London is one of the world’s most iconic cities. It has an impressive history, a diverse population, and some of the best attractions in Europe. However, it can be quite difficult to find your way around this big city. Taking the train is often the preferred method of transportation, but not every train station in London is well-connected to the rest of the city. What if you’re coming in from another city and this would be your first time in London? Well, here are some helpful tips on how you can find a train to London with minimal hassle.
How to Find a Train to London
The first thing you have to do is figure out which train station in London you are actually traveling to. There are 30 rail stations scattered throughout the city, so that can be a little bit confusing for some people. Here are some of the most popular stations in London:
- St. Pancras International (The Eurostar to Paris, Brussels, Lille)
- Euston (Trains North to Manchester, Liverpool)
- Kings Cross St. Pancras (The tube to virtually everywhere else)
- Paddington (Trains West to Slough, Heathrow Airport, Oxford)
- Victoria (Trains South to Brighton, Gatwick Airport)
- Charing Cross (The tube to North London and the south coast)
- Blackfriars Bridge (The tube to East London)
- Waterloo (The tube to South London)
- Luton Airport Parkway Station (Luton Airport)
If you have a ticket from another city to London, then it will be for a specific train station. Considering you now know where stations are located, this is where your research comes in. Find the name of the station you are or want to travel to, and Google it with the word “train.” You might have to be a bit more specific if there are multiple train stations by that same name. For example, St. Pancras has an international terminal called St. Pancras International, as well as a train station called St. Pancras.
Go Online To Get Tickets
These days, pretty much everything can be bought online, including getting a train ticket to London and sometimes having it delivered to you. According to the team at https://www.splitmyfare.co.uk/trains-to-london/, if you don’t want to wait in long lines at the station to buy tickets, buying online is a great way to go. You might also not be able to get any refund on the ticket if your plans suddenly change. These tickets are usually non-refundable.
Various online services allow people to even share the price of a ticket, but make sure you read the fine print on these types of services. It’s always best to read the terms and conditions.
How to Find an Entrance to Platforms
Once you have your destination selected, Google the distance from the station to your location. If it is within walking distance, then that’s great! You will be able to walk there in about 20 minutes or so, depending on how fast you are walking. It’s a pretty nice way to see the city, and it’s free! However, if you’re traveling during the winter months, then good luck with that. You will probably want to take public transportation or a cab, depending on how far away your hotel is.
Once you know where the entrance to the station is located, find out what bus(es) you will need to take (or what tube you can take) to get there. If it’s too complicated, don’t worry! The actual act of getting the train is much easier than actually understanding how to do it. You can ask any personnel for help once you are at the station.
Before you leave for your trip, make sure you know exactly which station you will be arriving at and departing from (if it is different). It’s best to look this up online before getting there to not waste any valuable time while in transit. Once you have arrived in London, you will need to research how long it takes to get from the train station to your hotel.
Here are some simple guidelines you can follow to help with the planning of your trip:
- Look for a train station that has an entrance located closest to where you will be coming from and going to.
- Find out which station is closest, and then check what time it closes. You don’t want to be stuck outside the station during nighttime hours if you have nowhere else to go, nor do you want to travel at night.
Useful Apps for Navigation
If you are the type of person that seems to have everything, then just download an app. There are many apps for phones that provide live updates on train times and locations. However, these apps can be pricey if you don’t have a working data plan or Wi-Fi while traveling. If you do have all the tools at your disposal for free, then be my guest. Just make sure you have your locations and times ready when entering the train station in case the Wi-Fi isn’t working.
What To Pack When Traveling To London
When traveling to any new place, it is always best to have a list. If you’re not sure what to bring, then this list should help you out!
- A reusable water bottle so you don’t have to buy plastic ones when in London
- Sunblock is very important to have on you during the summer months
- A jacket or some kind of warm clothing. You never know what the weather will be like, so it’s best to always have a second layer on hand just in case.
- Snacks because you never know when the next time you will be able to eat is. It’s best to always be prepared.
- If you’re going to a museum, bring any pass that gets you into said museums for free or at a discount because London can get very pricey.
Most importantly, keep your luggage light! You don’t want too much because that means walking around a lot more to get from point A to point B. You should also look into luggage that has wheels because hauling luggage bags can be rather difficult, especially if you’re going shopping.
It’s always best to plan ahead when traveling, and that includes getting a train ticket to London. You don’t want to be stuck at the station or have nowhere else to go after hours because you didn’t research what times they close for nighttime travelers. For those of us who like things organized on our phones, we recommend downloading an app with live updates on trains and stations, so you can find out how long it will take from one location to another as well as any connecting buses or tubes needed in order not get lost.