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Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

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Little Rock...
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Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

Do the trains run as frequently and are they more crowded on the weekends from Heathrow to the surrounds such as Rye and Winchester and then returning to Heathrow? We are planning a holiday flying through London in mid to late September. Is train travel more costly on the the weekends for which I am including Fridays. Any tips or suggestions? Thank you.

Bingley, United...
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1. Re: Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

The only trains from Heathrow run to Paddington. There are coach services from Heathrow to many parts of the UK as well as bus services that take you to train stations. Can you give us some idea on how long you will be staying as generally staying at Heathrow Airport is a false economy unless your flight is at some unearthly time of the day.

Cotswolds
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2. Re: Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

Trains in general run slightly less frequently on Saturdays than during the week and very much less frequently (sometimes none at all) on Sundays.

Friday and Sunday afternoon/evenings tend to be very busy

Fares for Saturday and Sunday are normally off peak and therefore cheaper than at busy times during the week

But that's very much a generalisation

Little Rock...
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3. Re: Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

dzug1, Thank you for your reply. We are flying through Heathrow on our way from the USA to Johannesburg and then back through Heathrow on our return. The best air fare would have us unfortunately arriving on both journeys on Sunday mornings at about 6-6:30 in the morning. Will it be possible to get to a small town such as Winchester at that time of day by train on Sundays? We would like to spend 1-2 days on our outward journey in one town and then 2-3 days in a different town on our return. Both Sundays should be in September or the return might be the first Sunday in October. Thank you.

London, United...
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4. Re: Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

Yes, but ...

1) You'll need to get from Heathrow to a station where you can get a train to your destination. As Alan said, the only trains from Heathrow go to Paddington station, plus the Piccadilly line of the tube through central London.

To get to Winchester (a small city, as it has a charter) you would need to either come to Waterloo station (Bakerloo line from Paddington, or a change or two on the tube from Heathrow) or take the rail-air coach to Woking or Feltham and pick up a train there.

2) When you are picking your destination, do check for planned engineering works on the train lines for the specific date you are travellings. Weekends in general, and Sundays in particular, are often used for maintenance on the lines, but it's all planned many weeks in advance. The national rail portal - www.nationalrail.co.uk - will have the plans.

Also consider whetehr you are able to commit to specific trains. If you can't, then getting to places served by trains from Waterloo or Victoria is likely to be cheaper than ones served by trains from other stations, where you are more likely to need to book onto a specific train several weeks in advance to secure a cheap fare.

Edited: 31 July 2011, 12:13
Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

For Winchester, you can get a National Express coach from Heathrow Central Bus Station (in the T1-3 area). the journey time is about 1hr30 and coaches run approximately every 90 minutes (cost £11.60 each way).

For Rye, you would have to go into central London and then take a train. Options are tube direct to Kings Cross St. Pancras, then Southeastern High Speed 1 from StP (with a change), or to Charing Cross for a slower but slightly cheaper (again 1-change) service. Journey times are about 1hr30 from London, plus an hour's tube ride from Heathrow. Return fares are in the range of £30-35 from London, plus £5 each way tube fare.

Little Rock...
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6. Re: Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

Thanks GreenwichNick and others, We are changing our itinerary so the only weekend travel will be just one Friday on our return to Heathrow on our way home. I think on our outward jouiney we are going to visit one of the gardens, maybe Kew or Hampton Court, and spend the night in that area or back to London to spend the night. Any suggestions? (We arrive early morning one day and fly out the next evening). ON our return we arrive in early morning and fly back out 3 days later or spend 3 nights. We are considering going to Winchester and Salisbury. Would you use one or the other as home base and do day trips or spend 2 nights one place and 1 night at another? We prefer B & B s or small hotels in town. We would also like to see some coutry meadows but will not have an auto. Any suggestions?

London, United...
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7. Re: Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

I think Salisbury is more charming than Winchester, but Winchester has a better choice of hotels and restaurants. However, i think Salisbury is marginally more convenient as a base for seeing places like Stonehenge, Avebury, and so on. Will you hire a car for the sightseeing if you stay in one of these two?

They are so close together it's not worth splitting the stay between them.

London, United...
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8. Re: Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

I would also recommend Salisbury over Winchester, but only just. It's a bit bigger, with a few more options.

Depending on what you are interested in, of course... the Cathedral Close in Salisbury was in the Times yesterday as one of the most typically "English" places in England, and (if it's not raining) about 5 miles from Salisbury is Old Sarum, an interesting Roman site with some ruins and pre-Roman history, and great views of the surrounding countryside.

Little Rock...
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9. Re: Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

GreenwichNick, Thank you again. No we are not hiring a car. After a safari and it's fast pace we would like to kick back and relax. We are not going to be on a fast schedule in your country and travel only by train or the Underground and on foot. Thank you.

London
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10. Re: Train Travel to the Surrounds on Weekends & Fridays

For your one-night stay, I would suggest an airport hotel. That way when you arrive you can check-in, dump your bags, have a nap if need be. The following day you can just pick up your bags when ready to head off to the terminal. Most hotels are served by the Hotel Hoppa buses which link directly to and from all the terminals.

If you have a Hotel on the Bath Road you can take the 111 bus to Hampton Court. It's a slightly convoluted route but it goes directly there without changing. You can pay cash on the bus - it's £2.20 per person, each way. Or if you get Pay-as-yo-go Oyster Cards it goes down to £1.30 per journey. If you are not on the Bath Road get a bus into the Central Bus Station at Heathrow and pick up the 111 there. Kew Gardens is more complicated but you can take the Piccadilly Line to South Ealing then a no. 65 bus which will take you direct to the Victoria Gate.

For your longer stay, it seems like everyone favours Salisbury over Winchester. The easiest way is to take the National Express coach to Woking Station - it runs every 30 minutes and takes about an hour. From Woking there are regular trains to Salisbury, again it takes about an hour. Return via the same route.

Whilst in Salisbury, you can do a day trip to Winchester by train - I looked to see if there was a bus link but I couldn't find one.