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Best travel option to Greenwich?

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Sep 6th, 2013, 01:08 PM
  #1
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Best travel option to Greenwich?

Hi, Fodorites.

I want to visit Greenwich on a weekday and wondering what might be the best in terms of cost, comfort and speed. Any thoughts?

There is the Thames River Service Sightseeing Boat, which departs from Westminster to Greenwich every half-hour, for 7.75 GBP (roundtrip/return fare; if purchased online). Ride takes one hour. I don't believe there is any sort of tourist information announced along the route - but I'm not 100% sure of that.
http://www.thamesriverservices.co.uk

There is the Thames Clipper which is 10.80 GBP (return fare) with an OYSTER Pay as you Go card; Ride appears to take 30 min.
http://www.thamesclippers.com/

The Tube & DLR also go there for 5.6 (return, Oyster card) about 43 min or so.

Are there any other options or combinations you might recommend?
Or... if I wanted to take a boat at least 1 way, do you think it would make a difference either going/returning?

Thanks for any advice!
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Sep 6th, 2013, 01:20 PM
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Going or return by Thames - can't see any difference but may be quicker going downstream rather than up?

I would go back by the Docklands Railway, one of my favorite things to do in London - the DLR is on raised tracks with great views of the booming Docklands redeveloped area - like Canary Wharf with modern high-rises - get off here for a Docklands Museum or to shop in one of London's modern large shopping malls - the DLR is a driverless contraption so you can get seats right up front where a driver would normally be and think you are driving it - I always try to get these seats when I board - just a wonderful ride unlike anything else in Europe really.

Take the DLR either to Bank or Tower Hill for Tube connections - the Bank Tube interchange is amazingly hectic with several lines coming and going - kind of a thrill to navigate.

The other option is Overground commuter trains to London Bridge, Waterloo-East and probably Charing Cross - probably the fastest though the Jubilee Tube line may be faster actually.
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Sep 6th, 2013, 01:55 PM
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@PalenQ: Thanks very much for the feedback. The DLR does sound like a fun ride. I was a little confused because, on my return, the 'journey planner' has me take the National Rail, disembark at the Cannon Street Underground (so I can catch the District Line.)
So the Tube & the DLR both accept Oyster Pay as you Go, right?

And I do hope there's a body I can tip along the way...?
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Sep 6th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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We did it a few years ago; in fact, the morning after the Çutty Sark burned down. We took the Docklands out and a bus back in, which, when sitting in front on the upper deck, gives a nice view of London streets.
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Sep 6th, 2013, 02:56 PM
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Haha funny about the tipping!

You can take many routes to Greenwich.

National rail from Cannon St (closed Sundays)

National rail from charing cross/Waterloo east

Both the above routes go through London bridge so you can get the train from their as well.

DLR from Bank

Or the river boat services.

I think fastest and cheapest would be the national rail train. Oyster works on that route and Greenwich is in zone 2.

Tipping not required

Hope this helps!
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Sep 6th, 2013, 03:09 PM
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Strictly speaking the DLR goes to Tower Gateway, not Tower Hill, so it doesn't directly connect with that station, though it's only a short walk between them. Just so you know..
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Sep 6th, 2013, 03:26 PM
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Thanks, Jamie! I didn't know Oyster worked on that Nat'l. Rail route. I think I'll do the Thames River boat TO, and the DLR FROM, with PalenQ's encouragement to get the front-of-train seats, so I'll prepare for the shoving and jostling.

Actually, my friends twist my arm TO tip. I'm a foreigner in my own land... I knew there was a reason I loved England so much. (That, and the easy money to be found on the tube platforms. Did I mention I found 40 GBP on my last trip? I'm still shoehorning it into conversations, and I'm still giddy with the memory, no matter how many Fodorites tried to shame me into guilt. Forty friggin' pounds.)
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Sep 6th, 2013, 03:27 PM
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Thanks, RM67!
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Sep 6th, 2013, 03:29 PM
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And thanks to you, Michael. I do like taking the bus to see more of the city when I have time. I may on that day, so that would be an interesting option I hadn't considered.
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Sep 6th, 2013, 03:32 PM
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I'd take the boat one way too -- but down river is not necessarily faster than up river. The Thames is quite tidal and depending on the tide stage, up river can actually be quite a bit faster than down river. So - basically do which ever you want (or study the tide tables )
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Sep 6th, 2013, 03:39 PM
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Don't tempt me, Janisj! I have this vacation Planned (with a capital 'P.')

