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Visiting Central London

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Birmingham, United...
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Visiting Central London

We are looking at visiting London on the weekend but not sure whether to drive down, park in the hotel and visit for the day OR take the coach and look around.

The main thing is where to go to - is Victoria Station a good place to start our journey from?

London, United...
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1. Re: Visiting Central London

I'd get the coach*. Victoria coach station is a short walk to Victoria railway station. From there you could catch a 73 bus to Hyde Park, Marble Arch and Oxford Street. You could also get the Underground at Victoria railway station. Depends on where you want to go and what you want to do really.

Actually, I'd get the train to Euston. I'm guessing the coach is cheaper at short notice.

Edited: 05 December 2013, 19:36
Bath UK
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2. Re: Visiting Central London

it sounds as if you aren't a regular visitor to London (for the sake of your sanity, I think a sat-nav is a good option). If you are aiming to park around Victoria it will be quite pricey (either at an hotel or in a car park). Residents' parking is still operational in most of that area.

Also, you will almost certainly have to add the congestion charge into the equation (you'll need to check this, but Vauxhall Bridge Road is (was?) the crossover)

If you were thinking about jumping on a National Express Coach you would arrive at the Coach station (even allowing for getting lost, it should take you 5-10 minutes to get to the underground/bus stops).

I find Victoria fairly convenient for West End/South Ken, less so if you want to head off to the East End or Greenwich, but still okay.

Was there a reason why you discounted the train?

Italy
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3. Re: Visiting Central London

I think the trains the best option, it's fast and you won't get stuck in traffic as you could do on the bus.

London
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4. Re: Visiting Central London

If you get the train (there might be good Advance tickets on Virgin), you will be eligible for the 2for1's which could be worth far more than any difference in the price of the tickets.. Keep both bits of your ticket if this is of interest. Otherwise get the coach - Victoria is OK as a base. I'd not bother with the car. Too much hassle to park. (Congestion charge may not apply depending on where you stay (north of Euston Road would be better) and when (6pm Friday till 7am Monday).

http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/2for1-london

Surrey UK
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5. Re: Visiting Central London

No congestion charge on weekends. But if you plan to drive, park and stay the night, I'd suggest looking for a hotel somewhere on the Birmingham side of London. The further out you are, the less the parking charge will be. If you're close to a Tube or National Rail station, it'll be easy to get into the central areas.

Train is quick (engineering works permitting). Coach will probably be cheaper but slower, not least because Victoria requires driving across part of central London. If you do take public transport, I'd aim to stay close to your point of arrival. Euston is no less convenient for "looking around" than Victoria.

Marylebone is fine too. There's an alternative train service to there (Chiltern Railways) which is a bit slower but sometimes offers cheaper tickets. You still need to check there are no engineering works though.

Birmingham, United...
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6. Re: Visiting Central London

Thanks all.

Am I right in thinking if we get off at our station (Victoria / Euston etc) We can then buy an Oyster card to travel in to Zone 1 and 'see the sights'?

Also can anyone offer any basic itinerary from there - we could go to see the Eye and Houses of Parliament first, then Buckingham Palace, then Trafalgar Square and the art galleries; and then have something to eat and to Leicester Square? Something like that?

London, United...
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7. Re: Visiting Central London

How early will you be arriving?

The Eye and the Palace are in opposite directions from Euston.

Yes, you can get Oysters at Victoria. At the weekend Oyster currently caps at £7 per day. You have to pay a £5 deposit for the card. So, get the card and put £7 on it for one day, £14 for two. When you leave London hand the cards back in to reclaim any unspent credit and your deposit (or keep them for your next visit - the credit won't run out).

From Victoria rail station turn right and walk (or bus - No 24)) along Victoria Street. That will take you Parliament Square, Houses of Parliament and the Eye (across the Thames). Go back to where you got off the bus and either catch the 24 again or walk up Whitehall. Pass Downing Street and admire the mounted guards at Horseguards (good photo opportunity). This will take you to Trafalgar Square and the National and National Portrait Galleries. Then carry on in the direction the bus was travelling - you'll come to Leicester Square with Covent Garden to the Right and Chinatown to the left. Keep going north and you'll come to Oxford Street. From there the 73 bus will take you back to Victoria passing the side of Buckingham Palace (you'd need to get off and walk round to the front of the Palace if you wanted to see it).

Have a look on Google maps and my itinerary might make more sense.

As for lunch, people seem to like the dining room in the National Gallery or the crypt at St.-Martin-in-the-Field (on Trafalgar Square) but there's no end of places to eat in the area.

Cotswolds
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8. Re: Visiting Central London

If you want the 2 for 1 offers don't get an Oyster - get a one day travelcard at \Victoria rail station instead

The coach from Birmingham may stop in North London - worth a check

UK
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9. Re: Visiting Central London

If the OP buys a return railway ticket from Brum they will be entitled to the 2 for 1 deals. As said above they need to hang on to the inward journey ticket when they arrive in London so they can show both parts to get the 2 for 1 entrance tickets.

10. Re: Visiting Central London

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