getting to London from Heatrow

Nov 13th, 2002, 02:59 PM
  #1  
nat
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getting to London from Heatrow

I am full of questions today. We are arriving to Heatrow on Saturday, Nov 23 (4 of us). Our hotel in Covent Garden (on website it said that the closest station is Holborn on Picadilly line). My question: do you all think it is wise to take a underground or take some airport transfers (at the LondonTown websites they advertise something in range of 10 GPB per person).
Your opiniion will be appreciated.
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 03:03 PM
  #2  
Jason
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Nat
If this is your first trip,I would not chance the PT of ANY city.Get to where you are going and get your bearings.I say that and I always remember my first trip to Paris.We got in the cab, showed the driver the name of our hotel and he had never heard of it!!OMG!! Well, we got there no prob.But I always like to get settled in first and THEN start experimenting.IMHO anywayz
Jason
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 03:21 PM
  #3  
nat
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What do you mean? We took the underground before to Picadilly and did not find it difficult. My question was more on the price and convinience of this two options.
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 03:26 PM
  #4  
Lori
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Nat,
This is probably the #1 (or #2) most asked question on this forumm regarding London. We have been using www.london-transfer.com (Ray Skinner) on a number of trips now and find his company very satisfactory. They meet you as you come out of immigration (with a sign with your name on it) and take you door to door. His rates on on the website, just add in a tip. It's great - No hassle with public transportation .. I'd avoid the tube with luggage and jetlag like I would the plague You may save some money but it will not be a very pleasant begining to your trip over all. Another alternative is to take the Heathrow Express (train) into Paddington Station and then a cab. We don't do this because if there are more then two of you it comes out better to use a car pick up service.

 
Nov 13th, 2002, 03:34 PM
  #5  
Rod
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There is something to be said for the convenience of a car service, and STG 10/person is not a terrible price (actually, if good with only one person in the car it would be a bargain). That said, I always take the tube, whether for business (someone else's expense) or pleasure (my wallet), thouth I would use the trian if going near its destination.
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 04:12 PM
  #6  
me
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Heathrow Express from the airport to Paddington Station (15 minutes, approx L20 per person roundtrip) and then take a cab from Paddington to your hotel. Quick and easy.
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 04:47 PM
  #7  
get
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I can never see why anyone even asks this question.

If there are more than 2 get a car service, if 1 or 2 take train and taxi.

the tube at certain hours is a total mess,there are stairs,you are tired. If the few bucks you save are worth that much to you , fine..but my comfort comes first
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 04:57 PM
  #8  
Patrick
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I think the person who uses the name "me" has the worst idea. It is definitely best to get a car service that will meet you at the airport with your name on a sign you can't miss as you leave customs at the airport, help you with your luggage, and take you right to your hotel. If you call Swiss Cottage Cars this will cost you about 25 pounds total 44-207-431-2700. There are a number of other services for just a few pounds more. If there are two of you taking the Heathrow express, by the time you've paid for those tickets plus paid for a cab from Paddington to your hotel you will have spent more money -- and you won't have had help with your luggage, you will have had to trek through Heathrow getting to the Express, and you will have had to manage the transfer at Paddington. That just doesn't make sense with two or more people.

I won't deny that it is possible to take the Underground, but assuming you are spending a decent budget for your trip, the 20 or so extra pounds for the car service is one of the best and most appreciated bargains you'll get in London.
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 05:17 PM
  #9  
Daneille
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I second the Heathrow Express, quick and convenient. About 15 minutes to Paddington Station from Heathrow (1/2 an hour less at least than by car) and an absolute fraction of the price of a cab.

The express trains run every 15 minutes and are extremely reliable.

Paddington Station is v.v. easy to negotiate even with baggage and there are always tons of cabs outside.

We actually also thought after our visit that we would even consider negotiating the underground to get to our destination on the regular trains from the airport (which is even cheaper) once we knew our way around. The underground is very easy once you know how to follow the map.

From memory Holborn is on the direct underground line from Heathrow (try www.thetube.com) and this train will of course take longer than the express.
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 06:16 PM
  #10  
aaa
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Taking the Heathrow express and then a cab to your hotel is the quickest although not the cheapest. Depends on how tired you are, I guess.
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 08:11 PM
  #11  
Sylvia
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Nat, just let me put in a plug for the Airbus. I think it goes as far into the city as Marble Arch, and then you can take a taxi from there. You can find it on the web at http://www.goby coach.com Have fun in London!
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 08:30 PM
  #12  
traveler
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I'd even disagree that the Express is the fastest way. The one time I did it, I just missed one train, so waited 20 minutes for the next. At Paddington, I waited in line nearly 25 minutes for a taxi -- everybody beat me off the Express and had the same idea. The worst traffic in London was between Paddington and my hotel in Mayfair -- another 20 minutes. Total time was about an hour and a half. Maybe the train ride part is fast, but a car when you arrive directly to the hotel can be a lot quicker overall. Not to mention cheaper when there are several of you as we had.
 
