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Carolyn May 13th, 2002 09:22 AM

Layover in London
My new husband and I will be traveling to Italy for our honeymoon this October. We will have a 12 hour layover in London, and we were wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what we should do during that time. We are flying into Gatwick at 6:55 am and flying out of Gatwick at 7:35pm. Thank your for your help.

will May 13th, 2002 10:46 AM

Carolyn<BR>You might consider spending some time in London just to see a quick overview. To do this you should make sure that all your main luggage is checked all the way through to Italy and have minimum carry on. As soon as you clear customs, head over to left luggage in Gatwick and store your carry on bags unless you want to carry them around all day. Then, head down to the train station right in Gatwick and take the Gatwick express into London. You will arrive at Victoria station. Assuming your flight is on time, an hour to clear customs (likely will be less), 30 minutes to stow bags at left luggage, 30 minutes to find train station and buy tickets, 30 minutes into London on express, you should be in central London by 10 am or so. Victoria station is close to all of the main sights in central London. Get a good London guide book and map out what you want to see and use either the underground (subway) or for this short of a visit perhaps you splurge and use taxis for quicker get around. You will need to allow time to get back to Gatwick for your evening flight, so assuming you want to be back ther by 5:30PM, then you will have to use the Gatwick Express leaving Victoria around 5 pm. So you could have from say 10am to 5pm for a really quick view of London. Have a nice pub lunch. You might also even consider doing one of the double decker bus tours for a quick overview. It would be feasible to do this and sure will beat sitting in the airport all day.

doug May 13th, 2002 10:46 AM

Hmmmmm Kind of over-ended question<BR>You could be @ Victoria Station by 9 or 9:30. You need to be back at Victoria about 4:30 absolute latest. Gatwick express will be about $15/person each way and takes 30 min.<BR>Assuming you haven't been to London:<BR>Westminster Abby, Big Ben, Parliment<BR>or<BR>Shopping on Regent Street, Picadilly Circus<BR>or <BR>British Museum <BR>or <BR>Shopping in Knightbridge (Harrods)<BR>and the new Tate<BR>Figure on taking cabs everywhere and 10 to 20 pounds everytime you set foot in a cab. Most of this stuff is 15-30 minutes from Victoria by cab.<BR><BR>If you provide more info about your experiences and likes you will get a lot more info here.<BR><BR>Doug<BR>

doug May 13th, 2002 10:47 AM ended question

Lori May 13th, 2002 10:57 AM

Well, unless you are super human and have so much energy you don't need to sleep/rest for days on end I'd get a day room at the Hilton or one of the hotels at Gatwick and rest up awhile (and shower too). With a few hours rest you might still have time to take the Gatwick Express into London for a quick look-see around. It's only 30 min. I cannot even imagine a 12 hr layover - I'd be so zonked I could not stand upright by the time I got to my destination.

Gaia May 13th, 2002 04:08 PM

Why don't you stay longer in London? It's much more fun than Italy in October.

upandatem May 14th, 2002 04:22 AM

Lori, your idea is simply bonkers. The absolute worst thing to do would be to get a room and "rest up a bit". You are much better off to keep moving. If they were to get a room and rest up a bit then they would not have time to see anything at all. They really should go into London and at least have lunch and see a few quick sights. They will have plenty of time to rest up and see the inside of a hotel room when they reach their final destination. Boy, I bet you are not much fun to travel with. "Well, dear, what shall we do today?" "Oh, I think I will just stay in the hotel room and rest up a bit love. Perhaps after I rest for 6 or 8 hours we can go out and see London."...I feel so sorry for your travel companion(s).<BR><BR>Carolyn, PLEASE DO NOT LISTEN to this silly advice from Lori.

beth anderson May 14th, 2002 06:12 AM

hi<BR><BR>actually you don't need to be at Gatwick until 6 PM. It's no longer an international flight, your luggage is all there (checked through) I presume? <BR><BR>Gatwick Express into Victoria, half an hour - and you can walk to Buckingham Palace, Green Park, St. James Park, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, etc, from there...<BR><BR>Beth

Darlene May 14th, 2002 06:35 AM

One thing I would add is to skip the bus tour. We did the tour last year (The original London tour company or something like that) right before I moved to the UK permenantly, and depending on which route you are taking, you could easily spend most of your time waiting for the bus, or caught in traffic. Get a good map and walk or take the underground.

Lara May 19th, 2002 06:34 PM

My husband and I had a 7 hour layover last May at Gatwick. He didn't feel comfortable leaving the airport so a trip into London was out. We ended up getting a day pass to the health club at the Hilton. They have a small indoor pool, sauna, steam room and a workout facility. We both had spa treatments and took about 3 showers! <BR><BR>I realize you have more time and could do more things, but it really depends on how tired you will be when you arrive. Checking into the hotel may seem boring to some, but heaven to others. <BR><BR>Lara

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