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The Tube from Heathrow #5 to The Tower Hotel

Next August on a Sunday morning my adult daughter and I will be arriving in London for two weeks, part of the time at The Tower. Is it reasonable and easy to take the Piccadilly and transfer to the District line then exit at Tower Hill? We will have one carry on and shoulder bag each. We have never been on an underground before and don't know the difficulties if any with the transfer.
Thank you, Dianne

Posted by
6807 posts

Ditto what Emma said. From airport to Tower Hill tube station will probably be around a 1hr 10 minutes ride.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you, that sounds easy :) Sacramento doesn't have any underground tubes.

Posted by
4066 posts

For further tourist planning: https://tfl.gov.uk/

This government website starts with an interactive planner to lay out your routes around London.

Google Maps has a similar function which includes directions to nearby pubs, restaurants, hotels. These links are not comprehensive nor necessarily quality-rated but still a useful start.

Posted by
3336 posts

I stayed at that hotel years ago! I did love that location.

If this is your first trip across the pond, don't underestimate how disorienting an overnight flight can be. You might want to take a cab or car service to your first hotel.

Posted by
13 posts

Yes, it is our first trip to London, and we will be flying all night from LA. That was one of my concerns as to how tired I will be. I was wondering if the $150 taxi drive and possible 2 or more hours was too much.

Posted by
3336 posts

Yes, it is our first trip to London, and we will be flying all night from LA. That was one of my concerns as to how tired I will be. I was wondering if the $150 taxi drive and possible 2 or more hours was too much.

Personally, I like to arrange transportation to my hotel in advance so I won't have to think on arrival. All I want to do is look for somebody holding a sign with my name on it. Reasonable minds differ, and many people on this forum are comfortable negotiating trains and subways after an overnight flight. I just don't happen to be one of them.

I know that rome2rio isn't gospel, but looking at this, you might be able to spend less than $150 - or whatever that comes to in GBP's.

https://www.rome2rio.com/map/London-Heathrow-Airport-LHR/Tower-Hotel-Greater-London-England

Posted by
8871 posts

I take the LAX flight to LHR nearly every year. I stay near Paddington so take the Heathrow Express, booking months in advance to save money.

You are staying near the Tower of London so not convenient to take the Heathrow Express.

Advise that you take the Piccadilly Line and follow Emma’s clear and concise directions posted above.

It will take about an hour to get into London via the Tube. It’s practical and the cheapest option. If you feel tired once you get through immigration grab a coffee as you make your way to the London Underground Station. Heathrow is large and depending which gate you arrive at the walk to immigration may be long.

Buy your Oyster card from the machines at the Underground Station before you board. Easy peasy. Use a debit or credit card. Remember pounds not $’.s Put 20 pounds on it. Off you go.

It’s not the most scenic ride But you’ll be able to relax and rejuvenate.

Mind the Gap and enjoy your trip with your daughter.
Great city!

You may not have the London Underground aka the tube in Sacto but your light rail isn’t bad.

You’ll do fine.

Posted by
1340 posts

A word of warning. I remember the first couple of times I was in London, I could be very directional challenged when I left the station - having no idea where north and south was. At that time I took to carrying a small compass so I could start in the correct direction.

Today I download an offline map of London to my iPhone GoogleMap and use that. I can type in my hotel or any address and it will keep showing me which way to go. Great if you need to get to your hotel - or any other place - quickly. Don't overuse it though. It is important to wander around and see where your whims take you.

Posted by
1243 posts

Re purchasing Oyster cards at Heathrow 5: right near the machines is a kiosk usually staffed by folks you can ask questions of. You can buy your Oyster there if your brain is not ready to deal with machines upon deplaning. If you think you will be in London again, save your Oyster and add money next time you visit. Note the Oyster works on buses too, and buses are a great way to see an area - not advising for your trip to hotel, but just fyi for the remainder of your 2 weeks.

Posted by
95 posts

Hi Dianne
I agree that the tube to your hotel is certainly not difficult. But first time overnight travel - especially from the west coast can be very draining. I use a very reliable airport transfer service - to and from the airport - that is very reasonably priced
www.ExpressAirportTransport.co.uk -
the charge from Heathrow to The Tower Hotel is 44 pounds for 2 people with your size luggage.
They meet you as your exit immigration and will wait if your flight is delayed.
No need to book far in advance, something to think about as your planning continues.
Have fun planning!

