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12 hour London Layover

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1. Posted by EaLaSpada (Budding Member 79 posts) 7y

EaLaSpada has indicated that this thread is about United Kingdom

Hi All!

A friend and I have a 12 hour London layover (during the day) on our way to India (Heathrow). What can we reasonably do without spending a lot of money and safely making our connecting flight? No need to hit anything spectacular--we're spending time in London on the way back. We'd just like to relax in the city for a few hours instead of the airport. Any advice about logistics?

Thanks for any advice!

2. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

Get a travelcard at Heathrow Underground. They're around £7.20 (€9.00) for a day. On and off as many trains and red buses as you want. Westminster, Buckingham Palace, The Thames, Whitehall, Covent Garden, Harrods, the museums, they're all their for you and one ticket each will do the lot. A cheeky little thing that you can do too, I've done it, is to sell your ticket back at LHR to an ongoing traveller. It's illegal, but so many people do it and you might get nearly half your maney back if there are 2-3 hours left on the ticket. There should be quite awhile left, as you're ahrdly going to get back to the airport 1/2 an hour before your onward flight leaves, are you?
Have a great day.

3. Posted by janesgarde (Budding Member 40 posts) 7y

Hi There
The Heathrow Express takes 15 minutes to get into Paddington Station, but it is about £15.00 each way.

Then it really depends what you like to see.
Maybe start at Big Ben (Westminster Underground Station ) walk up to Traflagar Square and then to Leicester Square Covent Garden - taking in Chinatown on the way.
Then maybe a bus or tube (underground ) to St Pauls Cathedral and then walk south to the Millenium Bridge and across to the Tate Modern, the South Bank of the Thames has lots to see, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is very close by, and THe Golden Hind.

You will be exhausted and will probably have run out of time hours ago. Have a look on a mapping website to get an idea of distances. You can't walk fast 'cos of the traffic and crowds. Print off the underground map and a map of central london.


4. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

Quoting janesgarde

Hi There
The Heathrow Express takes 15 minutes to get into Paddington Station, but it is about £15.00 each way.

The restriction you have with the H. Express is, it only allows you to get to Paddington. No stops on the way and its twice as much as a travelcard - one way!!!! Get the travelcard and enjoy London much more with the few hours you have to spare.

5. Posted by EaLaSpada (Budding Member 79 posts) 7y

Thanks for the tips! That travelcard idea is especially good.

6. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 7y

Quoting BedouinLeo

Get a travelcard at Heathrow Underground. They're around £7.20 (€9.00) for a day.

Cost depends on day & time. £7.20 (£5.60 off-peak) is the cost for a Zone 1-2 travelcard.

If intending on travelling before 9.30am Monday-Friday then a Zone 1-6 travelcard (Heathrow is zone 6) is £14.80, if the first journey is after that on Monday-Friday or it's a Saturday or Sunday then the cost is £7.50.

The tube from Heathrow to central London will take a good hour or more (especially with connections this could become 1½ hours) depending exactly where in central London.

7. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 7y

I'd take in Soho for a cheap meal - Piccadilly Circus is probably the easiest and a nice place to 'surface'.
And I've mentioned it before - the river bus, though I'm not sure if a Travelcard covers it. Never tried it.

edit: At the risk of stating the obvious, keep your money/paperwork safe. There are pickpockets.

[ Edit: Edited on 11-Nov-2009, at 04:49 by fabyomama ]

8. Posted by CanD (Budding Member 13 posts) 7y

As you are visiting London on your way back I would sugest that you don't try to do that much in those 12 hours, find a couple of nice places to eat and sit. Save the sightseeing for the way home.
There are plenty of pubs and restaurants everywhere, around the south bank has lots to offer as well as some of the best views.

For your way back, I would sugest that you head up to Alexandra Palace, as you can see across over the whole city from there.

9. Posted by EaLaSpada (Budding Member 79 posts) 7y

Exactly, CanD. My friend and I aren't really looking to sightsee during the layover, just to unwind a little outside of the airport. Thanks for the location suggestions from both you and fabyomama. I was mainly was looking for logistical help, like how long it takes to get out of the airport and into the city and back, which everyone has helped with. A big thanks to all of you!

Can anyone tell me how cold London gets in late November and mid December? This Florida girl has only been there during the warmer months! ;)

10. Posted by EaLaSpada (Budding Member 79 posts) 7y

Oh, and great link, mojorob! Thanks!