockslide occur in slow motion.  

Iceland has a rideshare site, where we posted our itinerary (South coast) and met up with some cool Polish travelers to share the cost of the rental car, I highly recommend as it was so fun! It’s a very popular and typical thing to do over there… environmentally conscious and not at all creepy. If we’d had more time I wish we could’ve seen a glacier. 

Check out iheartreykjavik.net. The site author made a bunch of road trip maps with all the stops and restaurants you’d want to visit! 

Post # 12
Member
917 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

djbeats :  We just did the UK and Iceland for our honeymoon this summer. Iceland is SO expensive, at least for us lol. But it is seriously beautiful.

We really enjoyed the Golden Circle area, and I reccomend Flúðir for a beautiful place to stay and the Secret Lagoon that is apparently almost as awesome as the Blue Lagoon, and a whole lot cheaper. We didn’t actually make it to the Blue Lagoon, because it is actually an hour or so out of Reykjavik and cost way too much to get back out there. 

Also, if you’re going to rent a car, I’d drive south a bit and check out Vik and Seljalandsfoss. Beautiful waterfalls and black sand beaches, definitely worth the short drive.

Would you be flying into Keflavik? That’s actually about an hour out of Reykjavik, so just be aware that the bus to get you into the city will be about $90, unless you rent a car. We didn’t do our research enough and ended up a bit shocked with the extra cost.

As far as England, London really is great. We also enjoyed going south to Canterbury and Dover, though I’m not sure you would need to spend the night there. It’s a pretty easy day trip by train or bus. I think Wales is beautiful as well, Cardiff and Swansea are not too far from London and make beautiful places to stay. You could go up north a bit more and see some amazing scenery as well.

In Scotland, Edinburgh and Stirling were our absolute favorites. We also really loved hiking along Handrian’s wall between Corbridge and Hexham, it wasn’t a really tough hike (and we are not really hiking people), but it was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. 

Post # 15
Member
2920 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

We’ve been to England a few times and I have to say that London was not my favorite. We stayed a couple of nights on our way into/out of the country, at hotels in London, and did a few touristy things, but we were more into seeing old world stuff like castles, vineyards, and cathedrals. If you can figure out the kinds of things you want to do on holiday, you could probably rent a flat for a week and do day trips from a central location. We did that and it worked out so well for us. But if you’re super into cities and shopping and fancy restaurants, London or another English city might be the way to go!

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