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London Airport & Cruise Port Transfers To/From Kensington

An analysis of public & private transport to Kensington from airports and cruise ports


Earls Court Kensington Underground Station London

Earls Court Kensington Underground Station

Author: Bob Handford

Kensington covers a large area just to the west of the centre of London. On this page we focus on the main hotel strip along the Cromwell Road where you find most accommodation in the district, following the Piccadilly and District lines of the London Underground through Earls Court, Gloucester Road and South Kensington.


Kensington Hotel Map

Kensington
Hotel Map

A good first task is to identify precisely where your accommodation is in Kensington. A lot of the accommodation in Kensington is easily walked to from the underground stations in the area Earls Court, Gloucester Road, West Brompton, South Kensington, Olympia and Kensington High Street.

We have an accurate Kensington hotel map, that pinpoints most accommodation in the Kensington area.


A good second investment in time prior to travel is to understand the basic's of using London's public transport. You will be using London's public transport to get around London during your visit, full stop.


Paying single fares for every trip is expensive and time consuming. You will need to purchase a transport pass of one kind or another. You will save yourself a lot of time and money purchasing the right pass before you get to your hotel using the pass immediately as part of your hotel transfer.

Public transport passes in London can be complicated to understand, especially if you have children so reading our Travelcard or Oyster Card page will pay dividends for a small investment in your time.

Kensington Local Public Transport Connectors

London Airport Map

For most leisure travellers, Heathrow is the only airport where the cost of taxi transfers are worth considering within most people's budgets. The exception to the rule perhaps being if you have a group or lots and lots of luggage. A private charter bus is well worth considering for such groups.


Kensington is a large district, but for most hotel accommodation in the area the London Underground (Piccadilly and District Lines) will be the core of getting into and out of the district. The Piccadilly line offers direct and frequent trains to Heathrow Airport about every 5 minutes.

easyBus also run a van shuttle service from West Brompton Underground Station to Gatwick and from the Cromwell Road Earls Court to Luton Airport.

Otherwise you will need to use the London Underground or a taxi to get to your airport or cruise port transfer.

The London Underground runs every couple of minutes between about 5:30 a.m. and midnight and buses run 24x7. If you have a particularly late or early flight then night buses that run when the Underground is closed will get you to Marble Arch, Trafalgar Square or Hyde Park Corner where you can interchange to other night buses almost anywhere in Central London. A night bus, the N9 also goes out to Heathrow but doesn't go along the Cromwell Road, but slightly north of it through Kensington High Street and Hammersmith.


Map Of Underground Links Between Kensington & Main London Transport Gateways

Map Of London Underground Links Between Kensington & Main London Transport Gateways

Late Flight, Early Hotel Check Out Dilemma?

Most hotels want you out of the room by lunch time, a problem if you have luggage and a late afternoon or evening flight. If your hotel doesn't offer a left luggage service then most of the main train stations in Central London do and all of the airports passenger terminals have manned left luggage desks.

Unfortunately there is no competition, all the left luggage offices at both airports and stations are run by the same company, The Excess Baggage Company. Perhaps as a result charges are high. Use your favourite search engine to find the Excess Baggage Company web site and current prices and opening hours.

Heathrow / Gatwick Airport Late Flight Solution

An alternative to Left Luggage offices and also using your time productively rather than just killing time before your flight is to visit Windsor, close by Heathrow Airport.

We offer a service whereby you are picked up by vehicle from your London hotel and taken to Windsor. There is much more to Windsor than the castle, it would take a couple of days to see everything. Eton College, Runnymede, Legoland. river trips, walks through the royal parks etc.

You are taken to Windsor and left to explore independently, leaving your luggage with the vehicle. You will have agreed a time when the vehicle will return with your luggage for the 15-20 minute journey to Heathrow, (Gatwick is an hour away).

A key aspect is that you do not pay waiting time as the company offering the service is based in Windsor, so it is the same cost whether you stay 3 hours or 10 hours in Windsor.

The service is a private service, times are set by you and vehicles can range from cars to 50 seat touring coaches.

Windsor Late Flight Solution - More Details

Heathrow Airport Transfer To/From Kensington

Best Way From Heathrow To London

Cheapest - The London Underground from Heathrow with an Oyster or Travelcard offers by far the cheapest transfer option. Trains run every 5 minutes direct to Earls Court, Gloucester Road and South Kensington. Earls Court is a major Underground interchange. Be prepared for crowded carriages, (you may not get a seat) and dragging your cases up escalators and long corridors.

