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Stranded in London: Making the Most of It

city gal in the...
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Stranded in London: Making the Most of It

Our scheduled two hour layover at LHR December 20 turned into an extended vacation since we couldn't get confirmed seats until December 25--or at least that's how we're choosing to view our unscheduled time in London.

After taking stock of the situation, we booked ourselves into the Premier Inn on Bath Road. We could have taken the Hoppa Bus which services the LHR terminals and area hotels. However, with the number of bags we had, we elected to cab it. At a cost of 12GBP, the cab ride's convenience was more than worth it when compared to 4GBP per person for the bus and having to schlep bags on and off ourselves.

We elected to stay by the airport as we wanted the convenience of getting to the airport in the mornings to see if the situation would change and we could fly out early. We could then have the afternoons and evenings to play tourist though it was a 45 minute tube ride to the center of London.

At an average cost of 97GBP per night, we were highly satisfied with this low frills property. The room was clean and serviced by Housekeeping daily. The staff was helpful--they answered our questions and allowed us the use of the front desk phone to call the local number for the airline (the phone in the room only worked with a phone card). Costa Coffee is open 24 hours. In the lobby, there were 3 computers at a cost of 20 pence per minute for access to the internet. WiFi was available for 5GPB for one hour or 9GPB for 24 hours.

Bus numbers 81, 98 or 222 took us to the Hounslow West tube station with the bus stop being across the street from the property. It cost 2GBP to get the train station; and from there, we paid 7.50GBP for the one day Travelcard.

Armed with a tube map, a bus map, and recommendations from a front desk staff, we set out for the city in the afternoon. Instead of paying 46GBP for a one day bus tour, we created our own city tours each day. We read up on the various sites, determined what we wanted to see and plotted the transport route accordingly. We did some walking and shopping around Piccadilly and Oxford. We had dinners in the city and partook in afternoon tea. We probably would have done more had it not been so cold!

In the grand scheme of things, we consider ourselves lucky in that we had the means to take a bad situation and make it work for us. We could easily have been one of those souls who had no choice but to camp out at the airport. At its worst, this was highly inconvenient to us; but at its best, we got to get reacquainted with a city we haven't visited in years.

Hampshire, England.
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1. Re: Stranded in London: Making the Most of It

"In the grand scheme of things, we consider ourselves lucky in that we had the means to take a bad situation and make it work for us."

Good for you.

UK
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2. Re: Stranded in London: Making the Most of It

Glad it went well and how refreshing to hear from someone making an opportunity out of a problem, there is a similar story on the Las vegas forum about a couple stranded in the opposite direction,and IIRC their gambling winnings more than paid for their stay :-)

Watford
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for London
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3. Re: Stranded in London: Making the Most of It

Thanks for posting and hope to see you back on a less stressful vacation. I agree that that Premier Inn offers decent value and comfort and if you have a moment you should post a review of the hotel - tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g528813-d282542…

For those who know who Lenny Henry is, the Premier Inn adverts were filmed there.

rural West Aussie
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for Perth
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4. Re: Stranded in London: Making the Most of It

It's funny, DH and I were just discussing what we would do in a similar situation and decided we would do what travelfortango did if we were similarly caught out. Of course, we always have travel insurance which makes life a little easier.

Pickering, United...
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5. Re: Stranded in London: Making the Most of It

What a refreshing change to read about someone making the best of it. The news reports have focussed only on the misery caused. More reports like this might encourage folks to approach such situations differently i.e. well I'm here now, what can I do to make the most of a bad situation. Too much waiting around, complaining and expecting someone else to sort it all out IMO.

Boston...
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6. Re: Stranded in London: Making the Most of It

Thanks for posting and spreading some positivity in the New Year!

Life is what you make it, and you certainly seem to have it figured out!

Happy Travels

Sarasota, Florida
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7. Re: Stranded in London: Making the Most of It

Stranded in London....sounds like paradise to me!!

Glad you enjoyed it!

8. Re: Stranded in London: Making the Most of It

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