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Transportation from Heathrow

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California
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Transportation from Heathrow

Greetings Cherished Advisors

We arrive Heathrow at 6:35am May 13 on American Airlines from the States. I have no idea what terminal we arrive in. We have reservations for 2 nights at the Hilton on Park Lane (got a good deal on priceline but wonder whether it really was a good choice). Saturday we need to make our way back to Heathrow to pick up a rental car before heading to Bath and the beginning of our journey of 2 weeks then back to London for a couple of days before going home.

So my questions are-

What is the best way to get to the hotel, 2 adults 2 medium sized bags, 1 small. Please be detailed, have to admit we get lost/confused easily. Open to most any form of transportation, whichever is easiest and most direct.

Do we need to purchase a travel card/oyster card......? I have read many posts about these cards and still do not really understand what they are, how to get or use them or why you need them. I think many tourist are having the same problem and hope it's one of those things that's obvious when you actually get there and have to use it.

Is the hotel situated conveniently to get around and do a bit of sightseeing before we take off again? Is it an ok hotel, did I make a horrible choice?

I know there will be showers and such at the terminal we can use, since we are getting in so early and may not be able to check in and freshen up is that a good option or do most larger hotels let you check in early?

I have read many post about Kew Gardens and would love to see it. Just saw some photos taken last week with so many plants flowering. Do you think they will still be in bloom?

Thank you for your time.

Beazor

London
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1. Re: Transportation from Heathrow

Just to let you know that you will arrive in Terminal 3 and there are no shower facilities at Heathrow unless to go to Terminal 4 or Terminal 5 to one of the airport hotels.

Best way to find out if the hotel will let you check-in early is to ask them. Most will, depending on availability.

I will the the others advise you on the best way to get to your hotel as I personally would just arrange a car to collect me.

The Hilton on Park Lane is fine and the HO HO tourist buses have stops further up Park Lane.

Stanley, Falkland...
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2. Re: Transportation from Heathrow

Hi,

It's late at night here, and I'm a bit tired, so I won't repeat the many many posts already on here telling you how to get from Heathrow to your hotel.

Easiest and most direct is a pre-booked car service.

As for blooms, of course there will be flowers in bloom - it's Spring! Another EXCELLENT place will be Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park (azaleas and rhododendrons), which is about 2 miles from Kew gardens, and probably one of the best parks anywhere. It has stunning views over London, and the The River Thames, and has about 900 deer. And Richmond is a very pleasant place to spend some time.

Worksop, United...
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for Orlando, Walt Disney World, Kissimmee
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3. Re: Transportation from Heathrow

About travelcards etc:

Individual cash fares on London's public transport are disproportionately high. If you will use regular buses (that does NOT include the sightseeing Hop On Hop Off services) and/or tube (underground) trains and/or regular trains in the immediate area then you need to consider using some type of pre-paid ticket or pass. These are your choices:

1: Travelcard. For your circumstances, you'll need a one-day paper (card) travelcard for each day you want to use transport. London is divided into radial zones; the more zones you want to enter into, the more expensive the ticket you need to buy. For example, Kew Gardens is in Zone 4 and your hotel in Zone 1. So you'd need a Zone 1-4 ticket for this day. Off-peak travelcards (substantially cheaper than all day cards) are valid for unlimited use of services after 0930 (all day at weekends).

You can buy a travelcard at an Underground (tube) station or at any train station. They are the same price (for any given validity). There is an advantage in buying from a train station; these tickets can be used to gain 2 for 1 admission at certain London attractions. Those bought at Underground stations cannot.

2: Oyster: Oyster is a "Smart Card" that you buy and pre-load with value. The easiest way to use Oyster in your circumstances is "Pay As You Go" (although other schemes are in place). With Pay As You Go, each time you travel, you place the card near a sensor ("touch") and the fare for the journey is deducted from the value remaining. On buses you "touch" on entry. On tubes and trains you must "touch" on BOTH entry AND exit. Fares charged are substantially lower than cash fares. And the system is programmed with a daily cap which is slightly less than the cost of a travelcard valid for the journeys you have made.

For example, within zones 1 and 2, a one-way tube trip costs £4 cash, but only £1.80 using Oyster. The off-peak price cap for zones 1 & 2 is £5.60. So, on any one day, your first trip costs £1.80; your second £1.80 (= £3.60); your third £1.80 (=£5.40); your fourth trip on the same day then costs 20p (= £5.60) and any subsequent trips within zones 1 & 2 are effectively free of further charge. If you go into zone 3 or 4 by tube or train, the cap goes up to £6.30. And the zone 5/6 cap is £7.50. It's all automatic, depending on what actual travelling you do. Next day, it starts over.