Fastest - The Heathrow Express and the Heathrow Connect trains are the fastest public transport into London but their London terminus Paddington is not good for most hotels in Kensington, requiring you to back track. It would probably be cheaper to get a private car from the airport to Earls Court than for two people to get the Heathrow Express and then back track to Kensington. The Heathrow Connect train to Ealing Broadway, then the District Line through Kensington is a good option but no faster than the Underground direct.

Groups - For groups of 6 or more a private charter bus is worth considering. Vehicles from 8 seats to 50 seats are available offering a door to door service between airport terminal and hotel. For larger groups you obviously get a low cost per passenger as well as the convenience of a personalised door to door service.

Taxi & Private Cars - London's famous black cabs form the taxi rank outside each terminal at Heathrow. Journey time will be around 30 and 45 minutes depending on traffic conditions. Road congestion delays are routine Monday to Fridays between 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. going into London and between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. out of London on work days plus going into London on Sundays from about 3 p.m. until mid evening.

For hotels in the Earls Court and Gloucester Road area a private car is going to be price competitive for two or more people against public transport except the London Underground.

Gatwick Airport To/From Kensington

Gatwick Airport to London, Buses and Train Options Compared

Cheapest - The cheap option from Gatwick into London is bus. easyBus run a small van type bus to West Brompton Underground (outside the Ibis Hotel), very handy if you are staying in the Earls Court area.. Fares can be very cheap booked on-line in advance, luggage allowances are not good. A larger National Express Gatwick bus runs from Victoria.

Fastest - By far the majority of people flying into Gatwick take the train. The Gatwick Express to Victoria Station is the dedicated airport train for which you pay a significant premium to the slower alternative Southern Trains that ply the same tracks but with commuter trains making several stops. From Victoria the London Underground runs direct to Kensington. Another option if you are staying in the Earls Court area is to get a train from West Brompton Station to Clapham Junction where you can connect with Gatwick trains.

Groups - For groups of 12 or more a private charter bus is worth considering. Vehicles from 8 seats to 50 seats are available offering a door to door service between airport terminal and hotel. For larger groups you obviously get a low cost per passenger as well as the convenience of a personalised door to door service.

Taxi & Private Cars - Travelling into Central London by vehicle is a frustrating option, there are no fast road links. Its a slow, stop, start endurance prone to road congestion delays. Unless you are a sizable group its much faster, cheaper and more comfortable if you get the train to Victoria then get a taxi from there.

Stansted Airport To/From Kensington

The Best London Stansted Airport Bus?
The Stansted Express

Cheapest - Stansted is the far side of London from Kensington and is by far the longest transfer airport. The cheap option from Stansted into London is bus. National Express, easyBus and Terravision run a range of routes into Central London. For Kensington, easiest option is the Terravision Stansted to Victoria airport bus, then get the Underground from Victoria.

Fastest - The alternative to the buses is the Stansted Express train, the dedicated airport train for which you pay a significant premium for the speed, frequency and comfort over the bus alternative. The only caveat is the Liverpool Street terminus of the Stansted Express in London is the other side of Central London from Kensington. From Liverpool Street to Kensington hotels you will need to change London Underground trains at least once. One useful option is to get off the Stansted Express at Tottenham Hale an interchange with the Victoria Line of the Underground and enter the London Underground system here.

Groups - For groups of 8 or more a private charter bus is worth considering. Vehicles from 8 seats to 50 seats are available offering a door to door service between airport terminal and hotel. For larger groups you obviously get a low cost per passenger as well as the convenience of a personalised door to door service.

Taxi & Private Cars - Stansted is a long way out of London, about 40 miles from Kensington. At peak hours during working days there will be road congestion delays and the distance means the fee is not cheap. Stansted private cars with meet n greet as you exit customs at Stansted are available.

Luton Airport To/From Kensington

Cheapest - The cheap option from Luton into London is bus. National Express run a cheap and frequent 24x7 bus service that terminates at London Victoria.

Fastest - The faster but more costly alternative to the bus is the Luton train . It is not a dedicated airport train and for Kensington you get off at St Pancras Station from where the Piccadilly Line of the Underground runs to Kensington. The train doesn't go into the airport itself, a shuttle bus part of your rail ticket connects the passenger terminal at Luton with Luton Parkway Station, just a 5 minute journey.

Groups - For groups of 8 or more a private charter bus is worth considering. Vehicles from 8 seats to 50 seats are available offering a door to door service between airport terminal and hotel. For larger groups you obviously get a low cost per passenger as well as the convenience of a personalised door to door service.

