Best way to get to Windsor

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ACL

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Greetings. In September there will be four of us visiting London from here in the US, and I will be leading the "tour". I want to take everyone out to see Windsor Castle one morning. We will be staying in Southwark, so it appears that the best way to get there would be to take a direct train from Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside. Is this best, or would it be better to take the Underground to Paddington and then take the train to Windsor & Eton Central (with the change at Slough)? Going this route (Underground, Paddington, Slough, W&E Central) appears to be a bit more tedious than the direct train from Waterloo, but I thought the folks here would know more about this than I do.
 
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greatkingrat

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Yes, go from Waterloo. The Paddington route is quicker but any gain would be wiped out from the extra time spent on the tube getting to Paddington in the first place.
 

30907

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IIRC Central station has a (paying) exhibition about royal trains - if your group are interested in such. But still go from Waterloo.
 

ACL

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Actually, there might be a bit of a change. I'm looking now at the option of going to the Tower of London first, because I like to go there when it first opens at 9:00 AM so you don't have to stand in a long que to see the Crown Jewels, (the other three people in the group are ladies). After that we would then go on out to Windsor. You have to wait until the 9:28 train out of Waterloo to get the off-peak fares so that kills a lot of time in the morning.

Under this scenario (Tower first), since we would have to take the Underground from Tower Hill to Waterloo station anyway, would it be just as good to take the Circle Line around to Paddington Station and go from there to Windsor?
 

30907

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Under this scenario (Tower first), since we would have to take the Underground from Tower Hill to Waterloo station anyway, would it be just as good to take the Circle Line around to Paddington Station and go from there to Windsor?

A London Terminals to Windsor Riverside ticket is valid on NR services from London Br (and indeed Cannon St) to Waterloo East. Tower to London Br is a reasonably easy walk.
 

Hadders

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A London Terminals to Windsor Riverside ticket is valid on NR services from London Br (and indeed Cannon St) to Waterloo East. Tower to London Br is a reasonably easy walk.

Just to clarify London Br refers to London Bridge. 'London BR' was the former name used to describe 'London Terminals' ;)
 

Paul Kelly

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Under this scenario (Tower first), since we would have to take the Underground from Tower Hill to Waterloo station anyway, would it be just as good to take the Circle Line around to Paddington Station and go from there to Windsor?
Not really - the circle line is very slow. It will be the best part of half an hour to get from Tower Hill to Paddington that way. I think I would take the Underground from Tower Hill to Embankment and then walk across the Thames on the Golden Jubilee pedestrian bridge to get to Waterloo. A short and pleasant walk and with rail interest as well, running directly alongside the Hungerford Bridge which carries trains into and out of Charing Cross Station.
 

Sleeper

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Another factor in favour of the Waterloo/Windsor & Eton Riverside route (versus Paddington/Windsor & Eton Central) is that you get a through train, i.e. with no changing. With the Paddington route you must change at Slough.

On the other hand, with the Paddington option you would see some of the Crossrail works currently in hand. In case you didn't know, Crossrail is a huge engineering project to provide a new underground route for full-sized (by our standards) trains between suburbs to the west and to the east of London.

You will know best which of the various factors carries most weight for your party. I hope you have an enjoyable and successful visit.
 

RailAleFan

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I've never travelled on the Waterloo to W&E Riverside line but looking at the route map there may be some nice views of the castle across the River Thames between Datchet and W&E Riverside, so grab seats on the left of the train as you board at Waterloo.

On the other hand, you might not be able to see it at all...(somebody may be able to confirm!) but have a great trip..!
 
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