Derby to Hackney: Train, Drive or P&R?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by cuccir, 3 Jan 2020.

  1. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

    18 Nov 2009
    In April (3rd) I'm going to a wedding in Clapton but staying at a hotel in Hackney, which we'll be travelling to/from. My wife and I will be travelling on the day from my in-laws in Derby, and returning on the 4th.

    For a whole range of reasons, it looks to me like super off-peak returns with our railcard from Derby to St Pancras at around £90 total (plus fares around London of course) are the best bet for a train ticket: I'm aware cheaper options exist if travelling via Birmingham/Tamworth, but I think we'll want flexible tickets as we'll be coordinating with lots of family members, and the direct train is convenient. We'll also be leaving our 2 year old for the night with her grandparents for the first time, so might want the option to return early on the Sunday morning if that's gone badly.

    £90 is not too bad value really, but still is a chunk of cash. It looks to me like we could either drive to somewhere on the Lea Valley lines (perhaps Theobalds Grove?) in just over 2 hours, or consider driving straight into Hackeny at something like 2 hours 45. Where we're staying in Derby is just a couple of minutes off the A50 and hence the M1, so driving could be an easy option.

    So a few questions:
    • Are Theobalds Grove or Turkey Street good options as Park and Ride stations? Parking seems cheap (£3-4 for the weekend) and services to Hackney Central quick and cheap, if not the most frequent (2tph). Is it worth driving further into London and parking near Edmonton Green or Silver Street, which have more frequent services, and parking maybe more like £6-7.
    • What about just driving to Hackney itself? I think we could park for under £20 over the weekend and it would save the hassle of using the overground. But perhaps the drive would be unpleasant and unpredictable (I have no experience of driving in London)

    Time-wise, I think all three options (train, drive, p&r) are pretty similar.

    Would be interested in any views on this: we live in the north-east so have always just used trains for London trips, but starting in Derby and travelling to these locations on the northern/eastern edge of London, rather than the centre, seems to open up driving or P&R, so would be interested to hear from people who have experience of these options?
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  3. 30907

    30907 Established Member

    30 Sep 2012
    I have only ever left a car at a barriered car park, so can't really comment, but Theobalds Grove does at least have a station car park which is managed by NCP. Someone may know what time it fills up on a Saturday.
    I can't see any stations closer in that qualify.
    As for Hackney, it isn't exactly on the edge of London, and the drive in from the M25 along the A10 is pretty tedious IIRC.
    I would be inclined to wait before deciding until you can find out whether there are engineering works on that weekend, which might influence you.
  4. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

    27 Apr 2011
    If you've no experience of driving in London I wouldn't drive.

    I don't know what your level of driving experience is but if you're not used to driving long distances on a regular basis then don't under estimate how tiring and stressful it can be. Also don't under estimate how long it'll take. 2 hours from Derby to Theobalds Grove assumes a good run which you're unlikely to get on a Saturday.
  5. Jammy

    Jammy New Member

    27 Dec 2019
    train from derby is much cheaper then other transport and for a return is a decent price. i remember around £3.20 for a return

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