Help us get to paralympics please.

(50 Posts)
megcleary Tue 14-Aug-12 08:51:37

Have managed to get ticks for DH & I and the two dds (1 & 5) to the Olympic stadium 5/9 but it is looking at £200 to get the train from Norwich!

Have I got this right or is their a cheaper way I am not spotting, have never done London as a family and the Olympic tickets were £60!

The session is from 10-13 and we were hoping to come back about 1700 be in Norwich for 1900 ish as dd has first day back at school the 6th.
Advice appreciated wise ones!

Gumby Tue 14-Aug-12 08:54:20

Could you drive and get train from a closer station?

megcleary Tue 14-Aug-12 09:00:02

Not sure which station would be best blush that's why I came here for advice, that is a possibility if we knew which one would be best.

EdithWeston Tue 14-Aug-12 09:00:21


Is there a coach service?

Is that the price with a railcard? If not, you may find buying one reduces the cost a fair bit.

MrGeresHamster Tue 14-Aug-12 09:02:41

Is there a rail card or group save offer that could reduce the cost? The network railcard might cover all or most of the journey.

dozensofpichu Tue 14-Aug-12 09:03:35

The cost is so high as you are travelling at peak times. There's not much you can do about that though due to the time of your event. Sorry I know that's not exactly helpful!

NorthernNumpty Tue 14-Aug-12 09:06:07

It's because you will be travelling peak times in both directions. You need to get a train that arrives in London after 10am and leaves before 4:30 to get cheaper fares but that's not much good for your games times! Try singles rather than returns. You might get cheaper tickets from Kings Lynn via Cambridge but would be a complete pain!

Will see if I can think of an alternative

DilysPrice Tue 14-Aug-12 09:07:11

Travel earlier? stay in London overnight the night before with friends? break your journey (this is a really good tip which can save you loads- split your ticket up into chunks so only a bit of it is a peak train) and buy a friends and family railcard.

Definitely look at a family railcard. The cost (about £30 I think) but could save you more than the cost of the railcard.

NorthernNumpty Tue 14-Aug-12 09:10:41

I have found a fare of £22.50 outbound on 8am from Norwich (arrives 9:52) and £16 inbound on 16:22 for one person. Youngest kid is free

bisjolympics Tue 14-Aug-12 09:11:23

Have you looked at the discounted fares on the national rail games website?

Can you not get the special price games tickets? It looks as tho you can still use a tailgate as well.

SandWitch Tue 14-Aug-12 09:18:01

Your tickets should come with a zone 1-6 travel card.

Your problem is that you are travelling in peak hours.

I would look into getting a family and friends rail card as this will save you a third off your ticket. Is there is any way that you could travel to the outskirts of London the day before and get a Travel Lodge or something?

bisjolympics Tue 14-Aug-12 09:18:25

At with a railcard it will cost £63.40 total although the earliest train you can get is 8am.

CaseyShraeger Tue 14-Aug-12 09:19:46

First, get a Family and Friends Railcard - £28 for a year. 

That would bump the cost of return tickets down to £148.95 (so £176.95 including the railcard). 

If you want to save more money then go for single tickets for particular trains (but then you must actually catch those trains). The cheapest option I can see is (with your Railcard) catching the 0500 from Norwich (gets into Liverpool Street at 0654) for £64.20 and then as your return leg catching the 1630 from Liverpool Street (gets into Norwich at 1822) for  £24.15. That would be a total journey cost of £116.35 including the railcard).

CaseyShraeger Tue 14-Aug-12 09:21:00

(cross-posted with lots of people while pricing that up)

FellatioNelson Tue 14-Aug-12 09:25:43

The trouble is you need to use a peak hours service to get there. I assume you have put the actual dates into the National Rail search engine and not just asked the price of a general peak return for two adults? You can usually get better deals the longer in advance you book, but I agree the prices are still horrendous.

You probably be better off booking a cheap B&B somewhere as close to London as you can get, and driving in the night before, then hopping on a tube or short train journey.

Or, drive to Stansted and go in on the Stansted express.

Or coach. (nightmare with two small children though - very slow.)

