Plan your London airport journey

Millions of visitors from far and wide are attracted to the bright lights and bustling streets of the English capital every year, and one of the first sights they are likely to see upon arrival is the foyer of one of the city’s many airports.

Offering excellent transport links to all parts of the city, travellers planning journeys via London’s major airports can often be left disoriented by the vast number of methods to head into the capital.

However, anyone planning to visit London should rest assured that getting into and out of London is relatively simple, as each of the city’s major airports are well connected. Here are some of the best ways to travel from each of London’s major air hubs:

Heathrow Airport

Address: Longford, Hounslow, Greater London TW6

With more than 73 million passengers passing through its doors each year, Heathrow Airport is one the UK’s busiest airports and offers five terminals providing both domestic and international travel links.

By road:

Visitors planning to drive during their time in London can make use of the excellent road network that the city has to offer, with Heathrow linked via the M4 at junction 4 and the M25 at junction 15.

Both of these key routes allow travellers the chance to gain easy access to the rest of London, while parking in the area is available via a range of short and long-stay options.

Individuals planning to travel from Heathrow Airport can also do so through the wide selection of local bus links, with routes including: 60, 71, 77, 78, 350, 420, 441, 446, 482, 490, H51 and H52.

By rail:

There are a number of regular rail services from Heathrow into the centre of the capital, with lots of options for both Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect journeys that go serve the airport well.

These special connecting trains run several times per hour and have their own platforms at the airport. Passengers can expect to arrive in around 30 minutes from key destinations between Heathrow and London Paddington.

By London Underground:

The London Underground network also serves the airport’s terminals. The Piccadilly line is the required network for those departing and arriving at Heathrow, with journey times of about 30 minutes.

Gatwick Airport

Address: West Sussex RH6 0NP

London’s other major airports include Gatwick Airport. This hub sees more than 40 million passengers each year and serves a number of destinations within the UK and further afield. It is based around 30 miles away from the centre of London, but benefits from strong transport links.

By road:

Gatwick can be found close to junction 9 of the M23 and by the A23 London to Brighton road. It is also easy to reach the airport from the M25. There are plenty of signs showing the way to Gatwick and the airport has a whole range of parking options – both for long and short-time stays.

If you prefer to let someone else to the driving, then there are a number of coach and bus routes that offer regular services to Gatwick and connect the airport to cities across the UK including Oxford, Bristol and Norwich.

By rail:

The major mainland railway service to the airport is the Gatwick Express, with trains running every 15 minutes directly into London – the journey takes around half-an-hour and London Victoria, London Farringdon and Clapham Junction.

Stansted Airport

Address: Bassingbourn Road, Stansted, Essex CM24 1QW

The north-west area of London is served by Stansted airport – which sees around 20 million passengers each year – making it the third-largest airport in the capital.

By road:

Stansted Airport is about 30 miles to the north of London and can be found at junction 8a on the M11. Depending on traffic, it takes around an hour to drive from the centre of the capital to the airport.

There are a number of bus services that run from the terminal at Stansted to various locations throughout the area, so it may be a preferable option for those who don’t want to worry about parking etc.

By rail:

Mainline rail services run from Stansted airport run to Tottenham Hale and London Liverpool Street, with around five trains per hour. Using the train takes around 40 minutes to get into the capital.

Tottenham Hale station is on the Victoria line on the tube network and Liverpool Street railway station is close to various Tube stations, including Liverpool Street Underground (Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines).

Luton Airport

Address: Airport Way, Luton LU2 9LY

Finally, London is also served by Luton Airport, which handles over ten million travellers per year.  Although, it is further out that the other London airports, it still offers regular services to both domestic and international regions.

By road:

The easiest way to travel to Luton Airport if travelling by car is to head to the M40/M25 link to join the M1 and then exit via junction 10.

There are also numerous bus services that run between central London and Luton airport so it is easier to make the journey to and from your hotel.

In addition, drop-off bus services run every 30 minutes from Luton Airport, offering a swift and easy way from travellers to head into the city after their arrival.

By rail:

If you prefer to travel by train, then Luton Airport Parkway Station has regular services running from 5am to midnight that connect with a number of stations in London.

Alternatively, the airport offers excellent rail links to the heart of London, with services operating between 5 am and midnight from Luton Airport Parkway Station.

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