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To/From Heathrow via Feltham

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To/From Heathrow via Feltham

It’s been mentioned on here a few times, so I thought I’d try the option of going from and to Heathrow via Feltham. As it happens my choice was vindicated by severe delays on the Piccadilly line on the morning of my arrival.

The route is 285 bus from Heathrow Central bus station (for T1-3), or 490 from T5 and T4, to Feltham railway station, then South West Trains direct to Waterloo via Clapham Junction.

Under normal conditions it’s not a replacement for the tube from Heathrow (it takes a little longer, costs a little more and only gets you to Waterloo), BUT ……

1) It’s a viable alternative if there are long delays or engineering works on the Piccadilly line, or if there’s a tube strike.

2) It’s very viable if traveling to the likes of Putney, Wandsworth, Clapham Junction, Croydon and points south.

3) It’s a very viable (and much cheaper) alternative to the National Express coach when traveling Heathrow-Gatwick or Gatwick-Heathrow (see below).

I arrived at T1 on Dec 17 and as mentioned above, the Piccadilly line had severe delays. I added a 7 day travelcard and some PAYG onto my Oyster at T123 tube station and took the escalator to the bus station immediately above, boarding the 285 at 8.30am. The 285 is a single decker bus, and there is room for luggage in the section reserved for disabled passengers and strollers (if such a passenger boards you would have to remove the luggage and it may get quite cramped). The journey to Feltham took exactly 30 minutes. The bus stops right outside Feltham railway station, and the walk from bus stop, through the ticket hall and barriers and onto platform 1 is all of 10 meters. The 9.05 train to Waterloo arrived at 9.07 (a fast train calling at Twickenham, Richmond and Clapham Junction); the journey time was 18 minutes to Clapham Jct and 23 minutes to Waterloo, getting me there at 9.33am for a total journey time of 63 minutes. From there I continued on the Jubilee line to Canary Wharf for my brother’s house.

My return to Heathrow on Dec 29 was from my mother’s house in Chipstead Surrey (on the Tattenham Corner line right on the zone 6 boundary). This took a mightily impressive 1hr27 (I usually budget 1hr45 to 2hrs when going into London and taking the tube) though I may have been lucky as all the trains synced near perfectly. Southern train from Chipstead (dep 8.33) to East Croydon (arr 8.51), then a fast Southern towards Victoria (dep 8.53) getting off at Clapham Junction (9.04), and changing to a SWT to Feltham (dep 9.08, arr 9.29). This was a slower train to Windsor & Eton and called at Putney, Richmond, Twickenham and Whitton. In order to arrive next to the lifts at Clapham Jct sit in the rear of the trains heading to London, and the front if heading out of London. On arrival at Feltham there are two lifts from platform 2 to the footbridge to get you to the exit for the buses. The 285 bus arrived at 9.35am and took just 25 minutes to get to Heathrow, arriving at 10am.

An added bonus of the return journey was that as I avoided zone 1, the total peak fare (on Oyster) from Chipstead was just £4.70, compared to £9.70 had I gone into zone 1 and taken the tube.

Next time I plan to try out the X26 bus (if I can get a ride from Chipstead to/from Sutton).

Traveling between Heathrow and Gatwick –

The journey time between Gatwick and Heathrow (via Feltham) using a Southern train to Clapham Junction, SWT to Feltham and 285 bus is approximately 1hr32* (1hr05* to Feltham and a further 27 mins to Heathrow Central by bus) , and costs £17.30 total cash fares (2012). This compares to 1hr15 and £24.50 on the National Express coach. However, for people making this journey late evening and needing a hotel, the Feltham Travelodge is less than 100m from the station. This means you can travel to Feltham, overnight at the Travelodge, and then continue on to the other airport the next morning, not having to wait for buses to take you to/from an off airport hotel at either Heathrow or Gatwick (and possibly pay £4.50 each way on a Hoppa). You can take the train from Gatwick and connect to Feltham as late as 23:13 on a weekday. The 285 bus is a 24 hour service running every 30 minutes in the early hours, and the 490 (for T4-5) is almost 24hr (stops at 1.39am and resumes at 3.37am).

(* - slower on Sundays)

Edited: 5:16 pm, December 31, 2011
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1. Re: To/From Heathrow via Feltham

Can't say I've read every word of your excellent feedback, but yes, the X26 is a very good service to the south of London.

The 285 is very good also, and a bit of a bargain. Don't tell everyone...

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2. Re: To/From Heathrow via Feltham

Peter, the X26 is by far the cheapest route, and for people traveling from as far as Sutton and Wallington it's also the fastest, as those places don't have easy connections to the fast trains at East Croydon.

For Croydon itself however, the X26 takes 1hr45 to 2hrs, compared to trains from East Croydon at 1hr5 via Feltham or 1hr23 via Victoria and then the tube (according to TFL). And from the family home in Chipstead it would take two additional buses to get to Sutton or Wallington (so 3 total at £4.20) and they don't sync very well. So that's a big enough time difference for me to pay an extra 80p (2012) and take the train.

