Trip Report: London Part One


Disney Cruise, Lifestyle, Travel, Trip Reports, Vacations / Sunday, January 27th, 2019

Our flight to London left after 10:20 pm on September 2. It allowed us to spend the day finishing packing and finishing up things around the house. We had to drop our dogs off at the kennel before 6:00 pm. Our plan was to drop them off and have some dinner before heading to the airport.

The Flight to London

Check-in was simple and boarding began at 10:00 pm. WestJet had just bought new Max-8 planes and we were flying over to London on one of those planes. The leg room was good and the flight was quick, but there are no in-flight entertainment screens, so you need to bring your own. Westjet has an app you download before your flight to watch television and movies through the app.

Gatwick

It is just under 6 hours from Halifax to London. Before we left I saw some posts about the long delays at passport control when arriving at Heathrow and Gatwick, some people were saying 2-3 hours to get through.

Here is how it went for us. We landed and debarked by 8:30 am. We arrived at the line for non-EU passport holders by 8:39. By 9:00 am we were on our way to the train with our luggage. I am sure it depends on how many planes have arrived at the same time, but the non-EU passport control moved quickly for us.

The Train

Before leaving for our trip, I booked a train from Gatwick to London Bridge. It was super simple to pick up our tickets and find our train. The tickets for two adults and one child was £21.15 through Thameslink.

As a side note, we knew we were going to be using the tube a fair amount while in London. If you are travelling with children look into getting a Zip Oyster card. You need to apply for it more than one month in advance and they are available for tourists. We did this for out daughter.

We picked our daughter’s Zip card up at Gatwick. At that time we put £15 on the card, which was too much—we still had money left over at the end since children’s fares are so inexpensive. There is a £15 purchase fee for the card, so you need to decide if it will be worth it for you. The standard Oyster cards have a £5 fee and if using with your child, you would be paying adult fares. In our case where we are returning to London in 2019, it was worth it.

Hotel in London

Southwark Cathedral London
Southwark Cathedral London

As I mentioned in a previous post, we decided to stay at the Bankside Premier Inn. It cost a bit more than some of the other hotels we were looking at but the location was perfect. It is beside the Borough Market on the Thames and about a block away is the location of the original Globe Theatre.

The hotel was clean and the staff was friendly. We were able to get into our room when we arrived just after 11:00 am which was appreciated. Usually, after a red-eye flight, we like to shower and have a nap for a couple hours and then head out and see the sites. Making sure that we get to bed a proper local time. I have found that it helps with the jet lag and makes everyone more pleasant for the rest of the day.

One thing we all loved about the Premier Inn was the shower. It had an amazing rain shower head. We would love to buy one for our home. Another thing to mention about Premier Inn is that they do not have mini-fridges in the room and no in-room safe. Before the trip, I bought a PacSafe Vault to store our iPads and other valuables when out of the room. It worked well and I think we will use it in other situations like a trip to the beach.

If you enjoyed this post and wanted to read more about our trip I have posted about our planning and the rest of our first day in London. As well as stateroom tours of our secret porthole rooms 6006 and 5520.


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