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Heathrow to West End in rain? and crowds?

I'm in London just over night, and going from Heathrow to see a show in the West End. I got some great advice here on how to do that, but advice with the stormy weather that's been going through? It's also the day before the Olympics start, and I'm not sure how crowded it will be. Any advice from other wanna be Londoners would be appreciated!

Posted by
8976 posts

The West End is crowded every evening regardless of the Olympics:) Anything is better than spending the night in your hotel room. Buy an umbrella and enjoy a show.

Posted by
1986 posts

Going in to West end should not be a problem- these trains and Tubes handle rush hour crowds. Dont wait until the last train/Tube for your return to Heathrow- they can really get packed from West End. Taxis also seem to disappear about then

Posted by
73 posts

I'm actually flying out of Stansted for the next flight. Any advice on how to get out there after a show? I've heard about Terravision busses, and trains, where do I get them and how much do they cost. Thanks for the help!

Posted by
970 posts

Take Heathrow Express from Heathrow to Paddington Station. Take a taxi to your show. Figure 30 minutes or so. (Taxis are outside Paddington to the right of the train as it comes in. Walk down the length of the train through the turnstiles, turn right, and turn right again. You will see a line a line on the floor to the taxi rank.) Do you need to haul luggage around?

Posted by
73 posts

I do have a suitcase, which I need to leave in a locker for the evening. So my current plan is: take the Heathrow Express to Paddington, change to the Circle Line to Liverpool Street, put my suitcase in a locker there, take the Circle Line to Holborn, and change for the Picadilly Line for Piccadilly Circus. I then can retrace my steps after the show to Liverpool street to pick up my suitcase and take the Stansted Express out to Stansted. My only question: does every Heathrow express go to Paddington? Or do I have to choose a certain one. And any idea how much a locker for a day costs? Thanks!

Posted by
4631 posts

There are no lockers at Liverpool Street Station. There is a left luggage facility, which closes at 23:00; this may be cutting it fine. Costs £8.50 per item. The route you have suggested from Heathrow to Liverpool Street includes a lot of going up and down stairs. For only about 20 minutes longer, it is possible to avoid stairs altogether by taking the Piccadilly Line to Kings Cross and Circle from there to Liverpool Street using escalators and lifts only. Cheaper too ...

Posted by
73 posts

This sounds better - does the Heathrow Express go all the way to King's Cross, or do I have to change somewhere to get there? Would much prefer escalators with a suitcase! 23:00 is cutting it close on the left luggage since my show goes 19:30 -22:20. Any advice on somewhere else to leave it? I don't mind lugging it around with me, but I'm afraid there won't be a place to store it at the theater.

Posted by
27426 posts

Heathrow Express stops exactly once per trip at its terminus - Paddington or Heathrow. All Piccadilly Line trains from Heathrow stop at Kings Cross. Have a look at the map available on the TfL website. I'd ask the theatre if my bag could be left in the cloakroom. I'd be surprised if they said no, but I'd sure check. The day before the Olympics expect plenty extra security which may slow you down...

Posted by
73 posts

This finally makes sense - there are both heathrow express trains and Piccadilly line trains that both leave from heathrow. I was thinking it was only one train line. Thanks for clarifying. I will contact the theater about coatcheck, and hopefully they will say yes.
I anticipate extra security because of the games. My flight lands at 2:30 at heathrow, and the show starts at 7:30. I'm going straight from the airport to the show - do I have a good chance of getting there on time? I'm hoping so.

Posted by
4631 posts

Which theatre? Where to leave your bag may depend on that.

