London Airport Transfers: which should you use?

Train

 

Use our handy comparison table to help decide which option is best for your journey to or from the airport. Whether you're in a rush or on a budget, travelling alone or in a group, there's sure to be a London airport transfer to suit your schedule and budget.

Where are you flying to?



 Heathrow 

 Gatwick 

 Stansted 

 Luton 

 London City 




Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow Airport is a major international airport, located in West London. London´s main airport is the busiest airport in the UK and also the busiest one in Europe in terms of passenger traffic. 68 million passengers fly from the airport every year and 1.3 million tonnes of cargo are sent out from Heathrow to over 180 destinations worldwide - carried by 90 airlines which fly from the airport. The airport has five terminals, two main runways, and a cross wind runway. There are a wide range of facilities including those for business, children and disabled travellers. It also offers a full range of 1st class airport services.

heathrow-2



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Bus Transfers

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Rail Transfer

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Taxi Transfer


BUS TRANSFERS: 

Terminals 1-3

A National Express bus service stops at Terminals 1, 2 and 3. The stops are located at the Central Bus Station, a short walk away from the check-in area (via underground walkways). They are signposted to make them easy to find.

Terminal 4

The National Express service leaves from stop 13 and 14, just outside the terminal.

Terminal 5

The National Express service departs from stop 13-16, just outside the terminal. The bus station is open 24/7 and tickets in the travel centre can be purchased from 06:00 to 22:30. Baggage trolleys are available and there is a lift to access the underground level.




RAIL & TUBE TRANSFERS: 

Heathrow Express

When travelling between Central London and Heathrow, Heathrow Express is the fastest option. Trains depart every 15 minutes and 30 minutes after 22:00. Total travel time is just 15 minutes.

Price (standard): from £22 (single)/ £36 return
Price (business first): £30 single / £54 return

How to catch the Heathrow Express? 

Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 & 3 station is a ten-minute walk from Terminal 1 and five minutes from Terminal 3. The stations at Terminals 4 and 5 are directly below the terminals and are accessible by lift.

Tube

London Underground's Piccadilly Line offers the cheapest route to travel from Heathrow Airport to the city centre. It will take you less than an hour to reach London's city centre and costs £3-£5 with an Oyster card or £5.70 cash.

How to catch a train? 

  • Terminal 1, 2 and 3: in the central area between the terminals 
  • Terminal 4 and 5: in the basement of the buildings 
  • All stations are in within Zone 6.

Buy an Oyster Card or a Travelcard to save money once in Central London. 

Prices from £18 for an Oyster Card and £12.10 for a Travelcard (1 Day). If you’re unsure which card is best for you



TAXI TRANSFERS: 

24/7 Taxi Service from Heathrow. The journey will take about 45 minutes and is available for £50. Various companies offer their services and the taxi should be booked right after landing. Executive services are also available on request and will cost you £85.




Comparison Chart



Type of transfer How long does it take? How often does it run? Where in London does it take me? Price Ticket type Included in BritRail Pass?
Heathrow Express train 15 mins Every 15 mins London Paddington £21* E-ticket tick
National Express bus 40 mins (fast service)

Up to 2.5 hours (stopping service)
Every 15-60 mins  London Victoria Coach Station £5* E-voucher red-cross
London underground (tube) 49 mins to Leicester Square Every
6-10 minutes
Any Tube or Overground station
Included with a 
Travelcard,
maximum £5*
with an Oyster
card
Cards will be mailed
to you before you travel
red-cross

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Gatwick Airport

"Gatwick Airport is located 47.5 km south of Central London and is the second largest international airport in London. It is one of the busiest airports in terms of total numbers of passengers in Great Britain. The runway at Gatwick is the busiest in the world with roughly 55 aeroplanes running through it on an hourly basis. Gatwick Airport is the only London airport to be served by charter, low cost, and full-service flights. The airport consists of two terminals: North and South. Both terminals have restaurants and shops and are fully accessible to disabled passengers. Both terminals are also equipped with a range of facilities, which include changing and feeding rooms for babies, video game areas for entertainment, and executive lounges. The airport also has congress meeting rooms and various off site hotels.

Gatwick Connect is a free connection service to assist passengers who have connecting services within Gatwick, but whose airlines do not provide a complete service. The service is available for passengers travelling with EasyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Virgin Atlantic. 


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Bus Transfers

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Rail Transfer

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Taxi Transfer


BUS TRANSFERS: 

Gatwick North

Gatwick North National Express buses leave Gatwick roughly every 20 minutes, with the journey lasting from 55 to 80 minutes depending on traffic. The service leaves from the lower level of the North Terminal, just outside the International arrivals exit. National Express bus tickets can be purchased online in advance or directly from within the airport with tickets starting from £10.

