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First time visitor on solo London trip

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Hi,
I'm a twenty-something woman traveling to London in a week and a half-- my first solo trip so far from home. I'll be flying into Heathrow and was hoping to have a few questions asked to ease me into it.

My plane will land around 4pm and I was planning on taking the Heathrow Express to Paddington and perhaps getting a cab from there, to my hotel. I'm not too worried about navigating the tube system, but I'd prefer not to do it with my giant suitcase. Is it fairly easy to catch a Black Cab from Paddington Station?

Also, I'm really there for a conference, but I want to do some touristy stuff while I'm free. Like I said, I don't mind navigating the tube, but I don't want to miss anything interesting I might find walking. Is it reasonable to walk from the Tower of London area (near my hotel), to the Westminster area?

Any other suggestions for a first time solo trip to London? Things to make it easier on me, since I'm already completely nervous.

Thanks!

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