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Airport and cruise transfers to Waterloo and County Hall

Detailed transport options to London Waterloo area from airports and cruise ports

Transfer to Liverpool Street station from London airports
Liverpool Street Station is a main hub for many transfers

County Hall and Waterloo Station have seen an explosion of mostly large, chain hotels in an area that previously had little in the way of accommodation. Despite the central location, none of London's four major airports has direct airport links to this area.

For most leisure travellers, Heathrow is the only major airport where the cost of taxi transfers is worth considering and within most people's budgets. Even so, Heathrow is on the other side of London from the County Hall and Waterloo area. You will be doing well to make the journey by road in an hour, it will probably take a lot longer. If the time of transfer is not an issue and you are a large group with lots of luggage, then a private charter bus is worth considering.

               

Find your ideal location

London public transport

Nearly all the accommodation in Waterloo and County Hall is nearby to the River Thames. Most of these hotels are easily walked to with luggage from Waterloo station. As Waterloo station is a major transport hub that allows easy access to the rest of London, it will be worth staying within easy reach of the station to make all your trips as simple as possible.

However, as Waterloo and County Hall is such a central location within London, you are able to walk to some of the major attractions very easily from most hotels and various Underground stations are close by too.

Waterloo and County Hall local public transport connections

The two big transport hubs in the area are Waterloo Station and across the river, Westminster Underground Station at the end of Westminster Bridge. With lots of luggage what might otherwise be a nice short walk may require a taxi.

The London Underground offers a service with all lines running every couple of minutes between about 5.30am and midnight, but some lines also operate through the nightime at the weekend. If night travel is important to you, you can check out which trains offer a nightime service through Waterloo and Westminster.

Alternatively, buses run 24/7. Night buses run when the Underground is closed and will provide you with 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 and Paddington, the other major gateways with airport and cruise port transport.

You can pay single fares for every trip, but this will soon add up and become expensive and time-consuming. You will save yourself a lot of time and money by purchasing the right pass before you get to your hotel, especially 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. Reading our Travelcard or Oyster card page will help explain everything and save you money.

Late flight, early hotel check-out dilemma?

Left luggage at Excess Baggage Company in Victoria

Most hotels would like you to leave your room by lunchtime. This can be a problem if you have luggage and a late afternoon or evening flight. However, if your hotel does not offer a left luggage service, then most of the main train stations in Central London do. Also, all of the airports' passenger terminals have manned left luggage desks.

Unfortunately, the same company, The Excess Baggage Company, runs all of the left luggage offices at both airports and train stations. This means there is no competition and as a result prices can be high. If you need to use this service we recommend searching for the Excess Baggage Company website and check current prices, opening hours and for any special offers.

Layover tours: Solution to late flights from Heathrow and Gatwick

There is another alternative to left luggage offices where you can make use of all your available time, rather than just hanging around before your flight. The historic town of Windsor is just outside of London and very close to Heathrow Airport.

We offer a layover tour service where you are picked up by a vehicle from your London hotel and taken to Windsor. There is so 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 and of course Windsor has just hosted the Royal wedding between Harry and Meghan.

Layover Windsor tour before flying from Heathrow and Gatwick

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

A key aspect to this service is that you do not pay any 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.

This is a private service, you set the times and the vehicles can range from cars to 50 seat touring coaches. So, if you want to make the most of your time in London even on your departure day then click the link below to learn more.

Heathrow Airport transfer options to/from County Hall and Waterloo area

London Underground is the cheapest transfer from Heathrow to City of London

Cheapest

The London Underground from Heathrow with an Oyster or Travelcard offers 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.

Private charter buses from Heathrow

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. Larger groups get a low cost per passenger as well as the convenience of door to door service.

Heathrow Express - the fastest transfer to Paddington and then the City of London from Heathrow

Fastest

The Heathrow Express train to Paddington Station is the fastest, most comfortable option. Paddington is still a long way from County Hall/Waterloo. Whether by taxi or Underground, Paddington to County Hall will probably take as long if not longer than the Heathrow Express. The Heathrow Express trains run every 15 minutes and take just 15 minutes to get to Paddington. 

There is a much cheaper, less publicised airport train called TFL Rail Heathrow that is not as frequent and makes stops along the same route as the Heathrow Express, so is slightly slower.

London black cabs from Heathrow

Taxi & private cars

Journey times will be between 45 and 75 minutes depending on traffic conditions. Road congestion delays are routine Monday to Friday between 6.30am and 10am going into London and between 3pm and 7pm coming out of London on work days. Going into London on Sundays from about 3pm until mid-evening will be slow.

Price is an issue for most people with London black taxis. 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 cheaper than using the Heathrow Express.

Bob's tip

One little-used alternative is to get a local bus from Heathrow to Feltham Station, where there are trains every few minutes into Waterloo. The 285 bus runs 24/7 every few minutes from the Central Bus Station serving Terminals 2 and 3 to Feltham and takes about 20 minutes. The 490 bus starts at Terminal 5 and offers a similar service, also picking up at Terminal 4. The train journey between Feltham and Waterloo is about 30 minutes.

