6 hour layover on Heathrow

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Tribonian
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6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Tribonian » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:40 pm

If you had a six hour layover in Heathrow and wanted to visit a few sights, what would top your list?

We’re thinking Tower Bridge, maybe the British Museum. Family of 4, old enough to walk without whining.

Appreciate any insights.

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randomizer
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by randomizer » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:41 pm

I probably wouldn’t bother leaving the airport with so few hours. Security etc really eats into the time.
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student
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by student » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:43 pm

I don't understand. You have 6 hours layover at the airport and you want to go sightseeing? I think this is going to be tough. It is about 20 miles between Heathrow and Tower Bridge. Take a look at time and cost to go there. https://www.rome2rio.com/s/London-Heath ... wer-Bridge

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mrc
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by mrc » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:44 pm

Don't you have to clear customs as well? Even just your person will take time.
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delamer
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by delamer » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:48 pm

I am no expert on London and travel to and from Heathrow. But in addition to travel time, remember that you’ll need to go through Customs/Passport Control to leave the airport and when you return. All of that will eat up a couple hours.

Westminster Abbey is fascinating — loads of history because of all the famous people buried there. If you have an interest in WWII, the Cabinet War Rooms are worthwhile.

stlutz
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by stlutz » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:54 pm

My experience has been that it takes 3 hours to change planes in Heathrow. As far as European airports go, Munich sits on one extreme in terms of efficiency; Heathrow is on the other.

adamthesmythe
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by adamthesmythe » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:04 pm

Not enough time to go to town (safely) and much more than needed to change planes.

If you were talking Schipol...then maybe.

Tribonian
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Tribonian » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:09 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:04 pm
Not enough time to go to town (safely) and much more than needed to change planes.

If you were talking Schipol...then maybe.
We’ll only have carry on and nothing to declare so I was thinking we'd clear customs pretty quickly. We’ve managed to fit in side trips to the Pyramids and the Torre de Belem during layovers in Mexico City and Lisbon so I thought we could maybe see one sight in London. Been a long time since I’ve flown through Heathrow though.

Rick Rock
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Rick Rock » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:28 pm

Legitimately depends on if your inbound flight is early or not, and then how your customs line looks.

Having flown into Heathrow 20+ times, i've been an hour early with no UK border delay (or expedited clearance thanks to business class), and I've also been a couple hours late and stuck in endless lines to get into the UK. YMMV.

If you're early and customs lines aren't bad - hop on the Heathrow Express (leaves every 15 minutes, 15 minutes to Paddington) and then transfer to the Tube.

Given your time crunch I highly recommend West London over attractions like the British Museum and Tower Bridge. Westminster is sort of possible but most attractions take a bit more time than you have.

The South Ken museum district (V&A is my favorite) is doable, as is exploring Notting Hill or Chelsea for just a bit - quick walk, pint and bite to eat - you have to head back to LHR.

Plan to arrive back at Heathrow 90min before your next flight and you'll be fine.

Good luck and enjoy your time in the most fascinating city in the world

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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by harrychan » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:49 pm

Rick Rock wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:28 pm
Legitimately depends on if your inbound flight is early or not, and then how your customs line looks.

Having flown into Heathrow 20+ times, i've been an hour early with no UK border delay (or expedited clearance thanks to business class), and I've also been a couple hours late and stuck in endless lines to get into the UK. YMMV.

If you're early and customs lines aren't bad - hop on the Heathrow Express (leaves every 15 minutes, 15 minutes to Paddington) and then transfer to the Tube.

Given your time crunch I highly recommend West London over attractions like the British Museum and Tower Bridge. Westminster is sort of possible but most attractions take a bit more time than you have.

The South Ken museum district (V&A is my favorite) is doable, as is exploring Notting Hill or Chelsea for just a bit - quick walk, pint and bite to eat - you have to head back to LHR.

Plan to arrive back at Heathrow 90min before your next flight and you'll be fine.

