London tour

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by dbij, 13 Aug 2015.

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  1. dbij

    dbij Member

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    We live overseas, but are back in the UK visiting my parents in Essex and while here would like to do a London trip.

    I would like to include a few different transport modes in this (hopefully without the wife noticing and while keeping the kids amused) and have the following in mind:

    - into London on the Fenchurch Street line to West Ham (we actually have a choice of this or Southend Vic to Liverpool St.)
    - DLR to Royal Victoria
    - cable car over the Thames
    - river bus to Greenwich (for the museums)
    - river bus to Westminster or Embankment
    - tube back to Fenchurch Street

    I would like to ask forum members for suggested modifications to this, and for advice on the cheapest way of doing it all.


    (I've just realised that I probably posted this in the wrong forum - it looks to me now like it would better fit in the Fares Advice section. Could the moderators move it there please? Or could someone advise as to how I could move it there myself?)
     
    Last edited: 13 Aug 2015
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  3. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    That's a nice little trip. Another thing you might like to add is HS1 from St Pancras to Stratford International (if you then get the DLR from Stratford International you're almost guaranteed to get the front seats which kids absolutely love)

    I'd suggest one day travelcards from wherever you're travelling from in Essex. If you let us know your starting station we can advise further.

    A travelcard allows you to use any trains, tubes or buses within London Zones 1-6 (note the HS1 line isn't included though). The travelcard also gives you a third off the cable car price and a third off the river service.

    One thing to note about the river service is that I don't think you can break your journey so you'll have to buy two tickets which increases the price. You could travel from North Greenwich to Greenwich by bus or Jubilee/DLR to avoid this.
     
  4. dbij

    dbij Member

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    Thank you, Hadders, for that advice.

    I hadn't thought of adding HS1 in there as well, though I've read that it's quite pricey.

    We would most likely be starting from Benfleet. But if we decided to go on the line into Liverpool St, we would start from Rayleigh.
     
  5. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    would a paper travel card be better as it offers a bigger discount on the river services?
     
  6. James Wake

    James Wake Member

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    A paper travelcard from either Benfleet or Rayleigh is the way to go, as it will indeed give you a discount on river services, I would maybe check the prices of the two journeys you are thinking of doing. There are plenty of museums in Central London and out in Kensington as well, also you could alight the riverbus at Tower Pier and catch a Heritage 15 to Trafalgar Square, or get off at Embankment, cut through to Trafalgar Square, and catch the Heritage 15 to Tower Hill, then walk over to Fenchurch St.
     
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    HS1 is expensive for a short it of track. Can you let us know exactly how many are travelling and their ages and where you're travelling from.
     
  8. dbij

    dbij Member

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    Thanks all for the advice.

    Can someone explain how a travelcard is different from a paper travelcard?

    And what is the Heritage 15?

    As for numbers and ages, it will be two adults and two children aged 10 and 8.

    I'm also wondering if we can get a better deal by buying advance tickets? We can be pretty flexible with timing, but are looking to do this sometime between now and the end of August, most likely on a weekday.
     
  9. W-on-Sea

    W-on-Sea Member

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    The Heritage 15 is the remaining bus service operated by (original) Routemasters. Tower Hill to Trafalgar Square.

    I like the suggestion of a bit of DLR riding - kids would love to sit in the front seat, and the route through the Isle of Dogs, in particular (ie between West India Quay and Island Gardens) has good views over the docks and around many very recent buildings!

    Have a look on the c2c website (the only place those tickets are sold) to see if they have any advance tickets that offer discounts for the days and journeys you are interested in - they have a rather odd, and unique, system of advance tickets. I have a feeling they are only valid on journeys purely on c2c (so not including the travelcard element you'd want for Central London), but it might be checking.

    Don't think you'd find any advance tickets from Rayleigh at all. Even without that, fares from Benfleet are quite a bit cheaper (and to my mind it's a more scenic journey too)...
     