Gatwick Airport transfer options to/from County Hall and Waterloo area

National Express coaches are the cheapest transfer from Gatwick to Victoria with connections to City of London

Cheapest

The cheapest option from Gatwick into London is by bus. National Express runs a full-size bus from Gatwick airport to Victoria Coach Station. Victoria is not that far from Waterloo.

Private transfers from Gatwick to City of London

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,giving you low cost per passenger.

Private charter buses from Heathrow

Taxi and private cars

Travelling into Central London by vehicle is a frustrating option and only for the most patient. There are no fast road links. It's usually a slow, stop, start endurance test, often with added road congestion delays.

Unless you are a sizable group it's much faster, cheaper and more comfortable if you get the train into London.

Gatwick Express - the fastest transfer to Victoria  with connections to City of London from Gatwick

Fastest

The fastest transfer would be Gatwick Express train between Gatwick and Victoria Station, then a cab the 1-2 miles to your hotel.

It is possible to travel by train to Waterloo using Southern Trains via Clapham Junction and using Thameslink Trains to Waterloo East via London Bridge.

Stansted Airport transfer options to/from County Hall and Waterloo area

National Express coach is the cheapest transfer from Stansted to Victoria with connections to the City of London

Cheapest

The cheapest option from Stansted to London is by bus. National Express run a direct airport bus service between Stansted and Waterloo Station.

The bus offers a high frequency service, 24-hrs a day, 7-days a week, stopping at Southwark and Waterloo Railway Station.

Private transfers from Stansted to the City of London

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 get a low cost per passenger as well as convenience.

Stansted Express - the fastest transfer to Liverpool Street station from Stansted

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. From here use the Underground and change trains once to get to Waterloo.

Private cars and taxi from Stansted

Taxi and private cars

Stansted is a long way outside of London, about 40 miles from Waterloo and County Hall. At peak hours during working days there will be road congestion, delays and the distance means the price will not be cheap. Stansted private cars with meet 'n greet as you exit customs at Stansted are also available.

Luton Airport transfer options to/from County Hall and Waterloo area

National Express coach is the cheapest transfer from Luton to Victoria with connections to the City of London

Cheapest

The cheapest option from Luton into London is bus. National Express run a cheap and frequent 24/7 bus service that terminates at London Victoria.

The most convenient option for County Hall and Waterloo is to get off at the Finchley Road Underground bus stop from where the Jubilee Line goes directly to Waterloo station.

Luton rail is the fastest transfer to Blackfriars or London Bridge in the City of London

Fastest

The faster but more expensive alternative to the bus is the Luton train, where you get off at London Bridge. From London Bridge, you switch to another train to Waterloo East station, connected to Waterloo Station.

You need to get the 5-min shuttle bus (part of your ticket) from the passenger terminal at Luton to Luton Parkway Station.

Private transfers from Luton to the City of London

Groups

For groups of 8 or more, you can consider a private charter bus. Vehicles from 8 seats to 50 seats are available offering a door to door service between airport terminal and hotel. For larger groups you get a low cost per passenger, as well as the convenience of door to door service.

Private cars and taxi from Luton

Taxi and private cars

Luton is a long way out of London, about 35 miles from County Hall and Waterloo. 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 also available.

City & Southend Airports transfer options to/from the County Hall and Waterloo area

London City Airport transfers to the City of London

London 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 Canning Town. From here you can get the Jubilee Line of the Underground to Waterloo.

Southend Airport transfers to the City of London

London 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, from here you can take the Underground into the Waterloo area.

Southampton cruise port to/from County Hall and Waterloo area

Southampton cruise port transfers to/from the City of London

Public transport

The cheapest option on paper is to take public transport. The cheapest options 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 onboard, and are much more convenient to get to.

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.

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 offers two services one a direct van shuttle, the other visits Stonehenge on the way before continuing to your cruise terminal around 1.30pm.

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

Groups, bus charters and private cars

Southampton is over 2-hrs drive from the County Hall and Waterloo area 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

Dover cruise port to/from Waterloo and County Hall area

Southampton cruise port transfers to/from the City of London

Public transport

The cheapest option is to take public transport. The cheapest public transfer options are the National Express buses that terminate at Victoria Coach Station. The alternative trains from Waterloo East to Dover are much faster and unlike the buses, luggage is only limited by the amount you can carry onboard. Waterloo East is joined to the main Waterloo Station, Victoria is an awkward short transfer where you will probably take a taxi.

Neither bus or train public transport will take you to the Dover cruise terminals. It is a 5-min 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 County Hall and pick-ups from many hotels in the County Hall, so there will be one close by your hotel.

Price is competitive even against public transport, especially when you factor in the taxi transfer costs at either end of your public transport journey. There is also a much more relaxed luggage policy.

The London to Dover cruise bus picks up in County Hall around 8am and will be at your cruise terminal around lunchtime with an optional visit to Dover Castle available.

The Dover to London cruise bus has a choice between a direct van shuttle and a full day tour transfer visiting Leeds Castle and Canterbury with hotel drops at County Hall in the late afternoon.

Groups, bus charters and private cars

Dover is a 2-hr drive from County Hall and Waterloo 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. Find out more about private vehicles Dover to/from London.