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Transfer: Southampton—London (incl. LHR/LGW) train, car, other?

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1 hour ago, megr1125 said:

I guess I don't grasp the sticky and the links very well....or I'm just a bit dense.  Anyway, I already have my transfer booked but a friend has asked about getting to Southampton (a hotel TBA) from LHR by train, preferably train only, with minimal connections.  I used Mr. Google and thetrainline dot com seems to suggest that there are no direct routes, all have some sort of connection and several have a bus substitution on a portion of the journey, at least for the date I'm using.  (A Sunday in November)

 

Also it appears that several trains stop at/near the airport and not at Central Station. Would it be better to get to Waterloo or Victoria and then head to Southampton? 

 

Sorry, I feel like I'm really missing something.  Trying to avoid, as much as possible, the use of buses.  

 

I appreciate any clarification you can provide!  Thanks

 

Actually they're quite right, it's a pain by rail (only) from Heathrow to Southampton.   Heathrow trains head (only) toward London, which is the wrong direction.  You could (I suppose) take a train into Paddington, then back out to Reading then change to get to Southampton.

 

If you really want to take the train for the bulk of the journet, best option is bus to either Woking or Reading (from Heathrow central bus depot), and grab a direct train to "SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL" from there.

 

However, there are direct coaches available, which is probably your best bet.

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1 hour ago, scottbee said:

 

Actually they're quite right, it's a pain by rail (only) from Heathrow to Southampton.   Heathrow trains head (only) toward London, which is the wrong direction.  You could (I suppose) take a train into Paddington, then back out to Reading then change to get to Southampton.

 

If you really want to take the train for the bulk of the journet, best option is bus to either Woking or Reading (from Heathrow central bus depot), and grab a direct train to "SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL" from there.

 

However, there are direct coaches available, which is probably your best bet.

Scottbee, thanks so much!  That makes it a lot more clear!!  Appreciate the translation!!  😄

 

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We will be on Royal Caribbean arriving in Southampton.  We are looking into National Express Coach.  Do we need to look for transportation from the Southampton cruise port to the National Express stop?

We are looking to go from the cruise port to Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London. What stop would we get off once in London? 

TIA

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3 hours ago, Dorh said:

We will be on Royal Caribbean arriving in Southampton.  We are looking into National Express Coach.  Do we need to look for transportation from the Southampton cruise port to the National Express stop?

We are looking to go from the cruise port to Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London. What stop would we get off once in London? 

TIA

 

RCI normally berth at City cruise terminal. It's about a 20 minute level walk to either the Nat Express coach station or Southampton Central rail station but with luggage probably better to take a taxi from the rank at the cruise terminal for about £7.

 

You'd take the Nat Express coach to its terminus at Victoria coach station.

From there to P P Riverbank is awkward by tube, it involves two tube lines plus a walk at both ends. So with luggage better to take a taxi, about 10 - 15 minutes. Mebbe £15 ??

 

Although Waterloo train station is closer to P P Riverbank, the train is more expensive and with luggage you'd still need a taxi ride (one mile, about £7)

 

JB :classic_smile:

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JB, Thank you so much for the info. Yes taxi will be the way we will go rather than train. 
Is it better for us to use Victoria station or Waterloo stop once arrive in the London area on National Express? 
TIA

 

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1 hour ago, Dorh said:

JB, Thank you so much for the info. Yes taxi will be the way we will go rather than train. 
Is it better for us to use Victoria station or Waterloo stop once arrive in the London area on National Express? 
TIA

 

You don't have a choice. National Express goes to Victoria coach station.

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And just to be really clear, Victoria Coach Station is in a different place to Victoria railway and tube stations. It’s not far away, but a bit of a walk. 

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15 hours ago, John Bull said:

 

You'd take the Nat Express coach to its terminus at Victoria coach station.

From there to P P Riverbank is awkward by tube, it involves two tube lines plus a walk at both ends. So with luggage better to take a taxi, about 10 - 15 minutes. Mebbe £15 ??

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

1 hour ago, Cotswold Eagle said:

And just to be really clear, Victoria Coach Station is in a different place to Victoria railway and tube stations. It’s not far away, but a bit of a walk. 

