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Our Greater London Megathread

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,563 ✭✭✭Padraig Mor


    bobbobb wrote: »
    Hi so I'm heading off to london next saturday until tuesday and was wondering about oyster cards.
    It's my partner and I(both 21) and my two sisters (19,17) myself and my partner both have revolut cards which I'm not sure if they work like oyster cards, we're staying fairly close to the city, and flying in fron gatwick, is there a difference between using a revolut and an oyster card? How much would you load the oyster with? Do you have to prepurchase the cards or can you get them there?
    And if anyone has any recommendations for activities that would be amazing

    Using Oyster etc from Gatwick is more complicated than it should be really.

    What time are you flying in/out? Oyster / contactless has a daily maximum charge - the "cap". From Gatwick at off peak hours (working days outside 06.30 - 09.30 and 16.00 - 19.00 [latter time is only peak if travelling outbound]) it's £20.50. However, if you touch in with your card at peak hours it's £33.10. So if you arrive at say 9.15am, it may be worth hanging on a few minutes for the train! For days when you will only be in Zone 1 and 2, the cap is £7 (no peak / off peak) - and more for each extra zone.

    You can reduce the cost by getting out at East Croydon, or using two cards but it's not worth the hassle in your situation TBH. You will need a minimum of £8.30 on your Oyster / Revolut to touch in at Gatwick though, even if your journey costs less!

    Is your Revolut Mastercard or Visa. Plenty of people (myself included) have found the Mastercards not to work for TFL so they replaced them with Visa. Issue may have been addressed - I'm not sure.

    As above, avoid the Gatwick Express unless you want to spend big! And be aware that the Thameslink route mentioned above can sometimes be operated by Southern trains which is rather confusing! Bear in mind that that platforms at Gatwick can be very crowded, even dangerous - best to move further down from the stair area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 bobbobb


    Using Oyster etc from Gatwick is more complicated than it should be really.

    What time are you flying in/out? Oyster / contactless has a daily maximum charge - the "cap". From Gatwick at off peak hours (working days outside 06.30 - 09.30 and 16.00 - 19.00 [latter time is only peak if travelling outbound]) it's £20.50. However, if you touch in with your card at peak hours it's £33.10. So if you arrive at say 9.15am, it may be worth hanging on a few minutes for the train! For days when you will only be in Zone 1 and 2, the cap is £7 (no peak / off peak) - and more for each extra zone.

    You can reduce the cost by getting out at East Croydon, or using two cards but it's not worth the hassle in your situation TBH. You will need a minimum of £8.30 on your Oyster / Revolut to touch in at Gatwick though, even if your journey costs less!

    Is your Revolut Mastercard or Visa. Plenty of people (myself included) have found the Mastercards not to work for TFL so they replaced them with Visa. Issue may have been addressed - I'm not sure.

    As above, avoid the Gatwick Express unless you want to spend big! And be aware that the Thameslink route mentioned above can sometimes be operated by Southern trains which is rather confusing! Bear in mind that that platforms at Gatwick can be very crowded, even dangerous - best to move further down from the stair area.

    Flying out at 6:30, supposed to be arriving at about 8:10, the teenagers dont have contactless cards, everytime I look up about the oyster cards the say you have to buy them in advance?
    And on their website it says to load it with £30


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,468 ✭✭✭highlydebased


    bobbobb wrote: »
    Flying out at 6:30, supposed to be arriving at about 8:10, the teenagers dont have contactless cards, everytime I look up about the oyster cards the say you have to buy them in advance?
    And on their website it says to load it with £30

    You don't have to buy Oyster cards in advance.

    There is a concierge desk in Gatwick arrivals that sells them - unsure if the train station there does, though.

    You could always get the Oysters when you arrive to central London - and just use a paper ticket from getting from the airport.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,184 ✭✭✭Spirogyra


    Would running with my phone in a belt slow me down much I wonder? Both volunteering and running afterwards Sunday and wouldn't have time to drop off my phone. Other option is simply not to bring it at all. I'd like to give the run a bit of a go. Phones are heavy...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,184 ✭✭✭Spirogyra


    Would running with my phone in a belt slow me down much I wonder? Both volunteering and running afterwards Sunday and wouldn't have time to drop off my phone. Other option is simply not to bring it at all. I'd like to give the run a bit of a go. Phones are heavy...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭Deise boii


    My partner two kids (6, 9) and myself are heading to London we are staying close to elephant and castle tube station for three nights,

    We are then staying in Legoland for 2 nights and flying out from Gatwick.

