If you’re visiting Watford from outside the London area, you’ll likely arrive at Watford Junction station, which is about 20mins walking distance from the town centre. A popular route is to take the train from Manchester Piccadilly to Watford Junction. Don’t forget, if it’s your first time in the Greater London area you will need to purchase an Oyster card. These are easily purchased online and adding credit is simple thanks to the top-up machines present in all London stations. For travellers from the West Midlands, Watford Bushey station is your entry point. From here you can also catch the 142 bus (to Watford Junction) straight to the centre. Watford’s pleasant attractions make it a popular destination not only for tourists but for London residents as well, with most visitors arriving at the Watford Underground Station. This is covered by the Metropolitan line, making it an easy station to get to from many of London’s popular locations, including Baker Street. Travel by train to Watford from London takes approximately 40 minutes.
Public transport in Watford
Once you’ve arrived in Watford you shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding your way to the centre, with a variety of public transportation options all readily available. Both Watford Junction and Watford High Street stations are well covered by Greater London’s extensive bus network, which also connects to destinations throughout the capital. Getting to the centre from either Watford Underground or Watford North Station does require a taxi or Uber, but if you’re travelling from the latter then you’re already in the town centre. It is also possible to walk from either station, taking 15 and 30 mins, respectively.
Getting around Watford by bus is a cost-effective and efficient way to travel. Bus services from Watford Junction include routes 142, 258 and 320, all of which head directly to the town centre. You can also catch numerous services from the popular Bushey station, many of which also head into the centre as well as linking Watford to the wider London area. As stated before, you’ll need an Oyster card for much of Watford’s bus service, although there are a few limited services from third parties offering routes to harder-to-reach destinations. Thankfully, Watford’s bus services run frequently, highlighting the efficiency of Greater London’s wider bus network. Watford’s taxi and Uber services are competitively priced and simple to either hail or order from wherever you are. You’ll find a generous convoy of taxis outside Watford Junction station and fares are in line with the reasonable pricing of the majority of Greater London taxis. Uber is generally a good option as well and Watford Junction is a well-known pickup point for many drivers.
The town’s compact nature means getting around Watford by taxi or Uber is efficient, convenient, and affordable. For metro services, head to Watford Underground Station for the Metropolitan line, which conveniently links to some of London’s most popular locations. The London Overground service is excellent as well, giving visitors to Watford plenty of alternative travel options. In fact, London Overground has connections to 112 stations (at the time of writing), so visitors never have to feel unable to reach their destination. As with the London bus services, make sure you have an Oyster card prior to using the London metro service. One thing to note is Oyster card capping, which basically means that once you exceed a certain amount of rail journeys in one day, further rides won’t be charged for within the 24hour time limit (04:30 until 04:29 the following day).
Watford is filled with exciting things to see and do, all of which are well within walking distance of each other. For the shopaholics, check out the huge Intu shopping centre, located only a couple of minutes’ walk from the town centre. Inside you’ll find a cornucopia of restaurants, cafés, fashion outlets and more.
From the shopping centre, take the time to explore Watford’s bustling high street, which includes a vibrant selection of eateries offering both local and international cuisine – sure to pique the interest of even the most discerning foodie. Quality entertainment is in no short supply either, with a host of exciting venues all situated within 5mins of the town centre. For a classy evening out, catch a show at the Watford Palace Theatre, where new productions often launch before heading down to the London West End. If you’re looking for something a little more raucous, visit the Watford Colosseum and watch a gig or comedy show. During the interval, grab a bite to eat in one of the modern European restaurants. Some events even play host to delicious street food vendors offering treats from across the globe. When a booking a hotel in Watford, consider staying on the centrally located Exchange Road, which conveniently links much of Watford’s highlights together.