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Island2Dweller

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  1. Just being slightly pedantic. She didn't "return" to Tilbury - she had just sailed from Greenwich, not Tilbury. She's supposed to be off Edinburgh tomorrow - that looks unlikely.
  2. Various reports (with photos) on twitter show that she didn't very far after leaving Greenwich last evening - seemingly only to off Herne Bay (Kent coast) then has been towed into Tilbury.
  3. I can quite understand if you don't want to do the organised bus tour of London, but I would not recommend a private tour using a driver. There are ferocious parking restrictions, plus congestion, which means you could have hassle and waste time trying to rendezous with the driver every time you get out. For the private tour experience, I'd suggest a private guide on foot. You'll see loads on foot, and the guide can take you on the bus/tube as needed to get from place to place. That'll be far more effective than a private driver.
  4. Trains on the Circle/District/Metrolpolitan lines are air conditioned. The DLR (for Greenwich) is not, but runs mostly above ground so ventilation is fine. The Emirates cable car isn't in historic Greenwich (it's in North Greenwich, which is a different area) and getting over to it will chew time. If I had limited time it wouldn't be top of my list, I'd spend more time in the hostoric core of Greenwich but obviously some others disagree. If you have a contactless card (all new Amex cards have this) or ApplePay / GooglePay then that's all you need for transport - you only need oyster if you don't have one of these. Never buy a cash fare in London - the price structure makes these terrible value to nudge you to electronic payment. The "walkit" website / app is very good for giving you accurate walking times, much of central London is very walkable. The bus tours (any operator) will probaby get stuck in traffic in some areas. Major construction projects near the Bank of England mean the traffic in that area barely moves - get off and walk.
  5. On previous visits, she has moored in Pool of London, alongside HMS Belfast, just past Tower Bridge. She is one of the few modern ships small enough to pass through Tower Bridge. This is as close to central London as it gets, and very few ships are small enough to access this mooring. As the blurb you've received says 'by Tower Bridge,' I think it's safe to assume this is where she will be. There aren't "several deepwater" berths near tower. Only the one by HMS Belfast or another just lower than Tower Bridge. The next is Greenwich, quite a few miles downstream.
  6. If staying overnight, definitely stay in Southend (not Tilbury). The trains from Southend (on the C2C line) are frequent. Counterintuatively, you'll find it easier to go one stop past Tilbury station to Grays. That's because there will be taxis waiting outside Grays station - they won't at Tilbury. The road distance to the dock entrance is about the same.
  7. "There is a train called Gatwick Express that runs continually from Gatwick to Victoria Station." Trains branded Express run every fifteen minutes between the airport and Victoria. About half those trains start at Brighton so they are already carrying passengers when they get to Gatwick. Despite the adverts and the implication from the branding, trains branded Express are not a dedicated airport service. Other trains operate on this route are as frequent and only take about 3 minutes longer than trains branded Express - but the 'normal' services are much cheaper. Outside of weekday rush hours, there is loads of capacity and getting a seat on 'normal' services is not a problem. For destinations in many other parts of central London, the trains branded Thameslink are a better option than a train to Victoria. This is not to suggest that taking the train is the wrong option. Taking the train is a MUCH faster journey into central London than the road journey, but don't feel that trains branded Express are the only option. The comment above, that the price difference is only a few pounds? No - in off-peak hours, the standard adult fare is £8.30 to any central London national rail station (using electronic payment) but it is over £15 for trains branded Express.
  8. You've said Victoria but is that where your accommodation is? There are also frequent trains to other central London stations via the Thameslink route - which can be a better option. The Thameslink trains are 12 coach so absolutely no problem finding space at the time you arrive. The road journey is desperately slow - purgatory - I'd rather stick needles in my eyes than use the coach.
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