There is nothing like the mixture of nerves and anticipation as you get ready to start what could be a life-changing trip.
And the most nerve-wracking part of it all is, without a doubt, making your way to the starting point!
Contiki tours depart from across the world, but in Europe many trips start from London.
So to help you make sure you get your trip off on the right foot, we have focussed on where in London Contiki Tours start.
That is because we want you to get to the starting point of your trip feeling as stress-free as possible!
Where Do Contiki Tours Start In London?
All Contiki Tours that start in London depart from the Contiki Basement which is located at 38-51 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0DG. It is right next to the Royal London Hotel and just a few minutes’ walk from Russell Square tube station. If you are arriving by plane it is around an hour’s journey from Heathrow Airport.
Sometimes the best-laid plans can go awry.
That happened to me in Perth once.
I had arrived in Australia a couple of days before from South-East Asia, and spent my first two or three days getting accustomed to the layout of the city.
I booked myself on a little trip up to the Pinnacles Desert and Lancelin and was really looking forward to it.
I made note of where the trip departed from the next day (it was actually from the office I had made the booking at) and set off to explore more of the city.
The next day I left my hostel in plenty of time to get to the start point.
But I didn’t get there.
I obviously wasn’t as au fait with the city as I thought.
In fact, I ended up getting myself totally lost, and the closer the departure time got the more I panicked.
I eventually arrived at the start point well after the trip had left, but the staff were very kind and rebooked me on the same tour the next day at no extra cost.
I made doubly certain I knew where I was going and arrived in plenty of time the next day and thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
Now that was in the days before smartphones were a thing, so today getting lost is a lot harder.
But it still isn’t impossible, so let’s make sure it doesn’t happen to you!
Contiki Tours in London
All Contiki Tours in London depart from the Contiki Basement which is located at 38-51 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0DG.
It is right next to the huge Royal National Hotel which you can’t miss.
Getting There From Heathrow Airport
Most people coming to London by plane will arrive at Heathrow Airport. It takes around an hour to get from Heathrow to the Contiki Basement.
Once you are off the plane and through all the checkpoints you want to follow the signs to the London Underground and catch the Piccadilly Line eastbound to Russell Square Station.
Once you get to Russell Square Station you are just minutes from the Contiki Basement.
Come out of the Underground and turn left. Cross the road at Woburn Place.
You should now see the Royal National Hotel ahead of you, walk towards that and follow the signs to the Contiki Basement which is right next door to it.
The video above also condenses the journey into a 2-minute video.
Getting There From Stansted Airport
From Stansted Airport you can get a train to London Liverpool Street.
From there you can either get a taxi or get the Metropolitan Underground Line to King’s Cross St. Pancras and then the Piccadilly line to Russell Square.
Come out of the Russell Square station, turn left and cross the road at Woburn Place.
Ahead of you will be the Royal National Hotel, walk towards that and you should see signs directing you to the adjacent Contiki Basement.
You will want to allow at least 90 minutes for the entire journey.
Getting There From Gatwick Airport
From Stansted Airport you can get a train to London Victoria.
From London Victoria, get the Victoria Underground Line to Euston.
From here you can either get a taxi or exit Euston Station following signs to Eversholt Street (A4200) heading towards Russell Square.
From here it will be about a 15 to 20-minute walk.
You will want to allow at least 80 minutes for the entire journey.
The Contiki Basement
Once you get to the Contiki Basement you can sit back and relax.
Well actually first go to the check-in desk and tell them you are there for your tour and then sit back and relax.
The Contiki Basement also offers a number of other services including:
- Luggage storage.
- Free wifi.
- A chance to pick up any last-minute essentials you may have forgotten such as pillows, ear plugs, etc.
- Large relaxation areas.
And more importantly, you can make your introductions to your new travelling group, and share your excitement with them.
Contiki Tours in London start from the Contiki Basement, which is right next to the Royal National Hotel and just minutes from Russell Square tube station.
If you are arriving on the day please, please, please allow yourself plenty of time to get to the start point, as you do not want to cause yourself any extra stress!
Once you are there you can sit back, relax and think about the fun that is ahead.
With smartphones, it means repeating what I did in Perth and getting lost on your way to the start point is much harder!