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Giantfan13

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We just booked the Liberty for mid august 2009. I've just started reading some of the threads as to costs of tours and different cities.

We are flying into Heathrow about 5 days early and staying in London. What are my options for getting to London from Heathrow, and then from London To Dover to get on board?? What sort of time frame also is involved??

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We just booked the Liberty for mid august 2009. I've just started reading some of the threads as to costs of tours and different cities.

We are flying into Heathrow about 5 days early and staying in London. What are my options for getting to London from Heathrow, and then from London To Dover to get on board?? What sort of time frame also is involved??

We take the tube (subway) from Heathrow into London, about an hour ride. We bought a zone 1-6 24 hour travel card for 7GBP per person. We only needed to card for 1 day and that was the cheapest for us.

 

To get to the port we took the National Express Coach from Victoria Station to Dover Priory and it was around 24GBP for 3 of us. I booked the tickets online about 2 weeks ahead. You can book the coach up to 12 weeks out thru their website: http://www.nationalexpress.com/coach/index.cfm The ride was a little less than 3 hours, and we traveled on a Sunday morning coach that left at 9:45.

 

The other option would be the train from Victoria Station to Dover Priory. The cost would have been about 65GBP for the 3 of us. There's not too much time difference in these 2 options.

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We are flying into Heathrow about 5 days early and staying in London. What are my options for getting to London from Heathrow, and then from London To Dover to get on board?? What sort of time frame also is involved??
The best place to get answers to these questions is on the British Isles forum, to which this thread may get moved anyway.

 

In brief, options for Heathrow to central London:-

  • Tube - but not necessarily easy with luggage depending on the station that you get out at (about 1 hour);
  • Coach - but you still need to transfer from Victoria to wherever you're going (about 45 minutes to Victoria);
  • Heathrow Express - but expensive, and you still have to get from Paddington to wherever you're going (about 15-25 minutes to Paddington);
  • Shared shuttle - but can be slow (about 1 to 1½ hours);
  • Private transfer - but can be expensive (about 1 to 1½ hours);
  • Taxi - but can be expensive (about 1 hour).

And much depends on where in central London you're going.

 

London to Dover:-

  • Train from Charing Cross or Victoria, plus short taxi trip to the dock (2 hours);
  • Coach from Victoria, plus short taxi trip to the dock (3 hours);
  • Private transfer (2 hours).

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We just booked the Liberty for mid august 2009. I've just started reading some of the threads as to costs of tours and different cities.

We are flying into Heathrow about 5 days early and staying in London. What are my options for getting to London from Heathrow, and then from London To Dover to get on board?? What sort of time frame also is involved??

 

To get from Heathrow to City Inn, we used Dot2Dot. They were located right next to United and we only had to wait 10 minutes. There were 8 of us in the van and there were three drop off points. Since this was the first time we were in London, it was the easiest for us.

 

We got braver after three days in London and took the train from London to Harwich which was really easy to do and very reasonable.

 

Booking our own hotel and transfers saved us 50% over what the cruise line was charging for the same hotel.

 

Having done it once, we'd do it again in a heartbeat.

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Thanks for the replies. We haven't booked a hotel just yet, as we are still exploring options.

One more questrion, there are just two of us, but we are both seniors, and will probably have quite a bit of luggage. What is the best, or easiest way to travel with luggage??> Are there any regulations on the trians, the tube, or the bus as to how much you can bring??> Is there anyone to help you with luggage, carts or porters at Heathrow to help you get to where you want to go??

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Thanks for the replies. We haven't booked a hotel just yet, as we are still exploring options.

One more questrion, there are just two of us, but we are both seniors, and will probably have quite a bit of luggage. What is the best, or easiest way to travel with luggage??> Are there any regulations on the trians, the tube, or the bus as to how much you can bring??> Is there anyone to help you with luggage, carts or porters at Heathrow to help you get to where you want to go??

There are free luggage carts by the luggage carousels in Heathrow.

Your easiest way with lots of luggage will be a taxi to the city or private transfers. For the trains and tube you have to carry your own luggage on and off by yourself. I think I remember reading they do limit the amount of luggage you can take with you on the bus, but we had less than the limits so I don't remember what they were.

 

The further out you book your hotel the cheaper it will be, especially for the summer months.

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Thanks for the replies. We haven't booked a hotel just yet, as we are still exploring options.

One more questrion, there are just two of us, but we are both seniors, and will probably have quite a bit of luggage. What is the best, or easiest way to travel with luggage??> Are there any regulations on the trians, the tube, or the bus as to how much you can bring??> Is there anyone to help you with luggage, carts or porters at Heathrow to help you get to where you want to go??

 

Firstly, may I extoll the virtues of packing light. Lots of luggage is evil! No, you don't need to pack 5 different coats and 14 pairs of pants! Go on a luggage diet, you'll thank me later!!!