    Does anyone have any tips for us we are looking at usual touristy stuff see the sights, war museum things like that.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,090 ✭✭✭Louche Lad


    Deise boii wrote: »
    My partner two kids (6, 9) and myself are heading to London we are staying close to elephant and castle tube station for three nights,

    We are then staying in Legoland for 2 nights and flying out from Gatwick.

    Does anyone have any tips for us we are looking at usual touristy stuff see the sights, war museum things like that.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks
    The Imperial War Museum is very close to Elephant and Castle, a couple of hundred metres: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_War_Museum

    Edit: of course, that could be why you're staying in Elephant! 😉


  • Registered Users Posts: 911 ✭✭✭endabob1


    Deise boii wrote: »
    My partner two kids (6, 9) and myself are heading to London we are staying close to elephant and castle tube station for three nights,

    We are then staying in Legoland for 2 nights and flying out from Gatwick.

    Does anyone have any tips for us we are looking at usual touristy stuff see the sights, war museum things like that.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks

    Not especially kid friendly but there is a great food market near E&C https://www.mercatometropolitano.com/
    https://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/mercato-metropolitano


    I always recommend the natural history museum for kids with any interest in space or dinosaurs. Weirdly Legoland & NHM were the 2 places that my sister basically had season tickets to when my nephews were growing up.

    https://www.nhm.ac.uk/


  • Registered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭Deise boii


    endabob1 wrote: »
    Not especially kid friendly but there is a great food market near E&C https://www.mercatometropolitano.com/
    https://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/mercato-metropolitano


    I always recommend the natural history museum for kids with any interest in space or dinosaurs. Weirdly Legoland & NHM were the 2 places that my sister basically had season tickets to when my nephews were growing up.

    https://www.nhm.ac.uk/

    Thanks for the replies think the OH is looking to do the hop on hop off tours any recommendations with that.

    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 911 ✭✭✭endabob1


    Deise boii wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies think the OH is looking to do the hop on hop off tours any recommendations with that.

    Thanks

    London is so big that I think you could sit on the various bus loops for an entire day, but for me a glance at Buckingham palace is enough, I have no real interest in it... The hop on hop off will take you past the museums but you can just get the tube there, i'm sure it's a lot cheaper
    One other tour type thing that is worth looking at is the river boats, you can use your oyster card on them and you get a great view of London from a different perspective

    The last of the old routemaster bus routes is being phased out sadly, but if your kids like busses then it might be worth trying to get them no it;
    https://londonist.com/london/transport/no-more-heritage-routemasters-on-weekdays


    I like the London Eye as an attraction but it does get busy, the aquarium is pretty good too in the same area on the southbank, I like that part of the city, all the way along the river to Borough Market there are some nice spots to sit out and eat


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  • Registered Users Posts: 591 ✭✭✭Garlinge


    I am familiar with E and Castle. The tube station is one of those deep down ones that takes a lot of climbing up out of. I prefer to use the very frequent bus services up to city of London... or even walk. Yes they are a bit slow in traffic but you get great viewing opportunities from upstairs and flat rate fare, are convenient and good value.

    yes to boat trip on river, there are the tourist ones and also commuter ones eg down to Greenwich that take the Oyster card. Lot of interest at Greenwich, old streets, market, historic buildings and parkland... "Greenwich Mean Time". The boats can travel a loop up on one side of river and back down the other side so watch out for directions/stops. Walking about makes a lot of sense so good shoes and take rucksack for raingear etc. The big sights are close enough and nice parks as well to do shortcuts thru. Have your google map and bus finder handy.

    I have not made it to War Museum yet. I am sure it is splendid but probably not of interest to children that age.


