Routes To and From London
The Routes To and From London will depend almost entirely upon where you begin. London is also used by Transatlantic airline visitors as a stepping stone to the European continent. Travel to to the rest of Europe from London is possible by motor car, aeroplane, train or boat. So the list of the principal oceanic routes alone both to and from the “New World” to the Untied Kingdom is a long one.
So we will simply list the closest international arrival and departure gateways to the centre of London. Once in or near London there is no faster way to travel than by train or Underground. Unless you arrive during one of the many weekends of planned (or unplanned) engineering works at which time there is no slower or more frustrating way to travel. Week day morning and evening rush hours are also not a good time to travel with excess baggage on public transport.
There are so many routes To and From London by rail. Central London (Zone 1) has many underground stations connected to eight mainline train stations and several other smaller stations, as well as many more within Greater London. The main train stations are Paddington, Euston, Kings cross St. Pancras, Charing Coss, Liverpool Street, Waterloo, London Bridge and Victoria.
The Routes To and From London airports are outlined here. But also please check the operators websites for current available journeys and also any disruptions to services.
1. Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport is approximately 20 miles (32km) west of central London. So these are the quickest and easiest ways to get there from central London.
Heathrow by London Underground
Tube line: Piccadilly to Heathrow terminal 2, 3, 4, 5. Services To and from central London. You will also need to check current Service times and fares which are subject to change.
Journey time: Approximately 50 minutes
Heathrow by rail
Heathrow terminal 2 and 3 (with a free shuttle service which connects terminals 4 and 5 with 2 and 3)
Services To and from Paddington, calling at:
• Hayes & Harlington
• Hanwell (except Sundays)
• West Ealing (except Sundays)
• Ealing Broadway
Change at Hayes & Harlington for Acton Main Line.
You will also need to check current Service times and fares which are subject to change.
Journey time: Approximately 25 minutes
Heathrow Express also operates four non-stop trains to and from Paddington.
Journey time: 15-20 minutes.
The journey time between the stations at Heathrow (Terminals 2, 3) and (Terminals 4 and 5) is 15-20 minutes. So passengers for Terminal 4 must change at Terminals 2, 3 for the free and frequent transfer service to Terminal 4.
Contactless, Oyster and Travelcards are not valid on Heathrow Express so you will need to check current prices.
Get more information and fares on the Heathrow Express website.
Heathrow by Coach
National Express operates a regular service to and from Victoria Coach Station.
Journey time: Approximately 35-60 minutes.
Heathrow by Taxi
Taxis are available at Heathrow Airport 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There are taxi ranks at all five terminals, as well as taxi information desks inside. Heathrow to central London by taxi is approximately 30-45 minutes. So if there are four or five of you travelling, sharing the cost of the taxi could be cheaper than the bus or train. Also do not travel with anyone offering a ‘taxi’ service inside the terminal. It is likely to be an illegal, unlicensed driver.
2. Gatwick Airport
The Gatwick airport is 30 miles (48km) to the south of central London.
Gatwick Airport by rail
Southern Rail: Southern operates frequent trains each hour during the day to and from London Victoria. An hourly service operates through the night.
Average journey time: 40 minutes.
Gatwick Express: Gatwick Express operates to and from London Victoria.
Journey time: 30 minutes.
Thameslink: Thameslink also operates to and from London Bridge, City Thameslink, Farringdon and St. Pancras International.
You can also use contactless or Oyster or a Visitor Oyster card to travel to/from Gatwick Airport on Gatwick Express, Southern and Thameslink train services:
Gatwick by Coach
National Express: National Express operates a regular service, also operating 24 hours a day, to and from Victoria Coach Station, via Streatham.
Journey time: 65-95 minutes.
3. London City Airport
London City airport also has a dedicated station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).
Journey times: 18 minutes to Canary Wharf and also 22 minutes to Bank.
4. Stansted Airport
The Stansted Airport is located approximately 35 miles (56km) to the north of central London.
Stansted by rail
The Stansted Express
Stansted Express also operates trains to and from Liverpool Street station.
Journey time: from 45 minutes.
Stanstead by Coach
National Express: National Express also operates two separate coach services between Stansted and central London.
Journey time: from 90 minutes.
5. Luton Airport
Luton Airport is located approximately 30 miles (48km) to the north of London.
The Luton Airport Parkway train station is also close to the airport and a regular shuttle bus connects the two. So Rail passengers can buy through tickets to the airport and other passengers can buy shuttle bus tickets for £1.
Luton by rail
Thameslink: Thameslink also operate from St Pancras International, London Bridge, Farringdon, London City Thameslink and Blackfriars stations.
Journey time: from 35 minutes.
East Midlands Trains: East Midlands Trains (formerly Midland Mainline) operate a frequent service from St. Pancras to and from Luton Airport Parkway station.
Journey time: from 21 minutes
Luton by Coach
Green Line route 757 operates a regular but indirect service, operating 24 hours a day, to and from Luton via Finchley Road, Baker Street (Gloucester Place), Marble Arch and Victoria, for a connection to Luton Airport.
Journey time: from 90 minutes.