CaseyShraeger Tue 14-Aug-12 09:26:35

Games fares are a bit of a non-starter as you couldn't leave Norwich before 8am - but looking at the price they are quoting on the 1630 return leg of the journey they are only a bit cheaper anyway.

MightBeMad Tue 14-Aug-12 09:29:18

As someone above says you ticket should come with a zone 1-6 railcard so when you buy your train tickets you only need buy from Norwich to the limit of zone 6. This saved me a fortune on my tickets for the Olympics.

megcleary Tue 14-Aug-12 09:30:46

Thanks so much railcard is £28 and looks like we can do 0740 out and 1710 back for £109 so saves £60!

CaseyShraeger Tue 14-Aug-12 09:58:35

Of course, I forgot the Norwich train goes through Stratford. That does make things more flexible on train times.

MildredH Tue 14-Aug-12 10:03:16

Could you drive to somewhere on the limits of zone 6 and park for the day and then use your free travel cards.. Then the cost would be petrol plus one day parking.. Sorry don't know East London well enough to suggest where but someone on here might?

MrGeresHamster Tue 14-Aug-12 10:04:54

Mildred I think Newbury Park is a station that lots of people use to do that. It's on the central line so underground trains go through Stratford.

Saker Tue 14-Aug-12 12:13:40

You could drive to Whittlesford Parkway near Cambridge. Is a commuter station so plenty of parking. Change at Tottenham Hale or Liverpool st for Stratford. Dh and Ds1 got train from there for Olympics last week for £26 return for the two of them and they didn't have the London Travelcard.

CMOTDibbler Tue 14-Aug-12 14:30:53

Apply for a railcard online and use the code MONEY20 for 20% off

Though we parked at London City Airport for our Olympic day - £30 for the day, then straight on the DLR

Trazzletoes Tue 14-Aug-12 14:34:55

How about driving to somewhere like Chelmsford/Billericay/Shenfield? They're just off the a12 but direct trains to Stratford. Approx 2 hour drive to Norwich.

Kveta Tue 14-Aug-12 14:39:37

or bishops stortford? plenty of free parking within 10 minutes walk of the station (PM me for streets where parking is free and safe if you'd like!)

NatashaBee Tue 14-Aug-12 14:45:19

Have you looked at the megabus? Not sure the times fit with your plans to go and come back the same day but tickets are usually so cheap that you could book a hotel overnight and still save money.

Beanbagz Tue 14-Aug-12 14:47:49

Have you tried National Rail Enquiries website? I generally book through there and it's cheaper than Trainline.

I also applied for a Family & Friends Railcard (£28) and got the cost of it back by booking our train tickets down to the Paralympics (Leeds to London is costing me £120 for 3 adults & 2 DCs).

Have you checked that your youngest actually needs a ticket? I thought under 5s went free when sat on a parent's lap (or sharing a seat with your 5 year old?)?

LeeCoakley Tue 14-Aug-12 14:49:00

I can't work out if the 5th is a weekday or weekend. If it's a weekend I'd drive to Epping on the Central Line (station about 10 mins from M11 exit) and use your free travelcards. That's what we've done. If it's a weekday then parking is a problem as the car park is full of commuters. Theydon Bois, the next station down, was apparently opening a car park for Olympic users but it might not still be open for the Paralympics.

IfElephantsWoreTrousers Tue 14-Aug-12 15:43:04

Part of the expense is you wanting to travel at the busiest time of the day on the way home - trains Leaving london between 4:30 and 7:00pm are always more expensive. You can probably save yourself another chunk if you get a half-seven train back to Norwich and pop the kids into bed ever-so-late when you get in (no one ever learns anything the first day back anyway). You could take their pyjamas with you and change them into them on the train as you approach norwich, and do bed time stories on the way home from the station to your house, to get them.

MildredH's idea is a very good one though. Upminster, just off J29 of the M25 would be a good bet, though you may need to drive around for a bit before you find a parking space, even if you have to pay quite a lot in pay&display charges it would still be a lot cheaper as you will only have to pay for petrol and car parking. Upminster is at the furthest eastern end of the District Line and there are also faster overland trains which I think your travelcards will also be valid on. The trains will go through the olympic area, which stop you alight at will depend on your specific venue.

