a VirtualTourist member from Oakland
My wife and I will have a 9-hour stopover at Heathrow in January.
Any suggestions on how we can make the time fly?
Is it really early in Jan ? If so why not take the tube (underground) to somewhere like Oxford Circus ( for Oxford Street ) & look at the January Sales & indeed the christmas lights - depending on the date of course.
9 complete hours or 9 hours minus time to land, get off the plane, get through immigration/customs (baggage reclaim?) and then to check-in/go through security? It makes a difference. If it's 9 hours minus the above activities you are really looking at around 5 hours (an hour+ to get out of the airport, and you should be back there 3/2 hours before your flight, depending on where you are going).
You can get to central London on the (expensive) Heathrow Express train easily (15 minutes), so perhaps you'd like to do that? Details on:
That's by far the fastest option, but you can also go by slower train or by tube (40+ minutes). Don't risk road transport (bus or taxi) as congestion is common and often bad. Links to other train/Tube info here:
Once you are in Lodon you can wander at will (get a day travelcard from the Tube ticket office when you arrive), or take a 'hop-on, hop-off' bus tour (not cheap).
Or you could take a trip to Windsor. It's an hour on the train (you'll need to change twice), and you could spend a pleasant couple of hours wandering around the town/looking at the castle etc. www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times/fares. http://www.windsor.gov.uk/ for what to see/do.
Allow yourself far more time than you think you need to get back to the airport: Heathrow is a massive and hugely busy place (even in January).
You could effectively land yourself, and then take a trip to Windsor which is just up the road. You will need to put you bags in a storage facility at the airport, but Windsor is a lovely town and you would struggle to get to London and back in the timescale. Don't forget to allow time to check back in for your onward destination.
I have already mentioned Windsor (although it is not really 'just up the road', being an hour's train ride from Heathrow).
I would visit Windsor rather than London in the amount of time you are likely to have, but January weather in the UK can be pretty cold, damp and miserable........so make sure you are dressed appropriately!