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


jedco
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This must have been answered somewhere but I can't find it. I'm reserving a transatlantic on Princess 11/2020. I want to go into London via LHR as that's the only airport with NS from SFO (I actually prefer Earl's Court) for a few days and then I'm thinking to Southampton for the night b4 the cruise. Can I do that on the train ..... which one's best ..... where to stay in Southampton and anything to do there? I haven't been there since 2014 so I'm thinking 3 days in London is well worth it so do I stay 3 nights Earl's Court & 1 night Southampton or all 4 nights in London?

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On 10/4/2019 at 8:20 PM, Ombud said:

This must have been answered somewhere but I can't find it. I'm reserving a transatlantic on Princess 11/2020. I want to go into London via LHR as that's the only airport with NS from SFO (I actually prefer Earl's Court) for a few days and then I'm thinking to Southampton for the night b4 the cruise. Can I do that on the train ..... which one's best ..... where to stay in Southampton and anything to do there? I haven't been there since 2014 so I'm thinking 3 days in London is well worth it so do I stay 3 nights Earl's Court & 1 night Southampton or all 4 nights in London?

 

Earls Court, eh?

Are you sure you're not an Aussie? :classic_wink: 

 

As you doubtless know, Earls Court is quite a way from central London - but accommodation is significantly cheaper & the centre of London is quickly & easily reached by tube.

 

With four pre-cruise nights it's well worth considering the pre-cruise night in Southampton.

Southampton can certainly keep you amused for a day, and is much more relaxing than the big bad city,  but accommodation may not be significantly  cheaper than Earls Court  - and it's not necessary because travel down to Southampton from London on cruise morning is perfectly normal.

 

By train is a bit problematic - you have to get to either

- London Waterloo station, 5.5 miles by taxi, or by tube with one awkward change

- or Clapham Junction, 4 miles by taxi or by London Overground from West Brompton station, near Earls Court.

Trains are direct to Southampton from Waterloo (the terminus) or Clapham Junction (the first stop after Waterloo). Train journey time about 90 minutes.

Buy your train tickets about 7 to 8 weeks out for discounted fares (about £15 vs walk-up fare about £44) but be aware that the ticket is only good for the train time that you selected - miss it & you'll have to  pay the full walk-up fare for the next train.

https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

Your destination is Southampton Central.

-------------------------------------

 

From Earls Court the direct National Express bus service is easier and cheaper.

https://www.nationalexpress.com/en

Buses start at London Victoria coach station (direct District Line tube from Earls Court to Victoria train station, then a ten-minute walk to Victoria coach station). Approx hourly service, journey time 2 hrs 15 minutes. Fare only about £7.

 

But there's one intermediate National Express bus-stop in London- and it's at Hammersmith, which is just a couple of stops  on the tube (District line or Piccadilly line) from Earls Court!  The Nat Express bus-stop is very close to the Hammersmith tube exit

https://www.nationalexpress.com/en?find-my-stop=yes

The one snag is that only a few of the Southampton-bound  buses stop at Hammersmith.

 

Southampton is not always the end-destination of the bus, so don't be fooled by the sign on the front of the bus.

Whether you choose to board at Victoria coach station or at the bus stop on Hammersmith Broadway you should pre-book.

Your destination is Southampton Coach Station. 

 

Hope this helps more than it confuses :classic_rolleyes:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

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Not an Aussie. I'm from Northern California. It's not a long walk and it's a quieter neighborhood, remember it being around a 1/2 hour maybe an hour.

 

Thinking of taking this and going in early:

 

34 minutes ago, John Bull said:

But there's one intermediate National Express bus-stop in London- and it's at Hammersmith, which is just a couple of stops  on the tube (District line or Piccadilly line) from Earls Court!  The Nat Express bus-stop is very close to the Hammersmith tube exit

https://www.nationalexpress.com/en?find-my-stop=yes

The one snag is that only a few of the Southampton-bound  buses stop at Hammersmith.

THANK YOU!!

