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Monday, September 14, 2009

Stuck in Stansted Airport - what to do?

Are you going to be stuck in Stansted Airport for most of the day? Is the connection times extremely bad? Well, don’t panic. There are plenty of things to do around Stansted airport. The fact that the airport itself lack most things that you expect from a major hub in a big city should not deter you from making the trip. If you don’t mind paying a few quid for the adventure of leaving the airport, the following are good options.

Tip 1: if you only have a few hours and don’t dare to venture out too far, walk to the SAS Radisson hotel and enjoy their buffet breakfast. The hotel itself is adjacent to the airport but you will still feel like you left the place. At least for an hour or two.

Tip 2 : if you have between 4-7 hours and really feel like you want to get away from the airport nonstop, then take a trip to Stansted Mountfichet. It is a small village only 2 miles from the airport. You can take either the train or the buss, do check for times before leaving as both runs no more than once per hour. It won’t take long before you reach the village and you are away from the airport. Stansted Mountfichet has an excellent museum, in fact it is like 3 museums in one. There is the House on the Hill Toy museum, which is the largest privately-owned toy museum in Europe. Let the toys take you back to your childhood and if you have children, they will love it. Before you enter the toy museum, there is a dinosaur encounter with a few famous dinosaurs . Then there is the Norman village and castle. All built up to show a what a Norman village would look like and with very informative talks and displays at each house or building. There are chickens, hens, deer and goats walking around the place which makes a nice little zoo for children. They have an excellent shop with fabulous goodies to eat for lunch.

Tip 3: if you have more or less the full day, why not make it into London? Stansted Airport are serviced by express trains that leaves every 15 minutes for London, and the journey takes about 45 minutes. If you aren’t in a rush and want to save some money, there is also the option of going by bus. The journey would take a minimum of 90 minutes, and depend on traffic. Once in London, you will probably have enough time to see a sight or two.

Tip 4: if an expensive journey in to London isn’t to you taste, why not go north to Cambridge instead? It is a picturesque university town, with a lot of sights. It is a smaller place, and so you will probably feel that you got more out of your day. Trains leaves for Cambridge frequently and takes less than 1 hour.

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