Please sign in to post.

transportation questions to London

we are continuing to be optimistic re our trip this summer. I have questions about transportation,and would like to be economical if able versus taking a cab.. We will be taking a train from edinburgh to york and last to london From london we will flying to budapest for a it reasonable and not frowned upon to travel public transportation ( train, tube, and buses) with a roller suitcase and a packback or is this impractical? Not sure if there is luggage rack etc to put suitcase on. we are 68 and 72 years old in good shape
2nd question: I have looked at railsites and have seen prices for fares with and without a railcard. Am I correct in understanding that if I purchase an advance ticket and for some reason miss that train it is my loss or can I simply catch the next train? or is it better to purchase an off peak with the Two Together railcard? again if i missed the train could I still use that ticket for the next train. Would prefer to have tickets bought ahead of time,just am worried if we miss train due to our ignorance of locating where we board etc.
3rd; we have reservations at Hotel Kensington at Barkston Gardens near Earls court. We will be arriving on train from York. What are our options to get to hotel. For our return to the airport and travel to Budapest, is taking the tube to Paddington and then the express train to the airport reasonable with our luggage, and if it is how much time should we allow to make it to airport? Should I purchase express train ticket ahead of time and can I use railcard for a discount?
I have other questions re oyster card and seeing sights in London but I will do that another time. Thank Y

Posted by
4024 posts

Most folks on a train have luggage, just try to keep it out of the way and as close to you as possible. It will be tighter on the tube but again, anything heading in the general direction to or from Heathrow will have tourists.

Man in Seat 61 can help with your train fare questions.

Posted by
1527 posts

There is a tube station at Earls Court. Just take the Paddington tube to the airport. We have taken that train with our luggage previously. There is no problem with luggage on the tube unless you are traveling during rush hour. If you are going to the airport in the morning, the rush will be in the opposite direction of the way you are going, so no problem.

In fact one of our nicest moments traveling happened on that line. We were traveling from the airport to one of the train stations and had a long flight of stairs to negotiate with our luggage in two instances. In both cases a London commuter (one a young woman) stopped and helped my wife with her luggage. This gave us a great reminder to how nice people are all over the world.

Posted by
22976 posts it reasonable and not frowned upon to travel public transportation ( train, tube, and buses) with a roller suitcase and a packback or is this impractical?...... Of course not !!! Done everyday by locals and tourists. Sometimes there are racks and sometimes you set with your luggage between your knees.

Posted by
3499 posts

My most recent trips to London have always been with me using public transit (mostly Tube) back and forth to the airports. Never had any issues, problems, complaints, as long as I was able to keep my bags out of the main pathways (fairly easy).

And ask away on the Tube and Oyster. issues. That's what we are here for.

Posted by
5540 posts

Am I correct in understanding that if I purchase an advance ticket and
for some reason miss that train it is my loss


or can I simply catch the next train?


or is it better to purchase an off peak with the Two Together

If you know when you want to travel I see no reason to spend extra for an off peak ticket.

again if i missed the train could I still use that ticket for the next

With an off peak ticket, yes. As long as it is off peak.

Would prefer to have tickets bought ahead of time,just am worried if
we miss train due to our ignorance of locating where we board etc.

As long as you get to the station within reasonable time before departure, the risk of missing the train is close to non-existant. There are huge signs that tell you which platform it leaves from, you walk to that platform and board the train when it shows up.

Posted by
470 posts

Lets make it clear Advance Single is a specific type of ticket which can only be used on the booked train
Other types of tickets can be booked in advance such as Off Peak when there is no such restriction other than used in the Off Peak time period. These are much more expensive.
Both types of tickets are reduce by a third with a Two Together Rail Card
Suggest you consult for information on rail travel in UK including how to book tickets from abroad

Posted by
14116 posts

Okay, let me say that Barkston Gardens is around the corner from my digs in London. I have walked down that street more times than I can count or remember.

When you arrive in London from York, you wll arrive at Kings Cross station. From Kings Cross you can go to the Kings Cross underground station and take the Piccadilly Line to Earls Court. There is no change of trains needed, You will see many people with luggage as this is the train that goes to the airport. No luggage racks. You just keep your luggage with you although there are places you can stand with your luggage. This is subway train, not long distance train. By the way, I get to and from Heathrow with a roller bag and a backpack without any problems. Nor am I the only one.

Earls Court Station is one block away from Barkston Gardens. Exit the Earls Court Road side, cross the street directly in front of you, turn right and go down one block. (You'll see the Blackbird pub on the corner of Earls Court Road and Barkston Gardens.) It's a two minute walk.

There is no Hotel Kensignton on Barkston Gardens. Are you referring to the Hotel Indigo Kensington? If so, it is at the end of the street closest to Earls Court Road and Earls Court Station. (And next door to the Blackbird.)

If you are leaving from Heathrow for Budapest....check to make sure you are leaving from Heathrow as there are numerous airports in go back to Earls Court Station and get back on the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow. You have to make sure you get on the right train as some Piccadilly line trains don't go to the airport. There will be an electronic board above the station platform that tells you where the next arriving train is going.

