London can be a heck of a city to try to navigate at the best of times – but when you’re rushing to catch a flight it can be a real nightmare.
That’s why it pays to plan your journey to the airport in advance. If you’re lucky enough to have a car, then you’re biggest problem will be finding affordable car parking, but everybody else is going to have to rely on public transport.
Remember to allow for plenty of time, just in case there is an unscheduled delay.
The Piccadilly Line on the London Underground network is the most cost-effective way to get to London Heathrow. It should take under an hour and you won’t have to wait long for a train.
London Heathrow is easy to get to by bus – but you will need to allow for a longer journey time. Meanwhile, the Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect trains are a viable option if you live near a train station and would rather not catch the Tube.
Flying out of Gatwick airport in South London? Then you can catch the easyBus – a low-cost airport transfer service that runs regularly during peak times. It operates seven days a week, except Christmas Day.
Otherwise, Gatwick has good train links. The Gatwick Express, a no-stop train service, runs out of London Victoria every 15 minutes; Southern trains operate services to the airport, as does First Capital Connect.
Fares start at just a few pounds for the bus to London Stansted airport. Depending on where you catch it from, however, you could be in for a very long trip indeed.
Much faster but pricier is the rail option. The Stansted Express runs every 15 minutes from London Liverpool Street station.
Catching the easyBus is a good option for budget travelers looking to get to Luton airport, which is roughly 56km north of the UK’s capital city. Of course, you’ll need to book ahead – and if you’re in a hurry you might need to look elsewhere.
A regular train service runs between Luton Airport and central London, some taking as little as 21 minutes. Check the train schedule at East Midlands Trains or First Capital Connect.
By far the most connected of London’s airports. Here you have the option of travelling to the airport via the Docklands Light Railway, which links to the London Underground network.
You can catch a public bus – just swipe you’re Oyster card – or catch a train to London Bridge, Waterloo or Stratford and then catch the Tube.
Local buses run to London Southend airport or you can catch the train from Liverpool Street (expect a journey time of 53 minutes or more).
For more information, check out Getting around London – to and from the airports at Man vs World’s sister travel blog Antipodean London.
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