7 hours in London

Mar 3rd, 2006, 01:06 PM
  #1  
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7 hours in London

I have a 7 hour layover at Heathrow in April. I've never been in Europe and wonder if there is anywhere I could get to easily and quickly in that short timespan just to see a bit of London? Not sure if there is anywhere I could get to in 4 hours or not. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
Conniejr48 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 01:08 PM
  #2  
 
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You can easily get a taste of London in a few hours. If you can check in for your outbound flight before leaving the airport, that will give you a little leeway on what time you have to return.

Buy a one-day, six-zone Travelcard, an unlimited transit pass, at the Heathrow Tube station. If you're traveling after 9:30 or on a weekend, an off-peak card will cost £6.30

Ride the Piccadilly Line to Hyde Park Corner (40 minutes). Walk through Green Park past Buckingham Palace to Victoria Station. Ask the dispatcher at the bus dock to put you on the next bus to Westminster. You'll pass the Cathedral and Abbey; alight when the bus stops at Big Ben.

Look around the Parliament buildings, and walk across the river to the Eye (that big, ugly ferris wheel). An RV1 bus from there will take you down the south bank and across the river to Tower Hill stop.

From the Tower, a #15 bus will take you all the way across town, past St. Paul's, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and down Oxford Street to Marble Arch. From there, a #36 or #436 bus will get you back to Hyde Park Corner and the Tube to Heathrow.

This circular route above is just to get you started - you can jump off and on any time, and change the itinerary any way you like. Just keep one eye on the clock and the other on the route of the Piccadilly Line.

Here's your sightseeing map:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/pdfdocs/tourist.pdf

And your geographical map:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/buses/pdfdocs/centlond.pdf


And your Tube map:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tube/downloads...piccadilly.pdf
Robespierre is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 02:32 PM
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I'm going to disagree, alas. About the only thing that would change my mind would be if you told me you were traveling on a Sunday. Then I'd feel confident knowing that if you got lost, you could always grab a taxi to take you back to the train or even the airport as you were running out of time. But in the middle of the working week, you might run into terrible traffic snarls, and I think the route Robespierre plotted out for you, with all its bus changes, runs quite a high risk of you getting lost.

Perhaps there is a sightseeing bus tour that you could pick up at a central location that does a loop around the major spots.

Or, pick one thing you'd really like to see, such as Big Ben, or Buckingham Palace, or the Tate, or the British Museum, and take a taxi from the train station to there, and a taxi back again, and count yourself lucky.

But don't underestimate security at Heathrow or the vastness of the airport, or the slowness of getting through passport control, or the chance of lousy weather.

nessundorma is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 02:41 PM
  #4  
 
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Heathrow Express is max 30 mins from Paddo to Heathrow - if already check-in for onward flight just need to head through security and get the plane.

So go into town - Robespierre's route might be a little much though - especially as you may be a bit jet lagged
wombat7 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 03:22 PM
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It is possible to begin and end your tour at Paddington Station by using the Heathrow Express. But doing so won't save a lot of time because of how long it takes to get from there to the sights (get on the #15 right there, sit back and ride it all the way to the Tower).

It's fairly expensive, too - £13 each way unless you qualify for a Visit London £16 return between 13:00 and midnight. If you do use the HX, you can get a one-day bus pass for £3.50 instead of a travelcard.

On buses, sit upstairs at the front. It's the best show in town.
Robespierre is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 03:55 PM
  #6  
 
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Paddington is the "Beauvais-Paris Airport" of Central London - it claims to be part of it but to get to any part of Tourist London requires time & money. For most sights you'll save at most 10 minutes travel time & in some cases it's slower.

As a non-EU type with only 7 hours I wouldn't want to risk London, but would go to Windsor instead.

At a push going to Kew Gardens or the musuems at South Kensington by Tube but no further into London.

And do ensure that you have your borading card for your next flight and that your luggage is checked through otherwise I wouldn't even bother leaving the airport
alanRow is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 06:54 PM
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I agree with alanRow, and suggest that you consider going to Windsor. I think it wouldn't feel nearly as rushed as trying to get in and out of London, and you can walk everywhere in Windsor.

You could see the Castle, the grounds, the church (St. George's?), Queen Mary's Dollhouse (amazing!), etc.

Then you could walk over to Eton and see the famous playing fields, etc.

In between in the town itself with every type of restaurant, and many shops (from cheap stuff to wonderful items).

If I'm correct in assuming that you'll arrive at Heathrow from the US (or other non-EU country), you'll be a good portion of your 7 hours getting through customs. The line can be really long!

But, whatever you choose to do - enjoy your short visit to London!

Gayle
leonberger is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2006, 07:50 PM
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I'm not sure I agree with the characterization of Paddington as the "Paris-Beauvais Airport" of Central London - after all, if you want to grab the Original Tour bus, the Baker Street stop is only 5 minutes away on the Tube:

http://www.theoriginaltour.com/files/ewoprgwbqo.pdf

... and Piccadilly Circus is 5 minutes on.
Robespierre is offline  

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