Good luck and enjoy your time in the most fascinating city in the world
I concur with Rick Rock. You can possibly hit 2 at most 3 sites if you take the Heathrow express. I would try to store your luggage at the airport. Traveling through the tube and about London with carry on luggage is not fun. If I remember correctly, I don't think you can take luggage into places like the British Museum.
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SrGrumpy
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by SrGrumpy » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:52 pm

Impossible. Unless maybe you have an EU passport and no bags and are first off the plane and are a fast walker - in which case maybe a drive-by past Runnymede and/or Windsor Castle. Please update us! I wish you well. It's like The Amazing Race.

P.S. if you fly in about 6-7 a.m., as I do from California., many attractions may not be open anyway.
Last edited by SrGrumpy on Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

killjoy2012
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by killjoy2012 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:52 pm

I've visited London and LHR many times. 6 hours is not enough time to visit Tower Bridge / ToL. It'd probably take you an hour to clear customs, get to the LHR train/tube station area, buy an Oyster, and find your way onto the Piccadilly. Then another 75-90 minutes by tube to Tower Bridge. Which would leave just enough time to get back on the tube and head to the airport. HEX is faster (and much more expensive) to London, yes, but then you'd need to switch over to the tube and ride another 30 mins to Tower Bridge. Probably would have just enough time to step foot on it, take a picture, and head back.... not worth it IMHO.

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Watty
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Watty » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:19 pm

I have not visited it but I have seen Windsor Castle when taking off from Heathrow and it is pretty close to the airport so I would think that would be doable if you will be there when it is open.

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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by livesoft » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:31 pm

Speed things up by having a car service pick you up at the airport and take you directly to Windsor Castle.
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noco-hawkeye
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by noco-hawkeye » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:38 pm

stlutz wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:54 pm
My experience has been that it takes 3 hours to change planes in Heathrow. As far as European airports go, Munich sits on one extreme in terms of efficiency; Heathrow is on the other.
Agree 100%.

skjoldur
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by skjoldur » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:39 pm

You can buy Heathrow Express tickets online or with the app. Then you can have the ticket on your phone before you arrive, which could reduce the chance that you miss a train while figuring out how to buy tickets.

Bmac
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Bmac » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:47 pm

Like Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace would also be doable by taxi/car service from Heathrow. I agree with others that getting into London and back with any time left to actually see anything is doubtful, unless you are already very experienced with Heathrow Express and the Underground system (and have an EU Passport or are in business/first class and therefore have Fast Track access at boarder control and security).

cherijoh
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by cherijoh » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:20 pm

Your layover is just the wrong length. A little shorter and it would be a nice safety margin in case your flight was late and you got stuck in a line in Immigration & customs. A little longer and you would be assured of enough time to see something in London.

Even if you are only taking carry-on luggage, Immigration is a crap shoot. There are lots of planes coming in to Heathrow from the US within a fairly short span of time each morning and everyone must pass through immigration first. If your plane comes in early and off loads passengers before the dozens of other planes, it can be speedy - but there could also be several jumbo jets of passengers who landed just minutes before your plane. You can also land and then wait around for a gate to open up eating up lots of time. I would also check and see what the recommended check-in is for your departing plane in Heathrow. This uncertainty makes it difficult IMO to set up a car and driver in advance.

One thing to consider - with all the terrorism concerns you should check and see if the airport still has places to check your luggage for a few hours. (You really don't want to haul it around with you while you sightsee). Many years ago I ended up having a day in Barcelona (between 2 overnight trains) but there was absolutely nowhere to leave luggage at the train station - the Basque separatists had been on a bombing spree of public places and they had closed down all the luggage lockers at the train station.

cherijoh
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by cherijoh » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:25 pm

noco-hawkeye wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:38 pm
stlutz wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:54 pm
My experience has been that it takes 3 hours to change planes in Heathrow. As far as European airports go, Munich sits on one extreme in terms of efficiency; Heathrow is on the other.
Agree 100%.
The differences are even more stark if you compare the trains - Britrail to the Deutche Bundesbahn!

Capsu78
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Capsu78 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:01 pm

I suppose Paris is it's own concentric circle of Hell...

3504PIR
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by 3504PIR » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:02 pm

If you are flying BA at any point and have access to the lounge, the BA lounge in terminal 4 is pretty good with lots of beer selections and a curry bar most days if not all. There is also a pub just outside the door.

