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Londoners! Advice please!

(28 Posts)
Dumbledoresgirl Sat 03-Oct-09 21:02:00

Thinking of taking my children to London for the day over half term. We live near Bristol so it will be quite a hike and I don't want to be bothered driving through the London traffic and negotiating the congestion charge etc.

So I am thinking of driving to somewhere in West London and going in by tube.


Where would be a good place to park the car and get on the tube eg somewhere easily accessible from the west with easy, safe parking?

How much does it cost to travel on the tube these days? In my day, a one day travelcard was the way to go but is that still the case?

How much is a child's fare?

Anything else I should consider?

I know London - I lived there for years - so no worries on that score, just I am out of touch with public transport issues.


BecauseImWorthIt Sat 03-Oct-09 21:10:21

Would it not be better to go in by train? If you book in advance from you can get some really good deals? Then you're right into Paddington and won't have very far to travel.

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 03-Oct-09 21:11:53

The children would love that BIWI, but there are 4 of them and I don't think I could afford the fares. Will see if I can google prices though to see how much it is I can't afford!

BecauseImWorthIt Sat 03-Oct-09 21:21:43

Seriously - you can some really, really cheap fares, especially if you have a family railcard. Definitely worth exploring!

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 03-Oct-09 21:27:31

Urgh the National Rail Inquiries site is a nightmare - they seemed to give me random prices every time I changed the travel times! Also, I could not find children's fares anywhere. But the cheapest adult fare was £30.

The travel times are attractive - just 90 mins - and my children would adore the novelty of the train (went to their grandmothers in the summer and could talk of nothing else than the excitement of travelling on a bus) - but I think the cost will be prohibitive.

BecauseImWorthIt Sat 03-Oct-09 21:29:06

this is the site that you want!

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sat 03-Oct-09 21:33:57

How about the coach? I went to Bristol by coach and it was about as quick as the train (which, last time I went, was held up by about an hour on the way back).

But First Great Western has lots of deals if you book well ahead.

Children are now free on the tube and London buses.

foxinsocks Sat 03-Oct-09 21:40:35

is it going to be a weekend? if it's a weekend, I'd drive to somewhere like Putney (I can tell you where to park for free on a weekend there)

if it's a weekday, I would go to Hammersmith. You can park on a meter near somewhere like Ravenscourt Park tube (v handy I think) and go in from there. You will probably have to pay for a whole day's parking on a meter (so check before you go as some meters, you can only park for 2 hours) but it used to be something like £1 or £1.50 an hour on the street which I didn't think was too bad tbh

or you can park free near some of the train stations in SW London.

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 03-Oct-09 21:42:58

Thanks BIWI, that site is much better except it showed me rail fares would come to £150.

Mad, not sure I would care for the coach - would prefer to drive tbh. But thanks for letting me know the tube is free for children. That is one piece of good news.

southeastastra Sat 03-Oct-09 21:43:55

you can park at my house grin, prob easiest to get the train though

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 03-Oct-09 22:03:35

Are you on a tube line sea? I had no idea

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sat 03-Oct-09 22:06:11

Up to you, Dumbledoresgirl, of course. But I mentioned the coach because I was pleasantly surprised by how civilised it was. Then again, I didn't have 4 children with me!

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sat 03-Oct-09 22:09:54

About train fares .... can't remember exactly but a return to Bristol for me and dd in the summer was about £30 (with a railcard), so £150 seems very high. Have you tried tweaking your travel times to get a lower fare?

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 03-Oct-09 22:15:34

Well was putting in a travelling time of roughly 10 am for the outward journey and 7 pm for the return journey - trying to stay well away from commuting times.

BIWI's site did have slightly higher fares than National Rail but it showed children's fares too which I needed. I might get my brother onto the case as he is a big user of public transport.

Re coaches, I just think you have to sit still on them and might as well be in the comfort of your own car, whereas trains have the advantage of allowing you to walk around.

giantwickerstacks Sat 03-Oct-09 22:20:12

Did you try the 2 singles prices? returns are a lot more expensive bizarrely...and have you got a railcard - it would pay for itself on that trip alone.

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 03-Oct-09 22:24:56

Ah yes I did put in return. I thought it would be cheaper. How bizarre it is not. No railcard - is there a family one that would cover 4 children?

giantwickerstacks Sat 03-Oct-09 22:26:28

yes its 4 adults and 4 kids here

sausagerolemodel Sat 03-Oct-09 22:26:30

Brentford Rail station is just off the M4 and seems to have parking facilities. See here

If you drive much further towards town than that it might be difficult to find free parking without getting lost in suburbia! (i.e. as soon as you get to chiswick/hammersmith the street parking is mostly controlled by permit/meter)

ooh ooh ooh. I just discovered this website - it should find you what you want, where you want it.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sat 03-Oct-09 22:30:10

Family railcard

bibbitybobbityCAT Sat 03-Oct-09 22:37:43

Hello DG. If you can get to Kew Gardens easily you can park on my brother's road, no parking restrictions at all, and go in to town on the tube very easily. You could even park on his driveway if you like - he works away during the week. Let me know if Kew strikes you as a reasonable destination for you to drive to. It does seem a lot of driving (for you) to do all in one day though.

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 03-Oct-09 22:42:45

So if I got to say Kew (thanks for the offer of a drive B wink) or Brentford, would I only then have to pay for a one day travelcard for me? Kids really are totally free on all tube lines? shock How does that work? How do kids get through the ticket barriers? What is the upper age limit for free travel as ds1 is 13 but tall for his age and might be thought to be older.

giantwickerstacks Sat 03-Oct-09 22:44:33

He might need a photocard - check on the tfl website here

giantwickerstacks Sat 03-Oct-09 22:45:45

in fact I think he does sad here

sausagerolemodel Sat 03-Oct-09 22:48:52

An off peak 1-4 travelcard for you will cost £6.30

you can get kids travelcards for a pound each by the looks of things. Kids under 11 are free, but you may need photocards, see here

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 03-Oct-09 22:53:35

Yes, that would include ds2 then as he is 11. So they would be a pound each but getting them oyster cards would be a faff.

gosh this is more complicated than it used to be!

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