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Getting from Heathrow Airport to St. Pancras International station in mid Sept.

Please, does anyone have a suggestion on how my husband and I can get from Heathrow Airport to St. Pancras International station in order to catch our pre-booked Eurostar train in mid Sept.?? (actually Sept. 14th!)......we had planned on using the tube but now I'm nervous that we will get caught in a potential tube strike during that date. Our train leaves at 5:30 pm. Any suggestions or recommendations are welcome!!
Thanks!

Posted by
2125 posts

an alternative would be a pre-booked car service

what time does your flight arrive at Heathrow?

Posted by
1063 posts

If you're already at Heathrow it would make more sense to fly to Paris (assuming that's your destination).

Posted by
27707 posts

What time do you arrive at Heathrow? That's the key question.

Posted by
45 posts

We are driving a rental car to Heathrow that day and were planning on arriving at Heathrow around 1:30 pm.......we wanted to drop our rental car off there and not in London....

Posted by
1005 posts

Most rental agencies have a drop-off location near St. Pancras. It will be less stress on everyone if you change the location and return you car here--even if you don't like driving in London traffic.

Posted by
8293 posts

" ..... planning to arrive at Heathrow at 1:30 pm ..." Yes, but what if traffic or road construction causes you to be late and you still have to take the time required to turn in the car? Will you get to St Pancras in time, taking into account that you need to check in 45 minutes before departure or you won't board the train? Your plan needs a rethink.

Posted by
27707 posts

There have not been any tube strikes announced for September yet.

The original date for the imposition of night running is the 12th of September.

We shall see - but all strikes have to be notified well in advance.

With all the new checks on people leaving the UK expect delays getting checked in to Eurostar. I now advise an absolute hour ahead of time and pushing 75 to 90 minutes to be safe.

Make sure to leave enough time between taking the car back and all that includes, and getting back into Heathrow and either the train or tube.

Posted by
45 posts

Was just wondering if we should maybe check out using the Heathrow Express......would that service be affected by the underground strike or a rail strike??? Thanks for any help!

Posted by
27707 posts

For the 17.31 nonstop to Paris I suggest being in St Pancras International station, in the queue, by 16.00.

That will be a very busy rush hour train full of people going home to Paris after a day at work.

The latest you should be leaving on the Underground from Heathrow is about 15.00 because the tube takes just about an hour.

So you want to plan to be arriving at the car place an hour before that. Or earlier depending on your tolerance for things happening and how important or expensive the trip to Paris is.

The fact is that things sometimes happen. That's true on the Underground, it is true on overground trains, and it is true on the roads.

I tend to have only a very small tolerance so I tend to pad things out to account for problems.

It is substantially under an hour - depending on traffic - on the M4 past Heathrow to continue into London and return the car at St Pancras. Check which car you are renting and where the return is. I haven't checked but I think I've heard that Hertz is inside the congestion charge area and Avis and Europcar outside. But check.

Or leave plenty of time for returning at the airport and getting in.

As far as using the Heathrow Express, you then have the most expensive train in the UK per mile (maybe nearly all of Europe), and then a change at Paddington which isn't the easiest station to navigate onto either a taxi (more money), the tube (but you could have done that at Heathrow and saved all that money for a very similar time), or the number 205 bus (very slow, much slower than the tube). All to perhaps save 10 minutes or so (taxi or tube).

Unless the tube has sprung a leak (see what I did there?) I'd drive in or take the tube from Heathrow, leaving plenty of time for either.

Posted by
45 posts

Thanks for all your suggestions, everyone. Nigel, you have offered alot of great information! My husband and I are terrified to drive anywhere in the London area since we are from Canada and don't drive on the same side of the road. I think we would potentially be inviting disaster if we drive in a large metropolitan city. Maybe our fears are unsubstantiated but there they are! We are renting from Avis and they do charge the "congestion charge" to drop off the car near St. Pancras. We could potentially arrive at Heathrow earlier. We are actually driving down from Chipping Campden that day so have some control over our Heathrow arrival time. The other alternative is to cancel our Eurostar tickets and get a flight out of Heathrow to Paris and then get a taxi (tube, shuttle??) to Gare de Nord where we have a hotel booked just for one night before continuing our journey down to Tours, France. Maybe we should have done that in the first place! Any thoughts???

Posted by
2125 posts

cancel your Eurostar tickets?? - only if they are fully refundable - and even then I wouldn't bother.

back to your original query - no strikes are confirmed for your travel date. Stick to your plan of taking the Tube from Heathrow. Allow yourself plenty of time at Kings Cross/St Pancras - have a drink and get something to eat.

Keep you eyes on the news and if there is a strike book a car service from Heathrow.

Posted by
1010 posts

You might want to look at Blacklane.com Private Car Service. They are very professional.

Posted by
27707 posts

Still no threat of a strike.

That other private car firm doesn't sound very local.

Posted by
298 posts

I would NOT cancel my Eurostar journey just because of threatened strikes. As Nigel has said, nothing has been officially posted.

My 'local London station' is Kings Cross, literally across the street from St. Pancras. I've done that trek across town what seems like eleventy billion times now. You will be fine. If you have never been to Paris, getting to/from the airports is a pain IMO. Eurostar drops you at Gare du Nord. Personally, unless I am coming from the US, I dont plan to fly into Paris again if I can help it as long as the trains are running.

Again, as Nigel has said - take the Tube. Its very easy, generally the cheapest rail route from Heathrow into town, and is generally dependable. Its about an hour journey. Add some pad to your time alloted for travel to give you a cushion, and enjoy your trip.

Posted by
45 posts

thanks for all the helpful replies, everyone! we did book a car service just in case and are going to go ahead with our Eurostar tickets. Looking forward to our upcoming adventure in the beautiful Cotswolds!

Posted by
1010 posts

We have talked to numerous people who have hired private car services, in different countries. They have always been more than happy with their transportation. We like it compared to taxis, as the cost is prearranged. We always allow extra time going to the airports. One time we were going to the airport in Paris. We got stuck in terrible traffic. It didn't matter, as we had already paid for the service.