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London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

Atlanta, GA, USA
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London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

Hi all! My friend and I (women in early 30s) will be spending several days in England, finishing up our trip with a couple days in London. We'll be driving to Heathrow on October 13th (late afternoon) to return the rental car, then need to get into London.

* I've been reading several posts about the Heathrow Express but also keep seeing the Tube. Am a bit confused by best options. For 2 people returning car at Hertz Heathrow office, what are our best bets for getting into London as simply as possible (see note below on lodging)? Should we consider Uber vs. going back to the terminal? Or since it'll be rush hour probably it's better to do Heathrow Express or Tube? Note, I'm in a walking cast right now and while I get around well I also tire easier than normal, so am willing to pay a bit more if an option is a little less strenuous or shorter (especially when dragging luggage around).

* We haven't booked our lodging in London yet, working on that right now. We'll be arriving in London Friday evening and our flight out is Sunday late afternoon. While we're there, will be focusing on seeing all the sites you'd expect (not so much museums/tours, more walking around and seeing things, views, food)--St. Paul's, Big Ben/Parliament, Buckingham Palace, etc. Based on coming to/from Heathrow, my more limited mobility, and wanting to be near the major sites, am open to any recommendations on what area to stay in, if it helps make the transportation choice easier. Ideally we'd spend 110-120 GBP/night but are flexible, that's not a hard budget if it's not realistic (as I realize London can be quite expensive). I'm exploring Airbnb, will look at hotels as well (including small ones, B&B, pub rooms). Digging into that today to try and get things nailed down.

Thank you for your help!!

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1. Re: London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

The answer in transport terms is largely dependent in where you choose accommodation. Heathrow Express is expensive but quick to a part of London that is not really the prime tourist accommodation area. The Tube is cheaper, usually somewhat slower and gives access to a much wider area. In general the Tube is more likely to suit. You can get either transport from the each of the 4 Terminals and the car rental shuttle will take you into the Airport Centre, when in doubt i’d go to Terminal 3.

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2. Re: London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

Will you still have cast on when you get to London?

If you find airbnb places post the links to them and we can advise you on location and whether they might be illegal. The Piccadilly tube line runs through central London and links with other lines such as the District line at Hammersmith which is an easy change of trains. The HEX only goes as far as Paddington in west London and it costs more than the tube.

Are you flying out of Heathrow or elsewhere at the end of your stay in London?

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3. Re: London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

Yes, unfortunately I'll still be in the walking cast when I get to London. Bummed about that, but will live. Definitely means shifting my normal travel style a bit though (which is all about power walking!).

Flying out of Heathrow when we leave on that Sunday as well (Terminal 3).

I'm not loving the Airbnb options I've found, so probably will look at hotels or pub rooms (or similar) instead. Should I focus on City of London area, or is there a better and more convenient neighborhood coming to/from LHR and central to main sights?

Thank you all!

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4. Re: London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

Bloomsbury is a straight shot on the tube from LHR.

And this one should come in on budget.

www.imperialhotels.co.uk/en/tavistock

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5. Re: London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

There are several respectable small hotels (rooms can be VERY small!) in Ebury Street near Victoria although they may be above your budget (which is low for London). The advantage is that the National Express Coach from Heathrow terminates right around the corner and of course there are no steps (except to get on the coach). Look at the Lime Tree and B&B Belgravia; the Lynton Hotel is quite basic but staff are delightful. Don't expect an elevator, though.

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Atlanta, GA, USA
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6. Re: London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

Thanks, all! So your recommendation would be for the two of us to take the shuttle from the rental car office (and am not realizing I said Hertz; I just remembered we booked Sixt instead) and catch the Tube in (Piccadilly line)? And returning to LHR a couple days later, should we take the Tube then as well?

Thank you!

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7. Re: London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

With your departure in less than a month you should book accommodation sharpish.

'So your recommendation would be for the two of us to take the shuttle from the rental car office (and am not realizing I said Hertz; I just remembered we booked Sixt instead) and catch the Tube in (Piccadilly line)? And returning to LHR a couple days later, should we take the Tube then as well?' I certainly would.

The rate at the Premier Inn Blackfriars is within budget for the nights of 13 and 14 October. The hotel is probably five minutes' walk from Blackfriars station, which is step free from Heathrow to the walk out the main entrance into New Bridge Street (Piccadilly line to Hammersmith, alight and cross the platform for an eastbound District line train, alight at Blackfriars for the escalator up to the ticket hall and street level).

The rate at the PI St Pancras is roughly the same, but given the two locations Blackfriars is by far the more interesting area of London although transport to and from the King's Cross / St Pancras area is very good.

Have a look at the PIs and see what you think; if neither suit then let us know more, please.

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8. Re: London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

TP will be along shortly with detailed transit advice.

You beat me to it TP. Reliable as always.

Many thanks.

Edited: 9:34 pm, September 21, 2017
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9. Re: London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

+1 to TravellerPlus' advice. The Blackfriars area is an excellent location, very central and very easy to get from/to Heathrow.

If you can manage a slight uphill walk to Fleet Street there are lots of buses you can take which give you a much better view of London than the inside of tunnels (on the tube) when traveling around.

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10. Re: London transport & hotel logistics in mid-October

"Should I focus on City of London area"? No. The City of London is the business district east of the centre. Nothing wrong with it but probably not what you are looking for.

The PI suggestion below is excellent. Transport links are good and, although a budget chain, I'm a big fan of PIs - clean rooms, comfortable beds, pleasant staff, value for money.

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