A return ticket (round trip) on the Heathrow express is about 80 pounds per person. Not bad if you are traveling to zones 1-2 but a lot of money for an hour of sight seeing. Taxi or bus will be more and travel time is unknown. The express takes about 25 minutes to Paddington.

For me, there is no way I’d leave the airport with a 6 hour layover unless you want to go look at a housing estate (project) in Rislip.

BlackcatCA
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by BlackcatCA » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:01 pm

There are tour companies that specialize in layover tours. I just googled it and see this (never tried it myself so not endorsement):

http://www.londonmagicaltours.com/londo ... tours.html

Direct car transfer to and from central London, so you don't have to worry about tube schedule, but then there's the traffic.

With only 6 hours though, I'd second the suggestion to experience some of the airport lounges. Heathrow has a good selection. If you are flying Star Alliance, you can try 3 excellent lounges all in Terminal 2. I recently had a 4 hour layover at the United lounge. It has shower facilities (only a few of these around), so the 4 hrs was actually quite bearable.

Not sure with kids though.

tigermilk
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by tigermilk » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:11 pm

First time to London my wife and I spent three days in the British Museum. On a layover, about all you'd get is a good look at the entrance.

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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by seawolf21 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:27 pm

I disagree with posts above saying it is impossible because we don’t know when OP is arriving and any FastTrack status.

Was in LHR two Saturday afternoons ago. No one at FastTrack T5 immigration. Met up with a friend landslide and then took the train over to T3 with 2 hours to departure on AA. Nobody at FastTrack security screening.

It really depends what time OP is arriving into LHR.

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:41 pm

Tribonian wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:40 pm
If you had a six hour layover in Heathrow and wanted to visit a few sights, what would top your list?

We’re thinking Tower Bridge, maybe the British Museum. Family of 4, old enough to walk without whining.

Appreciate any insights.
I don’t think you have time to see any sights in London. If I were in your shoes, I would see if I could hang out in the Virgin lounge there, which is fantastic.

https://www.virginatlantic.com/us/en/vi ... house.html


Andy.

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Sheepdog
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:20 pm

Have a laptop computer with you and search youtube for London Sightseeing. Have a drink or two with some food while occasionally looking up to watch the many different people going by and your 6 hours will pass fast while you are seeing London and the people going to and from London.
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Tribonian
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Tribonian » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:49 am

Thanks for all the responses. We can be pretty flexible in terms of making a game day decision if customs happens to be longer or shorter than anticipated. Just want to have a destination if the circumstances are favorable. We don’t need anything iconic, just interesting. We won’t have access to the lounges. No EU passports and one of the kids is a teenager.

Really appreciate the feedback.

noco-hawkeye
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by noco-hawkeye » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:35 am

The lounge idea is a really good one. Larger international airports often have the nicest lounges, and you can pickup passes on ebay or from credit card offers. If you have never used one of these airport lounges before, this would be a great time to try one. Tried it once with the family last year - they loved all you can eat / drink etc.

A couple of years ago I had something like a 2 hour layover from Paris coming back home and I was running through the airport, and had something like 10 minutes to spare until the doors shut. I found queue after queue after queue and in that airport - it just took much longer than it really should have for a simple gate transfer. At the time I was traveling alone, not sure I would have made the transfer with the entire family along.

rennale
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by rennale » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:51 am

First, check the weather. If it's raining, stay in the airport.

I would keep it very simple. Heathrow Express to Paddington. Then just walk:

- Perhaps to Portobello Market and the Notting Hill area. Lots of fun.
or:
- Down to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Then down into Knightsbridge and visit Harrods - the food hall, the toy department, etc. Perhaps stroll past the fancy shops in Beauchamp Place and the lovely houses and mews around Hans Place Garden. If you stay in Kensington Gardens you could enjoy the Italian Water Gardens, the Long Water/Serpentine, Peter Pan statue, Round Pond, Diana Memorial Playground. (Rather like having a few hours in NYC and going to Central Park.)

These would give you a feel of the throb and ambience of the city. You don't have time for a big tourist destination or museum. If you get stuck for time you can jump in a cab back to Paddington.

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midareff
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by midareff » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:21 am

Tribonian wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:40 pm
If you had a six hour layover in Heathrow and wanted to visit a few sights, what would top your list?

