Tube and train questions
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Oct 15, 2013 11:40 AM Last Post By: newberry
Sep 19, 2013 12:31 PM
Tube and train questionsMy sister and I will be traveling to London in late April next year. We will overnight in London and then on to Bath and Penzance. The plan is to drop our luggage at our hotel upon arrival and head to Hampton Court. What tube line will get us from Paddington to Waterloo? Can we buy our train tickets/Hampton Court tickets at Paddington or Waterloo?
What travel card would be best for us in London if we will be there on two non-consecutive days? I know very little about this but I'm trying to get it figured out before our trip.
I've read on this forum that it's cheaper to bypass the middle man and go directly to the train company to book tickets. Which trains would we take to go from London to Bath? And then what lines go from Bath to Penzance and then back to London at the end of our trip? I will be booking early to try to get the cheapest fares but we want to travel first class (at least from Bath to Penzance just for the experience). Do peak times also apply to weekend travel on the trains? We will be traveling back to London probably on Sunday.
Thank you in advance for any info.
Sep 19, 2013 12:37 PM
Sep 19, 2013 1:35 PM
Sep 20, 2013 1:40 AM
3Trains from London to Bath and Penzance and in between are all operated by First Great Western, and leave from London Paddington. The station in Bath is called Bath Spa. Bath Spa and Penzance are not on the same route, so you'll usually have to make one or two of connections in a journey Bath to Penzance, and your journey may include some local trains without first class compartments. For that reason, it isn't the best journey to pay a first class upgrade on.
Be aware that for the cheapest fares you have to commit to a specific timed train. Travelling back to London on a Sunday, especially to arrive early evening as most desire, the very cheapest tickets will be in short supply. There are intermediately priced tickets called savers which are not confined to specific trains, but do generally exclude the busiest periods. What is "peak" is defined very individually by different railway companies and different routes.
For local mainline trips such as Waterloo to Hampton Court, there is no advantage to advance purchase. As it is all within the London travelcard area, just buy a daily travelcard, which covers your tube connection, etc. But if you start your journey early you'll have to buy a peak travel card such as commuters pay, travel after 9.30 for the cheap travelcard.
Sep 20, 2013 2:19 AM
Sep 20, 2013 10:40 AM
Sep 21, 2013 1:45 AM
Sep 22, 2013 2:08 PM
7London Waterloo to Bath Spa (by train) is £10 on the http://uk.megabus.com/ site, if you book one month in advance.
Sep 23, 2013 12:35 AM
Sep 23, 2013 1:53 AM
Sep 23, 2013 2:37 AM
Sep 23, 2013 7:43 AM
11Thank you all for you input. I got the feeling that Penzance might not be such a great destination in your opinion. I know absolutely nothing about that part of the country, I just picked Penzance because it seemed pretty central as we want to see sights along the coast and wanted to be near the water. I've heard that St. Ives is nicer but I'm very open to any suggestions as to the best place to base ourselves for three days. We will be hiring a car for two days and will go up to Tintagle and anywhere else along the coast that looks interesting.
Since it is not a straight shot from Bath to Penzance, what would be a better option? I don't want to spend all our time just getting there. And I think we may rethink our plan to travel back to London on a Sunday, as it will be alot busier than a weekday. Our plans are not firm yet so I have a lot of time to get this right.
Thanks so much for your help.
Sep 28, 2013 5:45 AM
12The main benefit of first class travel on British trains is at peak commuter times on trains in and out of major cities, when (because first class is so much more expensive) it isn't nearly as busy as second class, and therefore you are pretty much guaranteed to get a seat.
Outside of those times and away from those routes, I'd say there is very little point in paying for first class. Yes, the seating is a little more spacious and comfortable, but there's no "experience" to speak of.
Oct 12, 2013 6:45 AM
13I went to the SW coast in August with my mom. Maybe it is best to rent a car from Bath? We rented a car from London and went all the way down to St Ives. I think the biggest city in that area before you get to Cornwall seemed to be Exeter, and I'm thinking Exeter connects easily to Bath. So maybe you can do that, Exeter is nice, then rent a car from there and go to SW coast.
Warning when you do drive: the roads are scary. They are narrow and have rock walls/bushes on either side, and oh yea you're on the left side and roundabouts are everywhere. Very different than driving in the US!
Oct 12, 2013 7:58 AM
14Sunday isn't a busy day to drive back from Cornwall - the worst days are Friday and Saturday as they're change over days in self catering cottages....
St Ives is fabulous but a long way from Tintagel (almost two hours actually as there is no direct route) but Cornwall is not a quick place to get around because of our narrow busy roads and no real direct routes. But it is a great place to visit. You could try somewhere more central in order to see more of the country - like Falmouth, which has a station and connections to Truro - the main station here. There is loads to see and do based in Falmouth - beaches and boaty things - lots of walks and history, tea shops and restaurants on the beach. Look it up for more info... Pandora Inn is perfect, Gyllyingvase Cafe, Indaba in Maenporth... the list is endless.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$25.83 per night
(4 star Hotel)
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(3 star Hotel)
From US$93.81 per night