How to Get to London

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London is one of the best-connected cities in Europe, recognized as a top-tier tourist destination, making it very easy to reach from anywhere in the world.
As a hub for both work and leisure, its communication with other countries and cities is relatively straightforward, with most destinations offering direct flights. In this guide, we will explain all the ways to reach this fantastic city.
Let’s take off!

Arriving in London by Air

As mentioned earlier, London is one of the best-connected capitals in Europe with excellent air communication, making it very easy to get to.

There are many direct flights arriving from all over the world or with just one stopover, offering a wide range of options. Whether your flight is international or domestic, you will find plenty of flight options.

Being such a busy city, both for leisure and business, it offers very attractive low-cost flight options, making it a popular choice among tourists. You can find flights from Spain for as little as €30.

London has four airports with significant passenger traffic:

  • Heathrow Airport
  • Gatwick Airport
  • Luton Airport
  • Stansted Airport

Whether it’s a domestic or international flight, you can arrive at any of these airports. European low-cost airlines vary their offers significantly, so it’s possible that you might land at one airport and depart from another, combining flights to make the prices more attractive.

Therefore, if it’s not essential for you to arrive and depart from the same airport, you can save a lot by combining them.

Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport is considered the most important airport in London, handling the most passenger traffic throughout the year. Most tourists land here, as its terminals have been expanded to accommodate even more passengers.

It is located 30 km from London and consists of five terminals, which are connected by the Heathrow Express, the airport’s free train service. So, no matter which terminal you arrive at, you can easily move between them.

Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport is the second most important airport in London, with a significant number of passengers passing through it annually. About 90 airlines operate here, both domestic and international.

It is located 45 km from London and has only two terminals, but this does not mean fewer destination options. You can travel between the terminals using the Inter Terminal Transit.

Luton Airport

Luton Airport is one of the airports used by low-cost airlines, so you might land or take off from this airport. Although it is not as large as the previous airports, it can handle up to 19 million passengers annually.

It is located 51 km from central London, so you should consider the distance when booking your flight, and decide if the time spent traveling is worth the money saved.

Luton Airport is frequently used by low-cost airlines, making it a likely arrival or departure point for budget travelers. Although smaller than the other major airports, it handles up to 19 million passengers annually.

Located 51 km from central London, the distance is an important consideration when booking your flight, especially if the savings justify the longer travel time to and from the airport. Luton has only one terminal.

How to Get from Luton Airport to Central London

As a smaller airport, Luton does not have the same direct transport options to central London as larger airports. Notably, it lacks an on-site train station, but you can reach the nearby Luton Airport Parkway station. Here’s how to get from the airport to central London:

Shuttle or Private Transfer

A shuttle or private transfer can be the most convenient way to reach central London, though it is usually not the cheapest option. If traveling with a group, this can be worth considering. Always check with your accommodation to see if they offer this service and at what cost, as the greater distance from Luton can increase the price.

Train

While Luton Airport itself does not have a train station, you can take the DART service from the terminal to Luton Airport Parkway station in a few minutes. From there, you can catch a train to central London.

DART and Train

The DART (Direct Air-Rail Transit) service replaces the former shuttle bus. A ticket from the airport to Luton Airport Parkway costs £4.90. Purchase a combined ticket for DART and train (select “Luton Airport” as your destination to include DART + train).

Southern: Luton Airport Express

The new Luton Airport Express service will take you to central London (St Pancras) in just 32 minutes. Booking in advance, the combined ticket usually costs around £10 (includes DART + Luton Airport Express).

Warning

When booking, select “Luton Airport” to include DART + express train service. If you select “Luton Airport Parkway,” the DART service is not included and will be charged separately.

First Capital Connect and East Midlands Trains

These services also operate from Luton Airport Parkway station to St Pancras, though their fares are typically higher than the express service.

Bus

Several bus options can take you to central London:

National Express Buses

The total journey takes about 50 minutes. Check the official website for schedules and fares.

EasyBus

Offers various stops, including Oxford Street and Victoria London.

Green Line 757

Also has multiple stops in central London. Consult the official website for schedules and stops.

Taxi

As in any city, taxis are one of the most expensive transportation options. It may be worth it if you are traveling in a group, but it is neither the fastest nor the most economical choice.

Uber

This option is also available and is quite similar to a taxi. The cost is approximately £55. You can request an Uber at any time using the app, which works very well in the city.

Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport is another airport commonly used by low-cost airlines. It is considered the third most important airport in London, with an average of 25 million passengers per year.

Located 56 km from central London, unlike Luton Airport, it has a train station that connects directly to central London.

Train

Don’t be surprised when we tell you that you can reach London by train, because it’s true. This train crosses the famous Channel Tunnel, or Eurotunnel, connecting Europe with the United Kingdom.

Here’s how you can comfortably reach London by train from Europe.

Paris – London

There is a train line that departs from Paris and arrives in London in 2 hours and 15 minutes. The ticket price, depending on the dates, can be around €60, making it a great alternative to flying if you’re touring Europe and want to end up in London. There are an average of 12 to 14 trains daily.

Departure stations in Paris are: Paris Gare du Nord or Marne La Vallée Chessy.

Brussels – London

This train line connects these two cities in 1 hour and 51 minutes, offering a great travel alternative.

The departure station is Brussels Midi.

Lille – London

This is another option to reach central London. The journey takes a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes.

The arrival station in London is St Pancras.

By Boat

If you’re considering traveling to the UK by boat, it’s indeed possible from Spain. While not a common mode of travel due to the long journey, it does offer the advantage of bringing your own car.

The company operating the routes between Spain and the UK is Brittany Ferries, offering three routes:

  • Bilbao – Portsmouth
  • Santander – Portsmouth
  • Santander – Plymouth

By Car

As previously mentioned, the Eurotunnel serves both trains and cars, with a Shuttle train that can carry your vehicle.

The total journey through the Eurotunnel from Coquelles (France) to Folkestone (UK) takes 35 minutes. So, if you consider only this part of the journey, you can cross the channel quickly.

TIP

Book your tickets in advance as charges are based on the route and vehicle, and you can get good deals with early reservations.

Traveling by car can be a good alternative if you do not want London as your final destination, as you’ll have your own car to continue your journey. The distance from Folkestone to central London is about 2 hours by car.

As you can see, there are many ways to reach London, not just by plane. You can even consider traveling in a motorhome and exploring the UK at your own pace.

We hope this guide helps you organize your trip to London.

London is one of the best-connected cities in Europe, offering a wide range of travel options. Whether you prefer flying into one of its major airports, taking a scenic train journey through the Eurotunnel, driving your own car, or even arriving by boat, London is incredibly accessible.

We hope this guide has provided you with useful information to help you plan your trip. No matter how you choose to arrive, London awaits with its rich history, vibrant culture, and countless attractions. Safe travels, and enjoy your visit to one of the world’s most dynamic cities!

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