How Far is My New Costco?

February 22nd, 2010 · 17 Comments

So, this weekend Dave and I were thinking that we could go visit the new Costco that we will eventually be shopping at.  However, we don’t have a car here.  Which means that we are dependent on public transportation, at least for the moment.  Lots of planning and figuring ensued and it turns out, it isn’t a very convenient way to get to Costco.  Or at least, that is how it seems to us novice London transport riders.  But first, I guess I should give some details so that everything will make sense.

Currently we are living in a temporary flat, for at least the next few weeks it looks like.  The new place is located in Cromwell Road, right by the Gloucester station.  It’s in a nice central location, unless you want to get to Costco, it seems.  We located a couple of different Costco options, one on Imperial Way, Croydon, CR0 and the other on Shadbolt Avenue, Chingford E4 (I’m still learning about the post code situation, so if you’re from the UK please don’t laugh too hard or feel insulted by my ignorance).  Both are nowhere near as close as my 7 minute drive to the Costco in Austin.  But they are both under an hour of driving, allegedly, according to Google Maps.  Of course, we wouldn’t be driving.  We decided that we would try the location on Shadbolt Avenue since that one is closer to the flat that we are trying to rent (offer is in, so keep your fingers crossed for us).  But then the question became: how do we get there exactly?

This is the shortest trip to our new CostcoNow, in the US, where we have a car, this would be as simple as putting the address into the navigation unit and I’d let her do all the heavy lifting.  Here though, we have no car and have no clue about where we are going or how to work it out really.  So, we went to the Transport for London website, which thankfully lets you put in two addresses and it spits out the various ways and means that you can use to get there in a nice little, easy to follow plan.  Phew…  But man, on public transport is is going to take a bit of time.  And by that I mean somewhere from 75 minutes to 90 minutes, with some walking thrown in.  And honestly, we are using every conveyance known except a plane, I think.  We do some walking, then some underground, then some overground train, then some bus travel, and then some more walking.  Okay, no plane or boat, but still…  So, I was sad, mostly because I was thinking about bringing Costco-sized stuff home on a trip like that on public transportation.

But after thinking about it we decided that we would give it a go, despite the round about journey.  Then I thought about all the car sharing programs we have around Austin now, and lo and behold, they have them in London too.  So, to simplify things immensely for ourselves, we have decided that we will join Zipcar and just ‘borrow’ a car when we want to go to Costco.  That should make it far easier to get our purchases home without everything getting all hot, or becoming like a lead weight.  So, this week I will be signing up for Zipcar and picking up my shiny new card here in their London office and then I will be free to roam around the area to any Costco I want with my own little set of wheels.  I’m sure this is a very American thing, to feel like I must have a car to make this trip, but I am and I can’t get over that after being here just a week.

I’m not going to complain (not really and truly) about how far the Costco locations are from me though.  I’m just glad that London has so many Costco options and that getting there is completely doable.  I know some of you travel for well over an hour to get to your Costco locations, so no whining from me, I promise.

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17 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Jacqueline // 2010.02.28 at 3:58 pm

    They certainly sell hot dogs and a soda for £1.50. They sell chicken bakes, pizza and cottage pie too. The only annoying thing I that there is no ice for the drinks. They do sell a lot of the Kirkland products but you won’t find then all. They vary slightly as well. That said, I still love going to Costco. I got my husband addicted to it too.

  2. 2 Kimberly // 2010.02.25 at 7:44 am

    We’ve been to a lot of the stores and so far Waitrose is the favorite for us too. They seemed to have a great selection of things like fresh bread that the Sainsbury’s we went to didn’t have. Luckily there is a Waitrose pretty close to our new flat too.

  3. 3 Kimberly // 2010.02.25 at 7:31 am

    Well, I have officially joined Zipcar (I’m a Zipster!) and will soon be able to zip on over to Costco in my shared car. I just have to go pick up my card here at the London Zipcar office.

    If you’re looking to join Zipcar, let me know and I’ll give you a referral that will give us both £25.00 of driving credit. They’ve got location sin a lot of cities in the US, some in Canada, and obviously some in the UK too.

  4. 4 Gerry // 2010.02.25 at 7:03 am

    Waitrose is our favorite UK supermarket. Quality of the Waitrose brand products reminds me of Kirkland Signature’s offerings. Will go to Morrison’s for certain sale items.