We’re thinking Tower Bridge, maybe the British Museum. Family of 4, old enough to walk without whining.

Appreciate any insights.
I would look for a Greyline Tour that would pick up at airport and return, or do something custom for you.

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Kitty Telltales
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Kitty Telltales » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:37 am

Your gang might be a bit jet lagged. After eating a traditional English breakfast find some lounge chairs in the terminals where you can take a nap. There is also pretty good shopping at the airport for those who can’t sleep.

But I know where you are coming from because you want to make the most of the opportunity. Once I had a layover in Newark, NJ on our way from Frankfurt to Florida. We jumped on the PATH to rush in the city so that I could smell the wonderfully stinky NYC air, run through Macys, took a photo with the street Santa and ordered a corned beef sandwich before rushing back to the airport. The street Santa was not so happy when I tipped him with Euro coins, but that’s all I had on me.

stan1
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by stan1 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:41 am

Heathrow Express is the fastest train trip but in this case may not be the best. First it is expensive and you won't be able to save by buying in advance. Second although travel time from Terminal 2/3 to Paddington is 15 minutes you can wait 15 minutes for the next train (or miss one because you are buying tickets). There's not a lot to do around Paddington Station without another 15-30 minutes walking or transfer to the underground.

Assuming you don't have luggage I'd take the Picadilly Line (Underground) into South Kensington and transfer to the District/Circle line to Westminster station. Here you have Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, changing of the guard, London Eye, and a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Thames. Picadilly line trains run every few minutes and with an easy transfer you can be right on the bank of the Thames in 45-60 minutes. If you are lucky you'll have 2 hours to explore.

My personal experience with Terminal 5 since it opened is that immigration and security timelines can be highly variable even with Fast Track. I have walked up to an immigration agent after a flight arriving at 3:30PM and been cleared within 30 seconds and another time stood in the Fast Track line for over an hour on a different day at the same time. I have gone through security in under 10 minutes at noon on one day and on another day stood in line for over 2 hours at the same security checkpoint at the same time. My own observation of this volatility and uncertainty is why for me I would stay at the airport for 6 hours.

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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by MtnBiker » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:17 am

This thread brings back memories. When I was young and adventurous and traveling alone on my first trip to Europe back in 1982, I had a long layover at Heathrow on my way home. Don't remember the exact length of time but it was 4 or more hours. I checked my luggage at the airport and took the Tube to Westminster. Started walking briskly through the city and saw Big Ben, some guards (at the Horse Guards?), Trafalgar Square and on to Picadilly Circus. That is where my plans began to go awry.

I found out later that the rowdy fans from two rival soccer teams had arranged to meet at the Picadilly Tube Station at a certain time and settle their differences then and there. As I descended the stairs of the station and was about to step off the last step onto the platform, the rival gangs converged from opposite sides of the platform and began a full fledged riot directly in front to me with pushing and shoving and fists thrown. I did an about face and went back up the stairs to safety above. The police came in with police dogs and eventually separated the two groups on opposite platforms. The Tube system was shut down for more than an hour. When I finally made it back to the gate at the airport it was after departure time for my flight. Fortunately for me, the flight was delayed for some reason and there was one center seat left, so Pan Am let me on the plane. That was the closest I came to ever missing a flight.

WhyNotUs
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by WhyNotUs » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:10 am

We faced this dilemma a couple months ago with 8 hr layover and in the end we decided to just enjoy a couple lounges/naps in the airport instead. We have been to London though. When we were considering it, our focus was on either a walking tour of Paddington or hiring a driver. We were in the early morning and determined that traffic might make the car a disincentive. Going to Paddington ended up not being that sexy plus we flew economy and were tired and enjoyed stretching out for a nap in the lounge.

Hauling a family of 4 through airport/customs/train/tube/tube/train/security/airport for an hour or two of sightseeing would not be my choice but YMMV.
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Rick Rock
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Rick Rock » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:51 pm

rennale wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:51 am
First, check the weather. If it's raining, stay in the airport.

