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Flying into England?

SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGamingRegistered User regular
edited April 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So i'm planning on studying abroad for about a month (May 16th through June 20th) and am planning to fly out of Memphis, TN. As far as I can tell, getting to Heathrow and then taking a train to Oxford, my destination, is my best best. Is that true? From what it seems, I'll have to actually leave on the fifteenth, then maybe get a room in Heathrow/London for a night and take a train to Oxford early the next morning. Anyone have any experience with this and can help me out?

SniperGuy on

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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    As far as I can tell, getting to Heathrow and then taking a train to Oxford, my destination, is my best best. Is that true?

    Probably yes, but there are decent rail services from Gatwick as well. It'll really come down to which airport it's easier to get the filghts for.

    thetrainline.com is a good site for sorting out rail journeys. Heathrow to Oxford looks to be only about an hour and a half, so you might want to consider flying overnight and getting the train on the day you arrive.

    japan on
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    Jake!Jake! Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Oxford is only about an hour from central London by train I think (although you'll have to get the underground first), so depending on your flights you might be able to go straight to Oxford. There's also the 'Oxford Tube', http://www.oxfordtube.com/ which is a bus company that goes direct from heathrow, takes a little under two hours, and goes 24/7.

    Heathrow is a horrible place to stay by the way.

    Jake! on
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    RookRook Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    So i'm planning on studying abroad for about a month (May 16th through June 20th) and am planning to fly out of Memphis, TN. As far as I can tell, getting to Heathrow and then taking a train to Oxford, my destination, is my best best. Is that true? From what it seems, I'll have to actually leave on the fifteenth, then maybe get a room in Heathrow/London for a night and take a train to Oxford early the next morning. Anyone have any experience with this and can help me out?

    Yeah, if you arrive at a normal time, you can just take the Underground into London Paddington and then a train to Oxford. Otherwise, you can get a Coach straight to Oxford which run 24hours/day. I don't see the point of staying overnight in London, it'll be expensive and unpleasant.

    Rook on
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    WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    http://www.raileasy.co.uk tends to be cheaper rail fare, especially if you book early.

    Willeth on
    @vgreminders - Don't miss out on timed events in gaming!
    @gamefacts - Totally and utterly true gaming facts on the regular!
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    SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    So if a coach runs 24 hours, I can literally land, make my way there, and just wait around and then buy a ticket and get there, no matter when? That's handy, if so.

    SniperGuy on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I flew from Beijing to Heathrow and then took a 24-hour bus to Oxford all by my lonesome for a summer school thing... that was pretty affordable and quick, but this was also about 10 years ago

    I can't remember the name of the bus but it runs from both Heathrow and Gatwick and it rolls basically right into Gloucester Green in Oxford, which is a huge city bus terminus, so that will make it easy for you to get to your final destination within Oxford itself

    EDIT: and yeah, basically, you land, follow signs to the coach/bus stop, find the right spot, and then buy a ticket (or wait for the bus to arrive, which is at most a 30 minute wait) and then hop on and go

    Vivixenne on
    XBOX: NOVADELPHINI | DISCORD: NOVADELPHINI #7387 | TWITTER
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    RookRook Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    So if a coach runs 24 hours, I can literally land, make my way there, and just wait around and then buy a ticket and get there, no matter when? That's handy, if so.

    http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/main.php?page_id=24

    Yeah, pretty much. £25 return, might want to check the small print if you've got a lot of luggage.

    Rook on
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    pogo mudderpogo mudder Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I wouldn't bother getting a hotel for the night, theyre generally expensive and the airport is massive and has chairs enough for sleepin', wake up get on the next train to oxford, I don't think you'll even have to switch trains.
    Don't forget your top hat and brandy snaps

    pogo mudder on
    what a work of art is man, and the most boring choice you can make
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    EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm flying to England on the 28th of May. My plan so far is Vancouver to Gatwick. Express train to London, then train to Darlington.

    The train is half price if I take in in the morning. 40 as opposed to 80. A night in a hostel is like 20-25. A saving of 15-20 pounds. I'm going to be pretty poor when I get there and I'm in no rush. Would it be worth it?

    http://www.hostellondon.com/availability.php/HostelNumber.7010 is right across the street from King's Cross.

    EskimoDave on
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    pogo mudderpogo mudder Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    well it depends on what your travelling for really, if it's to adventure off with £65 in your pocket then it's probably not worth it. That train ticket seems pretty expensive though, and you can get the train direct from gatwick to darlington i think, save you switching.

    pogo mudder on
    what a work of art is man, and the most boring choice you can make
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    SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    My only issue is I have to be at Oxford by noon on the 17th. I may have to leave Memphis on the 15th, as the 16th might not work due to family scheduling. So if I get there around the morning time on the 16th, I have a whole day I have to kill before I get to oxford, during which I don't have a room. Unless things change, which would be a huge hassle lifted. In case they don't, what's my best course of action there?

    SniperGuy on
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    VivixenneVivixenne Remember your training, and we'll get through this just fine. Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    first of all, that's a bit of a spoiler in your avatar

    second of all, you may want to consider hopping a bus to Oxford anyway... are you sure you're not allowed to arrive any sooner than noon of the 17th? if you call the people organizing things you may be allowed to arrive earlier

    third of all, is this pre-IB/mid-IB prep program that you're going to do? (I did the same thing many years ago) if yes, you will likely be staying at the University Annex at Oxford, in which case if you just E-mail or call the people sorting out housing, they should be able to accommodate early arrival, as I showed up a whole day early for the program, too

    Vivixenne on
    XBOX: NOVADELPHINI | DISCORD: NOVADELPHINI #7387 | TWITTER
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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'd do LHR->oxford a few times a year, and i always took the bus because it was cheaper, but this was 2004-2006. I found it comfortable and easy to use.

    kaliyama on
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    EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    well it depends on what your travelling for really, if it's to adventure off with £65 in your pocket then it's probably not worth it. That train ticket seems pretty expensive though, and you can get the train direct from gatwick to darlington i think, save you switching.

    every route takes me from gatwick to victoria then to king's cross then to darlington.