And truth to tell, I actually googled which direction the Thames flows just to be 100% sure. Living in Chicago, where we engineered a river to flow against itself, I made no assumptions.
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Sep 6th, 2013, 04:14 PM
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Well, the cheapest but not the fastest--the foot tunnel from Island Gardens--walk from there under the Thames to Greenwich. (I assume it is still/again open? I think it was closed for awhile.) We took the Tube and then, because of DLR closure for works that day, a bus from Belgravia area to Island Gardena and after some great views across the river walked under it to Greenwich. It was a small and uneventful adventure! After our few hours in Greenwich, we caught one of the Thames boats (the Clipper line? don't remember) to near the Globe. It was fun. Probably not an idea you are looking to incorporate--but we are glad we took that walk.
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Sep 6th, 2013, 11:35 PM
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The Clipper is indeed faster than the cruise boats. It's a bus service (but much more comfortable, with an onboard bar), and they can really let rip on the speed once below the Wapping police station, which can be quite fun (especially when unsuspecting people enjoying the sun at the back get a few splashes as the boat crosses other boats' wake). The cruise service is older style, slower, and comes with a commentary (I haven't done it for years, but in them thar days, the commentary came from the man in the wheelhouse with a few tall stories and prejudiced comments on this and that, and a hat held out prominently on arrival in Greenwich: I assume the newer glass behemoths have a recorded commentary).

Texasbookworm makes an interesting variation. You could just walk through from beside the Cutty Sark to enjoy the splendid views from Island Gardens and then pick up the DLR from the station across the road - unless you want to stop off for a further stroll around the city farm and park. And you can also stop off at West India Quay if you feel like looking around the Museum in Docklands.
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Sep 7th, 2013, 02:51 AM
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I was one of the people who tried to shame you.
That 40 pounds might have been some cleaner's weekly wage. You should have handed it in.
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Sep 7th, 2013, 03:03 AM
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Or get the DLR from Tower Gateway to Royal Victoria, walk round the corner to the Emirates Royal Docks terminal and catch the cable car across the Thames. Then walk up to the O2 and get a bus into Greenwich.
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Sep 7th, 2013, 03:10 AM
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The Tower Gateway DLR runs to Becton and does not stop at Greenwich. The DLR to Greenwich is the Lewisham service which runs from Bank.

Yes, Oyster cards work on all national rail routes in the metro area so they can be a great way to get around, for example it's only two stops from London bridge to charing cross and the trains run there every few minutes. Only one stop from cannon street...saves much more time than trying to get there by tube!
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Sep 7th, 2013, 04:11 AM
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But you can change at Westferry for Greenwich, which just means getting off the train and staying on the same platform for the next one. Tower Gateway is a lot easier to start from than the Bank interchange, which I avoid if at all possible.
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Sep 7th, 2013, 04:17 AM
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Very true, but I didn't want people thinking the ould get there directly from Tower Gateway.

I personally find Bank easier if travelling on the District Circle or Northern lines than walking from Tower Hill and I avoid changing lines when I can!
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Sep 7th, 2013, 06:59 AM
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Thanks for all the helpful information!
@ Patrick: Thanks for letting me know your experience with the cruise/sightseeing boat. That may sway me if I know there is commentary along the way. Must double-check that.

@Texasbookworm: I actually did consider just walking to Greenwich. It's only 5 miles on the north bank, I understand, though the south bank seems as if it would be much more atmospheric. Have the map backup if my feel feel up to it. Trying to save them a bit, as I have lots of hiking afterwards.
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Sep 7th, 2013, 09:38 AM
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Tower Gateway is a lot easier to start from than the Bank interchange, which I avoid if at all possible>

hey hey - last time I went through that chaotic maze of interchanging Tube lines some really long escalators were out of service - making it even more hectic - avoid rush hours if at all possible at Bank - or do as others have said change to a DLR train going to Tower Gateway.
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