Arriving at Heathrow

Dec 23rd, 2003, 07:58 AM
  #1  
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Arriving at Heathrow

CAn anyone suggest a reasonably convenient and reasonably inexpensive way to get from Heathrow to the Marble Arch area. Arriving at heathrow about 3 p.m. midweek and traveling with three children and two adults.
ZZZ2 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 08:35 AM
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I'm afraid you're going to have to make a choice between inexpensive and convenient - you can't have them both. The tube would be the least expensive method, but with three children and luggage to herd, problaby also the biggest hassle. The tube from Heathrow takes you to Picadilly and you would have to transfer there to another line to get to Marble Arch. The good news is the tube maps are easy to follow and you can download one and get specific route info at the Tube's website, www.thetube.com.

The most convenient method of travel would also be the most expenisive, a taxi. That would of course take you directly to your doorstep with no stops. In between in both cost and convenience is the Heathrow Express train which goes from Heathrow to Paddington Station, from their you'd need a taxi or the Tube to your final destination in the Marble Arch area. However since you're in a gruop of five, it might come out to be cheaper to take a taxi than buy 5 train tickets, assuming the whole group & luggage fits in one car. The last time I took a taxi into London from Heathrow it was about 35 pounds, that was in 1999 and we went to the Victoria area. Last year I took the Heathrow Express (20 min. airport to Paddington) but since I had a BritRail pass I don't know what the cost of the individual ticket would be but I think it's about 12-15 pounds per person each way. You should be able to find out the precise fare at the Railtrack website, www.railtrack.co.uk.
Enjoy your trip to London- I'm going back in March and can't wait!
Daisy54 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 08:54 AM
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For a group of 5, a hired car service like Swiss Cottage or Ray's London Transfers would be the MOST convenient and possibly even cost-effective as well. www.london-transfers.com
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Dec 23rd, 2003, 09:27 AM
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One of the hired car services would be the most convenient but not necessarily the most cost efficient. With 5 plus luggage you all will need to ask for a mini van. Ray Skinner's service charges 49 GBP for the larger vehicle.

Consider the Airbus (double decker bus) as another alternative which goes directly to Marble Arch. Cost is 8 GBP for adults and half that for kids ages 5-15 so your max cost would be 28 GBP. If your kids are older, then the increased cost would shoot you up toward the car service/taxi category.

As Daisy54 mentioned, the tube would be the cheapest option but a much bigger hassle. You're a family of 5 with luggage (jetlagged?) riding late afternoon midweek. If your kids are older and used to chaotic public transport you'll probably be OK. If you've got little ones who aren't, it could be very unpleasant.
obxgirl is online now  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 02:02 PM
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We used www.justairports.com for our Heathrow transfers a few weeks ago. They are a bit less expensive than Ray Skinner or Swiss Cottage and we were happy with their service. You may want to check their rates for a minivan as I think they will only take a maximum of 4 in a sedan.
Patty is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 02:12 PM
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Patty, Do you mind sharing what you paid for the pickup service with justairports? Thanks...
obxgirl is online now  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 04:27 PM
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As the long time tout for Swiss Cottage Cars, I have to admit since they started a website their prices have gone sky high. Still a little lower than Ray Skinner, but a big increase. On the other hand, someone recently posted that they called (remember that old-fashioned thing called a telephone?) to Swiss Cottage Cars and got a much lower rate than on their website. I plan to do the same in May. Meanwhile, I have found on the website that justairports is now about the price that Swiss Cottage cars used to be -- I think they quote 27 pounds for pickup at Heathrow and delivery to most areas of central London.
Patrick is offline  
Dec 24th, 2003, 09:14 AM
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obxgirl,
I paid 24 pounds from Heathrow to W1 and 19 pounds back to Heathrow. This was the rate for a sedan (even though we ended up getting a minivan both ways) with cash payment. I believe someone said that their credit card payment rates are much higher. They price the journey by postal code so it does depend on where you're staying, whereas I think Ray Skinner and Swiss Cottage offer one flat price to central London.
Patty is offline  
Dec 28th, 2003, 12:49 PM
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Thanks Patty!
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