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Question

Gatwick to RN: gatwich express/tube, thameslink, hotelink?

10 May 2007 michAel-89 asked

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turns out, ill be arriving at gatwick instead of heathrow when i get to london.. =(

anyways, ive done my homework searching for ways to reach the RN and ive found the following:

-gatwick express/tube: combine the gatwick express train thingie taking you to Victoria Station, head for Greek Park Station and then change lines heading towards Russel Square Station. 15 pounds for gatwich express + 7 (or 8?) for the london tube ticket. Grand total: 22 pounds.

-thameslink: follow the signs of the National Rail (or so) and get into the Thameslink one. drops you off near King's Cross station, which is a walkable distance away from the RN. thing is, its not a very safe zone when its dark, and taking in mind ill be arriving at 7 in the morning and will be lugging around a suitcase all over the place... Price: 8 pounds.

-hotelink: head to their counter right after customs and buy a ticket. they guide you to the gatwick express train, tell which one to board, and meet you at victoria station, where theyll take you to your hotel. no guessing, no hassles. 24 pounds.

whew. told ya ive done my research.. =)

anyways, at first i was inclining towards the gatwick express+tube option. then i heard about thameslink and was, "hey! thats a whola lot cheaper!" then i was presented hotelink. its a bit more expensive than gatwick+tube (2 pounds. oh.), yet they take care of absolutely everything.

has anyone done any of these? is kings cross not that bad? is taking your luggage around teh different tube stations not that much? is 24 pounds for being spoon fed for getting to ones hotel too much?

plus, for those who have done hotelink, is advanced booking absolutely required and could you just show up and buy the ticket?

not taking prices into account, what would be your suggestions, comments?

any experiences?

PS

im sorry if this thread turned out to be, well, rather long.

heh.
  • 10 May 2007 PinaI said

    PinaI

    When I first went to London (as a novice traveller!) I used hotelink and I can recommend them for ease of getting around. You get on their little 12-seat bus at the airport and jump off when you here them yell ROYAL NATIONAL! What could be easier??!! If you’re a first-time traveller and want it to be easy then this is the way to go.

    Having said that, and since that first trip, I have spent time living in London and I used the Gatwick Express heaps for little trips within Europe. You’ll be suprised how many people you will see travelling on the tube, at all hours, with suitcases. People are really helpful in London too, if you have heaps of luggage someone is always gonna be around to give you a hand.

    The express has good storage for your suitcase at the entrance to the train so you just drop your bag off there and take a seat and then collect it again when you get to the other end.

    When you get to Victoria station you take a 5-10min walk to the underground, and yes, then go through the rigomarol of tube to Green Park and tube again to Russell Square. It’s not hard to do but it is fiddely and could be annoying.

    It’s all good and well for us to tell you it’s easy, because we’ve done it all before, but I do know it can be a bit daunting – especially if it’s your first time to London. Truth be told, because of the couple of tube changes I probably wouldn’t take this option for your first time.

    I’ve not used Thameslink but I’m heading back over in October this year and plan to try it! I’ll be staying at a hotel close to the RN so I figure I will get the ThamesLink to Kings Cross and then catch a cab to my hotel to a) avoid a couple of uneccessary tube stops and b) avoid a long walk with a heavy suticase in tow! The cab will probably cost me about 5pounds so all up – it’s still the cheapest option!

    I hope this helps you out a bit!

  • 11 May 2007 Leanne_in_Ontario said

    Leanne_in_Ontario

    I haven’t travelled there yet, but I’m also flying into Gatwick and need to get to the Imperial Hotel.

    I purchased an unlimited one-day travelcard for London which will give me unlimited access to the tube, trains, and busses. For a few pounds more than the cost of taking the tube from the airport to the hotel alone, I was able to get the unlimited from Gatwick. So I plan to take the tube to Russell Square, then on to the hotel. I believe the overall trip is about a half hour.

  • 11 May 2007 PinaI said

    PinaI
    quote:
    Originally posted by Leanne_in_Ontario:
    I purchased an unlimited one-day travelcard for London which will give me unlimited access to the tube, trains, and busses. For a few pounds more than the cost of taking the tube from the airport to the hotel alone, I was able to get the unlimited from Gatwick. So I plan to take the tube to Russell Square, then on to the hotel. I believe the overall trip is about a half hour.