It's that simple.

Do not....let me not waste your time and money going to Paddington to get the train from there to Heathrow. It makes absolutley no sense to do that when a direct train to Heathrow is literally at your doorstep.

There are no steps at Kings Cross, Earls Court or at Heathrow to worry about. (Earls Court has a ramp next to the steps near the entrance to the station.)

Posted by
5804 posts

To clarify what Bob said, there is a tube stop at Earls Courts. Since your hotel is near it, take the Piccadilly Line to the airport. From Earl’s Court station the airport is about a 40 minutes ride. As Frank II said, it makes no sense to go to Paddington Station and pick up a train. It won’t be quicker since you need to get to Paddington. If you decide to take the tube to the airport, ensure you get on the correct one. There’s one for terminals 2,3, and 4, while terminal 5 is a different train, same tracks.

Posted by
434 posts

You have received excellent advice from Frank re tube from Kings Cross to Earls Court and to the airport. Exactly what I would do.

But, as he notes, there is more than one airport and - in my experience - a lot of European flights go from Gatwick. Also, the hotel name - there are a lot of very similar named hotels, roads etc and it is often important to be very precise (or you could end up going in totally the wrong direction).

Posted by
44 posts

Thank you all so much for the great information. I feel quite good about navigating now with all of your help. Are there seats in the tube or is it standing room only where we will have to hang on to luggage and handrail? Embarrassed to ask but is there a number on outside of car if we get a ticket with seat reservation? We made a mistake in Italy of getting on the wrong car and had to walk with our suitcases above our heads because the aisle was so narrow. it was hilarious and scary , I thought our men were about to have heart attacks! Now you understand all my concern. I did error , we are staying at hotel Indigo Kensington! Do you think 1 hour would be enough time to go from hotel to airport ? Again thank you ALL so much. I will be posting more questions soon re Oyster card and best way to get to points of interest we hope to see.

Posted by
25509 posts

The Underground is a city subway (like a string of buses that run underground through the city center). It's not like a regular train. There are seats but no seat reservations. You may have to stand, but at your ages there's a very good chance someone will offer each of you a seat. I'm 70 and it happens to me often (though I frequently decline if I can do so politely, since others need that seat more).

YouTube has a bunch of videos showing how to ride the Underground/Tube. Watch a few and you'll see how easy it is:

Posted by
123 posts

It is perfectly sensible to use public transport. It can save yourself from congestion and of course reduce carbon footprint.

Transport for London and national rail website provides information about each station access, like if a lift is available.

You can consider using mobile application city mapper, too. In the route planning, it also gives you the time required for changing platform or from platform to exit. It also advises you which exit to take. It also gives you real time delay and disruption update. It is also important to check engineering works update at the weekend. Data feed comes from Transport for London website.

For railcard, you may want to compare the saving of two together rail card and senior rail card.

The difference is you can load the railcard discount to oyster card and enjoy 1/3 off of the off peak daily fare cap. You can find out about the daily cap on tfl website.

Posted by
123 posts

Your second question.

What if you miss the train?

It depends on your route. If your route happens to have a change, and you bought one ticket for that journey, you'd be covered. You should let the station staff know the delay of a connecting train, who will advise the next train.

If you miss the train say because of a bus delay, yes, you lose your ticket. I think you can check if your insurance policy can cover such delays.

If a train delay occurs to you which isn't unusual, there is a compensation scheme which gives you refund.

Posted by
1204 posts

A word to the wise. When booking tickets for your ‘Inter City’ journeys - Edinburgh to York, York to London - ensure you reserve seats on these trains. You’ll be asked if you want to reserve them as part of the online booking process. These trains tend to be busy whatever time of day they run and most seats are reserved. Unlike the Tube, which is a free for all, the mainline train coaches are lettered and the seats numbered. For best comfort I’d always try to get a table seat, preferably and especially if motion sickness might be a problem, facing direction of travel.

Do book ahead of time - you’ll be presumably travelling LNER and they have their own website where you can book tickets. The cheap, discounted tickets are released about twelve weeks ahead of departure dates. A railcard will give discount on whatever ticket you choose. The cheapest tickets are the ‘Advance’ tickets and yes, they do tie you to the particular train booked. When booking and making connections from, say, Heathrow I tend to err on the side of caution even if I have to watch a couple of suitable trains depart, having arrived at Kings Cross too early. (Chances are, even with an open ticket, if you don’t have reserved seats on a specific train it can be a trial finding a free seat).

You don’t need the Heathrow Express from Paddington as it sounds like your nearest tube station is on the Piccadilly line which is the line that connects Kings Cross to Heathrow and that will be your easiest link. As a rule of thumb the journey from Kings Cross to Heathrow by tube is a little over an hour. Generally speaking, the tube tends to get emptier the closer it gets to Heathrow!

I’m sure that ultimately it won’t be as daunting as you fear and it will all go smoothly!