Manchester or Heathrow?

Apr 15th, 2014, 05:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 14
Manchester or Heathrow?

We are flying from St. Louis to either Manchester or Heathrow, England. Which would you recommend? We will be picking up a car and traveling mainly in South England. We will be taking the ferry to France when we leave England. The flights are similar in price. I was thinking Manchester would be more manageable. Suggestions, please.
LyndaBarnes is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 05:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Have a look at a map. Based on your itinerary, you want Heathrow which is situated in the south east of England, just to the west of London. Manchester airport serves the north west of England - no point flying at all in here if you are going to visit the south and take a ferry to France.

As you mention the ferry, be aware that taking a UK rental car on the ferry will be subject to restrictions and you really don't want a right hand drive car on continental Europe if you can avoid it. Return the car in the UK and take a train/ferry or flight over to France and hire another car there.
Gordon_R is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 06:06 AM
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But Heathrow is much farther south than Manchester. Where in southern England to you plan to visit?

In either case, flying overnight, you will arrive jet-lagged and sleepy. It's not a good idea to jump into a strange car and start driving on what feels like the wrong side of the road. Are you familiar with the road signs in Britain?

Better to spend a day or two recovering before you start driving. However, I don't recommend Manchester, one of my least favorite places in England. (I'm sure others disagree.) If you fly into Heathrow but don't want to spend time in London, you could take a bus to Oxford or Bath, neither of which is best seen with a car. Or there are other possibilities; depends on your itinerary.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 07:35 AM
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Although I live close to Manchester and can confirm that it's a great place, (Mimar, he/she know nothing), it's not sensible to fly here then go South when you can fly into Heathrow.(One of my least favourite airports).
Rubicund is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 08:08 AM
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They are far apart so where you are touring makes the most difference. If you actually do mean "south England' then Manchester makes no sense. But you also said mostly soulh England. Is any of the 'not mostly' in the north?????

Also -- no matter which airport you use, it is a VERY bad idea to start driving after an overnight flight. At best tiring, at worst deadly. Most people need at least a day's recover before they are safe behind the wheel . . . especially if you are coming from a country that drives on the right.
janisj is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 08:41 AM
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The big assumption here is that you will be tired after the flight. Will you? Are you able to sleep on planes?
Dukey1 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 09:05 AM
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Manchester is, and always has been, one of the most vibrant cities in Europe.

But as others post, you will be attempting to plough through what is one of the busiest motorway routes in Europe for no reason.
Dickie_Gr is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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It seems that you are thinking of going to Manchester only to avoid Heathrow even though the latter is more convenient to your plans. Manchester is not south England. It is no less than 3.5 hours from south England.

The fact is that ARRIVING at LHR is not difficult because you fly in, get your stuff, clear customs and immigration, and catch your transport to your temporary abode or whatever else you're going to do. You don't have to deal with the craziness of check-in and security.

Now, if you really want to worry about a crappy airport experience, then enjoy if you're leaving from CDG . . .
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 15th, 2014, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
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"It is no less than 3.5 hours from south England. "

Friends do this all the time, I avoid it like the plague.

Last Friday, start of the kids holidays, one friend left London and arrived in Manchester 8 and a half hours later.
Dickie_Gr is offline  
Apr 18th, 2014, 12:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 28
Well, of course Heathrow which is in southern England. Why would you go all the way up to Manchester and then travel all the way down if you mostly want to visit South England and France? So, definitely Heathrow would be the best option.
benterry is offline  
Apr 18th, 2014, 03:38 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
"Why would you go all the way up to Manchester and then travel all the way down if you mostly want to visit South England?"

Well, if you are coming from the US, you are not going " all the way up" to Manchester. It is closer than LHR. Glasgow is closer still and back in the happy days of non stop service to Boston was only about 5 1/2 hours in the Aluminum Tube.

But neither makes any sense if your goal is Southern England.

BIg Russ, I have never had trouble flying from CDG to the US except when connecting through London. Basically, the English and the French make life as difficult for each other as possible. Direct flights have been a piece of cake.
Ackislander is offline  

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