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train questions please

Thank you all so much for your help with my previous questions. We have decided to just stay in England and do France again another time. What I need help with is we need to get from Heathrow Airport to a hotel across from Victoria Station. I have read that we would need to use anExpress train and then change in Paddington to the tube. There will be 3 people and the cost of the train is almost equal to using a driving service. Am I wrong about that? If you can buy tickets in advance to save money what site do you use to have them mailed to the US?
The second question is we are going from Dover to Heathrow on our return and once again need the Express train. Can we get advanced tickets for that?
As always thanks so much for your help.
Amie

Posted by
16894 posts

Tickets booked at www.heathrowexpress.com (site currently down for maintenance) are e-tickets, not mailed to the US. From https://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions/by-rail-or-train/heathrow-express:

Express Singles (one-way tickets) cost £22 off-peak and £25 peak, peak times are 6:30am - 9:30am or 4pm - 7pm, Monday – Friday excluding UK Bank Holidays. Express Class Returns (roundtrip tickets) are £37 at all times. Alternatively book in advance from just £5.50 one way at weekends and £12.10 one way on weekdays.

Once in London, your group might find it easier to take a taxi to your hotel than to transfer to the Tube with luggage. Distance under 3 miles, tariff maybe 10 pounds, unless stalled in traffic.

Posted by
14288 posts

If you are staying near Victoria Station take a look at the National Express coach from Heathrow in to Victoria Coach Station. Here is a googlemaps link. It would not link to the exact right spot, lol, so where the coaches actually ARRIVE is right beside what is noted as Travelers Tavern across the street from there the google pin is. I've taken this several times and it was really convenient for my hotel which is on Ebury Street. It might be a longer walk to where your exact location will be, though.

https://goo.gl/maps/WdJpowoPJLHq1CwH9

It takes about an hour to get in to town and the National Express coach station is between Terminal 2 and 3 and is pretty well-marked.

IF you are going to wind up on the Tube anyway, take the Piccadilly from Heathrow to Hammersmith station, do the across the platform change and then take the District line to Victoria Station.

Posted by
15721 posts

How much luggage do you have? If not much, the three of you can take the tube from Heathrow for much less than the price of one Heathrow Express ticket. And then you'd have the price of the tube or a taxi above that.

Piccadilly line from Heathrow to Hammersmith, cross the platform, then District line to Victoria.

The Heathrow Express is actually out of the way for you.

If you have a lot of luggage look into a car service.

From Dover, get a direct train to London St. Pancras. From there you can get the Piccadilly line that goes direct to Heathrow. Forget about the Express train on this route.

Posted by
33339 posts

What Frank II said.

In your case all the Heathrow Express will do is munch money better spent elsewhere. In neither direction of your particular journeys worthwhile. Just takes you the long way around.

Victoria station is very spread out, and "just across" could be in one of several directions. Depending on exactly which hotel the National Express coach to the Victoria Coach Station may be a better idea.

If you want to share which hotel you can get a more precise answer....

Posted by
1285 posts

Unless you're wanting to save every penny, I'd book a car service/minicab for the Heathrow - London journey. It may, with traffic, not prove the fastest way, but it's the easiest door-to-door and with three of you not that dear "per head". Especially preferable if you're coming off a long flight. Whilst saving money is fine, sometimes it's better to think "sod this for a game of soldiers" and pay a little more to take the easier way.

Posted by
4066 posts

Entering your hotel's exact address into the Google Maps search function, to show possible routes from your Heathrow terminal number, can save some fumbling around in the quite large area covered by Victoria's train and coach terminals.

Even better is the Transport for London site which displays more choices of transport and possible costs. It will be helpful throughout your stay in the city:

https://tfl.gov.uk/

Posted by
2153 posts

Here's another vote for just hiring a car, especially if this is your first time in London and you've just finished a long flight. The last car hire for the three of us was ~$80, door to door. I considered it money well spent. Well, it was actually money easily spent since my wife was in London on business and she could put the charge on her expense report. ;-)

Posted by
33339 posts

Car hire in England means a rental car. Surely that is not meant in the above post.

Private hire car - also known as minicab - is probably what was meant. In a Private hire car you are hiring the driver and her or his car for the journey at an agreed upon price. Probably cheaper than a cab off the rank.

"Hiring a car" means going to the Hertz (other brands are available) counter, handing over money or plastic equivalent, and getting the keys to a car.

Posted by
8889 posts

I too was confused. DougMac recommends hiring a car at Heathrow (Hertz, Avis etc.). Driving into central London (not a good idea), and thinks he can park at a hotel near Victoria station?