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Need a ride from Heathrow to hotel near Piccadilly Then a pickup from hotel to ship in Southampton. What car services would you recommend? We will lave two larger checked bags and two carry ons and 2 personal bags as per airline regulations.

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4 hours ago, Ombud said:

Not an Aussie. I'm from Northern California. It's not a long walk and it's a quieter neighborhood, remember it being around a 1/2 hour maybe an hour.

 

Thinking of taking this and going in early:

 

THANK YOU!!

 

The tube from Earls Court takes no more than 10 - 15 mins to places like Westminster Bridge/Parliament Square or Hyde Park Corner or Piccadilly Circus or Covent Garden.

 

But be very wary of the location of the Nat Express Hammersmith bus-stop on the Nat Express map.

It's at the BLUE marker on Hammersmith Bridge Road, not the RED marker, which is on the A4 flyover :classic_ohmy:

This is confirmed by googlemaps & streetview at https://goo.gl/maps/qqL9xbt3qbkeKYt99

 

JB :classic_smile:

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On 10/4/2019 at 12:20 PM, Ombud said:

This must have been answered somewhere but I can't find it. I'm reserving a transatlantic on Princess 11/2020. I want to go into London via LHR as that's the only airport with NS from SFO (I actually prefer Earl's Court) for a few days and then I'm thinking to Southampton for the night b4 the cruise. Can I do that on the train ..... which one's best ..... where to stay in Southampton and anything to do there? I haven't been there since 2014 so I'm thinking 3 days in London is well worth it so do I stay 3 nights Earl's Court & 1 night Southampton or all 4 nights in London?

 

Norwegian fly non-stop SFO-LGW, but Earl's Court is closer to LHR by quite a margin.

 

Earl's Court is also very easy by tube from Heathrow (direct, Piccadilly line)

 

As for getting from Earl's Court to Southampton; Tube (district line) to Wimbledon, and then rail service from Wimbledon to Southampton which may involve a quick change, (likely same platform)  at Clapham Jct, Woking or Basingstoke.  If you're doing it on a weekend, I think the trains are actually direct (certainly I've stopped at Wimbledon before along the route from Southampton)

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Reading with interest as we have not ventured to the UK for many years.

We arrive Heathrow staying in London south Kensington area, for a few days then a cruise from Southampton return.

Then back to a hotel in central London a few days before flying out.

We booked and paid on line return train tickets, waterloo to Southampton, thinking that would save messing about at the station.

Usually we book on line pay and get tickets and reservations via email.

We now realise we must use the emailed booking number, have the credit card to get the tickets at a machine, and there are no reserved seats in first. It is considered a commuter train.

Not sure why the paid tickets cannot be emailed? 

We have asked if we can collect the tickets any day for both trips or if it has to be done on the day of travel?

We nominated waterloo as the collection station.

It may have been better to do all this on the day as we seem to have achieved not much by prebooking and paying?

Nevertheless too late for this trip.

We are thinking of pre ordering oyster cards, delivered at home before our trip for the days we have in London?

We are not yet sorted arrival transfers Heathrow to our hotel one way only required.

We are considering the Piccadilly line on arrival at Heathrow,  to south Kensington or a private car?

We like train travel in Europe but were bewildered by the vast London network and issues with steps and distance with luggage.

We like this forum for info on all sorts of issues. 

Welcome any comments or suggestions.

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On 7/19/2019 at 6:29 PM, John Bull said:

 

£44 is the walk-up train fare.

Even on sundays there are cheap advance tickets on some trains from London Waterloo to Southampton central. 

As low as £9.

Advance tickets available from about 10 weeks out - if your date is later than 29th September you can see the cheap advance fares by choosing a random sunday in September.

Advance tickets are only valid for the train time that you choose, but that's the same with Nat Express coaches.

No cheap advance train fares on trains from Victoria rail station on sundays..

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/

 

Probably best to choose between train or coach depending on the location of your London hotel.

 

JB :classic_smile:

Is it necessary to advance reserve for Coach tickets? We are thinking of taking the coach from Southampton after disembarking, and won't know what time we'll be available to board. It appears that the price increases by quite a bit if you don't reserve.

