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Best option for a long weekend travel on the Tube

GailS

100+ Posts
My last trip to London was in 2013. I'll be heading back in January for a long weekend (4 nights). I recall buying an Oyster card on the last trip. This time we will fly in/out of Heathrow. I'm still looking at places to stay but on our last trip we stayed at the Thistle Holburn and they have winter sales so that may be where we stay again. What is the best option for transportation on the tube including to/from the airport (the Elizabeth line looks promising)? A Visitor Oyster Card?

Any other suggestions for places to stay? We will be visiting friends primarily - one who will be coming in from Coventry and a couple who live near Covent Garden. The only other firm plan is to visit the National Gallery again.
 

PatrickLondon

100+ Posts
Technology has moved on a bit. If you still have your old Oystercard, it should work as before (if not, ask the station attendant), but if you have contactless bank cards, the system will work with those in exactly the same way as the Oyster, making the lowest charge for your pattern of travel each day and charging your account just the once at 0430.
 

PatrickLondon

100+ Posts
Just to say, the Visitor Oyster isn't the best value. There's no particular benefit to having one sent to you when you can so easily get a regular one or better still use your own bank cards (if they are contactless). And if your old Oyster was a Visitor Oyster, I think it might not now be capable of being reactivated.
 

GailS

100+ Posts
Thanks @PatrickLondon. Unfortunately, I can' seem to locate the old Oyster cards. My husband and I both do have contactless credit cards - it sounds like that's the easiest option.
 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
Hi,
I’ve just spent 3 nights at The Apex Temple Court hotel just off Fleet St.
I paid less than £200 a night which was good value for money.
My room was comfortable, attractive, quiet & spacious & complete with coffee maker.
It’s 3 bus stops to Covent Garden or an easy walk,& 6 stops from London Waterloo.
(When I travel by tube I always use contactless as those above have written.)
I’ve stayed several times before at ATC so knew what to expect.
I stay over in London frequently, next month I’m staying at Apex London Wall as I want to be closer to London Bridge.
I was up in town for an event at The Courtauld Gallery by the way. I’m studying an art history course but I have a lot of my talks at The National Gallery.
I’d move in there if I could .
So many hotels in London with new ones opening each month. I know my way round quite a few so please ask if you have any particular needs.
Now is a good time to buy your room by the way as many are offering “ Black Friday” discounts. The offers I’ve looked at are genuine, as mine was. I came home today btw.
 
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GailS

100+ Posts
I finally located our Oyster cards (along with about 90£ cash). I can't seem to create an account to try to check the balance (either via the web site or via the phone app which sends you an email for activation which also errors out with access denied). Not sure if it is because I am in the U.S.
 

PatrickLondon

100+ Posts
Might well be (I'm not up on the intricacies of Oyster accounts), but it's not difficult to check the balance on the reader at any tube station when you get here. If for some reason it doesn't work, use the contactless, and/or talk to the station attendant.
 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
Just be aware that although none have yet been announced for January there are likely to be further strikes on our rail network which can include the tube.
I’m no help with Oyster, apologies.

Check out Resident Hotels if you are still looking for accommodation.
I’ve stayed at the branch in Covent Garden about 8 times now. It’s good, very comfortable accommodation with the benefit of a small kitchen area with fridge, microwave plus coffee machine. Rooms are somewhat bland and the lovely old building has had the heart ripped out of it but that said prices are good. I generally pay between £120 -220.
 
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GailS

100+ Posts
Strikes? I'm used to watching for those in Italy but didn't even consider this for London. Is there a web site that can be checked to see if any are planned? I was just looking at the Resident Hotel Covent Garden as they are having a Black Friday sale. Thanks for the feedback that it would be a good choice!
 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
I’m afraid my country is in disarray. Lots of bodies are striking including bus drivers, nurses, teachers, postal staff & several more.
We have been enduring rail strikes since June.
There may be a London website for checking out strike dates but the rail workers are only obliged to give 2 weeks notice so it’s too early for Jan.
They are called for various dates in Dec now.
I’ll post on here any updates.

Remember to enrol as a “ member” for Resident hotels which will give you 15 percent discount off the rack rates outside of the Black Friday promotion.
 
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GailS

100+ Posts
I just booked (after signing up as a member - the member early check in being an added bonus we will definitely take advantage of after an early morning arrival from the U.S.). Would you recommend the Charring Cross or Covent Garden tube stop? The hotel web site says the walk is the same from either.
 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
Not much help with the tube I’m afraid as I use the bus. It’s certainly an easy walk to either but I’d probably choose Charing Cross.
The station has a convenient food branch of Marks and Spencer should you want to pick up some supplies rather than eat out for every meal.
My current favourite restaurant is
www.cafemurano.co.uk
by the way. It’s located in Tavistock St a short walk from The Resident.

www.tfl.gov.uk

The link should take you to the transport for London site which is a useful tool for any trip to London.
 
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Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
I just booked (after signing up as a member - the member early check in being an added bonus we will definitely take advantage of after an early morning arrival from the U.S.). Would you recommend the Charring Cross or Covent Garden tube stop? The hotel web site says the walk is the same from either.
Covent Garden can get very busy of an evening, and the line is very deep, so you have to get a lift to the platform (there are steps, but there are a lot of them).
 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
Covent Garden can get very busy of an evening, and the line is very deep, so you have to get a lift to the platform (there are steps, but there are a lot of them).
That is very true & week ends are the same.
Have never used a tube from Charing Cross so can’t make the comparison.
 

PatrickLondon

100+ Posts
Where would you be travelling from? If Heathrow, then Piccadilly Line to Covent Garden (no changes). If from somewhere else, Charing Cross could be easier (though it has steps to the street).
 

Wendy Ashworth

10+ Posts
@Wendy Ashworth - I wasn't aware of the Courtauld Gallery. It looks interesting. We will have to try to make time for it.
Impressionist and Post Impressionist are it’s strength. I went to a little the party week end before last for members and patrons with pop up speakers. It was held to mark the first year of it’s reopening after a major remodelling. I really enjoyed it and learned a fair bit too!
If you don’t find time to visit the gallery then I recommend you have a look at Somerset House and walk down to see the Thames.
It’s so close to The Resident. A short walk across the quadrangle will give you a great view of buildings, if the ice rink has been taken down by the time of your visit that is.
Rail strikes have been announced for Jan 3 -8th I’m sorry to say.
 
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