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Tube form Heathrow

Level Contributor
19 posts
70 reviews
Tube form Heathrow

Hello All,

My husband and I are planning our first trip to the UK next May. We plan to start in London. I'm a little apprehensive about navigating the Tube after stumbling off of a 12hr travel itinerary. We haven't booked a hotel yet, but plan on staying in Kensington.

1. Is it feasible to take the Tube to our hotel or would you recommend cabbing it since we likely won't know our way around once we arrive?

2. Can we use 1 oyster card for two people or are there logistical issues with this?

3. Do they require cash or can I swipe a CC? I wasn't planning on ordering BPS prior to arrival, but would be easy enough to do if that's what everyone recommends.

Thanks for any and all advice!!

Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
24,141 posts
77 reviews
1. Re: Tube form Heathrow

!. depends on where exactly you are staying in Kensington but it should be with an easy direct link from the terminal to a number of stations

2. Each person needs a card with the relevant fares to travel

3. You can use credit cards (you may need to inform your provider that you will be travelling so that they don't stop the card thinking it is being used fraudulently), You need a 4 digit PIN.

3A.. As there are two of you you may want to consider the 241 offers available with a travelcard purchased from a rail operator (from a rail station) - first check whether they would be of interest because even 2 or 3 can effectively make your travel free. Rail stations such as Victoria, Waterloo, Paddington and many others can sell you these.


Watford, United...
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
44,418 posts
54 reviews
2. Re: Tube form Heathrow

Hello and welcome to the forum.

A perusal of old threads and some of the trip reports in the sticky at the top of page one will help your planning but to answer your specific questions -

1) If you stay in the South Kensington area then the tube is a straight shot from Heathrow on the Piccadilly line taking 30-40 minutes. Once you get your accommodation sorted we can help further but to give you an idea of cost a pre booked car service would work out at about £40 against £60-£70 for a cab hailed at the rank.

2) You will each need an Oyster Card although you might think about getting paper travelcards to take advantage of the 2for1 offers that some attractions offer - daysoutguide.co.uk/attraction-types/2for1lon…

Again this doesn't need finalising yet and you can sit down and do the math nearer the time to see if large savings can be made.

3) Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere but a little cash can be useful. ATM's are everywhere, including the arrivals hall at the airport, but do let your bank or card provider know your travel dates and make sure your PIN is a 4 digit one.

Hope that helps get you started.

Level Contributor
8,808 posts
49 reviews
3. Re: Tube form Heathrow

I always find that a bit of ready local cash is helpful when arriving anywhere foreign... helps you hit the ground running so to speak. I found that my card wasn't accepted in transit machines in Canada recently so it was lucky that I had some dollars in my pocket for my fare into town, otherwise I'd have been faffing around with finding cash machines etc.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
59,558 posts
12 reviews
4. Re: Tube form Heathrow

After one less than brilliant soujourn from France to Italy - this was many years ago - without a lira to my name and many bureaux de change closed (or preparing to close) for the weekend I too prefer to travel to a new destination with a few of the local readies on hand.

But if you have to pay a usurious fee and receive a dreadful rate of exchange to buy £ / GBP before departing then a credit card will be the business. Please don't change money at Heathrow as the rates for walk up transactions are dire.

Earl's Court and Gloucester Road stations in Kensington are fairly amenable for people with bags, even after a long haul flight. They're a straight shot on the Piccadilly line from the airport, with travel time about 35 minutes depending on the terminal from which you begin your journey. South Ken station has a deep level Piccadilly line platform so it is a bit less arduous to change to the District line (fewer stairs from platform to ticket hall) at Hammersmith, an easy walk across the platform. For High Street Kensington you'll also need to climb stairs and make two easy across platform changes (at Hammersmith and Earl's Court).

5. Re: Tube form Heathrow

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