What to do with a few hours

Oct 7th, 2002, 09:03 AM
  #1  
Becky
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What to do with a few hours

Hello,

I am traveling for work and have a layover in London (flying into Hethrow). I have never been to London but can't see spending the over 7 hours just at the airport. A friend told me I could leave my bags in "Left Luggage" and take an express train to the tube. I imagine with flight time issues and time taking a train and the tube into London that I'll have roughly 2.5 hours to see maybe one thing or one area - I don't think I would not want to rush all over the place. Any suggestions of what to do with my brief time?

Thanks!
Becky
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 09:09 AM
  #2  
ed
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Are you making a connection to another country at Heathrow? Is so, you will be bussed/taken to the international transfer lounge and will not even clear UK immigration and not allowed to leave the lounge...you will spend your 7 hours there. If you are connecting to point within UK then you will clear immigration and then perhaps you might want to try getting out of airport, but your time estimate is about right. Out of a 7 hour layover you might if you are lucky get to use 2-3 for any out of terminal experiences.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 10:18 AM
  #3  
jack
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maybe if you are lucky you could go to windsor castle, but that might be a tall order.

Otherwise, best case scenario is that you get off the plane first and 2 hours later you are in the city. you spend 2.5 hours max in the city then back to airport. Realsitically you might get an hour.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 10:43 AM
  #4  
Christina
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I don't know about the left luggage thing or if you can leave -- but if you can, you can easily get to Paddington train station by Heathrow express in about 20 min. Or, take the tube (Piccadilly line) to Gloucester Road or South Kensington--that takes longer (maybe 45 min) but is cheaper than the train. IN that area, you can stroll in the park, see the gardens, and see Kensington Palace, which I think would be a pleasant way to spend a couple hours. You can reach Hyde Park from either north (Paddington) or south (Kensington) in a few blocks' walk.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 11:22 AM
  #5  
janis
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As Ed says - if your ticket is to another country and London is just a transit stop you will not go through immigration. They will keep you "airside".

But if you have booked two different tickets -- to London and then to your final destination the you could leave the airport.

The shortest, best choice would be to go to Windsor. It is only about 15 minutes by taxi. you could visit the castle, wander along the river, have lunch, etc and be only a 15 minute cab ride from LHR.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 11:42 AM
  #6  
Ann
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I usually have about a 4-hour layover in Heathrow, and that's just about enough time to do the transfer without rushing ala OJ through the airport, sometimes with enough time left over to have a cup of bad coffee and a stale croissant. So take 4 hours off your 7, plus the travel time into London and back, and that's the time you'll have to see the sites.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 11:57 AM
  #7  
sandra
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Like someone has already mentioned, depending on where you are coming from or going to, it can take quite a while to navigate through Heathrow and its multiple security points--2.5 hours is indeed an optimistic estimate. Here's my suggestion: Heathrow has some magnificent duty free shopping--even with 5 hours layover last time I was there, i could not get enough of that mall on Terminal 3. And I suppose the 7 hours layover dread (even if you can't kill a few hours shopping) is better than a much longer wait and aggravation as a result of missing your flight.

But if you must see something of London while you are there, I would get on the Tube and head to Westminster station, from where you'll have easy walking access to a heavyly packed monumental London area: Westminster abbey, the Thames and the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham palace, and Trafalgar Square. If you've never been to London before and you want the express version, then you can probably see all of them (without touring the buildings of course) in about 1.5 hours, plus 30-40 minutes or so each way to get to and from the airport.
 
Oct 7th, 2002, 04:02 PM
  #8  
janis
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If after all the suggestions you still choose to go into London DO NOT take the tube. The tube is fine, but not when you have such limited time. it would eat up at least 2 hours of your total time. Sandra's suggestion for Westminster omits that you would need to change tube lines and the total travel time from LHR to Westminster would be an hour or more. If you stayed on the picadilly line from LHR and went somewhere like Hyde Park Corner or Picadilly circus it would still take 50+ minutes on a good day.
 
Oct 8th, 2002, 07:53 AM
  #9  
Rachel
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Still can't understand why some people rave about the shopping in Terminal 3. I think it's pretty bad--poor selection, high prices, and uninteresting merchandise. But maybe these people live in towns where the shopping is very limited. Otherwise, I just don't understand it.
 
Oct 8th, 2002, 08:22 AM
  #10  
Sandra
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RAchel,

Two reasons about why I rave about shopping in Terminal 3: Chanel and Burberry's stores, each accross from one another.

Janis, you are so right about the long transit time on the Tube, I never had to go to Westminster straight from Heathrow and was merely guess-timating the time it would take. Becky--by all means, my advice would be to stay put at the airport, and bring a good book (since the shopping may or may not be so good after all...)

Cheers,
Sandra
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 02:02 AM
  #11  
Patricia
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I would take a cab to Windsor (20 minutes from Heathrow and 20 pounds trip) and enjoy the Castle and the 'next door' town: Eton. Very charming. Prince Henry goes to Eton College and luckily you can see him strolling around. Very traditional college. You will not believe your eyes. I felt like I was on the 'Harry Potter' movie. It was a very good surprise!!

If 20 pounds is too expensive, you can take a bus. I'm not sure, but I think it's around 3,50 pounds per person and it takes 45min to 1 hour to get there.

Good luck and enjoy!!
 

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