Getting from LHR to Bloomsbury

Jul 12th, 2009, 04:39 PM
  #1  
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Getting from LHR to Bloomsbury

We (4) will be arriving at LHR at 0705. Any suggestions as to which private carrier we should hire to get us to St. Margaret's/Celtic Hotel in Bloomsbury?
We would also appreciate any suggestions as to how to spend our first day.
We are interested in Greenwich, a play, perhaps a HOHO, and some of the major sites.

Thanks,

Larry for the retired_travelers
retired_travelers is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:04 PM
  #2  
 
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Have you asked St.M's about transport?

I'd walk down to the British Museum to stretch my legs, maybe poke around Covent Garden or Soho, nothing too ambitious the first day depending on how far you're traveling from. A light and funny play might be just fine the first evening, after pretheater dinner. We enjoyed The 39 Steps, tickets available through places like lastminute.com http://tinyurl.com/kjvcdz
stokebailey is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:12 PM
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I used Just Airports recently (justairports.com). They were a little difficult to get ahold of but provided good service. stokebailey's suggestions are good; you could also look at the British Library (less ground to cover than the British Museum), maybe the Eye if the weather is good. Something active that keeps you awake! I would hesitate to see a play on my first night, but if you do, 39 Steps would be a good choice. Lots of things happening to keep your attention.
jent103 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:14 PM
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On my former trips to London, I always stayed in Bloomsbury. It's been several years, but I usually took the Tube from Heathrow to Russell Square. From there an easy walk to my hotel near the British Museum. There is also an airport bus, which leaves from Russell Square, which I used several times going back to Heathrow. It was very convenient. I think those options would work for St. Margaret's Hotel, too, if I remember correctly.

I love the Bloomsbury location, as it's central to so much in London. For your first day, the hop-on-hop-off bus is a great idea. Their stops are all over the place. You get a great overview of London, and get off to see what you want.
Sue4 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 05:30 PM
  #5  
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Tha airport bus to/from Russell Square that Sue4 references, the Airbus A2, ceased operation in late 2004.
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Jul 12th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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Assuming you are arriving after an overnight long haul flight, I wouldn't attempt anything too ambitious the first day; certainly not anything prepaid!

I stayed at St Margare's my first trip to London and was lucky to have my room ready when I arrived (I emailed them first to ask about leaving luggage there) After a shower and a quick lie-down, mainly to ease my back-ache, I attempted the British Museum back found I wasn't taking anything in! Much better to get fresh air and exercise on the first day and get the lie of the land.

The HOHO bus is particularly good value in London as there's a lot to see over the whole route. Then you have a good perspective of where the things you want to see are. You can get the HOHO bus outside the Royal National hotel, I believe, but there are stops all over. It's the only thing I'd prebook for a first day. If you don't get on till the afternoon, you can use it the next day too even if it's just to save a walk.

I'd take it easy the first day with a walk, a meal, the HOHO bus and then whatever else you feel like will be a bonus. There are lots of eating options within walking distance of the hotel.

You can easily get the tube to Russell Square or Holborn but if there are four of you, the car is good value and much easier for the luggage (check when you book that all your luggage will fit in the ar you book)
eigasuki is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 07:10 PM
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Bloomsbury is my favorite part of London to stay in also. Just got back from the Thanet Hotel on Bedford Place. I like to do the underground from LHR to Holborn (one stop before Russell Sq.) If you look on www.londonforfree.net you can find directions for using the public city bus for an overview of London instead of the HOHO tour. All you need is a day travel card, much cheaper. You can print out the info about what you are seeing instead of having to listen to a recorded narration. Plus you are interacting with real Londoners on the bus. It's a good way to spend the jet lag day.
And I agree that for the first night, don't plan anything you purchase ahead. Wait and see how you feel.
enchantedacres is offline  
Jul 12th, 2009, 08:42 PM
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If you're planning to visit the Tower, your first day is good for that, because you'll be walking around outside.

We did the HOHO bus - as I recall, you get the ticket for a 24-hour period. We bought the ticket on the afternoon of our first day, and rode it until we started getting sleepy. Then we got off, took the Tube back to our hotel in Bloomsbury. Then we rode it a bit more the second morning.

I wouldn't plan a play for that first day, unless you want to fall asleep during it.
Lexma90 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 03:27 PM
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I disagree - the Tower usually isn't a good idea for arrival day. There is no way the OP could get to the tower by opening time, and later the crowds get really bad and would be tough to handle jet lagged.

Also - a play isn't such a great idea either. You are sitting inside a dark, stuffy theatre -- the jet lag will win almost every time. Wait for a night you can actually enjoy the performance w/o nodding off. You won't be back to your hotel until nearly 11 PM.

Don't plan any major sites day 1. The H-o-H-o is good IF the weather is decent. But not if it is raining. I'd head to one/some of the parks, you can eat lunch in St James Park at "Inn the Park" or at the Orangery in Kensington Gardens. Take it easy, keep hydrated, and start hitting major sites the next day.
janisj is online now  
Jul 13th, 2009, 04:04 PM
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To get to Bloomsbury, I would take the Tube. Barring arriving during the height of rush-hour, you should be fine. Beyond that, I would play it by ear. The Tower is fine if you are arriving at a non-peak time - i.e. if arriving on a Thursday, then you have little to worry about. If arriving on a Saturday, then I would look deeper into the guide-book for suggestions.

I agree that a show is a bad idea on arrival day, though it can be a perfect choice if you are heading to the theater strictly to make your companion happy.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 04:28 PM
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"if arriving on a Thursday, then you have little to worry about."

Not the case IME. I've probably been to the Tower more than 20 times, and in May stayed in a flat w/i a five minute walk of the bridge/Tower and walked by the entrance at least once each day (3 or 4 times most days) for a week. Didn't notice much if any difference in the queues. Big crowds all week. One exception is Sunday - which is the busiest day at the Tower and many other tourist attractions. The crowds ARE larger on Sundays - but they are big every day.
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