Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

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.

[Start a large-image lightbox screen show]

September 23rd, 2009

Posted In: travel

Tags: , , , , ,