8 hour layover in London

Dec 13th, 2015, 08:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2015
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8 hour layover in London

I arrive at Heathrow Dec. 21st at 9:35 a.m. And depart at 5:40 p.m. For continental Europe. Is there time to go to central London and do a brief tour (considering deplaning, immigration, time to central London, time back and ensuring I am back at the airport 2 hours before my flight)?
EileenRankin is offline  
Dec 13th, 2015, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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You could do a couple of hours in Central London, but might be better off visiting Windsor, which is only about 30 minutes from the airport. That way you would have time to do a quick tour of the castle and grab a quick lunch and spend way less time just in transit.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 13th, 2015, 08:36 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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The only thing I can think of that would be doable is a quick tour of Windsor Castle. Heathrow is just hectic/overwhelming!
No way would I attempt to go to central London!
chapla is offline  
Dec 13th, 2015, 10:42 AM
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8 hour layover in London Posted by: EileenRankin

I would take the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station, then a Tube to Embankment, and connect on a Tube to Westminster. The HEX runs 4x/hour and takes 15 minutes. Check the HEX website for schedule and costs. It is a very good train.

Instead of the Tube you could take a taxi for comfort and convenience and go direct to Westminster. The 21st is a Saturday so traffic should not be the usual nearly gridlock conditions.

The alternative is a day at Heathrow. Ugh.
spaarne is offline  
Dec 13th, 2015, 10:55 AM
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re spaarne's suggestion: First you'd have to go through immigration, queue to leave your carry-ons at Left Luggage, then walk to the train station, then hassle w/ the connection at Paddington, do the same in reverse, then queue to collect your carry-ons, go through security.

So if you land at 9:35 I wouldn't expect to be anywhere interesting in London until noon or later. The you'd have to set out back towards Paddington by 2PM at the latest. So all that hassle for maybe 2 hours max seeing/doing anything.

Windsor is a bit easier option -- you'd still have to queue to leave your carry-on. But then you can take a cab to Windsor and be there probably by 10:30 or 11AM. Then catch a cab back around 3 PM

. . . OR -- do you have lounge access? That might be your best option.
janisj is offline  
Dec 13th, 2015, 12:10 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5,432
See how it goes; if you are through immigratin quickly you can take the HEX to Paddington. If you don't have any luggage to pick up at the airport before your connecting flight, and have your boarding pass in hand, you really don't need 2 hours before the flight. A 3.30 train from Paddington will still get you there an hour and a half before your flight.
Tulips is offline  
Dec 13th, 2015, 12:31 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,894
There is no way I would hang around in LHR for 8 hours. Nor would I use the HEX. Get out of immigration and get the Piccadilly Line straight into town. One hour or less to Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Sq. . Have fun in central London. Just have stuff for a day in London, check other stuff through. Get back on the tube to LHR. Tons of time.
gertie3751 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2015, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I agree w/ gertie. -- IF I was going to do this I wouldn't go anywhere near Paddington. Not only is it far from most of the sites/sights, it is often a total zoo either getting a cab or getting to the tube.

I'd get on the tube at LHR -- but unless one wanted specifically to see Piccadilly Circus or maybe Covent Garden, I'd change at Hammersmith and get off at Westminster. You come up out of the tube station and there tis Big Ben directly above you, Westminster Abbey across he street and the Eye straight across the river.

BUT it mostly would depend on 1) if you land on time and 2) if you have a carry-on you need to ditch. I assumed your bags would be checked through, but you still likely have a carry on. If it is small (handbag or day pack size) and not too heavy then no need for Left Luggage. But sometimes the queue at Left Luggage takes a while - and it definitely takes time to retrieve it.

So you can leave it til the day -- see how you feel, see what time you land, and see what the weather is like. If you are exhausted, or if your flight is an hour or more late, or if it is pouring down . . . I'd give it a pass.
janisj is offline  
Dec 13th, 2015, 02:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,313
Agree with Gertie although my first thought is that I would never schedule flights this way.
mjs is offline  

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