You can see, then, that Oyster works well because it's cheaper than the alternatives and you don't have to plan your day in advance in order to decide which ticket to buy, because you never pay more than the cap applicable to the travelling you do.

However, Oyster can't be used to obtain any 2 for 1 discount irrespective of where you buy it. So, clearly, if you do intend to visit the relevant attractions, a paper/card ticket bought at a train station will be an advantage.

Oyster cards are effectively "free" - you only pay for the value you add. But they are issued with an initial £3 "deposit" the purpose of which is to allow you to "overdraw" if your stored value is used up. So a card with an initial value of £20 actually costs £23 to buy. However, all unused credit and the deposit are refundable when you have finished with the card.

Oyster cards are sold at Tube stations. And if you use all the stored value, you can add further value, again, at tube stations.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk has details of all London's transport; there are fare tables, system maps and details of the zones.

nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/promotions/tw… has details of the attractions offering the 2 for 1 discount with tickets issued by National Rail stations.

celsius888
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4. Re: Transportation from Heathrow

scan60, that is amazingly detailed information and very helpful, thank you very much.

California
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5. Re: Transportation from Heathrow

Thank you for your responses

I stand correct, AA Admirals Club has showers in terminal 3 but only in the departure area. I assumed it would be in arrivals. I have not found a single reference as to how to get to Hilton Park Lane from Heathrow in this forum, that's why I asked. It has been noted that hiring a car is perhaps not the best option especially during the morning rush.

Peterscot - Thank you for the info on Richmond Park. Richmond looks very nice.

Scan60- thank you for your detailed response. I think I finally 'get-it' about the Oyster and travel cards. Very helpful information. Am I remembering correctly that the Heathrow to Paddington train does not count as a "train station" in regards to the travel card 2 for 1?

Bingley, United...
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6. Re: Transportation from Heathrow

You can't get a Travelcard that covers the HEX. And you can't buy the correct Travelcard at LHR. You have to buy it at a proper train station which for most people means Paddington, Victoria, Waterloo, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Liverpool Street, Kings Cross, St Pancras or Euston

California
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7. Re: Transportation from Heathrow

Thank you Alanrow, that's what I thought I had read.

nb canada
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8. Re: Transportation from Heathrow

I am staying at another hotel on Park Lane next week and am just going to take the underground from the terminal to Hyde Park Corner, it is on the same Piccadilly Line and no need to change lines anywhere. Hyde Park Corner should not be a long walk to your hotel, so if you don't have much luggage it is very easy. Hope this helps

Edited: 30 April 2010, 19:32
California
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9. Re: Transportation from Heathrow

NBlobsterman- Thank you for the info. Having never been to London and living in an are with almost no public transportation the task of getting to the hotel seems a bit daunting. We usually just rent a car at the airport and head out on our journeys. Am I correct in assuming there will be numerous signs pointing us to either the HEX or the Piccadilly Line?

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Transportation from Heathrow

The question about how to get to the Hilton at Park Lane has been answered, but the search function isn't all it should be. The Piccadilly line from LHR to Hyde Park Corner is a journey that may be done step free, as all stations at LHR have escalators or lifts to ticket halls and train platforms. At Hyde Park Corner there is an escalator up from the train platform to the ticket hall: sit as near the front of the train as possible as it's nearest the way out.

After passing through the barriers and leaving the station look left, for exit 1 Knightsbridge north side. There is a ramp up to street level there, no stairs. Once at street level you may walk to the hotel in less than five minutes: turn left (walking with traffic) and carry on past Apsley House to the junction with Park Lane. If you're feeling weary you could use the subway (underground walkway, where there are stairs on either side of the road) to cross Park Lane or turn left where you'll see a break in the railings a few metres ahead. There is an island there so you could nip across Park Lane in two goes - that's the Intercontinental right at the corner.

Turn left, facing traffic, and you'll see the Hilton on the right, just past the Intercontinental. Shouldn't take more than five minutes to walk from Hyde Park Corner station.

Edit: signage is rather good at Heathrow, and you shouldn't have any trouble making your way from T3 Arrivals to the Underground station. It's a bit of a walk, maybe five minutes from one to the other, but there are travelators in place to help speed things along.

Edited: 30 April 2010, 20:37