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Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

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L.A. CA
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Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

Hello, I am hoping Jenner will give me his expert opinion on how to get from London Heathrow Airport to Plymouth. My husband and I (seniors) are planning a visit to Plymouth next year before touring the South West. Flights from California usually arrive at Heathrow between 1:30 - 3pm and having already done research on the National Rail website, see that the best way seems to be the bus to Reading and then the train to Plymouth. But, I cannot find where the actual bus stop is at Heathrow. We need to know if anyone has done this trip and can tell us how to get from the International Terminal to the bus stop, then to the train station at Reading, lugging four suitcases! Thank you.

Cotswolds
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21. Re: Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

There's usually a buffet car in roughly the middle of the train. Hot and cold snacks, drinks, etc

A few trains have a restaurant section as well (the 1803 and 1903) which gives priority to first class travellers.

L.A. CA
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22. Re: Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

Thank you. Now, would you believe - my husband has a question!! Is it worth the extra cost to go First Class? For me it would have to be bigger seats, free champagne and a massage!! :-)

UK
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23. Re: Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

<<We should be landing at 14:15 pm so I think we could be at Paddington to get the 17.03 train to Plymouth (unless someone thinks the 18.03 would be safer?)>>

Well the 1803 would obviously be safer but unless things are really bad you should be OK for the 1703. Land at 1415 and you should be through by 1515 so you could easily be at Paddington for 1600. So, aiming for the 1703 gives you a good hours buffer which I think is prudent.

Braunton, United...
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24. Re: Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

You do get bigger seats in the first class carriage but that is about it. I paid an upgrade coming down to Cornwall from Paddington once and it was nice but if you find the difference is price is huge it really isn't worth it. I think (not sure as it was a long time ago) that there is free tea or coffee but that really is it. Only other thing is that the first class carriages are the ones nearest to the entrance to the platform so you don't have to lug your bags so far.

UK
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25. Re: Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

On a Friday evening it will be very busy in standard class and much less frenetic in 1st so it might be worth the money on that count (especiallya s its sucha long trip), but depends what the cost actually is, sometimes 1st class is just outrageous.

Braunton, United...
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26. Re: Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

Yes, it's really worth looking closely at the price. Sometimes, first class can be really close in price to second class, it depends on how booked out the second class tickets are. If that's the case, go for it.

L.A. CA
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27. Re: Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

Well, after all the super information I have received from you all, I think we've finally got a plan of action for our visit to the UK and my home town of Plymouth (45 years ago) Our flight is scheduled to arrive at LHR on a Friday at 14:15. (we would have booked an earlier flight but we found this one with our airmileage, so we had no choice) We then buy HEX tickets for the train journey to Paddington and, hopefully, get the 17.03 train from Paddington to Plymouth. After the 20 hours of travelling, we will need a stiff drink and a soft bed!! We can purchase the FGW tickets three months prior to our visit. I am not able to get the exact cost for the fares yet, but I did try putting in a few Friday afternoons in Aug and Sept and the range of prices (from Advance standard to Anytime first class) was quite staggering!!

Now, unless the "Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men" comes true - we will have a smooth journey.

Thank you again.

Cardiff, United...
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28. Re: Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

Hello Oldebrit.

If you tell me the dates you are travelling I can check this info for you & confirm if the price is best you can get, or other guidance.

Regarding the catering - there will some sort onboard. It is most likely a buffet carraige, but I believe 1st Great Western Trains are putting some trolleys instead, but think this will be later in the year. When you book there are options to request the type of seats you want. They cannot be guaranteed but will try to allocate nearest to your wishes. Look at website & link to "Travelling With Us" for much useful info on the service. Also "Destinations" may give you some ideas for places to visit.

I still suggest Heathrow -Paddington - Plymouth. May cost a wee bit more, but think worth it. My parents used it for first time - exactly same route (they used to go on coach via Reading) say it is a very efficent service. Wouldn't go any other way now.

On a day to day basis the train service is excellent. Occassionally things do go wrong & services get disrupted - onboard staff use discretion on tickets with restrictions where delay is not passenger fault.

I travel frequently on trains (as I work on them) & find very good overall. Relax & enjoy your trip.

Let me know if any other questions

Cardiff, United...
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29. Re: Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

By the way. 1st class can often be busy with business passenger who leave London frm approx 4-6pm. Wouldn't think its worth it. However with credit crunch maybe fewer business travellers now.

Maybe more legroom & few bits food & drink but naaahh. If they had free massage I may consider it myself. Only suggest if people need much more space to do work on laptop etc.

As train gets further from London trains always tend to empty anyway & plenty seats become free.

L.A. CA
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30. Re: Heathrow Airport to Plymouth?

Thank you Jenner. You will probably laugh if I told you we have another 8 months before our trip to Plymouth - I'm such an organiser :-) I really like to weigh all options before making final arrangements (and spending our hard earned dollars) So now, with all your help and information, I am able to check the trains, times and seats very easily when the time comes to book. I also see that you can choose a "quiet carriage" and front facing seats in Standard. This will do us nicely. Oh, and as for "places to visit" I have it all planned out - to show my husband some of my childhood memories.

Thanks again everyone.