Nov-Dec 2014 London and Ireland

London-Ireland November-December 2014

This post contains a series of 28 articles related to our trip to London and my week in Ireland in late November-early December 2014. My ticket was SFO-London-Dublin with British Airways and included RyanAir from Dublin back to London Gatwick. My wife Kelley flew American Airlines from SFO to London Heathrow. I stayed two nights in Athlone, Ireland before flying to London for seven nights and then back to Dublin for four nights.

Planning Phase

These articles relate to buying an airline ticket in October during a low fare sale from San Francisco to Dublin, Ireland when tickets were around $500. Once a great airfare is detected, the clock ticks with little knowledge of how long the deal will last. Deciding to spend $2,000 for a trip to Europe is one of the thrills and headaches of travel. And $2,000 is an economy budget week for London.

Kelley had an $800 American Airlines voucher and her ticket was $835 for San Francisco to London. I took advantage of the low Ireland airfare to stay in Ireland a couple of nights before Kelley arrived in London during Thanksgiving week and I stayed four nights in Dublin after a week in London.

The articles below cover the planning period of our trip from the day the low airfares to Dublin were published to my ticket purchase and hotel planning. I bought tickets about five weeks before travel.

One of my primary objectives with hotels in London and Ireland was earning two free nights from IHG Into the Nights promotion by staying in an IHG brand in two different countries outside the USA. The other main objective was taking advantage of the Club Carlson Visa card member benefit of one free night on stays of two nights or more in London. I booked three 2-night stays in London at The Mayfair, Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street and Radisson Edwardian Mercer Street. I also used Club Carlson’s 2-for-1 weekend rate for two Radisson Blu hotels in Ireland.

SFO-DUB under $500, SFO-Europe under $750 (Oct 14, 2014)

Finding Dublin Deep in the Heart of Taxes (Oct 16, 2014)

London hotel rates and competitive set hotel pricing (Oct 19, 2014)

Comparing hotel reward value in London among different hotel programs (Oct 20, 2014)

London with Club Carlson points and Club Carlson credit card (Oct 20, 2014)

Geography for 18 Club Carlson hotels in London (Oct 21, 2014)

Club Carlson London hotels TripAdvisor rankings (Oct 22, 2014)

Club Carlson Gold elite 2-for-1 rates scarce availability in London and Dublin (Nov 3, 2014)

Where the hell is Athlone, Ireland and why am I planning to go there? (Nov 12, 2014)

Trip Report


British Airways LAX-LHR A380-800 in World Traveller Class (Nov 21, 2014)

A day in Athlone, Ireland (Nov 22, 2014)

Irish dancers at Radisson Blu Athlone, Ireland (Nov 23, 2014). Hotel review and this article includes a visit to Seans Bar, Ireland’s oldest pub according to Guinness World Records.

Estate Life at Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Dublin (Dec 13, 2014) Hotel Review.

Dublin footsteps of Bono, Michael Collins and Oliver Hardy (Dec 1, 2014) A day hike from Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel in south Dublin along the coast to Dalkey, Ireland.

James Joyce slept here and Ulysses begins here in Sandycove, County Dublin (Dec 2, 2014) Part 2 of coast walk.

Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk in County Wicklow Ireland (Dec 2, 2014) One of Ireland’s most popular coast walks.

Bono and Enya’s neighborhood Killiney, County Dublin (Dec 14, 2014) Photos of the coastal village of Killiney, the so-called Beverly Hills of Ireland.

Dalkey, South of Dublin


Holiday Inn London Gatwick for IHG Into the Nights (Nov 24, 2014)

Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street London convenient for LHR arrival and departure(Nov 25, 2014). Hotel review.

Live Well for Less at The May Fair London (Nov 26, 2014) Grocery shopping in London.

Ritzy enough for The May Fair London (Dec 4, 2014) Hotel review.

Radisson Blu Bloomsbury Street London location by British Museum (Dec 6, 2014) Hotel review.

My Square Foot London Edition (Nov 27, 2014) Descriptions of small rooms in London hotels with focus on Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street.

Gatwick to Heathrow in 3 hours for £8.10 with Oyster card (Nov 30, 2014)

London Gatwick Airport ATM Bad Exchange Rates (Dec 12, 2014)

London touring

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain for the public Hyde Park London (Dec 7, 2014)

St. Paul’s Cathedral London on Paddington Trail (Dec 11, 2014)

Canals of Paddington London

Can London teach America art tourism? (Dec 16, 2014) Piece about public art displays in London with London buses and Paddington Bear temproary exhibits.