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12 hour London Layover US--> Heathrow--> South Africa

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Chicago, Illinois
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12 hour London Layover US--> Heathrow--> South Africa

We have been receiving mixed answers about if we are able to leave the airport...I cannot image we would not be able to? Does anyone have any insight? Flying on US Passports

If we are able to leave, could anyone recommend a solid day in London for four Americans who have never been? It will be a Friday 9am-9pm. Budget conscious but not restricting.

Thanks!

Brandon

California
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1. Re: 12 hour London Layover US--> Heathrow--> South Africa

Of course you can leave the airport, but keep in mind that you don't really have 12 hours. Getting off the plane and through passport control can take up to an hour, then about an hour in to central London via the tube. If you plan on being back 2 to 3 hours early, plus another hour back to LHR, then deduct a total of 5 to 6 hours from your layover time. Still plenty of time left to have a meal, walk around a bit and see a few sights. Hopefully your luggage is checked through so you don't have to either store it (pricey) or lug it around with you all day.

You can take the Piccadilly line to Green Park, walk from there to see Buckingham Palace (from the outside if you are so inclined). You can walk to Westminster for the required photo of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, etc. Cross over the Thames and take a stroll on the south bank near the London Eye. There is lots to see and keep you busy in that area.

Edited: 18 August 2014, 22:21
Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: 12 hour London Layover US--> Heathrow--> South Africa

Thanks MChiddy!

I appreciate the suggestions....and yes, our bags will be checked through to South Africa.

Have a great day!

UK
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3. Re: 12 hour London Layover US--> Heathrow--> South Africa

We have been receiving mixed answers about if we are able to leave the airport...I cannot imagine we would not be able to?

===========

Neither can I. Who told you you can't? Its been previously reported that Virgin have come up with this load of tosh. As long as you have a valid entry document and a US passport will do fine, of course you can.

As MChiddy says, your time in London will be more like 6-7 hours though. Still plenty of time and there is an article on what to do with a day in London from Heathrow. Cant find the URL right now.

Illinois
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4. Re: 12 hour London Layover US--> Heathrow--> South Africa

URL I think Joe was looking for:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186338-c170832/Londo…

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: 12 hour London Layover US--> Heathrow--> South Africa

Its approx 8 hrs to LHR, 11 to So Af. If you intend to be awake the entire time through the layover IMHO, do yourself a favor and just get a hotel room near LHR. Have a power nap and freshen up. You'll need it and your fellow passengers will appreciate it! :)

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: 12 hour London Layover US--> Heathrow--> South Africa

Thank you all very much! I really appreciate the input and advice.

7. Re: 12 hour London Layover US--> Heathrow--> South Africa

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