lovely london

Old Feb 25th, 2010, 11:14 PM
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lovely london

I'm visiting England late April and all May. 4 days in London by myself then meeting up with a group for 3 weeks travel around England then 8 days by myself in London.
I'm a bit confused about all the travel passes. i want to use the hop on hop off bus mostly. I'll be staying in a hotel in Holland Park avenue.
Could anyone tell me how to get tickets for the hop on hop off bus please?
Also moderate priced cafes in London?
also how easy is it to get a train to Richmond?or a bus? I'm not in hurry so buses are fine.
Thanks,
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 01:36 AM
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The hop-on hop-off bus is an expensive commercial operation, with commentary, aimed at tourists. You'll find people trying to sell you tickets at most or all of the stopping points on the routes.
http://www.theoriginaltour.com
http://www.bigbustours.com

If your aim is to get from A to B rather than get the commentary overview, the regular public transport bus routes pass plenty of the major sights:
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloa...al_bus_map.pdf

For buses passing along Holland Park Avenue:
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gettingaro...lgate-2196.pdf

For the four days by yourself, I'd get an Oystercard with £25 pay-as-you-go money on it.

Your simplest route to Richmond is to take the District Line tube from Notting Hill Gate, changing at Earls Court (same platform) for a Richmond train. You could do it by bus, changing at Hammersmith, but it would take longer:
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gettingaro...hmond-2219.pdf

Cafés and sandwich bars are everywhere. Pick whichever takes your fancy.
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 02:02 AM
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I agree with Patrick. The HOHO buses are a ripoff. Several buses, the #11 for example hit mostof the major tourist spots
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 04:37 AM
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Hi Moonrise - Whilst in London I'm sure you will be looking for good Fish 'n Chips. The place to try is the North Sea Restaurant in Leigh street, near Euston Station. It also has a takeaway but you would have to carry your meal to somewhere like Tavistock or Gordon Square. I'm sure you'll find it on your map.

Heading for the theatre one evening? You can enjoy a reasonably priced pre-theatre dinner at Wolfe's Bar & Grill, 30 Great Queen street, just off Drury Lane. They will make you feel very welcome even if dining alone.

I must everytime we are in London is Waggammama, the Japanese noodle bar - several branches throughout London now but like like the original near the British Museum. Cheap & filling.
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 03:01 PM
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Thank you so much Patrick, Avalon and Tod for such prompt and full replies!I'm delighted with the responses. I'm from Australia and this is my first trip to England, which is my dream come true so I want it to go well.
Patrick and Avalon, that is such important information you've given me re the HOHO buses. I had quite a different picture of them and now you have been so kind to let me know exactly how it is. I'll certainly get an oyster card and use that on the buses along Holland Park avenue.
Thanks too Patrick for all those links! that is super.and the info about Richmond.
Thanks too to Tod for all your info and the food details...important when you are sightseeing!
May i stretch your help a bit more?
Can I use the oyster card on the tube as well?
I have to travel back from Holland park avenue to a Heathrow airport hotel one day to meet the group I'll be travelling with for 3 weeks. The timing is up to me. I thought I'd go by taxi if not too expensive. What would be the best time, if possible to beat the peak hours etc which would bump up the fare?I'd have all my luggage with me (I do travel light but I'm a 'senior').
Any other ideas re travelling round this grand city?
Thanks indeed for all your help.Highly appreciated.
moonrise
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 04:19 PM
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HoHo buses mak no sense as transit - and they're very expensive. Just use local buses or tube - or feet for shorter distances. You'll get much more of a feel for London actualy walking down the street than out of a tourist bus window.
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 06:47 PM
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Thank you nytravler.I can see that now. thanks for saving me some of my hard earned cash!I'll walk as much as i can and then catch a bus.
moonrise
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 07:36 PM
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moonrise, yes you can use the Oyster card on the tube. If you do a search here, there have been many discussions about the various transit passes. I found the internet very helpful when trying to figure out which to purchase, and where to get it, when we went to London last summer. We had been before, but the transit passes had changed in the meantime.

Try the Heathrow Airport website for help on getting there. Others will know better than I, but I think there is always traffic.

I know you are going to have a great time. Do some searching here on Fodors for London and/or England threads. There are many and they are so informative.
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 07:56 PM
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Here's the Transport For London site with all the info you'll need for Oyster cards and anything else transport related in London:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 08:38 PM
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For you- this is one of the few instances where the Heathrow Express makes some sense.