Nov 15th, 2002, 02:55 PM
  #13  
Kris
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To get from Heathrow to London, I would take the Heathrow Express train. It runs all the time, and it gets you exactly where you need to go. It stops at Paddington Station, and if you need to farther you can connect to the tube right there or there are taxis right outside. It's 25 GBP for round trip.
 
Nov 15th, 2002, 03:21 PM
  #14  
traveler
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"it gets you right where you need to go".
No it doesn't. It gets me to Paddington Station which is a long way from where I want to go and on the wrong side of traffic clogged central London.

Did you ever stop to read the above posts that make good points, Kris? It may be fine if you are traveling alone, but two tickets on the Express plus a taxi to most hotels will actually cost more than a car service the entire way, and is likely to actually take longer -- door to door.
 
Nov 15th, 2002, 03:33 PM
  #15  
xxx
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This may not be a popular opinion but there is nothing wrong with using the tube provided and I understand it is a big provided your hotel is near a tube stop and you are smart enough not to overpack.

I always use the tube in. I was there several weeks ago and we were staying in Bayswater. We bought a family travelcard for the 2 adults and 3 kids in our party. As I remember, it cost something like £9 for the zone 1-6 travelcards which were good for the whole rest of the day. Yes it was a bit of a walk to the Underground staton, but nothing more than the walk in many airports from the check in desks to the gate.

There was a train waiting i the station and since it was the start of the line and there was plenty of room to put our luggage. Nobody felt stressed or exhausted. It took 31 minutes to get from Heathrow to Earls Court. At Earl's Court, we had to go upstairs to catch a district line train to Bayswater. There are escalators leading to the upstairs and while this train was somewhat more crowded, it wasn't all that bad. Door to door, 53 minutes.

And the nice thing is our travelcards were good for the rest of the day. And to buy a family travelcard for zones 1 & 2 would have cost only £1.20 less so in effect we got our trip in from Heathrow for our party of 5 for £1.20....time wise perhaps 15 minutes longer than the Paddington Express and we saved about £30 and just didn't feel all that stressed.

But of course the secret is to be smart and pack only what you need to fit in one suitcase per person with wheels. Despite the doomsayers, it wasn't all that bad and it should not be thrown out because people tell all sorts of falsehoods about using the tube from Heathrow to Central London.
 
Nov 15th, 2002, 03:50 PM
  #16  
Myriam
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Another vote for the tube. You never have to wait longer than 5 min. and it's not really crowded on Saturdays.
 
Nov 16th, 2002, 12:19 PM
  #17  
Sandy
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Hi Nat, if you go by train, make sure the strike will not be on. I think you can find the dates for the strikes on the London web site. So make sure you check. Good luck.
 
Nov 16th, 2002, 01:03 PM
  #18  
Sam
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The method of travel depends on how much luggage you have. One medium sized suitcase with wheels is ok, any more is a hardship to travel by Underground. The Underground is the cheapest way. Often, if you arrive in the morning, the hotel room will not be ready so why rush to the hotel. The slower Underground trip is ok.

There are 2 Airbus routes but I haven't taken it in a few years. The Airbus allows plenty of luggage. I would use this if I had somewhat heavy luggage.

If I had very heavy luggage, I would take a taxi.
 
Nov 16th, 2002, 01:14 PM
  #19  
Lisa
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Nat, When I stayed at the Citadines Covent Garden (it was actually in Holborn) I used the Airbus from Heathrow to Euston train station. That cost about 7 pounds. Then I took a taxi to Holborn which is just a little over a mile away. Taxi fare was about 5 pounds. Although this is a 2 step process you'll at least experience a double decker bus and a London black cab on your first day. I recommend against a train to Paddington and taxi to Holborn because of the distance and cost. I also would not use the underground if you have a lot of luggage. You'll have to tug your suitcases up a short flight of stairs before getting to the escalators, then you'll have to get past the turnstiles with your stuff if there isn't any underground staff to assist you. Coincidentally, I'll be arriving in LHR on Nov. 23 as well for an 8 day stay.
 
Nov 16th, 2002, 05:02 PM
  #20  
KenCT
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I'm wondering how many of the anti-tube people have actually used it to get to and from Heathrow. Of course a lot obviously depends on how many are travelling together, the amount of stuff that you're lugging around, how strong/mobile you are, etc.

Once I clear customs, I first go to the ATM, then pick up my 7-day travel card, the get myself on the tube, where a train is usually waiting. Usually two trips a year, never a problem.
 

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