Lets Tallinn that again! Two trains, a Tube and a bus home
In this 200 Tier Point Adventure:
- 155 Tier points to go (because my mathematical skills are as bad as my grammatical skills)
- To the Heathrow area
- The Holiday Inn Ariel, London Heathrow
- To Heathrow, Revisiting the Cathay Pacific Lounge
- AY3126 London Heathrow to Helsinki in Business Class
- Can you transit Helsinki airport in 20 minutes flat?
- AY107 Helsinki to Tallinn
- Another walk around Tallinn… and an iPhone 7
- The Hotel Ülemiste
- Back to Tallinn Airport, Tallinn Airport Lounge
- AY118 Tallinn to Helsinki (ATR72-500)
- A quick visit to the Finnair Non-Schengen Lounges
- AY831 Helsinki to Heathrow in Business Class with an A350
- A Train adventure home
- Silver: Done.
With me off the plane, it was time to head down the long path to arrivals and UK immigration. In the meantime, I had another sticky matter to deal with – that being how to get to Central London.
That weekend, the service I normally rely on – the Heathrow Connect – would be operating one train an hour. Considering it would be 9:30 before I got out, and my next train going at 10:40 sharp from Marylebone station, I had to make a choice: do I take the tube and risk it (with the lower fare), or pay the extortionate amount demanded by Heathrow Express and be done with it?
Sigh. I never learn. At least I booked the Heathrow Express ticket online before boarding – and collected a few Heathrow Rewards points.
Passing an American Airlines bird and the Tower of Power
Approaching the the the UK Border, I was confronted with the ePassport gate machines… which I promptly broke. Again.
Once again, I queued up and was cleared into the UK manually.
With limited time on the clock, I headed through luggage claim and customs – and into arrivals.
Luggage pickup area
Arrivals – Play it again Sam.
Thankfully from arrivals, it’s a short walk through the warren that is the Central Terminal Area to the Heathrow Express platforms.
Smarter… no? Expensive. Yes.
As I headed downstairs, a Heathrow Express train service was arriving. Perfect timing as always it seemed.
Everyone rush for the Heathrow Express Class 332
I boarded the train and found a pair of seats to myself for the 15-minute ride to Paddington. Yes, I was still smarting at how much I paid.
The seating is pretty comfortable, but nothing special.
Heathrow Express make a big splash about their onboard Wifi.
Is it any good?
In a word… nope.
The first Speedtest failed, whilst the second speed test took so long to run.
Why bother? Stick to your roaming data people.
With a 15 minute ride, the journey is over in a flash. Ticket inspections were carried out and passed as needed. Alas, there were a few people who were paying more than me – those who bought their tickets on the train.
Approaching the throat of Paddington Station.
X marks the expense.
Mind the Gap!
With me out of the train, I headed to the Bakerloo Line entrance of the Underground to continue my journey to Marylebone.
Thank toy 332003.
Thankfully it’s a short walk to the Bakerloo Line platform (although not one to make if you’ve got luggage – there’s plenty of stairs).
On the way, I saw an advert for Crossrail as we head closer to the magical launch date.
This thing can’t open fast enough.
There was a short wait, and soon enough, a Bakerloo line service trundled in for the short ride to Marylebone station. And it is a five-minute ride… but if you’ve got luggage – don’t do this trip – take a taxi. Your luggage might survive. Unlike last time (or was it the time before?).
Back at Marylebone.
Heading up the escalators I exited the underground, and into the light of Marylebone station.
Up we go!
With 20 minutes to go until the train departing, I knew I had made the right call for once.
I pootled around the station until a platform was called. With a walk to Platform 2, it would a reasonably long walk – mainly as Chiltern Railways loves to park two trains or more in a platform.
The waiting train.
The Chiltern Clubman – I’ve reviewed this train a few times on this blog – mainly because it’s my primary way to get between Birmingham and London, but also it can be a cheap way to get between the two cities – for example, trip on the Clubman ran me a total of £5.50 between the two cities.
£5.50! You can get tickets as low as this (booked 5 days before departure!)
With this being a morning service on a Sunday, the train was empty for the majority of the trip.
10:40 on the nose, the train left London Marylebone on time, and sped through London, and into the grey countryside. Soon enough, the train passed beyond the de-facto border of London – the M25.
I don’t miss you at all M25… and that’s on the rare occasions I drive on the thing. Hateful road. Even Chris Rea doesn’t like this thing…
There was WiFi on the train, but again – nothing to get excited about in terms of speed (with a cap at that speed of 125mb).
About 1 and 3/4 hours later, the bright lights of Birmingham showed. Fine – they’re not bright lights. It’s grey and wet. Welcome to Birmingham in Winter.
I got off the train at Birmingham Moor Street – mainly because I wanted to do a few other things before going home – namely, catch up with friends and get some food in.
With me spending the afternoon with friends – and fighting to stay awake – I eventually headed for home. No Uber or anything fancy – just a bus. At £1.40… it’s better than nothing, considering it picked me up from where I was in town, and drops me around the corner from where I live.
A late afternoon out, a trip to the Chinese Supermarket and I was home from another enjoyable adventure.
Finally: Silver: Done
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