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City Of London Airport & Cruise Port Transfers

An analysis of public & private transport to Liverpool Street / Tower Of London district from airports and cruise ports


Stansted Airport Bus Stop Outside Liverpool Street Station London

Stansted Airport Bus Stop
Outside Liverpool Street Station

The City of London which we'll define as the area enclosed by the old city walls has no one single focus. Most of the hotels are in a small triangle between Liverpool Street, Tower Bridge and Aldgate. So it is to this area that we will confine ourselves on this page describing the transfer options to London's major airports and cruise ports.


For most leisure travellers, Heathrow is the only major airport where the cost of taxi transfers are worth considering within most people's budgets. Even so, Heathrow is the other side of London from the City Of London, and you will be doing well to make the journey by road in an hour, probably a lot, lot longer. The exception to the rule perhaps being if you have a group or lots and lots of luggage. A private charter bus is worth considering for such groups.


City Of London Hotel Map

City Of London
Hotel Map

A good first task is to identify precisely where your accommodation is in the City Of London. A lot of the accommodation in the City of London is easily walked to from the underground stations at Tower Hill, Liverpool Street and Algate.


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 if London's public transport forms 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.

City Of London Local Public Transport Connectors

For most leisure travellers, Heathrow is the only airport where the cost of taxi transfers make them worth consideration. But even so, any vehicle based transfer from Heathrow is going to take at least an hour. 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.


The big transport hubs in the area are Liverpool Street Station, Blackfriars and London Bridge Station. Liverpool Street Station has direct airport bus and trains to Stansted Airport and trains to Harwich Cruise Port. London Bridge has direct trains to Gatwick and Dover cruise port. Blackfriars has direct trains to Gatwick and Luton airports.

Otherwise you will require a taxi or local public transport to get you to your airport/cruise port transfer.


The London Underground runs every couple of minutes between about 5:30 a.m. and midnight and buses run 24x7. Night buses that run when the Underground is closed provide an alternative if you have a very early or late flight. There are many services that run all night through the district to places like Victoria, Paddington and St Pancras other major gateways with airport and cruise port transport.

Map Of Underground Links Between The City Of London & Main London Transport Gateways

Map Of London Underground Links Between The City Of London & 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

London Airport Map

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 Liverpool Street & Tower Of London Area

Cheapest - The London Underground from Heathrow with an Oyster or Travelcard offers by far the cheapest transfer option. Journey times of well over an hour. Be prepared for crowded carriages, (you may not get a seat) and dragging your cases up escalators and long corridors.

Fastest - The Heathrow Express train to Paddington Station then a taxi or Underground to your hotel is probably be going to be the fastest, most comfortable option. The “probably” caveat is because Paddington is still a long way from the City Of London, 20 minutes even by Underground. The trains runs every 15 minutes and takes just 15 minutes to Paddington. There is a much cheaper, less publicised airport train called the Heathrow Connect that is not as frequent and makes stops along the same route as the Heathrow Express, so is slightly slower. You can also get off the Heathrow Connect at West Ealing Station, that has a direct Underground link to Liverpool Street.

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 between 45 and 75 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.

Price is an issue for most people with the London black taxi's. Much cheaper licenced private cars offer an alternative and also perform Meet n Greet as you exit customs. For a small family a private car may be much cheaper than using the Heathrow Express train.

Gatwick Airport To/From Liverpool Street & Tower Of London Area

Cheapest - The cheap option from Gatwick into London is bus. National Express Bus run a full size bus to Victoria, from where the Underground services the City Of London.

Fastest - By far the majority of people flying into Gatwick take the train. Thameslink Trains run frequently between London Bridge, Farringdon, St Pancras, Blackfriars and Gatwick, London Bridge or Blackfriars being less than a mile from most hotels in the City Of London. Its worth checking there are no maintenance work on this line, the alternative rail option being the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station, a 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.

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 into London, then get a taxi from there.

Stansted Airport To/From Liverpool Street & Tower Of London Area

Cheapest - National Express run a direct airport bus between Stansted and Liverpool Street Another good option minimising delays by road congestion is to get the National Express Bus service between Stansted and Stratford, then get the London Underground to London Bridge or Liverpool Street.

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. Liverpool Street is the terminus of the Stansted Express.

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 distance. The Stansted Express train will be cheaper, more comfortable and much faster than a car. Stansted private cars with meet n greet as you exit customs at Stansted are available.

Luton Airport To/From Liverpool Street & Tower Of London Area

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. The City Of London is not near its route though, you will need to get the Underground from Marble Arch or its terminus at Victoria.

Fastest - The faster but more costly alternative to the bus is the Luton train . It is not a dedicated airport train, you get off at St Pancras Station, Farringdon, Blackfriars or London Bridge, all with good links to the City Of London. 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 Bayswater. 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.

City & Southend Airports

City Airport- City Airport is served by the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which for visitors you can think off as part of the London Underground. City Airport is in zone 3 of the London public transport system. You can use Oyster Cards and other London public transport ticketing options to interconnect between DLR and the Underground in one fare.

From City Airport the DLR interconnects with the City Of London with terminus stations at Bank and Tower Hill.

Southend Airport - The only viable public transport between Southend Airport and Central London are the regular trains that terminate at London's Liverpool Street Station.

Southampton To/From Liverpool Street & Tower Of London Area

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 that close to the City Of London, a taxi to Victoria may cost you as much as the bus fare to Southampton. During the week there is a direct Underground line between Bank and Waterloo.

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 around Tower Bridge and pick-ups from the same hotels.

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 and there is also a direct van shuttle option.

The Southampton to London Cruise Bus direction service has 3 choices, one a direct shuttle the other two are full day tour transfers visiting Salisbury, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle or Bath and the scenic Cotswolds.

Groups, Bus Charters & Private Cars - Southampton is over 2 hours drive from the City Of London 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 Liverpool Street & Tower Of London Area

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 or from London Bridge to Dover are much faster and unlike the buses luggage is only limited by the amount you can carry on-board. London Bridge is within a mile of most hotels in the City Of London, Victoria is a fair trek across town.

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 the City Of London and pick-ups from many hotels in the City Of London, 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 will be at your cruise terminal around lunch time with an optional visit to Dover Castle available.

The Dover to London Cruise Bus has a choice between a direct van shuttle and a tour transfer visiting Leeds Castle and Canterbury with hotel drops late afternoon.

Groups, Bus Charters & Private Cars - Dover is 2 hours drive from the City Of London 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


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