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Luggage storage in downtown London

Save the Earth
Level Contributor
24 posts
8 reviews
8 helpful votes
Luggage storage in downtown London

I have a 7+ hr layover between arriving at LHR and connecting at LGW. I would like to do a little sightseeing in downtown London. Are there any stations that allow luggage storage (e.g. Victoria Station)? I am planning to take the tube into the city from LHR and then the Gatwick Express from Victoria station. I will not be flying BA out of LGW but a BA codeshare so will need to check-in physically at LGW. I don't know if they still have a BA check-in desk at Victoria, though I remember seeing one when I last visited 15 years ago.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
35,110 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
1. Re: Luggage storage in downtown London

Victoria - and most main stations in London have a left luggage office which costs about £8 per bag

Though frankly 7 hours between flights won't leave you much time for sightseeing

West London
Level Contributor
10,128 posts
2 reviews
4 helpful votes
2. Re: Luggage storage in downtown London

It is significantly cheaper at Victoria Coach Station, a short walk from the train station:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/1216.aspx

Save the Earth
Level Contributor
24 posts
8 reviews
8 helpful votes
3. Re: Luggage storage in downtown London

Thank you for the suggestions. On a slightly different note, is there a less expensive method to get to LGW than the Gatwick Express, either by rail or coach service from downtown London? If 7 hours is not enough time, I may even forget about the sightseeing and take the Bus transfer between the 2 airports from National Express, but would mean a long stay at the airports.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
59,880 posts
12 reviews
91 helpful votes
4. Re: Luggage storage in downtown London

Depending on the day and date you travel and the time of day, you may find fares from £5 with Southern railways from London Victoria to Gatwick.

There are also departures from London Bridge and London St Pancras stations, but again knowing the day and time of your departure from LGW will be germane to deciding on how best to travel from central London to the airport.

Bags are not checked through for arrivals at LHR / departures from LGW even when flying with BA all the way (or a codeshare); you must transport your bags from airport to airport. There isn't a facility to check bags at Victoria either.

Save the Earth
Level Contributor
24 posts
8 reviews
8 helpful votes
5. Re: Luggage storage in downtown London

My flight out of LGW is at 6pm on a weekday so would Southern Railways be a good option? Are ther other alternatives to get to LGW?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
59,880 posts
12 reviews
91 helpful votes
6. Re: Luggage storage in downtown London

You'll need to be at the airport no later than 1630. Trains from London Bridge take about 40 - 45 minutes, trains from St Pancras take about 45 - 50 minutes; Southern trains from Victoria take 35 minutes - all of these times are dependent on no delays on the day, and those can't be predicted.

If you book an Advance fare ticket it will be good for travel on that specific train only; miss that train and you'll have to buy a ticket at the walk up fare.

What is the scheduled time of the LHR flight's arrival, and are you flying with BA from North America or another destination? Not all BA flights use T5, some use T3.

Edited: 2:13 pm, April 12, 2011
Save the Earth
Level Contributor
24 posts
8 reviews
8 helpful votes
7. Re: Luggage storage in downtown London

Are the trains from London Bridge and St. Pancras from a specific company? Will be arriving at T3 at LHR at around 11am. Heard there is fast track for immigration & customs for passengers travelling in business class. Was hoping to get to downtown by 1pm for a couple of hours of sightseeing before heading to LGW.

Kent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7,857 posts
107 reviews
121 helpful votes
8. Re: Luggage storage in downtown London

Immigration -picking up suitcases and customs can take anything from 1-2 hours

travel into central London another hour

So with an 11am arrival you will be in central London around 1-2pm

and you need to depart Gatwick at 6pm ?travel to Gatwick - check in 4-pm- so you have 2 hours max -and you will have your luggage with you ?

Not a good idea

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
59,880 posts
12 reviews
91 helpful votes
9. Re: Luggage storage in downtown London

Trains from St Pancras call at London Bridge (and at City Thameslink in between); they're First Capital Connect trains operating from Bedford to Brighton.

Fast Track passport control queues at Heathrow can sometimes be slower than the other queues, so it's difficult to say whether or not you'll be through and have bags collected much before noon.

The Underground journey from LHR to central London will take 45 - 55 minutes; since you'll need to be on a train to Gatwick at about 1515 - 1530 that allows precious little time for sightseeing in the city.

London
Level Contributor
12,434 posts
70 reviews
20 helpful votes
10. Re: Luggage storage in downtown London

Slight correction on the trains - trains from London Bridge to Gatwick only take 30 minutes (a few are timetabled at 29 minutes - so I don't know how GatwickExpress can claim to be the fastest service...)

The train (whether you use the FCC service or the Southern service) is the only sensible solution to get to Gatwick from central London - a road journey is a painfully slow trek - can be twice or three times as long as the train journey.

As others have said - you actually have precious little spare time in your day to do any sightseeing. The left luggage facilities at railway stations use security screening, so you'll need to allow some "faff time" if you're going to use this.

Is there anything in particular you really wanted to see? For example, Buckingham Palace is a very short walk from Victoria station. Or you get a great view of Tower Bridge / Tower of London from the river path beside London Bridge station. So there are a couple of things you can realistically have a peep at in your short window. But you do have a very very short window before you need to be on the train to Gatwick.