Old Jul 7th, 2006, 08:10 AM
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We have a flight from DC to London that lands at Heathrow at 9:45 pm. We want to go to Scotland with stops at York and Hadrian's Wall on the way. I'd prefer to fly from Heathrow to somewhere in the direction of York, but there don't seem to be any flights we could get on BMI that late at night. And I don't see an overnight from Euston we could make either.

My husband doesn't want to stay at a hotel near the airport. Our flight is only a little more than 7 hours long, and although it arrives in London at 9:45 pm, it will feel like 4;45 to us, and even with time to get through the airport and to a hotel, he thinks he will not be ready to sleep.

Other posts have described getting from LHR to King's Cross as being a hassle, but we'd like to take the GNER train north in the daytime, for the scenery. So it seems that after arriving at LHR we'll have go into London and find a hotel within striking distance of King's Cross station so we can take the GNER train to York the next day.

Do we have any other options for getting out of London faster? Driving a car ourselves at night seems too challenging. (We have about a week and have already visited London.)

Thanks again.
marcan is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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I'm not a London expert by any means (I live near York!) but I would say that the scenery from Kings Cross to York is really nothing special. Maybe I've done the trip too many times, but I honestly wouldn't bother about missing it.
Whereas the train from York to Scotland (especially when it starts hugging the coast) is most definitely NOT to be missed.
However, looking at your timings Ithink you are going to have to get that Hotel near Kings Cross and then the train first thing the next day. Don't even contemplate the car that evening- even though it will be late evening it's VERY busy and will take at least double (and probably considerably more time) than a train.
There's no chance you could fly into Manchester??
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Old Jul 7th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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Yes, it would be better to fly to another city, Manchester or Leeds, or even to Scotland and then work your way south.

Otherwise, yes, get a hotel for the night near King's Cross. As for your husband not sleeping, well, you bring an eyeshade and earplugs.
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Old Jul 7th, 2006, 09:23 AM
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This bodyclock thing's a bit over-rated. It'll be well past 11 by the time you get into London, and very dark. Most bodies - especially after a day hassling with the airports of the North Atlantic - just accept that's time to go to bed. Walk round a bit, and fill your body with stodge and a few glasses of something if it hasn't got the message. Mine's never had a problem: just nods off around midnight.

The only place you can get to comfortably by public transport at 2230 from Heathrow, apart from central London, is Oxford (buses every half hour all night). The train from Oxford to York takes a bit longer than from London, and is less reliable. And it's got just as humdrum scenery. But getting to Oxford takes a bit longer than getting into London, and if you stay in a hotel in the centre, you have the pleasant feeling of waking up somewhere nice.

There isn't really an alternative. The train from London first stops at Stevenage, Staying there is like staying at an airport only worse. I don't think there are any daytime transatlantic flights to anywhere else in Britain.

Don't drive. Easiest all round is to find a pleasant place in London and stay there. Don't worry about proximity to KX: it's got tube connections to more places in London thasn anywhere else.
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Old Jul 7th, 2006, 09:39 AM
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Yes - stay in London. No reason at all to have to be near Kings Cross. Your husband is right, staying at the airport makes no sense since you'd just have to make your way into London during the morning rush.

I'd just do a Priceline bid - check - and stay some where nice for cheap and take the train the next day. And if you are jet lagged, you can doze as far as York since the scenery is pretty much non-existant that far.
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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I think you should stay at the airport and catch an early morning flight to Edinburgh. This would give you the better part of a day for touring the city. You can do the return journey by train.The previous writer is correct- the scenery from London to York on the train is nothing great.
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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almcd's suggestion makes a lot of sense if you want to reverse the order to Edinburgh > York > London. Flying up from LHR if you are right there the night before, you could be in the center of Edinburgh before 9:00 a.m. instead of just making your way to Kings Cross.
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