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Arriving in London

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There are five major airports surrounding London, all within one hour on public transport.

However, while there are a number of options for travellers to choose from, they can range in cost.

Arriving in London Heathrow Arriving in London Heathrow Express Arriving in London Airplane Arriving in London Bus

Arriving in London from Heathrow Airport

By tube

Perhaps the UK's most famous airport, Heathrow is easily accessible by the London Underground network.

While this option could be very busy during peak times and months, such as the summer and Christmas holidays, a single ticket is just £4.50 to any hotel or accommodation in central London.

Heathrow is located in zone 6, about 20 miles from the capital's centre and can be accessed on the Piccadilly Line from 05:00 until 23:40.

By rail

Other options from the airport include the Heathrow Connect and Heathrow Express train services, which take visitors into Paddington station in just 20 minutes.

Trains run four times an hour and depart from 05:23 until 00:01.

However, this is a more expensive option, with prices starting at £7.90 for the Connect service and £16.50 for the Express train, which only stops at the terminus.

On arriving in Paddington, the two-star Linden House Hotel has rooms from £25.81 per person.

By bus

Three coaches an hour take passengers into Victoria Coach Station from 05:35 until 21:40.

The journey time for the National Express coaches is 35-60 minutes and is relatively inexpensive.

What's more, the vehicles offer plenty of legroom and all suitcases can be loaded into the boot, making this a more pleasant option to the tube.

By taxi

London black cabs do operate from any of the five airports, but are by far the most expensive travel option.

Expect to pay around £45, but this tariff goes up after 22:00 and on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

One slightly cheaper option is to order a mini cab, which can offer a fixed fare so that you know how much you will be expected to pay before the journey.

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Arriving in London from Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport is a smaller terminal and is located about 30 miles outside of central London.

By rail

There is no Underground transport service to get into the capital, but there are four trains an hour operated by the Gatwick Express, which can transport passengers into London Victoria in just 30 minutes.

Tickets for the non-stop service cost from £15.20, but travellers can also hop on a Southern rail service for slightly cheaper travel, or a return ticket will also reduce the cost.

Visitors wanting to go to London Bridge, Farringdon or St Pancras International stations can use the First Capital Connect train service.

Local services also run through the night for those getting into the airport in the early hours of the morning.

Accommodation options in Victoria range in price, but try the two-star Elizabeth House Hotel, which has a twin room for just £30 a night per person.

By bus

National Express operates a coach service into Victoria Coach Station, while easyBus operates a 24 hour service every 15 minutes to the same terminus.

Arriving in London City Airport Arriving in London Paddington Arriving in London Suitcase Arriving in London Ticket

Arriving in London from Stansted Airport

By rail

Stansted Airport is located near Cambridge, 35 miles from London.

The Stansted Express rail service takes just 45 minutes to get into Liverpool Street station in the heart of the city's financial district.

The service begins slightly later than other airport links, with the first train running from 06:00, but it runs until 00:30 at night.

A single ticket for the train starts from £18.80.

When staying over in Liverpool Street, the Old Friend Hotel in nearby Bethnal Green has rooms from £34.95 per person.

By bus

For budget travellers, the National Express coach service is cheaper than taking the train. It takes just one hour and stops at Victoria Coach Station as well as Liverpool Street.

Arriving in London from Luton Airport

By rail

A shuttle bus can take all passengers from Luton Airport to the local train station, located 30 miles outside London.

However, as the airport is smaller than other connecting terminals, there is no express or non-stop service that gets into the capital.

Passengers can get into St Pancras, Farringdon and Blackfriars stations by First Capital Connect and East Midlands Trains services, with the additional benefit of journeys that operate through the night.

Kings Cross and St Pancras is a popular area for budget travellers, with plenty of hotels available. You can find a triple room at £32.50 per person at the Hotel Meridiana.

By bus

Two coach services, Green Line and easyBus – the same company as easyJet airlines – operate from Luton into Victoria Coach Station, which offers good links into the centre of London.

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Arriving in London from City Airport


Travellers getting into London City Airport have the least far to go to arrive into the capital as the terminal is just on the outskirts of London in the historic Docklands area of the East End.

There is just one travel option for City passengers, the Docklands Light Railway, or DLR, but it is cheap and convenient.

Trains run between 05:28 and 00:20 and connect to Bank London Underground within 22 minutes, where visitors can easily hop onto the tube and use the same ticket.

A London Underground travel card is £6.30 off-peak per day from zones 1-4 and is even cheaper when using an Oyster card pay as you go, which can be topped up at any underground or DLR station.

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