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I am planning to land on 17th April at 7pm at London Heathrow Airport, mostly Terminal 2. I will have two checked bags, one laptop bag, and a carry-on bag.

I'm planning to prebook the National Express service from Heathrow to Leeds Tempest Road but have some questions:

  • what destination should I book? I don't see Leeds Tempest Road in the National Express site.
  • Will we have enough space to keep the luggage in National Express?
  • Is any national express coach available after 9 pm towards Leeds?
  • Is it wise that I'm planning to prebook to avoid any delay when I arrive?
  • Heathrow has multiple starting points. Which one is the best?

I will be staying in the country for at least 6 months. Please advise. Also any other options?

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    @Suresh What will the weight of your luggage be? Have you checked nationalexpress.com/en/help/luggage-lost-property? – Traveller Mar 27 at 8:09
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    There is a huge luggage bay underneath the coach, so there will be enough room. But the above link tells you the allowance. You can see the departure times and the destinations in Leeds when you make the booking. There does not seem to be one after 9 pm and a booking after a flight is dodgy anyway (due to delays). Another option is to go to Kings Cross rail station in central London and take a train to Leeds. – Weather Vane Mar 27 at 11:19
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    Do you realise that you will be required to quarantine yourself for ten days upon arrival, even with the negative Covid test that is required for entry at all? You are allowed to travel directly to the place where you will be quarantining, but should avoid public transport if at all possible. – Mike Scott Mar 27 at 16:21
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    Note that if you have been in a country on the UK's red list (gov.uk/guidance/…) you will need to quarantine at your own expense in a hotel the UK govt chooses for you. In addition to this you will have to have a negative COVID-19 PCR or equivalent test before embarking, and take two more tests at your own expense after arriving during your self-isolation (gov.uk/uk-border-control/before-you-leave-for-the-uk) – mtrw Mar 27 at 16:49
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    @mtrw If you’re coming from a country on the red list, you can’t enter the UK at all, unless you’re a citizen or resident of the UK or Ireland. And you have to quarantine if you’re entering from any other country (except Ireland). – Mike Scott Mar 27 at 17:56
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what destination should I book? I don't see Leeds Tempest Road in the National Express site.

National Express has only one stop in Leeds, which is the Dyer Street Coach station. From there you need to take other transportation (bus or taxi)

Will we have enough space to keep the luggage in National Express?

The bus has plenty of storage. What exactly you can bring and how much this may cost is part of the terms and conditions of your specific ticket.

Is any national express coach available after 9 pm towards Leeds?

No. It looks like there are only two busses a day: 8am and 14:00

Is it wise that I'm planning to prebook to avoid any delay when I arrive?

Maybe. This only makes sense if you are confident, that you can make your connection even if your flight is delayed and lines at immigrations are long OR if the ticket is flexible.

Heathrow has multiple starting points. Which one is the best?

T2/T3 is you arrive in Terminal 2

You may be better off taking the tube to King's Cross and then the train to Leeds. There are way more frequent itineraries and it's about 2 hours faster. Granted, wrestling luggage on the tube and on the train is not going to be fun.

If you are arriving only at 9pm all of this is a non-starter. Last train to Leeds leaves King's Cross at 8:30pm. If you are coming in this late, you should probably budget a night somewhere. It's 200 miles from Heathrow to Leeds.

Updated: Actually there is a connection through York (leaving Heathrow at 10pm). However that gets you into Leeds station at 2:00am in the morning, which may not be that useful.

