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London UK: Reality check my itinerary: 13h (daytime) layover in London Dec 3

London UK: Reality check my itinerary: 13h (daytime) layover in London Dec 3

Old Nov 26th, 2022, 07:43 AM
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London UK: Reality check my itinerary: 13h (daytime) layover in London Dec 3

Background:

● 2nd time in London, on my own, ~ 13h-layover (from Montreal, Canada, arriving Sat. Dec 3rd 9:45am at Gatwick, departing 10:35pm from Heathrow)

● 1st time was 2012, covered bit of City of Westminster (the Abbey, palace, Buckingham, Hyde, and even a parliament sesh!), London Eye, Tower and Bridge, St-Paul's cath., the Shard, British Museum (partly), Nat Gal. & Port. Gal., Trafalgar Sq, Hampton Court P. day trip

● To be safe'ish, I'm allotting 2h15m from landing to being ready to start itin. at noon from Victoria Station (including takeaway food and exit Gatw, find & board GatExp or Southern to Victoria where I'll left-luggage my carry-on and head to Victoria tube). Also allocating 3h30m from end of itin to departing Heathrow (including luggage pick up from Vic, tubing to Heathrow T2 to be there by 8:30pm, also including extra 30 min for any delays/issues). This leaves me with 7 hours (12pm-7pm) for the following itinerary:

Itinerary:

(1) From Victoria, tube to Tate Britain (1h30m visit)

(2) From TB, tube to Victoria & Albert Museum (1h30m visit Levels 0 and -1).

(3) From VAM, tube to Green Park station to start quick 3h-walk tour of Mayfair & Soho & Covent Garden (Ritz, Burlington Arc., Bond St, Grosvenor Sq, Selfridge, Oxford St to Oxf. Circus to Carnaby St to Regent St to Picadilly Circus to Berwick St market to old Compton St, to Chinatown to Leicester Sq, to Seven Dials, to Royal Opera House to Covent Garden (piazza & markets, etc) to Somerset House skating rink to Temple tube station.

(4) From Temple station, tube to Victoria to pick up luggage

(5) From Victoria, tube to Heathrow T2.

Notes & Questions:

▪︎ Is the above itinerary realistic/feasible?

▪︎ Granted it is subjective, what would you remove, add, change (open to suggestions/ideas).

▪︎ Out of the 7h, there is 1h for total tube time in steps 1 to 4

▪︎ I plan to eat on the go (while walking, tubing, etc).

▪︎ I plan to contacless pay train and tubes [dumb question: you tap the credit card when you enter the train gate or tube station, but do you also tap the credit card again when you exit? If I tap on exit wouldn't that be double-charging? I guess you just tap to enter and that's it, just like paying a ticket, right?].

▪︎ I realize by step 3 (walk tour) it'll be around 4pm, past sunset, but that should be ideal for all the Christmas lights, etc.

▪︎ If time-pressed, I can always cut it short and head to the airport.

▪︎ I realize, in 3h, I'm merely "window shopping" all those neighbourhoods, is there anything I'm missing out in Mayfair, Soho, Covent Garden?

▪︎ Any looming strikes that may disrupt/delay journeys from Gatw to Vic or from Vic to Heathr? If so, what are my alternatives?

▪︎ To charge my phone, must I have a UK adapter or will a euro adapter do?

Last edited by Blisseus; Nov 26th, 2022 at 08:14 AM.
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Old Nov 26th, 2022, 08:07 AM
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1) rain plan B?
2) Europlugs don't function in uk. You need a Euro to UK 3 pin converter
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Old Nov 26th, 2022, 08:26 AM
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Welcome to Fodors,

Random comments:

• If you mean a total of 3:30 from central London to LHR flight, that's likely not enough time. From Temple > Victoria/luggage > LHR T-2 check in could take close to 90 minutes. (There can be a queue at Victoria Left Luggage). You will want to allow more than 2 hours at LHR. I don't think T-2 hasn't had the same sorts of horror stories about 2 and 3 hour security queues that T-5 and T-3 have over the last several months - but I'd want to be at LHR a good 3 hours pre-flight.

• Tate Britain is much closer to Pimlico tube station.

• You definitely have to Tap Out of the tube station -- tap in AND tap out

• If it was me . . . I'd shorten the distance of the walk by maybe cutting the northern bits (Grosvenor Sq, Bond Street/Selfridges (Oxford Street will be an absolute ZOO on a Saturday in December), Oxford Circus, Carnaby Street). This will give you more 'wiggle room' for the other places on your route.

• - you probably won't have time to charge your phone on the move so consider a Halo or some other portable charging device.
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Old Nov 26th, 2022, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
1) rain plan B?
Rain plan is more time in museums (BT, VAM and British Museum areas I haven't visited); otherwise, suggestions?
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Old Nov 26th, 2022, 09:19 AM
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Thank you Janisj, glad to be here.

▪︎ The 3h30m is:
○ 7:00pm from Victoria Station (to pick up luggage) to LHR T2 by 8:00 or 8:30pm
○ 8:00/8:30pm proceed to security, etc (I only have a carry-on, no checked-in bags) and wair for flight to depart at 10:35pm

If I need to be at LHR 3h ahead of flight, then I'd need to be at Victoria Station at 6:00-6:30pm ... so will have 30-60m less for the walking itin. The walk was supposed to cover Mayfair, Soho, Covent Garden. You seem to say I should eliminate Mayfair. If I do how wouls you cover Soho & CG in 2h-2h30m?

▪︎ Portable charger is a good idea! Thanks
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Old Nov 26th, 2022, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Blisseus View Post
Rain plan is more time in museums (BT, VAM and British Museum areas I haven't visited); otherwise, suggestions?
BT is a telephone company in the UK but maybe the Tate?
VAM, no idea but could be the "V and A" Victoria and Albert
But you've got it covered.
Do bring a folding umbrella and don't pack it in you luggage ;-)
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Old Nov 26th, 2022, 03:10 PM
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It seems like an awful lot to cover in a short time. First Tate Britain then shoot across all the way to the V&A, then over to Green Park to walk/tube everywhere from the Ritz to Selfridges to Covent Garden and everything in between. All you need is a delay on one of the tube lines to throw it all up in the air. Saturdays leading up to Xmas will always be busy, I don't believe the airport will necessarily be busy, 2235 flight from T2 is the last one, there are a few late ones departing but not that many, 2 hrs-2.5hrs max in advance for your destination should be fine. However, you do need to check for transport disruptions and engineering works.If you check the below link, tonights disruptions are pretty bad, inc Piccadilly Line to Heathrow.

https://tfl.gov.uk/tube-dlr-overgrou...lul-piccadilly
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