*steps off soapbox*

There, sorry, but I had to do it. But of course you'll have some luggage. Personally, I think the easiest way to go from LHR to Central London, other that by cab or private transfer, is the Heathrow Express. It's a bit of a walk at the LHR end (but nothing compared to the walk to the Underground station!) however you can take your cart right up to just before the train platform, and when you arrive at Paddington they'll be lots of carts available - they're the kind where you need to put a coin in as a deposit, so make sure you get a 1 pound coin somewhere!

Of course, a lot depends on where you stay in London, and what your budget is. At 5 days, renting a flat becomes an interesting option, lots of hotels and B&Bs as well.

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Thanks for the replies. We haven't booked a hotel just yet, as we are still exploring options.

One more questrion, there are just two of us, but we are both seniors, and will probably have quite a bit of luggage. What is the best, or easiest way to travel with luggage??> Are there any regulations on the trians, the tube, or the bus as to how much you can bring??> Is there anyone to help you with luggage, carts or porters at Heathrow to help you get to where you want to go??

 

We just returned from our very first trip to Europe. We were on NCL and booked our air and hotel through them. Our transfers were included from Heathrow to London, and then from the hotel to Southampton. Now that we've been to London and understand the tube system, we might consider taking the tube into London. But...that overnight flight is a killer...I would much rather have someone drive me...and, yes, there's the issue of dragging the luggage around. We're not spring chickens and it's just easier to have someone else deal with the bags once we've collected them in baggage claim.

 

Might you be able to secure the transfers like we did...through the cruise line?

 

Just a thought...have a wonderful time! We loved London so much (although very expensive) that our next cruise was chosen because we get to fly in a few days precruise. We cannot wait to get back and see even more.

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A friend of ours told us about a hotel they stayed in, Norfolk Towers, I think it was. thye said it was a decent Hotel, right around Paddington Station and easy access to the Heathrow Express. We are looking into this ASAP.

 

One question for some of your who know London. We have enough points to stay at a Hotel right by Heathrow for basically nothing, for a couple of days. Is that an option???> How hard is it to get to London from Heathrow, cost wise and time wise, or would it just be better to pay what the going rate is and stay mid town???

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A friend of ours told us about a hotel they stayed in, Norfolk Towers, I think it was. thye said it was a decent Hotel, right around Paddington Station and easy access to the Heathrow Express. We are looking into this ASAP.

 

One question for some of your who know London. We have enough points to stay at a Hotel right by Heathrow for basically nothing, for a couple of days. Is that an option???> How hard is it to get to London from Heathrow, cost wise and time wise, or would it just be better to pay what the going rate is and stay mid town???

 

Well, the cheapskate in me would say go for the freebie. However, having done London both staying in the centre of town and on the outskirts, it's really nice to be close to everything and not have all that travelling time. Indeed, on our last trip, we made a concious decision to pay a bit more to stay near Paddington.

However, staying near LHR and travelling in is certainly doable. What hotel can you get the freebie at? Is it a chain that has a location closer in?

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A friend of ours told us about a hotel they stayed in, Norfolk Towers, I think it was. thye said it was a decent Hotel, right around Paddington Station and easy access to the Heathrow Express. We are looking into this ASAP.

 

One question for some of your who know London. We have enough points to stay at a Hotel right by Heathrow for basically nothing, for a couple of days. Is that an option???> How hard is it to get to London from Heathrow, cost wise and time wise, or would it just be better to pay what the going rate is and stay mid town???

Personally, I think that you would find the travelling was more hassle than it's worth. Unless you're staying at the Hilton or the Sofitel, you would find that the business of getting into town takes between 1½ and 2 hours in each direction. Just not worth it, if you are trying to sightsee in central London.

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Personally, I think that you would find the travelling was more hassle than it's worth. Unless you're staying at the Hilton or the Sofitel, you would find that the business of getting into town takes between 1½ and 2 hours in each direction. Just not worth it, if you are trying to sightsee in central London.

 

Actually from Heathrow to Earl's court is about 40 minutes using the Tube and maybe 15 to 20 mintes more to Westminster. But I agree, would not be worth it to me wasting all that time traveling back and forth when the time could be better spent seeing London.

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One more questrion, there are just two of us, but we are both seniors, and will probably have quite a bit of luggage. What is the best, or easiest way to travel with luggage??> Are there any regulations on the trians, the tube, or the bus as to how much you can bring??> Is there anyone to help you with luggage, carts or porters at Heathrow to help you get to where you want to go??

 

Depending on your fitness level, I am not sure how much you want to be dragging luggage around on the tube. If you do use the tube, be careful where you transfer - if needed - as you may end up with long walks in crowded spaces, stairs, or both.

 

I would recommend either a taxi or some kind of bus service to your hotel.

 

...One question for some of your who know London. We have enough points to stay at a Hotel right by Heathrow for basically nothing, for a couple of days. Is that an option???> How hard is it to get to London from Heathrow, cost wise and time wise, or would it just be better to pay what the going rate is and stay mid town???

