We've read the very helpful comparisons between th London hotels of County Hall, JW Grosvener and Park Lane. Wanting to go to the British Musuem and Westminster Abbey so was thinking County Hall. But will be flying into to LHR. Never been to UK before so honestly, not familiar with transportation other than reading. Also wanting to go to Port Issac, Cornwall as we are big Doc Martin fans. Since flying into LHR not sure if we should go to Port Issac at the start of our trip or? The train to Port Issac leaves from Paddington and we need to take it to Bodmin Parkway is the research we've found. Lifetime plat so am thinking access to conc lounge won't be a prob be a problem. But not sure about best hotel for location and other travel plans with how the public transit runs. Not sure best way from LGR to hotel either if staying at County Hall-would take L
Heathrow Express? Thanks in advance to this wise and seasoned group willing to share info with newbee.
Message was edited by: communitymanager
For all of your London travel needs this is the best website: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
You are better off to get an Oyster card, all the information that you need is here: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14836.aspx
From LHR to County Hall I would take the Piccadilly Line to Hammermith then wait on the platform and change to the District line (ensure it is going to Upminster NOT Edgware Road), then get off at Westminster.
You can walk across Westminster Bridge to County Hall. The heathrow express is far more expensive and will not save you much time.
If you went via the Heathrow express you would then get the south bound (Elephant & Castle) Bakerloo line from Paddington to Waterloo and walk from there.
Good website to give you an idea on the distances between sites when walking in the central area: http://walkit.com/cities/london/
Remember the tube map looks nice, but particularly in zone 1 (Central zone) the stations are closer together than they appear.
All the information that you need for train journeys outside London: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
How long are you going to be in the UK? That is a reasonable train journey to Cornwall, 4 hours I see on the national rail website.
It might be a bit tricky to organise the train to Cornwall on the day you arrive. There could be delays with the flight, immigration etc.
Would you be willing to travel on the train for 4 hours after your flight? what time do you arrive?
The prices on the trains vary an awful lot, it is generally cheaper to book in advance and offpeak.
If you are travelling by train it might be worth reading this to see if you can use in London: http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/2for1-london
A link from this website provides a good map of London attractions: http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/media/19825226/vgcl-september__11.pdf
Re your reference to the Oyster Card, I recently read somewhere (I'm afraid my data retention capacity is now erratic!) that, as of sometime very soon, it will be possible to use bank debit cards to purchase London Underground tickets in the same way that we currently use the Oyster Card. Have you picked up any reports of a similar kind?
Yes I have heard about this and here is some further information: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/projectsandschemes/19976.aspx
technology is moving on!
the card must be issued in the UK.
Thanks so much for this valuable info! We've been reading travel books and haven't even gotten this much detailed info! Good tip about the 4 hr train ride to Cornwall and perhaps waiting-long flights from FL. Will arrive early in the morning in early June and will be in UK for 9 1/2 days. Thanks, noticed train tickets to Cornwall cheaper at the start of our trip vs later-perhaps due to Holiday perhaps. Might just stay one night somewhere and take train next day to Bodmin Parkway. Am thinking will still have to go to Paddington Station to catch train for this and can get round trip pricing also. Would you know approx how long the tube trip takes from LHR to Westminister? Was thinking that County Hall might best for our 1st time tourist needs?
You have a few options. One could be to stay in a hotel near Paddington station for the first night, then catch the train to Cornwall the next morning.
If you were doing that I would take the heathrow connect which is slower than the heathrow express but far cheaper:
Heathrow express ticket prices: https://www.heathrowexpress.com/tickets-deals/prices-fares
You could have half a day sightseeing or maybe a quick visit to the main shops.
Journey time on the tube from LHR to Westminster is around 50 - 60 mins (depending on the airport terminal). On the heathrow express and bakerloo line combination it would be around 40 - 50 mins (again depending on terminal). Not a lot of time saving for the huge price increase for the express train.
you can enter the details here: http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/user/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2?language=en
County Hall is well located for the first time visitor, there are experienced travellers on here like jerrycoin who sings this properties praises.
sg - you are The Man
Recent lessons - Oyster cards, Petrus, and Thames river cruises
Today's lesson - off at Hammersmith, with directional guidelines (I was stopping at South Kensington) and travel time (great for planning)
Thanks so very much for your ongoing insights. If you're ever in America's national capital, look me up - I owe you at least a few drafts (Bass or Sam Adams choose a country)
PS - on the Washington DC Metro - save your fare card on your last leg; you need it to exit also
I have been to DC a few times and have really enjoyed. Next time whenever that maybe I will look out for you!
Don't change trains at South Kensington particulary with luggage, as you will have stairs to climb.
Much easier to change at either Hammersmith or Barons Court no steps and no platform change required.
I thought of you when I have received a few of these deals lately, not sure if they would be any good for you or not:
Need to read the terms and conditions on these for expiry dates and when they are able to be used. There are some deals out there.
This is great stuff. I've been tracking these (you guys listed some back in October) and they've just now moved into my travel dates. I'm definitely buying the bus (which comes with cruise) and probably the travelzoo cruise voucher also - once I study up. Terrific savings, this allows me to move up into jerrycoin territory and consider dining at Simpsons on Strand and/or Savoy (altho fancy pants clothing may be a drawback, I'm more of a Ted Williams/baseball type guy after a lifetime of corp monkey suits - sorry, don't know any cricket players who don't care for ties, arkwright, lend a hand - which by the way I'm sure to swing by ark's angelsea arm's for a few pints).
The heck with point devaluation - this is the way to win at travel - Insiders rule!
you are right I always try to save on these type of expenses then it allows you to push the boat out a bit on restaurants.
I've been to the Savoy a few times
It is good, not as good as his starred restaurants (Gordon Ramsay, Petrus, Maze) but well priced for lunch or pre theatre menu.
I have never worn a tie or jacket there, a shirt & trousers has been fine.
Just so you know that "Simpson's In The Strand" is really not that formal. I have seen all types of outfits there. One suggestion is to have your concierge make the reservation for you. Simpson's is well known at County Hall, and if you like walking, you could walk across the Thames and then dine!
If you stay at County Hall, look for this gentleman to help you, and tell him hello! He will make sure get a good table (#7 is a wonderful booth!). He is Portuguese and a great guy!
Abundio (Concierge) with Ramona, (She was head of Guest Services, but got promoted to Head of Housekeeping) Both very special people!
Hope this helps, and no matter where you stay, make it a point to see County Hall and at least have a "Pint", their lounge in memorable!
Thanks for mentioning my support for County Hall!
I would totally agree with Arkwright and your recommendations. Having stayed at many London Marriott properties, I really like County Hall for "First Timers"!
With so many places of interest within walking distance, as well as a major train station, County Hall is tough to beat.
ams10, hope you have a wonderful trip!
Keep a few things in mind:
I don't know if I told you, you can arrange to be picked up at LHR, in a nice full size vehicle, and avoid taxi's, at the same price as a taxi, and put the charge on your room! They will meet you just after "Clearing customs" and have a sign with your name on it! It is a great way to get away from LHR and go dirctly to the hotel!
Take the "Big Red Bus" around London, as early on the trip as you can! It is the best way to see London and the cheapest. It is a lot of fun!
Go to The Tower of London as early in the trip as possible, the Big Red Bus stops in front of it. Buy your ticket to The Tower ON THE Bus First, You cannot buy it at the Tower stop! It should save you a lot of time and trouble, and you will just walk in!
Walk to Westminster Abbey, #10 Downing, Buckingham Palace (Don't miss, the "Changing of the Guard", (Again, see if you can find previous posts on London)
If you have any other questions, let us know!