  10. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

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    I'd give HS1 a miss. it's not that impressive between London and Stratford - basically all tunnel.
    If you're doing Greenwich, how about including the train on the south side of the Thames to Cannon Street? It's all up on a viaduct, so there views all the way. And Cannon St isn't much of a walk from Fenchurch St, plus you get to walk through the City banking district.
    Not sure how you'd integrate that into your itinerary.
     
  11. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    For the purposes if your trip a travel card and a paper travel card is the same thing, ie it's not Oyster pay as you go or contactless.

    You won't get any cheaper tickets purchasing in Advance on this route - don't take any notice of the trainline's advertising hype.

    Whilst the HS line is in tunnel St Pancras station is one of the most impressive stations I the country, the acceleration of the trains is impressive and you can tell your friends you've been on the Javelin!
     
  12. DasLunatic

    DasLunatic Member

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    Not true - all of them were refitted with Allison gearboxes somepoint in the 90s. Using a normal London bus is much nicer and much easier.
     
  13. W-on-Sea

    W-on-Sea Member

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    I know that, but, well, for all but hardcore bus enthusiasts that is pretty much by the by.

    The distinction I was attempting to make was between the "original", hop-on-at-the-back, conductor-on-board, Routemasters (regardless of whether they have original gearbox, interior decor - that changed for the worst in the 90s, too, or chassis or body) - which are precisely what you do find on the Heritage 15, and only there, as regards public scheduled bus services; and the new Borismasters/New Bus for London, which increasingly the London press is referring to as "Routemasters".
     
  14. dbij

    dbij Member

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    Okay, so the consensus seems to be that to do the original plan I outlined we're best off buying one-day travelcards from Benfleet.

    This will cover:
    the journey up to London and back
    the DLR
    any tube journey we end up taking

    And it will give us a discount on:
    the cable car
    and the river bus

    Have I got that right?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Ah, after doing the post above, I have had a look at the c2c website as a previous poster recommended, and found they have a kids for a pound offer on at the moment.

    http://www.c2c-online.co.uk/tickets-and-fares/kids-for-1-this-summer/

    Would it make sense to use this offer to get up to London and then buy travelcards for the kids once there?
     
  15. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    Your're correct about what the Travelcard gets you.

    I would buy a Family Travelcard from Benfleet on the day of travel - it doesn't appear to be available on-line and it's the same price on the day so there's more flexibility should your plans change.

    http://www.c2c-online.co.uk/tickets-and-fares/daily-tickets-and-fares/travelcards/

    This is a combined ticket which gives you a return from Benfleet to the Travelcard Boundary then unlimited travel on the day inside the Travelcard Zones.

    This is cheaper than buying a return from Benfleet to Fenchurch Street (even with the 40% discount) and then buying Travelcards upon arrival in London.

    Family Travelcards are £15.80 each for Adults and a flat fare of £2 for each child. You must travel together at all times.
     
  16. dbij

    dbij Member

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    Thanks, Hadders, again for your continuing advice. I think that is the way we will go then.
     
  17. davetheguard

    davetheguard Member

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    The quite new Museum of London Docklands is well worth a visit, and would possibly give a further excuse to use the Docklands Light Railway - it's two minutes' walk from West India Quay DLR station.

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure its website does it any favours, but the museum itself tells the story of the area very well: from Roman times; Medieval; the growth of the docks; the Blitz; the decline as ships got bigger and containers were introduced; and now, the regeneration and transformation into London's second business district and a place were people want to live. And there's no dusty glass display cabinets in this museum!

    Plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area if you want to combine a visit with a spot of lunch.......
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    And in my view, the c2c line into Fenchurch Street feels much more "loved" than the Greater Anglia route into Liverpool Street.

    Stations seem well maintained, and considering thery're only suburban EMU's, and must get quite a lot of wear and tear, the c2c trains look smart & clean inside & out.
     
  18. Keith Jarrett

    Keith Jarrett Member

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    The nearby "The Ledger Building" is a reasonable place to have a bite to eat and/or relax with a drink, especially if there's a group of you and only one to pick up the bill!
     
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