 

If you went to P P Riverside by tube that's the first walk I mentioned. Then two tube trains. Then a walk at the end to PP Riverside.

Hence I suggested a taxi for the relatively short distance (2 miles) from Victoria coach station to P P Riverside.

 

P P Riverside isn't convenient to a tube station, the nearest (Vauxhall) is a ten-minute walk.

But if you have a river-view room that makes up for it. 

 

JB :classic_smile: 

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Just been reading about industrial action in December with southwestern railway services.

Their website has not stated the London Southampton train will be included?

Anyone have any other info?

 

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This is a dispute which has been dragging on for years - the operator wants the right to operate trains with just a driver when the need arises (for example when a guard fails to show up for his shift and there's no relief guard available), the RMT union regards having no guard on the train as unsafe and believes this is a prelude to eventually running all trains without a guard.

 

A fair proportion of railway workers are members of the RMT union - industrial action by them does disrupt services but a fair proportion of trains still run, operated by members of other unions. The operator concentrates on running services on busy mainline routes (like Southampton to London Waterloo) so the effect of the strikes is significantly watered-down on those routes.

Additionally, in such circumstances tickets are usually valid for covering travel by using different operators. So very probably tickets can be used on the Southern Trains Southampton to London Victoria service, althho' that route takes an hour longer.

 

The RMT strike is planned for a number of days in December, deliberately targeting Christmas travel - and that's fairly typical of industrial action in any industry - air travel, postal services, etc.. 

Here are the proposed dates in December.......

 

https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/today.aspx

(click on "Industrial action announced to affect South Western Railway on various dates during December", which is about halfway down the list). Currently a longer list than usual due to severe flooding in parts on northern England. 

 

If this affects you, bookmark that page & check back from time to time - industrial action is a game of brinkmanship and it's often canceled at short notice.

 

Sorry, all very vague.

 

JB :classic_smile: 

ps. to be grammatically correct, shouldn't the phrase be "industrial inaction"? :classic_wink:

 

 

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Thank you for your detailed reply.

Yes we will monitor the situation as it may be an issue for us.

Joys of travel expect the unexpected.

We love train travel and have had some wonderful trips in Europe, especially around Switzerland and its well run train and boats on the beautiful lakes.

Thanks again and will watch with interest.

 

 

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Just adding a few recent independent posts from the board which may be helpful to anyone with a transit question:

 

 

 

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Hello! What is the best way to get to Southampton from London and back (29/12/19-03/01/20)?

1. We are staying in London not far from Southwark Station. I think about to get a train from London Waterloo, but it is very expensive (about 90 for two return tickets). The site www.nationalrail.co.uk informs about major disruption in the Croydon area.
What is it? is it worth to take a train?

2. After a cruise we are staying at Wandsworth Town. Do we need to go back the same way?
3. May be it is better to take bus coach to and back Southampton? https://www.nationalexpress.com/en 
 

 

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Given the possible strike action, I think going to Southampton via National Express is the way to go.

 

On the return, as your date is outside the strike period I would go with the train. If you want to cut the cost, purchase a ticket from Southampton Central to Clapham Junction on Southern trains via Gatwick. It's a longer journey, but right now the 10:13 train is pricing out at 8.50/person. It's only another 2.70 for a ticket from Clapham Junction to Wandsworth Town station, or you could hop on a bus depending on where exactly you're staying.

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I've just bought tickets for a bus, but I can't buy the tickets for reture via Gatwick - Payment Failed. Mya be you know what the problem is?

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On 12/24/2019 at 10:52 PM, GalaM said:

I've just bought tickets for a bus, but I can't buy the tickets for reture via Gatwick - Payment Failed. Mya be you know what the problem is?

 

It's probably down to your credit card supplier blocking the transaction.

That's happened to a few folk with Nat Express buses & occasionally with other vendors, but it's the first time I've heard of it happening with the trains.

Can I suggest you phone your card supplier, or  try with another credit card - or a debit card.

 

BTW I'm presuming that the tickets you've been trying to purchase are those at £12 .00 for the Southern Trains service to Clapham Junction, approx 2hrs 20 mins journey time. For that price tickets must be purchased in advance, and the tickets are valid only for the train time that you book. After Clapham Junction (the most convenient station for Wandworth), those trains terminate at London Victoria, which will be the destination shown.

