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Heathrow Express

We're catching a 9:00 AM flight out of Heathrow on a Saturday morning. I understand the Heathrow Express is our best option. True? If so, does that mean we should stay near Paddington Station? I've never been to London and will only have Friday evening to explore. I'd prefer to be closer to central London if possible, but getting to the airport easily is top priority.
Kelly, Seattle

Posted by
4555 posts

It'll be tight, but you can make it. The Expresses leave Paddington every 15 minutes from 5:10 am and take 15 minutes to Terminals 1-3..another eight minutes to Terminal 4...count on another 15-20 minutes, say to get to the checkin lineup (2 hours before your flight). If you stay somewhere close to the Circle line, it's a straight run into Paddington...several other lines, like Picadilly, provide one-transfer service. The Tube usually starts around 5 am, so you can check when you arrive at your hotel...or you can cab it. Check the tube maps,etc, at http://www.tfl.gov.uk, while you can buy Heathrow Express tickets in advance at http://www.heathrowexpress.com then pick them up at an automatic kiosk at Paddington.

Posted by
473 posts

Across the street from the Paddington Station is the Paddington Tube stop. Hence, if you stay around Paddington, you can take the Tube anywhere in London, so staying in "central" London won't be an issue. We were told by a friend who lives in London that a fair number of the hotels around Paddington aren't the best, so refer to a guidebook when choosing. We stayed at the St. David's Hotel, http://www.stdavidshotels.com/ and really enjoyed our stay. It's not fancy, but it's clean, got comfortable beds, ample hot water, and a very friendly staff.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you both for your suggestions. We're going to stay near Paddington just to make things easier in the morning. We appreciate both your input.
Liz

Posted by
481 posts

Check with your hotel about a shuttle or car service. When requesting an early cab to Paddington in order to meet up with the Heathrow Express, our hotelier suggested a car service they use regularly. For about £50 a car picked us up and took us directly to the airport (we did give the driver an additional £5 tip). There were 3 of us, so the train would have cost about £43,50 and a cab another £10... That was last September so I don't know if the prices have increased, but it's worth a try.

Posted by
8700 posts

Since you've decided to stay near Paddington, you could save some money by taking the Heathrow Connect train (www.heathrowconnect.com) instead of the HEX. The first train leaves at 04:42 and the cost is 6.90 GBP.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks everyone for your suggetions. We are in Dublin now, in the rain. Good thing we're used to Seattle weather.

Posted by
221 posts

all good ideas here Liz, but keep in mind Heathrow is enormous and with the tight security after recent events in London, it can take more than 2 hours just to get through all the security before you even get to your gate. I was in London last May and we gave ourselves 3 hours plus at the airport and it was just about right. Heathrow is like a city. If you are flying into Heathrow, I suggest you figure out scope things out. I would do the car service if I were you since you will be leaving so early. For a 9 am departure I would arrive by 6 a.m. no foolin.

Posted by
1003 posts

Tim, thanks so much for the info on Heathrow Connect - I hadn't heard of it before and for half the price and just 10 more minutes, it seems well worth it. Thanks!

Posted by
9 posts

Hi All,
We are back home and have completed our trip. We flew into Gatwick on Friday, the 20th, about 12 hours after the first car bomb was found. We took the Gatwick Express (L15) to Victoria Station then the Tube to Paddington Station. We stayed at the Paddington Hilton (perfect location, great room, sporatic-at best desk and conceirge help. Saturday morning we made the two minute walk to Paddington Station where we caught the Heathrow Express (L15)at 5:12AM for our 9:00 flight. Everything worked quite smoothly (except the British Air checkin didn't open for another half hour) and security was the same as ever. I think we'd do it all the same way again.
Liz and Kelly