Advice please - how to commute to Canary Wharf

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Advice please - how to commute to Canary Wharf

Hi there,

We are planning to move to Herne Hill in the next few months, after 6 enjoyable years in Shepherds Bush.  We've got two kids - both under 5.  We're moving because our jobs are moving to Canary Wharf in 2017 (civil service relocation).  We really like the feel of the area - independent shops, community spirit, nice greenery.  Probably the main draw for Herne Hill (over other possibilities like Crystal Palace, Forest Hill, Brockley, Blackheath) was the possibility of good primary and secondary state schools which are not religious and not single-sex - i.e. we are hoping to move so that we will be in the catchment area of Bessemer and Charter School (i.e. near North Dulwich station).

I've been looking online how to commute to Canary Wharf, but some local knowledge would be much appreciated.

Seems the best options are:

1. 39 mins from North Dulwich (Southern rail to London Bridge, then Jubilee to Canary Wharf).

2. 29 mins from Denmark Hill (overground to Canada Waters, the Jubilee to Canary Wharf). Or overground to Shadwell then DLR to Canary Wharf, to avoid the crush at Canada Waters (35 mins).  Or instead take Southeastern to Lewisham then DLR to Canary Wharf (36 mins). I guess I could walk or cycle to Denmark Hill in the first place

3. 23 mins from Honor Oak Park (again via Canada Waters). I'd have to cycle to HOP.

4. Cycle all the way!

Of options 1-3, which is the best?  I need to arrive at Canary Wharf by 8.45 or so.  I'm not only interested in speed of journey - also reliability, how pleasant it is, how likely I am to get a seat or be squished like a sardine etc.  Is London Bridge or Canada Waters worse for the change to Jubilee?  Or is it worth staying on until Shadwell to get DLR instead? (or is that horrible too)?

And does anyone have experience cycling this journey?  40 mins or so?  Can you go through the Greenwich foot tunnel at 8.30am, or is it pedestrians only?

Any thoughts much appreciated! Thanks!

Lots of people cycle and I

Lots of people cycle and I believe that there is a cycle lane for a lot of the way.

If you do choose public transport going overland via Elephant is a popular option to hook up with the Jubilee line. 

Also worth bearing in mind is that you could cycle to Brixton tube or walk (takes minutes) /take the bus there (it's only 4 or 5 stops).

It's the start of the line, so you get a seat.

Denmark Hill is a good option but North Dulwich and Honor Oak will leave you stranded if trains delayed/cancelled.

All routes will be busy.

HH Member
Have been doing this commute

Have been doing this commute for many years. Take train from HH station to London Blackfriars (~12 mins journey and a wonderful view of the river every morning), then a 5 minute walk down Blackfriars road to Southwark tube station (Jubilee line), it's ~10/15 mins to CW from there. Comfortably under a 40 min journey if you time it right.

Easy to get on the Jubilee at Southwark as it's the stop before London Bridge, but the HH to Blackfriars train is incredibly busy (as are all the routes you've mentioned though - wishful thinking about getting a seat on any of them!).

Changing from overground to Jubilee at Canada Water is atrocious, would seriously recommend avoiding that. But getting on Jubilee at L.Bridge is typically ok at any time as a lot of people get off there.

Hope that helps!

Thanks very much

Thanks very much to you both - that's really helpful.  I shall give some of these routes a try!


London Bridge route

I regularly go from North Dulwich to London Bridge and when Southern services are running and on time, this route is great as trains are frequent (every 10 mins or so) and quiet, I always get a seat. The problem here is the unreliability of Southern services so it's always worth checking before you travel!

Strikes stopping?

thanks Jessmh, that's really helpful. That would be my favourite route, since seems most direct. is it right there have been strikes for years and years? was it recently announced these strikes have stopped? Do you ever get a seat on the London Bridge to Canary Wharf part of the journey? What time do you do that stretch, and what is it like? Very very crushed, or just slightly crushed?

I did this journey for years

I did this journey for years but Herne Hill has several stations to depart from and it sounds like you are nearer to North Dulwich than me.

While you are experimenting your best route, which may be different am to pm, I advise making yoursef aware of alternatives for emergencies/strike days/snow days etc as these happen suddenly, sometimes for days on end and always when you are in a rush.  If all else fails remember you can get to E&C and Brixton by bus and overland for the tube.  I did it today.  Brixton tube > Stockwell > Northern Line to London Bridge > Jubilee line to Canary Wharf, tooks 35-40 minutes from HH.

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