Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Heathrow to Chelsea: Help us decide how to get there...

Heathrow to Chelsea: Help us decide how to get there...

Dec 10th, 2007, 01:20 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20,113
Heathrow to Chelsea: Help us decide how to get there...

Our flight on BA from JFK to Heathrow arrives at 7:40 pm (19:40)on Christmas Eve ...

The options are:

1. The Tube: Our oldest son loves to navigate and ride trains and says we should be able to get to our destination before the Tube stops running for the holiday. The last Tube from Heathrow leaves at 22:56 and arrives in Sloane Square 23:55 --- He likes the fact that for the 5 of us it will only cost around 10#.

DH and S&BIL say we might be targets for thieves since no one else will be riding the Tube on Christmas Eve and lugging suitcases will be the dead give-away!

2. Car Service: DH would like to go this way. I wasn't thrilled with Just Airports on our last trip because the driver didn't know where he was going and was driving like a madman. Sons would rather take the Tube...me thinks I would too.

3. Two Taxis: Don't like the idea of being separated, so this really isn't an option.

4. DH takes taxi and the rest of us take the Tube and hope for the best.

Any thoughts, particularly on the Tube -- Do you think we have enough leeway to get to our final destination before the Tube stops running for the evening?

Thanks for your help.

Two weeks and counting...
seetheworld is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 03:00 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,176
I am missing something - how will it only cost 10 pounds for the five of you to take the tube from Heathrow? So far as I can tell, either with an Oyster (the better idea) or with a single fare (worse idea), it will be more than 2 pounds. If you are getting 7-day TravelCards, then in a way it would be free, I suppose.

So far as thieves go, I think the odds are very low that you will meet a violent mugger. And surely you would guard your passports, etc. inside your clothes, rather than letting them dangle precariously for an opportunist pickpocketer?

I say the tube, but my preference after that would be car service. You'd likely get a different driver. Or you could use a different service altogether.
WillTravel is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 03:01 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,176
So far as whether you have leeway - I'd look up the ontime stats for your flight in December. I'm used to massive delays at Heathrow, but still, the last tube leaves 3 hours after your supposed touchdown time, which should be enough.
WillTravel is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 03:40 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8,379
You're right Will, it's 6 pounds from Heathrow into town because the airport is in Zone 5 or 6.

They're not serious about you being "targets for thieves" are they? The Piccadilly Line is one of the most civilized places on earth. Take the tube, it's good value and won't take very long. You'll be among other people instead of peering out from your private car, and the kids will start to learn their way around. It's a great system.

Have fun.
Fidel is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 04:48 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20,113
LoL, Fidel, no not serious. I highly doubt the thieves will want my pitiful dollar.

As far as the fare goes, I'm not sure if we are getting the 7 day travel card or what. I have delegated that to DS, who has no fear of navigating the tube (not his first time). DH's only concern is not making it to our destination before the tube stops its run.
seetheworld is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 05:12 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,560
WHERE in Chelsea? Could make a very big difference. Chelsea is not served by many tube stations. If you really mean South Kens - not a problem. Or if you mean Sloan Sq/Belgravia - fine. But if you mean Chelsea "proper" like between the Fulham Rd and the river - there are no tube stations so you'd end up taking a cab part way.

I'd definitely use a car service.
janisj is online now  
Dec 10th, 2007, 05:15 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20,113
The Sloane Square stop -- walkable to the apartment. If anything, it will definitely prevent overpacking. I can't lug a suitcase anymore.
seetheworld is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 05:41 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,560
OK - to get to Sloan Sq you will have to change tube lines. Not a bad transfer if you change out at Hammersmith, but just one more wrinkle in the journey.

