London airport transfers

London airport transfers guide – what is the cheapest way?

I have created a simple London airport transfers guide to show you the cheapest way to travel from any London airport to the city centre. In case you didn’t know, there are five airports servicing London!

During your planning stage, sometimes your airfare search may give you options for more than one London airport arrival. The map below shows you the locations of the airports which may help you select the airport nearest to your accommodation. So it could save you money and travelling time. For example, if you’re staying in east London, arriving at London City Airport will be more convenient for you than arriving at Gatwick.

map of london showing the locations of 7 different airports around the city


However, other times you may have no choice of London airport if the airline uses only one airport. The two major airports are Heathrow and Gatwick.

You can use the following reference tables below to check how to transfer from your London airport to the city centre, documented in price order starting from the cheapest (prices as of September 2017).

FROM HEATHROW AIRPORT

​More detailed information at www.heathrow.com

£6.00 single one way cash fare to central London
£5.10 Oyster Pay As You Go fare, travelling Mon-Fri between 0630-0930
£3.10 Oyster Pay As You Go fare, travelling at other times.


Tip: I highly recommend you purchase an Oyster card to ensure you get the cheapest price for your daily travels on the Underground. You can get a refund on any unused credit at the end of your stay.


Journey time - 50-60 minutes
Frequency - every 10 minutes or less.

​Ranging from £6.10 - £10.00, one way ticket.


​Journey time - 50 to 80 minutes to Victoria Coach Station, depending upon traffic.

Frequency - between 1 - 4 departures per hour, depending upon hour of arrival.

http://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions/underground

Heathrow Connect​ train

£10.00 single fare to Paddington station.


Journey time - between 30-50 minutes, calling in to all stations.

Frequency - every 30 minutes.

£22.00 single fare, off-peak times

£25.00 single fare, peak times

£5.50 advanced purchase weekend fare.


Journey time - 15 minutes, the fastest way to travel from Heathrow to London centre at Paddington station.

Frequency - every 15 minutes

Taxi

£48.00 - £90.00, depending upon traffic.​


Journey time - 30-60 minutes.


Alternatively, prebook a fixed priced journey with mini cabs

FROM GATWICK AIRPORT

​​More detailed information at  www.gatwickairport.com

Ranging from £2.00 - £7.95 single fare, depending upon departure time and how far in advance you purchase the ticket online.


Journey time - approx 90 minutes to Victoria Coach Station.

Frequency - every 15-20 minutes.


Note - travel to West London (Earls Court and West Brompton) is serviced by Easybus and travel to other central London locations is run by National Express.

Prices start from £8.00 one way.


​Journey time - from 65-85 minutes

​Frequency - every 30 minutes.
http://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions/underground

Thameslink trains

Ranging from £10.00-£20.00 single fare.


Journey time - between 30-45 minutes to various city centre train stations, such as London Bridge, London Blackfriars, Farringdon, St Pancras International.

​Frequency - every 15 minutes.

Southern Railway trains

Prices start from £15.70 one way.


​Journey time - 35 minutes to London Victoria Station.

Frequency - every 15 minutes.

Prices start from £17.80, anytime single fare. Tip: buying a return ticket is cheaper than two single tickets.


Journey time - 15 minutes to London Victoria Station (the fastest way from Gatwick to central London).

​Frequency - every 30 minutes.

Taxi fares and journey time will depend upon your final destination. Airport Cars Gatwick show prices starting from £91.00 with a journey time of least 1 hour.

​FROM LUTON AIRPORT

​​More detailed information at www.london-luton.co.uk

Prices start from £9.00 for an advanced purchased single fare to Victoria Coach Station.


​Journey time - 90 minutes to Victoria Coach Station. They pick up/drop off at major train and underground stations.

​Frequency - every 15 minutes.

£10.00 single fare to Victoria Coach Station.


Journey time - approx 90 minutes

Frequency - twice every hour.

http://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions/underground

Thameslink train

Please note, the train station is not located within the airport. You will need to take a shuttle bus from airport to train station.


Prices from £16.50. Ensure you select code LUA if you want the shuttle bus to be included in your train ticket.


​Journey time - between 40-60 minutes from Luton Parkway Station, depending if you catch a Fast train or the regular service. Add another 10 min travel time for a shuttle bus from airport to the train station.

Frequency - every 10-20 minutes.

Taxi​

Prices start from approx £70.00.


​Journey time​​​​approx one hour. Luton Airport is 34 miles/54km from the city centre.

​STANSTED AIRPORT

​​More detailed information at www.standstedairport.com

Prices start from £5.00 one way, advanced purchase online.                        


Journey time - 90 minutes to city centre and 50 minutes to London Stratford.

Frequency - every 15-30 min from four different bus routes. Check the map on National Express website.

Prices start from £5.00 one way, advanced purchase online.


Journey time - 75 minutes, non-stop express service.

​Frequency - approx every 15-30 minutes.


Free wifi onboard.
http://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions/underground

Prices start from £9.00 one way, advance purchase online.


Journey time - 70-95 minutes.

Frequency - up to every 30 minutes.


Free wifi onboard.

Prices from £16.00 one way, advance purchase online (non refundable).


Journey time - 47 minutes to Liverpool Street Station, the fastest way from Stansted to city centre.

Frequency - every 15-30 minutes.

​Taxi

24x7 taxi services has a reservation desk at the airport or Google for other pre-booked taxi services from Stansted Airport.

​London City Airport

​More detailed information at  www.londoncityairport.com

London City Airport is the only airport located within the city centre, in zone 3. Therefore, you can immediately jump onto the Underground train system to get to your accommodation.

First buy your Oyster Card from the Underground ticket office once you exit the arrivals area to your right. Then take the Docklands Light Railway towards to desired Underground station. Grab an Underground map to plan your journey and station changes required.

As the Oyster Card automatically caps your travel fare for the day, the card will only deduct £7.70 for unlimited day travel within zones 1-3 (price will be different if you travel to a different fare zone).

TRAVELLING BETWEEN LONDON AIRPORTS - QUICK GUIDE

FROM

TO

FOLLOW SIGNS FOR:

Gatwick

  • National Express direct bus
  • Megabus - direct bus
  • Underground & trains via Victoria Station.
  • Heathrow Express + Underground
  • Underground only.
  • National Express direct bus
  • Underground and trains via Liverpool St Station.

Luton

  • National Express direct bus
  • Underground and train.

Gatwick

  • Underground and trains.
  • National Express direct bus (3 hours)

Below is a guide from British Airways with their recommended minimum connecting time between London airports. Use as a guide only and always check with the airline you are travelling with for their own minimum connecting times.

london airport transfers guidelines of minimum connecting times between the various airports

After using the London airport transfers guide, you'll have nothing but happy travelling in London!

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About the Author Lisa

A travel gypsy by heart, having already been to over 70 countries and still counting. Founder of Travel Groove, to share travel tips, tricks and knowledge with other travellers.

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