My husband and I are flying into London Heathrow and need to get from the airport to Kings Cross station. I'm wondering if we should book a car service in advance, or just catch a cab at the airport. Does anyone have any advice? Anyone know roughly how much the fare should be if we just take a cab? Thanks!
Do note that on the underground it is possible to travel from Heathrow to Kings Cross without having to negotiate any stairs.
A cab from Heathrow to Kings Cross will cost around $100.
If you don't like the idea of taking the tube, you could take the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and then a cab from there to Kings Cross. It will save you a bit of money.....and probably time considering London traffic.
Our group of 4 adults is making this same connection in November on a Saturday. Our plane from the US is scheduled to arrive at 7:00AM. Is it reasonable to expect to make a connection at Kings Cross Station for the 10:59 train to Edinburgh? We think the Heathrow Express to Paddington sounds like an efficient option but are wondering about the Paddington to Kings Cross leg. Is a cab the best connection from Paddington to Kings Cross or is the tube a good option? How long before departure is it recommended to be at the train station? Jenny, if you've made your trip already, how did the process go for you? Thanks! - Polly
Polly - the Tube from Heathrow goes straight through to Kings Cross - takes about an hour's journey, so factor in clearing immigration, if you get through that and collect your bags in a reasonable time, it should be do able to connect with your train to Edinburgh.
If you use the Heathrow Express, you are paying more for a journey which you'll have to break and connect to the Tube anyway, and will probably take just as long as the original Tube direct journey.
Have a great trip!
P.S. The trains from Kings Cross to major cities are usually locked at the platform and can't be accessed until the platform number is revealed on the departure boards, which is often about 15 minutes or so before departure. Then there is a mass sprint for the train - I recommend reserving your seats enabling you to stroll (briskly) to the train and board. If anybody is sat in your seats, hoof the miscreants out (always ensuring you are in the right carriage first)!
If you would like to take the Heathrow Express (which we do), buy your tickets in advance for the best price. You have probably missed the 90- day advance purchase low price, but could still get the 30-day one.
The connection to the Tube to Kings Cross from HEX is very easy. Instead of walking toward the front of the train when you disembark, turn around and look towards the back of the train for a set of stairs leading up from the platform between Tracks 6 and 7 ( the HEX tracks). These lead right to a walkway thT goes straight to the Tube platform for the two lines that connect to Kings Cross. It is only 3 stops and the trains come frequently. I believe there are ticket machines on the left before the platform, but hopefully someone can confirm that.
"The connection to the Tube to Kings Cross from HEX is very easy." - but pointless.
Just get the Piccadilly line (the only one at Heathrow) direct to the stop "KingsCross-StPancras" for £6 each. The only detail to worry about is following the exit to Kings Cross and not St Pancras which is across the road. That's a saving of about $80 on the cost of a taxi and probably faster.
if you're at Heathrow the sane option is to fly to Edinburgh
Polly- in response to your question above- we did complete our trip in March and I have lots of feedback to give. We opted to arrange in advance for a private car to pick us up and drive us from Heathrow to Kings Cross. It is not the cheapest option, but for us, it was the easiest, and it was definitely cheaper than getting a cab. The cost was 50 pounds total, including gratuity (we used Twelve Transfers). There are much less expensive options (as expounded in the helpful responses above). I've used the bus + tube in the past and it was fine, but for us this was just so much easier, and for our needs, it was well worth the extra money. For one thing, this was my husband's first trip overseas and first overnight long-haul flight, and I wanted to make our arrival morning easier and allow for any travel-related sickness or issues. All of the car services use the same method of scheduling- they monitor your flight's arrival time and you arrange in advance to be picked up a certain amount of time after arrival. I built in a little extra time so we wouldn't be rushed. So, we went through customs, had time for restroom breaks and freshening up, and our driver met us at a pre-arranged spot in the airport and then took it from there. The journey by car was around an hour because of workday morning traffic, but it was perfectly pleasant. We had rail passes, so we didn't have a predetermined time that we had to arrive at Kings Cross. We knew in advance what times the trains were running, and simply caught the first one available. The caveat to this is that the trains are sometimes very full. We lucked up and had no trouble getting two seats together.
One big tip: the traffic really is rough on workdays, so in case you have the same question I had- it's not really practical to try to work some sight-seeing into your journey to the train station. The only practical route (according to every car company I spoke with) goes around central London rather than through it.
One of the comments above mentions that the sane thing would have been to get a connecting flight to Edinburgh. I don't disagree with that, but it was a matter of personal preference. Our best option is always Delta because we fly out of Atlanta, and Delta only connects to Edinburgh through Amsterdam or Paris, which eats up the whole first day; I don't like the small prop planes that were the only options for connecting flights in London on Virgin. If you use two different airlines, you risk missing your connecting flight. Furthermore, I also hate getting off an overnight flight just to get back on another plane. The train to Edinburgh from London takes about 4.5 hours, and you go through some beautiful countryside, past some beautiful towns and scenic cities like Durham (you can see the cathedral from the train!). Once you get into Scotland, the train goes along the coastline and you can see some islands and beautiful beaches from the train too. We splurged on first-class train passes, and caught a Virgin train (I highly recommend first-class passes if you are doing long-distance travel, and highly recommend Virgin). We were served a nice lunch and a lovely, relaxing ride north. All in all, I was very happy with our choices. Thanks again everyone for the suggestions!
Also, Polly, in answer to your question- assuming there are no major issues with customs or the transport options, I think any of the options discussed here could get you to Kings Cross in time for the 10:59 train. Kings Cross is pretty big so you want to be there by 10:00 or so, just because you will need time to pick up tickets or validate your rail passes, as the case may be, get to the platform, and then find seats before the train departs. If you're using rail passes, you have to show your passport at the ticket counter and get them validated before using. So, another tip if you're using rail passes- even though you want to guard your passport, don't pack it away once you clear customs, but put it in a hidden belt or something under your clothes so that you can get to it easily at the train station.