...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!
Don't know exact temperatures, but layers are best - I'd suggest a fleece and a coat if you have them, on top of whatever you're wearing.
The climate may have other ideas though.
Coming from Florida and going to India I guess you won't have much cold-weather clothes. I would wear 2 long-sleeved t-shirts and a normal t-shirt in combination with a wind-and-rain-proof jacket and a thin fleece if you got it. Shoes should be waterproof sneakers with wool socks. Combine with jeans and maybe a pantyhose under the jeans. I know that in florida only prostitutes wear pantyhoses, but they are relatively cheap and lightweight. They add an extra layer of warmth under your jeans that is not uncomfortable when you are indoors. Take an umbrella too.
You can expect temps to be around 40 F, but because London weather is generally wet it will feel colder to you. (It is just like dry heat and humid heat - humid heat feels much hotter. Wet and cold weather chills you to the bones, much more than dry and cold weather can do.)
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.
No need for any connections into Central London as suggested on the Underground. The trains are direct and take 40 minutes, not an hour.
Off peak travelcards have been reduced to £7, not £7.20 or £7.50 as stated. The reason the price has gone down is because of the low inflation rate in the UK. British Train fares are linked to the inflation rate.
Chances are, the prices will go down again in January.
It takes about an hour to get from Heathrow to Covent garden (centre) on the tube, as you are not in a rush I would get the travel card and take the tube rather than the heathrow express which is expensive.
Also for your travel use- http://www.tfl.gov.uk/ -you can type in any place in London and it tells you how to get there (as in what transport and maps) and tells you how up to long it could take.
Not sure how cold in actual degrees, but you will want to wrap up warm- however it is unlikely to snow or anything during Nov/Dec.
Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Covent Garden are all within a few minutes walk of each other, though not enough for a whole day unless you go and see a film or something. An alternative, especially if it's raining, is the Natural History Museum in South Kensington - still on the Piccadilly line from Heathrow. Sounds a bit dull, but it's an amazing building, has great shows - and it's free. They've even set up an open air ice rink. I plan to go and have a look at the Darwin exhibition when I get time. But if that ain't your thing ... there's the big 'Apple' store at the top of Regents Street across the road from Soho. Warm and dry and plenty to play with. Can book a free workshop too. Just a thought.
edit: Be nice to know what you do end up doing ... if you get the time that is.
[ Edit: Edited on 12-Nov-2009, at 04:12 by fabyomama ]
How about staying in West London and avoiding going into the centre at all? Go to Kew Gardens, and then genteel Richmond for drinks/eating/looking at the river? It'd be a cheaper travelcard, and you'd avoid the madness of Central London. 45 mins from Heathrow to Kew.
Wow! You guys are great!
fabyomama--thanks for the Natural History Museum tip. My friend and I both work in environmental conservation and we'd love to see the Darwin exhibit.
t_maia--You put a lot of thought into this! Thanks! That helps. Just so you know, in Florida, panty hose is more often worn by those corporate businesswomen types than prostitutes. The prostitutes know better.
BedouinLeo and CanD--great info. Thanks again.
magykal1-- I have to say, this is my favorite idea so far. You've never let me down with good advice on all my trips to the UK!
If anyone's in London Dec 8-10 and feels like having a drink, let me know!
[ Edit: Edited on 16-Nov-2009, at 10:10 by EaLaSpada ]
I just returned from India last night - live in Richmond and would also suggest there as a place for a short stopover.
There are buses from Terminal 4 to Richmond - takes about 45 mins - or you can take bus to Feltham and get rail link to Richmond.
If you go on vouchercodes.co.uk - you will find lots of 2 for 1 or half price offers for restaurants in Richmond - Tootsies usually does one and is overlooking the River. - Lovely to walk along the river from there up to Kew Gardens, but depends on the weather.
I may be able to meet you that day and would happily take you for a drive around Richmond Park - http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond_park/ - can let you know nearer the time.
Thanks, Starbright! We're actually having our layover this Saturday (the 21st). We're coming back through London Dec. 8-10th. We'd love to hear your stories of India--it's our first time, too!
I agree with the West London idea wholeheartedly. The last thing you want to do between 2 long flights and Heathrow (which in itself is a very hectic place) is to tire yourself utterly. I'd suggest a little conbination of the few ideas here-
Buy a pay-as-you-go Oyster card. You have to pay a deposit of £3 which you do get back once you return it- just keep it till you come back and you won't have to queue again at Heathrow Underground, where the queues are often massive, but instead you can just top up in one of the machines.
Take a Piccadilly line train to Hammersmith, get off and walk along the waterfront. Nip into one of the pubs for a traditional lunch and a pint or two. Wander along Turnham Green High Road, which is full of nice coffee shops, restaurants and shops. Get on the tube in Turnham Green or hop into a bus towards Kew Gardens. Finish the day in Richmond Park. Get on to the District line and change in Hammersmith again for the Piccadilly line for Heathrow.
You'll get to see a nice little section of London most tourists don't bother with, and the pubs along the Thames are cute and have a nice ambiance. Also the tube will be cheaper, and you won't need to cram too much into the single day. Just remember that the security check lines in Heathrow are often long and there are delays on the tube- don't leave getting back to the last minute. Have fun!