  • Registered Users Posts: 911 ✭✭✭endabob1


    Garlinge wrote: »
    I am familiar with E and Castle. The tube station is one of those deep down ones that takes a lot of climbing up out of. I prefer to use the very frequent bus services up to city of London... or even walk. Yes they are a bit slow in traffic but you get great viewing opportunities from upstairs and flat rate fare, are convenient and good value.

    yes to boat trip on river, there are the tourist ones and also commuter ones eg down to Greenwich that take the Oyster card. Lot of interest at Greenwich, old streets, market, historic buildings and parkland... "Greenwich Mean Time". The boats can travel a loop up on one side of river and back down the other side so watch out for directions/stops. Walking about makes a lot of sense so good shoes and take rucksack for raingear etc. The big sights are close enough and nice parks as well to do shortcuts thru. Have your google map and bus finder handy.

    I have not made it to War Museum yet. I am sure it is splendid but probably not of interest to children that age.

    Big +1 to Greenwich, lovely part of London


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,120 ✭✭✭shrapnel222


    that hammertongs place does look nice though! might have to try it!

    went yesterday. Ate a lot, drank a lot. I had never ordered sausage by the metre, works for me!!!. All told everything we ate (meat really!) was very tasty, but i think they should work on their room. Nothing wrong with it, but it's just a bit bland, and they could make it more appealing and original.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,507 ✭✭✭Damo 2k9


    So we are flying out of Gatwick to the DR on a Thursday morning, instead of risking flights early morning we are flying over the Wednesday night and going to book a room so we can freshen up before flying etc.

    Can anyone recommend any hotels in Gatwick Airport? We were thinking of the Bloc Hotel which is located in the terminal itself, but not sure if you are paying a premium to stay in the terminal, we were also recommended the Premier Inn North Terminal too?

    If anyone has done something similar it would be great to hear.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,325 ✭✭✭✭Marcusm


    There’s a Sofitel (ex Hilton) attached to the North Terminal. It’s not really Sofitel standards but can often be hot cheaply enough. Can get a great parking/room deal but I suspect you don’t need that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,351 ✭✭✭Cloudio9


    Stayed in the Premier inn before, absolutely fine. It's rights beside the airport terminal shuttle so you're across to the south terminal in 5 mins.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,119 ✭✭✭✭Caranica


    The yotel in the south terminal looks like it would do the job?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,325 ✭✭✭✭Marcusm


    Caranica wrote: »
    The yotel in the south terminal looks like it would do the job?

    I’ve never stayed in it but i’ve Seen the rooms. Anything more than single occupancy would be grim - toilet is visible from all parts of room. Handy for 4-6 hours; anymore i’d Want separate rooms/cabins.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,563 ✭✭✭Padraig Mor


    If you're prepared to travel a short distance, consider the Premier Inn in Croydon Town Centre. This is literally 3 minutes walk from East Croydon train station which has very frequent (every few minutes) connections to Gatwick, taking about 15 minutes. The hotel itself can often be got very cheap - I use it regularly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,507 ✭✭✭Damo 2k9


    Thanks for the recommendations everyone!

    @Padraig - Thanks for that, because we are only there from 8PM until the next morning theres no real point in us leaving the airport, I reckon well just go for PI in North Terminal, coming in about 70 pound which is a lot cheaper than the likes of Bloc etc.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,468 ✭✭✭highlydebased


    I've stayed in the Premier at LGW North - it was absolutely fine for the 5 hours or so we were there. It's also *massive*


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 5,792 Mod ✭✭✭✭irish_goat


    Stayed in the Premier Inn in March and it's bang on for early flighits. There is a 24 hr bar, the Nicholas Culpeper, on the 1st floor of the North Terminal too if you want a few drinks before bed. Or you can get the transit to South Terminal for Wetherspoons if you want cheaper/better drinks (closes at 11 though).


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,507 ✭✭✭Damo 2k9


    irish_goat wrote: »
    Stayed in the Premier Inn in March and it's bang on for early flighits. There is a 24 hr bar, the Nicholas Culpeper, on the 1st floor of the North Terminal too if you want a few drinks before bed. Or you can get the transit to South Terminal for Wetherspoons if you want cheaper/better drinks (closes at 11 though).

