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


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6 hours ago, John Bull said:

There's a direct tube line from London Waterloo to Kings Cross/St Pancras.

 

 

Actually Not. 

While both are on the Northern Line, they're on different branches of the Northern Line (which in reality is really two lines)

 

Kings X / St P - Hammersmith & City, Circle, Metropolitan, Victoria, Piccadilly, Northern (Bank Branch)
Waterloo - Bakerloo, Jubilee, Waterloo & City, Northern (Charing Cross Branch)

 

 

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1 hour ago, scottbee said:

 

Actually Not. 

While both are on the Northern Line, they're on different branches of the Northern Line (which in reality is really two lines)

 

 

 

 

 

Ooops. 

Quite right.

Like I said, needs a Londoner to advise on tube journeys.

Or, apparently, a Canadian 😉

 

JB 😊

(on my old I-Pad, techie Cruise Critic grief on my steam_powered desktop)

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On 2/28/2020 at 1:03 AM, John Bull said:

 

There are pros & cons choosing between Nat Express coach or the train. Coach is simpler and cheaper (just £5), train is quicker, but there's little in it.

Southampton's coach & train stations are close enough to each-other as to make no difference.

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

On Nat Express's current timetable your best options are from  Southampton coach station 07.30  am or 08.40 am.

For most ships the 07.30am is possible with unassisted disembarkation from about 7 am, but that leaves you no wiggle-time.

Way better to book the 08.40 am coach.

 

Decide for yourselves whether to disembark unassisted before 7.30, or standard disembarkation (for which you may have to ask at guest relations for an early disembarkation time-slot, citing your onward travel arrangements).

There might be a line for taxis, bear that in mind. 

Quote the name of your ship or cruise terminal, which might affect that decision.

 

Victoria train station is a simple and level 10 - 15 minute walk from Victoria coach station. 

There's a direct tube line from Victoria train station to Kings Cross/St Pancras.

It needs a Londoner / tube regular to advise how easy to negotiate those tube stations with luggage. 

From Victoria coach station to Premier Inn Kings Cross is 5 miles / 30+ minutes by taxi. At a guess at least £20, mebbe more.

........................................

Train fares to London Waterloo vary enormously, the current walk-up fare is over £46 but there are restricted advance fares (available from about 8 weeks out) as low as £15.40

On the current train timetable your best bet is the 08.30. Timing is ideal, and the advance fare £15.40. To see the advance fares you'll need to choose a random weekday date in March. The advance ticket prices rise closer to the date, and sometimes sell-out. They're only good for the train time that you choose, miss that train and the tickets are trash - you'll have to catch the next one at the walk-up fare. (same applies to Nat Express tickets, with the added disadvantage that the coaches are nowhere near as frequent and do book-out.)

Timetabling and ticketing are liable to change, so you need to diarise a date in July to book.

(there are also hourly trains from Southampton to London Victoria. But they take a circuitous route adding an hour to the journey time, and they present no advantages in your circumstances, so best avoided) 

 

There's a direct tube line from London Waterloo to Kings Cross/St Pancras.

Same comments as above from Victoria.

Ditto taxis.

................................................

A private transfer will cost vaguely around £130.

Try ...  

https://www.smithsairportcars.co.uk/

https://westquaycars.com/

http://www.aquacars.co.uk/

All are based at the Southampton end, so the driver won't be caught in motorway traffic heading to your pick-up.

..............................

Some ships offer coach transfers to London Victoria coach station - not worth the much higher fares.

But some offer a ship's coach transfer to Kings Cross / St Pancras. That's aimed at passengers bound for the Eurostar trains to mainland Europe, but would be ideal for you. Just be aware it might not be great value.

.................................................

Or, if you want a tour-transfer to London this pasted straight from a recent post of mine

Or does International Friends offer a tour-transfer on your disembarkation day?

Choices include Salisbury+Stonehenge, or Bath, or the Cotswolds.

