Travel time from London to LHR

Feb 22nd, 2001, 10:05 PM
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Travel time from London to LHR

This will be our first time staying in London. We have an 11 am flight out of London Heathrow Airport on a Sunday & we will be staying in London near the County Hall. Realistically, how much time should we allow ourselves to get to the airport? Also, as we will be taking the tube FROM the airport... I feel we should have a cab or something more reliable upon return. I know the black cabs are really expensive. Are there any reliable services anyone can recommend?
Feb 23rd, 2001, 12:03 AM
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You're right at that time in the morning you'd be wiser to take a cab because the tubes are always so crowded. A black cab will cost you around 30 pounds excl of tip. You should be there approx 2 ours prior to your flight to check in therefore I would recommend leaving central London no later than 7.30am to be sure you don't hit the traffic.
Feb 23rd, 2001, 03:33 AM
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Definitely take the Heathrow Express which is a clean, fast train that leaves Paddington every 15 mins. I think the train ride is 15 mins. Take a taxi from your hotel to Paddington. I would imagine Sunday AM is a quiet time. By the way, why don't you take the Heathrow Express (not the tube which makes many stops on its way into the city) into London when you arrive at Heathrow - it's really very easy to do!
Feb 23rd, 2001, 04:52 AM
David White
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I second the Heathrow Express, then a taxi from Paddington rail station to County Hall (a fairly long ride). The tube is not viable IF you have much luggage and you would still have to get from the nearest tube stop to your hotel (this would either Embankment or Waterloo).

An alternative you may wish to consider is to take the Southwest Trains shuttle bus from Heathrow Terminal 3 to nearby Feltham rail station. You can then catch a train direct to Waterloo Rail Station in London. Waterloo is only a short cab ride (or a medium walk) to County Hall. Total time from Heathrow to Waterloo is about 50 minutes by this route.

For more info, you might want to look at:

click on "Timetables" and enter Heathrow as your starting point and Waterloo as your destination.

Hope this helps you.

David White
Feb 23rd, 2001, 06:18 AM
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My personal opinion is never never take the tube with luggage .. ever! Personal opinion only. Contact a driver pick up service (not a regular taxi) and they will pick you up at the hotel to go to Heathrow for a flat fee, about 30-35 pounds. We've used these services many times and it is wonderful not to hassle luggage and if there are 2 or more of you it comes out cheaper than Heathrow Express from Paddington (which you need a cab to get to anyway if you have luggage). Why subject yourself to the agony of navigating the tube (stairs, escalators) with luggage if you can avoid it. Even if it costs a couple of pounds more we have found the convenience of it truly wonderful. We fly to the west coast and have about an 11 hour flt so every little convenience that we can fit in sure helps. There are a number of companies that advertise on line, also Patrick on this forum recommends Swiss Cottage Cars. We have used and Ambassador Cars (no web site, sorry I don't have the number handy). Both were punctional, good drivers, etc. When returning to Heathrow I always call the afternoon before to reconfirm, it never hurts. With a 11 a.m. flt on a Sunday (not a work day) the traffic should be not bad, but you still need to be there 2 hrs ahead of time which makes it 9 a.m. I'd allow one hr for the ride out on a Sunday (could be less, who knows!) but build in another hr. for unexpected things, i.e. traffic accident, etc. Ask for pick up about 7 a.m. You can always kill some time shopping at Heathrow or eating breakfast.
Feb 23rd, 2001, 06:35 AM
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I agree with Lori. I defy anyone to prove that buying two tickets on the Heathrow Express then paying a taxi to take you from Paddington to County Hall will be less than 25 pounds total. Yet that's what it would cost you for a reputable car service to meet you at the airport, help you with your luggage and deliver you right to your door. Why do people insist on all that hassle, juggling luggage, fighting the crowds, waiting in taxi line, and spending just as much or more money. (However, I do totally understand the idea of the Heathrow Express for someone traveling alone-it will be cheaper for one). I use Swiss Cottage Cars 44-207-431-2700 to arrange to meet me every time I fly to London, and of course, to also pick me up for the return. They charge 25 pounds for the total service (not per person, but per car!). What a pleasant experience to come out into Heathrow through customs and see a smiling person holding a sign with your name on it and knowing that you will have no hassles getting to your hotel. Incidentally, with waiting at both ends, taking the express, and then a taxi I would allow a total of about 1 hour if you are lucky. I did once wait over a half hour in line at Paddington for a taxi, when I arrived there by train from another city. I would allow exactly the same time for the car service for the entire distance.
Feb 23rd, 2001, 10:02 PM
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Thank you everyone. This has convinced us to skip the tube to & from the airport. Patrick -- does Swiss Cottage Cars have a website? How far in advance do you book?
Feb 24th, 2001, 07:43 AM
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No, Swiss Cottage Cars does not have a web site, which I suppose helps keep their expenses down. There are a number of car services which do have web sites, you can do a search, but all of them I have checked seem to charge at least 20% more. I did use another service successfully when we needed a mini van for four of us with considerable luggage. One week is plenty of time to prebook. Don't be alarmed when they answer the phone with another name. They use several different names. Essentially it is a company that uses private drivers with their own cars and schedules them for you, but every driver and every car we have had have been great. Usually you can even get a sort of "private" tour on the way, as all of the drivers seem to be super friendly (if you want them to be.)
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