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London Airport

Information & Guide

City has three major international airports: Heathrow, Gatwick  and Stansted.


Around 90 airlines fly from Heathrow to over 180 locations worldwide, carrying nearly 68 million passengers and 1.3 million tonnes of cargo each year. Heathrow has five terminals, two main runways, and a cross wind runway. Heathrow provides a wide range of facilities including those for business, children and disabled travellers. It also offers a full range of 1st class services. Heathrow is about 15 miles west of the city. If you have a lot of luggage, it would be better to take the Airbus A1/A2 to Central part of city. Terminal 4 is quite a distance away from Terminal 1/2/3. When you are leaving city at the Heathrow, please make sure the terminal for your flight.

Passengers facilities at Heathrow include bureaux de change and cash machines throughout all four terminals, along with public telephones, wall-mounted pay fax machines, Wifi internet access, left luggage and lost property offices, a chapel, health centre and postal services. Heathrow also has many pharmacies.

Money: passengers will find bureaux de change booths before and after security in each of the four terminals at Heathrow as well as conveniently located cash machines. Travelex currency exchange booths generally open from 05:30 to 22:00, while ICE exchange booths usually open slightly later, closing about 21:00.

Services: There is a left luggage facility and postal services in the Arrivals and Departures areas of all four terminals at Heathrow, apart from the Departures area of Terminal 3, which does not have a left luggage facility. Left luggage offices generally open from 06:00 to 23:00 and there is also a central lost property office on-site.

Transport from the Heathrow
Public transport to and from the Heathrow is reliable and frequent. There are plenty of coaches, taxis and regular trains, including the Heathrow Express. Alternatively there are plenty of parking companies, car hire providers and hotels nearby.

Bus Airbuses run every 20 minutes and the journey takes about 60-70 minutes. The tickets cost £6 single and £10 return.

Taxi A taxi ride to Central part of city costs about £30-50. Just follow the signs at the Heathrow to get to the Underground station, Bus stop or the taxi point. Heathrow has the Heathrow Express service to Paddington station.


Gatwick is about 28 miles south of the city. The Gatwick Express runs a train service between the Gatwick and Victoria station in central part of city 24 hours a day (every 15 minutes from 5:30am-8pm, every 30-60 minutes other time). The journey takes 30 minutes and tickets cost £8.90 single and £17.80 return. The Flightline 777 Bus also runs a daily service (6:35am-11:25pm) from the Gatwick to Victoria Coach Station. Tickets cost £7.50 single and £11 return.

Transport from the Gatwick

By Taxi
-The journey time from central part of city is 60-70 minutes. Expect a fare approx of £65 to Central part of city

Train A number of train services run direct to Gatwick Station. There are direct services from Victoria station: Gatwick Express trains run every 15 minutes from 05:00 to 23:45 and hourly overnight. Journey time is 30 minutes. Fare: £10.20 one way, return/round trip is £19.50. Same day return (valid from 9.30 am) is £11.70. Connex South Central's service from Victoria at 35 minutes takes a little longer but is cheaper. There are four trains each hour, Monday to Friday, with hourly service overnight. Fare: £8.20 one way, £16.40 return/round trip. An off peak day return is £8.30. Trains from King's Cross station are Thameslink trains run from Bedford, Luton and St Albans through King's Cross Thameslink, Farringdon, Blackfriars and London Bridge stations to Gatwick. There are four trains an hour during the day. Journey time from King's Cross is 45 minutes. Fare: £9.50 one way, £10.50 day return/round trip.

Bus There is a frequent Airbus service, the A5, from Victoria coach station. The first service departs 06.35, the last at 23.25. During the day there is an hourly service departing Victoria at 25 minutes past the hour. Journey time is around 90 minutes. The A5 service serves both North and South Terminals. Fare: £8 one way, £10 return/round trip. There are direct Speedlink bus services from Heathrow, Stansted and Luton and services from major towns and cities in the UK. The Coach Station is at the South Terminal. Principal services also drop off at the North Terminal.