Gatwick South

In the South Terminal, you can catch the National Express bus to London Victoria from the lower forecourt: Bays 1-5. There are escalators, lifts, and ramps throughout the terminal to help you get there. Tickets can be purchased from our site, or inside the airport. The journey takes 55-80 minutes depending on traffic, and prices start from £10.




RAIL TRANSFERS: 

The train service is immediately accessible within Gatwick South Terminal, if you are travelling to or from the North terminal, there is a free shuttle service available provided by the airport. The Gatwick Express service leaves the station every 15 minutes, with the journey approximately taking 31 minutes. The minimum fare for the journey is approximately £19.90 



TAXI TRANSFERS: 

Both terminals have a 24/7 taxi service. The journey to Central London can take approximately 45 minutes depending on traffic and costs about £22.50 per person. Passengers booking a return service can get a 20% discount. For those looking to book an executive taxi service, you can book one from our site where you will be chauffeured to your destination with fares starting from £125.




Comparison Chart

gatwick
Type of transfer How long does it take? How often does it run? Where in London does it take me? Price Ticket type Included in BritRail Pass?
Gatwick Express train 30 mins Every 15 mins London Victoria £19.90* E-ticket tick
National Express bus Up to 90 mins Every hour London Victoria Coach Station £10* E-voucher red-cross
Thameslink train Up to 60 mins Every 30 mins St. Pancras, London Bridge or Blackfriars £9.90* E-ticket tick

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Standsted Airport

Stansted Airport is a hub for most of the major low-cost airlines in the United Kingdom. It is located in the county of Essex, about 48 km from London. The airport was built in 1942 by the American military force which then passed ownership to the BAA, which converted the airport into the third London passenger airport after Heathrow and Gatwick.

Stansted Airport has one terminal with three embarking points, one connected to the terminal via a foot bridge and the other two through people movers. The building was designed by Foster Associates and its prominent feature is the floating roof supported by a metal inverted trellis pyramid structure. The building was specifically designed for a continuous flux of people to transit in both directions without the flow of travellers being obstructed.



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Bus Transfers

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Rail Transfer

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Taxi Transfer


BUS TRANSFERS: 

There are a number of bus services available to and from Stansted, which operate directly from the airport’s bus station. 


National Express offers a bus service from Stansted to London Victoria Station. The service is very frequent and leaves every 15 minutes, taking on average about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to London Victoria.


Prices from £10 each way and can be booked online in advance.




RAIL TRANSFERS: 

Stansted Express Stansted Express is the fastest way to travel between Stansted Airport and central London. The express takes just 47 minutes from the terminal to the centre or only 36 minutes to Tottenham Hale (London underground). Frequency: every 15 minutes (early and late trains every 30 minutes) 7 days a week.


How to catch the Express? 

  • The train station is only 2 minutes by foot from the airport terminal and there is easy access via lifts, escalators and ramps. 
  • Prices from £23.40



TAXI TRANSFERS: 

There is a 24/7 taxi service available from Stansted Airport, which is particularly useful for those who don’t want to deal with the hassle of bus or train booking. You can also book an executive taxi service to Central London. You will be picked up and greeted upon arrival by a chauffeur. The fare is £125 for an executive service and £58 for a standard cab.




Comparison Chart


stansted
Type of transfer How long does it take? How often does it run? Where in London does it take me? Price Ticket type Included in BritRail Pass?
Stansted Express train 30-45 mins Every 15 mins London Liverpool Street £23.40* E-ticket tick
National Express bus 65 mins Every 15-30 mins London Liverpool Street or Victoria Coach Station £10* E-voucher red-cross

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Luton Airport 

London Luton is an international airport located in the Borough of Luton (Bedfordshire). The airport is the fourth-largest in the London area. About 9.7 million passengers flew from Luton in 2013, making it the sixth busiest airport in the UK. The airport is a base for a variety of economy class/low budget airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet, Thomson Airways and Monarch. Some flights travel to destinations in Northern Africa and Asia; however, the majority of routes are within Europe. 



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Bus Transfers

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Rail Transfer

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Taxi Transfer


BUS TRANSFERS: 

National Express 
The National Express bus service provides a dedicated airport transfer to London over 60 times a day. The bus goes to Finchley Road, Portman Square, St. John's Wood, Baker Street, Golders Green, Victoria Coach Station and Victoria Rail Station.

