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Train from Windsor to London

We are landing at Heathrow on a Friday morning and plan to hire a car to take us to Windsor for the day, then take the train to London that afternoon. Has anyone had experience with the "anytime" tickets on Great Western Railway versus just buying on the spot? I am hesitant to commit to a train time since I have no guarantee our arrival will be on time (or how exhausted my family will be and willing to push through with me) but I am also afraid of not being able to get a ticket to London at a reasonable time that day. Any experiences/suggestions much appreciated!

Posted by
1255 posts

Hi Amy -

Not sure you need to hire a car to get to Windsor. It’s very near Heathrow - if your plane lands in a west to east direction, you fly low over Windsor Castle just before the plane touches down, it’s seen from the left hand side of the plane - a taxi could reasonably take you there so the only issue would be where you can store your luggage while you explore Windsor/Castle. I think there has been some discussion on Windsor luggage storage on the forum before - a search of more recent posts might advise.

‘Anytime’ rail tickets allow you to take any available train on the route as opposed to an ‘Advance’ ticket which ties you to a specific train. On the comparatively short trip from Windsor to central London ‘Anytime’ might be identical in price to ‘walk up’ - a little research will advise - see for info. While not as economically priced as ‘Advance’ tickets, ‘Anytime’ will give you more flexibility. Fingers crossed someone local to the area will weigh in with more precise info!

Have a great trip!


Posted by
5290 posts

There are no Advance tickets for Paddington-Windsor & Eton Central (WNC). After 9:30 a day return is £12, before that £15.50. You can buy them before the day but there is no real advantage in doing so. You need to change at Slough.

If you are just talking about a single from WNC then the cost is £11.30 whatever the time of day.

Posted by
11294 posts

I think we have a "divided by a common language situation" here.

In the US, we say "hire a car" to mean setting up a pre-booked taxi - a car someone else is driving. In the UK, they say "hire a car" to mean rent a car that you drive yourself.

So, I assume amydeibel is setting up a pre-booked taxi to take her from Heathrow to Windsor, which is sensible. I do hope she is not planning on renting a car and driving herself to Windsor, which does not make sense.

Posted by
4 posts

Ha ha - yes, Harold! We are pre-booking a taxi! I am most certainly not driving myself there.
Thanks all for your replies!

Posted by
5956 posts

There are also frequent buses between Heathrow and Windsor.

Regarding the trip from Windsor to London, your options are GWR to Paddington or Southwestern to Waterloo. Which one is the best depends a bit on where in London you are going.

Posted by
4 posts

I have reached out to a few hotels near the train station (saw in another thread someone had success with that in the past) but will plan to use stasher if that doesn’t work out.