Train / Bus Stations, London
The centre of London is encircled by number of mainline stations, each of which serves a large number of towns and cities all in the same general direction – e.g. Paddington for the south west of England and south Wales, Kings Cross for the north east of England and eastern Scotland etc. All of these mainline stations are in turn well served by tube lines, usually bearing the same name (but if you’re going to St Pancras mainline station, for instance, you’ll need Kings Cross tube station).
Train services are provided by a number of operators, who have contracts to provide services on certain lines. Prices are high by European standards, though there are bargains to be had. The general rule is that the earlier in advance that you can book your ticket, and the more flexible you can be, the lower the price. Try The Trainline for online booking – I find it easiest to identify the best value here and you can have your ticket sent to you in advance or collect it from the station on the day of travel.
If you‘re staying in Britain for any length of time there may be useful discount cards and passes, depending on your circumstances. For information on these check out National Rail Enquiries.
During WWII - 10,000 mostly Jewish children were sent out of Austria, Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia by their parents to escape the Nazis and almost certain death. These children came by boat from Holland to London and arrived in Liverpool Street Station to be sent around the country - some to hostels but mostly to foster families.
This monument of a rather forlorn little girl is found just outside the main entrance to Liverpool Street Station. The glass case she is standing next to, usually houses other artefacts and memorabilia from that time but currently it's empty due to renovation.
Arriving at paddington Station from heathrow we 'assumed' we would have no problem finding an information booth to get a map of London. Boy were we wrong. If you are looking for one there is a Map dispencer just at the exit for the Taxi cabs just before you head outside. They cost 2 pounds.
Victoria is the mainline terminus for trains from London to the south coast - the main destinations from Victoria are Brighton, Gatwick, Eastbourne, Ramsgate, Dover , Portsmouth and Margate.
The train companies operating out of Victoria are Gatwick Express, Southeastern and Southern.
A large station that has a good range of shops and eating places.
There is a large bus station outside with good bus links across London and the Underground has regular services on the District, Circle and Victoria lines.
Fenchurch Street is one of Londons nicest looking mainline stations and it is in the heart of the City. This station is also one of the smallest mainline stations in London.
The trains leaving here are all newish, fast electric trains and their destinations are all in east London and Essex - depart from here for Southend, Grays, Tilbury and Basildon amongst other places.
There is only one train company operating out of Fenchurch Street and this is C2C although the trains are branded National Express as they own the company. One of Englands most punctual train operating companies too.
Ticket gates operate at many C2C stations so ensure you have a ticket to exit stations.
Underground connection a short walk away at Tower Hill.
London Bridge mainline is a station you use if you want to take a train out of London to south east England. You can also go north to Luton and Bedford. You can also go to Gatwick Airport from here.
Platform 6 is the busiest railway platform in Europe, due to the necessity of routing all trains heading to Charing Cross and Blackfriars through it.
A very interesting station with some nice eating places in the area underneath the station , which many people are unaware of.
Good bus and tube links but unlike other mainline stations London Bridge is not on the Circle Line.
Train companies using the station are First Capital Connect, South Eastern and Southern.
Paddington is the mainline terminus in London for trains to the west and Wales and also Heathrow airport. Main destinations are Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Plymouth and Penzance.
My least favourite of all London stations as it is badly let down by the approach down a busy ramp and it lacks the facilities of other large termini although there are adequate shopping and eating facilities.
To the rear of the station is the Paddington Basin which is a nice area with a canal and several eating places and a pleasant place to walk.
Good bus and Underground links, The train companies using the station are First Great Western, Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect.
Expect major renovation in 2012 onwards when electrification to the west begins.
Liverpool Street is the London terminus for trains to East Anglia and Essex - the main destinations are Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Southend and Cambridge. Also Stansted Airport on the Stansted Express.
A beautifully restored station with good travel related shopping (mainly food) and good Underground and bus links.
Train operating companies using this station are C2C, National Express and Stansted Express.
Waterloo lies south of the Thames and is the terminus for trains coming from, and going to, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset and alternative routes (to the First Great Western routes from Paddington) to Bristol and Exeter.
The station is one of London's best - there are a number of shops, many catering outlets and clean toilets (30p admission).
Good tube and bus links.
The station is used exclusively by South West Trains.
Victoria Coach Station is the largest and most significant coach station in London, and is operated by Victoria Coach Station Ltd., an arm of Transport for London. In UK English, a coach is a luxury or long distance express bus.
Victoria Coach Station has separate arrivals and departures terminals, located on the opposite sides of Elizabeth Street. The main departures building includes food outlets, shops, left luggage facilities, and ticketing. The combined area of the two terminals is about three acres (12,000 m²). The coach station accommodates mostly National Express and Eurolines services. A rapid growth of coach travel in the 1990s led to the opening of the nearby Green Line Coach Station which accommodates several other coach operators, including Stagecoach's new Megabus operation.
If you are travelling to London via Gatwick Airport, you will most likely get a train into London Victoria station, an imposing structure first opened in 1860. The ever dubious Wikipedia notes that it was named after the nearby Victoria Street and not Queen Victoria. Who do they think Victoria Street was named for then?
Anyway, to the nuts and bolts. Victoria, as noted, is the arrivval point for the various Gatwick services, and here is a money saving tip if you are on a budget. Travelling to and from Gatwick do NOT get the Gatwick Express, but get instead the "local" train as it is much cheaper and only a few minutes slower.
Until recently, all trains to and from the ferry port of Dover and intermediate points in Kent departed here although the service has been somewhat overtaken by the new high speed rail link departing from St. Pancras and Stratford. Suburban stations to the South of London and as far as the South coast are also served.
