Travelling from Gatwick to West Croydon

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Mayamocha

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Good day, we are a Cdn family of 7, all 55+, arriving late in the evening on Wed May 11…any recommendations for train route and best pricing to West Croydon? Should we use an Oyster Card or just pay for off-peak fares?
Thanks for any help
 
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John @ home

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Yes, we can and will give you advice about a Gatwick - West Croydon journey. But first, are you really sure you want to go to West Croydon station? Where do you intend to go immediately you arrive there?

I ask this because East Croydon and West Croydon stations both serve the centre of Croydon. Gatwick - West Croydon wholly by rail is a short journey, but not a straightforward one. It usually involves two changes of train.

Gatwick - East Croydon, on the other hand, has a very frequent direct service takng about 15 minutes. From East Croydon, there is a frequent tram service to West Croydon station. But do you really want to go there?
 
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Mayamocha

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Thanks for the reply…we are staying in West Croydon, a short walk from the train station…instructions are: GATWICK AIRPORT: From Gatwick Airport you can take the Gatwick Express train to Clapham Junction. Change and take the train (platform 15) to West Croydon. Come out of the station and cross over the road. At the corner of Derby road you will see a pub called 'The Fox and Hound'

So assume West Croydon is the station to get to. Do these instructions above make sense as the easiest route? And can we use the Oyster card or is it more economical to use off-peak fares/tickets?

thanks again
 

island

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Those are pretty terrible directions, not least because the Gatwick Express doesn't call at Clapham Junction. You should instead get a train from Gatwick Airport to East Croydon (Oyster is accepted) and walk or take a tram.
 

maniacmartin

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Engineering works are taking place on the Croydon trams in central Croydon until 2nd April, so I would rule our the tram if you're travelling before then.

As island mentions above, you've been given awful travel information! The Gatwick Express doesn't call at Clapham Junction. Travelling via Clapham Junction on a through paper ticket is also invalid as it contains a long double-back and also the ticket will be issued to CROYDON STATIONS so it's validity will end at East Croydon.

If you don't have too much luggage and are all able to walk OK, I'd recommend taking a Southern or Thameslink-branded fast train that has first stop East Croydon. Exit East Croydon using the yellow overbridge at the north end of the station and then walk along Lansdowne Walk past Premier Inn, turn right at the end onto Wellesley Road. At Home Office's Lunar House Public Entrance take the blue subway and turn left onto Poplar Road. At the end, turn right and you're at West Croydon station. It's half a mile's walk in total.

Otherwise, going via Clapham Junction is still the easiest route as it has frequent trains and only one change. You will need to take Southern-branded trains. The whole journey can be done as one Oyster card or contactless bank card journey without having to visit the ticket machines. This is what I would recommend if you don't fancy walking.

If you want to use paper tickets and go via Clapham Junction then I think a return from Gatwick Airport to Clapham Junction would suffice, as you can use the return part to travel from Clapham Junction back to West Croydon and then stop short, but there could be problems exiting at West Croydon. If you are planning to make later journeys in the day, an Off-peak travelcard from Gatwick to Zones 1-6 would also cover everything and be simpler.
 
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James Wake

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I would still walk or get a bus from East Croydon rather than taking a large detour via Clapham Junction. At least 5 bus routes link East and West Croydon, like the 64, 194, 198, 433 and X26.
 
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Mayamocha

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Well thanks to you all….excellent feedback!!! So my question re: Oyster card vs off-peak fares….correct me if I'm wrong, but the maximum charge on the Oyster is 11GBP per day? So the Oyster would max out with the trip from Gatwick to East Croydon at 11GBP…that would be cheaper than just buying off peak tickets, yes/no?
We are just bringing carry-on rolling bags, and small backpacks, so the journey from East Croydon to West shouldn't be too difficult. We are arriving at night though….hate to get lost or mugged ;)
 

John @ home

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Oyster card vs off-peak fares
That's the main decision you have to make. My own recommendation would be to use Oyster.
the maximum charge on the Oyster is 11GBP per day?
Sorry, no. GBP 11.00 is the maximum charge for travel within Travelcard Zones 1-5. Zone 1 is central London. Zone 5 includes both East and West Croydon, so you would not expect to exceed GBP 11.00 for each day spent in London. A minor exception would be a trip to the very edge of the London Zonal area, for example Hampton Court Palace which is in Zone 6, in which case the Zone 1-6 daily cap of GBP 11.80 would apply.

Oyster has been extended to Gatwick Airport in recent months, but the zonal area has not been changed and travel to and from the airport is charged separately and does not count towards the zonal cap (although, as MikeWh explains in posts 10 and 12, it does have its own, higher cap).

Gatwick Airport - West Croydon single fares are GBP 8.20 peak and GBP 6.60 off-peak. Gatwick Airport - East Croydon single fares are GBP 5.20 peak and GBP 3.00 off-peak. A peak journey is one in which the initial Oyster touch-in is Monday - Friday 0630-0930 or 1600-1900.
We are just bringing carry-on rolling bags, and small backpacks, so the journey from East Croydon to West shouldn't be too difficult.
Good. In that case, I recommend rail Gatwick Airport - East Croydon, then tram (if still operating) from East to West Croydon. Each tram journey (and each London bus journey) costs GBP 1.50 and does count towards daily and weekly caps.

