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Travelling London/Paris on own (family of 4) in Dec'13

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Singapore, Singapore
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Travelling London/Paris on own (family of 4) in Dec'13

My family of 4 will also be travelling on our own to LDN/Paris in Dec'13 and I'm currently looking into booking hotels & transfers in London and Paris. We have booked our flights directly with airline back in Jun this year. We are on a SIN/LHR return flight as Paris was a last minute add on to our itinerary. I'm travelling with 2 teenagers (12yo & 16yo) and my spouse.

Our plan is to fly into LHR then continue our journey to Paris via Eurostar, stay 2 nights in Paris then take Eurostar back to LDN for 6 nights' stay before heading home in SG. I suppose there are more to see and do in London than Paris for us.

I would greatly appreciate some advices/sharing on the following :

1) Transfer from Heathrow Airport to St. Pancras Eurostar Station

Due to the bulk of our luggage (during Winter season) and travelling with kids, are there any transport that takes us directly from LHR to St. Pancras, like an airport shuttle bus other than the trains?

I've read a lot of the infamous 'black cab' so am rather skeptical in taking them.....correct me if I'm wrong here.

2) tonycoloney2000's sharing were good! Just wondering where exactly are the accommodation you used in London and Paris ? I'm planning to stay in Mayfair too but hv yet to book. My shortlisted hotel is : Holiday Inn Mayfair coz my hubby is rather particular of having daily supply of clean towels, changed bedsheets, 24/7 service and tube station at stone's throw away. Having said that, I do want to keep an open mind of considering a good recommendation for B&B in Paris - being our shorter stay.

3) I have a list places to see and things to do about in London and Paris which are the usual touristy stuff, namely museums and markets. Anything else to add on to thrill my teenagers ? My 12yo wants to see the flagship store of One Direction in London. Is there one ? A friend recommends that we bring them to Trocadero Ctr at Piccadilly Circus, London. Good ?

4) Any recommendation for shopping at reasonable price in London and Paris ?

Thank you in advance for all contributions!!

Bingley, United...
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1. Re: Travelling London/Paris on own (family of 4) in Dec'13

< Our plan is to fly into LHR then continue our journey to Paris via Eurostar >

Just book a flight from LHR to Paris - if you are lucky you can have it added to your original ticket and so avoid the need for UK immigration / luggage collection / customs. Even if you can't check your luggage through to Paris you would avoid the need to traipse across half of London worrying that you might miss your train. Allow AT LEAST 4 hours between flights if you can't link them, AT LEAST 5 if you decide to use Eurostar.

In future consider "open jaws" or "multi-city" tickets which allow you to fly from home into one airport and back home from another to avoid this hassle

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Travelling London/Paris on own (family of 4) in Dec'13

>> On estimate, how much and how long does it take to fly from LHR to CDG ? Any preferred airlines ? <<

Ask the airline you are flying with if you can add on the LHR-PAR flight to your itinerary. The flights are approx 1.5 hours (push off to touch down) but remember, Paris is an hour ahead of London so you "lose" an hour.

London, UK
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3. Re: Travelling London/Paris on own (family of 4) in Dec'13

Absolutely agree with Alanrow. The Eurostar is by far the best way of getting between the city centres, as you will be doing on the journey from Paris to London, but not from Heathrow which is quite a long way out of the centre of London. I would add that you should make sure that any connecting flight leaves from Heathrow not one of the other London airports, because getting to any of them can be just as stressful as to St Pancras.

If you do go ahead with your original plan, the transfer options are either to use the Piccadilly Line of the Tube, which is direct and is used by many people with luggage, although parts of the journey can be crowded at some imes of day, or book a private car hire in adance. There are recommendations elsewhere on this forum. Black cabs, as you have learnt are expensive from the airport into the centre of the city. However, I do not think that they can be described as infamous; they are well regulated and the drivers are very knowledgable so they are fine for shorter journeys in central London when other public transport is not convenient. You could use one with confidence, say between St Pancras and your hotel.

Oakham, United...
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4. Re: Travelling London/Paris on own (family of 4) in Dec'13

It's 6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other isn't it? If they fly, they have to do a transfer into Paris with their luggage; if they go by train, they have to do the same transfer in London instead. It's a question of which airport has an easier journey into the respective city centre.

Edited: 10 October 2013, 11:48
Oxfordshire
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5. Re: Travelling London/Paris on own (family of 4) in Dec'13

"It's 6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other isn't it? "

No. They've got to transfer from the Gare du Nord, with luggage, to their hotel - and queues for taxis, or metro tickets, there can be formidable. They've got to get to St P in advance, and St P's twice as far from LHR as CDG is from anywhere inside the Peripherique. And, by train, they've got to manhandle their bags repeatedly.

By plane, their bags get checked in at home and remain unseen till the short walk from CDG reclaim to the taxi queue. It really is a no-brainer - unless the OP has some kind of thing about sitting under the Channel.

Liverpool, United...
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6. Re: Travelling London/Paris on own (family of 4) in Dec'13

"...unless the OP has some kind of thing about sitting under the Channel."

What, for only 30 minutes!

It's a bit like sitting on a plane for 30 minutes - there's nothing to see out of the window apart from clouds; that's if you get a window seat! ;-)

Edited: 10 October 2013, 12:56
Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: Travelling London/Paris on own (family of 4) in Dec'13

Thank you all for yr very generous & knowledgeable sharing. Learnt a lot from here!

Am currently working on the LHR/CDG 1-way flight and plan to travel from Paris to London via EuroStar.

Now my next concern is how to transfer from CDG airport to my Paris hotel - Is taxi a good option to consider after such a long journey ?

UK
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8. Re: Travelling London/Paris on own (family of 4) in Dec'13

Now my next concern is how to transfer from CDG airport to my Paris hotel - Is taxi a good option to consider after such a long journey ?

=======

Ask that question on the Paris forum please.

9. Re: Travelling London/Paris on own (family of 4) in Dec'13

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