We are renting a car at Heathrow (from Enterprise) and touring the West Country before returning for three days only in the city. I'd much prefer to stay above ground on the trip to London (why come to the world's greatest city and waste an hour or two inside some tunnels?).
Here are my questions:
1. If we buy an Oystercard online, can we redeem our e-voucher at a machine, or must we get it from a person? (Our flight arrives at 22.45, too late for a ticket office to be open.) If we don't have the card, can we board a bus with only a voucher?
2. Can we use the Oystercard on the train from either Heathrow to Paddington? OR if we take a bus to Feltham rail station, can we pay for our train fares from Feltham to Waterloo using an Oyster card?
3. If we take the train to Paddington (Heathrow Express?), can we easily leave the station and pick up Bus 148, or is the exit devoid of escalators and elevators so that luggage is a pain?
(We do travel light, but still . . .).
4. Bus 148 takes twice as long to our destination as the tube, but it goes past Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey, so I figure it's a cheap way to do a London tour in less than an hour. This would be late on a Friday afternoon. Is this a very bad idea?
All advice very much appreciated.