Overnight Layover -London

May 24th, 2015, 11:49 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 180
Overnight Layover -London

Hi...what to do?
Looking forward to hearing any & all suggestions.

We arrive in Heathrow after à short flight fromGeneva @ 4:30 in the afternoon.

We will stay overnight at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel as we have a 10:30 am flight back to the US.

We have never been to London.
Should we stay put for the evening at the hotel or should we make our way into the city for some dinner & a little walk?

How should we get to the city?

where should we go?

What should we see?

should we eat at a pub?
Any u would recommend?
And what type of typically served at a pub?


Do we use an ATM to get pounds?
Or?

Thank u for your help.
this forum is awesome!
FabulousFrance is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 02:14 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,515
well, what else would you do.

You could go into Windsor for instance a pretty town on a river with a castle and good restaurants.

You could catch the tube into London and a walk by the same river and a meal, see Parliament, cross the river do the evening wheel looking down on the city in the dusk.

There is no typical in a pub, on top of traditional English food there is traditional food from all over the world. A better question is where can we get ?????

Yes, get pounds at ATm though you might survive with contactless credit card
bilboburgler is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 07:00 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,573
OK --Can you cancel the booking at the Sheraton? Your flight out isn't too awfully early so you could stay IN central London. W/ a 4:30 arrival you could be at a hotel in the center of town by about 6:30. And for a 10:30AM flight you'd want to leave the city by about 7AM-ish.

Get to your well located hotel (suggest something along the Piccadilly tube line), check in and then you can walk to Covent Garden, and Trafalgar Square, and Picadilly Circus, and the river, and the Eye, and Big Ben/Parliament . . . just lots of iconic sites. Have a late-ish dinner, back to the hotel -- and leave for LHR in the morning.

If you are stuck w/ the Sheraton you will waste more time getting in to to London but it is still doable. To the Hotel by the Hoppa, check in, back on the Hoppa to LHR (you have to wait for the Hoppa schedule both directions -- or take a cab to the hotel and back), tube into London maybe arriving by 7:30 if you are lucky. Same general plan - as above. Take the tube to Covent Garden, see some of the street entertainers, walk a few blocks to Trafalgar Square, then down Whitehall to Big Ben/Westminster Abbey/Parliament - maybe a short walk over to get a glimpse of Buckingham Palace - across the river to the Eye . After dinner somewhere either in Covent Garden or on the south bank. Tube back to LHR, Hotel Hoppa to the Sheraton, crash.
janisj is online now  
May 25th, 2015, 09:17 AM
  #4  
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 180
Thanks for the replies. It's starting to be a little clearer now-which leads to
a new set of questions-

Sounds like I should use a credit card for dinner & such, but won't I need some pounds for tip money?

janisj
This is exactly what I think I want to do...just get a little taste of London.
I will do some research on what Covent Gardens is-I'm familiar with all the other iconic sights u mentioned.

I was surprised u said to stay in central London.

The thought of being on the unfamiliar Tube with luggage is the reason I thought to stay at an airport hotel.
But I did not realize the logistics of getting to the hotel & from there to the tube to get to London. It sounds like I would need to go back to the airport to get the tube into London. & the Hoppa buses don't run frequently ?

There will be 3 of us so we thought we would catch a cab to the hotel & split the fare which would make it affordable & easy.

Is there a shuttle service we could take from hotel to Central London?

Also I was surprised u said we could leave London at 7am for our 10:30 am flight- which is to the US- shouldn't I be at airport 3 hrs before for an international flight?
I am flying on United & I certainly don't want to miss it.

Another question. This will be in mid November.
What time do things close up in London at that time of year-or does that even matter as I will be just be walking seeing the sights-not Really going in anywhere except a Pub.
FabulousFrance is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 09:25 AM
  #5  
 
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Tipping is not part of the custom in London, so no, you do not need cash for tips.
Kathie is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 09:49 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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>>Is there a shuttle service we could take from hotel to Central London?<<

No -- they don't even have shuttles to the airport 2 miles away.

A cab to/from the hotel/airport wouldn't be bad since it is such a short journey. Do not consider a taxi into London though -- that would cost £50 up to £80+ depending on the traffic.