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5 minutes ago, pistachio said:

Is it necessary to advance reserve for Coach tickets? We are thinking of taking the coach from Southampton after disembarking, and won't know what time we'll be available to board. It appears that the price increases by quite a bit if you don't reserve.

Technically not necessary, but we would all advise you to do so. The coaches only hold 50 people, unlike a couple of hundred on the train, so if you want to ensure a seat, book it! I certainly would. The coach station is a 15 min walk from City Cruise terminal, or you can cab it for £7.

 

Simon

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3 minutes ago, sddsddean said:

Technically not necessary, but we would all advise you to do so. The coaches only hold 50 people, unlike a couple of hundred on the train, so if you want to ensure a seat, book it! I certainly would. The coach station is a 15 min walk from City Cruise terminal, or you can cab it for £7.

 

Simon

Thanks for that speedy response!! There are no changeable coach tickets, right? Any suggestions on what time would be safe, based on NCL disembarkations? It appears that there are buses leaving 8:50, 9:50, 11:05, 12:20...

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1 hour ago, pully8 said:

Reading with interest as we have not ventured to the UK for many years.

We arrive Heathrow staying in London south Kensington area, for a few days then a cruise from Southampton return.

Then back to a hotel in central London a few days before flying out.

We booked and paid on line return train tickets, waterloo to Southampton, thinking that would save messing about at the station.

Usually we book on line pay and get tickets and reservations via email.

We now realise we must use the emailed booking number, have the credit card to get the tickets at a machine, and there are no reserved seats in first. It is considered a commuter train.

Not sure why the paid tickets cannot be emailed? 

We have asked if we can collect the tickets any day for both trips or if it has to be done on the day of travel?

We nominated waterloo as the collection station.

It may have been better to do all this on the day as we seem to have achieved not much by prebooking and paying?

Nevertheless too late for this trip.

We are thinking of pre ordering oyster cards, delivered at home before our trip for the days we have in London?

We are not yet sorted arrival transfers Heathrow to our hotel one way only required.

We are considering the Piccadilly line on arrival at Heathrow,  to south Kensington or a private car?

We like train travel in Europe but were bewildered by the vast London network and issues with steps and distance with luggage.

We like this forum for info on all sorts of issues. 

Welcome any comments or suggestions.

I'll have  a go at the questions I think you are asking.

You can pick up tickets from the nominated station any time up to and including the day of travel. If you get flummoxed by the machine, you can get your tickets from the human in the ticket office!

Hopefully, by pre booking, you've saved some money.

No problem pre ordering Oyster cards, but easy to get at the tube stations at LHR if you need to. Be aware that if you use the tube, you will have to manhandle your luggage up escalators and probably some steps.

 

Simon

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3 minutes ago, pistachio said:

Thanks for that speedy response!! There are no changeable coach tickets, right? Any suggestions on what time would be safe, based on NCL disembarkations? It appears that there are buses leaving 8:50, 9:50, 11:05, 12:20...

To change the ticket (except at arrival at airports) you have to buy a new ticket. So, NCL will probably start walk off disembarkation about 0700-0730. You should be outside the terminal in less than 30 mins, so you could get the 0850 coach. If you have the time, I think I'd go for the 0950 to give you a bit of wiggle room and a more leisurely breakfast. This map shows you the walking route https://goo.gl/maps/G5xzibZBrru3MjAB7

You can walk through the Holiday Inn car park to cut the corner and not go to the roundabout.

 

Simon

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16 minutes ago, pistachio said:

Is it necessary to advance reserve for Coach tickets? We are thinking of taking the coach from Southampton after disembarking, and won't know what time we'll be available to board. It appears that the price increases by quite a bit if you don't reserve.

 

Simon beat me to it.

And nothing to disagree with.

 

But to stress, on the question of whether to pre-book Nat Express

...... yes, that route & time-of-day often books-out - it's the same coach for both Heathrow airport and then central London.,.

..... and yes, the fares are flexible so booking a couple of months out would be a good idea

..... and no, tickets on that route are only good for the coach time that you book.