And all of them include Windsor

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

SOUTHAMPTON TO LONDON CRUISE SHIP SHUTTLES & TOUR TRANSFERS 2020

Much more comprehensive and better value than their London-to-Southampton tour/transfer because they're not constrained by ship registration/embarkation time.

And certainly simpler and easier than DIY by rented car.

Downsides are that it's their itinerary & timing rather than your own, and time at Windsor castle is likely to be quite limited.

But a well;-respected tour/transfer operator.

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

Only other option I can think of is to walk. 

80 miles, about 26 hours.

Probably a bit far if you have luggage :classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

Thanks John for your detailed answers. Sorry I haven't acknowledged your reply earlier - having internet issues!

Think we will pass on the walk!!!!!

Might do a post on tripadvisor regarding the tube stations.

Thanks again!

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  • 1 month later...

What about car rentals if we wanted take a day to stop  in Windors and Stonehenge etc.. on the way up and back?  Where are the car rental offices in Southhamton? Avis if they are in town. Thanks.

Edited by bearette
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Will arrive to London one Wednesday at St Pancras Int, EUROSTAR train from Amsterdam around 5PM, looking for transfers to Holiday Inn in Southampton, 2 PAX, 3 suitcase and 2 hand bags.

Service Cars quote around £160 for the meet and greet service.

Train to Southampton leaves from Waterloo, don't want to change station with luggage.

Are there buses to Southampton at the terminal?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Planning on arriving London Heathrow around 9:40 am. Want to take train from the airport to Southampton. Then, will take taxi to hotel. Any idea of how long it will take? Hotel is asking for projected check-in time.

 

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2 hours ago, Calgon1 said:

Planning on arriving London Heathrow around 9:40 am. Want to take train from the airport to Southampton. Then, will take taxi to hotel. Any idea of how long it will take? Hotel is asking for projected check-in time.

 

 

There is no direct train from LHR to Southampton. Best (and cheapest) way is to use the National Express coach https://www.nationalexpress.com/en

They pick up from outside T5 and T4, but if you use the other terminals you will have a 10 min easy walk to the Central Bus Station (well signposted). The coaches run direct to Southampton Coach station (usually with a stop in Winchester) and take about 2hrs 15mins. Cost is around £15pp, but can be as low £5! The coaches are comfortable and usually have a loo on board and free wifi...luggage is effectively unrestricted, especially if you are travelling with an airline baggage allowance! We normally say book the coach about 2 hrs after your arrival time (to allow for customs etc), but if you were delayed, you can go to the National Express office in the terminal and re book for £5. According to which hotel you are thinking of, you might even be able to walk from the coach station to the hotel...check out google maps. On NE's site your departure is 'London Heathrow T?' and arrival 'Southampton Coach station'.

 

Simon

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Much the same as per Simon's post.

A Nat Express coach 90 minutes after your flight arrival time is about as early as you should risk, though because of the virus that may change..

Nat Express coaches aren't running at the moment, projected re-start date is 1st July.

Normally the schedule is identical each day, but currently coach times depend on your date of travel.

Coaches are direct, journey time about 2hrs 15mins, with one or two pick-ups en-route (sometimes Winchester, sometimes Basingstoke)., There are luggage limits - two cases of 20kg per passenger, not usually weighed & not strictly enforced so cases within your airline's limits (23kg ?) won't be a problem, but if you have massively more you need to book the excess baggage.

If your date is late summer onwards, the coach scheduled to depart at 11.15am (calling a few minutes later at T's 5 & 4) should be OK  - it arrives Southampton 1.45pm. There's a taxi rank at Southampton coach station

So if your hotel is in the city a provisional arrival time would be about 2.30pm.

 

Alternatively a (cancel-able) pre-booked private transfer will cost about £100 for the car. Try https://www.smithsairportcars.co.uk/ or https://westquaycars.com/ or http://www.aquacars.co.uk/

All are based at the Southampton end.

Expect to arrive in Southampton about 1.30 to 2.00pm

 

It concerns me a little that the hotel is asking now for a projected arrival time.

If your trip is next year, best to simply bookmark the need to advise the hotel after you've booked transportation.

