Wood Green is located in Zone 3 of London’s public transport network. This puts it just outside of central London, but still well-connected to the city center via Underground and rail links.
A Brief History of Wood Green
Wood Green has its origins as a rural hamlet located around what is now Wood Green High Road. Records show it existed as early as the 14th century. However, it remained a small settlement until the 19th century, when its population rapidly expanded.
The arrival of the railway accelerated Wood Green’s growth. The Great Northern Railway opened Wood Green station in 1859, providing direct trains to central London. This made Wood Green an attractive commuter suburb.
Further transport improvements came in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1892, the now-closed Wood Green tube station opened on the City & South London Railway (today’s Northern line). Tram services also began operating in Wood Green in the early 20th century.
Wood Green’s Transport Connections Today
Today, Wood Green is a busy urban district in the London Borough of Haringey. It has excellent transport links into central London and beyond. Here’s an overview of Wood Green’s current public transport connections in Zone 3:
- Piccadilly Line: Wood Green station opened on the Piccadilly line in 1933, replacing the earlier City & South London Railway station. Piccadilly line trains provide direct connections to central London, with Leicester Square just 16 minutes away and a journey time of around 40 minutes to Heathrow Airport.
- Great Northern: Wood Green station is served by Great Northern trains, providing services to Moorgate in the City of London as well as destinations like Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and beyond. Fast trains reach Moorgate in around 16 minutes.
- London Overground: Wood Green is also served by London Overground services on the Gospel Oak to Barking line. London Overground trains link Wood Green with destinations like Hampstead Heath, Camden Road, Walthamstow and Barking.
Wood Green is a major hub for bus services. Key routes include:
- 29, 141, 144, 217, 230, 232, 243, 299, W3 – Travelling south to Turnpike Lane, Finsbury Park, Highbury & Islington and central London.
- 123, 125, 149, 259, 279, A10 – Travelling east to Enfield and beyond.
- 221, W7 – Travelling north to Edmonton Green, Ponders End and Enfield.
- 221, 341 – Travelling west to Crouch End, Highgate and Muswell Hill.
This extensive bus network provides connections within Wood Green itself, to other parts of North London, and into central London.
The Benefits of Wood Green’s Transport Links
Wood Green’s excellent array of Tube, rail and bus services provides many benefits for people living, working or visiting the area:
- Fast access to central London – Frequent Underground and rail services mean central London is just 15-20 minutes away.
- Key regional transport hub – As a hub for bus services across North London, Wood Green provides easy access to many surrounding areas.
- Avoiding traffic congestion – The Underground and buses avoid road congestion and are often the quickest way to travel.
- Convenience – With a choice of transport options, it’s easy to pick the best service for each journey.
- Reducing environmental impact – Public transport helps cut noise, air pollution and carbon emissions compared to private car usage.
- Cost savings – Public transport offers a cheaper option compared to driving and parking costs in central London.
Is Wood Green in Zone 2? Why It’s in Zone 3
Sometimes there is confusion over whether Wood Green is in Zone 2 or Zone 3. Officially, it falls within Zone 3.
The key reason Wood Green is in Zone 3 rather than Zone 2 is that it lies around 6 miles north of central London. Zones are based on concentric rings spreading out from the centre. As a guideline:
- Zone 1 covers central London within around 2 miles of Charing Cross.
- Zone 2 extends around 2-4 miles out from central London.
- Zone 3 covers destinations around 4-6 miles from the city center.
Places just beyond Wood Green like Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill and Grange Park are in Zone 4, which covers the next band spreading 6-9 miles out.
So Wood Green’s distance of 6 miles from the city center means it correctly falls into Zone 3 rather than Zone 2. Despite being on the Piccadilly line, it is not considered an ‘inner’ Zone 2 location.
However, Zone boundaries are not always exact and distance isn’t the only factor. So Wood Green is very much on the boundary between Zones 2 and 3.
Some specific areas and buildings near Wood Green are considered to fall within Zone 2 rather than 3. For example, travelcards may list stops just south of Wood Green like Noel Park and Wood Green Crown Court in Zone 2.
But Wood Green station itself and the main shopping area falls squarely within Zone 3. This is reflected across maps and ticketing for public transport in London.