I would keep it very simple. Heathrow Express to Paddington. Then just walk:

- Perhaps to Portobello Market and the Notting Hill area. Lots of fun.
or:
- Down to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Then down into Knightsbridge and visit Harrods - the food hall, the toy department, etc. Perhaps stroll past the fancy shops in Beauchamp Place and the lovely houses and mews around Hans Place Garden. If you stay in Kensington Gardens you could enjoy the Italian Water Gardens, the Long Water/Serpentine, Peter Pan statue, Round Pond, Diana Memorial Playground. (Rather like having a few hours in NYC and going to Central Park.)

These would give you a feel of the throb and ambience of the city. You don't have time for a big tourist destination or museum. If you get stuck for time you can jump in a cab back to Paddington.
+1. Excellent suggestions especially with family and especially if it's not raining.

magazinewriter
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by magazinewriter » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:49 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:31 pm
Speed things up by having a car service pick you up at the airport and take you directly to Windsor Castle.
+1 Windsor is right next door to Heathrow.

ryman554
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by ryman554 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:41 am

Let's do the math.

Assume 30 minutes minimum to get from plane to landside. With no EU passport, could be 60 minutes or more, especially when you write"transit" on the landing card with a six hour layover.
.
You want to be back at LHR 90 minutes to departure to collect boarding pass and clear security.

That's two hours of six gone. Four left. It'll take 15 minutes or so to store luggage, but with parallel processing, may not cost you time to pick it up. 15 more to get money and figure out how to get tickets to wherever it's at least 45 minutes on tube/train to get anywhere interesting. That's another 2 hours used up, assuming you can buy tickets with no delay

Four hours of six gone,. Two hours left. I go to London a lot, and time walking around Hyde Park up to the West end may be ok. I'd get my Nandos fix, and rumours that. I have done so on a eight hour layover cannot be confirmed nor denied.

You could try to get to Windsor, but the line to get info the castle can be an hour long. I'd settle for seeing the town instead. A couple of hours there may be doable, but you would have to figure out how to hire a car to get to and fro with a somewhat loose schedule.

If you are seasoned travellers, go for it. If this is your first family overseas holiday, I would caution against.

Mr.BB
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Mr.BB » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:33 am

With the time it takes to get from the airport to the downtown area, you wouldn't have much time to look around and then you will have to deal with going through TSA/security again. You would be better off taking the money and relaxing in one of the club lounges. Some of them even have showers and decent food for free.
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chickadee
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by chickadee » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:19 am

Agree that the best way to do this would be with a company that specializes in layover tourism or, hire JustAirports or the like to pick you up, take you to Windsor, see the castle if the line isn’t too long, see the town otherwise, and then return to heathrow.

TravelGeek
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:27 am

I personally would stay in the terminal/lounge (anything you might do you would probably do again properly on a real visit), but if you insist, don’t drag rollaboards through London.

https://www.heathrow.com/airport-guide/ ... ft-baggage

dcabler
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by dcabler » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:18 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:52 pm
Impossible. Unless maybe you have an EU passport and no bags and are first off the plane and are a fast walker - in which case maybe a drive-by past Runnymede and/or Windsor Castle. Please update us! I wish you well. It's like The Amazing Race.

P.S. if you fly in about 6-7 a.m., as I do from California., many attractions may not be open anyway.
+1 I fly through Heathrow 6 or 7 times a hear. Long lines for passport control, long distance between terminals to catch the next flight, then going through a long line at security check. Nope, not nearly enough time to do anything except maybe to visit some of the shops inside the airport.

peseta
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by peseta » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:09 am

Here's one idea. Go through immigration, etc., and then see how much time you have when that is done. The key variable in this overall equation is how long that is going to take.

If it turns out you don't have enough time to go into the city, do something else. One idea might be Windsor Castle (you need a car service/taxi to pull that off, don't rely on transit), depending on how much time is left. Another safer one is to take the Piccadilly Line tube to one of the Hounslow stations (10-15 minute ride) to get some Indian (or other) food and walk around a bit (I've done this before):

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants ... gland.html

The High Street is a few blocks from the tube stop. It's not exactly "scenic," but it will give you a bit of a sense of what real urban London is like.

peseta

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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Super Hans » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:56 am

With four hours last year, I went through immigration to take a shower and change clothes in the LHR Sofitel. I was connecting on to Europe from the US, and it was great to arrive freshened-up in my destination. On the return, I had ~20 hours and enjoyed a bit of sightseeing in London with the family. With six hours, my vote is with those who recommended something like a quick run to Windsor Castle.


