Hello. I am taking a cruise with my elderly parents next month. They are not the most mobile these days and I was wondering how difficult is it to travel from the Paddington Station to Liverpool Station to Manningtree Station to Harwich. Are all those stations easy to get to? We will have lugguage and they are concerned if there are any stairs? They can not walk up and down stairs. We have never been to London, can you please explain the process to travel by train from Paddington to Harwich? And the cost to get there? Its a bit confusing online? Thank you very much
Not doing stair can present a problem. How did you get to Paddington? Off Heathrow Express? To get to Harwick you need to depart from Liverpool station. So take a taxi from Paddington. HE comes in on ground level so walk to taxi station just outside. At Liverpool take a direct train to Harwich - there are a couple. If you have to switch at Manningtree, unfortunately you will have to walk up and down stairs to switch platforms. Fortunately the train stops right in front of the docks so it is a short walk to the ship. Or at least it was for us. Also, I vaguely remember that the Liverpool station had a huge set of steps leading into the station. But there must be someway around those stair. I don't know what the cost would be but it is not overly expensive.
Frank. You intend your post to be helpful, but you write of "Liverpool" station when you mean "Liverpool Street" station. The two stations are over 200 miles apart.
Marie, there are cruise port transfer companies,which may be the best solution for your parents. Yes,an expensive native but it would be so nice and comfortable for them, and so stress-free for you. Google "London to Harwich" and a lot of stuff appears. The driver would handle all the luggage, too.
Second sentence above should read " ... an expensive ALTERNATIVE ..." No matter how I tried I couldn't successfully edit it. Sorry.
The OP mentioned Liverpool street station, she is in London. Don't think she is going to take a cab from Paddington to Liverpool. I am sure she clearly understood the response even if you want to get picky about it. How about commenting on something useful such as the outside steps at Liverpool station which I only have a vague memory about. Are they there or not?
Liverpool St station have escalators to street level at, at least two of its entrances.
Marie, why do you start at Paddington? If it is because you are coming in from Heathrow then you might find the information here useful: Heathrow to Harwich. Instead if you are already in London, try this: Central London to Harwich. You will see both mention a special Heathrow/London to Harwich coach service that runs when some cruise ships are in port. If it is running for your cruise, that would be simpler than going by train. There is also a special Liverpool St - Harwich non-stop train (avoiding the need to change at Manningtree), again only on some "cruise days". Details on the above websites (though you need to click around to actually get the timetables!). Back to your original question - from the platforms at Paddington to the taxi rank is step-free (via a lift), from the taxi rank to Liverpool St is also step free (via an escalator), at Manningtree you will likely just wait on the same platform you came in on for the Harwich train (that at least is what National Rail suggests). At Harwich (note, you want Harwich International, not Harwich Town station), I don't know about steps, I'm afraid.
Hi Marie, Two years ago we traveled from Central London to Harwich to board a cruise ship for a tour of the Baltic. We researched our options to get to Harwich. Not being familiar with the train travel at the time, and worried about short connection times (we couldn't risk missing the ship), we decided to hire a transport service (BA Transport) out of London. They were very professional, on time, and very reasonable. They handled all the luggage for us and drove us to the ship in plenty of time. It's an option you may want to look at if mobility, luggage handling, and connection times are a concern for you. You can find this transport service and others on line and can compare pricing. Good luck and have a great time on your trip!
There is a lift between street level and platform level at Liverpool Street, but it's hidden away. The platform level entrance is inside the main ticket office, and the street level entrance is built into the large war memorial opposite platforms 1-5
To All, Thank you so much for taking your time to read and respond to my post. We decided to make a reservation with BA Transfers, they were reasonable and now I don't have to worry about carrying my parents and their luggage down the stairs at the train station :-)
I see you've already made a decision. If you have other cruise-related questions you might check out cruisecritic.com. They have forums (fora?) on a wide variety of related topics. They might even have one where passengers on your cruise can get acquainted.