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Heathrow to Downtown London

Old Mar 9th, 2001, 04:54 AM
  #1  
Herb
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Heathrow to Downtown London


What is the best way to get from Heathrow airport to the Thistle Hotel in Downtown London? We will arrive about 7:30am. Also not too expensive...want to spend money on something other than transportation... Herb
 
Old Mar 9th, 2001, 05:03 AM
  #2  
heffer25
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Herb,
the cheapest way is to take the tube into the city. find out what stop your hotel is near and then check the underground map on how to get there. a faster and more convenient although more costly way is to take a cab. the problem with the tube at 7:30 am is that you will be riding with all your bags on the train during rush hour. it gets pretty crowded. good luck.
 
Old Mar 9th, 2001, 05:49 AM
  #3  
Patrick
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Yes, the tube is the most inexpensive way. We did it once and vowed "never again". It was raining, we were caught in a mob of commuters, there was nowhere to sit, people were tripping over our luggage, we had to change, hauling our luggage up what seemed like hundreds of steps (of course the escalators were broken that day), and thought we'd never get there. We had to walk only three blocks from the final tube station, but it was pouring so we and our luggage took about two days to dry out!
There is the Heathrow Express, but for two people plus a taxi from Paddington to your hotel it will certainly cost you a total of over 25 pounds if you just get the economy tickets from Heathrow to Paddington. That will take you roughly an hour total, including wait time for the Express, the ride itself, waiting in line for a taxi at Paddington and then the ride to The Thistle from Paddington.
We call Swiss Cottage Cars (there are other car services, but we've found this one to be totally dependable and the least expensive). They meet us at the airport with a sign with our name, help us with our luggage, drive us right to our place in central London, and the total cost is 25 pounds (for the car -- not per person). Their number is 44-207-431-2700. There will be a lot of others who swear by the Heathrow Express which to me only makes sense if you are traveling alone. I still don't understand why people enjoy taking it, doing a transfer, taking just as much total time as a private car, and still paying as much or more. But to each his own.
 
Old Mar 9th, 2001, 06:02 AM
  #4  
ron
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Herb, there are over a dozen Thistle hotels in Central London (Downtown is not a term used to describe any area in London). It would probably help to know which one you are talking about. If the one you are using happens not to require a change of Underground line and/or is close to a tube station, you avoid the horrors described by Patrick.
 
Old Mar 9th, 2001, 06:16 AM
  #5  
Lori
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I think this question comes up several times a week and several times a week Patrick and myself (and sometimes Elvira as well) explain the advantages of a driver pick up service over the Heathrow (Paddington) Express and the tube if there is more than one person. I don't think either of us has a personal stake in these services, but we have learned that you actually do not save any money if there is more than one of you and the total annoyance of hassling luggage on and off the Tube during rush hour is not a pleasant experience (and no way to start a trip if you have more than a carryon). There are several on-line driver services, we have used them and were very pleased - check out www.chauffeur.co.uk for rates, do some simple arthimetic and you will see it's a bargain as you are going door to door not in and out of tubes/train stations and cabs.
 
Old Mar 9th, 2001, 08:44 AM
  #6  
Herb
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Great Help...also need to know how far the Holyhead Ferry is from the Holyhead train station
Can we walk or will a taxi be needed? Thanks
 
Old Mar 10th, 2001, 02:49 AM
  #7  
Jim
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Pat, I have seen several comments by you about airport pickup. I am almost convinced to give it a try. My wife and I are scheduled to arrive at London Heathrow at 7:30 am on a Monday. Our hotel is across from the Lancaster Gate Tube station.
Taking into account arrival, customs, baggage pickup, traffic, etc., can you give me an idea of what I am in for in terms of time and cost to arrive at my hotel using Swiss Cottage Cars?
Also, you say 25 pounds for the car. Are there any other expenses to consider? How much did you tip the driver?
For any who have used the express, how was it in terms of time?
 
Old Mar 10th, 2001, 07:02 AM
  #8  
Patrick
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I usually tip the driver 5 pounds which is extremely generous I know. There are no other expenses. They do not charge additional waiting time or parking as some companies apparently do. When you call you'll get an exact quote for the price to your exact location. If it is higher than 25 pounds (it's been a year for me), you might try to say "how about making it an even 25?" It always seems to run almost an exact hour from the time he meets us to the time we get to our door in Covent Garden. You actually will probably encounter a little less of the heavy traffic we have near our flat, so I would doubt it to be any longer, possibly a little less. Recently arrival itself at Heathrow has been very good. Depending on the time waiting for the luggage, and the considerable walk from the plane to luggage pick up, you will probably add a half hour from the time you get off the plane to the time you clear customs (that part is almost non-existent).
 
Old Mar 10th, 2001, 08:21 PM
  #9  
Mark
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Herb,

Hire a private car to come pick you up. You will NOT regret it. We hired Alan Sage at Solar Cars, and were absolutely delighted with the service and the price. There were six in our party, which required two minivans, but again for the service, it is well worth the cost. The minivan cost us about 35 GBP per van, and we gave a 5 GBP tip also. But we did budget this in before going, and we were so glad we did. I cannot imagine using the tube with a bunch of luggage in tow. Solar Cars fax number is
+44(020)8874 3228. Mr. Sage is a pleasure to work with and came highly recommended. Safe journeys!
 

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