It partly depends where you are on Holland Park Avenue (assuming you mean the one near Holland Park/Notting Hill and not the one way out in Newbury Park). If you are near the east end of Holland Park Ave you'll be near Notting Hill Gate tube station. You could take the tube 2 stops to Paddington and then the HEX straight to Heathrow. If you are farther west along Holland Park Ave, then I'd just take a cab to Paddington and then the HEX. The reason for that is, catching the tube from Holland Park or Shepherd's Bush would have you changing lines and a bit of a hike.

The tube (or a cab) and the HEX will cost much less than a cab all the way to LHR -- and it would be faster.

To take the tube all the way to LHR would involve either one or two transfers and be more difficult, but certainly doable.
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 08:42 PM
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"Not too expensive" is, of course, subjective... But you can get to Heathrow either on the Heathrow Express train from Paddington, or on the Piccadilly tube line.

I love Pret a Manger for sandwiches - especially the crayfish and rocket - and they are all over the place, but I prefer Rock and Sole Plaice on Endell St. for fish & chips - I think North Sea is overpriced and pretentious for fish & chips. Also, I love scones with clotted cream, but I get my afternoon tea at the Orangerie in Kensington Park, rather than paying rather more at one of the hotels.
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Old Feb 27th, 2010, 12:22 AM
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YOu will find affordable sandwich places everywhere. If you get things to go you wont pay the 17.5% VAT and if its a nice day you can go sit in a park or churchyard and eat. Look for Pret, Eat, Crussh, Itzu or Wasabi for sushi, and little sandwich shops. Also Boots, and Tesco Express will have lunch specials where you can buy sandwiches and drinks etc.
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Old Feb 27th, 2010, 01:02 AM
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To get back to the airport consider a car service such as www.justairports.com. Much cheaper than a regular taxi. You can check prices on their website if you have the postcode for your hotel and book that way. Should be less than 30 pounds from hotel to Heathrow. We used them many times in the year we lived in London and found the service always excellent.
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Old Feb 27th, 2010, 09:05 AM
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This was (sob) almost three years ago, but Mr. Pickle and I had a good dinner at the Stockpot near Leicester Square. Nothing fancy, just basic, tasty, inexpensive food. If I remember correctly, my dinner of lamb, veggies, etc. was around 6 GBP.

As jamikins said, you can pick up a sandwich just about anywhere. Sainsbury's has good ones as well.

We didn't go there, but Belgo Centraal has a "beat the clock" special where the time you arrive - or are seated, not sure - is the price you pay for your meal.

Lee Ann
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Old Feb 27th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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Heathrow Connect is cheaper than Heathrow Express. www.heathrowconnect.com
Seems to be £7.90 single, 25 mins; cheapest Express is £16.50, but is 10 minutes quicker. Details are as far as I can see on the websites. I've done neither. I usually take the Picadilly Line, which is of course, cheaper still.
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Old Feb 27th, 2010, 10:14 AM
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Lee Ann--Stockpot on Old Compton or Panton?--both look near Leicester Square (and comments on Stockpot sound like we'd maybe want to try it this summer)
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Old Feb 27th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Any of the Chez Gerards have excellent food for a moderate price. Our favorite is on Kensigton High Street , just down the road from the tube. Excellent Italian at Orsini's across from the V&A or Carluccio's across from South Kensington tube stop.
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Old Feb 27th, 2010, 12:30 PM
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Re the suggestions for the Piccadilly line to LHR -- the problem is you won't be on or near the Piccadilly line. Depending on exactly where you are on Holland Park Avenue -- it will be either one or two line transfers.

A car service is a great idea -- but for one it would be fairly expensive -- approx £35 plus tip.

That's why the HEX or Heathrow Connect can make sense for a solo traveler. I usually recommend against the HEX, and to a lesser degree the Connect -- but in this <i>specific</i> situation (solo + Holland Park Avenue) either of the trains makes sense.
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Old Feb 27th, 2010, 07:33 PM
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These are all wonderful replies!!!So much good sound information.I've jotted down what everyone has said and feel i should do well with all this.when i return I'll write up a report and thank you all again.
I'm veering for the lazy way, even if more expensive...'car service' ...although once i get there all the tubes and changing might not be as daunting as it seems. I travel mostly by public transport here in Sydney and it doesn't faze me so maybe I'll be OK in London too.Still, its a holiday so...
I'm staying at Hilton London Kensington hotel which is 179- to 199 Holland Park Rd.Seems a good spot to catch buses to the tourist spots I'm interested in.
will probably come up with more queries .
Once again, thanks one and all.
moonrise
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Old Feb 27th, 2010, 09:18 PM
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The Kensington Hilton is on the west end of Holland Park Rd and close to Shepherds Bush station. Taking the tube from there to LHR wouldn't be very convenient. W/ the location of the hotel, a car service probably will be your best bet. Plus being that far west means the journey will be a bit shorter so a car service might quote a little less ££.
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