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Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

Thousand Oaks...
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Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

I will be flying to Heathrow from the USA on a Friday, renting a car and making a quick stop at Westminster for an Art Exhibit. Then back to the car and driving East 1 1/2 hours to Colchester County.

Where would be the best place to park and take the Tube, a straight shot would be prefered. I really don't want to drive in the city if I don't have to.

Any suggestions would be apprciated. Thank you!

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1. Re: Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

Where in Westminster are you going? There may be several options for tube station and line.

Have you thought of getting the Tube from Heathrow, and the getting a train to Colchester rather than faffing about with a car?

Thousand Oaks...
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2. Re: Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

I will be going to Westminster Central Hall. I have taken the Tube and Train route before and I would rather have a car. That way, I don't have to lug my luggage from Heathrow, 2 Tube Rides, Train to Colchester, have someone pick me up and then have no transportation if I would like to go on a short drive.

Thoughts?

london
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3. Re: Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

Colchester is not a county, it's a large town (unless you are heading to Colchester County High School for girls?).

Colchester is on the opposite side of London to Heathrow, so it really wouldn't be a good idea to rent a car, head into London, then back to the car and drive to colchester.

I would suggest tube to Westminster, train to Colchester, and then either taxi or car rental there according to your specific plans/destination.

london
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4. Re: Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

It's 93 miles by road from Heathrow to Colchester, the sensible route would be:

M4 to M25,

M25 to A12

A12 to Colchester

This takes you absolutely nowhere near Westminster, and would take just under 2 hours if done at lunchtime, and more like 3 hours, maybe more, if done between before 9am or anytime between 3pm and 6pm.

If you were to drive towards Westminster, you'd be fine for the first few miles, but then the last 10 miles from Brentford to Westminster are solid traffic between 6am and 11pm, and not fun at all. If you were to dump the car near Brentford, you would need to find somewhere to park it, then tube, and then you'd have the issue of driving to Colchester, which from Brentford would be around the A406, which unlike the M25, is not just solid traffic at rush hour, but the whole day through. You could of course head out from Brentford back to the M25, but then the question would be why you had bothered driving in in the first place.

So that leaves you with renting your car at Heathrow, leaving it there with your bags, heading from Heathrow into London, and then back, and then performing a long drive at what I can only imagine would be the busiest part of the day.

I'm afraid that taking your bags into London is going to be the best option.

County Dublin...
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5. Re: Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

I drive a lot in the town. But you might like to think this one through.

UK
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6. Re: Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

Not sure what time of day you'll be doing this but outside of echoing what others have said (i.e advising against the car!) be prepared for a 4-5 hours behind the wheel.

I'm sure other posters will think this mad but if I had to do it, I'd drive right into Westminster and park in one of the secure car parks in Rochester Row or Horseferry Rd (10 min walk from Central Hall) and then drive up to Colchester from there, which is the longer of the 2 drives.

If you want a route, you could do worse than look on AA Routeplanner on-line. Remember to pay congestion charge if not included in your hire car package... you can do it by phone that evening from your hotel.

Seriously I drive a lot in London but i would not be looking forward to doing this even without the transatlantic flight. I wish you well but you might be better reconsidering. If you get the tube from Heathrow and change to the district line at Hammersmith you don't even need to change platforms. There is a left lluggage facility at Victoria for your bags by pplatform 8,

Edited: 2:02 am, January 17, 2013
UK
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7. Re: Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

Sorry but just to add, so you can pace yourself, it would be a good 4 - 5 hours behind the wheel. If you are doing any parts of the drive between 6am - 9am or 3pm - 8pm allow longer.

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8. Re: Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

I can see what you're trying to do. If you really want to rent at Heathrow I'd do what Holah suggests.

However, why not take the tube into London, drop your bags at left luggage, do your Westminster visit, and then rent the car from say Kings Cross? Depending on the time you headed for Colchester it may be a slog out of London, but at least you're not backtracking as you would by renting at Heathrow and commuting in/out. From KX, as long as you head out of town (the right direction anyway) you wouldn't face any congestion charges.

London
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9. Re: Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

Hi there. I'd second what's been said about how onerous this journey would be in daytime. I know that sounds crazy to an American but it's because our roads are generally sclerotic and choked. However, if you do want to drive, this might be a less bad option:

Take m25 north from airport. Then m40 eastbound. Becomes a40 which then feeds into ring road. Park at NCP Baker street (on left shortly after a41 junction, just after the flyover descends into MArylebone road). Take jubilee line south from Baker st station to charing cross for W Hall. On your return, use nearby a41 / a1 north to get back to m25 then go east to a12 to Colchester. You will avoid Con charge too by doing this, so long as you don't turn right off the ring road. Good luck!

Edited: 4:00 am, January 17, 2013
Thousand Oaks...
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10. Re: Best place to park a car & take the Tube to Westminster?

OK everyone, thanks so much for all your guidance! I didnt really consider traffic from London to Colchester (Actually Dedham). So I'll go back to taking the the Heathrow Express (only 15 min) to Paddington. Can I assume there will be somewhere at Paddington to store my luggage? Then I guess take the Bakerloo line to Embarkment and walk over to Westminster. Than back to Paddinton to get my luggage and then off to Liverpool station and catch the train.

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