I'd still use a car service


janisj is online now  
Dec 10th, 2007, 05:54 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,120
I may be missing something in your question. I'm not at all familiar with the London tube, but I find it hard to believe that the last train wouldn't continue on to the end of its line no matter the time. Are you thinking they would abandon the train on the tracks at the witching hour?
shellio is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 05:59 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,176
shellio, if you enter this itinerary in the Journey Planner at www.thetube.com it does seem that something like that happens. For example, take the tube at 23:00 from Heathrow on Dec. 24, and you have to get off at Knightsbridge (and take a bus).
WillTravel is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 07:50 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 191
I vote for the tube. As a newly retired teacher, thus you can guess my age, I took the tube from Heathrow to a hotel near Edgware, by myself. Also this was the end of a five week trip and I packed lightly so I could navigate apartment stairs and the tube. I would worry more about pick pockets on Amtrak to Los Angeles than the tube in London.
jrecm is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 08:16 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 946
I was thinking the same thing as Janisj, as we also stayed in Chelsea and I knew you would need to transfer lines. Does everyone in the group know this? Even if everyone only has one suitcase, it might be a hassle, especially after an international flight. I too would opt for a car service!
Anna1013 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 10:20 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,144
This one's easy.

Obviously thieves have better things to do when everyone's away (like breaking into empty houses) than freeze to death on the tube on the off chance they might be able to steal a heavy suitcase full of dirty underwear. And I'm not sure what lugging suitcases will be a dead giveaway for. In London, most people lugging suitcases are Londoners staggering home after a week or two in the Third World, and most thieves are only too familiar with how slim the pickings from them are.

Your real problem is this - and it happened to me in reverse a couple of weeks ago.

You have no way of knowing when you're actually going to have your cases in your hands and be walking through the green channel out of Customs. All kinds of things - including the plane being late - can go wrong. Or you might just be feeling nackered.

If, when you're through, you can't, or just don't want to, hassle with the tube, your only choice is hiring two taxis, off the rank, at a price that'll match the airfare over. Might even be Christmas DAy rates, when fares (if there are and cabs at Heathrow) will be in the Concorde league.

And justairports'll cost you about the same as the tube anyway.

Arriving during a normal morning, I'd say the tube any time. In a perfect world, I'd say the tube even arriving at 1940 on Christymas Eve. But you've no way of knowing what'll actually happen, and if you're even a bit delayed, in the land where we simply hibernate from the Kings College Carol Service on Christmas Eve till the B+Q sale starts on Dec 27, you're screwed.

If you've a thing against justairports, use Ray Skinner. But yours is the classic case where a prebooked car is the only sensible answer.
flanneruk is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 10:36 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 44
I'd take the car service, too, especially since it will be Christmas Eve. I flew into and out of London twice last summer. After the first tube trip into town from Heathrow, which included a change of tube lines (think many STEPS) which was sheer torture, we decided the additional price of a car service or mini-cab was well worth it -- and I hate to spend an unnecessary dime. We had four in our group so the car service was not so much more expensive than the tube. More importantly, our nerves were not completely shot when we arrived at our destination.

As for the Oyster card, if you do take the tube from Heathrow you should definitely get your Oyster cards first.
AllieNC is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 01:57 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20,113
Thanks for your opinions.

I decided last night that DH and I are not up for the rigor/stress of taking the Tube and we will hire a car service. As much as we hate to admit it, we can't keep up with the 20-somethings in our lives.

At first, DS couldn't really understand, but after some thinking he told us that he agreed. He'd rather not see us stressed over it -- good kid.

Other than Just Airports, any other recommedations for transport? Thank you.
seetheworld is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 02:24 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 9,705
Ray Skinner
avalon is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 02:34 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20,113
Thanks.

Has anyone heard/used Totally Driven?
seetheworld is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 06:42 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 20,113
How do I contact Ray Skinner?

Thank you.
seetheworld is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 09:20 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 797
Telephone: +44 (0) 7970 577 768 E-mail: [email protected]
http://www.london-transfers.com/
ssachida is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 12:46 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,836
We usually use Swiss Cottage Cars (swisscottagecars.com) and are happy about the price/drivers/cars.

When you make a reservation, you'll need to tell them how many passengers and how many pieces of luggage you'll have.

At Christmas Eve evening, you shouldn't have problem with the traffic coming into London.

The only thing you may want to bear in mind is that retrieving luggage may take a bit longer--BAA luggage handlers are notoriously understaffed esp during the holiday season.
W9London is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:24 PM.