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Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow

Santa Cruz, CA
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Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow
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My husband, parents, and I will be staying two nights near-ish London Heathrow (ideally within 30-40 minutes) as a stopover after arriving from California and before heading up to Scotland. We will stay in London later before our flight back to CA, so for these two nights we're looking for an alternative option near Heathrow. We will basically have one full day to explore, so it doesn't need to be an action-packed stay. In fact, with the jet lag and my parents being elderly, we'd prefer an area that is low-key, charming, and picturesque. Originally, we planned to stay in Shere, Surrey, but it seemed a little too complicated getting transportation between there and London Victoria where we take our train to Scotland. Shere sounded appealing because it is so pretty and a lovely, relaxed introduction to our UK trip. We'd love to find a similarly lovely area to stay.

I've also considered heading to Windsor or Hampton Court Palace to explore either of those for the full day we have. Is the surrounding area nice at either of those? Any other ideas?

Thanks in advance!

17 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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1. Re: Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow
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'London Victoria where we take our train to Scotland.' There are no trains from London Victoria to stations in Scotland. The mainline stations for services to Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley are London Euston and London King's Cross. If you've found a website purporting to sell tickets from Victoria to Scotland I'd say don't use that site again but check www.nationalrail.co.uk www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk and www.lner.co.uk

Let's say you'll arrive on Monday afternoon and travel to Scotland on Wednesday morning. You could stay in Windsor on Monday and Tuesday nights and sightsee in Windsor on Tuesday, but I think it's more of a faff to schlep from Windsor to Paddington and then on to KX or Euston for the northbound train.

I'd just stay in central London and take the train to Windsor or Hampton Court Palace for a day of sightseeing. I'd book a hotel near Euston or KX and make things uncomplicated before the rail journey.

When do you plan to travel, and what ages are your 'elderly' parents?

North Yorkshire...
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for Wiltshire, London
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2. Re: Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow
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I agree with TP - keep it simple.

Remember if these are your first two nights in Europe you need to be prepared to feel tired and perhaps wanting to curtail day 2. Get outside, take some gentle exercise, don’t overplan, treat these two nights as preparation for Scotland. Start slow then up the tempo.

Luton, United...
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3. Re: Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow
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The only mode of transport I know of leaving Victoria to Scotland are coaches from London Victoria Coach Station, which take hours to get to Scotland. I hope you haven’t booked a journey on National Express by mistake, they are the equivalent of Greyhound.

Edited: April 20, 2021, 12:59 pm
Liverpool, UK
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4. Re: Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow
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If you want to keep travel to a minimum on your arrival (understandable) then either Windsor, or the riverfront Richmond-Twickenham-Kingston upon Thames areas have lots of restaurants and a full day of sightseeing nearby (either Windsor and Eton or Hampton Court Palace, Kew Gardens, Ham House, Syon House, Richmond Park and riverfront). It will be easiest to get a car transfer from Heathrow with 3 adults. But I agree with TravellerPlus it is then a bit of a pain getting to your train station (either Kings Cross or Euston) and again a car service might be the most convenient option, although public transport is possible you would need to change. Neither area will be quiet but they are pleasant. There are other smaller villages in the commuter belt around London, but those with easy railway links to Euston or Kings Cross will be more than 40 minutes from Heathrow, to the north of London.

Greater Manchester...
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5. Re: Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow
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Stay in central London those first two nights, in the Euston/Kings Cross area. It's a good solution for London tourism options and makes things easy for the train to Glasgow (Euston) or Edinburgh (Kings Cross).

London tourism deserves as many nights as you can allocate to it, you will not run out of things to see and do even though you are having time in London at the end.

If you do 'still' insist on staying away from central London, then staying in Windsor for the two nights is a sound plan; but makes things more complicated on the day you swap to Scotland. If you do that, then IMO have a pre-booked car transfer for all four of you Windsor to either Euston Station or Kings Cross Station.

Your mention of getting a train to Scotland from London 'Victoria' is a concern. How did you come up with that plan ?

Edited: April 20, 2021, 3:54 pm
Cornwall, United...
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6. Re: Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow
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Don't forget to have your Covid tests before you fly here!

Edinburgh, United...
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7. Re: Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow
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Windsor would probably be best.

I also don't understand where London Victoria fits into this plan. If you're near Heathrow you might be quicker flying to Scotland.

Santa Cruz, CA
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8. Re: Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow
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Hi everyone- thanks for your replies. Forgive me-- I meant to say London Kings Cross and not Victoria station. We are going to Edinburgh.

I agree that the first two nights arriving in Europe should be low-key-- that is exactly what I'm trying to find. Somewhere that we can stay two nights, not do too much for our full day, and just ease into our trip. I've lived in Europe and traveled there dozens of times so I know how tired one in those first couple days. It sounds like the Windsor area might be a good option, based on people's responses so far. Again-- my original plan was to do Shere, so that should give a sense for the low-key vibe we are seeking.

Also, I should have mentioned that we plan to take a private car from the airport and also to the train station. So anywhere that is within an hour drive of both of those would be fine. Shere was a little more than an 1.5 hour drive to Kings Cross, so ideally somewhere a little closer would be nice. Also, there were no available airbnbs or bnbs for us in Shere so that was another reason I had to forgo that option. We would not be doing this drive during rush hour, fortunately. I had considered the village of Bray for its restaurants, but not sure how picturesque the village is?

Santa Cruz, CA
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9. Re: Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow
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I guess what I'm saying is- we would love to be in a village, quiet area, or the countryside but still be able to walk to a pub and market.

North Yorkshire...
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10. Re: Nice area for a two-night stay near-ish Heathrow
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When are you coming - currently much tourist accommodation (and all hotels) are not available and hence your “non-availability” might be in response to government strictures rather than actually selling out……

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