But, out of curiosity, if I can snag a ride to/from Sutton, I'll try the X26.

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3. Re: To/From Heathrow via Feltham

Thanks for researching this. It's such a shame that this email will soon be lost.

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4. Re: To/From Heathrow via Feltham

USBusinessTraveller,

Thank you, thank you so much for posting this! I agree completely with Glyn1 that this is really valuable information and so hopefully my post will resurrect it!

I bumbled on to this route from Gatwick to Heathrow by trial and error using both National Rail and tfl route planners, a process much too circuitous to detail here! I tried to ascertain whether the route was actually practical via numerous searches here on TA, not finding the info I needed until I chanced upon this thread after searching for "Feltham" in the London forum (not much info in the Feltham forum!). The information needed is usually on TA somewhere, but finding the right search term can be an exercise in patience and creativity!

My only question now is where to find the cost of the bus ride from Feltham. The National Rail website quotes an "Anytime Fare" from Gatwick to Feltham of £13.90. Where can I find the fare bus fare from Feltham to Heathrow, or in my case, to Hatton Cross and the Jurys Inn Heathrow?

Thank you so much for this information!

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5. Re: To/From Heathrow via Feltham

leucadian,

Thank you for your kind words.

The cash fare for all London buses is £2.30 per person so that is the fare from Feltham to Hatton Cross. Both the 285 and 490 go to Hatton Cross from Feltham.

However, if your train ride is after 9.30am, when looking at the National Rail website, another fare offered for the train is an off-peak travelcard for £15.00. That will include a zone 1-6 travelcard which you can use for the bus ride. So your total fare from Gatwick to Hatton Cross/Heathrow would be just £15.00 (£10 cheaper than the National Express coach and, for you, faster.

Finally, when you travel to the airport the next morning, the buses will be free, as you're within TFL's Heathrow free bus area.

Edited: 10:46 pm, February 29, 2012
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6. Re: To/From Heathrow via Feltham

Thanks so much USBusinessTraveller!

My travel from Gatwick to Heathrow will be around 3PM on a Tuesday, so can I purchase an off-peak zone 1-6 travelcard at the Gatwick train station and that will cover the entire trip?

I had read about the free buses back to Heathrow, but thanks for the confirmation!

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7. Re: To/From Heathrow via Feltham

^^^^ Explain that you're heading to Feltham and then onward to Hatton Cross by bus and the ticket clerk should work out the correct ticket. That £15 "travelcard" will be a rail ticket from Gatwick to the zone 6 boundary with a travelcard attached.

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8. Re: To/From Heathrow via Feltham

^^^^ Come to think of it ... and I don't know your luggage situation or what time you have ...

That travelcard will allow you to use buses, train and tube within all the zones for the rest of the day. With a 3pm arrival at Gatwick and allowing for customs, etc, you could be on a 4pm train, and at the Jurys Inn by 5.30pm. So you could travel back into London for the evening (about 40 mins tube each way), or at least to an area more appealing than Hatton Cross. Or, if you can haul your luggage with you, you could go straight to Victoria and spend an early evening there before heading to Hatton Cross by tube (not that I want to "trash" the Feltham route).

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9. Re: To/From Heathrow via Feltham

Thanks so much! I understand how the ticketing works now.

We hope to be leaving Gatwick around 3PM if our arriving flight is on time. Probably will check in to the hotel, then use our travelcard to get to a more interesting area to spend the evening.

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10. Re: To/From Heathrow via Feltham

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I wanted to follow up after getting such helpful advice regarding our transfer from Gatwick to Heathrow. We ended up staying at the Yotel at Heathrow T4 rather than the Jurys Inn Hatton Cross, but we still chose the train/bus route discussed above over the National Express coach. Our fare was 14.40 GBP per person, which included a one day zone 1 - 6 off peak travel card, a great bargain compared to 24.50 GBP per person for the coach.

Train connections were no problem, but we had a little confusion finding the bus at Feltham - followed signs towards "bus" and ended up in a parking lot on the opposite side of station from the bus terminal. This was only a minor hiccup due to help from a local who led us to the bus stop for the 490 bus on Hanworth Rd, which worked just as well as the official bus terminal. Proceeded on to Heathrow T4, checked in at Yotel and then used our offpeak travel cards to take the Tube in to central London for dinner at a nice pub. After dinner we wandered the surprisingly uncrowded streets, still all decked out for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (we arrived on Tuesday, June 5), then took the Tube back to the Yotel to rest up for our flight the next morning.

We enjoyed an efficient transfer from Gatwick to Heathrow at a good price, then had a wonderful evening in London for no extra transportation cost! Thanks so much USBusinessTraveller, for the great advice!!