Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders


2008/09/15 Purley to Victoria Station to Victoria Coach Station to Heathrow

Posted on September 23, 2009 by daviding

Like many travellers, I’ve taken the Heathrow Express from the airport to Paddington Station in central London.  However, Paddington is in the north side of London, and I was visiting on the south side.  Starting out from Purley Station, I decided to experiment with another route.

DI_20080915 094350 PurleyStation

I took the train north towards Victoria Station.

DI_20080915 095208 Purley train north

The northbound rail tracks pass over some east-west lines.

DI_20080915 104052 train to Victoria

The route goes by a power station.

DI_20080915 104124 train to Victoria power station

Approaching Victoria Station, tracks began to converge.

DI_20080915 104448 incoming to VictoriaStation

I disembarked at Victoria Station.  End of that line.

DI_20080915 104722 VictoriaStation disembarking

Exiting through the turnstiles, I put my ticket through the slot.

DI_20080915 104756 VictoriaStation turnstiles

Victoria Station is a major transit hub on the south side of London for rail and the underground.

DI_20080915 104908 VictoriaStation

The coach station — with service to Heathrow — is not at Victoria Station, though.  The exit to the coach station points outside.

DI_20080915 105012 VictoriaStation coach exit

This exit leads to Terminus Road.

DI_20080915 105114 VictoriaStation TerminusRoad

Walking southwest on Buckingham Palace Road, Colonnade Walk Shopping Centre is across the road.  I saw a lot of travel agents and bus ticket offices there, but none offered the direct service to Heathrow.

DI_20080915 105256 ColonnadeWalk BuckinghamPalaceRoad

I rolled my wheeled luggage another few blocks down Buckingham Palace Road.  The Victoria  Coach Station is across the road.

DI_20080915 105606 BuckinghamPalaceRoad VictoriaCoachStation

The screens listing departures are just inside the front door.  To the left was the ticket hall.  I lined up and bought a ticket from an agent.

DI_20080915 105736 VictoriaCoachStation departure screens

The bus to Heathrow left from gate 3.  I waited 20 minutes.

DI_20080915 110958 VictoriaCoachStation gate 3

I boarded the bus.  It headed south and then west, along Chelsea Embankment.

DI_20080915 114028 Chelsea Embankment

In Chelsea, the bus passed Cheyne Walk, where a building had two plaques naming Walter Greaves and Hilaire Belloc.

DI_20080915 114240 Chelsea CheyneWalk WalterGreaves HilaireBelloc

The bus passed by Earls Court.  DY had told me about the reputation of cheap hotels in that district.

DI_20080915 114348 EarlsCourt

Cromwell Road took us on a busy bridge.

DI_20080915 114756 CromwellRoad

Westbound out of London, the A4 turns into the M4 Motorway.  I noticed tennis courts beside the road.

DI_20080915 115758 London A4 west

Off the motorway and around a few turns, and the coach entered Heathrow airport.

DI_20080915 120556 Heathrow welcome

A model of an Emirates aircraft is near the entrance.

DI_20080915 120614 Heathrow Emirates model

The ring roads give a few of the tower at Heathrow.

DI_20080915 120712 Heathrow tower

The airport roads have the coaches driving around many circles.

DI_20080915 120750 Heathrow circle

We finally pulled up to the Heathrow coach station.

DI_20080915 120808 Heathrow coach approach

I reclaimed my luggage from under the coach, and walked into the coach terminal.  I took the elevator down, to get to the airport terminals,

DI_20080915 121226 Heathrow coach plaza

Walking through the underground tunnels, I eventually got to Terminal 3.  The exit took me outside and across a plaza.

DI_20080915 121930 Heathrow Terminal 3 plaza

The coach from Victoria Station to Heathrow seemed faster than the Piccadilly Line on the London Underground, and cheaper than the Heathrow Express.  I’m not sure that I would travel across the city to take the coach, so it really depends where in London I would end up.

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