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The Kayla

RAF Lakenheath/Mildenhall info

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Couple of questions about England. For TV's I've read some about NTSC vs PAL. My tv is somewhat older and it says PAL-N and PAL-M but I think UK uses PAL-I and it wouldn't be compatible. Is this true? Is it easy to just buy TVs over there and not go through the hassle of trying to get converters or whatever you need. Also, for single guys is Cambridge worth the drive or do a lot of people stay around Bury and Newmarket? Thanks.

Don't even bother with a TV...AFN is annoying and Sky just isn't that great. Use your TV with your DVD player and use Netflix if you must. Your local will have all the tely that you need (I.e...cricket, rugby, and the occasional nationally televised dart championship). I lived in Cambridge as a single guy....it was most awesome. Would you like to live in the few market towns close to the bases, or live in England's equivalent of Boston with non-stop train access to London?

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I was at Mildenhall '04-06 and all the single folks lived in Cambridge. It was a blast. I've heard a lot of people live in Bury now and less people live in Cambridge. I'd still move to Cambridge, that city was a blast.

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Landing in the UK this summer, and looking for updates to this system if any. Any workarounds to having to stay on base is appreciated. Unfortunately my best bet will likely be showing up as late as possible to soak up all the other PCSers this season. I'm assuming dependents/pets situation is irrelevant to staying on base?

Are you single? Single members are the only ones who are able to get by the housing mandate...

Housing/Base had a meeting at the end of May, and housing is only at 50% full, so the housing mandate is still in full force for all ranks. But, I keep hearing wives talk about how "due to our rank, we don't have to live on base..." on the FaceBook pages. So, your guess is as good as mine at this point. I had Dave try to call housing today, but he just received a busy signal.. so he's going to try again on Tuesday. I also asked our sponsors to keep an ear open about this housing cluster-fvck.

Edited by The Kayla

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Lived in Cambridge and yes, it was excellent. On the TV thing, you can order a PAL converter from Amazon. I think I paid around $100 for it, and it was full-up for HD/HDMI connections and worked as advertised. Have fun over there, travel often!

Cheers

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Hey guys I'm planning to fall off the AETC radar for two weeks in England/Europe, looking for some guidance

Is there a bus/transit system to get from Mildenhall into cambridge for boozing?/ an easy way to get into London from there?

Further suggestions for best bases to go to in europe taking into account that I just want to get off base drinking the local brew and "sampling the scenery".

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Mildenhall to Cambridge, your best bet is a taxi. Will cost some $$ but not too bad. Train runs from Cambridge to London 10x a day or more. Easy two hour ride and can get a good nap on the way down.

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Your best bet is to find someone you know in the global based at Mildenhall or Lakenheath. Otherwise Phoenix Taxi can pick you up on base.

Round trip train to London plus all day Tube pass will cost about £30-35. Get the express train as it's only a 45 min trip.

The base is out in the county, so you need wheels to get somewhere near a train station if you want to venture out.

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Mildenhall to Cambridge, your best bet is a taxi. Will cost some $$ but not too bad. Train runs from Cambridge to London 10x a day or more. Easy two hour ride and can get a good nap on the way down.

Do they still have train service from Shippea Hill station (I think that's what it was called...just a few miles northwest of Mildenhall up the A1101) thru Cambridge to London? That's how we used to do it, but it was a while ago. Cab to Shippea Hill was much cheaper than all the way to Cambridge, plus there was a nice little pub at the crossing where you could wait if it was raining (or any other good excuse).

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I don't know about Shippea Hill, I'd have to look at the train route. Every time I have been there on tail swaps, we had to go to Cambridge to get to London.

Of course, there was the one time we just ended up going from pub to pub with our cab driver matching us drink for drink. I ended up in London that time, but can't really recall exactly how.

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Was just there last week and as far as getting to London from Mildy, we went through the Ely Station. Taxi from lodging went for £32 plus another £12 for the all day train/tube pass (group of 4 so we got the group rate). As for getting to Cambridge from the base, it actually ends up about the same price whether you do the taxi/train combo or just go straight for the taxi. £48 for a one-way taxi ride in to Cambridge versus £32 for the taxi ride to Ely plus train ticket. The taxi company that picks up from lodging does flat-rate fares and usually has cars waiting at the taxi stand outside the lodging office. To arrange for pickup from Cambridge, all they need is an hour's notice and they will pick you up next to the Round Church (right in the middle of everything you would want to see)

When you are in Cambridge, make sure to stop in and see The Eagle and have a pint in their back room where all of the WWII dudes burned their names in the ceiling but I wouldn't bother eating there. Super busy and the wait staff are pricks. Instead, go to the Pickerel Inn (http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/22/2208/Pickerel_Inn/Cambridge) and have some awesome eats and more pints. The staff there made our day in Cambridge - took the time to show us around the oldest pub in Cambridge (built in something like 1450) and give us the run down of how it used to be an opium den/whore house/etc.

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...walk out of the pax terminal towards the North gate. Once outside the gate, look for a sign that says "Bird in Hand."

Mission accomplished after a 5 minute walk, no taxi or train required.

Fail. Bird in Hand and the rest of Mildenhall village suck. Especially if you're trying to take a vacation, not just TDY. Either way, get to Cambridge or London....worth the $$.

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Moving to Mildenhall this summer and looking to live in Cambridge. Can anyone recommend a good rental agent to help me find a house for rent out there?