 

And on what time to book, assuming you're not flying out that day

..... the 08.40 should be easily manageable, but best to disembark unassisted (usually around 7am) to avoid possible lines at the terminal and a possible line for taxis if you choose not to walk (about £7 for a taxi)

.... the 09.50 would give you a more-leisurely assisted disembarkation after the hordes have disembarked.

But with the Nat Express advance fare being only around a fiver, you could give yourselves flexibility by booking both. 

(since the walk-up fare will be about £18, you might even be able to sell the unused ones at a profit :classic_wink:.  And if that coach is sold out you could doubtless be mercenary & hold out for megabucks  :classic_biggrin:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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3 hours ago, John Bull said:

 

Simon beat me to it.

And nothing to disagree with.

 

But to stress, on the question of whether to pre-book Nat Express

...... yes, that route & time-of-day often books-out - it's the same coach for both Heathrow airport and then central London.,.

..... and yes, the fares are flexible so booking a couple of months out would be a good idea

..... and no, tickets on that route are only good for the coach time that you book.

 

And on what time to book, assuming you're not flying out that day

..... the 08.40 should be easily manageable, but best to disembark unassisted (usually around 7am) to avoid possible lines at the terminal and a possible line for taxis if you choose not to walk (about £7 for a taxi)

.... the 09.50 would give you a more-leisurely assisted disembarkation after the hordes have disembarked.

But with the Nat Express advance fare being only around a fiver, you could give yourselves flexibility by booking both. 

(since the walk-up fare will be about £18, you might even be able to sell the unused ones at a profit :classic_wink:.  And if that coach is sold out you could doubtless be mercenary & hold out for megabucks  :classic_biggrin:

 

JB :classic_smile:

Thanks to both of you!! Maybe we will buy both!

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On 8/2/2019 at 5:41 PM, chk-gnt said:

It does but this transfer goes to Stonehenge and Salisbury before ending at Victoria Station.

 

Hello!

 

I'm wondering how you @chk-gnt  fared getting to LHR from London,  and I was hoping you hadn't felt unwelcome to continue seeking advice here on the board. It's meant to be a comfortable, fun, and friendly atmosphere among our Cruise Critic members, and it almost always is! What makes these boards great, are the terrific group of people who happily spend their time sharing information and asking questions among one another, no strings attached, without judgment, in kindness, free of judgment. The only bad question is the one that is not asked. 

 

It is not easy to describe in detail the intricacies of any major city's transportation system, especially if making connections and dealing with multiple resources in a city one has never visited before. Moreover, it's easy to leave out a detail when one is a local and writing it down; I know I have done so on occasion when writing about my own city; I am sure I have listed every detail because in my mind, it's automatic, I can visualize every part of every step and I know what it's all named (maybe?) and where it all goes (definitely) and the costs, connections, apps, payment methods, stations, terminals, who runs what, how the machines work, but can I leave out a detail when I am trying to help someone? Probably...every time, especially when I am trying to write it down for someone, unintentionally. And in my city, our normal pace is "are you deliberately going slow?" 

 

The MORE questions you ask, the more likely it is things will be clearer for you and we can be helpful. And we would not be here if we did not want to help you, especially in big, busy cities with lots of stations, lines, and many that don't necessarily make sense, even to us living here all our lives. I still make mistakes on occasion OR, the train just suddenly does NOT go where *I* want it to (they claim it's not personal, lol) and I have to reconfigure my journey which helps keep me on my toes! And grumbling 😉 

 

So....how did it go at Victoria? Did you even arrive at Victoria? Or did you come into Waterloo? If so, that hopefully worked out, it's a wonderful, easy, quite modern/updated station to go through and I'm hoping you found it equally convenient. Did you take a train to LHR from Paddington? You would have had to tube it from Waterloo to Paddington but that would have been an easy enough trip if your luggage wasn't too cumbersome. Everything is pretty well automated and easy to use, (fewer tickets in hand) but that doesn't mean it can't still feel daunting and/or intimidating trying to get it all sorted before departure.

