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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 3:46 pm    Post subject: 12hr layover in London: What to do?         Reply with quote

I have a 12hr layover at Heathrow next week. I was considering heading to the Tower for the day before making my flight out. Any advice on the best and/or fastest way to do this, as I am a bit unfamiliar the Tube and other transportation available? I just want to make the best and most economic use of my time there. Happy

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Zach Luna




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 04 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Sarge, I just got back from a month in London.



Get a one-day travel card (Oyster) at the kiosk in the terminal you arrive at, about 7.50, I think. That will give you unlimited travel on the tube and buses for the day. The Tube is definitely the fastest way to get around.

Take the Picadilly line East to the South Kensington stop, and then change to a Circle or District Line Train east to Tower Hill.

From the Tower Hill tube stop go south, under the bridge, to the Tower (it's a huge fortress, can't miss it.) Tickets are to your right on Tower Hill itself (the big paved area alongside the west wall). I believe admission is between 16-20.

Happy
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 4:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An alternative to the Tower is the British Museum. When I was in London long ago, I spent two days there and still didn't see everything there was to see.
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Andrew Shultz




Location: Boston MA
Joined: 02 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 4:45 pm    Post subject: Re: 12hr layover in London: What to do?         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:
I have a 12hr layover at Heathrow next week. I was considering heading to the Tower for the day before making my flight out. Any advice on the best and/or fastest way to do this, as I am a bit unfamiliar the Tube and other transportation available? I just want to make the best and most economic use of my time there. :)

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


Having just been to London with a day free and asked the same question... go to the Wallace Collection. They have a LOT of swords and armor, and it's free. Four chock-full rooms, renaissance, a little medieval, and some Indian/Persian/Other stuff.

Andy Shultz

Forte Swordplay: Boston Longsword and other Historical European Martial Arts
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Zach Luna




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 04 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just remembered--a daily Travelcard is printed as a normal paper ticket with a magnetic strip, not an Oystercard. But the Oyster has daily price capping anyway--so if you just ask for a pay-as-you go Oyster card and load it with the equivalent of a travel card (7 or 8 quid) it'll work the same way, and the system will stop charging you once you've paid the equivalent of a travelcard on your day's journeys.

The paper tickets you have to feed into each gate and then retrieve on the other side, it's rubbish. The Oyster is much easier to use because it has an RFID chip than can be read just by placing it on the card reader (it's a yellow circle on each gate). You don't even have to take it out of your wallet.



Basically, when you enter a tube station, you "touch in" at one of the gates with your Oyster, then follow the signage overhead toward the line you want to use. Each line has both a a color-coding and a charming Englishy name. The Picadilly line is blue, the District Line is green, the Circle Line is yellow, etc.

Anyway, you follow the signs overhead towards the line you want to use. When there is more than one line operating at a station they are often stacked on each other further and further underground, so this process usually involves stairs and escalators.

On the escalators you stand on the right, walk on the left. If you do this, you can charge by people on their left if you're in a hurry. If you don't do it, someone who is in a hurry and attempting to charge by you will get a bit miffed.

Once the escalators take you to the line, you have to go to the right platform. There will be signs that show both the direction and a map of all the stops in that direction on that line. The directions they list are "north, south, east and west" but this can be tricky if the line is traveling on a diagonal or circle, so double check that your destination is on the map below it. These signs are also on the platforms themselves.


Then you just wait for the train. The platforms have these handy digital readouts that tell you when the next train is coming and the last stop it will travel to. Make sure that last stop is further than your destination, and you're good to go. This is also displayed on the front of the train as it approaches.


When you reach the station you want, the process is just in reverse. If you're changing, follow the signs toward the line you're switching to. If you're exiting, follow the yellow signs that quaintly say "Way Out."

When you exit, "touch out" at the gate and the system will subtract the cost of your journey from your card.


Last edited by Zach Luna on Fri 03 Jun, 2011 7:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Zach Luna




Location: Los Angeles
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With 12 hours, you could manage the Tower and another Museum. The Wallace and the British Museum are both free for admission.
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Fri 03 Jun, 2011 8:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! Thanks for the great detailed info, Zach...this definitely will help me get around once I am there!

The only thing better would be a forumite that met me at the airport and escorted me around for the day...lol!

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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