Stansted is the fastest-growing in terms of traffic in Europe and is the main home of the leading low-cost scheduled airlines, dealing with over 20 airlines and flying to more than 124 destinations. Terravision operates a dedicated, direct coach service between Stansted and Victoria. Services run up to every 20 minutes, with first service from Victoria at 3am and last service departing from Stansted at 0.40 am. Tickets are conveniently priced at £8.50 one way and £14 return with direct connection to Victoria in approximately 75 minutes. Victoria provides connection to Underground, Rail and Megabus services and is located close to major tourist areas such as Nottinghill and Paddington.

Transport from Stansted

The Gatwick Express train (tel: 0845 850 1530; website: www.gatwickexpress.co.uk) runs regularly between 0435 and 0135 to Victoria Station (journey time - 30 minutes). There is also a Thameslink (tel: 0845 748 4950; website: www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk) service, which runs to King’s Cross (journey time - 50 minutes) as well as other stations. Information on all national rail travel is available through the 24-hour National Rail enquiries line (tel: 0845 748 4950; website: www.nationalrail.co.uk).

Road: Coach: There are more than 400 express coach services operating daily from the coach stations at both terminals. The main coach station is located on the ground floor of the South Terminal, with most services operating from here. Principal routes also stop at the North Terminal station. National Express (tel: 0870 580 8080; operates most of the services. National Express coach 700 coaches operate to Heathrow, from both terminals. The National Express Shuttle coach 25 runs to Victoria Station. The Gatwick Flyer (tel: (01708) 730 555; website: www.gatwickflyer.co.uk) runs to destinations east of city, and coaches operate from the South Terminal station only. There are coach information and ticket desks located in the Arrivals concourse of both terminals. Taxi: The official Gatwick taxi service is provided by Checker Cars (tel: 0800 747 737; website: www.checkercars.com). Booking desks are located in the North Terminal arrivals area, and the northern entrance to the South Terminal, and cabs wait outside the terminal buildings.


Money and communications: Both terminals have bureaux de change and ATMs. There is a post office and a 24-hour Internet café in the South Terminal. Wireless Internet connection is also available throughout the Stansted.

Luggage: Left-luggage facilities are available in both terminals. A lost property service is also operated by the Excess Baggage Company (tel: (01293) 502 014 South Terminal or (01293) 502 013 North Terminal).
Other facilities: These include baby changing rooms and showers, a children’s play area, a medical centre offering vaccinations (tel: (01293) 507 400) and prayer rooms.


When you first arrive in city, pick up a free tourist map at any transport ticket offices, tourist/cir/information centers, The Oyster Card is city’s travel smart card. It’s the quickest and easiest way to travel on city’s public transport system. It is like a travel credit card which you can top up as and when you need. 

The quickest way of getting around in city is by Underground (i.e., subway, also called the "Tube" in the UK). City has one of the most comprehensive underground systems in the world (and also the oldest in the world, built 120 years ago). The tube runs from 5:30am to midnight Mon-Sat, and from 7:00am to 11:30pm Sun. During the rush hours (8-9:30am, 5-6:30pm, Mon-Sat), the tube can be very crowded. There are 11 tube lines; each has its own name and color on the tube map. On most platforms, there are information displays showing the destination and due time of the next train. Some of the tube line (e.g., northern line) has two branches, and the displays also show which branch the train is going to (e.g., Morden Via Bank means the train goes to Morden via the Bank station).

City also has an extensive bus network (over 17,000 bus stops all over City). However, it is often difficult to know when you should get off if you do not know the area well. After midnight, night buses are the only public transport in City. All night buses have the prefix N and most of them start from Trafalgar Square.

Black Taxi
Travel through the capital in style in a traditional Black Cab (also called a Hackney Carriage). Nowadays, they're not all black, but they retain their distinctive shape and can all accommodate 5 people and wheelchairs.  Drivers are required to pass a rigorous geography exam of City’s streets called 'The Knowledge'. Cabbies are renowned for their discretion and tales of life in the capital.
Minicabs are a cheaper and more flexible alternative to the traditional Black Cab. The drivers might not have the same broad knowledge of the streets as the black cab drivers, but in the age of satellite navigation systems they rarely get lost!

Car rental
If you are determined not to be completely reliant on public transport, or want to explore the surrounding countryside, then a car is the only viable option. Most hire deals include insurance and taxes but check on booking, and be careful to avoid high insurance excesses.

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