I would like to share my experience with applying visa to the UK and the trip itself.
During summer 2013, my friend who is living in the UK asking me to visit her, so I said, why not?
She made an invitation letter for me while I prepared all the required documents to be submitted for the visa application and booked the flight ticket. The process supposed not to be complicated but since I live in Trondheim, I had to go to Oslo or Stockholm in order to take the biometric data. I submitted my visa application online and traveled to Oslo to have my biometric data taken.
The following is the overview of how much money I spent to apply for UK visa for 2 person (me and my son).
– Application fee : EUR 100/person (x2)
– Biometric : EUR 178.94/person (x2)
– Post office : EUR 48 (delivered in 1 week)
Transport to Trd-Oslo-Trd (1st):
– Train Trd – Oslo : EUR 202.2
– Bus Oslo – Trd : EUR 72.4
I got the decision for UK visa 2 weeks after they received the document. But, only me who got the visa and they rejected my son’s visa application. It seemed that I made a mistake when I submit the application. I supposed to use the form for the special visitor for my son and submitted the document in one envelope instead of two separate envelopes. After the rejection, I still have 1 month left before the travelling date, so I decided not to give up and submitted the second application for my son. I had to travel to Oslo again and had the biometric data re-taken for my son. This time, I choose the option to have the document being sent by the biometric clinic office to make it faster. And voila, they approved my son’s visa just 1 week before our travelling date 🙂
The second application, I have to pay the following amount:
– Application fee : EUR 100/person (x1)
– Biometric : EUR 178.94/person (x1)
– DHL : EUR 60.34 (delivered in 1 night)
Transport to Trd-Oslo-Trd (2nd):
– Train Trd-Oslo-Trd : EUR 167.6
I spent EUR 1387 in total just for visa application.
Total fee spent for visa application:
– Visa = EUR 278.94/person (x3) = 836.82
– Delivery = EUR 108.34
– Transport = EUR 442.2
– TOTAL = EUR 1387.36 EUR
Flight ticket return (TRD-LONDOn-TRD) for 2 = EUR 302
Comparing the flight ticket with the cost to apply for a visa, which has 6 months validity, it can be seen that the visa application is way too expensive.
For the accommodation, I did not need to pay for the hotel, since I stayed with my friend 🙂
We visited London from 8th to 12th October 2013. I bought a non direct flight since it was cheap, and I had to fly to Oslo first before continue flying to London Heathrow.
The following is the flight duration from Trondheim – Oslo – London:
Trondheim – Oslo (55 menit)
Oslo – London (2 hours 20 menit)
Prior to travelling to London, I made my travel itinerary based on tripomatic. For the tube/train and bus ticket to go around London, I bought an oystercard at the ticket booth in the station or people can also buy it in the newspaper stores.
We stayed at my friend’s apartment which is located in Surbiton (south west London) and it took 20-30 minutes by train to London. On our first day, we took the train to Waterloo station and walked to Waterloo bridge then continued walking to Victoria Embankment and Cleopatra’s needle.
We continued walking to Somerset house and bought the ticket to watch Lion King theatrical for the night.
We walked to Covent garden and continued walking to Travalgar square and visited the National Gallery, which is located at Trafalgar square, to see the collection of paints and arts.
The walking continued to admiralty arch which is located near Trafalgar square and we then walked to the House of Parliament where the Big Ben located. Along the street, I took a picture at Scotland place which is the “Ministry of Magic – Visitor Entrance” in Harry Potter’s movie (The Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows). Then across the street, we stopped at the horse guards parade to take some pictures then continued walking to 10 Downing street, which is the headquarters of the Her Majesty’s Government and the official residence (10 Downing Street). From there, we continued walking to House of Parliament and enjoying the view of Big Ben and London eye.
We continued walking (yes, we walked all day) to Buckingham Palace. The changing guards at the Buckingham palace is taken at specific time but we did not see it. We just walked around the area and then walked to Piccadilly circus and had lunch at the China town which is located near Piccadilly circus. After having lunch, we continued walking to Regent street where all the big and famous stores located. We entered most of the stores but my son was so happy in Hamleys and we spent a bit longer time there. After walking around the regent street we then took the metro to the Lyceum theater to watch the Lion King. The theater ticket was 58.2 £/person but it’s worth it. The show finished at around 10 pm and we took the train back to Surbiton. It was a long day and my feet was so sore but I enjoyed the day 🙂
The second day, we went to Greenwich but did not visit the park, which was a mistake:-( We took a boat from Embankment pier to Greenwich and it was a nice boat trip with a nice view along the way to the Greenwich. We walked to Cutty Shark and bought some food in Greenwich market. We then took the tube to the nearest station to the tower bridge and walked around.
We finished the second day a bit earlier since I was still so tired after a long walked the day before 😉
On the third day (our last day in London), it was more like football trip. We started the day by taking the tube to Fulham Broadway and visited Chelsea stadium. We did not enter the stadium since the tour was at specific times only. We only walked around and took some pictures. From Chelsea stadium, we took the tube to Emirates stadium of Arsenal. My son was so exciting and we took the stadium tour and spent a little bit more time there.
From Emirates stadium, we took the tube to Hard Rock Cafe to buy hard rock cafe t-shirt and then continued walking to Harrods.
After grabbing some lunch, we went to the Science Museum and National History museum which is located in a walking distance from Harrods. Most of the museum in London has free entrance. My son likes the museum, especially the national history museum.
We continued taking the tube to Wembley stadium to watch football World Cup pre-qualification between England vs. Montenegro. I bought the ticket a few months earlier through FA website and got the ticket delivered a week before I traveled to London.
England won the match (4-1), but we did not manage to see the last goal since we left the stadium before the match ended to avoid the crowd. However, there were many people also had the same way of thinking with us, so we tried to run to reach the tube station and luckily we reached the station before the police barricade the crowd behind us.
That’s a story about my second visit to the UK or first time visit to London. It was a very short trip but we were having fun. I will write about my second trip to London soon.