Posted by
1986 posts

Kelly To clarify- the "Piccadilly Line" is the tube (Underground)
the heathrow Express and Heathrow connect are real trains. Trains and Underground go on completely separate tracks on very different routes in this case

Posted by
73 posts

Thanks for all the great advice. I contacted the theater (Queens Theater, to see Les Mis) and they do have a cloakroom, in which I can store my bag for no charge. Hurray! Thanks also for clarifying that the Heathrow Express is a train, and not on the Tube lines. Make much more sense. As I'm looking into ways to get to Stansted, I realized I'm only two Tube stops away from Victoria, so it looks easier (and cheaper) to catch a Terravision bus from Victoria, the last one of which leaves at 23:10, instead of going to Liverpool Street, which is further, to catch a Stansted Express train at 23:25 (or a Terravision bus from Liverpool Street). Has anyone taken a Terravision bus? Any reason that's a bad idea at that time of night? Or any experience with the train? Thanks again! I really appreciate all the helpful, friendly travellers on RS helpline. =)

Posted by
4631 posts

Piccadilly Circus to Victoria is 2 stops but also a change between lines. Green Park is not the easiest change directly between the Picadilly and Victoria Lines because of stairs; indeed it is easier to come all the way up to the surface and back down again on different escalators. I have no experience of the Terravision Bus (or indeed Stansted, as I live to the west of London), but note that it doesn't go directly from the railway station or the local bus station in front of the station. It goes from the Green Line Coach Station in Bulleid Way or a stop on Buckhingham Palace Road depending on time of day. These are round the side or back of the railway station and might not be the easiest to find in the dark being in unfamiliar surroundings. I used to work in Buckingham Palace Road, and there were always plenty of bemused people looking for buses and coaches, particularly if they weren't sure if they wanted the Green Line Coach Station or Victoria Coach Station.

Posted by
73 posts

I've decided I'm going to Liverpool Street to take the Stansted Express. Is it better, meaning more escalators and less stairs, to take the Picadilly Line to King's Cross and then Circle or Hammersmith and City Line to Liverpool Street, or Picadilly to Holborn, and then Central line to Liverpool Street? I know it's a detail question, but at that time of night with little time, I want to choose the best route. Thanks!

Posted by
387 posts

The Stansted Express stops at Tottenham Hale after leaving Liverpool Street. Tottenham Hale is on the Victoria Line so, if you are starting at Victoria, I would take the Victoria line to Tottenham Hale and pick up the Stansted Express from there.

Posted by
73 posts

Thanks, Nigel - great site for figuring out Tube routes and places made busier by the Games. Thanks, Katy - I'm starting from Piccadilly Circus, and it looks like the Bakerloo Line to Oxford Circus, and then the Victoria line out to Tottenham Hale will be more direct, and give me a little more time to catch the Stansted Express. Where does the Stansted Express come through in Tottenham Hale? Is it in the same station as the Tube? Or somewhere close? Also, do you think it's worth buying a Stansted Express ticket online before I go, or buying one there? Thanks!

Posted by
387 posts

At Tottenham Hale after you get off the tube you will find escalators that go straight up to the station. You exit the tube through the barriers at the top of the escalators and the station is straight ahead (no corridors). You will be on the right side of the line for the train going to Stansted (if you go over the bridge then you would be on the side going back to London). I think there are plenty of ticket machines at the top - there are also ticket windows. There are quite a few trains going through on this line to Cambridge - so make sure you check the indicator to get on the right train.
(Tottenham Hale is the station I go to for trips to the Edmonton Ikea so I know it well.)

Posted by
73 posts

Thanks, Katy - that's perfect! All the info I needed. I'm all set!

Posted by
73 posts

I'm back from my trip, and wanted to say thank you to all the great people who helped me plan my stopover in London - your advice was so helpful and made my day delightful and smooth. I got through immigration at Heathrow in an amazing 45 minutes, and had plenty of time to get both my ticket from the theater and my train ticket to Stansted. I was on a very crowded Shaftsbury avenue just before the Olympic torch came through! It was a thrilling day to be in London. Got around all the tube lines without a problem, the recommended routes worked perfectly, loved the show in the west end and made it safely to Stansted. All the advice and foreknowledge I took with me made my day smooth and stress free. Thanks again - you're making a difference in travelers lives here!