1 night in London-HELP!

Old Mar 7th, 2004, 06:43 AM
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1 night in London-HELP!

We will arrive at Heathrow 8pm on a Monday in July and will depart at 3:30pm from Gatwick next day.

Any suggestions where we should stay, what we can visit Tuesday morning and how we should get from Heathrow to London and then London to Gatwick? Thanks

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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 07:05 AM
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Take the Heathrow Express to London and the Gatwick Express back to the airport. I'd suggest staying somewhere near Victoria as that's where the Gatwick Express will be.
With that little time the best thing would be to take a hop on/hop off bus tour. There are stops everywhere and it's a good way to get an overview of the city. Alternately with that little time, you could go to Windsor, very near Heathrow, spend the night and see the castle, and then take a train to Gatwick. I hope you don't have tons of luggage-that's the worst way to travel.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 07:13 AM
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If you are traveling alone (one person) or if there are two of you and you plan to walk to your hotel from Paddington, or take the tube, then taking the Heathrow Express is a good idea. But if you plan to take a taxi to yourhotel from Paddington, you would be wise to schedule a pick up by a car service at Heathrow that will take you right to your hotel without changing or standing in a taxi line at Paddington, and it should be less money than the Express plus a taxi anyway. People who say the Express will be faster haven't factored in the time of waiting for the Express, time for getting to the taxi line and waiting, or the time to go by taxi to your hotel (which is the biggest part of the full taxi ride from Heathrow -- the part within the city). Look at www.justairports.com

I'm not sure about Gatwick Express, but that may be your best bet back out.

I'd agree if you haven't been to London, to go in for the night, do a hop-on bus trip, and maybe get off at Tower of London and/or Trafalgar area and do a little walking.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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thank you for your prompt reply. The 2 of us will have very little luggage so I think we will try to find accomodations near Victoria Station for Monday night.

The hop on bus is a great idea. What time do you think we will need to leave for Gatwick?

Any hotel or B&B suggestions near Victoria Sation? thanks
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 08:19 AM
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Find out from your airline when , as in how many hours before your flight , you need to check in at Gatwick. It could be two hours or it could be more.

The Gatwick Express takes 30 -35 minutes to make the trip from Victoria Station. Generally, an Express departs Victoria every 15 minutes ( 00/15/30/45 past the hour.)

You can buy your ticket at Victoria or you can buy it on the Express. A one way fare is £11.

The Gatwick train station is right at the airport, you won't need to take a shuttle , but you will want to factor in time to get from the track level and to find your airline's check in counters.

If you are flying coach you'll want to allow more time to check in and to clear the security checks points than you would if you are flying 1st or biz class.

After you clear security you do not go directly to the boarding area , you have to wait for your gate to be posted on the TV screens. If you are flying 1st or biz you wait in your airline's club room for your gate to be announced.

When you find out your gate number, you walk down a long corridor to a tram that will take you to your boarding area.

If you want to browse in the duty-free shops, then allow additional time for that.

I admit I am not one who enjoys hyperventilating while tearing down airport corridors hoping that I will be able to fling myself on the plane moments before the doors close, so I probably err on the side of caution when it comes to deciding when to leave for the airport .
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 10:26 AM
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We stayed at the Surtees near Victoria Station. We walked to the station with our luggage. It was clean & fine for us. The lower room was a bit noisy because there was a trio of young guys next to us. The upper twin room was better & both had bath included. Continental breakfast was included.If all you want is a clean safe place to sleep for 1 night then I would try there. The people that ran it were very nice & it seems to have many return visitors.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 10:39 AM
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There are a lot of small hotels on Belgrave Road, which is near Victoria Station. If you're not concerned with charm, there is also a Holiday Inn right across from Victoria Station which is VERY convenient. There are rooms on the 8th floor with balconies, which is nice (but it's not much of a view. The breakfast buffet is more than adequate. If you can get a decent rate or you have Priority Club points that you could redeem, the HI is a decent option.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 01:44 PM
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I've stayed at at the Quality Hotel Westminster which is about two blocks from Victoria Station. Like most london hotels, the cheap rooms are pretty small, but it was comfortable.

Bill
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 01:50 PM
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If I only had a few hours in London, I would see the Tower and Westminister Cathedral. When you're at Westminister, you'll see Parliament and Big Ben across the street.
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 08:24 AM
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We just returned from London last night (will post a trip report after some much-needed rest!).

I agree with others about the Express trains. We took the Gatwick Express to and from London - they run every 20 minutes. It was very convenient - and you don't have to buy your tickets in advance or at the station. There is an attendant that makes his/her way through every car by journey's end. Plus, you can pay with cash, credit card or check.

Definitely stay near Victoria Station. We stayed at the Rubens at the Palace and thoroughly enjoyed it - excellent location a few blocks from Victoria, a good breakfast and VERY nice people. And, if you're interested, the Library Restaurant in the basement(quite pricey) was absolutely fabulous.

There are also many good pubs/restaurants in the area. We particularly enjoyed the Cask & Glass pub on Palace Street - VERY tiny little neighborhood pub with all kinds of interesting sorts from Blair staffers to form PMs to window washers. Shakespeare's on Buckingham Palace Road is a bit touristy but had good fish & chips and nice wines. Also worth mentioning on Buckingham Palace: Noodle Noodle, Cafe Mico's or Moco's (??) - cheap little cafe frequented by locals - VERY inexpensive for coffee and a sandwich.

The hop-on-hop-off is also the way to go. We did the blue tour (longer, more commentary) on our first day simply because we were too tired to walk/navigate through bleary eyes. You will see all the sites, it is warm on the bus (bonus!), and your ticket includes a Thames river cruise. Your ticket is good for 24 hours so you can take the entire tour and then go back the next morning and take the red tour to anything you want to explore more closely.

Have fun!!
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 09:08 AM
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Just to clarify blondiepopo's post -- she is talking about Westminster ABBEY, not Westminster CATHEDRAL. They are two entirely different bldgs . . . . .
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