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Travel from Chelmsford to London

Updated on October 17, 2014

Cheap travel to London from Chelmsford, by train

Yikes, London is expensive! If you want to visit London but stay outside the mayhem and save oodles of money to boot, here is how you can do it.

The trick is to live like the locals and stay outside of London in one of the commuter towns, like Chelmsford. Chelmsford, Essex is a short train ride into London, only 35-40 minutes, so many people save their cash by living in Chelmsford. You too can live like a local; go into the big city to see the sights, but them come home to the peace and quiet of Chelmsford. Here is your quick and easy guide of how to navigate the train system in the UK.

Quick and easy travel to London

Travel from Chelmsford

Are you coming to the UK for a vacation? Frustrated by crazy London hotel prices? Save your cash for your souvenirs and stay outside of London and commute in, like the locals do. It's quite easy, once you have the details, and takes only 32-40 minutes. Chelmsford, Essex is on the direct train line to London. You can take the train to London's Liverpool Street, and then pick up the tube from there. Thousands of people commute in on this line every single day, you can too!

1. Check your train times/costs on the National Express Rail website

Search for tickets from 'Chelmsford' to 'London Liverpool Street'. It will give you the schedules and fare options.

2. Choose your ticket carefully to save money. Here are a few options to consider:

You can buy one ticket that includes all day travel on the Tube and then a return back to Chelmsford for only a few pounds more than a plain ticket that is 'point to point' or to only one station. If you have a limited amount of time for seeing the sights, this is normally a good deal.

The highest ticket costs are during the commute hours, from Monday to Friday. If you purchase a ticket that includes the commute hours and all day Tube ticket, it will cost you 31.10 GBP for this 'Anytime Day Travelcard'.

If you can travel during off-peak times, then you can purchase an 'Off-Peak Day Travelcard' for only 19.60. With this restricted card, you only need to plan your day around the commute hours; so plan to come back to Chelmsford on a train that does not leave London Liverpool Street between 4.29 PM - 6:34 PM. In the morning you may not travel on a train that gets to London prior to 10 AM, so you need to get a train from Chelmsford that is after 9.25 AM. On your travel cards, you may stay after midnight (as long as there are trains running back, your card is valid until 0230 the next day.

If you plan to walk all day, you can save a few pounds by skipping the Travelcard and only purchasing a 'Day return' ticket, so without the Tube option. They come in the options of 'Peak' (23.30 GBP), 'Off-peak' (18.40) and on the weekends 'Super Off-Peak' (12.50).

3. The only other thing to do is to check the schedules, especially for your trip back. Depending on the day, your last train back to Chelmsford is probably somewhere in the midnight hour. It's important to remember that Tubes run less frequently at that time of night, so plan to leave a little earlier to ensure that you arrive back to Liverpool Street in good time. It's usually a fun trip back on those last two trains of the evening, people are in good spirits, having enjoying a nice night out and now on the way home.

How many stops are there between Chelmsford and London Liverpool Street?

It depends on which train you are taking. If you are on a commute hour train, you may get only one stop after Chelmsford. However, if you are on a late night or mid-afternoon train, it is probably making all stops (Ingatestone, Shenfield, Romford, Stratford).

How do I buy my ticket?

It's easy, just go to the train station during business hours. You can buy tickets up to 83 days in advance. If the ticket window is closed or there is a long queue, it's no problem, just use the ticket machines that are near the windows. There are two types of machines, one takes card only, the other takes card and cash/coins. Or you can also buy your ticket at home on the internet with a credit card and then print it out from the 'card only' machine at the station. The trick to using the machines is knowing from the above which ticket type that you need.">

One additional money saving tip: Check the Rail 2 for 1 offers before you go. These offers will allow you to get 2 tickets for the price of 1 for many of the famous sights. The only catch: you must pre-register for them, either at home through printing out a coupon, or by mobile phone. If you are unsure about your plans, the best thing to do is to register for each day of your trip and print out the papers with you. There is no cost to register and it will save you some cash for big ticket prices like The London Eye.

For more Chelmsford info, check out:

How to get from Stansted Airport to Chelmsford

The secrets of finding a cheap place to stay for V festival in Chelsmford

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