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HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

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HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

I've read other posts advising in-transit visitors to stay put at the airport for a layover of 6 hrs. My husband and I will be transiting in our way back to the US and as I have never been to London I would love to see some sights for as short as it might be. To get to Big Ben/Westminster Abby/Buckingham Palace (any or all) is it better to hire a car service (if so, which one) or board the HEX? Even if I only have enough time to take a few pictures, seeing the sights with my own eyes will make it worthy.

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12 replies to this topic
Watford, United...
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1. Re: HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

Six hours is the bare minimum we recommend. Please read this article and if you still feel you want to risk things then post again with as much information as possible especially as regards ticketing/luggage so we can help you further - https:/…Between.Flights.At.Heathrow.html

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

Getting to any of the sights in London will take an hour each way whatever method of transportation you use. Add to that the time to get off the plane and through immigration/customs any travel between terminals you need to do and the time you need to be back before your next flight and you may get to see an underground train or the M4 motorway and that will be all.

London
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3. Re: HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

HEx is very expensive and takes you to Paddington - which is not especially handy for the sights you want to see.

Whether the Piccadilly line (easily the cheapest option) or a car service will be fastest will depend on day/time you will be travelling. In weekday rush hours, the tube (while busy) will give a more reliable journey time than road transport.

London, United...
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4. Re: HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

Personally I wouldn't do it but if you're less risk averse than I am, take the underground to Westminster (one change) and as you come out of the station you'll be a short walk from the Thames, Houses of Parliament, Downing St etc.

Manchester, United...
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5. Re: HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

Or taxi from LHR to lovely Windsor with its castle, and same back. A shorter and less risky sidetrip.

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6. Re: HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

Thank you for the article. We'll be arriving on a Sunday morning at 10am in early Nov. We'd only be carrying a handbag out of LHR. (Luggage checked-in all the way). Why would it take an hr into the city regardless of transportation mode? Doesn't the HEX alleviate the traffic problem? I'm really wanting to step out and see anything I can see as I have never been. Even if it's not the most common attractions. We're willing to overpay a little (as in the HEX- not a limo) just for a chance to see something.

Edited: 19 October 2017, 23:43
Warwickshire...
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7. Re: HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

HEX takes you o a station that is not convenient for the sights tourists typically want to see (the very sights you have mentioned). If you use HEX you will have to take a tube to Westminster from Paddington. In addition, the HEX service runs less frequently than the tube so if you miss the HEX and have to wait for the next you are losing more time (which with your schedule you do not have). The Piccadilly line tube from Heathrow with a change at Hammersmith (you just walk across the platform) onto the District Line for Westminster is a much better option for what you want. A car service on a Sunday will probably take the same time as the tube as the traffic will be lighter.

Queensland
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8. Re: HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

Some things regarding the Heathow Express that you aren't considering:

- HEX only leaves Heathrow 4 times an hour. So if you miss one train, you have to wait 10-15 mins for the next. The tube runs every few minutes.

- Have a look on a map to see where the HEX stops in London and then see where sites/attractions are based on that. You will soon find that there is nothing really in the near vicinity. You will need to take the tube elsewhere to see "Big Ben/Westminster Abby/Buckingham Palace (any or all)".

So even though the express train *might* take 15 minutes to get from Heathrow to Paddington, if you add up the time waiting for the train at Heathrow and then making a connection plus onward travel time at Paddington, you have lost any gains you think you made by taking the express.

Heed the warnings/information/advice given to you by locals and fellow travelers.

London, United...
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9. Re: HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

You say 6 hours, can you let us know your actual landing and take off times please. Where are you flying in to London from?

You will need to allow an hour for immigration and getting to the underground station then an hour travelling time each way to/from London.

Usual advice is you need to be back at the airport to get through security at least 2 hours before departure time.

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: HEX or car service to London for 6 hr layover?

This is a better traveler article covering central London on a layover as (a) it's dedicated to central London and (b) it directly answers the Heathrow Express issue (why the HEX is bad value apart from a backup on the return if the tube goes "belly up").

https:/…Heathrow.Layover.Central.London.html

With a 6 hour layover (subtract 5 hours) you'll have just one usable hour in central London. If you follow the advice in the article and take the tube to Westminster you'll see Big Ben (covered in scaffold for a renovation), the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey right there. A 10 minute walk will get you to Buckingham Palace. That's it (all you have time for). Walk to Victoria station and take the tube back, District line train posted as Richmond or Ealing Broadway, change at Hammersmith for a Heathrow train (for T4 take the "T4&123", for T2/3/5 take "T123&5").

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