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6 hour layover in London. Suggestion?

We are arriving in London from Paris on a Sunday morning before 8 am and connecting to Los Angeles at 2 pm. Besides getting a new travel agent, does anyone have a suggestion for a quick trip out of the airport or should we just relax at Heathrow? The date is late July. Thanks in advance for your responses.
John

Posted by
9363 posts

I wouldn't risk leaving the airport and then having to go back through security. You will be amazed at how quickly the time will go by. Walk around, have brunch, do some shopping, and it will be time to board again.

Posted by
3428 posts

A 6 hour layover in London seems to be VERY common- so don't blame the agent. This question is asked often here and on Trip Advisor. It is a very close choice. You MIGHT have time to get into London (about a 45 min. to 1 hour ride on the Piccadilly tube or a very expensive 15-30 min. ride on the Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect then tube to central London), have a QUICK lunch and a look around, then back to Heathrow. That is IF you arrive on time, deplane quickly and don't have any long lines at passport control- AND IF there are NO delays on transportation due to 'engineering works' as the Brits call it. You will need to check in for your homeward flight at least 2-3 hours before hand. So I don't recommend trying to get into London. {Summary- land and deplane, go through passport control- about 1 hour. Trip into London- about 1 hour. Time to enjoy sights and eat, about 2 hours. About 1 hour back to airport.} If you are willing to risk leaving the airport, you could have time for lunch and a look around at Windsor (don't think you'd have time for a full castle tour). You could arrange a car service( about 15 min. ride to Windsor and Brit speak for a pre-booked taxi like service) or the bus (about 45 min. ride to Windsor). But personally, I don't think I'd want to risk missing my flight. Heathrow is a HUGE airport and has lots of shopping, restaurants and many, many lounges. If you don't have lounge privileges with your airline, look into buying a day pass at one. Rest, enjoy the food, watch TV or read, even take a shower in some lounges.

Posted by
9110 posts

'Sucker Layover' is not 'Sucker John'. One's a trap, the other's probably a pretty good guy. Here's the tally: Toni has a history of stating that she's been to the UK forty times. Assume she used Heathrow half the times. And that she only used it once per trip. That's twenty. Assume that I've passed through Heathrow fifty times. That's close, maybe, but we'll call it twenty-five. Keith's a damn native so we'll give him twenty-five. Okay, he's a native and said it was mad - - give him thirty. Assume the other three are complete idiots and have only seen Heathrow twice in their lives. That's six more. The 'Nay' votes come to eighty- one. It looks like the 'Yea's come to maybe four. The run from Heathrow to Lower Sloan Street is a straight shot down the A4 followed by a sharp right. Maybe I could make it a half hour, maybe not. Now comes the sticky part of the wicket - - you're still west of anything you probably know about. Westminster is still fifteen minutes east, Tower Bridge at least that much further along. You're now an hour out and an hour back. You've made two low passes, and no stops. What'd it take you to get off the plane and out to the taxi rank, another hour? You've got two left. That might be enough time to get underway again. Most people suggest three. At Heathrow I get jumpy with two and a half and I know my way around cold.

Posted by
9110 posts

Hence the term 'sucker layer-over. Probably not invented by me, but done by me all over the world. You won't die, but you'll have to track down that through-checked baggage at LAX, cough up a couple hundred bucks to rebook (hopefully there's a seat on the next flight out and it's soon), endure the wrath of your wife (whether she's with you or sitting at home fuming - - unless she's sitting at the airport because you forgot to call). There might be a few other glitches, but you'll work them out.

Posted by
1681 posts

Is there anyway to re-work the Paris to London part of the trip? It would be much more pleasant for you to take the Eurostar Saturday morning and spend your last day and night in London. You could then head to Heathrow about 9 A.M. Sunday morning. Since you are using a travel agent, s/he should be able to figure out a way to make this change. It might cost you extra $$$$, but at least you wouldn't be wasting an entire day of your vacation!......If not, at least Heathrow has a pretty good bookstore.

Posted by
9110 posts

Not disputing, Elle, miracles happen, miracles don't happen. Lower Sloan is still a good ways from where the OP'd probably like to go. Good driver, though, to make it in thirty minutes. It's probably fifteen miles after you wiggle out of the airport and I would have thought the swing after Knightsbridge would have knocked his average down a bit. Huh! Guess I don't know that much. Just checked google maps and it says T5 to Lower Sloan is exactly thirty minutes. Dumb me.

Posted by
8437 posts

"You're not a 'sucker'; it's regrettable that someone called you that" @Elle: Ed didn't call John a sucker. You owe Ed an apology. I would trust Ed, Toni, Keith, Joel, Monte and Nancy on this.

Posted by
786 posts

Hi John, I unfortunately have been stuck at Heathrow for long layovers too. If I had to pick an airport for a long layover, Heathrow would be at the top of the list. LOTS of shops, bars, restaurants, great people watching. What airline are you flying? Could you maybe bet a day pass to one of the Admirals or British Airways lounges? Or if you are lucky enough to be flying business on an international flight, you would have access anyway- Comfy couches, free wifi, open bar. I don't know London well but leaving seems a little risky. I had one experience where had a layover in London from Chicago to Rome. It was three hours and I barely made the flight because of all the lines/construction/security checkpoints. Happy travels!

Posted by
1 posts

Kristen is right! Enjoy Heathrow. My husband and I had the same layover and managed to find a champagne/caviar bar. It was the best 100 bucks we spent on our 3 week Turkey & Paris vacation. Hey...it was 6:00pm at home!

Posted by
18 posts

Wow! I have been busy the last two days and missed out on all of your
hilarious posts. I knew going all the way to London was out of the question but I had heard Windsor Castle was a possibility. Now I am convinced to sit tight and find a good bar. Of course, if I want to take a nap, I am sure there will be a soccer game on some TV. I appreciate the suggestions and will see London next time. John