Have one day to kill in the London area... - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Question Have one day to kill in the London area...

I'll be out there later this summer and have one extra day in the London area. Anyone here been there or have thoughts on what to do? I had been planning on renting a car and driving out to Hethel to check out the Lotus factory. That's gonna take about half a day. I'm just wondering if there's anything worth doing along the way to or from Hethel and London, or if I should just high tail it back to London and find something to do there. Have never been to the UK before.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 07:39 AM
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Just don't say it to any Londoners.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 02:27 AM
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There are way too many things to see

Lotus, 52 Regent Street - Walking distance from Piccadilly and Leister Square.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 06:23 AM
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You won't have much or any spare time to waste if you're planning on driving from London to Hethel and back in one day as the round trip with the factory tours will take up most, if not all of the day. It will depend on where you're staying but if you're staying in central London, with traffic etc you're most likely looking at least 3 hrs each way and another 3+ hours in Hethel so it's a full day. My last trip from central London to Hethel was on a Saturday and it took over 2.5 hours (even with exceeded the speed limit "a bit") and the trip back took quite a bit longer.

As mentioned the Lotus shop is in Piccadilly but I've heard there isn't much in it now.

I highly recommend going to the factory (and CTL) but you won't have time for much else

There is a lot of non car stuff to do in London so it is very easy to waste a day there if you don't go to Norfolk.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 11:44 AM
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WERM, don't drive to Hethel. Take the first train with an open return. If you have not yet been to the factory, that is certainly worth doing (I've been twice now and there is a good bit to see). But do not miss CTL. Clive Chapman is a very gracious and outgoing person. What's new there is Jim Clark's long-lost chassis they are restoring. They would not allow pictures of that chassis when I was there in May, but photos are allowed on all their other work. Be sure to ask Clive to introduce you to the mechanics. One of them wrenched for Clark in 1965.

Hope that helps,

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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I'm actually thinking of heading to Hethel on a Sunday around lunch. The tour is Monday from around lunch to early afternoon. From there I would head back to a hotel near Heathrow (or one with convenient acces) for a flight out early Tues.

Unfortunately, the days I'm there Classic lotus doesn't offer any tours.

Most likely, I would rent a car - I won't be starting out from inside London, and I thought it would be fun to rent something I couldn't get in the USA.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by WERM View Post
I'm actually thinking of heading to Hethel on a Sunday around lunch. The tour is Monday from around lunch to early afternoon. From there I would head back to a hotel near Heathrow (or one with convenient acces) for a flight out early Tues.

Unfortunately, the days I'm there Classic lotus doesn't offer any tours.

Most likely, I would rent a car - I won't be starting out from inside London, and I thought it would be fun to rent something I couldn't get in the USA.
I second the idea of taking the train. Years ago, I rented a car from my hotel, outside of London. The car was a Porsche 944S, and was the only interesting car I could find. The daily rate was not bad, and I drove up to Donington, saw the track and the museum. I drove back in the afternoon, only to find that the mileage charge was substantially more than two days' rent. I rented the car a second day, and left it in their car park, which saved me over $100.

Just be sure you confirm that the Lotus factory is open and available to tour when you go up; they often close for various retooling and other projects.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 09:06 AM
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I drove to Hethel (from the Cotswalds) and back to London in a sleet storm. The latter took about 4 hours. Be aware that Hethel is the boondocks...the Lotus factory and some cow pastures. Make sure to book your hotel ahead of time. There are some recs on the Lotus website.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 07:54 AM
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Also advise taking the train vs driving it goes right into Norwich, then taxi or if they have it Uber. The factory is way out in the countryside amidst farm fields. You might see if they have any short track day options as well, we did one that lasted about 2 hours called scare your self sensible it was great ! There is a small village Wymondham down the road , we had great pub food and about the most British pub experience as one can have at the Green Dragon. The village has several roads named after Lotus cars and we saw an Esprit driving around. Then take the train back and you will have time for dinner and running around London in the evening.

Contact The Green Dragon Norfolk

Also pronouncing names: Norfolk = Norfuk, Norwich = Norich, Hethel = Heh thel not Hee thel, and Wymondham = Windem as in the gusty wind not wind the clock

As far as London it is big and diverse, throw a rock and you will hit something to do , see, eat. I would say for food hit one of the great Indian places, you can get fish and chips anywhere but the Indian food in London is the best in the world (arguably say my friends in Glasgow )

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Last edited by delise; 07-07-2017 at 08:10 AM.
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