    Booked Premier Inn for 80 quid for a night, cant go wrong with that really, cheapest through their own site too. Thanks for the tip on the bar too, a nightcap is never a bad idea!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,246 ✭✭✭Poochie05


    Can anyone recommend somewhere to park and ride overnight outside London, coming from M4? Maybe somewhere around Heathrow? Heading in to Kensington area.


  • Registered Users Posts: 911 ✭✭✭endabob1


    Poochie05 wrote: »
    Can anyone recommend somewhere to park and ride overnight outside London, coming from M4? Maybe somewhere around Heathrow? Heading in to Kensington area.

    Not sure about park & Ride but I would try some of the hotels around Heathrow

    If it's just one night you could look around some of the tube stations Hatton Cross or even Uxbridge
    https://en.parkopedia.co.uk/
    is a useful site


  • Registered Users Posts: 80 ✭✭turbowolfed


    Hi guys. Searched a bit but found mostly really old trends on the subject. Am looking to travel to London from 21st-23rd Oct with my boyfriend. Been searching online but there are so many options and mixed reviews. It's so hard! Neither of us have ever been before. Looking to do all the usual tourist stuff. Flying into Gatwick or Stansted I think. We were looking at the Ibis Budget Hotel Wembley. Really good price. Would that be a good area?

    If not, does anyone have any suggestions of comfortable, clean, budget hotels that are well connected to public transport? Don't mind being a bit out of the centre. Budget is around 150euro.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,090 ✭✭✭Louche Lad


    Hi guys. Searched a bit but found mostly really old trends on the subject. Am looking to travel to London from 21st-23rd Oct with my boyfriend. Been searching online but there are so many options and mixed reviews. It's so hard! Neither of us have ever been before. Looking to do all the usual tourist stuff. Flying into Gatwick or Stansted I think. We were looking at the Ibis Budget Hotel Wembley. Really good price. Would that be a good area?

    If not, does anyone have any suggestions of comfortable, clean, budget hotels that are well connected to public transport? Don't mind being a bit out of the centre. Budget is around 150euro.
    Would you consider an Airbnb? I travel a lot and use them almost all the time. Although not as flexible as hotels, and occasionally variable in quality, they are so much cheaper.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,254 ✭✭✭SCOOP 64


    Hi guys. Searched a bit but found mostly really old trends on the subject. Am looking to travel to London from 21st-23rd Oct with my boyfriend. Been searching online but there are so many options and mixed reviews. It's so hard! Neither of us have ever been before. Looking to do all the usual tourist stuff. Flying into Gatwick or Stansted I think. We were looking at the Ibis Budget Hotel Wembley. Really good price. Would that be a good area?

    If not, does anyone have any suggestions of comfortable, clean, budget hotels that are well connected to public transport? Don't mind being a bit out of the centre. Budget is around 150euro.


    Personally wouldnt want to stay in Wembley ,live there for years, any other places you looked at? how are you getting abouts?


  • Registered Users Posts: 80 ✭✭turbowolfed


    Louche Lad wrote: »
    Would you consider an Airbnb? I travel a lot and use them almost all the time. Although not as flexible as hotels, and occasionally variable in quality, they are so much cheaper.

    I haven't ever used Airbnb but I think i would. I'll have a proper look into that.
    SCOOP 64 wrote: »
    Personally wanted want to stay in Wembley ,live there for years, any other places you looked at? how are you getting abouts?

    That's good to know. Planning to most of our transport by tube or bus so just looking for anywhere well connected and not too far. We've seen places pop up in Hounslow, Croydon, and Ilford but they all look quite far away when I check on Google maps? I genuinely know next to nothing about the various areas so any help is so appreciated.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,254 ✭✭✭SCOOP 64


    If your just staying in the hotel in wembley then jumping on public transport and heading into city should be fine, anywhere in Harrow? if your going to oxford st shopping and want to get to local places flag down a taxi and ask how much, i was outside parliament sq and got a black taxi to oxford st £8 four of us last summer saves the walking and getting buses then got another one to take us back across the bridge to get our car,this is how we got about its all in a small area,so its handy.


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