London in less than 7 hours?

Old Apr 18th, 2005, 07:32 AM
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London in less than 7 hours?

We have a 7 hour layover in London before we board the plane again for France. Is it idiotic to think that we'll be able to see London at all during this time? We'll each have a carry on bag (it's all we're bringing) that'll come along with us through customs. How far is London Heathrow from the city itself? What sort of transportation (we prefer the cheapest) would you recommend?
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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i'd just use the tube. assume 1/2 hr to get through customs. assume 2 hours for back and forth to heathrow (maybe less but allocate more time to err on the side of caution). you need to be at heathrow 2 hours early (at minimum). that leaves you w/ 2.5 hours at most. sure give it a go. go in and wander through harrods and get some gifts...grab food and be off.

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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 11:09 AM
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1 hour (or 1 hr 15 min if you prefer) at heathrow is fine (i fly out of heathrow every week). two hrs for a simple flight to france is not necessary.

however, i do agree to leave plenty of extra time to get to heathrow. if you want to maximise time, do not take the tube.
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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I'm with walkinaround. Taking the tube will eat close to a couple of hours of your touring time. Spring for the Heathrow Express which will get you into central London at Paddington Sta in 15 minutes.

A taxi or bus to nearby Windsor is also an alternative.

Are you arriving and leaving from the same Terminal in Heathrow?

This topic comes up frequently. Search on "layover" and "Heathrow." You'll get all sorts of opinions.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 10:30 AM
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Thank you for the advice everyone. Would you recommend buying tickets for the Heathrow Express in the states before arriving in London? Any good websites to do this? And what's the price difference between the Express and the tube roundtrip from the airport and back? I'll begin searching the web in the meantime. Thanks!
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 10:35 AM
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obxgirl: I'm not sure yet if we're arriving and leaving from the same terminal. What's in Windsor? Excuse my ignorance but i've mostly been studying up on France and have completely ignored England so far since we're only there for 7 hours. So, any recommendations on what to see in a short time is greatly appreciated.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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Windsor Castle is in Windsor (that's where the Queen lives most of the time). Windsor is an easy cab or bus ride from LHR. You can tour the state rooms, St George's Chapel (where Charles/Camilla just had their marriage commemorated, plus the burial site for many kings/queens), walk along the Thames, have a nice meal and be back to LHR.

If you decide to go into London - I'd take either take the Express train ot tube into town and then the tube to Westminster - when you come up out of Westminster tube station you are looking directly up at Big Ben and across the river to the London Eye. Then you could either visit Westminster Abbey, walk along the river, or walk through St James Park and to Trafalgar Square and just gawk at all the famous sights.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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If you go to London, would definitely take Heathrow express. You can buy the tickets from the automated machines with credit card before you board. RT obviously will cost less than 2 one-ways.
Windsor is closer than London downtown.

Your carry-on bags may present a problem. Don't think there are any lockers where you can leave them in Heathrow. Don't know about the train stations (Paddington). Something to consider because it would be awkward trying to sightsee while dragging your luggage with you.
Know that you will NOT be allowed to go into Westminster Abbey with your suitcases.

Someone on this board may be able to suggest on what to do with your bags. Otherwise, if your airline will check your luggage straight through, this may be the more convenient option for sightseeing. Of course, keep a change of clothes and any valuables and medications with you.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 03:26 PM
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There are no lockers anywhere - but there are Left Luggage facilities at LHR and in all the mainline train stations.

There isn't any reason you have to schlepp your carry on's.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Heathrow Express offers a £16 round-trip that's valid from 13:00 to midnight. If your flight times don't work for that fare, the normal fare is £26 r/t.

HX terminates at Paddington Station (which is not very central), so if you add the time it takes to get from there to Westminster, as mentioned above, you're close to the same time it takes to get there on the Tube. A one-day Off-Peak (valid after 9:30) Visitor Travelcard for Zones 1-6 (which includes Heathrow) costs £6.

If you have children, the Family Travelcard is even cheaper: £4 for adults, and £.80 for children 5-15.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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I should have mentioned that a Travelcard is an unlimited Underground and Bus pass. Transport for London's web site is thetube.com
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