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Places to Stay/Things to Do Near Stansted Airport

Monterey, California
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Places to Stay/Things to Do Near Stansted Airport

My husband and I will be traveling through Stansted Airport in January on our way to a flight back to the U.S. (through Heathrow). We will be arriving on a Friday night and will have Saturday to explore the Stansted area. We chose to come through the Stansted Airport so that we could see a bit of England beyond just London.

I would greatly appreciate ideas of things to do in the Stansted area as well as any lodging recommendations. A small B&B or another economically priced hotel would be our preference.

Also, our flight leaves at 11am out of Heathrow on Sunday. Would it be better to take the coach from Stansted to Heathrow the night before and stay in a nearby hotel or is the line reliable enough that we could go in Sunday morning (of course, the weather may be a factor in that decision, too).

Thank you, in advance, for your help!

UK
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1. Re: Places to Stay/Things to Do Near Stansted Airport

I'm not sure your idea is a good one.

Without a car you can't explore anywhere near stansted, even with one you have the issue of what to do with your luggage on the Saturday given it makes a lot of sense to go to Heathrow the night before so you will be checking out sat am.

My advice is to go to London Fri night and then take a train somewhere on the Saturday.

You could visit bath or Windsor or oxford or Brighton the list goes on. Or if weather like it is now you aren't stranded.

Plus if there are weather issues you should still be ok to get to Heathrow the next morning its not much longer from the centre of London than some of the airport hotels.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Places to Stay/Things to Do Near Stansted Airport

This forum will often have you believe Stansted is in the "middle of nowhere". It's not, of course; it's in a country area about 30 miles from central London, and is surrounded by some really quite lovely countryside, particularly to the North East and North West of the airport where there is a whole string of lovely pretty villages and small towns - many of them offering a greater concentration of mediaeval timber framed buildings than you'll find anywhere - in gently rolling countryside. Finchingfield, Thaxted, Steeple Bumpstead etc

The two towns closest to the airport - Bishop's Stortford and Great Dunmow - are nice enough if rather unexciting market towns - but a short distance away to the North are Saffron Walden, which is a very well preserved mediaeval market town, a lovely place with lots of thriving individual shops, an impressive stately home (Audley End House) and a unique tudor turf maze. And just beyond Saffron Walden is of course the world-famous university city of Cambridge.

The problem I can see with your plan is not the idea of it, just the time of year. If it's countryside you want, you couldn't really pick a worse month than January when everything is likely to be grey, brown and cold. On the off-chance it's snowy it might look pretty, but travel in this rural area off the main highways will be a pain. Also the timing of your flight on Sunday means that realistically you'd want to be near the airport (or at least in London) on Saturday night as you'll need to be at LHR not long after 8am. Travel time from somewhere like Cambridge to LHR is at least 2-2.5 hours so if you're staying up there it's a very early start

3. Re: Places to Stay/Things to Do Near Stansted Airport

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Essex
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4. Re: Places to Stay/Things to Do Near Stansted Airport

Hello CAHeadHunter.

Pintpot has definitley given you the 'lowdown' and for the time of year too.

I can't add much to what he has told you, but considering your 'circumstances' a visit to Cambridge for the day you have available, is the best-bet for sure.

I DO think that with an 11am Heathrow flight, you would be well assured to be there in 'loadsatime'. There are 'Stansted to Heathrow' buses, run by NationalExpress, but you would need to check their schedule fits yours. Especially with enough time to check into your onward flight and get through security etc, etc:

londontoolkit.com/travel/heathrow_stansted_t…

5. Re: Places to Stay/Things to Do Near Stansted Airport

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Removed on: 24 October 2012, 03:15