If your trip is this year (bearing in mind that there are normally very few cruises out of Southampton beyond September) it may not happen at all. Various cruise lines are scheduled to re-start on various dates July-August, but that will depend on the progress of the spikey little virus. For the time being, I'd be inclined to avoid committing to any expenses for a cruise out of Southampton this season.

So a cancel-able hotel booking.

Nat Express fares from LHR to Southampton are about £23 (the bargain prices mentioned by Simon are from central London, set low to persuade folk to take day-trips - they don't apply to airport journeys because Nat Express knows that folk travelling to or from airports have to travel).

Nat Express fares aren't normally refundable,  but £23 per person is a sum that you might be willing to risk. Normally it's fine to book about 2 - 3 weeks before your travel date, but the coach capacity may be halved due to social distancing so who knows.

Private transfers are normally cancel-able with a few days notice.

 

When are you planning to travel ?

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

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Ahoy Simon and John Bull;

 

Thank you for your prompt responses. Wow . . . National Express is a significant difference over National Rail. Enough, in fact, that the savings will halve the cost of our pre-cruise hotel. Not sailing until next August. Confident that everything will be back to "the new normal" by then. Will hold off on purchasing Express tickets until final cruise payment date.

 

Post-cruise, we would like to spend a fortnight touring Cornwall and the Midlands for some genealogical research. Will probably get a Flexible 8-Day BritRail England Pass for that. Any recommendations on that?

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If you are planning on visiting several towns and villages for your research, I would think a hire car would be a better bet. Although you can get around major towns by rail, most small towns and villages no longer have stations, often have infrequent bus services and taxi fares can be quite high. Hiring a car would give you a lot more flexibility.  JB will be able to give you more info on car  hire from Southampton as he lives down that way! Just my thoughts.

 

Simon

Edited by sddsddean
spelling!!
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Again, thank you. My greatest concern on the car hire is that the sum total of my driving experience is on the wrong side of the road (from the British point of view). But. if the locals are adept at dodging tourists, I'm willing to give it a try . . . 😲   

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1 hour ago, Calgon1 said:

Again, thank you. My greatest concern on the car hire is that the sum total of my driving experience is on the wrong side of the road (from the British point of view). But. if the locals are adept at dodging tourists, I'm willing to give it a try . . . 😲   

 

Phew - you're looking to next year :classic_smile:

 

Yep, for the countryside in Cornwall you'd be better off with a rented car. The rail system is very limited thereabouts, you'll be hamstrung by dog-legs and timetables, and will still need local road transportation when you get tolerably close to places.

   My experience is that London drivers are pretty selfish and very unforgiving, but the further west you go - and you can't go further west than Cornwall, the more laid-back and generous and forgiving the drivers. Besides which, when you take to the little country lanes  some of 'em ain't wide enough for two so one of you has to find the entrance to a field or somesuch - and in Cornwall the norm is "after you", "no, after you" 

 

You'll be in a RH -drive car, so that's a big big help. There's more chance of trying to change gear using the door-pocket  that driving on the wrong side. (BTW if you need auto-transmission be sure to specify, most rental cars are stick-shift. Even if you're used to stick-shift, auto removes one complication)

And on busy roads, you simply follow the rest of the traffic

Risky times are

- first thing in the morning on a quiet road. So leave yourself a note on the steering wheel.

- after parking, or entering a gas station, particularly on the wrong side of the road. So aim to only do it on the nearside - or put that note back on the wheel.

- turning at a junction (town or country). No worries if the guy in front is doing the same or there's traffic waiting at that junction.

 

But there's a few other differences when driving in the UK. For instance no turn-out on red (red always means stop). you always drive in the nearside lane & overtake on the outside lane  - no "undertaking". And there's quite a few roundabouts (traffic islands). Read-up on advice sites on the web.

 

Plenty of local, national and international car rental agencies handy to Southampton docks. The exception currently is Avis - their nearest is at Southampton airport. More advice closer to the day if you ask, & will depend on the day-of-the-week to collect and where you want to return it.