Other bus lines also serve the airport: 
Green Line 757 between London Luton Airport and London Victoria. The bus is located at Bay 7 outside the terminal building. easyBus also offers a service which runs to Central London throughout the day. The buses run between the airport and Baker Street. Online fares start at £2 one-way and vary depending on demand. The easyBus departs from Bay 9, just outside the main terminal building.




RAIL TRANSFERS: 

On average it takes trains 40 minutes to reach Central London stations and they leave six times an hour at peak times and hourly at night. Regular rail services to Central London take only about 20 minutes with East Midlands Trains. 
There is also a shuttle bus service which operates to and from Luton Airport Parkway Station. The service runs every 10 minutes between 05:00 and 12:00 and also links with all trains leaving from Luton Airport Parkway overnight. Train details need to be checked beforehand.

Passengers arriving at Luton Airport Parkway Station who do not have a ticket to the Airport, but would like to use the shuttle bus will be required to pay an excess charge of £1.60 each way if they arrive at the station by train. 
First Capital Connect provides a service which takes 25 minutes and is connected to five central London stations. Blackfriars, London Bridge, Farringdon, City Thameslink,and St Pancras International. There is a short bus transfer from Luton Airport Parkway train station to the terminal. 
Prices from £14.50 (single) and £25 (return)





TAXI TRANSFERS: 

There is a 24/7 taxi service available at Luton Airport. A taxi fare will cost approximately £60. Journey time is about 70 minutes. Executive service starts at £125.




Comparison Chart

luton
Type of transfer How long does it take? How often does it run? Where in London does it take me? Price Ticket type Included in BritRail Pass?
Luton to London train  30-45 mins Approx. every 10 mins Kings Cross St. Pancras £14* E-ticket tick
National Express bus 65 mins Every 15-30 mins London Victoria Coach Station £11* E-voucher red-cross

* Price for a single journey for one adult, in standard class if applicable 
** Price for a single journey in a standard class vehicle for up to three people



London City Airport

London City Airport is a passenger airport used mostly by business travellers. It is the only airport in London less than a mile from the world-class events venue ExCel; three miles from Canary Wharf, and six miles from the City of London. The airport is located in the east of London, on a former docklands site in the London borough of Newham. The London City Airport has its origins in the regeneration of London's Docklands and commenced as a project in the autumn of 1981. It was built over a derelict dockyard between April 1986 and October 1987.

The terminal, designed by R. Seifert and Partners, was built from a concrete and steel structure. The Airport opened for passengers on 26th October 1987 with a formal opening by the Queen on November 5th.
With only one 1,500-metre (4,900 ft) long runway and a steep glideslope, it was specifically designed for mid-range airlines and corporate aircraft. Also due to the airport's proximity to Central London, there are strict rules imposed to limit noise. London City Airport handled over 3.3 million passengers in 2013 with 11 airlines flying to over 42 international destinations.



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Bus Transfers

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Rail(DLR) Transfers

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Taxi Transfer



BUS TRANSFERS: 

As the airport is located in the city, there is no bus transfer service but you can use local bus lines - The main lines are the 473 and 474.

Bus number 473

The 473 will take you to Stratford International station (a Eurostar connection) in 29 minutes. A single journey costs £1.50 with a Visitor Oyster card, or a 1-day Travelcard, covering unlimited journeys, costs £11.

Bus number 474

Bus number 474 will take you to Canning Town in 12 minutes or to Manor Park in 43 minutes (departures every 12 minutes). A single journey costs £1.50 with a Visitor Oyster card, or a 1 Day Travelcard, covering unlimited journeys, costs £12.10.
There is a free shuttle bus, number 573, which runs in a one way loop from London City Airport via Albert Road, Woolwich Free Ferry and Woolwich Manor Way, then non-stop to Prince Regent Docklands Light Railway Station and back to London City Airport.



RAIL (DLR) TRANSFERS

Overground trains

The closest overground train stations to London City Airport is Silvertown and City. Trains from this station will take you to north and west London. This service will not take you into the centre of London, so if you are wanting to travel into the city then disembark at Highbury or Islington to get on the tube.

DLR (connected to tube network)

London City Airport has its own DLR (Docklands Light Railway) tube station just a short walk from the terminal entrance. Using the DLR, you can reach Canning Town or Woolwich Arsenal stations in less than 10 minutes, (departures every 10 minutes) and Stratford International train station in less than 30 minutes (departures every 12 minutes). Tower Gateway is 38 minutes away. The cheapest way to travel on the Docklands Light Railway is with a Travelcard or an Oyster Card.




TAXI TRANSFERS:

You can take a licensed London black taxi from directly outside the terminal building. A journey to the City of London will cost about £25 one-way and take about 30 minutes




First time in London? Read our guide to London for first time visitors to make sure you get the most out of your trip!

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