 

There was a comment earlier about the name of a station, was it London Waterloo, I can't recall. It's a common trivia question in NYC that most locals even get wrong as to the proper name of the large train station at 42nd street, near Lexington Avenue, Grand Central; most of us will call it Grand Central Station although that is totally wrong. It's correctly called Grand Central Terminal. Grand Central Station is a post office....and yet, ask almost anyone where to catch the Metro North in Manhattan (that is, if you can find an actual NYer!) and they'll tell you Grand Central Station. Yep, there's a small, small, mailbox there, not far from the info booth, against the same wall where the tracks are, but no postal services, only trains. 🤔 (also, 4,5,6,7, Shuttle subway trains!!) 

 

Thanks as always everyone 🙂 

 

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1 hour ago, Host Bonjour said:

 

Hello!

 

I'm wondering how you @chk-gnt  fared getting to LHR from London,  and I was hoping you hadn't felt unwelcome to continue seeking advice here on the board. It's meant to be a comfortable, fun, and friendly atmosphere among our Cruise Critic members, and it almost always is! What makes these boards great, are the terrific group of people who happily spend their time sharing information and asking questions among one another, no strings attached, without judgment, in kindness, free of judgment. The only bad question is the one that is not asked. 

 

It is not easy to describe in detail the intricacies of any major city's transportation system, especially if making connections and dealing with multiple resources in a city one has never visited before. Moreover, it's easy to leave out a detail when one is a local and writing it down; I know I have done so on occasion when writing about my own city; I am sure I have listed every detail because in my mind, it's automatic, I can visualize every part of every step and I know what it's all named (maybe?) and where it all goes (definitely) and the costs, connections, apps, payment methods, stations, terminals, who runs what, how the machines work, but can I leave out a detail when I am trying to help someone? Probably...every time, especially when I am trying to write it down for someone, unintentionally. And in my city, our normal pace is "are you deliberately going slow?" 

 

The MORE questions you ask, the more likely it is things will be clearer for you and we can be helpful. And we would not be here if we did not want to help you, especially in big, busy cities with lots of stations, lines, and many that don't necessarily make sense, even to us living here all our lives. I still make mistakes on occasion OR, the train just suddenly does NOT go where *I* want it to (they claim it's not personal, lol) and I have to reconfigure my journey which helps keep me on my toes! And grumbling 😉 

 

So....how did it go at Victoria? Did you even arrive at Victoria? Or did you come into Waterloo? If so, that hopefully worked out, it's a wonderful, easy, quite modern/updated station to go through and I'm hoping you found it equally convenient. Did you take a train to LHR from Paddington? You would have had to tube it from Waterloo to Paddington but that would have been an easy enough trip if your luggage wasn't too cumbersome. Everything is pretty well automated and easy to use, (fewer tickets in hand) but that doesn't mean it can't still feel daunting and/or intimidating trying to get it all sorted before departure.

 

There was a comment earlier about the name of a station, was it London Waterloo, I can't recall. It's a common trivia question in NYC that most locals even get wrong as to the proper name of the large train station at 42nd street, near Lexington Avenue, Grand Central; most of us will call it Grand Central Station although that is totally wrong. It's correctly called Grand Central Terminal. Grand Central Station is a post office....and yet, ask almost anyone where to catch the Metro North in Manhattan (that is, if you can find an actual NYer!) and they'll tell you Grand Central Station. Yep, there's a small, small, mailbox there, not far from the info booth, against the same wall where the tracks are, but no postal services, only trains. 🤔 (also, 4,5,6,7, Shuttle subway trains!!) 

 

Thanks as always everyone 🙂 

 

I really appreciated all of the help from everyone on Cruise Critic. I took the excursion from the boat to Victoria Station. That bus lets you off across the street from the station. I had 2 suitcases so I had booked a car to the airport. Stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn at the airport, it's connected to terminal 2 and 3.

 

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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

Edited by megr1125
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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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  • nbsjcruiser changed the title to Transfer from Heathrow to Southampton

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