Travel for theatre breaks to London?
I’ll try and outline some pros and cons for the main options which are rail, coach and self drive.
Travel Options – rail coach and self drive to London for theatre breaks
Obviously it depends where you are starting from but there are some other factors which you may not have considered. The show itself is meant to be the highlight or main reason for your trip, so you don’t want anything to spoil that which means that arriving in London on the day of the show is not a good idea if you live more than a couple of hours away. I mean, you could at a pinch travel early in the day, find your way to your hotel, check in, relax a bit then go out to the show but my bet is that you would still harbouring a certain amount of stress and anxiety from the journey. London can be a daunting place so you really want to minimise the effect the journey might have. My advice is to leave it until after you have properly rested, refreshed and are in the right kind of relaxed but alert mood. Then you’ll be fully receptive to the live stage entertainment experience which you are going to enjoy and remember for months afterwards.
Whether or not a coach journey is an ordeal or a comfort is probably as much down to personal experience from the past as much as preference, so I would just point out that national coaches travel on motorways and motorways are subject to roadworks, accidents and jams cause by sheer volume of traffic. The advantage might be that there will be perhaps less changes, ie coach to coach, coach to tube, if you live in a town with a direct coach link to London, and the possibility of a quick transfer by taxi from the coach station to your hotel. The price of coach tickets is probably going to be the best value especially for the longest journeys but you will also be surprised at the generous discounts which are available on rail fares when you book the train tickets at the same time as the hotel and theatre show.
Self Drive theatre breaks
Self-drive is really only for those who feel they are going to need the car for some other purpose, such as combining the London theatre break with another trip, such as continuing across to the continent via Eurotunnel or visiting relatives in the south east of England. If you are tempted to bring a car into London’s theatre land then do remember that there is a congestion charge which comes into force on weekdays up until 7 O’clock ( £10) and that car parking at your Hotel, if available, will be charged extra at about £25 per day depending on the hotel. That’s as well as the worry of negotiating the slowly moving traffic, confusing one way systems and taxi drivers doing U-turns everywhere!
Train to London
Travel by train on the intercity railway lines is generally the fastest and most comfortable, but there can be times of day when carriages are overcrowded. If this is the case, you can often purchase a first class upgrade from the guard, and if you do so when you book the train tickets in the first place then you will usually be entitled to a properly cooked restaurant meal on the train, which is a perfect way to begin your weekend luxury theatre break in London.
Theatre breaks to London in style
In conclusion, to get the most out of London theatre breaks it is thoroughly recommended to do some preparation in the form of research into transport options for your requirements, as much as into the various plays and musicals on offer.