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Blue Elephant

Getting from Heathrow to Exeter by public transport

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We are spending a week in Cornwall and a week in Devon in Later July/early August, before heading off to Amsterdam for a cruise. We are Australian, so drive on the left side of the road. I am thinking we would like to hire a car for Cornwall and Devon, but the idea of driving out from Heathrow does not appeal. So, starting the car hire somewhere out in Devon, like Exeter. We will be located in Sidmouth for the second week (lodgings at Otterton) so would like to finish the car hire somewhere round there. And then have about two nights in London before catching the Eurostar from St Pancras to Amsterdam.

 

Does anyone have suggestions for the easiest way for two jet lagged Australians to do this?

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The simplest way would be to hop on the Heathrow Express to Paddington, then get a train from there to Exeter. If you want to go all the way to Cornwall, and the timing is right, you could potentially get the Night Riviera train which travels all the way to Penzance. Otherwise, there are plenty of daytime services to choose from.

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There are no train services from Heathrow to Exeter - as Twickenham's post, you head in the opposite direction, into central London's Paddington station where you change to a direct train to Exeter. But very simple, and not overly time-consuming.

Do book Heathrow Express tickets months ahead, prices rise drastically the closer the date.

https://www.heathrowexpress.com/

But be wary about the cheap "advance" train tickets for Paddington to Exeter.- they are available from about 8 to 10 weeks out but are only good for the train time that you book (annotated as "ticket valid for this service only"). Because of the vagaries of flight delays, time to get thro Heathrow formalities, and getting to London Paddington it'd be difficult to forecast what time train to pre-book.

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/

 

By bus would be tortuous & bum-numbing.

 

You have two weeks, so don't be shy about renting a car from Heathrow.

It's adjacent the motorway system and right on London's city limits on the Exeter side of the big bad city.

And it's all motorway for as far as you like.

Even motorway all the way to Exeter if you wanted - but the point of renting from Heathrow is the opportunity of visiting places along the way.

You can make a decent round-trip out of it.  Perhaps one way via the M4, Marlborough, Lacock, Bath, Cheddar gorge, Wells, spooky Glastonbury, M5. And back via Dorchester, Salisbury, Stonehenge, M3.

Something like https://goo.gl/maps/Qzr4vVPn6dFVQxax9

Depending how many places you choose to visit you'll need a few overnights along the way. And wise to make the first night somewhere near Heathrow - mebbe Windsor.

And return the car to Heathrow, don't be tempted to drive to your central London hotel :classic_ohmy:

 

Only my thoughts, just to confuse you :classic_biggrin:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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Possibly easier (and cheaper) than doubling back into London itself, is the RailAir coach from Heathrow to Reading, then and pretty much every train from Paddington-Exeter would stop there anyway.  2x/hr from Reading to Exeter.

 

 

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The only comment I'd make regarding JB's info, is that the price of the HEX and Paddington to Exeter return, could be a fair bit more than an extra days car hire from Heathrow. The National Rail site is throwing a wobbly at the minute and won't let me check the prices(!), but it might be worth doing a dummy booking for car all the way vs. train and car just to see if there is a significant difference.

 

Simon

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On 1/19/2020 at 8:09 PM, Blue Elephant said:

We are spending a week in Cornwall and a week in Devon in Later July/early August, before heading off to Amsterdam for a cruise. We are Australian, so drive on the left side of the road. I am thinking we would like to hire a car for Cornwall and Devon, but the idea of driving out from Heathrow does not appeal. So, starting the car hire somewhere out in Devon, like Exeter. We will be located in Sidmouth for the second week (lodgings at Otterton) so would like to finish the car hire somewhere round there. And then have about two nights in London before catching the Eurostar from St Pancras to Amsterdam.

 

Does anyone have suggestions for the easiest way for two jet lagged Australians to do this?

 

Unless London is a hard requirement, it's actually possible to fly from Exeter to Amsterdam too...

 

 

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