12 Hour London Family Layover

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Jun 26th, 2006, 06:13 PM
  #1
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12 Hour London Family Layover

My 11 year old, my 9 year old and I have a 12 hour layover in London on our way from the U.S. to Nairobi in August. My kids have never been to London and I thought we'd take the tube into the city and get on a tour bus. Does anyone have any advice, logistical (like where to leave our carry-on luggage at Heathrow) or substantive? Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
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Jun 26th, 2006, 06:23 PM
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Well at least you have 12 hours - we often get this question w/ just 5 or 6 hours. What times are your layover? The time of day does make a bit of difference re what makes sense.

There is left luggage at LHR so that isn't a problem. £5.50 per item so if you can condense/nest the carry ons it will save at least a bit.

There is a hop-on-hop-off double decker bus tour you can take all over London and see some of the famous sites. There are other options too.

But let us know what time you arrive/depart
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Jun 26th, 2006, 08:20 PM
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Thanks for the advice. We are arriving at 7:30 a.m. and departing at 8 p.m. on a Wednesday. Any more information?
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Jun 26th, 2006, 09:30 PM
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That is good - you'll be there totally during daylight hours. Which terminal are you arriving at?

You probably won't be ready to get to the tube station until about 8:30 or 9:00. or possibly a bit later if you have to queue for the left luggage or if the immigration lines are bad.

So getting on the tube around 9:00-9:30 you will be at Westminster/Big Ben around 10:15. The way to get to Big Ben is to take the Piccadilly tube line from LHR, get off at Hammersmith, walk across the platform - just a few feet - and get on the next eastbound District line train. Then get off at Westminster. When you come up out of the tube station you will be looking straight up at Big Ben, and the river/Westminster Bridge will be off your left shoulder w/ the London Eye directly across the river.

This is always a good first view of London - especially for kids. You can walk across the river or walk across the street to Westminster Abbey. Then there are bus stops for the sightseeing bus tours either just around the corner in Whitehalll or on the other end of the Bridge near the Marriott Hotel.

You can buy the tix right on the bus - and can get a £2 off coupon from their website http://www.bigbus.co.uk/?AID=10294285&PID=1897338

You can get off anywhere to eat or visit something and then hop on the next bus.

I would be on the tube back toward LHR by about 5:00 because you might have to queue to pick up your carry ons. OR - if you get off the bus tour at Paddington station, you can take the express train - only 15 minutes to LHR. (I didn't recommend taking the train in to town since Paddington isn't really the best intro to London for 2 kids excited to see the place)
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Jun 27th, 2006, 06:15 AM
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With 12 hours, you do have time to make a blitz trip into London...er, sorry, "blitz" is a poor choice of words here. At any rate, another option from Heathrow is a trip to nearby Windsor.

There is a bus service, but the most logisitically simple way is a taxi from the airport.

Windsor has a lot to offer: the world-famous castle, the nearby town of Eton (with its Harry Potter-esque boys school), the wide-open greenery of Windsor Great Park, a branch of the Royal Mews (royal stables), and, if you dare, LegoLand.

Whatever you decide, keep in mind that jetlag may well be a factor after your trip from the US. Also, here's the link to info on the luggage storage facilities at Heathrow:

http://tinyurl.com/mu5l3

Have a good trip.

Dave
[email protected]
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Jun 27th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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All I can say is I hope you and the kids have alot of stamina. After a flight from the U.S. you area already going to be tired. Give some thought to cranky kids at some point (even the best kids get miserable). You might plan on getting back to Heathrow with enough time to use shower facilities there and freshen up. The flight to Nairobi is going to be long and I'm sure you will all feel better (not great, just better ) if you did that.
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Jun 29th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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Hello,

A short while ago, I posted almost the exact message and I got many many great replies. Do a search under my screen name: momplaygroup and you'll find my post.
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