London for a few hours...

Old Sep 20th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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London for a few hours...

I'm leading a group of 10 to the UK in a month. Our flight arrives at Gatwick at 7am on a Saturday morning, and we need to catch a 3:25pm train at St Pancras. Does it sound correct to estimate...

- an hour at the airport to clear immigration, pick up luggage
- an hour on the First Capital Connect train from LGW to Kings Cross Thameslink
- 30 minutes to store bags at St Pancras, pick up pre-ordered train tickets for later and buy one-day Tube passes (we can split up these duties)

Sightseeing...

- 40 minutes to get from Leicester Square wagamama (our lunch choice) to St Pancras, pick up bags and catch our train

Any thoughts? Thanks!
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Old Sep 20th, 2007, 12:15 PM
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Meant to add - how much are walk-up tickets for the First Capital Connect train, LGW to Kings Cross? Thanks!
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Old Sep 20th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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www.nationalrail.co.uk for train fares and schedules

storing bags at St Pancras will cost at least $10-12 per bag i think. eurostar does offer checked luggage to Paris or Brussels but that costs a bit too.
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Old Sep 20th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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Thanks, Bob. We bought our tickets from St Pancras (to Loughborough, not Paris!) using nationalrail.co.uk, but since those fares are all buy-ahead, I was curious how much the walkup fare into town would be.

Good to know about the bag storage fee - I hadn't thought about that!
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Old Sep 20th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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I think the St Pancras train is basically a flat fee and around $15 i'd think.

I assume the Thameslink station at St Pancras is opened or will be by your trip - the last few years the Kings X thameslink station, on Pentonville Road a few blocks from Kings X/St Pancras was the only stop

but as part of the Chunnel trains coming to St Pancras a new Thameslink station should be open - if not a bit of a hassle as you have to schlepp luggage up a short flight of stairs to get out.

Haven't heard it was open but think it should be at least when Chunnel trains start using St pancas.
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Old Sep 20th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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LGW-St Panc: you just buy tickets on the spot from the vending machine. Weekend services may be slightly less frequent (say every 30 min). Also you may want to check First Capital Connect's website (as well as London Transport's) for any weekend repair works on trains/tubes. Your estimate looks ok otherwise.

As for lunch choice, why Wagamama on Leicester Sq? It's a chain restaurant, the one close to British museum is so much closer to St Panc. There is another one in Soho, and another in Wigmore St as well. (IMHO why Wagamama, period? Don't you have any cheap'n'quick chinese noodle places in your town?)

BTW, don't know if this is something that interests your group, but there's the chinese terracotta soldiers exhibition that opened recently at British Museum (10min walk from King's X/St Panc).

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Old Sep 20th, 2007, 05:08 PM
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I'd say go to the BM Terra cotta exhibit , IF you can get tickets. I've tried for my dates in Nov and they are sold out...and they are £12 each!They do have 500 they release each day at 9:45 if you want to stand in line.
I also wondered about Wagamama as a lunch choice? Wouldn't be mine!
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Old Sep 20th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, W9London - good to know we've probably done OK on time!

Wagamama is a favorite of several of us in the group (I know, some people dislike it... chalk it up to sentimental value and the fact that we don't have anything like it where we live, perhaps, but I think it's delicious).

We plan to let people do their own thing if they like, but we know there are several London newbies in the group and we'll lead a mini-walking tour for them, going to Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, then the Eye if they want to. For those who don't want to do the Eye, we're going to go over to Covent Garden and meet the rest of the group at lunch. So the Leicester Square location is kind of inbetween those things, and the tube is on the Northern line, so easy to get back to Kings Cross.

Thanks for the tip on the terra cotta soldiers exhibit. I'll mention it to the group in case anyone wants to look into it.
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