United uses T-2 which has recently reopened after a massive re-build. I haven't used it since then but I understand it is really improved . . . but 2.5 to 3 hours ahead is typical

>>The thought of being on the unfamiliar Tube with luggage is the reason I thought to stay at an airport hotel. <<

That is certainly a consideration. But instead of the tube you could book a car service like justairports.com It would be door to door, no luggage schlepping, and much cheaper than a taxi into London (like half the price). But it must be booked ahead of time. Whether one takes the tube or a car service, count on about an hour to the airport. 7 AM is before the commute traffic really gets started so the car service could be faster.
janisj is online now  
May 25th, 2015, 09:58 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,628
Not all taxis take credit cards, some that do add a surcharge. I tip taxi drivers £1-2 depending on the journey, help with luggage, etc. BUT, even bringing up personal tipping preferences opens a big can of worms on this forum. I'd get some cash, you can always spend it the next morning at Heathrow.

Tipping, imo, not necessary in pubs. If you feel so inclined in a restaurant, check that a service charge has not already been added. This occurs more and more often in London restaurants.

If you stay at the Sheraton, they can get you a local car service--I would have them take me to the Hatton Cross tube station which is just outside Heathrow. I'm guessing that would be around £12 to £15. Hotel hoppa is £4.50 pp, one way. If you come back from London by tube, there will be taxis at Hatton Cross or at the Heathrow Terminal 1,2,3 stop, or at the latter, the Hotel Hoppa.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 10:47 PM
  #8  
 
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It's as least as quick (and often quicker) to get from the Metropole or Hilton at Paddington station to a Heathrow terminal than from almost any Heathrow area hotel.

For a 10.30 transatlantic flight on which I've already checked in online, I'll routinely get a train from my Cotswold house connecting with the 0755 train to Heathrow from Paddington, arriving at the T1-3 station (for Terminal 2) at 0810.

Get the frequently (and most often misguidedly) maligned Heathrow Express to Paddington, check yourself and your bags into one of its two big hotels, then spend the next 15 hours in London. There are lots of cheaper places around the station, but this is one of those occasions when predictable chain blandness is precisely what you want.

If you think my plans are too risky, leave Paddington around an hour earlier and spend the ensuing pointless two hours appreciating Terminal 2's interior. But do make sure your Kindle's well stocked.
flanneruk is offline  
May 26th, 2015, 02:43 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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I would do as Flanner says; take the Heathrow Express to Paddington and stay at one of the hotels there. You will be at your hotel in Paddington in half an hour from LHR. A 7.30 am train from Paddington to LHR will get you to the airport in plenty of time for your flight. Go half an hour earlier if you're nervous.
Tulips is offline  
May 26th, 2015, 07:39 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Yes -- this one of the few instances where the HEX makes good sense. Forget what I said about the tube. Take the HEX into Paddington, stay at a hotel right there. Drop your bags and head out -- you'll be farther from the main sites in London but you'll have more time in the city and have a MUCH quicker/easier trip back to the airport in the morning.
janisj is online now  
May 26th, 2015, 09:03 AM
  #11  
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Thanks for all the replies-they have opened up more discussion.

We have come up with a maybe plan-
I say "maybe" because your responses could change it once again.

The time of this layover is mid November.
We think if we are too tired or it is raining buckets that we would not what to go into London at all-given that really all we be doing there is walking a bit to soak up the atmosphere of London & eating dinner at a Pub.
So if raining hard it would put a damper on walking.
Also at this point in our 3 week trip our focus is to make sure we get on the plane for the long journey back to Hawaii. So staying near the airport "feels" more secure.
While checking out the Hatton Cross Station I found the Hilton Garden Hotel & while not as nice as the Sheraton, it is a 5 min walk to tube station, which would get us to central London in 41 minutes.
So that is the new plan which would minimize the logistics of getting into London & still give us the comfort of an easy departure in the morning by taking a taxi to the airport.
What do you all think?
I will now check out the HEX to see what that would mean to our plans.
FabulousFrance is offline  
May 26th, 2015, 09:06 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,573
>>which would get us to central London in 41 minutes. <<

The HEX would get you into town in 15 minutes . . . .
janisj is online now  

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