Luggage on the Tube?

Old Apr 30th, 2006, 07:25 PM
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Luggage on the Tube?

My best friend and I are taking our first trip to London in three weeks. I'm sure this is shows our naivete, but here goes anyway: Can we take our luggage on the tube? We arrive around 8:30 a.m. in Gatwick, and our hotel is a couple of blocks from Paddington Station. We thought we would initiate ourselves in tube travel right away, but we will each have a suitcase in tow. Thanks for your responses!
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 07:33 PM
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Umm. Are you aware that the tube doesn't run from Gatwick? How and where are you planning to get to the tube?
 
Old Apr 30th, 2006, 08:07 PM
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No, and I thank God for you right now. Please enlighten me. How *do* we get to the tube? We checked into services that have a car waiting to take us to the hotel and they were soooo expensive.
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 08:27 PM
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You might try Googling "London Gatwick Transportation. I found this site, which has information on the various forms of transportation. It sounds like a cab or private car are horrendously expensive, but there is the Gatwick Express train for about $20 USD -- which drops you in the heart of London at Victoria Station. From there, you can take the yellow circle line to Paddington Station.

Check out the tube map on the internet before you go. It's well worth a little look -- and it's quite easy to get used to. Of all the European subways I've taken, it's the easiest, cleanest and quickest way around town.

If you don't already have a good guidebook or two, I'd recommend Rick Steves London book, especially because it's your first time there.

http://www.airwise.com/airports/euro...LGWtran1.html1

Happy travels,

Jules
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Old May 1st, 2006, 06:05 AM
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Thank you so much! I have ordered the Way Out Tube Map from Amazon, and I will check out the guidebook you mentioned. I wonder how many other gaps exist in my trip research! You don't know what you don't know, you know? : )
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Old May 1st, 2006, 06:11 AM
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Take the Southern (that's the name of the company) train from Gatwick to Victoria, Circle Line Tube (the yellow one) to Paddington or Bayswater depending on where your hotel is. You might save a few quid on the trian fare by waiting until 10:00am BTW when the cheap fares start

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/buses/pdfdocs/centlond.pdf
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Old May 1st, 2006, 06:24 AM
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Thanks for the tip, Alan. Back to the original question--can we take luggage on the tube when we switch from the train???
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Old May 1st, 2006, 06:25 AM
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No problem with luggage, there are areas near the doors where you can stack it - if the Tube isn't too busy, but watch out for it "walking" as the doors close
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Old May 1st, 2006, 06:49 AM
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Kath, you can take your luggage -- just don't ever let it go or turn your back on it for one second, or the police will be on it and treat it like a bomb. We Americans are used to being able to leave bags alone for a few minutes while we go to a cash machine or pay for something, and that is unacceptable across Europe.

Also, if you read that book from Rick Steves, you will know all you need to for London. It was my bible, and if you read it well before you go, you'll have a great trip. His style is casual, budget travel, and he has some great walking tours.

Have a GREAT trip. London was so cool the first time I went, I had to go back a couple years later. I was very surprised at how much fun it was. Having grown up near Canada I just didn't think it would be as cool as it was, if that makes sense.

Happy travels!

Jules
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Old May 1st, 2006, 07:29 AM
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Adding to Alan's note. A ticket on a Southern train from Gatwick to Victoria costs 9.00 GBP. The Gatwick Express costs 14.00 GBP. Paying more only saves you ten minutes at most.

Use this URL to download and print a tube map in PDF: www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/tube_map.shtml.

Use this URL to download and print a central London bus map in PDF that shows the location of the major tourist sites: www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/tourist_map.shtml. It's helpful to have even if you don't ride the bus.

If you tell us how long you'll be in London, we'll give you some advice on whether buying travelcards, bus passes, or Oyster cards would be best for getting around the city.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 07:49 AM
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We will be in London May 24 through May 28. I am the planner/navigator of the duo, and you can see how pathetic I am, I need all the help you can give us! Thanks for the tip on keeping the luggage close--I have only once lost luggage when traveling (due to airline) and it was miserable not having my things. We have been cautioned to cross-pack just in case that happens, and we are taking banana bags instead of handbags, with some absolute necessities in tow. Due to an emergency vet visit and teenager who eats everything in sight, we are definitely in for budget travel! Please share, we appreciate all the help so very much!
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Old May 1st, 2006, 07:51 AM
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P.S. Emergency vet visit and teenager eating everything in sight are UNRELATED...thought I should make that clear. LOL
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:16 AM
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When you get to the Tube, invest in an Oyster card. It's a pre-paid fare card for the Tube and bus and it gets you significantly reduced fares compared to cash. You can buy Oyster cards from any cashier. There's a GBP 3.00 refundable deposit fo the card, but you'll save more than that in just a couple of days, so keep the card for your next trip.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:19 AM
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Do be careful getting on or off, though! When we got off at our stop (jetlagged) I stumbled out the door just in time for it to close -- on my husband and his luggage. He had to go to the next stop and come back.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:26 AM
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Do Mind the gap.....
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:31 AM
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Eric, excellent advice! We'll take it.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:52 AM
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Hopefully you will be packing light. Yes you definitely can take luggage on teh tube - but there are stairs and long walks w/i most tube stations. Including at Victoria - you will have to fight your way (lots of people going up and down both sides of the stairs) down a crowded stairway from the train level to the underground.

If you have small bags it really isn't a problem. But if you have checked-sized bags plus carry-ons you may have a struggle.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:56 AM
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A travelcard gives you unlimited rides on the tube, Docklands Light Railway, trams, and National Rail trains within the zones covered plus the entire London bus system (all zones). A zone 1-2 card will cover most every place you're likely to go. You can buy an extension, if necessary, for any trips beyond zone 2.

A one-day off-peak (after 09:30 on weekdays) travelcard for zones 1-2 costs 4.90 GBP. The three-day and seven-day cards are good for all hours. The seven-day card costs 22.20 GBP. (That would average out to be 4.44 GBP/day for your five days.)

A one-day bus & tram pass (all zones) costs 3.50 GBP.

The new Oyster card is a rechargable card. You pay a deposit and load it with an amount of your choice. You use it as frequently or as seldom as you wish. It gives you a discount on single rides. If you take a lot of rides on any given day, it will cap out and you will never pay more than the price of a one-day travelcard for that day. When you leave London, you can get back any money you didn't spend plus your deposit.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 09:07 AM
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Janis, I am already going through my packing list and crossing things off--just spoke to a friend about borrowing a smaller piece of luggage. Tim thank you so much for SPECIFICS!!! It helps so much to know prices and terms when making a decision like this. Looks like the Oyster is the way to go. Can you use your debit or credit card to purchase them?
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Old May 1st, 2006, 09:07 AM
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Definitely avoid commuter times if you have luggage in tow. We faced hordes of fast moving commuters in Victoria Station one morning when rolling out luggage along; tough even if you know where you are going. Really tough if you must stop to get your bearings. And, there are many places where you encounter a couple of steps here & there in addition to the big staircases or escalators. We managed, but it was far from pleasant. Good advice to keep your hands on your luggage at all times.
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