 

For the Midlands, rail might be better for a furriner - around Birmingham in particular  there's plenty of rail and bus transportation. But that depends exactly where you want to go.

 

Best value on the railways if you use them a fair bit and there's two of you, is a "two-together" card. One card, costing £30, saves about a third on most routes. Only condition is that twe two of you travel together -so don't go falling-out with 'er-indoors.:classic_wink:. Similar cards for pensioners, families & students Figure whether its going to be worthwhile, at major stations like Southampton Central you can buy the card with your first tickets.

For times and fares https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

The current situation is reflected in very limited trains - if the full timetable isn't available you may have to give it a month or two.

For railcards https://www.railcard.co.uk/?_ga=2.207279379.12333149.1589386406-171032925.1589386406

 

Hope this helps to get you started.

Feel free to ask for more, my social diary is a little empty at the moment.:classic_rolleyes:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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6 minutes ago, Calgon1 said:

You chaps (see I'm trying to "speak English", as opposed to "talking American") are top notch! Thank you, again . . .

 

Awfully good show, old bean.:classic_smile:

It's so terribly rewarding when a Colonial has a jolly good bash at speaking the Queen's English, don't you know.

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

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5 hours ago, sddsddean said:

Sorry old man, having trouble following your banter!

 

Simon

 

Simon, my trucker friend, he said ........


" My 20 is the US of A but I'm modulating in mother tongue.  Respect, bro. 10/4 "

 

JB  :classic_smile:

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 4/18/2020 at 4:02 AM, bearette said:

What about car rentals if we wanted take a day to stop  in Windors and Stonehenge etc.. on the way up and back?  Where are the car rental offices in Southhamton? Avis if they are in town. Thanks.

 

On 4/19/2020 at 5:47 PM, gerelmx said:

Will arrive to London one Wednesday at St Pancras Int, EUROSTAR train from Amsterdam around 5PM, looking for transfers to Holiday Inn in Southampton, 2 PAX, 3 suitcase and 2 hand bags.

Service Cars quote around £160 for the meet and greet service.

Train to Southampton leaves from Waterloo, don't want to change station with luggage.

Are there buses to Southampton at the terminal?

 

Sorry for not replying sooner, folks - I keep forgetting about this thread up in the stickies.:classic_rolleyes:

 

Plenty of car rental agencies near the port, incl Hertz, National, Europcar, Alamo, Enterprise. With luggage best to take a 2 to 5 minute (£7 to £10) cab ride from any cruise terminal. Do check their hours, some don't open on sundays.

But Avis is the odd-one-out - their Southampton depot is out of the city at Southampton airport, a 20 minute (£20 to£25) cab ride away. Its one small advantage is that it's close to the motorway system, so no city driving at the start. 

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

There are no buses to Southampton from St Pancras.  

National Express buses leave from London Victoria coach station. Choice of a 4-mile 20-minute taxi ride from St Pancras (£20-£25?) or there a direct tube route (Victoria line) then 10 minute walk from Victoria tube station to Victoria coach station.

Nat Express buses are excellent value at about £10 to Southampton, journey time about 2hrs 15 mins.

 

Direct trains to Southampton from London Waterloo. No direct tube line from St Pancras, it involves one change. Or a taxi, £15 - £20? for the 3.5 mile ride.

 

There are a couple of potential problems in using public transport.....

Unless it's a weekend, an arrival at St Pancras at 5pm puts you right in the middle of commuter time. That makes the tube to Victoria a bit of a challenge with luggage, and I'd be even more wary of the tube to Waterloo because of having to change tube trains.

Also, commuter-time traffic might add to a taxi fare - London's cabs are charged by both time and distance. 

 

Nat Express buses to Southampton are infrequent and if your Eurostar is late, or your cross-London slow, you might have a long wait for the next bus. And altho pre-booking the Nat Express isn't a requirement it's strongly advised - and your booking can't be transferred to a later bus. 

 

Vaguely similar with the trains from Waterloo. About 3 trains per hour, journey time about 90 minutes, no requirement to pre-book, so that all looks good.

