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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Cycling into Heathrow

    I have this information for cycling into Heathrow ...
    http://www.heathrowairport.com/trans...ng-to-heathrow
    ... and I've downloaded the pdf map ...

    But I'm wondering if any of you have experience cycling into the Heathrow airport from various directions.

    From our experience on cycling routes around Europe, sometimes the routes are great, easy to follow, have good signage etc. ... and sometimes the routes are hard to follow with bad roads and difficult to locate signage. We're hoping that cycling into Heathrow might be a good route.


    In the past we've stayed in Earl's Court and have taken the train to Heathrow, but that's always been something of a hassle, so we're looking for simpler solutions.

    What experiences have you had getting your bicycle from Heathrow to other parts of Europe, or back to Heathrow again.

  2. #2
    nun
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    I've cycled out of Heathrow. I took the tunnel exit North which is OK as there is a bike lane and then followed the A4. There is a bike lane on the pavement so you don't have to deal with traffic at all. I turned North as I was going up to Barnet. Coming from Earl's Court I'd probably just go out on Chiswick High Street and pick up the A4 after Brentford. Google has pretty good directions and London has lots of bike lanes

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    Senior Member Drakonchik's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. Some time ago I eyeballed a "theoretical" route from Heathrow to Winchester but never did it "real world" (And when I brought it up all my English relatives scoffed and poo-pooed at the idea without adding any facts to the discussion). Will be cool to hear some responses to the OP.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    I've cycled out of Heathrow. I took the tunnel exit North which is OK as there is a bike lane and then followed the A4. There is a bike lane on the pavement so you don't have to deal with traffic at all. I turned North as I was going up to Barnet. Coming from Earl's Court I'd probably just go out on Chiswick High Street and pick up the A4 after Brentford. Google has pretty good directions and London has lots of bike lanes
    We're hoping to stay at the airport this time instead of Earl's Court, but we'd need to get to the airport either from a train station in the middle of London, or from somewhere to the west of Heathrow.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    And how about hotels at Heathrow and area?

    When you've flown into or out of London, where have you stayed?

  6. #6
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    And how about hotels at Heathrow and area?

    When you've flown into or out of London, where have you stayed?
    Last time I stayed with friends in Barnet, so I rode right across London. It was ok as there's a lot of bike lanes. If you are in Earl's Court or to the West of Heathrow a route that sticks closely to the A4 would be my recommendation.

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    I took a surface train from Paddington to Hayes and Harlington and took a posted cycle route I cant recall the terminal but I remember riding all around the perimeter road.
    I took the road across one of the taxi ways (blocked off for aviation traffic most of the time) just as Concorde was landing. It flew above my head and landed just infront of me, I could feel the heat and the noise was deafening.

  8. #8
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    I took the road across one of the taxi ways (blocked off for aviation traffic most of the time) just as Concorde was landing. It flew above my head and landed just infront of me, I could feel the heat and the noise was deafening.
    I was once at Hertz inside Heathrow when Concorde took off on the adjacent runway......loudest thing I've ever heard and it just kept getting louder.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    OK, we're in the Heathrow area.

    Step 1 - take train to Hayes and Harlington (in our case from Reading, but it could be done from Paddington)
    Step 2 - cycle 3 km to hotel
    Step 3 - walk around trying to figure out how to get to the terminals.

    We were hoping to walk to Terminal 3, but it appears we can't do that. However, it appears we might be able to cycle through a tunnel, and we'll attempt that tomorrow. It may also be possible to take a train from the Hayes and Harlington station into one of the terminals. We'll have to check that option.

    We can see the terminals from where we are ... but getting there is not a straightforward and easy process!!

  10. #10
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    OK, we're in the Heathrow area.

    Step 1 - take train to Hayes and Harlington (in our case from Reading, but it could be done from Paddington)
    Step 2 - cycle 3 km to hotel
    Step 3 - walk around trying to figure out how to get to the terminals.

    We were hoping to walk to Terminal 3, but it appears we can't do that. However, it appears we might be able to cycle through a tunnel, and we'll attempt that tomorrow. It may also be possible to take a train from the Hayes and Harlington station into one of the terminals. We'll have to check that option.

