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Questions about Transportation between airports and airport to Bristol

Hello wise ones. Bear with me on my questions. I am going to be traveling from Heathrow to London City airport in mid-August. I have a little more than 5 hours, with just a back pack (and just me), to get from one to the other. I am familiar with Heathrow airport and know the "general" options I have to get from one to the other. However, I've never been to London City airport. Additionally I will, at a later date, be traveling from London City airport to Bristol. I have downloaded the GWR app, TFLGo app, and Heathrow Express app. I have also searched through this forum as well as other online research. So, my questions are these:

1) Does Google Maps give you a realistic time frame--and transit options--to get from one place to another? Or is there another, more reliable application I should look to for up-to-date/more accurate advice? Google maps says it will take about 1hr20 using transport to go from LHR to LCY (I looked at the day of the week and time I'd be going) and gives me Elizabeth Line to DLR for a cost of about 13pounds. Is this accurate?

2) I am planning to book my GWR tickets to Bristol ahead of time as has been encourage in other posts. However, if for some reason I will not make the time purchased, am I able to easily change my GWR train ticket? And can I do this in app? Can I just hop on the next train (like the TER trains in France)? Or would I need to purchase a whole new ticket?

3) Are the apps I mentioned above all that I would need to successfully navigate around (GWR, TFLGo, Heathrow Express)?

I am very familiar with trains in mainland europe but I have never used any trains in the UK though I'm assuming it's pretty much the same. Thanks in advance!

Posted by
15688 posts

1) I prefer the Citymapper app for in city directions. It works great in London and gives you up to the minute Undergroud/bus/etc information, delays and best routes. \

2) If you are taking a GWR train to Bristol, it leaves from Paddington Station. You need to get to Paddington from London City. If you want to be able to change your GWR ticket you need to buy an "Anytime" ticket. It is good for any train that day on that route. Just show up. If you buy an "Advance" ticket it is only good for that particular train.

3) If you are going to take the Elizabeth Line you don't need the Heathrow Express app. Download the Citymapper app in its place.

Posted by
7719 posts
  1. Google Maps is pretty robust, it gives you good information, though it has it's limits. For something like LHR to London City, you should then use the trip planner in the TFL app for the best information. Same with pretty much everything else, use it as a first step, verify with the specific app/schedule. Google maps though is great for directing you to the specific bus/train stop and bus/train number.

  2. Though I used GWR, I can't answer your questions, others on here probably can, several Brits frequent this board.

  3. The TFL app is fine, but for the most part, in a short period of time you will figure out the system. I had the GWR app, but it basically did not function for me as a visitor, I believe it is focused on UK residents. The National Rail app might be easier to use and buy tickets on. No need for the Heathrow Express app. In my view the HE is obsolete now that the Elizabeth line is operational.

Posted by
1180 posts

If you have an advance ticket for a specific train then you cannot change it. If you miss the train the money is gone, so in your case I would not book this type of ticket. Depending on the time and date of travel you might find that there aren’t any very cheap tickets on this route anyway as it’s a very popular route used a lot for business travel.

You can also book train tickets using the Uber app. They give you 10% of the cost of your ticket back in credit which is automatically refunded to your card after your next purchase. Given the high price of train tickets I find this is a really good saving.

Posted by
6708 posts

To have a flexible ticket to travel on any train from Paddington to Bath will cost you £123.60.- Anytime Day Single

But to travel on any train after between 9.30am and 4.30 pm and after 7pm buy an Off Peak Single for £60.80- the time restrictions apply Monday to Friday only.

A fully flexible ticket at a weekend is called Super Off Peak Single, and costs £41.90.

On all these tickets you will choose a train when you book but can travel on any other within the time frames above without having to do anything. The only difference is that you won't have a reserved seat on a different train.

Yes £13.30 is the right fare LHR to LCY.

For convenience you can buy a through fare from LCY to Bath by choosing 'London Underground Zone 1 to 3' as your origin rather than Paddington. That prepays your DLR/Elizabeth line journey.

Posted by
283 posts

Thank you all for your answers to my questions! Really great information that will help me finalize this part of my trip.

Posted by
18 posts

You can obtain seat reservations seperate to travel tickets for no additional charge, GWR offer this facility themselves on their website if you set up an account or it can be done at a mainline ticket office, such as that at Paddington Station.