Best and worst British airports

SEAMAI

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I hardly ever fly, the last foreign trip I took was to France years and years ago.

I find all these jet-setting people most confusing. When did it become normal to have several foreign holidays a year?

I'm quite content with the odd rainy week in Blackpool!
You should really pay us a state visit Blokey, as I said to you before, we'll treat you like a queen :D
 


Blokesbloke

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You should really pay us a state visit Blokey, as I said to you before, we'll treat you like a queen :D
I really do want to but I would be wary of admitting to it on P.ie.

I have genuine concerns about being doxxed on here. Most people here are sound but there are some very unsavoury types I wouldn't particularly want to know my identity.
 

Blokesbloke

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Do you take the waters at Bath, before a lark in Leamington Spa?
I adore Bath!

You can drink the waters at Leamington but not bathe in them.

The "spa" even had a cafe which sells BOTTLED WATER - from elsewhere! I left a very pointed feedback card for them!

Such typically British incompetence and nonsense!
 

Deadlock

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Bath is simply beautiful, and for me sums up so much about Cornwall and the West Country.

I'm assuming the no bathing at Leamington is because that is the water that is sold for consumption?

I adore Bath!

You can drink the waters at Leamington but not bathe in them.

The "spa" even had a cafe which sells BOTTLED WATER - from elsewhere! I left a very pointed feedback card for them!

Such typically British incompetence and nonsense!
 

dizillusioned

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ANY British airport is a nightmare... Luton smells of piss and is filthy... Heathrow is just a terrible airport full stop, everyone has an attitude inside in that airport...(an most cannot speak english).... England is just an awful place to go to full stop.
 

nakatomi

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Worst for me by a mile was Luton, the guy manning the parking camera took pleasure in telling me that my sister would be fined illegally stopping to let me out of the car.

Best would be Southend, or London city. Southend is particularly nice, although getting to Liverpool street station for the rail link is a bit tortuous.
 

Blokesbloke

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Bath is simply beautiful, and for me sums up so much about Cornwall and the West Country.

I'm assuming the no bathing at Leamington is because that is the water that is sold for consumption?
Can't be as you can do both - in Bath you can buy the water to drink, they just use one feed for drinking and one for bathing.

Leamington really doesn't value its spa water or history at all; why they bother still calling themselves "Leamington Spa" I don't know, especially as Bath doesn't bother but actually does use their spa water.

You can actually drink the Leamington spa water for free - there's an outside fountain so you just help yourself - but that's it.

It's nice that it's free, of course, but it's right outside a "spa" building and I just think it's a shame they can't at least serve it in the cafe.

Bath is much more precious about their water - if you're a local resident you can get the water for free, but if not it's 50p a glass or something.

You can only get it in the Pump Room, which isn't open all the time and you get in the way of people having cream teas so it's a bit awkward.

Mind you last time I went they asked if I was a resident and when I said no they gave it to me free anyway, but that may be down to my natural charm, or because they felt sorry for me. Probably the latter.

It certainly works, because the first time I went to Bath I had the most appalling man-flu coming on, I had a really bad cough and I had such a temperature on my first night I slept on top of the quilt and since the B&B had the extremely rare facility of air-con I had it blasting over me all night - they probably cursed me for the electric bill!

Anyway the next day I felt so bad I was wondering whether I should go home, but I took two glasses of the water and by the next day I was almost completely better!

I've been three times now. A lovely place but sadly the last time I felt too lonely - it's quite a romantic city and I went to a twilight session at the spa and realised I was the only person in the place alone - everyone else were couples or at least groups of friends - and I felt so tragic I cried into my healthy salad in the restaurant!
 
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Deadlock

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Mind you last time I went they asked if I was a resident and when I said no they gave it to me free anyway, but that may be down to my natural charm, or because they felt sorry for me. Probably the latter.

