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Heathrow Express and Black Cab Combo

Hello all!

I will be traveling to London with two other friends in December with only four days in London. We want to maximize our time there, but also not spend a fortune. Our flight lands On Friday December 14 at 9:45 am at Terminal 3. We were thinking of taking the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and then catch a black cab to our hotel, the Park Plaza County Hall. We thought this would be a good combination of speed with the Heathrow Express, but would also keep us from having to switch trains, transverse stairs, etc with all of our luggage. The other option we are considering, even though it will be longer would be to take the Piccadilly Line and get off at Green Park, pick up the Jubilee line to Waterloo, but it is my understanding the York Street exit (which is what we need for our hotel) at Waterloo is a pretty good hike from the Jubilee platform, we would then have to walk down the street a bit to the hotel.

Any thoughts on these options or suggestions, would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
11476 posts

If you have not already done so, look at the Heathrow Express pricing structure. The farther out you buy, the cheaper the price.

Posted by
713 posts

I don't see anything obviously wrong with your plan. The worst that happens is that you have a slow trip through traffic from Paddington to your hotel. But you'll be sitting down and looking out at London, and with three of you to share the cost it shouldn't be a bad deal at all.

I once shared a cab with a fellow train passenger from our arrival station, Paddington, to Victoria Station, which was her departure station for her onward trip and very close to my London hotel. It didn't take very long; I had my luggage with me, and it was worth every pound of the shared fare, for the convenience and security vs. trying to wrangle the bags on the Tube.

(You've probably discovered that the best fares for the Heathrow Express are 90+ days before your date of travel. I just bought my HEX tickets online for my early November trip; I calendared a date about 95 days before my arrival so I wouldn't forget and miss the low fare.)

Posted by
11294 posts

Another option is to take a prebooked car (called a minicab in Brit-speak) right from Heathrow to your hotel. This is much cheaper than a black cab from the airport, and you get door-to-door service. For 3 people, the cost per person would be quite reasonable.

I have no personal experience, but three companies that are often mentioned are Just Airport, Simply Airports, and Blackberry Cars For each of them, you can go to their websites and put in your particulars, and get a price quote. Note that Just Airports has a substantial discount for cash (don't know about the other two).

Posted by
15657 posts

Your way is fine. Probably the most expensive. But not necessarily the fastest as you will see in London traffic.

I would take the tube but I travel light. If you have lots of luggage, and there are three of you, a prebooked car service, or Uber, would be basically "door to door."

The ones mentioned previously are well on own. You could also contact your hotel to see if they use any particular service and the cost.

Posted by
4012 posts

We want to maximize our time there, but also not spend a fortune.

If you want to avoid the Tube completely, here are 2 ideas.

  1. Take the Heathrow Express (HEX) to Paddington and get a black cab. When you buy HEX tickets at least 90 days in advance, you'll get the cheapest fare of £12.10 which is not much more than the Heathrow Connect (to be called TFL Rail in December). Then with 3 of you in a black cab from Paddington, you can split their exorbitant pricing to your hotel 3 ways making it more affordable. This will give you the greatest flexibility too. Keep in mind in the black cabs, you will be sitting in traffic as the meter keeps going up and up.

  2. Take Simply Airports or Just Airports car service from Heathrow to your hotel. By the time you three are done with immigration, rush hour traffic into London is long gone. There will be traffic within London so keep that in mind. Sharing the cost makes it even that much cheaper; it's lightyears cheaper than black cabs too as there is no meter.