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Advice for getting from Newcastle to the site?
Topic Started: Mar 1 2013, 11:15 PM (1,002 Views)
meghanb
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Okay...I now know my flight is supposed to arrive in Newcastle at 10:30 on Sunday morning (Mar 31), so I guess the bus option directly from Newcastle is not possible...

So if I've understood this all correctly, it sounds like my best option is to take the (Carlisle) train to Hexham, then get one of the afternoon runs of the AD122 bus directly to Hedley. Correct?

If so, I'll go online to see if I can buy an Anytime Day train ticket in advance (maybe can print it here at home so that I won't have to worry about the ticket machines). I need to clarify something though...I can get this train right at the airport? (I thought I had to get from the airport to MetroCenter first, and then get a train from Metro to Hexham...)
Also, you've said that you pay for the AD122 bus when you board - do you happen to know whether this must be exact change, or will they make change, if needed?

Thanks again!
(oh - in response to the question about where I'm from in Canada, I'm from a rather small village in Ontario!)

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Badger
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Meghan

You have it pretty much figured out.

From the airport you take the Metro line to Newcastle Central station. Metro runs pretty often, every 15 to 20 min if I recall rightly.

At Newcastle Central you take a train west, towards Carlisle. Buy a ticket for Hexham. If you can buy ahead it is cheaper, but seems a bother. Get off train at Hexham. Rather nice little market town, worth a stroll if you are not overly burdened or too tired. There is a big Tesco store nearby if you need anything.

The AD 122 bus stops at the train station but I find it a nicer wait at the other stop, Hexam tourism center. Just a couple hundred yards away. But your choice. The drivers often buzz right by the Hexham train station but stop a while at the Visitors Center.

AD122 bus drivers will make change. Be sure to specify Vindolanda. The East and West bound buses all look the same to me and come in on the same road.

This drops you in the Vindolanda car park on the west end of the site. Best to go to the ticket area and say you are an excavator. Then you can walk through the site to the far end where the Hedley is. Or, if you prefer, there is a road that runs along the north side of the site. Does not look like much but it is the Roman Stanegate road! Takes you right to the Hedley.

Enjoy! Hope it warms up.

Badger

oh, to clarify something. The Metro line runs from the airport to the central train station. It goes some other places too. You do not want to go to the Metro Center. If I recall that is a shopping center on the west side of Newcastle. You will go through it on the train to Hexham.
Edited by Badger, Mar 19 2013, 11:50 PM.
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Justin-T
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Meghan, not much to add to Badger's post.

One potential issue is using a credit card in the ticket machine itself. In the UK (and most of Europe I believe) they have a chip in them matched to a PIN number. US (and therefore, possibly Canadian) cards don't have one. To pick up your tickets that you've bought beforehand online you have to put the same card into the machine, but if it doesn't have a chip it will reject it. Never fear though, you just go to a ticket window and the human being there will be able to swipe your card and hand you the tickets.

As far as getting change, I'm sure the driver will have some, but won't be pleased if you present them a large denomination bill - so I'd say a 20 pound note might be OK, but a 50 or 100 might be declined...!

The bus stop at Hexham station I've used a couple of times without problem, just make sure you are standing at the right stop. If you're worried about that part we can mark up a satellite image with big red crosses for the stop at the station and Visitor Centre...

The Newcastle-Vindolanda trip is beautiful, and will be a nice introduction to Britain, hopefully you won't be feeling so jet-lagged you can actually enjoy the view!
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Badger
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Justin-T

The credit card chip thing is sort of hit and miss. I have had a few glitches and so carry two different cards. They do have chips and being mindful of such things, I carry them in scanner-proof foil pockets. My wife makes vague allusions to my next purchase being some sort of foil covered hat to keep the Martian spy helicopters from reading my thoughts!

But to get a little closer to a useful topic, if you are traveling far afield be sure to carry a back up credit card option, to not lose cards or passport, and to let your credit card company know approximately when and where you will be. Makes life so much easier.

Badger

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Justin-T
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The chip&PIN thing can be annoying, but I've found on several recent trips to the UK that even without one you can still use it everywhere, but you may need to help/remind the person in the shop that they will need to swipe the card.

And, I want to underline Badger's comment about phoning your credit card company before you leave (number on back of your card) and telling them when you'll be in the UK, otherwise it will probably be rejected. No fun when that happens...!
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Malise McGuire
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The Stanegate at Vindolanda Westgate looked rather impassable last week, certainly to road traffic. End of last June it suffered a lot of damage to the surface during a really bad storm and it didn't look much better last Friday, so do watch your step if you go down this route. Easy to twist your ankles on it.
Edited by Malise McGuire, Mar 21 2013, 08:45 AM.
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Badger
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Hoping Meghanb made it without incident! B)

Badger
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