Taxi & Private Cars - Luton is a long way out of London, about 35 miles from Kensington. At peak hours during working days there will be road congestion delays and the distance means the fee is not cheap. Luton private cars with meet n greet as you exit customs at Luton are available.

Southampton To/From Kensington

Public Transport - The cheapest option on paper is to take public transport. The cheapest option are the National Express buses that terminate at Victoria Coach Station. The alternative trains from Waterloo to Southampton are much faster and unlike the buses luggage is only limited by the amount you can carry on-board. However, both Waterloo and Victoria are not close to Kensington, a taxi to Victoria may cost you as much as the bus fare to Southampton.

National Express also run buses to Southampton from Heathrow Airport. Fares tend to be much higher than from Victoria even though its a shorter distance.

There are 4 cruise terminals at Southampton, you will need to take a short taxi ride between Southampton Bus or rail Station to your cruise terminal.

Cruise Bus - A dedicated cruise bus operates in each direction between Southampton and Central London connecting with individual cruise ships. It is a door to door service with drops at all the hotels in Kensington and pick-ups from many hotels in Kensington, so there will be one close by your hotel.

Price is competitive even against public transport when you factor in the taxi transfers either end with public transport. There is also a much more relaxed luggage policy.

The London to Southampton Cruise Bus stops one hour at Stonehenge on the way and you will be at your cruise terminal around 1:30 p.m.

The Southampton to London Cruise Bus direction service has 2 choices, one direct the other a full day tour transfer visiting Salisbury, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle.

Groups, Bus Charters & Private Cars - Southampton is 2 hours drive from Kensington by private vehicle. Vehicles from cars to large buses are available to charter either direct or stopping off somewhere along the way, Windsor Castle and Stonehenge are the most popular stops.

Private Vehicles Southampton To/From London - More Details

Dover To/From Kensington

Public Transport - The cheapest option is to take public transport. The cheapest public transfer option are the National Express buses that terminate at Victoria Coach Station. The alternative trains from London St Pancras to Dover are much faster and unlike the buses luggage is only limited by the amount you can carry on-board. You can also get trains to Dover from Charing Cross and London Bridge on a different line.

Neither bus or train public transport will take you to the Dover cruise terminals. It is a 5 minute taxi from both bus and train stations at Dover to the cruise terminals.

Cruise Bus - A dedicated cruise bus operates in each direction between Dover and Central London connecting with individual cruise ships. It is a door to door service with drops at hotels in Kensington and pick-ups from many hotels in Kensington, so there will be one close by your hotel.

Price is competitive even against public transport when you factor in the taxi transfers either end with public transport. There is also a much more relaxed luggage policy.

The London to Dover Cruise Bus picks up in Kensington around 8 a.m. and will be at your cruise terminal around lunch time with an optional visit to Dover Castle available.

The Dover to London Cruise Bus is a tour transfer visiting Leeds Castle and Canterbury with hotel drops at Kensington late afternoon.

Groups, Bus Charters & Private Cars - Dover is 2 hours drive from Kensington by private vehicle. Vehicles from cars to large buses are available to charter either direct or stopping off somewhere along the way, Canterbury and Dover Castle are the most popular stops.

Private Vehicles Dover To/From London - More Details

Harwich To/From Kensington

Public Transport - The only viable public transport option for Harwich are trains from London's Liverpool Street Station, on the other side of Central London from Kensington.

The platform at Harwich International train station is only about 50 yards from the cruise terminal entrance.

For the larger cruise ships a special Harwich cruise train is normally laid on. Otherwise the scheduled trains broadly run an hourly service, normally with a change of train.

Cruise Bus & Trains - A dedicated cruise bus operates in each direction between Harwich and Central London connecting with individual cruise ships. It is a door to door service with drops at hotels in Kensington and pick-ups from many hotels in Kensington, so there will be one close by your hotel.

Price is competitive even against public transport when you factor in the taxi transfers either end with public transport. There is also a much more relaxed luggage policy.

The London to Harwich Cruise Bus picks up in Kensington around 8 a.m. will be at your cruise terminal around lunch time with a stop at a supermarket along the way.

The Harwich to London Cruise Bus you step onto directly off your ship, with hotel drops at Kensington around midday. There is an option stop at the Tower of London.

There is also a Harwich cruise train when a large cruise ship is in port. Otherwise the scheduled trains broadly run an hourly service, normally with a change of train. Both trains terminate at London's Liverpool Street Station, the other side of Central London from Kensington.

Groups, Bus Charters & Private Cars - Harwich is 2 hours drive from Kensington by private vehicle. Vehicles from cars to large buses are available to charter.

Private Vehicles Dover To/From London - More Details


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