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    Yes, busses can get cancelled. In most cases they will provide alternate transport. However, if they have to cancel because of a new lock down or new Covid restrictions, they may not be able to offer you transport. Stating the obvious: these are not good times to travel at all and you need to be prepared for all type of things going wrong. – Hilmar Mar 27 at 14:50
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    @Suresh Capacity restrictions due to Covid are in place now and are unlikely to be lifted by the time you plan to travel. nationalexpress.com/en/help/coronavirus-safety There’s no guarantee of being allowed to board if you turn up on the day without a booking (to be fair, that probably applies even in normal times). – Traveller Mar 27 at 15:45
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    All of this is washed away by just renting a car, which costs little. OP will be comfortable and in bed by 10-11pm after a pleasant door-to-door drive. – Fattie Mar 27 at 18:23
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    @Fattie I don't know what world you live in where you can get off a flight at Heathrow at 7pm, rent a car, and be in Leeds by 10 - 11pm. It's 3.5 hours drive and you have to assume it will take at least 2 hours to reclaim luggage, clear immigration, and get the car hire sorted. This also presumes the OP is legally allowed and personally comfortable driving in the UK. – Vicky Mar 27 at 21:22
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    @Fattie: This also depends a lot on how comfortable you are with driving on the left side. Personally, I would avoid doing a long nigh-time left-side drive especially after a long international flight (not sure here). A one way rental is going to be frightfully expensive: one-day one-way prices from Heathrow to Leeds are significantly north of $300 – Hilmar Mar 28 at 12:30
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For a flight arriving at Heathrow nominally at 7pm, it is not possible to take public transport to Leeds that night.

Your only three options are

  • Have (for example) relatives from Leeds pick you up in a car. I'd say £150 would be appropriate for this. (Likely your cheapest option; recall petrol is very expensive in the UK btw.)

  • Stay in a hotel, probably at the airport, and then hopefully get the bus you mention in the morning. Hotels are relatively cheap. TAKE GREAT CARE that you get one close to the bus area, or it will be a nightmare.

  • If you're staying for (say) a week, just rent a car for the week which is cheap and solves all problems and ends all other costs of taxis, transport etc. (If you are staying for longer, renting a car one-way is a bit expensive and will probably be more than the hotel/bus/taxi combo.)

And fourthly,

  • Just get a hire car (which is sort of a cheap taxi). You can instantly google dozens of options. It will be £200-£300 , hence cheaper than other options too. Example https://www.pinkberrycars.com/Taxi-Heathrow-Airport-To-Leeds Note that - my guess - it would be very lucky to get a shared hire car, but if you can, fantastic. (I was never, ever able to get a shared one going from eg Heathrow->SE which is the same distance.)

And fifthly,

  • @Traveller has pointed out the thing to do is fly on to Manchester. It's quite possible that would also be the cheapest option given the price of hotels, etc.

Those are your only three options. There are no other options.

If you have 3 or more people traveling, there's no other option than just renting a car, since it is far cheaper than the other options. If you go with a hotel, TAKE GREAT CARE that you get one close to the bus area, or it will be a nightmare.

Tip on choosing flights to Heathrow...

As I mention in a comment, an "XY tip" here is that pro travellers indeed know it's hopeless arriving at Heathrow at night. If at all possible find flights that arrive in the morning.

Tip on choosing flights to Leeds...

Unfortunately "too late now" but one should be flying to Manchester, not London airports, for Leeds.

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  • Ever heard of pre-booked shared taxis? They are usually not more expensive than renting a car, they also allow someone who is tired from a long flight travel safely without having to worry about different rules of the road. (Assuming that they can drive at all, it is not unlikely that OP does not have a driving license and no family in the UK.) – Willeke Mar 28 at 13:15
  • The only option? Perhaps you've overlooked that Heathrow is actually an airport. While ground connections may not be great, it probably does an okay job at flights. Even though there are no direct flights to Leeds, it might be possible to reach with a layover. Whether that's doable in the current climate (literally and virally), probably not, but it can be a way to get there and see a bit of the world. – JJJ Mar 28 at 13:17
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    A flight to Manchester and then a local taxi/bus/train to Leeds or pick-up by a friend/relative is the option I’d go for. Given the LHR arrival time an overnight stay in a budget hotel followed by the 9am BA flight to Manchester would also allow for possible inbound delay into LHR – Traveller Mar 28 at 14:14
  • that's perfect @Traveller should pop that in as an answer – Fattie Mar 28 at 14:46
  • @Willeke Ever heard of rhetorical questions? that's a fantastic idea. However - I may be wrong - I believe in the current Era it would be extremely unlikely to score one H->Leeds on a given Sat. night. (I may be wrong.) I guess it would be about £200 so the cheapest option. – Fattie Mar 28 at 14:48

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