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9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

USA
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9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

My husband and I fly from the US to London on our way to Capetown next week. We will have 9 hours from landing to takeoff in London. Advice?

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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1. Re: 9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

Nine hours from scheduled wheels down to wheels up will translate into about four or five hours to spare between flights.

Should you wish to travel from the airport you will need to allow at least an hour for passport control, 30 to 60 minutes for the journey from the airport to your destination and return to the airport. You'll need to be at LHR no later than 90 minutes before the flight to CPT as well.

If you are flying on a through ticket your bags should be checked through, but if you do not want to take your hand baggage with you when you leave the airport you will have to stop at left luggage to deposit and collect the bags, which will take more time.

At what time does your flight arrive, and with what airline are you travelling? Are you travelling during the week or at the weekend?

If time is a factor and a visit to central London may not be doable, consider taking a taxi to and from Windsor, about 20 minutes by road from LHR.

london
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2. Re: 9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

What are your actual flight times?

USA
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3. Re: 9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

We arrive in London at at 10:45 and leave London for Capetown at 7:30 p.m.

london
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4. Re: 9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

Are you able to check your luggage through?

A quick trip to Windsor Castle is probably the best idea, you can go by taxi and it's much more feasible than trying to see London in 5 or 6 hours. Considering that you will take at least 1 hour to clear immigration and get bags, another hour to get to London, longer if you need to leave bags somewhere, so that would put you in London at 1pm, needing to return at 4:30pm at the latest. Not worth it.

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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5. Re: 9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

Visiting Windsor Castle:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186419-c157824/Winds…

I would recommend prebooking a local cab like Fivestar or Windsor cars...they will cost half what a black cab in the rank would charge. £20 compared to £50 for the 20 minute journey into Windsor.

London, United...
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6. Re: 9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

Do it. I'm a big believer in getting out and about wherever possible from the airport. I would recommend getting the tube to Embankment, straight out to see Big Ben, London Eye then walk over the Road to Westminster abbey, up Whitehall past Horse Guards parade entrance to Trafslgar Square, through Admitalty Arch and down the Mall to Buckingham Palace then back on The Tube at Victoria. A Two mile walk that takes in loads of sights just keep moving and you'll be fine with your time scale. Better than sitting round the airport.

Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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7. Re: 9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

< I would recommend getting the tube to Embankment >

I think you mean Westminster, leave by the Bridge Street exit

London, United...
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8. Re: 9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

Yes - I mean Westminster - My bad..

Baltimore, Maryland
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9. Re: 9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

My mom and I had an 11 hour layover at Heathrow last week (during the week, not a weekend) and had absolutely no problem getting into central London and back. The tube is very easy and straightforward to take. If your bags are checked through to your final destination, you will not need to claim them at baggage and go through customs with them. The amount of time it will take you to get through customs depends on your citizenship/visa status. My mom and I are both US citizens, and we had no problem at all (30 mins to get out of the airport thru customs), and we just caught the piccadilly line of the tube (we bought a day pass each, 8.50pounds per person) and got off first at the Green park station and walked over to buckingham palace, had a nice picnic lunch at the park, then hopped back onto the piccadilly line and went down to London bridge, saw St. Paul's cathedral, big ben, parliament and of course the river Thames was right there. We didn't get to see anything in detail, but we did see many of the key sights, and we were back on the tube and back in the terminal with plenty of time to spare. Security did not take long to get through either when we got back to heathrow. It's definitely doable, so go for it! Also don't be afraid to ask questions or for directions from anyone at the airport, or locals. There is also an information desk at Heathrow once you exit customs where they have helpful maps of London and the tube system, so be sure to grab those if you can! The folks at the desk can also tell you the most efficient way to see the sights you're interested in.

10. Re: 9 hours in London from Heathrow airport

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