a VirtualTourist member from Lancaster
My sister and I will have a stop oven in Heathrow on our way from Kenya to U.S. Our plane is landing at 3:pm on Sat Dec 12th. We fly out the nest morning. Weplan to leave our luggage at the airport. Is it doable for us to go to windsor? I realize that we probably won't be able to go inside the castle but could we see from outside? Will most things be closed by the time we get there? What would be the best way to get to Windsor? (train, bus or taxi) Does anyone have any suggestions how we could spend the evening? (We're planning to sleep at Yothel in Heathrow as our flight leaves early in the morning and we don't want to deal with hassle of getting to Heathrow in the morning.
The first thing you should realise that it will be dark by around 4.15/4.30 ish. You won't be out of Heathrow much beore 4pm at the earliest (and quite possibly later, as you need to find and use the left luggage facility).
You can get to Windsor using the train from Heathrow:
or by taxi (not cheap).
Train takes around an hour, with a couple of changes, so you are likely to arrive when the shops are shut/shutting and attractions are closed.
You will be able to see the castle from outside (it will be lit): it's about 5 minutes walk from the station. You could explore the town a bit (it will be well-lit) then find somewhere to eat (plenty of choice) before returning to Heathrow.
Buses leave from Terminal 5 and take about 35-40 minutes to get to Windsor. You need Route 77, they leave every half hour at 7 and 37 minutes past the hour (the one at 1737 doesn't go all the way to Windsor for some reason). They stop in Peascod Street - the castle is at the top of the street. The last buses are at 2102 and 2202.
A taxi from Heathrow to Windsor is very expensive - Heathrow cabs are governed by London rules and Windsor is outside the London limit so theree is a hefty surcharge. A taxi back to Heathrow will be a local taxi and not as expensive, though still not cheap.
As leics says - the castle will be floodlit, also the shops and streets will be lit and decorated for Christmas. You will find plenty of places open to eat but the shops close at 5.30. Unfortunately you're a week early for Christmas late night closing.
Windsor's Theatre Royal 's Christmas pantomime this year is Aladdin, opening on December 9. That would be a great way to spend the evening - English Christmas pantos are great fun and the one at Windsor is always excellent. You'd definitely need to book ahead.
You don't say where you're from. Don't forget to look into the visa matter, if you're from a country whose citizens need a visa to enter to UK. It would be a shame to make all the arrangements, maybe book a theatre ticket, and then find out that you're not allowed to leave the airport.
A very good point, Christine.