There are all the usual retail outlets you would expect from a major terminal like this and numerous food and beverage operations. Another money saving tip for you if you fancy a drink. The Wetherspoons pub upstairs is much cheaper than the Iron Duke pub on the ground floor. They also do relatively inexpensive food, altrhough it can get crowded.
For onward travel, there are several options. The station is on the District, Circle and Victoria lines on the Underground. If you are going to the Coach station, here is a tip to avoid the weather a bit. Walk to the higher number platforms and go up the escalator. If you then keep walking as far as you can through the shopping area, you will emerge onto Eccleston Bridge. Cross that road and walk on down Buckingham Palace Road a little and the Coach Station is on the right. This saves walking all the way round from the main entrance.
Taxis are available from outside the front entrance but BEWARE! Do not, under any circumstances, accept a taxi from someone who approaches you. Licensed taxi drivers will not do this and these "touts", as they are called, will put you into a car that is unlicensed, probably uninsured with a potentially criminal driver. They will then charge you some ludicrous amount of money. There are so, so many horror stories about this you really need to be careful. Licensed cabs will display a numbered badge on the rear and the driver will show you an oval metal badge on request. This proves they are legitimate.
Should the bus be your preferred option, again they are available outside the main front door.
The left luggage office is between platforms 7 and 8. It is open 0700 to 0000 every day, although some visitors have complained on VT that they find left luggage facilities in London expensive. Check for current rates first.
There are suficient toilet facilities, including fully accessible facilities. Additionally, there are toilets in the Wetherspoons and Iron Duke pubs for customers. You will have to ask at the bar for a code to admit you to these. This is to stop non customers using the facilities.
The station is well patrolled by police and is safe although you may be approached by beggars outiside the main building. Happy travels.
The Liverpool Street Train Station station was opened on February 2, 1874 by the Great Eastern Railway replacing the former Bishopsgate terminal, which now is transformed into a station for the East London Tube line.
The station was designed by the GER's chief engineer, Edward Wilson and was built by John Mowlem & Co. and replaced the GER's Shoreditch Station. The station did not live up to expectations and was called "one of the greatest mistakes ever committed in connection with a railway"by GTE's chairman Lord Salisbury.
In both World Wars the station was hit by German bombs.
The station was extensively modified between 1985 and 1992. The façade, Victorian cast-iron pillars, and the memorial for Great Eastern Railway employees who died in the Great War were retained. Liverpool Street was officially re-opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1991.
The station has been twinned with Amsterdam Centraal Station since 1993, and there is a plaque marking this fact on the concourse close to the main entrance to the Underground.
London Transport Tube connections:
London Transport Bus connections:
- 8 Bow & Victoria
- 11 Fulham Broadway
- 23 Westbourne Park
- 26 Hackney Wick & Waterloo
- 35 Clapham Junction & Shoreditch
- 42 Appold St & Denmark Hill
- 47 Catford & Shoreditch
- 48 London Bridge & Walthamstow
- 78 Nunhead & Shoreditch
-100 Elephant&Castle & Shadwell
-135 Crossharbour & Old Street
-149 London Bridge & Edmonton Green
-153 Finsbury Park
-205 Mile End Park & Paddington
-214 Highgate Village
-242 Homerton Hospital & Tottenham Court Rd
-271 Highgate Village
-344 Appold St & Clapham Junction
-388 Embankment & Hackney Wick
London Transport Night Bus connections:
- N8 Hainault & Victoria
- N11 Ealing Broadway
- N26 Chingford & Trafalger Sq
- N35 Clapham Junction & Tottenham Court Rd
Food and Drink Outlets:
-Last & First Bar
-A piece of Cake
-The Pasty Shop
-Delice de France
-Charbonnel & Wackey
-Pret A Manger
-I'm a Smoothie
-West Cornwall Past Co.
-Moshi Moshi Sushi
-M&S Simply Food
-The Perfume Shop
-The pen Shop
-The Orange Shop
-Grace & Good
-Toni & Guy
-Hawes & Curtis
-Isle of Flowers
-The Tanning Shop
Left Luggage and Lost Property: Mo-Su 7Am - 11PM; office is situated adjacent to platform 10. Tel: +44-20-72474297.
If you are going to take the bus to say Bath, then this is the station that you need to come to in order to buy your ticket and catch the bus. I found the bus tickets were fairly inexpensive and the people working at the station very willing to assist you in order to get to the correct bus etc.
Check out www.tfl.gov.uk for transport routes and to plan your journeys.
You can (un)tick the mode of transport you're keen on from bus, tube, overground train, ferry boats, etc.
The website can also work out the fastest commute time using a combination of various modes of transport.
A map is shown tracing the journey route; if you're keen on bus (to get some feel of life in London, and when not in a hurry!) select just the bus option. The website even gives you the stop name and code (eg W, or G, etc) so you will know exactly where to alight/board.
*** on the homepage, at the bottom right you'll see a summary of service updates - showing which tube lines (if any) are part-suspended, facing delays, or closed. This is invaluable in helping you make alternative transport plans.
Very useful and straight-forward.
Enjoy moving around in my city :)
London has had the best Public transport system out of all the countries I had visited. Theie online information system is updated and gives live feed of options available to travel between two places.
www.tfl.gov.uk is the governament site where you can find the online information - the only thing you would require is the address/zip code of the starting place and destination. The site is like a real time planner.
I had stayed in B&B owned by an Indian when I went there the 1st time. It was a good place, close to Tooting Broadway station with lot of hotels around to eat food. It also had a fullfledge kitchen...All that costed me ~50 Pounds a day....
I also have stayed in Novatel Greenwich which was close to Canary wharf....Was anice place with a small Gym.