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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:48 am

OP, I am very curious what age your kids are that they don't whine. Mine are 17 and 21 and I still say "Would you like cheese with that whine?" all the time. I'm thinking maybe they're 30.
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midareff
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by midareff » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:56 am

randomizer wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:41 pm
I probably wouldn’t bother leaving the airport with so few hours. Security etc really eats into the time.
Agreed, with transit time both ways and getting a family of four back through security I would not bother. I don't like to see historic sights on a dead run.

Valuethinker
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:00 am

Tribonian wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:40 pm
If you had a six hour layover in Heathrow and wanted to visit a few sights, what would top your list?

We’re thinking Tower Bridge, maybe the British Museum. Family of 4, old enough to walk without whining.

Appreciate any insights.
You will be very tight for time.

There have been 2.5 hour queues at Border Control. But assume that's an anomaly then still figure 45 mins plus 25 for baggage.

And you need to be back at LHR 2 hours before.

So that is 3 hours left

Travel to and from central London is 45 minutes. Heathrow Express is Paddington in 20 mins but Paddington is not near any of the major tourist sites. Cab to Westminster Cathedral is 20 mins if traffic is normal can be twice that.

Tower of London is the other side of town. By Tube from Paddington 40 mins (don't even think about taking a cab on a weekday).

British Museum is about 20 mins (cab or tube to Euston Square). Its free so not a bad bet if your time is limited.

Piccadilly Line from Heathrow is 45 mins to Picc Circus. Don't try this in rush hour

Will you have your cases? I think there is left luggage at Paddington but beware security restrictions at major tourist sites. Left luggage will cost and you can queue for 15 mins.

Its not looking good unless Crossrail in to Heathrow has started.

In which case I would go to Farringdon (40 mins) and you are 10 mins walk from St Paul's and that's a good 2 hours of site seeing plus you walk across Millennium footbridge and see the Turbine Hall st the Tate Modern.

Then turn around and go back. From 2019 this will be easy but not sure when all of The Elizabeth Line is up and running?

In any case you will need to find a way to ditch luggage I doubt most venues will Accept large cases.

Tbh I would suggest either doing something near Paddington like Hyde Park or Notting Hill or getting a hotel room at Heathrow. Place w a pool maybe.

Heathrow Express is something like 20 per adult each way. Piccadilly Line is c 6 quid but is much slower.

Leave 2 hours to get back in at Heathrow. Security and check in queues can be very long.

Valuethinker
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:06 am

Super Hans wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:56 am
With four hours last year, I went through immigration to take a shower and change clothes in the LHR Sofitel. I was connecting on to Europe from the US, and it was great to arrive freshened-up in my destination. On the return, I had ~20 hours and enjoyed a bit of sightseeing in London with the family. With six hours, my vote is with those who recommended something like a quick run to Windsor Castle.
Windsor is a much better idea than Central London.

One question is what to w luggage?

Also what is open at Windsor depends on official timetable e.g. when is Queen in residence ? Has to be checked.

Dude2
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by Dude2 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:24 am

Ha ha ha. Agree with everybody that says it is impossible. I was just there a month ago. Much depends on what airline you're coming in on and therefore what terminal, also on the convergence of flights arriving at exactly the same time yours arrives. No matter what, you are going to have to pass through checkpoints to get your carryons x-ray'ed in which hundreds of people are snaking through the lines. You will likely have to get on a bus to transfer between terminals -- and this just describes the arrival process. Now you will try to exit, go do something, and then come back and get through all of that again? There's a reason they say to arrive 3 hours early for international flights -- at least at big airports there is. I'm sorry, but six hours is out of the realm of possibility. I'd love to see somebody try this and document with phone to post on-line.

BigoteGato
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Re: 6 hour layover on Heathrow

Post by BigoteGato » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:03 pm

6 hours is a lot less than you think. It’s really a slow moving airport. My least favorite place to make a connection. Except for the great duty free scotch shop. Best one I’ve ever seen. Guy before me bought so much he got 2 free suitcases from the shop.

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