a VirtualTourist member from Reno
Hi all, we are arriving in Heathrow on May 15th at about 1130 am. Then after customs and luggage, we plan to catch a bus from the airport to Reading. The busses run every half hour. Then we are catching a train in Reading going to Hereford. It seems that this is the fastest route and if all goes well, should arrive in Hereford at approximately 1830 hours or so. We considered the Paddington route, but seems we would have had to change trains twice. So we opted for the Reading route. and the cost was less expensive. If anyone has any suggestions on this, let me know. We can change this if there is good reason to. Also, any ideas on getting some dinner somewhere along the way. How is the airport for restaurants? And do the trains offer any dining options? It wil be a long day and we want to have some ideas on these things. thanks much, Cheryl
It's not really a matter or working out rail routes in the UK.
It's just a matter of getting from A to B.
So if you are happy to take the coach to Reading, and get the Hereford train from there, and it works out less expensive, then fair enough. The extra change from Paddington is just because you have to get off the Heathrow>London train and onto another....the Reading coach serves the same function (although there is at least one direct train from Reading>Hereford, as there is from Paddington>Hereford).
You can investigate all train times, details and fares on the official UK rail website here:
You'll find plenty of options to eat at Heathrow, but it won't be cheap (or necessarily anything special). You can explore them here:
But if I were you I'd just grab something to keep me going and plan to eat properly once you've arrived in Hereford.
You will find out whether the train has a buffet car or (sometimes) trolley service if you click the 'details' tab for a particular departure on the link I've given. Be warned that train food is similar to airport food: adequate but pricey. You won't get a proper sit-down meal unless there is a dining-car.....buffets (and trolleys) only serve snacks, sandwiches, coffee etc.
We thank you for your response. My husband says he will find out which train goes directly to Hereford and see if we can catch it! Now, I agree, airport food is not the best..since we will be arriving so late in Hereford and getting settled in so late..a light meal would be good. Any ideas at all on a place in Hereford near the Green Dragon Hotel for a quick meal? We hear from our relative in Hereford that the restaurant in this hotel is closed. But I haven't found out yet why that is. Another post stated it is not listed in the website as closed. Any idea on how we can find out? We were not able to call them directly from our home here in Nevada, US. My husband had to book our reservations through someone else. thanks, Cheryl in Reno
Best way to find out is to call them once you are in the UK or, better, to email them using the form on their website:
Hopefully Ranger49 (Barbara) who lives very near Hereford will be able to suggest somewhere you can get a meal when you arrive. But as you'll be checked-in at the hotel by 8 at the very latest, it shouldn't be too difficult to find a pub-with-food nearby. It would be a different matter if you were arriving at 10pm, when your only choice might be takeaway fish & chips or an Indian/Chinese restaurant (both of which, by the way, offer very reasonably-priced and usually excellent food throughout the UK).
The Reading route is cost effective and comfortable enough. Having a quick look I don't think there's any way of avoiding a change at Newport on a Saturday afternoon. Are you going to be buying "advance" tickets? If so then remember that these are ONLY valid for the train specified - to arrive Hereford at 1827 is the 1527 from Reading which also involves a change at Bristol and so you might be better off aiming to get the 1611 from Reading which arrives Hereford 1855 - it's cheaper and faster. Or the 1511 which is about £20 more expensive.
So if you are booking an "advance" through ticket for the 1611 book for the 1500 bus service (or for the 1511 the 1400 bus). You should be clear customs etc by 1300 at latest (unless your flight is delayed) and the ticket is valid on any earlier bus and so you would have time for lunch in Reading - there's a pub, The Three Guineas, at Reading station which serves good pub food all day.
Hope this makes sense?
BTW If you're not booking "advance" tickets then the £51.50 off-peak single lets you use any bus and train on the day and so is perfectly flexible and makes Reading a good lunch destination as you can get any train that afternoon.
Have you checked the tickets for day of travel on http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/
Allow a bit of time at Reading station and most convenient train - it seems to me that there is a £19 fare so GO FOR IT ! Take your ticket in Reading and all sorted. Enjoy !
But the OP still needs to get the bus to Reading. The through ticket (bus/train) option is the best and because there's no facility at Heathrow for collecting online-booked "advance" tickets then the £51.50 off-peak single is the cheapest and fastest flexible option just in case the £19 train is missed.
Confusion. Have lunch in Reading or not ? Take the £14 Heathrow - Reading bus then the cheap train ? Or take the bus all the way ? Decisions decisions.