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Call your squadron,... find out who lives in Cambridge,... go from there.

Seriously. There should be a bunch of aircrew that do, and they would be a better place to start than here.

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www.rightmove.co.uk

The way they do rentals is a little different in the UK. Typically each apartment (flat) or townhouse (terrace house) is owned and rented (letted) separately. There is no "front office" for an apartment or townhouse complex.

Cambridge is a good place to live if single or married w/no kids. Just like everywhere else, there will be a tradeoff between location and space with anywhere you live in the UK. If you want a place with two parking spots, a backyard and big enough for all of your furniture, you will probably not find that in Cambridge....unless you are willing to pay out of pocket/get a roomate.

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Any big changes to the Lakenheath/Mildenhall scene from the last few pages? Looks like the UK is in my future.

Lots of good info so far on here.

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Any big changes to the Lakenheath/Mildenhall scene from the last few pages? Looks like the UK is in my future.

Lots of good info so far on here.

Nope. The UK is still an awesome place to live! Just remember the standard stuff. It will take some time to get settled and if you are looking at a place you MIGHT like at least put down the administrative deposit (about 100 pounds). It seems like a waste but it is better than not getting a place and living on base. Properties here go very fast, especially if you are in the middle of a PCS season.

The wife and I lucked out in finding a place, but there are a number of guys in the squadron that had houses get snagged up from under them because other tenants got the administrative deposit down first.

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This might be in my future as well.

All the people I know over there aren't really "car people" so can anyone shed some light on bringing an American sports car over? I'm guessing parking will be a nightmare and driving in the city equally appalling but judging from Top Gear and the like there is a bit of a car culture over there. And driving the Autobahn in my racecar is on my to-do list. Does anything special need to be done to get a car road legal for the UK?

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This might be in my future as well.

All the people I know over there aren't really "car people" so can anyone shed some light on bringing an American sports car over? I'm guessing parking will be a nightmare and driving in the city equally appalling but judging from Top Gear and the like there is a bit of a car culture over there. And driving the Autobahn in my racecar is on my to-do list. Does anything special need to be done to get a car road legal for the UK?

Some info here, from what I can tell.

http://www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil/MOS/f?p=MI:CONTENT:0::::P4_INST_ID,P4_CONTENT_TITLE,P4_CONTENT_EKMT_ID,P4_CONTENT_DIRECTORY:4705,Motor%20Vehicles,30.90.30.60.180.0.0.0.0,34

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This might be in my future as well.

All the people I know over there aren't really "car people" so can anyone shed some light on bringing an American sports car over? I'm guessing parking will be a nightmare and driving in the city equally appalling but judging from Top Gear and the like there is a bit of a car culture over there. And driving the Autobahn in my racecar is on my to-do list. Does anything special need to be done to get a car road legal for the UK?

My recommendation, don't do it. You'll have to get some small modifications done to the car, mostly the headlights and getting a fog light added to the rear bumper. Depending on the shop you take your car to this can be done very poorly or in an okay fashion. The real problem is that your steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car in a country where the roads are already not exactly laid out to optimize visibility. Keep in mind also the people in Europe do not view their cars as importantly as people in America do. If someone dings your car or bumps into it when parking, don't expect them to do anything about it. That's not to say they're all sh*t bags, they just don't care as much. So if you really like your car and want it to look perfect, I wouldn't bring it to Europe, personally.

That said, there are plenty of people stationed here who have American spec cars, and they seem to do just fine. I personally am happy to not have to think about whether or not my cars going to be damaged, because we just bought two used cars when we got here. Size is also an important consideration, as you mentioned with parking. You don't need to drive a Smart car to find a parking spot out here, but it helps. There're some people out here who have pick up trucks, and personally I don't how they do it. If you have any other questions about England feel free to shoot me a private message. Or ask here, it doesn't really matter.

Edited by Lord Ratner
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A guy in my squadron brought over a Corvette and didn't seem to have any issues. But it wasn't his daily drive, so that probably helped. Shop selection is important. The dude at the Lakenheath Auto Hobby shop did a nice job on the light conversion on my wife's Acura. He used low profile LEDs. Depending on how your car is designed will affect what modifications you need. They were fairly minimal on my wife's car. They have a DSN number, so you can give them a call and get the details for your situation. PM me if you need the number.

Overall I would say bring whatever car you want. You'll be fine. Inbound folks always overthink the car situation. Don't stress it. All left hand drive cars will have visibility issues, not just sports cars. Just accept the fact it's more difficult to pass on those winding back roads. You get used to it. My wife never had any issues with her RDX and it was great to have a left hand drive for road trips to the continent.

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Awesome thanks!

Now what are the odds of finding an apartment in Cambridge with two parking spots...with one being preferably enclosed/indoors? I can't imagine that will be cheap or easy to find...

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Finding a place in city center Cambridge with a one car garage spot won't be too difficult. Finding a spot for two cars will probably limit your housing options. Unless you don't mind parking one of them out on the street with the commoners.

Posted from the NEW Baseops.net App!

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Don't forget that the English have a different idea of what constitutes a garage. My house had a 1-car garage that, when my car was inside, left only enough clearance to open the doors on one side. You either had to let your passenger out before you pulled in, or both had to get out the same door. I was driving a Rover which was essentially a British spec Accord.

Personally, if I went back I would not even consider bringing any vehicles.

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