It certainly works, because the first time I went to Bath I had the most appalling man-flu coming on, I had a really bad cough and I had such a temperature on my first night I slept on top on the quilt and since the B&B had the extremely rare facilities of air-con I had it blasting over me all night - they probably cursed me for the electric bill!

Anyway the next day I felt so bad I was wondering whether I should go home, but I took two glasses of the water and by the next day I was almost completely better!

I've been three times now. A lovely place but sadly the last time I felt too lonely - it's quite a romantic city and I went to a twilight session at the spa and realised I was the only person in the place alone - everyone else were couples or at least groups of friends - and I felt so tragic I cried into my healthy salad in the restaurant!
Great post - I guess that is why it was once called taking the cure?
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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You should really pay us a state visit Blokey, as I said to you before, we'll treat you like a queen
I cannot entirely deny he has a point.

Example: should I take it into my head to visit my daughter and grandchildren where the Juras overlook the Rhine I'd have to choose my date and time to suit easyJet. I'd then have to entrain to a regional airport (probably Manchester): taxi to station — ½ hour including standing around; two hours on train; hike around Manchester Airport and a couple more hours waiting time; at least ½ hour being self-loading freight; 1¾ - 2 hours flight time; an hour or so to clear passport control; however long transport takes from airport to town. So, all in not less than an eight hour journey.

Alternatively, that ½ hour to the station, two hours by East Coast Main Line to Kings Cross, nip through the underpass to Euston, ½ hour check-in, 3 hours Eurostar to Paris Nord, time-out for decent French lunch and Metro to Gare de Lyon, three hours on TGV-Lyria to Basel or Zurich, cuddles at the station. About two hours longer than flying, but decent seats, no problems with size of carry-on baggage, worthwhile views all the way. No kids kicking the back of one's seat.

Yes, second version may cost a bit more (the man-in-seat-61 reckons if I can book ahead, the return fares could be >£100). On the other hand, however skimped that Parisian lunch (which I'm already salivating over, contemplating a bottle of Bordeaux on the side), it cannot be worse than the buffed-up greasy-spoon pizza joints at airports.
 

Blokesbloke

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Great post - I guess that is why it was once called taking the cure?
Oh indeed people used to believe it cured all sorts of things - there's a building there which is still called the Royal Mineral Hospital or something.

It was used as a treatment when they didn't have much else.

It probably doesn't really work (Jane Austen expressed her doubts through one of her characters though she was a bit biased as though Bath goes on about her living there, which she did, she actually hated it!), but I have to say I've never had such an awful cold with a proper temperature and hacking cough which got better so quickly!

Interestingly when it comes to curing waters, my best mate is a Scouser and he took me on a day trip to Liverpool once. We had a look round the main Anglican cathedral there and in the grounds there was a tiny little stone set into the wall which had a trickle of water coming from it and a notice said it used to be considered healing water.

It'd take you a while to fill up from it but I took a quick slurp!
 
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Deadlock

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Oh indeed people used to believe it cured all sorts of things - there's a building there which is still called the Royal Mineral Hospital or something.

It was used as a treatment when they didn't have much else.

It probably doesn't really work (Jane Austen expressed her doubts through one of her characters though she was a bit biased as though Bath goes on about her living there, which she did, she actually hated it!), but I have to say I've never had such an awful cold with a proper temperature and hacking cough which got better so quickly!

Interestingly when it comes to curing waters, my best mate is a Scouser and he took me on a day trip there once. We had a look round the main Anglican catherdral there and in the grounds there was a tiny little stone set into the wall which had a trickle of water coming from it and a notice said it used to be considered healing water.

It'd take you a while to fill up from it but I took a quick slurp!
There's an interesting parallel with holy wells here - geothermal heat distinctly lacking. Most in my part of the world are too small for bathing - we used to bathe in a few as kids - but I doubt any children these days do it!

Inevitably, discussions such as this one we're having always make me recalll the film The Road to Wellville - set in a later era, and the idiosyncrasies somewhat well heeled people used to put up with for the sakes of their health. Sometimes the cure was just worse than the condition it was supposed to alleviate!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_to_Wellville_(film)
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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I adore Bath!

