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Stay At/Near Airport the Night Before Departing?

Possibly deeply stupid question - this will be our first trip to England so please forgive me if so!
My husband and I will be flying out of Heathrow, Terminal 3, with a scheduled flight departure time of 7:40am. Our hotel for the rest of our stay is near the East End. Would we be better off staying at an airport-adjacent hotel that last night? Thank you for your thoughts!!

Posted by
6950 posts

An option would to stay on the north end of Hyde Park--close to Paddington Station. Trains on the Heathrow Express leave every 15 minutes starting at 5:17 a.m. We took a quick taxi (arranged by our hotel) over to Paddington.

Posted by
2576 posts

That’s a very early flight. I hate airport hotels but in this case that would be my choice.

Posted by
3361 posts

If your flight is to the US or Canada, you'll want to be at Heathrow 3 hours of so before your flight, so I'd definitely stay at one of the airport hotels the night before departure. Check the Heathrow website to see which hotels are closest to the terminal you'll be using.

The hotel in the East end will likely hold your bags for you after you check out, so you could sight see during the day, then move to Heathrow that evening.

Posted by
8851 posts

Is the assumption that your flight is back to the USA correct?

If so, taking the Heathrow Express and giving yourself just 2 hours to work through the security and all the other processing to leave the country is really tight.

I vote with Alan.

Posted by
1264 posts

Absolutely yes. I assume this is for a long haul flight? Even for a medium haul within Europe, I’d stay at the airport.

Posted by
11292 posts

As I see it, you have two sensible options.

One is to prebook a car with one of the minicab services, planning to get to Heathrow with enough cushion to make sure you don't miss your flight. At that early hour, traffic shouldn't be an issue. I have no personal experience with this, but three companies that are often recommended are Just Airports, Simply Airports, and Blackberry Cars. If you go to their websites and put in your exact hotel address, the size of car you need, cash or credit card, etc, you'll get an exact price quote for the trip.

The other is to stay in an airport hotel the night before. Make sure it's one with an easy connection to Terminal 3 (I don't know all the details, but I know that getting from some hotels to some terminals is a bit complicated).

For me, it doesn't make sense to change hotels for one night, yet not be at the airport itself. That's in addition to the concern that the earliest Heathrow Express may not be early enough for your flight, particularly if it's nonstop back to the US.

Posted by
108 posts

The East End is of course the wrong side of London for LHR.

If you go via Paddington the TFL train is much cheaper than the HEX and only takes 15 minutes longer.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks all! Yes, we will be flying back to the US. I think we'll go with the airport hotel just to be safe.

Posted by
8003 posts

There are several nice hotels connected to the terminals at LHR.

Posted by
2664 posts

I would suggest staying in Windsor, it’s a 15 minute cab ride to the airport. Get to Windsor early afternoon and you would have time to tour the castle and have a good meal in one of the pubs.