    We can see the terminals from where we are ... but getting there is not a straightforward and easy process!!
    Yo need to get onto Tunnel Road which is accessed from the A4 and the big roundabout with a plane in the middle. It's busy! I came through the tunnel in the other direction after arriving at Terminal 3. There was a bike path in that direction. Traffic inside Heathrow is a very heavy and there are lots of lanes, so I just rode on the pavement.

    http://goo.gl/maps/WpfG1
    Last edited by nun; 10-15-12 at 02:46 PM.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Been thru LHR.. Gatwick is served by a Train. rather than 'the Tube'..
    train gets you to Victoria station [been a long time, so old-timers handicap]

    more room for a bike +

    leave it in the carton and you can stow it in 'Left Luggage'.. while you look for lodging.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-15-12 at 02:59 PM.

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    We're lodged just outside Heathrow, and will be flying out of Heathrow on Wednesday.

    We'll do some more exploring tomorrow. We've already discovered the tunnel ... that's easy to get to from where we are ... but we're thinking of trying to get to Terminal 4 or 5, and then taking the train that runs between terminals. It appears we could walk to either, so we should be able to get there by bicycle.

    nun, how was the tunnel experience when you rode it? Do you remember how long the tunnel is? We noticed a lot of fast moving taxi traffic on the cycle lane.

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    We've spent the day exploring ...

    Pedestrians can walk up to Terminals 4 and 5. Once there, they can take a free express train between all the terminals.

    Cyclists can also cycle up to Terminal 5 (and we presume Terminal 4 as well). It is a bit hair raising in places, but it is doable. From there, they can also take the free express train (Heathrow Express) between terminals. However, the sign at the gate to the Heathrow Express tells you that bicycles aren't allowed. They are allowed on the Heathrow Express (I asked), but not on the underground tube. So cyclists can be transported between terminals. And there are heaps of large lifts available.

    The Heathrow Express also goes right to London Paddington, and cyclists are allowed on that as well.


    As for getting bicycle boxes at the airport ... that's not easy!!

  14. #14
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post

    nun, how was the tunnel experience when you rode it? Do you remember how long the tunnel is? We noticed a lot of fast moving taxi traffic on the cycle lane.
    The tunnel wasn't long just a min to get through it. As I remember cyclists and taxis shared a lane and the taxis were very good about staying well behind me when I was in the lane.

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    I tried to cycle to Toronto International, and it turned out to be illegal. I got pulled over, and the beefsteak were very helpful and kind to me. First class! I later discovered the airport (my local airport, so I sorta know it, but it changes every few weeks) has a light rail train system that is free, bikes allowed, and goes to an external parking lot. So that is the easy route in.

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    We're in the Departures area of the Heathrow airport. Fortunately, the Left Luggage place had the box they set aside for me, and their shipment of 10 bicycle boxes came in. Thanks to our persistance, Terminal 3 Arrivals Left Luggage/Excess Baggage now has 9 bicycle boxes in stock for the next 9 cyclists who decide to cycle to the airport to catch their flight out.

    We tried out the tunnel to Terminals 1 and 3 today rather than cycling all the way to Terminal 5 and then catching the Express back to Terminal 3. When you follow the pink cycling path into Terminals 1 and 3, the path takes you to Terminal 1. From there, you walk down a ramp and through the underground hallways to Terminal 3.

    I will put all this information together on my journal for future reference.

  17. #17
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    We're in the Departures area of the Heathrow airport.
    Glad thing's worked out ok. So was the ride through the tunnel ok. Leaving Heathrow I found that to be the best bit....the roundabout at the other end was a bit scary. Actually my time riding in London a couple of years ago was a pleasant surprise as there were lots of bike paths and the drivers seemed to be pretty good about giving bikes space. It was a lot better than in my college years, back in the 1980s, when I rode a bike in London.

  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Yes, the ride through the tunnel was fine. We were followed by several vehicles but they kept their distance and it was OK.

  19. #19
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    At the bottom of our Europe story, I've done up a little segment on cycling to and from Heathrow, or at least travelling with your bicycles to and from Heathrow. There are several options ... Rowan and I have used a couple of the options, but the last time we were there, we learned about more, and I've included all the options we know about here:

    http://www.machka.net/RTW_2012/RTW_Europe_Main_2012.htm

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I thought I'd bump this because we had a question recently about getting from Heathrow to Reading. This might offer a little bit of assistance.

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