Trip from So. Ken. to Waterloo

Oct 13th, 2005, 04:59 AM
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Trip from So. Ken. to Waterloo

I have reservations on a Eurostar tain that is scheduled to leave Waterloo at 5:34 a.m. on a Monday morning. I need to get there from our flat in So. Kensington.

Since the tube doesn't open until 5:30, I've used the journey planner on Transport for London and found a couple of bus options. I'm wondering, though, if it would be better to take a cab? Can one call ahead for a cab? I will have an 11-year-old and a 14-year-old in tow.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
QuietMBR is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 05:07 AM
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A cab will probably be under 10 GBP and there are call ahead and radio dispatched taxis.
jody is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 05:11 AM
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By the time you have got off the train and done all the bits and bobs you need to do, the tube will be running. There will also be plenty of cabs and you don’t need to call ahead – just follow the signs. I’d guess the fare at about £8.00 maybe a bit more.
david_west is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 05:18 AM
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David , I think she is going FROM her apartment to the train
jody is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 05:30 AM
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So she is. My mistake. If the train is leaving at 5.34am (for the love of God why?) you will need to be there for 5.00. Give yourself half an hour for the journey to allow for problems.

There are about 183452378401765638 mini cab firms in London who will take this trip. Ask at your hotel or look around when you get here. Their cards are everywhere. Again it will be around a tenner.
david_west is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 06:10 AM
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David -- I love your parenthetical question ("for the love of God, why?") on my departure time. That was my own reaction last night when I sat down to actually look at the logistics

Actually, I have that departure time becuase I was not thinking straight when I booked the tickets. And, as they are day/leisure tix, I cannot change them.

I figure the girls can sleep on the train.
QuietMBR is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 06:41 AM
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Have the hotel arrange a taxi pick up for you, talk to them about it the day before. Do not even think about public transportation of any kind There won't be much traffic between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. when you need to be out there so don't worry, it will not cost too much. You are going to have to get up mighty early tho !!!
Lori is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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To make the most of a one-day trip to Paris, getting the first train out and the last train back is a good way to maximize one's time in the city.

Just think of getting up, over to Waterloo, and on the train as a temporary sleep interruption.

I wouldn't reject the bus out of hand - with taxi as a backup. The Bus 14-N68 trip takes about 28 minutes if you start at 4:32, and the kids fly free.
Robespierre is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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Robespierre -- that is part of what was behind my logic. Though we're not taking the last train home, I figured that with the reduced daylight of late fall, getting an early start to our day in Paris would not be a bad idea.

By leaving on the 5:34 departure, we are scheduled to arrive at Gare du Nord at 09:23 a.m. which should allow us to take full advanatge of whatever daylight there may be (wet or dry). I know that no city can be properly explored in a day, but to be so close and not take the girls (both of whom are studying French in school), well, I figured even an overview was better than nothing at all.

As for ruling out busses, I havn't just yet. I live in a large east coast city and have no qualms about using public transport on off hours...along with the drunks, children of the night, and other assorted creatures.

Will think on all that has been posted and would welcome more comments if anyone feels so inclined.


P.S. I enjoyed the perspective on the trip to the station being a "temporary sleep interruption".
QuietMBR is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 09:58 AM
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As a veteran of many, many day trips to Paris over the last few years (about once ever five weeks with another one next week), I've abandoned the "first train out, last train back approach".
First, I'm not a spring chicken anymore. When I was in my teens and 20s, I could go go go in Paris all day. But now, after spending 8 or 9 hours wandering the city, I long for a hotel room to crash in, just for an hour or two, just to wash my face, put my feet up, take a short nap. Can't do that on a day trip (maybe I should ferret out some hotels that cater to prostitutes--they probably have hourly rates). Instead, I usually find the most relaxing cafe I can find (one with comfortable chairs, not the tiny little bentwood or wicker ones) and spend an hour with a pot of Mariage Freres tea. Then out again, for a little while.
Second, the last train back isn't late enough for me to have dinner in Paris (at least not at the restaurants I like). Usually I'm in first class, so I get a light meal on the train, which help makes up for no dinner.
Finally, I just feel more refreshed by catching a slightly later train (say 9:40 am from Brussels or 8:39 from London) and returning around 7 pm. Still gives me a nice day, without wearing me out completely.
(And now that we spend most of our time in the London burbs, I simply can't take the first train unless I want to get up at 3 am, no thanks.)

Fortunately, about once every three months my husband spares me for a solo week-end in Paris (while he stays home with the cocker).
BTilke is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 01:49 AM
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I wouldn’t even consider the night-bus. They’re not that reliable. For the sake of a few quid you could miss your train.
david_west is offline  
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