 

The service operated by SouthWestern takes a much shorter route, it's an hour quicker to Clapham Junction. And tickets are valid for any of their trains - there are up to four trains per hour. Downside is they're much more expensive at £38. After Clapham Junction those trains terminate at London Waterloo, which is the destination which will be shown.

 

Both services are direct trains (no change of train required for Southampton to Clapham Junction). 

 

For others reading this post - Clapham Junction isn't a convenient station for central London, it's convenient for GalaM, whose destination is Wandsworth in south London

 

JB :classic_smile:

Edited by John Bull

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We need transport from Southampton to Heathrow  after our cruise.  Wouldn't most suggest we fly out the day after the cruise just in case? Where should we stay- in the city or near the airport? And, of course, about how much is a transfer by chauffeur or cruise transfer?

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15 hours ago, Carol28 said:

We need transport from Southampton to Heathrow  after our cruise.  Wouldn't most suggest we fly out the day after the cruise just in case? Where should we stay- in the city or near the airport? And, of course, about how much is a transfer by chauffeur or cruise transfer?

 

 

Most folk fly out on disembarkation day, but that depends on flight time and departure airport.

A flight after 2pm from Heathrow (LHR) or 2.30pm from Gatwick (LGW), no worries.

But a flight as early as about 11.30 is possible if all the ducks line-up  - a sunday (mebbe a saturday), early unassisted disembarkation, a pre-booked car at the cruise terminal at 7.15, LHR airport.

For more specific advice for flights between 11.30 am and 2.30 pm we need to know your ship, date/day, airport, destination (domestic / Europe / trans-continental).

 

Most cruise lines advise not to use their transfer buses for flights before 12.30 or 1pm. Cost depends on the cruise line, I think Princess is cheapest (or should that be least-expensive?) at about $59 per person & RCI and Cunard amongst the more expensive at around $100 pp.

 

A pre-booked sedan should cost  somewhere just south of £100 for Heathrow,  a little more for Gatwick.

 

Don't overlook public transport - National Express bus to Heathrow or Gatwick for about £25 pp, train to Gatwick from about £20 upwards. All are possible with flights after (& mebbe before) 2pm (LHR) or 2.30 (LGW)

 

The above presumes earliest disembarkation from 7am, but a very few ships have later scheduled arrival.

 

It's always better to choose a later same-day flight if available.

 

For early-morning flights an airport hotel rather than a Southampton hotel would allow you to slumber at least a couple of hours longer.

If you aim for a late morning flight and private transfer, mebbe choose a Southampton hotel - spend disembarkation day & evening exploring the city and its (admittedly few) historic sights, restaurants & pubs, so much better than a boring day in soul-less airport-land.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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Thank you for your help with my question. 

Finally, I bought a ticket National Express from Southampton to Wandsworth. 

John Bull, I changed my credit cards during the payment, but unsuccessful. 

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Would love your experienced opinions. I'm taking RCL out of Southampton at the end of May, flying overnight from the States so I arrive the day beforehand. A what would you do:

1) Take National Express from Heathrow to Southampton and then cab to hotel. Concern being after that flight I'll be exhausted since I don't sleep well on planes. How bad is waiting for a bus? Do I need to buy a ticket beforehand or can I do an open ended time in case my flight is delayed?

2) Get a hotel in London for the night and then take National Express or a shuttle service to Southampton the next morning? This would cost more due to the hotel being more expensive but I would be able to possibly rest sooner. I've already been to London so sightseeing isn't as huge a priority.

 

Thank you for any and all help

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, bhsolo said:

Would love your experienced opinions. I'm taking RCL out of Southampton at the end of May, flying overnight from the States so I arrive the day beforehand. A what would you do:

1) Take National Express from Heathrow to Southampton and then cab to hotel. Concern being after that flight I'll be exhausted since I don't sleep well on planes. How bad is waiting for a bus? Do I need to buy a ticket beforehand or can I do an open ended time in case my flight is delayed?

