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Danish
Los Angeles

Danish from Los Angeles asked

One night in London in December

Hi guys,

I have a 18 hour layover in London on Dec 1st.  I land at LHR at 3:15pm and have a flight out the next day (Dec 2nd) at 12:30pm (I should be heading to the airport around 9am).

Days are short that time of the year so any ideas what I can do?  Would it be worth going to the major POIs when it's dark?

Also, suggestion where I can spend a night.

Thanks!

London

6 Answers
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answered by
Mark from California

When you arrive, take the Heathrow Express into Paddington Station  (30mins) ,and walk to your accommodation nearby (Airbnb rates are significantly more reasonable than any Central London hotel and much more convenient). Stay close to the station so you don't have to deal with commuting back to the next day.

I'd walk south and check out the free Winter Wonderland  in Hyde Park  for the night. Be warned it gets really busy, and it can get cold if you stay out late. 

London is one of the best places in the world to feel festive. The music, food and people who converge on the park all make for a great night.


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  1. Paddington Station (attraction)
  2. Winter Wonderland (attraction)
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answered first by
Dabs from Chicago

Figure about 2 hours to get from the plane at LHR to central London, slightly faster if you opt for the more expensive Heathrow Express, so most everything will be closed.  One option is to stay near Paddington Station so you can take the HEX or the Heathrow Connect (cheaper, slower).  You can buy a return ticket online for the HEX at a discount I think.  There are cheap and expensive hotel options nearby, for 1 night I don't really care where I stay so the Tune hotel is a decent budget choice, there are a bunch of cheaper options along Sussex Gardens, there is the Hilton Paddington right next to Paddington or Hilton Metropole a 5-10 minute walk away.  From Paddington, central London is just a short tube ride away.

I would not stay at Heathrow, getting to any of the hotels require some sort of transport and it's not at all convenient to stay there if you want to see any of London.

You could also stay along the Piccadilly line, Earls Court Station is one of the stops closest to Heathrow while still being in central London.  The further east you go from there, the longer the tube ride takes and the more expensive the hotel.

If money is not tight, a hotel in the Leicester Square or Covent Garden area puts you right in the center of things.  I've only stayed at the Amba Hotel Charing Cross when it was a Thistle, the location was great but the price will be high (I used Priceline). 

I think walking around the tourist sights at night is nice, the London Eye is lit up, the Houses of Parliament are lit up, there's a Christmas market at South Bank, St Pauls is lit up.  With your late arrival, you should have a walk around, find a nice place to have dinner.  You might even be able to see a show, the tkts booth in Leicester Square sells tickets almost up to showtime.


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Danish
Kristi, this is awesome! I think you've answered all of my questions. I had no idea about Heathrow Express so that's definitely going to help. Budget isn't a huge deal since it's only one night but I'll play around with the hotel options. Thanks a lot for the details!
 

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Dabs
I'm normally too cheap to pay for the Express and if you're not staying near Paddington it doesn't make much sense. But for one night when you are trying to make the most of it, 15 minutes vs. 60 minutes might be worth it. For 1 night you might have a look at Hotwire or Priceline, the problem I have with both is that their areas are too broad and you could end up far away from where you want to be. But I've scored some awesome deals using their blind bidding function.
 
 
 

Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. Earls Court Station (attraction)
  2. Leicester Square (attraction)
  3. Covent Garden (attraction)
  4. Amba Hotel Charing Cross (restaurant)
  5. London Eye (attraction)
  6. Houses of Parliament (attraction)
  7. South Bank (attraction)
  8. St Pauls (attraction)
  9. tkts (attraction)
  10. Leicester Square (attraction)
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answered by
Judy from Memphis

If you like theatre try catching a show at the West End. Great area to walk around and dine too. There may bi big red bus tours for you to see sights (lights) at night too. Try Air BnB for one night and rent just a bedroom. Have had great luck with apartment rentals that way.


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answered by
Adam

adding to a previous answer - maybe try for a fancy dinner along the river to see the sights lit up - options could be The Swan, 21 New Globe Walk Bankside London SE1 9DT or the terrace at Sea Containers


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answered by
Lichys

I recommend the Premier Inn London County Hall Hotel to stay.. it's right next to the Waterloo Station.

About what to do.. If it's your first time I would definetly go first to see the Big Ben while you have light. Once it's dark you could go to Piccadilly Circus or New Oxford St... the stores are busy that time of the year : )


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  1. Premier Inn London County Hall Hotel (hotel)
  2. Big Ben (attraction)
  3. Piccadilly Circus (attraction)
  4. New Oxford St (attraction)
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answered by
Judy from Memphis

If you like theatre try catching a show at the West End Lane. Great area to walk around and dine too. There may bi big red bus tours for you to see sights (lights) at night too. Try Air BnB for one night and rent just a bedroom. Have had great luck with apartment rentals that way.


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Liz
Is it trippy's policy not to include the dates of posting and answers? If so it invalidates many answers that are subject to all kinds of changes.
 
 
 

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