  5. 5 Kimberly // 2010.02.24 at 5:30 am

    Hey SoCal, I looked up your closest Costco using the warehouse finder on Costco.com. Since there aren’t any locations in France or Europe, you have to come all the way to England to get your Costco fix. So, I guess it depends on how you make that trip, as to which location is technically closest to you. But you have 5 locations to choose from (the mileage is from the generic entry of ‘France’ in their search):

    1. Croydon (343.95 mi.)
    Imperial Way
    Croydon CR9 4LN
    0208 253 4100

    2. Thurrock (346.91 mi.)
    West Thurrock Way
    West Thurrock, Essex RM20-3WY
    011-441-708-860557

    3. Chingford (359.24 mi.)
    1 Shadbolt Avenue
    Chingford E4 8GP
    (208) 501-9305

    4. Reading (362.48 mi.)
    100 South Oak Way
    Reading, Berks RG2 6UE
    (118) 920-7105

    5. Watford (367.63 mi.)
    Hartspring Lane
    Watford, Herts WD25-8JS
    (923) 022-5449

    You can go to the Location search page at Costco.com to find the locations in England and display them on a map.

  6. 6 SoCal // 2010.02.24 at 4:01 am

    Hi….

    I found this blog while trying to figure out which UK Costco is closest to France…
    Ok sounds silly but really its not…. have you priced electronics at retail French stores…

    If anyone knows please let me know…

    SoCal transplant

  7. 7 Josey // 2010.02.23 at 10:41 am

    I’m wondering if you would consider starting a thread about your reader’s favorite Costco foods. I’ve found some wonderful foods based upon your prior posts, but everytime I go the food testers have already gone and I’m so tempted by the frozen food items. Thanks in advance.

    Josey

  8. 8 JB // 2010.02.23 at 9:57 am

    ZipCar is great. Make sure to see if you can get a corporate discount though your husband’s work or through someone else. That can cut off the registration/annual fee and reduce the hourly fee too.

  9. 9 Kimberly // 2010.02.23 at 6:03 am

    I believe that I have seen information that they says they do sell the hot dog and soda for £1.50 (which is more than $1.50, obviously). But I’ll be interested to see for myself.

    We’ve been to at least 5 different supermarkets already :-) It’s one of our favorite things to do too. I just love seeing all the differences and new products. We even went to a colossal Whole Foods…who knew they had those here?

  10. 10 Kimberly // 2010.02.23 at 5:46 am

    I’ll be honest, I’m more than a little freaked out about the possibility of driving in London. There’s the whole driving on the wrong side, the little teeny tiny parking spots, and yes, the roundabouts. Luckily, we can get on pretty big streets rather quickly and not have to do all of the crazy stuff on the little narrow streets.

    Thanks for the link, Steve. :-)

  11. 11 Steve // 2010.02.23 at 5:20 am

    Don’t forget to take a few driving lessons before getting in your Zipcar. Legally you can drive in the UK for 12 months on your USA license but that doesn’t mean you’ll understand the “rules of the road” including how to navigate the “roundabouts”, etc. http://www.americanexpats.co.uk/driving.htm

  12. 12 Maria S // 2010.02.22 at 11:49 pm

    What a blast! Zipcar sounds like a great idea. Can’t wait to hear about the products there – I LOVED wandering the grocery stores whenever I worked overseas!

  13. 13 Bob A. // 2010.02.22 at 4:12 pm

    Be careful driving on the opposite side of the street!!

  14. 14 Paul // 2010.02.22 at 3:21 pm

    My question is, do they sell hotdogs with a soda for 1.50?

  15. 15 Carla // 2010.02.22 at 2:12 pm

    I am so glad you and Dave are making the best of your adventure. I’ve moved quite a few times and even though some things are hard, they are so good for you. You will be buzzing around on their transit systems in no time. I do think your Zipcar idea is great, because I don’t see how you would lug all your purchases home on a train/bus. I can’t wait to hear how your upcoming weeks turn out. At least they speak the same language. My daughter went to Thailand for about 6 months- there is no way to gleen anything out of that language. She started out by talking to little kids at the pool to practice her Thai on. She said their parents would watch/listen and just laugh at her attempts to communicate.
    Enjoy ~Carla

  16. 16 Ms. SP // 2010.02.22 at 2:02 pm

    Here in Chicago, there are always car-sharing cars in the Costco parking lots. Costco and urban car sharing services seem tailor made for each other. Load up once a month and then forget about shopping.

  17. 17 tle // 2010.02.22 at 10:40 am

    Thank you for the link to London Transportation website. We’re taking a one week vacation in London. I lived in London for three years 30 plus years ago and visited London 10 years ago. Each time back it was so different. Hope you enjoy London. I just hate the weather!

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