LeeCoakley Tue 14-Aug-12 16:33:56

Theydon Bois Olympic Park & Ride if you're interested

QuiteOldGal Tue 14-Aug-12 19:15:10

Like Mildred said We parked at Hendon on a very nice housing estate and walked to the tube (about half a mile) then used our free travel cards. We did this twice. So maybe find somewhere like that north of London on the tube line, it would probably work out cheaper. We looked on google maps before we went to find somewhere that looked suitable and then put it in the sat nav.

sleepdodger Tue 14-Aug-12 19:27:03

If you drive to cockfosters tube think its free parking then tube in?

ClaireRacing Tue 14-Aug-12 19:37:27

The cheapest rail fares will be to use the special games rates, combined with a F&F railcard.

You can book online with all your details and pick up the tickets from the ticket machine at your local station, using the booking ref they give you.

ClaireRacing Tue 14-Aug-12 19:44:36

I just plugged in details from Norwich for that day and it came up with £48 for the trip.

CaseyShraeger Tue 14-Aug-12 19:48:05

But that only lets her get an 8am or later train (unless it's changed recently), ClaireRacing, which wouldn't get her to the stadium in time for the 10am start.

AphraBehn Tue 14-Aug-12 19:50:44

You might want to double check but i think the travelcards are zones 1-9. We used ours to go from Southend to Leigh for the mountain biking.

If this is the case you could drive to somewhere like Chelmsford and then travel in by train using the travelcard.

ClaireRacing Tue 14-Aug-12 19:53:05

You set the set off time and it adjusts the fare accordingly. The off-peak faire for two adults and one child for that journey is £16. Obviously to get to £48, they are charging £32 for the morning leg.

It's a lot cheaper than £200.

megcleary Tue 14-Aug-12 20:07:58

Been discussing the various options that you lovely people have come up with DH, who is gobsmaked at how kind people are giving time and advice.

We have booked Theydon Bois car park and will use our tickets then to get to Stratford. £8 ......

Compared to the £200 I was about to spend this morning. The diesel will be about £40 so I cannot thank you all enough.

Am soo excited

CaseyShraeger Tue 14-Aug-12 20:21:16

I couldn't get it to let me choose a time before 8am when I tried this morning, but maybe that was the iPad not cooperating...

Great to hear, OP! That sounds far more reasonable!

MildredH Tue 14-Aug-12 23:44:44

Really nice to be able to help. I hope you guys have a fantastic day. We went to an Olympic event and found it just a really great feel-good day out!

Trazzletoes Wed 15-Aug-12 06:52:40

Aphra Zone 9 definitely does not go out as far as Chelmsford/ Leigh/ Southend! Harold Hill is as far as it goes! You might have got away with it on mountain biking day because it was so far out so they temporarily extended the boundaries, but if you were travelling tothe Olympic Park you'd need a ticket to Harold Hill.

SailorVie Wed 15-Aug-12 07:11:51

When we used to live in Norwich we used to drive down and park at Redbridge Tube (on the Central Line). Redbridge right next to the bottom of the M11 so to speak. Cheap and very convenient. I believe it is free parking on residential streets.

AphraBehn Wed 15-Aug-12 08:19:58

Thanks Trazzle, i did wonder if that was the case which is why i said to check but also wanted to make the point that the travelcard was zone 9 rather than zone 6.

LeeCoakley Wed 15-Aug-12 08:31:43

Glad you've sorted it Meg! You've probably got satnav or similar but if not, make sure you exit the M11 at junction 7 - the Harlow/Epping exit. On the map junction 6 looks closer but it is just the M11/M25 interchange and you won't be able to leave the motorway here. An alternative is exiting at junction 26 of the M25.

Have a lovely day!

Have you looked at breaking the journey. So train norwich to Colchester (or any stop on route) then to London. That works for my mum often it's cheaper to get 2 train tickets than 1.

Sorry just noticed you have it sorted too slow

megcleary Thu 06-Sep-12 21:07:09

Well we attended yesterday and it was inspirational, thank you LeeCoakley for the Theydon Bois car park tip it was a bit difficult to find, someone had kindly parked infront of the tiny sign for it and they had built a distribution deport where the m11 entry point was!! But despite these hitches all fab

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