Travelling from Wood Green to Central London
Travelling from Wood Green to central London is quick and convenient thanks to the area’s excellent Underground and rail links.
Here are journey times to some popular central London destinations:
- Leicester Square – 16 minutes by Piccadilly line
- King’s Cross St Pancras – 17 minutes by Piccadilly line
- Euston – 19 minutes by Piccadilly line
- Victoria – 22 minutes by Piccadilly line
- Oxford Circus – 24 minutes by Piccadilly line
- Moorgate – 16 minutes by Great Northern
- Old Street – 19 minutes by Great Northern
A travelcard zones 1-3 will cover all journeys between Wood Green and central London. Using an Oyster Card or contactless payment card provides the easiest and most cost effective way to pay.
Off-peak single fares will start from £2.15 with an Oyster or contactless card. Peak travel will be more expensive.
Alternatively, you can travel entirely by bus from Wood Green to central London destinations. While this takes longer, it avoids the need to change services and can be a useful option late at night when tube frequencies are lower.
Travelling from Wood Green to Heathrow Airport
Thanks to the Piccadilly line, it’s easy to travel directly from Wood Green to Heathrow Airport.
A Piccadilly line train takes around 1 hour 5 minutes to reach Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 from Wood Green. For Terminal 5, allow an extra 11 minutes.
Using an Oyster Card or contactless payment, the off-peak single fare from Wood Green to Heathrow is £5.10. You can use travelcards and group day tickets to cap the cost when travelling in zones 1-6.
If travelling with bulky luggage, you may prefer to take a taxi or Heathrow Express train from Paddington instead. But the Piccadilly line provides a direct, convenient option for airport travel.
The Impact of Fare Zones
As we’ve seen, Wood Green’s location in Zone 3 rather than Zone 2 does impact travel costs.
Travelcard season tickets and pay as you go caps increase in price for each zone travelled through.
For instance, peak pay as you go fares are capped at £7.20 for Zone 1 only, £8.80 for Zones 1-2, and £12.80 for Zones 1-3.
So residents commuting regularly from Wood Green to Zone 1 will pay more than equivalent journeys from a Zone 2 area.
However, Wood Green’s position on the boundary of Zones 2/3 means it is still comparatively well-connected. Many other Zone 3 areas beyond Wood Green like Barnet, Tottenham, and Brixton have higher transport costs.
The Future: Wood Green’s Transport Links
Wood Green’s connections may improve further with future transport upgrades:
- The Piccadilly Line upgrade will provide more frequent, higher capacity trains, improving reliability for journeys via Wood Green.
- The London Overground extension to Barking Riverside will add extra stations on the Gospel Oak to Barking line, increasing journey options.
- Proposed Cycleways like CS1 from Wood Green to Tottenham Hale will enhance cycling links in the area.
- The North London Orbital Line could provide new orbital rail connections including services through Wood Green, linking it with areas like Hendon and Brent Cross.
So Wood Green looks set to maintain its reputation for excellent transport links, whether it ultimately ends up in Zone 2 or 3! With faster and higher capacity services, its connections into central London and beyond will only get stronger over the coming decade.
Frequently Asked Questions
What zone is considered central London?
Most of central London is within Zone 1, including areas like Westminster, the City, South Bank, West End, and the West and East End. Some parts of inner north and west London like King’s Cross, Paddington and Kensington fall within the boundaries of Zone 2.
What is the largest zone in London?
Zone 4 is the largest fare zone, spanning six to nine miles from central London. Expanding westwards, it covers places like Uxbridge, Richmond, Bromley, Romford, and Upminster.
What stations are on the boundary of zones 2 and 3?
Stations on the boundary of zones 2 and 3 include Wood Green, New Cross Gate, Crystal Palace, West Hampstead, Loughborough Junction, and Willesden Junction.
Can you use Zone 2 travelcards from Wood Green?
officially Wood Green is in Zone 3, so a Zone 2 travelcard would not be valid. However, for some stations very close to Wood Green, TfL may treat journeys as in Zone 2. Check before travelling.
What is the cheapest way to travel from Wood Green to central London?
For occasional travel, an Oyster or contactless card with pay as you go provides the cheapest single fares. For regular peak travel, a zones 1-3 travelcard offers best value and caps prices. Avoid paper single tickets as these are more expensive.