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Best way to get from Heathrow to London and how many palaces are too many?


We've booked our trip and we aren't going to rent a car. What is the best way to get from Heathrow to London near Trafalgar Square? Car service? Train? Underground?
Also, if we see Buckingham Palace and Kensington while visiting London, is the trip to see Windsor Castle redundant?

What do you think?


Posted by
11355 posts

No Buckingham and Kensington are Palaces. Windsor is a castle thus different. We were pleasantly surprised by Windsor especially St. George Chapel. Get all tickets ahead of time.

Posted by
271 posts

With an Oyster Card you'll be able to use less speedy train than the Heathrow Express and save quite a few pounds, too. Or, based upon your stamina and amount of luggage, consider Uber - we paid less than 25 pounds Uber from Kensington High Street to LHR (our pickup was 6 AM).

P.S. IMO, visit all three. They're spectacular.

Posted by
401 posts

'The Best way' will depend on what is a priority for you - time, cost, ease. Personally I'd take the Piccadilly Line tube. Depending where near Trafalgarvsquare you gave to get to you may not need to change and could walk from Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. If you do take a tube to Charing Cross study a map with the exits on it before hand as there are a number of different exits a LONG distance apart.

Posted by
23 posts

I would recommend Green Tomato car service. It's a phone app just like uber but I would definitely recommend to prebook the car. I spent about £70 to get from my Heathrow hotel to central London, it was a great ride in and for me totally worth it instead of struggling with all my luggage on the train!! (it is a recommended service on the Heathrow website)

With regards to seeing Buckingham and Kensington, personally I think seeing both of those was enough for me, they are extremely ornate palaces and I would highly recommend going inside Kensington and doing a little self guided tour. It all comes down to time, if you have the time to spare in an afternoon I'm sure it would be worth it but there is SO much to see in central London that you will most certainly not get bored.

Posted by
15568 posts

70 GBP? Sorry, to tell you but that is very high. Did you have a lot of people/luggage?

Posted by
33134 posts

Seventy quid for one ride? Did you have a hen party with you???

You was had.

Posted by
11294 posts

From Heathrow, a minicab (prebooked car) will be cheaper than a black cab, and there are minicab companies that charge far less than £70 (unless, as Nigel implies, you've booked a very large vehicle for a large group).

I have no personal experience, but three minicab companies that are often recommended are Blackberry Cars, Just Airports, and Simply Airports. If you go to their websites and put in all your details (size of car, cash or credit, exact address), you will get a firm price quote.

As always, which method is "best" depends on whether you mean cheapest, easiest, fastest, etc.

Posted by
4062 posts

Enter Heathrow and your hotel address to see the options. Google Maps offers a similar function. Price varies with speed. They can make suggestions about getting to Windsor too.

Posted by
6738 posts

We take the tube into the city. During non rush hours, I believe the cost is less than £4. If I had to choose between Kensington palace or Windsor Castle, Windsor Castle wins. I was unimpressed with Kensington palace. Hampton Court palace is a nice building. Neither Kensington nor Hampton Court have many furnishings in their rooms.

Posted by
32 posts

I really enjoyed my day at Windsor. (I spent a couple nights in Windsor before flying home from my Best of England tour a few years ago.) was able to enter the castle first thing in the morning, before lines had formed. Loved the tower tour, and then the kitchen tour, as well as wandering the castle and having a sandwich on the lawn.

I also super enjoyed Buckingham Palace, but it was not as wonderful as Windsor. I did Kensington about 20 years ago. At that time it had some of Diana’s dresses on display. Only a couple rooms were open....this was a long time ago! I mostly enjoyed lunch at The Orangery (nearby) and wandering Kensington and Hyde Parks.

Posted by
14165 posts

I agree with jamieelsabio! I'd rank them Windsor Castle first, Buckingham Palace 2nd (very good audio tour) and a distant 3rd Kensington Palace. There are many sights I'd put ahead of Kensington Palace.

If you go for the Buckingham Palace tour there are a couple of different ticket versions. Sometimes I get the Royal Day out which includes a visit to the Queen's Gallery and the Royal Mews, but I'll only go for that if there is an exhibit on at the Queen's Gallery that I want to see. This summer it's to be a spectacular showing of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings in memory of the 500th year of his death. It may not interest you at all so just throwing that out for you.

The Orangery restaurant at Kensington Palace is open this year. It was closed for reno some of last year. Here is a link to closure dates for this year.

And yes, overall I got "palaced/castled" out last year after the RS Villages of Southern England and Best of Scotland tours. But that was after maybe a dozen, lol!


Posted by
3813 posts

" What is the best way to get from Heathrow to London near Trafalgar Square? "

Get an Oyster card, get on the tube at Heathrow, Piccadilly line.
At Hammersmith station, get off Piccadilly line, switch to District line.
This is done by exiting your tube car, walk straight across the platform, enter the other train (District line).
Baron's Court, Earl's Court or South Kensington tube stations will also work for the switch.

Get off at Westminster Station.
Exit the tube station.
Look up at Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower; now covered in scaffolding) and Parliament buildings.
Welcome to London!

You will be at a major intersection where traffic is coming over Westminster Bridge.
Do be careful of stepping out into traffic.
Find Parliament Street and walk north.
Continue walking north; the street name will change to Whitehall.
This will lead directly to Trafalgar Square.
Not a long walk.

Do take a good London map with you.

Posted by
12 posts


Thank you all so very much for your input. I'm staying just next to Trafalgar Square to the left of the national gallery toward Pall Mall/ Buckingham palace.

I know London Walks and I'm probably going to go with them for Jack the ripper tour, but it's there a literary pub crawl like the one in Dublin, but for London? I'll take a philosopher pub crawl too if that exists!
Thanks again,

Posted by
4441 posts

We take the Heathrow Express to Paddington(tickets are cheaper in advance), then take a cab from Paddington to our hotel so we aren't wandering around looking for our hotel with luggage.

Posted by
8536 posts

I wanted to mention that the best way to your hotel is the one that meets your specific needs and budget. There isn’t just one answer as you can see by the different responses you have received.

Think about the following factors: How tired are you likely to be upon arrival? Can you manage your luggage easily up and down multiple flights of stairs? Will you be traveling in rush hour? Is your trip far enough out that you can take advantage of advance discount tickets on the Heathrow Express? How tight is your budget?

I was very tired on a recent arrival after traveling for 20 hours straight. I had pre-purchased a ticket on the Heathrow Express (7.5 pounds) and then just took a taxi to my hotel (20 pounds). It was a splurge but so worth it! On the way back, tube to Paddington and then another advance ticket on Heathrow Express.

Have a great trip.