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you everyone for your fabulous ideas, I appreciate all you have said. I'll definitely keep these posts and continue my planning our trip to London.
Take care.

Posted by
315 posts

If you've ever taken BART in SF, the Underground is very similar (and like BART, it's not all underground!), just more complex. It's very well signposted; on the walls in every station are maps of the various lines passing through it, a floor plan of the station itself, and maps of the neighborhood indicating which exit you want (just like BART). Outside the stations (and lots of other places in London) are more neighborhood maps showing what's in the area. So helpful!

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
15682 posts

I fly into T5 about 3-5 times a year. And I always take the tube into London.

When you land, follow the crowd to passport control. You will probably have to take the "train" to the main terminal. (This is not the underground just transport between satellite buildings.) Once through passport control, take the escalators down to baggage claim. Since you have no checked luggage, just look for the green exit and keep going. This is customs and you will probably see no one in uniform. Once through that you will be in the main terminal. Turn right and start walking. On your left you will see doors for the Heathrow Express. Keep walking. The next set of doors on your left will say " Underground." You can either buy your Oyster Card there or wait until you get down to the station. Go through the doors and take the elevator down to the Underground station. Once through the ticket barriers, the train platform to London will be on your left. You should be able to get a seat.

From there follow Emma's advice on transferring.

Sit back and relax. Your journey will take about an hour and 10 or an hour and 15 minutes. There are no toilets on the train so you might want to use them while in the terminal. You will find them all over. I suggest the ones in baggage claim.

And remember to "Mind the Gap.". Don't worry, you'll be reminded many times.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you Frank II, that was very helpful, all the lefts and rights. It was my main concern in a crowded place and not having much sleep for 24 hours. I plan on taking your forum and also Emma's with us. I am going to purchase the Visitor Oyster Cards about two weeks before our trip, just to have them in hand on arrival. Won't worry about the exchange rate.

Posted by
15682 posts

There really is no need to buy a Visitor Oyster card but if you will sleep better, do so.

But order it more than two weeks before you go. There is no time limit on the card and who knows how long it can take to get to you. I've sent packages from the UK to the U.S and it usually takes at least a week. With processing, and depending on what way they mail it, two weeks could be close.

The money on the card never goes bad.

Posted by
27415 posts

I agree with Frank. Two weeks is unnecessarily risky when ordering something from Europe. You don't want to come back from your trip and find two Oyster Cards in your mailbox.

Posted by
274 posts

Wow Nigel, I never knew about that Travel Group Meeting page. Thanks!
-Alison

Posted by
802 posts

I just spent 5 days or so in that Hotel in Sept. if you look at a map the Tube station is not quite kitty corner from the Hotel. It is mostly a downhill walk from Tube Station to Hotel but to avoid the strairs you have to leave the station in about the opposite direction of the hotel. This was a bit of an issue for me as I had my elderly father with me.
Personally unless you are flying business class or up I would definitely take a car from either Paddington Station (take the Express to Paddington) or get a car broom the airport. It is just a matter of being tired from the flight and messing around with the luggage and everything, And just to make it more of a pain the hotel entrance is on the River side about as far away from the tube station as you can get so it is a farther walk then you may think it is.
One option is to contact the hotel. They can arrange for a car. I had them arrange a car to take me to the Airport and it was expensive but not that bad. They were very accommodating at the hotel.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you Douglas. I have to be honest with myself and admit that my energy level isn't what it was in my 60's. So I think getting a car should be the way to go. The other posts from people who have been in the tube for many times don't have issues, but I think I will. Good to know the entrance is on the river side, which a driver will be aware of. By the way, what was the price from the hotel to Heathrow? After being in London a few days, we will be taking the Tube to Buckingham Palace and the next week to Kensington Palace. Do you know anything about "Get Your Guide Tours"? I've been looking at the different tours and wondering when to purchase the tickets. Most of them say "1 day", and "fill up quickly".