 

Given your situation, I would just pay for a hotel in central london. Why:

 

1) Save travel time likely 2+ hours round trip from hotel to central london

2) Heathrow hotels aren't necessarily close to public transportation other than bus

3) Save wear and tear on the body

4) Possible to break up the day for heading back to your hotel for short breaks if you get tired.

...

 

Staying at Heathrow in my mind would be "penny wise but pound foolish."

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Thanks people for the great advice. I think we will book the hotel around Paddington now, and then we can see if other options come up. As I said before, we were looking into the Norfolk Towers. It seems to have gotten some pretty good reviews, and we can book it for about $85 a night for 4 nights.

Does anyone know anything about this hotel???

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Actually from Heathrow to Earl's court is about 40 minutes using the Tube and maybe 15 to 20 mintes more to Westminster.
That's just the Tube on its own.

 

If you stay at a Heathrow hotel, you have to allow the extra time that it takes to get from your hotel to the nearest Heathrow Tube station, and the same in reverse.

 

That's why it's 1½ to 2 hours in each direction.

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Thanks people for the great advice. I think we will book the hotel around Paddington now, and then we can see if other options come up. As I said before, we were looking into the Norfolk Towers. It seems to have gotten some pretty good reviews, and we can book it for about $85 a night for 4 nights.

Does anyone know anything about this hotel???

 

The Norfolk Towers is an OK budget hotel which has to be put within the context of the price you are paying.

Its position is fine, about 250 yards from Paddington Station. Its on the corner of Norfolk Square and Norfolk Place. Norfolk Place is a rat run where London buses amongst others thunder along, best try and get a room away from Norfolk Place. It must have been quite nice about 30 years ago, the prices they charge mean maintenance and reinvestment hace not really happened, so expect carpets that need replacing and a little bit of TLC required. Rickety old lift

Nipped in there a few months back to use their toilets and the staff seemed friendly enough and the toilets were clean.

The Royal Court Apartments are a similarly priced place of similar standard in Paddington. As you would expect, these are European sized rooms in quite old buildings.

 

Personally I would check out the Travelodge UK site if you are looking for bargain basement priced accommodation in Central London. Look at their web sites saver rates for your dates, if there is a Central London site (Euston, Kings Cross, City Road, Southwark, Tower Hill, Covent Garden or Liverpool Street) which has rooms on offer from 19-55 GBP - take it.

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That's just the Tube on its own.

 

If you stay at a Heathrow hotel, you have to allow the extra time that it takes to get from your hotel to the nearest Heathrow Tube station, and the same in reverse.

 

That's why it's 1½ to 2 hours in each direction.

 

OK. that makes sense.

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If you are staying at Heathrow and want to visit London, there are 4 Heathrow hotels that have Underground/Rail Stations next to or very near. Hilton Hotel at T4, Sofitel at T5, Jurys Inn at Hatton Cross and the St Giles at Feltham.

 

The Hilton & Sofitel are very expensive, but the Jurys Inn is reasonable and a very nice hotel only built in the last 5 years. At weekends especially, rates at the Jury's Inn come down to about 50 GBP ($80) a room and sometimes include breakfast.

From Hatton Cross Underground you should be at any Central London sight in about an hour or less.

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I checked out that Travelodge site and it does look pretty interesting. I see there are qwuite a few Travelodge Hotels in the center of London, all within a couple of miles of each other, but the price varies tremendously. Several have a 29Pound price tag for the days I want to stay and others have over 60-80pounds. Why the difference??. How are the hotels??. I have stayed in Travelodges in the US and I know they are just basic rooms and that is what we are looking for. Is one location preferable to another??. I do appreciate the link to that site???

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I checked out that Travelodge site and it does look pretty interesting. I see there are qwuite a few Travelodge Hotels in the center of London, all within a couple of miles of each other, but the price varies tremendously. Several have a 29Pound price tag for the days I want to stay and others have over 60-80pounds. Why the difference??. How are the hotels??. I have stayed in Travelodges in the US and I know they are just basic rooms and that is what we are looking for. Is one location preferable to another??. I do appreciate the link to that site???

 

In terms of location the jewel in the crown of Travelodge London is the Covent Garden/Holborn site (its two separate hotels) - its very, very central - but availability of the cheap rates is very rare.

All the others are on the periphery on the central area, but with London's public transport you'll be at any sight in London in 15/20 minutes. The advertised room rate is about 80-100 GBP depending on hotel at Travelodge. The saver rates of between 19 and 55 GBP are limited availability, when they're gone they're gone. They sometimes make new tranches of saver rates available but they soon sell out.

The best hotels are probably the new hotels opened in the last year, Euston, Southwark and City Road. The ones at Kings Cross are older properties but fine, these usually have most availability of the cheap rates.

If you are on a budget the saver rates are by far and away THE accommodation bargain in London. Rooms are simple but comfortable and sound similar to the ones in the US. They provide a kettle with coffee/tea in the room but not complementary shampoo's etc. Showers are normally very good and powerful.

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