The easiest way is to simply get the tube, changing at Hammersmith (across the platform) and getting out at Victoria station.
https://tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/ says 50 minutes, by road will be slower.

Cost (per person):
Peak : £5.10 Monday to Friday from 0630 to 0930.
Off Peak: £3.10 At all other times including public holidays.
That has got to be a lot cheaper than a pre-booked taxi (or a hire car).

Posted by
34 posts

Thank you for your suggestions. We are actually coming from a hotel near Heathrow to the Hilton at Victoria. We are going to meet the bus to take us to the cruise ship. I thought there would be a tube in Heathrow, but the Hilton directions used said to take the train. We will definitely use the tube now we know, as it seems it would be cheaper than a hired driver.
Thanks.

Posted by
3265 posts

I agree with Frank and Chris. However, we always changed at Baron’s Court as it is minus the crowds of Hammersmith and also just a few feet to the other side of the platform.

Posted by
8889 posts

We are actually coming from a hotel near Heathrow to the Hilton at Victoria.

That comment is a red flag. Most hotels "near" Heathrow are actually along the road which runs pas the north side of the airport (Bath Road). They are not at the terminals. You will need to take a bus (hotel bus or public bus) to get to the terminals where the stations are (tube + Heathrow Express).
Be sure to allow enough time.

Posted by
33339 posts

Agree with Chris F. Again, if you tell us the hotel near Heathrow you can have more precise answers and exactly the best way.

Posted by
34 posts

Yes, we are staying at the Staybridge in Hillingdon. We are going to the Hilton across from Victoria station to meet our bus to go to the cruise dock. Directions using the tube would be very helpful. We can handle our luggage outselves.
Thanks so much,
Amie

Posted by
8889 posts

Staybridge hotel, 276A Bath Rd, West Drayton UB7 0DQ
Hotel website here: https://www.ihg.com/staybridge/hotels/gb/en/west-drayton/lonbr/hoteldetail

Google maps here: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4809832,-0.4639829,17z
You will see that there is a bus stop outside the hotel, and if you hover over it, it shows bus numbers: Newport road (stop BB) 4, 7, 423, U3

If you look at this map (from Heathrow airport site): https://www.heathrow.com/content/dam/heathrow/web/common/documents/at-the-airport/airport-maps/free-travel-around-Heathrow.pdf
You can see the 7 and U3 go to Heathrow central, wher you can pick up the tube. That map also implies the bus is free.

Edit:

Directions using the tube would be very helpful. We can handle our luggage outselves.

Just follow the signs to the Underground. You will need an Oyster Card, or any "contactless" credit or debit card, to operate the gates to gte in.
Take any train heading towards London, change at Hammersmith to the District Line (across the platform) and getting out at Victoria station.

Posted by
2153 posts

Car hire in England means a rental car. Surely that is not meant in the above post.

Sorry Nigel for the confusion. I meant having a private car and driver take them from the airport. The new information may or may not change the story.

Amie, you said you can handle the luggage yourselves and that you will be on a cruise. At the risk of generalization, I think folks who are taking a cruise tend to carry more luggage than those who are traveling cross country independently or with a RS tour. Personally, if I had more than two bags and/or one was larger than overhead size, I wouldn't want to try to negotiate the underground. Bus or private car transportation would work better.

If you are just doing England, where will the cruise take you?

Posted by
8889 posts

Dumb question. Why are you at a hotel in Heathrow in the first place if you need to get to Hilton hotel near Victoria station on the following morning?
My guess is that you are flying in to Heathrow the day before. If that is so, you also have to take the bus from whichever terminal to your hotel. Why not take the tube from Heathrow when you land, and stay in a hotel near Victoria station for the night?
Or perhaps you ae dropping off a car at Heathrow? Same logic applies, just take a tube to Victoria and stay there?

Posted by
34 posts

The cruise goes to several places in England and then a few stops in Ireland and Scotland. Then back to Dover. That is why I was asking also about how to get back to Heathrow on the train as we will be leaving later that afternoon.
We will have one large suitcase and one carry on.
Thanks,
Amie

Posted by
34 posts

We are staying at Staybridge because we can afford it! The hotels by Victoria for next Sept were over 300 a night. We are arriving at 6:30 am to Heathrow on Friday am, taking the free shuttle to the hotel to drop off luggage and then going into London for the day. The next day we are renting a car to drive to a few villages in the Cotswold, which we have done before. The next am we have to be at the Hilton as that is the hotel the cruise ship uses for picking up. They actually use several but they are all to rich for my blood!
Thanks so much for the tube directions. Just what we needed.
Amie