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Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

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Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

We’ll be staying near St. Pancras, but will rent a car for 4 days to see a little countryside. To avoid the London traffic and a near death experience of driving on the other side, in heavy traffic, right out of the gate we thought it may be worth the tube travel to Heathrow to grab a car there instead of renting one at the train station. We are traveling out of London after dropping it back off, by Eurostar so the train station idea is really easy sounding, except the traffic sounds frightening. (This coming from a former paramedic in Los Angeles.)

So is it worth the St. Pancras to Heathrow- pick up the car- drive around-drop the car back-Heathrow to St. Pancras juggling to avoid the London traffic?

Thank you for any kind of advice. We leave in early November.

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1. Re: Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

Where are you thinking of travelling to when you pick up your hire car? London is surrounded by countryside so knowing where you want to visit will help us to advise you better as some places are better not having a car.

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2. Re: Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

What countryside do you want to see? Neither picking up nor dropping off the car in central London is advisable, but there are many towns in England for which a car is a hindrance also, such as Bath, Oxford, Cambridge, York. Also, there is countryside in every direction out of London (some involving further distances), so it depends what you had in mind. There may be places other than Heathrow to head for to pick up a car, if Heathrow isn't in the westerly direction you want. Even if going to the rightly popular Cotswolds, you want to go NW rather than W.

So say if you have anything particular in mind, and we can advise better. You might end up with a mix of suggestions, like a train to Oxford, pick up a car as you leave for the Cotswolds and then drive it back to Heathrow for when you fly out.

Edited: 22 October 2017, 18:42
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3. Re: Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

<<rent a car for 4 days to see a little countryside>> please give us an outline of where you plan to be driving. There could be better options than either Heathrow or St Pancras.

What time is your Eurostar train departure, and where do you plan to visit on your final day in the countryside ?

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4. Re: Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

Sorry, you are leaving by Eurostar, but even so, depending on where you are coing from and when, you may not need to drive to Kings X.

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5. Re: Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

Thank you to all for your replies! We would like to see Stonehenge, Liverpool, those are the only necessities. Funny to say that, actually. My husband’s first trip, not mine though. Since we have such a limited time we thought we’d drive and stay where we landed that night except for Liverpool where we have a hotel for the night on the third night of driving. Would love to see Windsor if easily done, and we’re open to suggestions of course for an itinerary. Finding one for an entire island in four days doesn’t do it justice.

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6. Re: Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

Four days isn’t much. It might be a better use of your time to take the train to Liverpool. Pick up a car after you’ve explored.

That said. Liverpool and Stonehenge are not close, and the drive between the two requires you to navigate the permanently congested Birmingham conurbation. Not a fun drive, just lots of traffic and congestion.

Which is more important? Liverpool or Stonehenge? I’d suggest choose one and concentrate your time around the one that’s more important, and explore that more deeply.

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7. Re: Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

Take the train to Salisbury, use the tour Bus www.thestonehengetour.com to see Stonehenge. Spend the night in Salisbury

Day 2 collect hire car in Salisbury drive to Liverpool, allow 5 hours, spend night (or even 2) in Liverpool.

Drive to Oxford, spend night with accommodation offering parking (parking v important).

Drive to Windsor, visit, drive to Heathrow car rental depot PM, get their shuttle into Airport, take tube to St Pancras/kings cross, spend night, get on Eurostar

Edited: 22 October 2017, 19:55
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8. Re: Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

Maybe it’s best if I give what I know so far of the schedule. You all seem very knowledgeable. We leave our hotel in London on Friday. We have the train back to Paris on Tuesday late afternoon. The only thing definitely planned is check into hotel and tour on Sunday in Liverpool at noon.

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9. Re: Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

So you are not going anywhere near Heathrow except to possibly pick up a hire car.

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10. Re: Car hire Heathrow or St. Pancras?

Have you booked Eurostar tickets yet? If you will be on Liverpool on Sunday and want to get to Paris on Tuesday, flying from Manchester is a more obvious solution than going to London to get the Eurostar.

I think you should consider how much of a priority Stonehenge is because it's complicating this a lot. Otherwise you could take a train north on Friday, hire a car from wherever you choose to hit some countryside, get to Liverpool on Sunday, lose the car, fly to Paris on Tuesday. That would see a lot more than driving all the way up and all the way back to London, via starting in the wrong direction to go to Stonehenge.

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