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How to get from Heathrow to Trafalgar Square

How to get from Heathrow to Trafalgar Square

Old Aug 8th, 2009, 09:52 AM
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How to get from Heathrow to Trafalgar Square

We are arriving at Heathrow at about 8:00 AM on a Monday morning in November (first trip to Europe).

Our hotel is the Grand at Trafalgar Square, located at 8 Northumberland Avenue.

The hotel's website gives several different options on how to get there using public transportation, including the Heathrow Express.

Looking for some opinions from fellow Fodorites about how best to get to our hotel, taking into consideration travel times and expense. Going through a railway station would be a bonus, since I could pick up our 7 day (or 3 day) paper travelcards at that time for usage with 2for1 vouchers.

We'll probably have two large bags with us, as well as two camera bags.

Thank you!
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Old Aug 8th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Hi Cadgirl,
We're in London right now and were at Trafalgar Square last night. The Charing Cross underground stop is directly in front of the square. It's a great square for people watching! Looks like a great location to stay also, walking distance to Westminster and Big Ben.

You can take the Picadilly line to Leicester Square and connect for one stop to the Charing Cross stop on the Northern line. The underground is a breeze. We took it in from Heathrow on Tuesday after dropping our rental car off. The signage is great, it would be very difficult to get lost IMO.

We are using the Oyster card for our 6 days here. Soooooooooo easy. Just put 20 pounds or so on it to start and then top up when needed. They do have a new rule though that you must top up with a minimum of 5 lbs in order to cut down on the lines. There really haven't been any lines at the ticket counters to speak of. But there are a ton of people at rush hour...even with luggage it was very easy.

Take care,
Michele
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Old Aug 8th, 2009, 10:51 AM
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It's actually more to the other end of Northumberland Avenue than the Trafalgar Square end, which is why the hotel suggests Embankment station.

Most expensive (apart from a car service or taxi):
Heathrow Express to Paddington, Bakerloo Line to Embankment (and this option involves a certain amount of walking and moving your luggage into the tube and on to the Bakerloo platforms).

About 20-30 minutes longer, but less stressful and considerably cheaper, would be to take the Piccadilly Line to Hammersmith, walk a few steps to the other side of the same platform and take an eastbound District Line train to Embankment.

I don't know if you can get paper (National Rail) travelcards at Heathrow if you take the Heathrow Express, or the slightly slower and cheaper Heathrow Connect service to Paddington:
http://www.heathrowconnect.com. You can't if you take the underground from Heathrow.

If not, you'd have to buy the paper travelcard at Paddington or if you take the District Line, at Charing Cross main line station, which is round the corner at the other end of Northumberland Avenue.

If the 2for1s offer major savings for you, you could get an Oyster pay-as-you-go at Heathrow (you can get back any unspent value on it when you leave), take the Piccadilly/District Line option, and get one-day paper travelcards just for the day(s) on which you want to use the 2for1s.
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Old Aug 8th, 2009, 11:15 AM
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Either the tube as Patrick London suggests (definitely transfer at Hammersmith to avoid the slog you'd face at other stations) - or - a pre-booked car service like justairports.com or Ray Skinner at http://www.london-transfers.com/

The tube is cheap and relatively easy if you can handle your luggage. The car service is more expensive but flat easy.

The Heathrow Express or even the cheaper Heathrow Connect really aren't good options because they only get you to Paddington which is a long tube or expensive cab ride from your hotel.

If you need paper travel cards for the 2 for 1's you can pick them up right there at Charing Cross near your hotel.
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Old Aug 8th, 2009, 11:29 AM
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Remembering that Patrick of London point is a good one...I would opt for the oyster card out of Heathrow, tube to Hammersmith, across the platform to the District line directly to Embankment...depending on when you take this, either £2.20 or £3.80 will come off your oyster card balance...you can then use the oyster card on all days you won't be doing 2 for 1's.

The nice thing about your location, as noted, is you're right near Charing Cross station where you can pick up inside the national rail station one day travelcards on national rail paper stock for the 2 for 1's. On those days, you wouldn't use the oyster cards at all, you would use the one day travelcards.

Do bear in mind, London paper fares for one way trips are asininely high so on any given day it's either the oyster card or the one day travelcards...this way you get the best of all worlds but bear in mind, the one day travelcards in London are only good after 0930 on weekdays otherwise it's somewhat more.

As others have noted, the value of the advertised only 15 minutes to central London on the Paddington Express is almost totally negated by having to pay either a cab or whatever to get from Paddington to most anywhere in London except the immediate area of Paddington!

You will have no problems using the tube just as long as you can understand the fare structure and how it relates to the infamous 2 for 1's.
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Old Aug 8th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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Hi Cadgirl,
I am hoping to go to London in the next few months and will probably stay at the same hotel. Please post when you get back and let us know what you think about the location and accomodations. Thanks!!
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Old Aug 9th, 2009, 02:53 AM
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>>London paper fares for one way trips are asininely high
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Old Aug 9th, 2009, 09:35 PM
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Thanks everyone!
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