East Croydon tram stop is at the southern entrance to the rail station, up a long ramp, not a footbridge. On exiting the tram at West Croydon, walk back from the tram stop some 70 metres to the previous set of traffic signals. Turn right into London Road. The main entrance to West Croydon rail station is some 80 metres along London Road on your right, and the Fox and Hound pub is on the other side of the road.
We are arriving at night though
What time is your flight due to land at Gatwick?
 
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MikeWh

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Well thanks to you all….excellent feedback!!! So my question re: Oyster card vs off-peak fares….correct me if I'm wrong, but the maximum charge on the Oyster is 11GBP per day? So the Oyster would max out with the trip from Gatwick to East Croydon at 11GBP…that would be cheaper than just buying off peak tickets, yes/no?
We are just bringing carry-on rolling bags, and small backpacks, so the journey from East Croydon to West shouldn't be too difficult. We are arriving at night though….hate to get lost or mugged ;)

The maximum charge (daily cap) on Oyster depends on the zones used during the day. If you start at Gatwick Airport and travel off-peak (after 0930 M-F) then the cap is £19.00. However, the off-peak single fare from Gatwick to East Croydon is only £3.00. If you did decide to go to West Croydon by rail then that increases to £6.60, whereas a bus or tram journey would only add a further £1.50 to the £3.00 fare.
 

ert47

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Easiest thing to do would be to exit via the ramps at East Croydon to get to the main entrance, then cross over the road to get to bus stop E6 (for directions ask Gateline or Ticket Office staff). From there, take the 64/N64 or 198 bus. Those two buses will stop right outside West Croydon Station (will be 3rd/4th stop)
 

MikeWh

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Oyster has been extended to Gatwick Airport in recent months, but the zonal area has not been changed and travel to and from the airport is charged separately and does not count towards the cap.

Not quite true. It is if you use the non-stop Gatwick Express service to Victoria, but anything else counts towards the, somewhat extortionate, caps of £30.50 anytime or £19.00 off-peak.
 

Mayamocha

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We arrive from Venice at 8pm into Gatwick....so looks like its East Croydon, with a bus or tram to the road closest to the pub....by then I will need a drink, :p
You all have been most helpful...next we need to work out best way to get to Bath/Cotswalds by train.....and we are headed to Brighton then Portsmouth on another day
cheers
 

MikeWh

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We arrive from Venice at 8pm into Gatwick....so looks like its East Croydon, with a bus or tram to the road closest to the pub....by then I will need a drink, :p
You all have been most helpful...next we need to work out best way to get to Bath/Cotswalds by train.....and we are headed to Brighton then Portsmouth on another day
cheers

If this is using your place near West Croydon as a base then in each case make your way back to East Croydon is your best start. There are frequent trains to Brighton from there (4-6 an hour) and trains to Portsmouth as well (1-2 an hour). For Bath and the Cotswolds you'd need to travel to Victoria then take the Underground to Paddington where trains to the West start from.
 

John @ home

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next we need to work out best way to get to Bath/Cotswolds by train.....and we are headed to Brighton then Portsmouth on another day
Have you considered whether you will be travelling a sufficient amount by rail for some Britrail pass products to save you money?

If they don't, we now need to introduce you to the subject of Railcards, which give 34% discount on most British rail fares for 12 months for certain categories of people in return for a payment of not more than GBP 30.00.

We know that all seven of you are aged 55+. To give tailored advice, I now need to ask some more personal questions:
  • how many of you are aged 55-59?
  • how many are aged 60+?
In addition, it would be helpful if you could tell us which, if any, of your trips out of London will involve overnight stays, and also how many of you intend to make each trip.
 

Clip

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Not quite true. It is if you use the non-stop Gatwick Express service to Victoria, but anything else counts towards the, somewhat extortionate, caps of £30.50 anytime or £19.00 off-peak.

Is the tram included in that as could be a winner for them?
 

John @ home

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Is the tram included in that
Yes, use of trams and/or buses counts towards these GBP 30.50 and GBP 19.00 daily caps.
as could be a winner for them?
That seems unlikely to me. Using a fast train to East Croydon followed by a train or bus to West Croydon takes about 35 minutes and costs a total of GBP 4.50.

Using the "Gatwick Express" to Victoria costs a lot more and, on arrival at Victoria, it will still take more than another 35 minutes to reach West Croydon.
 

Mayamocha

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We are only in England for a week May 11 to 17. We are staying in Croydon at a flat so no other overnights. We have 5 over 55, one 65 y.o., and one 79 y.o. so don't know if a rail pass would be worth it…but a rail card maybe….we will travel into London on our oyster card on 3 days; then plan to go to Brighton and on to Portsmouth another day; and then a trip up to Bath/Cotswalds on another day
Again Thanks for all your help
 

John @ home

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All your destinations are served by train companies which operate the Groupsave scheme, so the good news is that this allows groups of 3 - 9 people travelling together to get one third discount on off-peak tickets in Standard class without buying a Railcard.

The whole group must travel together, but there's no need to book in advance of the day of travel. This makes it sensible to buy the tickets on the day in case one member of your group doesn't feel well or just wants to do something else that day.

Examples of the discount on tickets available on the day of travel are:There are Advance tickets available at a substantial discount, but these are restricted to a specific train and offer no flexibility. Price varies according to demand. For example, Croydon to Portsmouth has 3 price levels of £5, £8.50 and £12 single, but these tickets do not attract Groupsave discount.

For other destinations or other ticket types use brfares.com with discount "GROUPSAVE".
 
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