You can drink the waters at Leamington but not bathe in them.

The "spa" even had a cafe which sells BOTTLED WATER - from elsewhere! I left a very pointed feedback card for them!

Such typically British incompetence and nonsense!
Whereas Harrogate spa apparently has three types of water. As I recall, with the "basic", one taking the cure swallows the dose down, and walks back to one's hotel. With the chalybeate water, one scampers back to the hotel. But before the sulphur water one arranges to have a taxi waiting outside the spa for the quickest get-away. Not surprisingly, it was a Harrogate doctor who first determined the effects of adrenaline.

I gather that the latest EU regulations allow one only to sniff the odour.
 

A Voice

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Sorry, thought this thread was Best and Worst British Airport Songs.

[video=youtube;PCYhqYfs8Po]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCYhqYfs8Po[/video]
 

CookieMonster

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There's this recent Which report rating British airports.

For those who use London airports the ranking is:
1 London Southend 84%
2 London City 68%
3 Heathrow Terminal 5 61%
4 Heathrow Terminal 2 57%
5 Gatwick South Terminal 52%
6 Heathrow Terminal 3 52%
7 Heathrow Terminal 4 52%
8 Gatwick North Terminal 51%
9 London Stansted 38%
10 London Luton 29%​

Not surprisingly to me, and not without reason, Luton is bottom of that heap, with a 29% customer satisfaction. I know, from bitter experience, that Luton's "car-park" was a horrendous cinder-track, and the trek from check-in to EasyJet seemed to stretch across the odd English county. Yes, I know the owners (the borough council) are trying to improve the link to the main-line rail and are generally polishing-the-jobbie, but it is currently a bit of a hole.

Equally unsurprisingly (and based upon just one experience) Southend scores well.

On another page of the Which survey, the two Belfast airports score 60% (City) and 53% (International).

The experiences and distances of others may differ. For all its essential trivia, I'd see here a more profitable topic than p.ie's current obsessions with minor British royals or various flavours of anti-semitism.
Luton is fine if you are flying through the airport, rather than to or from it. It simply isn't an option when flying to or from London. Stansted is fine, again as long as you're not actually planning to go to London itself. The worst thing about Stansted is the people you encounter there. But that's just package holiday flights in general. They have improved the offering inside the airport greatly in recent times.

London City is a super airport, but it gets very crowded and that's usually when flights are cancelled or delayed... which is often enough.
 

Blokesbloke

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Whereas Harrogate spa apparently has three types of water. As I recall, with the "basic", one taking the cure swallows the dose down, and walks back to one's hotel. With the chalybeate water, one scampers back to the hotel. But before the sulphur water one arranges to have a taxi waiting outside the spa for the quickest get-away. Not surprisingly, it was a Harrogate doctor who first determined the effects of adrenaline.

I gather that the latest EU regulations allow one only to sniff the odour.
Fancy!

Actually I am not clear if any other UK spa town still lets you bathe. Bath is the only one I am aware of, and I think they boast they are the only ones which are geothermally heated.

I think Droitwich were planning something, I could get there more easily than Bath (I don't drive so I have to get two trains changing at Bristol from Brum) so if they do open a bathing spa I'd go there.

Not naturally heated but shure they can stick some in a kettle I expect.
 

toconn

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Not sure you would enjoy drinking the spa water in Leamington , tastes awful.
 

toconn

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As per previous comments you'd be better bathing in it than drinking it . That said they closed the baths years ago . There is a tap outside the Pinp Rooms if you want to try it .
 

Blokesbloke

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Not sure you would enjoy drinking the spa water in Leamington , tastes awful.
It all tastes awful, you're not supposed to enjoy it - it's medicine!

Nice to bathe in though!

I think it was Dickens which said the Bath spa water tasted like "warm flat irons" which is a good description.
 


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