a VirtualTourist member
I'm scheduled to arrive at Heathrow at 8AM, and I'm looking to get to King's Cross to catch a train up to Alnmouth (north of Newcastle). I'd like to buy advance train tickets, but I'm not sure which train to book, as I don't know how much time to budget between deplaning, customs, and transit to Kings Cross. Any ideas?
I think you can go directly! But I myself travelled tahta trip a couple of years ago with a change in Newcastle. Try to Google 'British Rail'.
And have a good trip to the North - it's a very interesting area.
One cannot give an exact timing as to what you ask.So much depends on conditions,crowds etc. They can change all the time.So you arrive at 8am,so maybe by the time the aircraft has parked you could be at Immigration within 20 minutes so say around 8.35.This is a busy time of the day and getting through can take from 30 mins up to an hour.Then you could catch the Heathrow Express to Paddington (journey time 15/20 mins) Then you have to get to KC by underground or taxi.With luggage underground can be cumbersome.Personally would leave it later til at least 11am before booking a ticket.If it's a flexible ticket then you can go on any train,but often the cheaper tickets specify which train to catch.
I agree with taureen traveler, don't book before 11am as it could be 9.30 by the time you have cleared immigration, and that is assuming the plane arrives on time. allow 15 minutes to find the station at heathrow, then tube to King's Cross, and i doubt if you would arrive at KX before 10.45 unless you are taking the express train to Paddington which is quite expensive.
Personally I would book the Kings Cross train after 12 noon which will cover almost all eventualities. You can buy a through ticket from Heathrow via Paddington, which includes the Heathrow Express and Tube to KX. Note that it is only the bit from KX to Alnmouth which is train specific and so if you are running early you can still go into London and have a liesurely breakfast.
www.nationalrail.co.uk will give you all the options.
I would take the tube (London Underground) from Heathrow, as you can go all the way to King's Cross on the Piccadilly line without changing. The Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect to Paddington may be quicker into central London, but you still have to get from Paddington to King's Cross by tube, bus or taxi.
I agree that it's best to aim for a train after 12 noon to be on the safe side if you are getting one of the cheap tickets which are only valid on a specific train. Heathrow is a very busy airport, and it can take ages just to get off the plane and into immigration.
Thanks for the responses. I am, indeed, trying to get the least expensive train fare by booking a specific train, so it sounds like noon will be the safest time to look for. Ironically, we were going to stay in London first, then travel north. But in order to stay at Alnwick Castle, (where I spent six months on St. Cloud State University's International Studies Program 25 years ago), I had to flip the dates around. I'm excited for my wife and kids to share the castle experience with me!