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London (LHR) Stopover Tips

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This thread is a place to share tips and recommendations for stopovers at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) in the UK. You can discuss things like:
  • How to get from the airport to the city
  • Things to do (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Where to stay/hotel recommendations (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Your favourite LHR airport lounges
  • Airport facilities such as luggage storage and showers
  • Any other destination-specific tips or "hidden gems" you've discovered that could be useful for someone stopping over
Do you have a great tip that other travellers might find useful when stopping over in London? Add your suggestions to this thread, and your advice could make it into an AFF Stopover Guide article!

Update: Read the AFF guide here - The Ultimate London Heathrow Stopover Guide
 
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RooFlyer

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My over-riding tip would be to avoid Heathrow Express and take the tube (eg Piccadilly Line) for a cheaper ride, with more options to get off at stations for hotels. Will take longer, but often HEX is slow too!

Remember that Aussie contactless credit cards (AMEX, Mcard, Visa) - eg 28 Degrees card - can be used at Tube access points - you don't have to buy an 'Octopus card' (edit: Oyster card - thanks VPS :)). The system keeps tabs on your daily usage and stops when the 'cap' is reached.
 
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samh004

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My over-riding tip would be to avoid Heathrow Express and take the tube (eg Piccadilly Line) for a cheaper ride, with more options to get off at stations for hotels. Will take longer, but often HEX is slow too!
I previously always took the tube from LHR as my parents didn't want to pay extra, but on my most recent trip I took the HEX and found it incredibly convenient. Add to the fact London was experiencing a heatwave, the tubes were hot and sweaty but not on the HEX. My tip for the HEX would be to book far in advance, far cheaper!
 

VPS

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Just to clarify it's an Oyster card @RooFlyer . The annoying thing with contactless cards is you can't attach your seniors discount to those cards (you have to have a physical Oyster card)

If you do have lots of luggage there are some good maps on avoiding steps on the tube

DUH and here's the link
Wheelchair access & avoiding stairs
 
Last edited:

James Shann

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If two people are travelling, we have found GreatBritainCars.com to be quite cheap and better than using the tube etc. They meet you at your arrival hall.
Two of us travelled from Heathrow to Gatwick for 48Pounds and from Heathrow to Bloomsbury for 45Pounds. This is much more convenient than catching trains, carrying luggage around and is much quicker. In some cases it is cheaper, too.
 

handy72

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If you're on a layover and not worried about heading into the city, I'd recommend staying in Colnbrook.
There's a couple of good hotels (Holiday Inn T5 in particular), that you can get to either on Hotel Hoppa bus or public bus from T5.

Then once there, you can bus or walk to at least 3 pubs. Ostrich Inn is recommended for food and beer. It doesn't feel like you're next to Heathrow, or even in a big city.

This thread is a place to share tips and recommendations for stopovers at London Heathrow Airport (LHR) in the UK. You can discuss things like:
  • How to get from the airport to the city
  • Things to do (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Where to stay/hotel recommendations (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Your favourite LHR airport lounges
  • Any other destination-specific tips or "hidden gems" you've discovered that could be useful for someone stopping over
Do you have a great tip that other travellers might find useful when stopping over in London? Add your suggestions to this thread, and your advice could make it into an AFF Stopover Guide article!
 

moa999

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On private cars I've always been told to use Addison Lee who have something like 3000 private cars in London.
 
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On private cars I've always been told to use Addison Lee who have something like 3000 private cars in London.
I am not sure as to others experience, but when i worked in London we found Addison Lee to be very expensive and a pain in the proverbial to deal with. If others have a recommendation then i would be giving that a crack.
 

dajop

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My over-riding tip would be to avoid Heathrow Express and take the tube (eg Piccadilly Line) for a cheaper ride, with more options to get off at stations for hotels. Will take longer, but often HEX is slow too!
It does depend on where you are staying, if staying near Paddington the HEX makes a lot of sense. If staying near to the Piccadilly Line, the time saving on HEX may be minimal.

One tip: always check Transport for London website for service disruptions, for airport journey and for other trips alike. Also site is good for checking options using its journey planner.
 

Flashback

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I am not sure as to others experience, but when i worked in London we found Addison Lee to be very expensive and a pain in the proverbial to deal with. If others have a recommendation then i would be giving that a crack.
Don't worry, nothing has changed on that front :)
 

AIRwin

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There is an alternative overground train service from Paddington which takes about 15 mins longer than the HEX but costs less than half the fare. It leaves from Paddington platform 14 usually and stops 3 or 4 times but is still significantly quicker than the tube.
Yes, we took that from Paddington during the Piccadilly line strike on 27 September and it stopped at Ealing Broadway where there are connections from the Central and District lines.
 

GoldCanyon340

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If you're travelling by Tube and connecting from the District Line to the Piccadilly Line then Barons Court is a good place to do so. You just have to move to the other side of the platform, no struggling with lifts or escalators. The Piccadilly Line west of there also skips stations the District Line stops at.
 

Mr_Gimlet

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If you are trying to keep costs down or coming in from elsewhere in the country, Hounslow is a great option. There are quite a few inexpensive accommodation options within walking distance of the tube station. Buses run to Heathrow through the night if you need to get there before the tube starts, otherwise its just a couple of stops.

There are great Indian and Polish food options in the centre, and a heritage bus station to see if that's your thing.
 

Daver6

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Taxi Firm, Taxi Drivers | Barnes, London – Barnes Cars Ltd I tend to be going to the same place in Putney and have used these guys for several years and have always been great but they really do only cover SW London
I just emailed this mob for a quite. Seemed reasonable...apart from wanting to charge an extra 10% for the privliedge of paying by credit card :eek:

I see London Airport Taxi/Minicab,London Airport Transfer Services,50% Cheapest From London Black Cabs,Book Now UK mentioned above. Any others people would recommend. Need to get from LHR to Twickenham.
 

VPS

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Daver6

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I landed up going with Bats and was thoroughly unimpressed. I'll try someone else next time.

I asked for the driver to meet us 40 minutes after landing time. As it turned out we had got through quickly and as I pulled my bags off the belt (25 minutes post landing time) I received a call. It wasn't obvious to me whether this was the driver or dispatch, but regardless he asked how far off I was. I said two minutes away and told me the driver would meet us by the Travelex. It took us five minutes to get to the agree point. No-one holding a car with my name as they said they would. Turns out there are two Travelex 30 metres. Anyway, check both and nothing. Wait 5 minutes. Nothing.

So I call. Bloke says "I knew today was too good to be true". So now its obvious its dispatch. He puts me on hold. Tells me the driver is just parking and will be there in 3 minutes. 15 minutes later the driver shows up. No apology, no nothing.

He leads us to the car park. Interesting bit, the car park is the opposite direction from where he approached us! As we near the destination, he is asking me for directions. Another fail. Finally when it comes to paying (I arranged via email that I'm paying by card), the driver has to call dispatch and then puts you on the phone to give credit card details.

Painful experience. Uber would have been better and quicker.
 

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