We are working on a new section of the website, Review: Day Trip to London with Berrys Coaches where we will be looking at various places you can go in a single day from Bridgwater, and decided to start with London. We are looking at travelling as a family, as that is how most people will be travelling.
We looked at the various options, and selected travelling by coach, as this brings down the cost of travelling, and selected Berrys Coaches as our way of getting there.
If you were to travel with Berry’s to London, it would cost £25 for an adult return and just £12.50 for a child return. We selected the first coach leaving, which was 7.30am and the last coach returning, at 7pm. We did this, as you may as well make the most of your day, and these times, with a 3 hour journey, are just right for most people.
We booked the tickets for Thursday 10th October, and planned our journey. The idea was to go to a couple of museums, the British Museum and the Natural History Museum and do a sightseeing tour with MegaTours, which we booked in advance online and which lasts 2 hours. The first 3 tickets were £5 and then went up to £9. You would normally be looking at around £30 each for the same thing with other companies.
We arrived at the Bridgwater bus station 15 minutes before the coach was due to leave and our coach turned up soon after. It was a single deck and our first impressions was how clean the coach was, the host took our names and informed us of the seats we were allocated.
Taking our seats, it took a little while to get use to the seatbelts as they were a little restricted in movement, however, this didn’t take away the comfort from the seats themselves, and we soon got used to the seatbelts. We would be very appreciative of them, if anything were to happen. The leg room itself wasn’t too bad as you can stretch out in front and under the seat in front.
The host introduced himself and the driver to us, and that morning we had Kevin (driver) and Andy (host). Andy went through all the safety instructions along with where the toilet was situated, and gave us an estimate arrival time of 10.30am.
Having travelled many times with National Express in the past, we were surprised by how quickly everything was organised, and we were leaving before we realised it. There was no hanging about.
As we started off, Andy came around and took our tickets and because we had an e-ticket, he gave us our return ticket. He then went around offering hot and cold drinks and snacks for the journey. Drinks on offer were water, tea, coffee and soup.
The journey itself was smooth, Kevin was an excellent driver, we had delays near to London which unfortunately caused us to be 30 minutes later than planned, but Andy kept us informed. This was partly due to Extinction Rebellion, so we cannot fault Berry’s for this.
We brought along our own lunch which we ate on the coach so that we didn’t have to carry bags around, and stop to eat.
The coach stopped at Hammersmith, which was also the location of the tube station, so we could easily pay for our daily tickets, which is the best way to get around London if you are planning on going to more than two locations on the tube, which is how we did most of our travelling, except for one bus, just so that we could go onto a London bus.
The daily ticket (for zones 1-6) costs £13.50 for an adult and £6.50 for a child. Travel is free for those under 11. The ticket includes unlimited travel around London on the tube, bus and tram. If you only want to travel by bus, all tickets are £1.50 and the ticket lasts for an hour, on unlimited buses, so you may find that that is a cheaper option for you. We never left zones 1 & 2, so you don’t have to worry about that if you are sticking to the beaten track for tourists.
Unfortunately because of the distance between the British Museum and the London Eye, where we were to pick up the tour bus, we couldn’t look around, so we took a bus straight to the London Eye and got onto the tour bus.
Our driver informed us that there would be some places we couldn’t see due to the protesters and also said that the traffic could hold things up too. We started our journey and the first half of the journey the traffic was heavy but we were moving. Unfortunately, the second half, we were stuck in traffic.
After the tour, we left the bus and made our way back to the underground to visit the Natural History Museum, which was amazing, our 12 year old daughter loves dinosaurs and she was in her element, naming everything before she read it. We only had a chance to visit the dinosaurs section, as we didn’t want to hit the Underground at rush hour.
At the end of the day, we made our way back to Hammersmith ready to pick the coach up at 7pm.
Our return journey was in a double decker with a different driver and hostess. downstairs there were seats with tables and upstairs were just seats but even more legroom, again very clean. We were informed of our seat numbers and once seated we noticed the seatbelts were lapbelts which were much better. Again the seats were comfortable and there was plenty of legroom.
Our hostess introduced herself as Heather and the driver as Mark, she went through the safety procedures and came around to take the tickets before serving up the hot drinks and sandwiches.
The journey home was smooth, in fact so smooth, I fell asleep part of the way. Heather kept us informed and gave us a rough arrival time at the bus station of 10pm, traffic and roadworks permitting. She wasn’t far off, it was just after 10pm when we left the coach.
Although a long and tiring day, it was well worth doing, and we would do it again. In fact, we will be doing it again as a part of this series, letting you know about the ways you can visit London and have a full day on a budget.
If you get a chance to do a trip, we definitely recommend using Berrys Coaches, not only for the vehicle but also their drivers and their hosts/hostesses. Their website is simple to use, and if you make a last-minute decision, you can pay on the coach for your ticket. If you purchase a return ticket, you have up to 6 months to return, so you could even make a few days of it.