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solo 30 yr old female traveler with a 23hr London layover - where to stay & visit?

I am traveling through London on my way to meet up with family in Copenhagen in early June. I arrive around 11:30am and then fly out the next morning at 10am. Where is a good place to stay? In town or back by Heathrow? What is feasible to visit? First time in London, so I would like to visit some of the sites.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Posted by
2081 posts

Lindsey,

greetings.

what airport are you flying out of?
what do you like to do. Others will just spit out a shopping list of to do, but i prefer to get an idea of likes.

happy trails.

Posted by
3 posts

Hi Ray,

I am flying in and out of Heathrow. It is my first time in London, so I want to see some of the historical sites and do some walking around. With only minimal time, I know that I won't be able to do everything. So far I was thinking about one of the hop-on, hop-off bus tours so I can get an overview of the sites and then maybe some thing else a bit more off the beaten path.

Posted by
2081 posts

Lindsey,

There is soooooo much in London, i dont know if i would travel outside unless there was something special.

Everytime ive been to London, ive never got on the Hop-on-Hop-off bus. If i remember correctly, Rick Steves mentions in his London book which local buses do just about the same as the Hop On bus. ALso, i think they are on the spendy side like 20 USD or more per leg.

I just love the tube system there. I have a Oyster card that i bring with me everytime i go back. Its easy to use. But i prefer to use the tube system there. If you want to be adventurous, just pick a stop and head on out. its sort of like prairie-dogging on a large scale instead of cubicle land.

If you care to:

look at going down to the Westminster/Parliament area. Its iconic, but i like the area and its soooo London.
Just walking around London is cool. You never know whats around the corner or the view you will get.
the British Museum is really great too. If you have the time, you may want to peek inside. But that would depend if you like Museums. Trafalgar square is nice especially if the weather cooperates.
I havent been in Hyde park other than on Horseback. one day i will make it on foot.
there are alot of museums in London too, but i would probably spend more time outside than in, unless the weathers bad.

If you can, spend some time grazing on the local food and stuff. I like going on a dessert hunt to try to find different and yummy treats. I did find local candy store that has some great caramels (toffees).

happy trails.

Posted by
4555 posts

I'd suggest that you stay somewhere along the Piccadilly line. In particular, I often choose Earls Court when I have a short trip to London and I am flying out of Heathrow.

What day of the week will you be arriving?

Posted by
2081 posts

Lindsey,

I forgot to add.

If you stay in london, you shoudlnt have any issues making it to LHR by 1000 (0800) for your flight out.

To me, it would allow you to spend alot of time, day and night, checking out London. Also, London at night feels and looks different. just remember to use common since.

Happy trails.

Posted by
714 posts

Don't forget to allow for jetlag....I normally get hit around 3.00 pm - nice time for a good cuppa tea! And you say you will arrive about 11.30 in the morning. It will be at least one hour to get through immigration and customs and then you have to get yourself into town. I think you will be lucky to make it into London by 2.00 pm and then you have to book into a hotel and get yourself to wherever you plan on going.

I am not sure how late they run, but you might think about a river cruise from Westminster - its a great way to see many of the historic sites of London, from Westminster to the Tower and they always do a pretty good commentary (full of bad jokes as I recall!). I would prefer that to the hop on hop off bus. Most sites and museums close at either 5.30 or 6.00; Westminster Abbey and St Paul's close at 4.00 (but check because times do vary depending on what is going on) so really you are not going to see a lot.

Another option, rather than going into London, would be to go to Windsor a short bus ride away, visit the castle (that will take a couple of hours or so) and stay either in Windsor or head back to the airport and stay at a hotel there (I like the Premier Inn on Bath Road). Windsor is a nice town and the castle is fantastic. That way is a little bit more relaxed the next morning. If you do chose to do that, consider leaving your heavy baggage at the left luggage at Heathrow (there is one in each terminal, so make sure you use the terminal from which you leave the next day). Pack what you need for overnight in a small carry-on that you take on the bus. For info on getting to Windsor see http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Travel-g186216-c184679/United-Kingdom:Heathrow.Layover.Windsor.Castle.html

Posted by
714 posts

Sorry, I should have said a shortish bus ride to Windsor. It's 20 minutes by cab, about 1 hour by bus.

Posted by
7991 posts

We loved the Hop-On Hop-Off bus in London. My favorite site there is the Tower of London. While not off the beaten path, I highly recommend both.