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Getting to Southend Airport

I am working my way through the transportation logistics for our London vacation in April. We will arrive LHR on a Saturday and stay a week at an apartment in Marylebone (closest tube is Marble Arch), and then we fly out of Southend Airport to Malaga at 13:15 on a Friday. We will have Oyster cards for the week in London.

Citimapper is telling me that it's pretty easy to get to Southend. Looks like we take the Central line from Marble Arch to Liverpool Street, then pick up a Greater Anglia train direct to Southend Airport station. There is a train that arrives 10:07 a.m.

My questions are:
1) Is it really this easy? Any hiccups I should be aware of? We would be traveling during morning rush hour; do we need to allow extra time?
2) Any reason I should NOT pre-purchase the rail tickets? An anytime fare from Liverpool Street to Southend Airport is currently showing as 17.80 GBP. I prefer to pre-purchase so I don't have to worry about ticketing on the way to the airport, but maybe there's a reason I shouldn't do this.
3) I assume I just pay for the entire journey from Liverpool Street to Southend Airport, even though a good part of that trip is within the area covered by the Oyster card -- but part is not?

Thanks in advance for your help. For some reason, I was able to navigate the whole Switzerland travel pass thing on our trip last year with no questions, but London has me a bit more confused!

Posted by
4664 posts

1) Yes, it is that easy. As far as the rush hour goes you will be travelling away from the main direction of traffic once you get past Holborn station on the Central Line. At Liverpool Street you want to get a train with the final destination "Southend Victoria".
2) No reason not to pre-purchase as long as you don't get limited to a specific train, which I don't think will happen on that route. Make sure you do get Anytime tickets as you will be travelling within the rush hour and most cheaper tickets won't be valid.
3) If you are using a PAYG Oyster card you should get a ticket from Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport as you are outside the validity area. If you are using a weekly Travelcard which is still valid on the last Friday, you may be able to get a cheaper fare by buying a ticket from "Boundary Zone n" where n is the highest numbered zone your travelcard is valid for. These are difficult to get online but ticket machines at Liverpool Street should be able to supply them.