    There is no underground service from Gatwick into the city. You will probably end up needing to catch the Thameslink train to Kings Cross and then changing to the Piccadilly Line South and heading for Russell Square.

    It’s a 30-min journey on the Gatwick express to Victoria so I think your trip may be slightly longer than that because Kings Cross is further and the train will make a few stops.

  • 12 May 2007 michAel-89 said

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    well, thanks a heap for the info!

    i think im staying with the hotelink thinige. 1st time overseas, 1st time in london and such.. ^^

    could i just show up and buy tickets over the counter or is advanced booking absolutely required?

  • 13 May 2007 Leanne_in_Ontario said

    Leanne_in_Ontario
    quote:
    Originally posted by PinaI:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Leanne_in_Ontario:
    I purchased an unlimited one-day travelcard for London which will give me unlimited access to the tube, trains, and busses. For a few pounds more than the cost of taking the tube from the airport to the hotel alone, I was able to get the unlimited from Gatwick. So I plan to take the tube to Russell Square, then on to the hotel. I believe the overall trip is about a half hour.



    There is no underground service from Gatwick into the city. You will probably end up needing to catch the Thameslink train to Kings Cross and then changing to the Piccadilly Line South and heading for Russell Square.

    It’s a 30-min journey on the Gatwick express to Victoria so I think your trip may be slightly longer than that because Kings Cross is further and the train will make a few stops.


    You’re right. I was thinking Heathrow but I’m flying into Gatwick. Seeing as how I already have a tube pass, would you recommend taking the Gatwick Express?

  • 13 May 2007 danielle82 said

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    I am doing the same thing. My tickets and everything arrived last week and in the packet I received it gave me a rail pass that takes me from Gatwick to Victoria station. Then from there I will probably just take the tubes. Hope this helped.

  • 13 May 2007 Leanne_in_Ontario said

    Leanne_in_Ontario
    quote:
    Originally posted by danielle82:
    I am doing the same thing. My tickets and everything arrived last week and in the packet I received it gave me a rail pass that takes me from Gatwick to Victoria station. Then from there I will probably just take the tubes. Hope this helped.



    Thanks, Danielle – I just bought some tickets for the Gatwick Express online so that should cover it.

  • 13 May 2007 PinaI said

    PinaI
    quote:
    Originally posted by Leanne_in_Ontario:
    quote:
    Originally posted by danielle82:
    I am doing the same thing. My tickets and everything arrived last week and in the packet I received it gave me a rail pass that takes me from Gatwick to Victoria station. Then from there I will probably just take the tubes. Hope this helped.



    Thanks, Danielle – I just bought some tickets for the Gatwick Express online so that should cover it.


    Yep – if you have gatwick express and tube pass you’re covered, it’s a long trip around the underground though so pack light!

    michAel_89 I’m not sure if you can just jump on board hotelink when you arrive – it might just be worth buying the ticket before you leave, online, so that you dont have to worry about it when you get there.

  • 24 May 2007 Rachelh said

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    I read everyone is taking the Gatwick Express. You can also take a normal train towards Victoria (about 30 minutes) though. A normal train ticket costs around 7 pounds. When you arrive at Victoria and you show your train ticket at the ticket desk you can buy a cheaper underground ticket.

    In total this wouldn’t cost much more than 10 pounds and saves a lot compared to the Gatwick Express etc.

  • 24 May 2007 Leanne_in_Ontario said

    Leanne_in_Ontario
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rachelh:
    I read everyone is taking the Gatwick Express. You can also take a normal train towards Victoria (about 30 minutes) though. A normal train ticket costs around 7 pounds. When you arrive at Victoria and you show your train ticket at the ticket desk you can buy a cheaper underground ticket.

    In total this wouldn’t cost much more than 10 pounds and saves a lot compared to the Gatwick Express etc.



    This would’ve worked for me also, because my travelcard covers all Tube/Train/Bus travel. But I already bought the Gatwick Express ticket so I guess that’s what I’ll be doing. I think the Gatwick Express is also a 30min ride.

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