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Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

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Brussels
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Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

Good evening. I need your kind help with some information as I'm in a panic mode already :).

The thing is that we are going to London with my family (me, hubby and our son) on the 18th of April just for a weekend and will arrive to Heathrow at about 7 A.M. Our hotel is Novotel Excel and I realized that it's quite far away both from the airport and the city center (sightseeing). Unfortunately we can't change neither the flights, nor the hotel so we will need to somehow live with them :). It's our second trip to London and while the first one was excellent thanks to the great help from the forum (we stayed at Premier Inn County Hall), I'm afraid that this one might turn into a disaster because of the bad hotel location and long travel hours.

Could you please kindly help me to get the information on the below points:

1. What's the best and safest way of traveling from Heathrow to our hotel?

2. How can we get to the center of the city where the main sightseeing points are located or what is better to see not so far away from our hotel?

3. Are there some restaurants close to the hotel and is it safe in the evening? I understood that it's located close to a big exhibition center and is used mostly by people attending the events but in the evening the area is quite isolated.

4. What would be the best option for the 3 of us for travel arrangements (Oyster cards?) and can we use 2 for 1 tickets?

If you have any other suggestions, comments or advice, I would be more than happy to read them.

Thanks a lot for your help!

Regards,

Natalia.

London, United...
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1. Re: Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

Hello Natalia

I will be able to answer some of the questions.

From Heathrow take the Piccadilly line to Green Park tube station.

From Green Park take Jubillee line to Canning Town.

From Canning Town take DLR to Custom House (for Excel).

Once you are based at the hotel I would use the DLR and change at Canning Town for the Jubillee line that will take you to central London.

You hotel is closed by to London's cable car named Emirates Airline which you can use to go the O2 Centre where there are many restuarants. More information about the Emirates Airline in transport for London's website.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/modalpages/23863.aspx

You also have the Crystal closed by your hotel.

http://www.thecrystal.org/

If you take the Jubillee line to Canary Wharf you will find plenty of places to eat in the Canary Wharf Estate.

http://www.canarywharf.com/

You can not use osyter cards for 2 x 1 offers.

Brussels
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2. Re: Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

Thank you so much for the information, it's a great start!

I will check all the links for the details.

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

April 18th is the Easter Holiday and unfortunately engineering works close the Jubilee line all weekend (incl Good Friday) between Finchley Road and Waterloo, which includes Green Park.

So, as an alternative route I'd take Piccadilly line to Hammersmith, easy cross platform change to the District line to Tower Hill (stairs). At Tower Hill walk about 2 minutes to Tower Gateway DLR station and take the DLR direct to Custom House.

Note that despite the above you will be able to take the Jubilee line from Canning Town into London as far as Waterloo over that weekend.

For 2 for 1 you'll need paper one day travelcards purchased from a National Rail station, and there isn't one at Heathrow nor anywhere near the Excel. So what I'd do is get Oysters at Heathrow with about £10-12 PAYG and use those for the 18th (no 2 for 1 that day). But during that day, at your convenience, drop by a National Rail station and buy the one day travelcards for the next days. - http://goo.gl/maps/yX4OX

Edited: 16 March 2014, 21:03
Watford
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4. Re: Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

I actually find it easier to use Royal Victoria. The walk from that station is much easier than the one from Custom House...less steps.

Cala d'Or, Spain
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5. Re: Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

Once you are at your hotel, I would use the Thames Clipper river bus service to Westminster Pier for sight seeing.

A nice way of travelling into London

London
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6. Re: Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

", I would use the Thames Clipper river bus service to Westminster Pier "

The clipper boats are great. But there aren't any stops that you can walk to from Novotel at Excel.....

Brussels
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7. Re: Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

Thank you all for your recommendations and useful information. It doesn't sound like a piece of cake but I will work on it and study all the options to make this trip as unforgettable as the first one even with a quite "complicated" location.

Sorry, a couple of other questions: is it safe to use DLR in the evening, let's say after the evening musical? We wanted to try and see one but I'm not sure if it's a good idea or maybe it's better to attend the performance in the afternoon.

From what I understood, we can also take Emirates Airline to Greenwich and it sounds like a great area to visit to, maybe this can be an option for 1 day of sightseeing.

Thanks again for your help, I greatly appreciate it.

Watford
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8. Re: Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

The downside of the cable car is that you need to take onward public transport to get anywhere. The Jubilee line will get you into central London from North Greenwich tube ( 3 or 4 minutes walk from the cable car) in about 20 minutes or you can take The Thames Clipper.

You will need to take a 188 bus to reach the town of Greenwich. These run from the bus station above North Greenwich tube.

The DLR is perfectly safe. Each train has a guard and coming back from the theatre you are more likely (depending on the show) to take the Jubilee line to Canning Town so you will only be on it for one stop.

Yorkshire, England
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9. Re: Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

I just stayed at the Novotel Excel for 3 nights with my young children. It is a very safe modern area and was actually a nice (if a bit sterile) place to come back to in the evening as there is lots of outdoor space for the kids to run around in. The DLR was always busy, even at 11pm. There are a few restaurants in the local area, but we ate out at Canary Wharf (an easy DLR/tube journey) where there are loads of shops and restaurants. The trip from the hotel into London can be interesting. The quick way is via the Jubilee line, which is underground, but it is more interesting to either take the DLR all the way in as it is overground or one day we took the Thames Clipper ferry from North Greenwich. Be sure to take a trip on the Emirates cable car, which is just 2 mins walk from the hotel.

I am sure you will enjoy your stay and you will get to see a very different side of London from your last stay.

Brussels
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10. Re: Getting from Heathrow to Novotel Excel

Thank you all for sharing your experience and all the useful information that you gave me.

I will try to plan our trip now and will look at it from a positive side as a completely new adventure! :)

Thanks again for your kind help!