But the walk-up fare is about £40, so 2 x train plus 1 x taxi takes the cost toward that of a simple door-to-door private transfer. From about 8 weeks out you can buy advance train tickets for as little as £12 - £15, but those tickets are only good for the train that you book - miss that train and your advance tickets are trash & you'll have to pay the walk-up fare for the next one. That's fine for folk lodging in London, but you are dependent on Eurostar and crossing central London during commuter-time.

 

A private transfer resolves those problems - at a cost. Some transfer operators charge waiting time if your train is late, some don't. The cost for the drive is fixed - if there's traffic grief it won't cost you extra.

The £160 you've been quoted is at the upper end of reasonable, but it might have been loaded because of the time of day.

Can I suggest you get quotes from Smiths for Airports, West Quay Cars and Aquacars (all based in Southampton) and Blackberry Cars (London-based) - all are recommended by Cruise Critic members, see earlier posts for links. Remember to check if there's a waiting time charge should Eurostar be late.

Hopefully those quotes will be a little lower, and the experiences of CC members give you confidence in  them. 

 

Altho some cruise lines offer transfers to / from St Pancras, that's only on the morning of sailing-day.

 

It's a difficult one - pros & cons with all choices.

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

I too am looking for a transfer from Southampton Cruise Terminal to London Heathrow.  I've seen Smiths for Airports recommended here and it has excellent reviews on tripadvisor.  But they won't give me a quote earlier than 6 months in advance.  We are now 10 months in advance.  Can someone tell me approximately how much they would charge for 2 passengers, 2 large suitcases, 2 rollaboards, and 2 small backpacks from the Southampton cruise dock to LHR?  That way I will know whether to book something else now, or wait for Smiths. 

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Woodford Chauffeur Cars ---  we were booked with this company for our 2020 Baltic cruise transfers. That cruise like others was cancelled and we rebooked for July 2021. I attempted to rebook transfers with Woodford but it appears the company no longer exists.  Can someone confirm this for me? Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know there hasn't been much activity of this thread - or any thread frankly - but I'm very frustrated.  I have contacted

www.smithsforairports.com

or www.westquaycars.com

or www.aquacars.co.uk 

 

three times already.  I've tried one more time today BUT I'm not getting it.  I have had ZERO response from any of them.  Not a peep.  One of them - West Quay Cars - only let's you fill in for 6 people in your group.  It offers a larger van that would hold 7 people but nope there is no place to ask.  They just don't respond.  You would think there would be a comment place too.  I don't plan on calling them directly to find out.  I figure if you want my business you make your website user friendly and at least include an email address for questions.

 

So, my question(s) is this:

are these companies still in business?

is it normal to not respond (I take it back - one responded that they would respond later with suggestions LOL and that was it for them)

 

Is there anyone else to try?  I have 7 people with 4 trips that I want a quote for.  Taking the train is a big NO.  We have far too much luggage, my DH is 77 and the youngest is 10 and we will probably have a foldable wheelchair or scooter with us.

 

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20 hours ago, notentirelynormal said:

  You would think there would be a comment place too.  I don't plan on calling them directly to find out.  I figure if you want my business you make your website user friendly and at least include an email address for questions.

 

 

Maybe they feel the same... "If you want to use our service, you'll pick up the phone." 🙂

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On 1/10/2021 at 7:36 PM, notentirelynormal said:

I figure if you want my business you make your website user friendly and at least include an email address for questions.

 

Smiths for Airports has a "contact us" page right there on their web site, and when you click on it, they have an email address in addition to their phone numbers.

 

https://www.smithsairportcars.co.uk/text/contactUs.html

 

West Quay Cars also has a big "contact us" blue button right on their home page.  Click it, and an email pops up.  (I didn't check your other company.)

 

England is in total lockdown right now.  I realize you are frustrated, but it's just not business as usual at the moment (nor has it been for nearly a year). 

 

We used Smith for Airports several years ago for a transfer from London to Southampton.  They were excellent.

 

 

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  • nbsjcruiser changed the title to Transfer from Heathrow to Southampton

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