Heathrow to Devon?

Mar 20th, 2005, 09:36 AM
  #1  
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Heathrow to Devon?

We are landing at Heathrow at 7:30 PM on a Sunday night, from Paris. We's like to go to Devon that night. Is that impossible to do? Should we plan to stay the night in London, and then go to Devon early the next day?

Our final desination is Totnes, Devon. Thank you very much.

Barb
Rt66Kix is offline  
Mar 20th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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Since we will be staying in Devon next September, I just yesterday went to the AA Router Planner (www.theaa.com/travelwatch/planner_main.jsp to see how long it was going to take us to drive from Heathrow to Devon. It showed 3 hours 19 minutes from Heathrow to Exeter. Looks like a pretty direct route, but might be a long drive starting out that late at night.

Maybe you could start out from Heathrow that night and drive down the road a bit and stay at a B&B somewhere.

Kayb95 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2005, 09:54 AM
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By train you could get to Totnes around midnight. Doesn't seem like something I would want to do. If you are driving I agree with Kayb95. Drive for an hour or so and spend the night.
Roger is offline  
Mar 20th, 2005, 10:14 AM
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If you're comfortable driving in the UK and driving at night, I'd do as the others say and drive at least until you're out of the greater London area, possibly the whole distance on the M5 (about 80 miles). I know it's an anethma, but consider booking at one of the Travel Inns or the other cookie cutter places that are in the service areas directly off of the highway. If you do choose a B&B just make sure it doesn't take you too far off track. The extra distance and smaller roads will make you even more weary.

I've made this trip a few times going to Plymouth. It's a pretty easy journey road wise (M5 and A38 are big roads) but it can get monotonous. There's always the risk of the ubiquitous roadworks to delay you, though hopefully not on a Sunday evening. Bristol always seems to be a choke point.

Going into London to spend the night will be the costliest option in both time and money. You're arriving late enough that you'll see little of London. It'll take you the better part of the next morning to check out of your hotel, pick up a car (probably back at LHR) and get on the now congested M5 out of metro London.
obxgirl is online now  
Mar 20th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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You didn't say what time of year. Certain times it would be dark (8 pm by the time you get your luggage).(OR in the summer it is light until after l0 pm, so you could drive part way)
There are lots of nice hotels at/near Heathrow airport, and in Europe Sunday night is usually considered "weekend rate", which is often very good.Have a bite to eat, and get an early start the next morning.
Heathrow is on the the west edge of London so you are practically out in the country anyway. If you stayed close to the airport is would make for a pleasant time the following day, and a very nice drive to Totnes (IF you are renting a car!). YOu didn't say!...perhaps you are taking the train.???
mari5 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2005, 11:35 AM
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It's about a 3 1/2 hour drive...if you do not run into any problems. Our last trip we had alotted 3 hours to get from Ashford rail station to Dorset..that was before we ran into a bicycle race,a huge group of horseback riders,the London to Brighton Antique car race, the a horrendous accident with road closures! It took over 5 hours to get there

If it were me, I'd spend the night in Windsor and get an early start.
jody is offline  
Mar 20th, 2005, 12:12 PM
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You won't make the 2042 train from Reading and the next train is the following morning.

At that time of night, you'll drive it in three and a bit hours (there aren't going to be any westbound traffic problems at that time on a Sunday unless there's a crash), but you're not going to leave LHR with a hired car any earlier than 2030, even with no bags and EU passports. So you'll hit the M5 exit for Totnes round about midnight, with another 20 miles of country-ish road. Plus however long it takes to find your final address.

If you're happy about that (and an hour's flight is unlikely to incapacitate you, unless AF is as generous in posh class with the bubbly as it used to be 20 years ago. But I doubt it), then drive to Devon. I would: I'd far rather wake up the following morning in Devon than in the Bloggo Inn on some motorway service area.

But why aren't you on a cheapo flight direct to Exeter or Plymouth from Paris? A great deal easier than all this palaver.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 20th, 2005, 02:15 PM
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Palaver aside, I'm very curious to know which airline flies direct from Paris to Plymouth. I heard via a Brit relative that flybe (think that's right) is starting a direct flight to Exeter from Paris this spring.
obxgirl is online now  
Mar 20th, 2005, 10:51 PM
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Mea (half) culpa.

Obxgirl is right to point out gently that Plymouth Airport is just about the only strip of concrete left in England that doesn't have cheapo flights to Paris and Amsterdam. But flights between Exeter and Paris resume this week.

Even if Rt66Kix has bought Rt's ticket, the Paris-Exeter fare (£29) in today's papers is about the cost of petrol from LHR to Exeter. And on a plane landing at Exeter at 2030, you'll can be out of the airport in a hired car by 2100.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 21st, 2005, 01:34 PM
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We are going to take the train from Paddington to Totnes. I can't fly from Paris to Devon; we already have our airline tickets booked from London/Paris/London. So it will be the train that takes us to Totnes.

I also need a rental car in Totnes, and that's proving difficult! Maybe take the train into Exeter, and get a car there?

If we stayed in London before taking the train to Devon, any recommendations for hotels between Heathrow and Paddington?

Thanks for all the help. Driving from London to Totnes is nothing we want to attempt!
Rt66Kix is offline  
Mar 21st, 2005, 01:45 PM
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We checked into taking the train to Exeter and renting a car there, but the rental companies are only open until 1 PM on Saturday and closed on Sundays so we decided to rent at Heathrow. I know it won't affect your pick-up, but keep it in mind for your return if it applies.
Kayb95 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2005, 01:13 PM
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YOu already ARE out of the greater London area when at Heathrow airport. Staying around the airport, you could be in Totnes by noon the following day. So simple...unless you dont' want to drive all the way to from Heathrow. Why backtrack all the way into central London Sun night(unless of course you want to catch the train) THere are lots of nice hotels within walking distance (or short taxi) of Paddington station. Then train to Exeter Monday morning and rent a car at the station in Exeter. We did it once and it was simple.
But a car straight from Heathrow Monday morning is good also, without much traffic since you are on the West side of London anyway.
mari5 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2005, 08:11 PM
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OK, I think we will rent a car at Heathrow and drive partway to Devon Sunday night. Do we go through Bristol, or through Salisbury and Yeovil?

I really appreciate all the help and advice. Thanks to everyone.
Rt66Kix is offline  
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