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Help! Gatwick to Waterloo for EuroStar to Paris

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Jan 20th, 2004, 12:48 PM
  #1
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Help! Gatwick to Waterloo for EuroStar to Paris

I am traveling to London/Paris with my sister in March. We arrive Gatwick at 9:55 am on a Monday and would like to travel on to Paris immediately. How do I get to Waterloo and what is the earliest time I should reserve the train to Paris? Available times are 12:09 and 2:09.
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Jan 20th, 2004, 01:03 PM
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swallis:
Take the Gatwick Express from Gatwick to Victoria Station. Takes about 30 minutes. Then the tube to Westminster(the next station), disembark, then continue on the tube to Waterloo which is the next station. I forget the line from Westminster to Waterloo. Should take no more than 15 minutes from Victoria Station to Waterloo.
John
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Jan 20th, 2004, 01:14 PM
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Better plan on the 2:09. Going through immigration, getting your luggage and catching the Gatwick Express - you will be lucky to be at Victoria by 11:30. And that is only if things go like clockwork and you make connections spot on.

But you should be able to make the 2:09. If you travel LIGHT - you could take the tube Victoria to Westminster then change lines for Waterloo. But at both ends you will face a lot of walking and up/down escalators and steps.

So if you even have a moderate amount of luggage - just catch a cab from Victoria to Waterloo International.
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Jan 20th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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Janice is probably right about the cab. However if you decide to take the tube it's the Jubilee Line from Westminster to Waterloo.
John
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Jan 20th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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Janis,

I am printing your response and giving it to my husband. He scoffed at my idea of taking a cab from Victoria to Waterloo. We do travel light but with four of us (2 of them teenagers), I think the cab will be smarter choice.

Thank you!!!
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Jan 20th, 2004, 02:09 PM
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A cheaper option is take a train from Gatwick to Clapham Junction (25 mins) where you can then change and go direct to waterloo, a lot less steps etc than using the underground and cheaper than Gatwick Express and taxi.

Trains from Clapham to waterloo run every 5-7 minutes or so and it takes 5 mins to reach Waterloo.
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Jan 20th, 2004, 02:14 PM
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bbib - that is true. But Clapham Junction is the largest/busiest station in the country. I would not want to try to figure my way around Clapham Junction in a jet lagged fog w/ luggage.

All to save a couple of £? Not me.

The Gatwick Express is fast and easy and London Cabs are an experience in themsleves . . . .
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Jan 20th, 2004, 02:19 PM
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Janis - yes, this is true, but it is only one platform change, which takes 2 mins - I do it frequently.

Although with jet lag in a strange country I guess getting in a cab would seem more favourable.
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Jan 20th, 2004, 02:44 PM
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A few more things to consider before you book the Eurostar:
Eurostar recommends your being at Waterloo 45 minutes before the train departs for Paris.
You will have to pick up your tickets from a self service machine and then proceed through passport control and security.
You will have to place all your luggage on a conveyer belt to be scanned then you'll walk through a metal detector , just as you would do in an airport.
Then you are directed to a waiting area which is at the bottom of an escalator.
When boarding is announced, there is a semi-rush towards the escalator.
After you reach the top it can be another 5 minute walk to your train car... and in my experience the train does depart on time.
If you do decide to take a taxi from Victoria to Waterloo, be sure to tell the cabbie that you want to go to Waterloo INTERNATIONAL so that you will be dropped off at the correct set of doors, the ones nearest the Eurostar gate.
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Jan 20th, 2004, 05:29 PM
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Why don't you fly from Gatwick to Paris? Checking on Expedia, it appears that British Airways flys from LGW to CDG with several flights available. The Eurostar is nice but I think it would be less hassle to go ahead and fly.
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Jan 20th, 2004, 05:31 PM
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I meant that it would be more of a hassle under the circumstances you described. If I was already in London or Paris, I would probably use Eurostar to go between instead of flying but since you are already at the airport and most likely will be tired after long flight, it just would make more sense not to try to get to Waterloo.
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 10:55 AM
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My friend and I had a similar Gatwick to Waterloo schedule this past October.
Our flight was scheduled to land on a Monday morning at 9:15 and we were booked on the 12:09 Eurostar.
The reason we flew into London first is a long story, so I won't go into that.
Let's just say that my friend was in charge of the Paris transportation/hotel leg of the trip and she didn't realize how much time to allow between the plane and the train. :-&
When I found out we had been booked on the 12:09 Eurostar, I had real concerns . I knew we'd have to allow time to pick up our train tickets and to go through security at Waterloo. I had mental pictures of us waving bye bye to the Eurostar as it pulled out of Waterloo ...sans us.
My friend tried to reschedule us on the later train, but with our leisure fare tickets that was not going to be possible. No changes allowed.
Eurostar did tell her though if we could show proof our plane landed late, they would do their best to reschedule us if we missed the 12:09.
The travel goddess smiled upon us, every positive thing that COULD happen DID happen:
My friend was upgraded to business class by a very nice US Airways agent. That meant we were seated together in the front of the plane and were off the plane in a matter of minutes after it arrived at the LGW gate. And the plane arrived about 10 minutes ahead of schedule.
We didn't have to wait long for the tram that goes between the gates and the main terminal.
We each had a Fast Track pass which got us through immigration quickly.
Our luggage appeared on the carousel in record time...whew... it gets better and better.
I hadn't expected any problem in customs and ,as usual, we rolled though there in moments.
We took the lift down to the Gatwick Express , a train was sitting there ready to pull out in about 4 minutes. We managed to find seats in a car near the front of the train.
Victoria Station was going to be the next hurdle.
When the Express pulled in everyone in our car was most efficient in gathering their luggage . Since we were in a car near the front we were able to get off the train and to the taxi rank very quickly.
(If it had been my first time through Victoria, I wouldn't have thought to try to sit towards the front of the Express nor would I have been familiar with the layout of that huge station... experience saved us 5 or 6 minutes.)
Traffic was light between Victoria and Waterloo .
We were able to retrieve our Eurostar tickets slightly less than 2 hours after we had landed at LGW.
Eurostar had advised ,in the booking confirmation, to allow 45 minutes to clear security at Waterloo. It didn't take us that long since the travel goddess was still beaming upon us, we were near the front of the line when the pre-boarding festivities began.
Hummm, piece of cake.
We got to Waterloo with time to spare and didn't have to wait around for 2 extra hours as we would have if we'd booked the later train. But would I want to do that same schedule again? I don't think so.

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