    EskimoDave on
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    Dulcius_ex_asperisDulcius_ex_asperis Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    The Oxford tube is awesome. If you are getting in and there's not a lot of people on the bus (I never had a ton of people on any of my rides to/from London on the Oxford tube), you should have no problem with lots of luggage. You should PM me where you are staying in Oxford if you want. I studied there a few years back and can give you some awesome pointers from an "ah! i'm an american in a similar but very different place!", if you want them.

    But yeah the tube goes right into Gloucester Green which is pretty central, and it's cheaper than the train and you get to see more of London on your way out. The countryside is pretty enough to merit taking the bus over the train, IMHO.

    Dulcius_ex_asperis on
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    ASimPersonASimPerson Cold... and hard.Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Yeah, I would get in touch with the folks running this and ask if you can arrive on the 16th. You may have to pay a little extra, but hey, it won't hurt to ask. Besides, if you have to be there by noon, do you really want to touchdown in London at 9am the day-of and worry about clearing customs/immigration in time to catch a bus/train? Especially Heathrow, you may end up having to wait for a gate, face a long line at customs, etc. (Though at least Heathrow is a lot closer to Oxford than Gatwick is.)

    Also, remember to leave yourself plenty of time wherever you connect. At least an hour and a half. (By the way, I found two itineraries - LHR was ~$690 and LGW was $608 (both on Delta via ATL or CVG)! So now's not a bad time to buy, especially considering it's only a month out.)

    ASimPerson on
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    Jake!Jake! Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'd try couchsurfing.com for a place to stay. I'm a stuck record on this point, but I think it's about the best way to meet people travelling.

    Jake! on
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    SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Vivixenne wrote: »
    first of all, that's a bit of a spoiler in your avatar

    second of all, you may want to consider hopping a bus to Oxford anyway... are you sure you're not allowed to arrive any sooner than noon of the 17th? if you call the people organizing things you may be allowed to arrive earlier

    third of all, is this pre-IB/mid-IB prep program that you're going to do? (I did the same thing many years ago) if yes, you will likely be staying at the University Annex at Oxford, in which case if you just E-mail or call the people sorting out housing, they should be able to accommodate early arrival, as I showed up a whole day early for the program, too

    It's not really a spoiler at all.

    I've been asking about arriving early. Every time I do the guy running the trip keeps saying he's trying to figure that out. It would make it loads easier if I could, i'm just trying to get all the possibilities hammered down. I'm staying at St. Clares as well.

    SniperGuy on
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    poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Even if you can't get in a day early, you're still better off going to Oxford, which is a nice enough town, as opposed to staying somewhere near Heathrow, which is a horrifying fucking hole (I say this as someone who grew up in that area).

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
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    PeenPeen Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Just thought I'd jump in and third the vote for the Oxford Tube. If you're not going at peak time it takes about the same amount of time as the train, is cheaper, and gives you better views. I studied at Oxford for a year and did the trip to and from the airport a couple of times that way and never had a problem. You can literally step off of the plane, walk to the bus, pay the driver for a ticket and walk on. It's lovely.

    Peen on
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    X3x3nonX3x3non Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    So i'm planning on studying abroad for about a month (May 16th through June 20th) and am planning to fly out of Memphis, TN. As far as I can tell, getting to Heathrow and then taking a train to Oxford, my destination, is my best best. Is that true? From what it seems, I'll have to actually leave on the fifteenth, then maybe get a room in Heathrow/London for a night and take a train to Oxford early the next morning. Anyone have any experience with this and can help me out?

    Heya,

    I as well do the Heathrow-> Oxford trip several times a year. As suggested, take the Oxford Airline Bus from Heathrow to Oxford. You will find them at the bus terminal. Last time (2 months ago) you will find them in the first rows of buses a bit down the lane. The number is X70 I believe. The bus is big and sky blue so it is quite easy to find. They depart very frequently so you don't really need to plan ahead, just show up at the bus terminal whenever you arrive. The bus will literally take you right down to the city centre.

    If you are walking with a lot of luggage, the trip from the Gloucester Green bus stop up to St. Clares can be quite a haul. I will be in Oxford during the time period you are there (4th year woo!) so if you need anything just send me a PM or reply in this thread. I could help you haul you shit up there and find the place. I remember it was a bit of a bitch when I first arrived because along with all your luggage you have to worry about finding your way. And I would imagine that international arrivals will be given some leeway in terms of arriving early.


    P.S. for the guy arriving from Gatwick, I know the Oxford Airline bus also has service to Gatwick. It is much more convenient than first having to make your way to downtown London to catch a train (and also cheaper).

    X3x3non on
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    KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Possibly you could change trains at Croydon or Clapham (near Gatwick) and get a through London train.

    Or you could just have an adventure through London

    Kalkino on
    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
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    corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    A direct bus will be a lot easier and cheaper than playing silly buggers with London transport whilst jetlagged and at antisocial hours.

    corcorigan on
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    KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    corcorigan wrote: »
    A direct bus will be a lot easier and cheaper than playing silly buggers with London transport whilst jetlagged and at antisocial hours.

    Yeah, that is a fair point. On the other hand, getting lost in the train network will be a story for the ages.

    Kalkino on
    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
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