2) Get a hotel in London for the night and then take National Express or a shuttle service to Southampton the next morning? This would cost more due to the hotel being more expensive but I would be able to possibly rest sooner. I've already been to London so sightseeing isn't as huge a priority.

 

Thank you for any and all help

 

1) Yes, buy a ticket in advance - the buses don't have elastic sides, and there's the possibility that your preferred bus will be booked-out.

There's no "open ticket" but whereas for other journeys your ticket is only good for the bus time that you booked, for journeys FROM AIRPORTS the ticket is transferable to an earlier or later bus. This is because the operators are aware of the possibilities of flights being delayed, and of the vagaries of the time taken to complete arrival formalities.

As a rule of thumb expect it to take 90 minutes from scheduled flight arrival time to bus stop.

If in doubt, book a bus time with a wider rather than narrower time window - if you arrive in time for the earlier one you can be bumped forward but if it's booked-out  your seat on the booked one is guaranteed, whereas if you miss your booked one  you'll have to keep your fingers crossed that there's room on the next one. Usually the buses don't book-out, but it can happen.

There's an admin charge (I think £5 per booking, not per ticket) to switch buses, but  it's often not charged (I think that's pot luck with the staff rather than company policy).

 

There's seating and a cafe at Heathrow central bus station (a covered and well-signed 10 minute walk from terminals 2 and 3).

Terminals 4 and 5 are remote on other sides of the airport,  en-route to Southampton the buses stop on the bus concourses outside those terminal exits. There are very few seats in the concourse, but seating and refreshments in the Arrivals Hall. I suggest you recce the concourse to find your bus stop before going back inside for a comfy seat. 

 

2) If you don't want to sight-see in London it's a waste of effort & time & money to head to London for a bed. The city is in the opposite direction to Southampton - for instance the National Express buses from central London call at Heathrow on the way to Southampton :classic_rolleyes:

If you'd rather not travel to Southampton same-day as you flight it'd be cheaper and easier to book a hotel near Heathrow and take the bus next morning (your sailing day). Hotel prices in Heathrow are waaaaay lower than central London, about the same as Southampton, but Heathrow hotels tend to over-charge for food & drink because you're a captive audience. And even though you'll be wanting to sleep a lot of the time, Heathrow is pretty soul-less.

On sailing day only, all cruise lines including RCI offer a payable shuttle service from all Heathrow terminals to the ship. You'd need to pre-book and make your own way from hotel to an airport terminal (not central bus station). Very simple, very  efficient, the buses trawl the terminals every 20 minutes or so then head to Southampton when full. But at about $100 per person poor value-for-money, even compared to a private transfer for two or more passengers.

 

So I'd recommend heading to a Southampton hotel. All the hotels on this list are reasonably convenient to Southampton coach station and the cruise terminals. Royal Caribbean normally berths at City Cruise Terminal. The most inconvenient hotel listed is no more than a £10 taxi ride from either.

https://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/southampton_accommodation.htm

(handy little map at the bottom of that page)

A good selection of shops, pubs & restaurants in walking distance, and if you're more energetic than you think you will be, Southampton's few historic sights & places of interest will keep you amused for the afternoon on your arrival and the morning of your sailing.

 

Just MHO as always

 

JB :classic_smile: 

Edited by John Bull

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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your detailed information/opinion was everything I could possibly need.
 

I will be coming into Terminal 2 so that makes having to wait for a bus, should my flight be delayed, not as bad. Good to know about the 90 minute window so I’ll make sure to get a bus after that. Seems like my best option would be to just keep traveling and can always nap on the bus as that looks to be a nonstop ride straight to Southampton. I think I read somewhere they also have bathrooms on board so that will be good just in case. 
 

Nice to be able to walk around Southampton for the afternoon to keep my interest and help adjust to the time difference. Just one other place for me to explore. That link and map are going to be so helpful! 

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We are arriving early on a Sunday a few days before the cruise and will be staying in London near Kensington (first time in Europe).  We have booked a car and driver for 4 hours to hold us and our luggage over until check in and get us from the airport to Central London..  We need ideas on how to make best use of that time.  Thinking of touring around Windsor realizing probably not enough time to queue and visit the castle.   The quote for the car and driver seemed reasonable to some other options I checked into.     

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