I am arriving on Qantas at London Heathrow on a Saturday morning about 7AM from Australia in May. I have a flight to Paris that same evening from Heathrow on BA at 18:55.
I really don't want to stay in the airport for that length of time, and I doubt BA will let me check in my luggage 10-11 hours in advance.
I'm just wondering if anyone has any ideas about A) where I can dump my small amount of luggage for the day(if at all).
and B) Once that is done, what the best way to spend the day in London would be?
any pointers would be greatly welcomed!
There is definitely left luggage departments at the major stations, so you could get a train from Heathrow to Paddington station, leave you bags there - it probably will cost around £5-10 for the day, but you can check the costs online.
After that "the worlds your lobster" as they say!! - you can get the tube or a bus to any of London's sights (get a tube map online and when you get to the station, check if any routes are closed / running slow. Bus may be more fun as you can sight-see from the bus).
Allow plenty of time to get between places though as travel can be slow. Plan in advance your routes - sometimes its easy to walk but dont underestimate distances.. There are good travel planners (London Transport), again online. It might be best to limit yourself to one or two things as you need to get back to Paddington / Heathrow too to check in for a few hours before the flight.
How about heading to Trafalgar Square, visiting the National Gallery (but don't try to see everything!), taking the obligatory photos with Nelson's Column, having coffee, then wandering down the Mall (the Institue for Contemporary Art is there too)
Or go the other direction from Trafalgar and look around the shops around Covent Garden and Neal's Yard. Theres a nice Italian restaurant called Pollo on Old Compton Street which is cheap and very good.
Or walk towards Piccadilly Circus and then find Fortnum and Mason and visit their very posh cafe - look around the shop with its butler style shop assistants - quitessential Englishness....Behind there is Jermyn Street with all the old fashioned Tailors and hand made shoe shops - check out the shoppers too!
You could also walk down to the Thames and watch the life go by from one of the many bridges or get a boat tour.......Head for the Festival Hall / National Theatre / Hayward Gallery etc where there are cafes and often book stalls...
London is great if you chose and plan carefully! - and avoid Oxford Street which is just big stores you already know and very busy on saturdays
First thing is to check your main luggage through to Paris, that is what will normally happen, then you just have your in flight cabin baggage to take with you. Next check that you will be allowed to leave the transit lounge to go into London.
From there you can follow the advice you have had.
With the limited time you have I would suggest you look at this web site http://www.bigbustours.com
this is open top bus tours round most of the tourist points, it is a hop-on - hop-off service, you buy just one all day ticket, that way you can get round a lot of London tourist sights in a short time, if you are interested in anyone place you can hop off, go visit catch the next bus and continue your tour.
If there is anything more you think I can help with please do get back to me, I'll be happy to help.
Enjoy the visit.