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Best way from Heathrow to Thistle Charing Cross?

Best way from Heathrow to Thistle Charing Cross?

Jan 14th, 2006, 07:45 AM
  #1  
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Best way from Heathrow to Thistle Charing Cross?

Not sure if the Heathrow Express and a cab is the best (fastest/not too expensive) way to get to the Thistle Charing Cross from Heathrow.

Also, any idea how long it will take? My flight arrives at 1230p (Aer Lingus)...is there any chance I can make it to a matinee show (230p)??

TIA!
mishoe01 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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A cab will cost £40 and take an hour. For more than two people, it's not a bad choice - but you might not make your show.

The Heathrow Express (£13 pp) and a cab (£5) will take a half-hour.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 07:58 AM
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The Heathrow Express is expensive and will only get you to Paddington.

As you're not staying anywhere near Paddington and so will need to travel on from there by cab or tube, I would definitely look into pre-booking a car service from the airport to your hotel. Note this is not the same as getting a taxi on arrival which will be a lot more expensive.

If it were me, I'd get the tube all the way but I understand that a lot of people do not like the idea of that journey (with one change) with luggage. But the Heathrow Express is no easier.
Where2Travel is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 08:02 AM
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If I were to do any type of car service - who would you recommend?

Thanks again!
mishoe01 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 09:02 AM
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All road transport and the Tube will take an hour or more. Only the Tube is less expensive than the Express.

Since the original criteria were fastest/not too expensive, I don't see any alternative to the train.

For absolute speed, I'd take the Tube (Bakerloo Line) from Paddington; The Thistle is right outside the Charing Cross station, as shown on this map:

http://www.journeyplanner.org/Download/EnvMaps/tfl/TK_CharingCross.pdf
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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Mishoe01 - I live in London and have never used a car service here so I can't recommend a company for you.

However, there are a few companies that are often recommended here by Fodorites that have used them in London. Two names off the top of my head are Justairports and Ray Skinner but I suggest you do a search here on those names and you'll get plenty of information. Alternatively, someone may step in with some information fo you.
Where2Travel is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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Justairports will be the cheapest car service - IF you pay cash. If you use a credit card all the car services will be about the same. Cash/Justairports will be 25%-30% less than a taxi.

No matter which mode of transport - it is pretty unlikely you will make a 1430 curtain. 1230 is merely when your plane is scheduled to touchdown. When you add in time out on the tarmac, loooong walk to arrivals, luggage retrieval, immigration, etc it can easily eat up an hour or even more.

Going straight to the theatre really isn't an option - they do have cloak rooms but lugging bags to the theatre is a pain. (BTW - I also wouldn't book an evening performance the first night - jet lag after an overnight flight means you'll probably doze through the entire 2nd act)

I'd just take thge tube or a car service directly to the hotel and then wander around that area -- Trafalgar Square, the river, Somerset House, etc.
janisj is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 11:39 AM
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Ditto to justairports.com. I used their services (32&poundlast May and found it to be the best price to get to the Thistle Charing Cross hotel. I got my hotel via priceline and it was great!

Monica
monicapileggi is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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If you can get out of Heathrow by 13:30, you've got a fair shot at the matinee. Take the Express to Paddington, check your luggage there, then take a cab to the theater (Tube may be faster, depending on which theater; it gets to Victoria in 15 minutes).

After the show, go back and pick up your gear, and on to the hotel.

If the theater is close to Victoria, you might want to weigh the option of schlepping your luggage to there (time permitting) to minimize the amount of backtracking you have to do.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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I have done the trip to Thistle Charring Cross from Heathrow by tube. It was only 2 pounds with an Oyster card. Fares have changed since then. Simply do a cross platform change from a Piccadilly train to a District train at Hammersmith and get off at Embankment. There are no lifts or escalators at Embankment but it there are only a few steps to climb. After exiting the station go up the hill abut 200 metres and your hotel is on the left. I think you would be a bit rushed to catch the show.
Gavin is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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I would never book theater tickets 2 hours after arriving at Heathrow, there's always the possibility of a flight delay and it can take an hour just to get through Heathrow and collect your luggage. The last two times I've arrived there we circled the airport for a good 1/2 hour waiting for a landing slot (great views of Windsor and London as we were circling!) Add in an hour to get into London and check in your hotel and you've missed the curtain.

Gavin, I'm staying at the Thistle Charing Cross next week, I assume with luggage your route is preferable to staying on the Piccadilly line until Piccadilly Circus and then transferring to the Bakerloo line one stop to Charing Cross?
Kristi is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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Are we still talking about getting mishow01 to the theater? If so,

1. Don't buy tickets for the 2:30 in advance. There are too many unknowns.

2. The Tube from the airport will not get you there in time.

3. You can, however, buy your Heathrow Express ticket on line at heathrowexpress.com so you have it when you land.

4. You can acquire a three- or seven-day Travelcard at http://www.ticket-on-line.com to get you from Paddington to the theater and hotel on the Tube or bus for basically nothing.

5. You don't have to check in to your hotel if you're pressed for time. Dump your gear at Paddington, Victoria, or (if you can get to the hotel by 2:00) the hotel luggage check room.
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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Thanks for all the replies - I really didn't think I could make a matinee show, but wasn't 100% sure. Now I know not to plan for it...after all this is a vacation. I don't have to worry about jet lag as I'll be coming in from almost 2 weeks in Ireland.

Now I'll just deal with the most convenient way to get to the hotel.

Again - I appreciate all the comments and suggestions.
mishoe01 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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mishoe01: I was just going to post that the suggestion about rushing to the theatre and then back to Paddington - by then in the height of rush hour - is not really a good idea, especially exhausted after your flight. But while I was composing what to say you beat me to it - good decision!

Kristi: It is best to transfer at Hammersmith no matter if one has luggage or not. The change at Hammersmith is one of the easiest on the whole system.
janisj is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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oops - forget about the "exhausted" bit. The flight from Ireland isn't exhausting
janisj is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 03:14 PM
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I don't get the "rushing" anywhere. I realize the following is all moot, since OP seems to have been talked out of the theater, but if you're out of Heathrow within an hour (which is by no means unusual), you're at Paddington well before 14:00, with time in hand to get to the theater (or to Victoria - see Plan B, above).

After the show, there is no requirement that you return for your luggage right away - and if it's at Victoria, you can walk there and have a nice dinner before making your way to the hotel.

mishoe01, what have you got to lose? The worst that can happen is that you don't get there. So why not try to make it?
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 04:05 PM
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Kristi: I have only done it the way that I described. Piccadilly Station has never struck me as being a good place to be with a lot of stuff because of all the people and the complexity of it. Do be aware that it is 200 metres uphill (not too steep) from Embankment.
Gavin is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 04:12 PM
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Thanks Gavin and janisj, I probably wouldn't have thought to transfer that way but it makes a lot of sense! 200 metres with wheeled luggage shouldn't be too bad.
Kristi is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 05:42 PM
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I think I'd ride the Piccadilly to Leicester Square, then the #176 bus to the front door of the hotel.

Schlepping luggage: 0 metres
Tube changes: 0

(You could also get on the Northern Line at Leicester Square and ride right to the hotel. But I wouldn't.)
Robespierre is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 08:33 PM
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And you actually are advising someone to navigate the station/stairs at Leicester Square -- w/ luggage???

There would be a heck of a lot of schlepping of luggage IN the station before they actually got to up to the road. And what if they come out of the wrong station entrance? Leicester Sq is really not the best introduction to the tube when one is toting luggage.
janisj is offline  

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