My wife is arriving Heathrow 8/26 around 14:00 and wants to go to the Marylebone area of London (quite near intersection of Marylebone Rd and Gloucester Pl).

Normally she'd take the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and then a couple of tube stops away is her hotel.

But: Notting Hill Carnival.

And she has a bit of luggage (the wheeled kind). And after a flight from the US. And she doesn't much like crowds.

So: I'm looking for information on the relative merits of just going ahead and taking the Heathrow Express vs other options.

(Never having seen the Notting Hill Carnival - just articles about it on the web - maybe crowding isn't a problem over at Paddington Station?)

2 Answers 2


Assuming your wife is expecting to travel on the Bakerloo Line (i.e. the brown one), then at that time of day, it's not likely the trains will be packed rush hour style, since the festivities start earlier and finish later, and are centred a significant distance to the west, and on the Central Line and Hammersmith & City Line. There are likely to be more people changing tube lines than you would get on an average Monday lunchtime, particularly since changing from one Underground line to the other at Paddington can involve walking through the main station. If she's been to London before it will feel much more like a Saturday than a weekday.

The cheaper option is to use the tube for the whole journey, changing from the Piccadilly Line to the Bakerloo at Piccadilly Circus, but that is likely to feel significantly more crowded/oppressive than catching the Heathrow Express, will take significantly longer, and Piccadilly Circus is never a particularly quiet station, particularly over a national holiday.

The most expensive options are to take a taxi, either from Heathrow or from Paddington. If using a cab all from Heathrow, there are road closures due to the carnival, but I don't think they'll affect some of the more obvious routes, and her cabbie should be aware of them. Both these options would also avoid most of the difficulties with steps and luggage that using the tube will have. Having said that, it's not a particularly pleasant or beautiful trip from either point, involving either a motorway, or the second most polluted road in London.

  • You called it just right on the transfer from the Heathrow Express to the Bakerloo line. 90 degree weather there today!
    – davidbak
    Commented Aug 26, 2019 at 16:43

It depends on you which kind of transport you need to choose from the Heathrow to Marylebone. Like if you want a cheaper way then Tube and Bus are best for you. If you want a faster and convenient way than Heathrow Express and Taxi are the best options for you. below are transport options and the duration of it take which suits you:

Taking the Tube to Central London From Heathrow Airport Duration: 45 minutes

Taking Heathrow Express to Central London From Heathrow Airport Duration: 15 minutes

Taking Heathrow Connect to Central London From Heathrow Airport Duration: 48 minute

Taking the Bus to Central London From Heathrow Airport Duration: 55 minutes

Taking a Taxi to Central London From Heathrow Airport Duration: Between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on traffic

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to Travel.SE! Unfortunately I have to downvote this answer as it does not address the crowd/event-based effect of Notting Hill Carnival. The times quoted is also bit irregular: e.g. TfL Rail (the successor to Heathrow Connect) currently takes ~31 mins to cover what Heathrow Express does in 15 mins (Heathrow Central -> Paddington). All of which makes me believe this might not be a helpful answer to this particular question...
    – B.Liu
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 7:40

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