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The Best Way From Heathrow Airport To Central London And Other London Airports

Author: Bob Handford
London is a spread out city covering a wide area. There is a wide range of options getting into London all with their own target market. What is right for one persons destination and wallet can be an ordeal for another.

Transfer Options Between Heathrow and Other London Airports

London has five major airports, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and City Airports. National Express run regular coach services between Heathrow and Gatwick, Luton and Stansted Airports. The National Express coaches are the only direct public transport services between these airports

However, the National Express coaches are not the cheapest public transport options from Heathrow to one of London’s other airports. The cheapest options are normally indirect via Central London, although much slower.

There are too many permutations to go through all the possible solutions for inter-airport transfers between London’s airports here. There are dedicated pages on the main London Toolkit web site that goes through the main transfer choices for each airport pair.
If you are still confused or need clarification, post a question at the discussion facility at the bottom of this article. I’ll normally get back to you within 24 hours.

A Summary Of Transfer Options Between London and Heathrow Airport

The cheapest transfer is taking the London Underground. There will be an Underground station near your hotel. Downside is that the trains can be very crowded and its awkward with luggage. It differs a lot from station to station but in many stations there are quite long walks and stairs to negotiate with your luggage.

The fastest transfer is the Heathrow Express train. London in 15 minutes every 15 minutes is the marketing slogan. The downside is its a very expensive train ride and the London terminus, Paddington may well be far, far away from your hotel.

A budget version of the fastest transfer is the Heathrow Connect train. At about half the cost of the Heathrow Express and just 10 minutes slower the savings are worthwhile. Like the Heathrow Express the location of the Paddington terminus will be an issue for many. The Heathrow Connect is also less frequent than the Heathrow Express, especially on Sundays.

Taxi cabs and private cars are worthwhile looking at if you are a group or have lots of luggage. If you are staying in a hotel district on the west side of London like Earls Court it can be quite economical. In the centre of town road based transfers will be slower than a train based transfer a lot of the time.

There is an airport bus, but unless you are staying in the Victoria hotel district of London or close by, there is little reason to use it.

If you are from a country where van style shuttles are the canny travellers choice, there is this option available but few people use them. So few people use the service that companies that have attempted to provide such a service in the last few years have not lasted long. Other options are faster and cheaper, so about the only people that use the van shuttle option are those that are not aware of the alternatives.

Heathrow - London Termini Map

The Key Factor In Getting A Smooth Transfer

The number one thing you can do to make your transfer less stressful and good value is the location of your hotel you select.
The best locations in London for a hotel in terms of ease of transfers are Paddington and the Earls Court and Gloucester Road areas of Kensington.
The worst locations are around the Tower of London, Canary Wharf, Southwark and County Hall.

Links To Each Transfer Option

Heathrow Express – The Fastest transfer between Heathrow and London

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Heathrow Connect – A cheaper alternative to the Heathrow Exoress

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The London Underground – The cheapest transfer from Heathrow to London

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National Express Coach – The only scheduled bus service Heathrow – London

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Heathrow Hotel Van Shuttle – Shared transfers to London hotels

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Taxi and Private Cars – The direct exclusive door to door transfer option

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London\’s Hotel Districts – A Guide To London\’s Main Hotel Districts

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Still Mystified With Your Heathrow Airport Transfer?

If you are still confused then just use the comments box below to describe your own personal dilemma and I\’ll respond normally within 24 hours
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  • Stephanie Colpo

    Hi – I normally take the Heathrow Express, but I’m scheduled to arrive on 26 December when there is scheduled track improvement and no service. Does this also impact Heathrow Connect? Wondering if they run on the same rail track? If so, can you advise the next best option? Perhaps a taxi?

    • Bob

      I think you will have to wait a couple of months until they confirm public transport operating over the Xmas / New Year period

      On the 26th Dec in the last couple of years there has been no national trains (with a few exceptions) but London Underground and bus starting up slightly later than normal after no service at all on the 25th

      The Xmas week between Xmas Day and New Year’s day is the quitest week of the year in London for travel and this is the week all the heavy track maintenance gets done

      You do not say where you are going in London but I suspect the anser will be the London Underground

      • Stephanie Colpo

        We are staying off the Marble Arch stop in Marylebone – how long do you think it would take on the Underground from Heathrow to that area? At that point, is it best to take a taxi? Do you know how expensive that would be?

        • Bob

          The Underground will take about an hour about 20 mins slower than taxi or Heathrow Express/Underground

          • Stephanie Colpo

            Taxi it is – thank you for your help!

  • Michelle Graham

    Hi Bob,wondering if you could advise us? My husband needs to get to Ashford in Kent. He flies into London Heathrow in the morning; Is it best if he travels by train to London St Pancras,then from there to Ashford International? If not,what are his options,and can he do the same in reverse please?

    • Bob

      The London Underground to St Pancras from Heathrow then a train down to Ashford is certainly the most straight forward and fastest option.

      • Michelle Graham

        Thanks Bob..Which line to St Pancras,and from which terminal please? Also confirming he can do the same in reverse? What type of ticket should he purchase? Thanks

        • Bob

          There is only one Underground line at Heathrow and all trains run to St Pancras
          You can buy one-way tickets or get much cheaper fares by using Oyster Cards or using contactless credit/debit cards

          You can buy train tickets at St pancras or you can use an on-line train ticket web site like The Trainline to see if there are any promotionsl fares available

  • noraisha hamzah

    HI,
    3 of us will be arriving at 7. 45 am. at Heathrow and our hotel is at Paddington. We have 3 luggages with us. Which will be a cheaper alternative: Heathrow Express/Connect or to take a cab? Thanks.

    • Bob

      Target price for a MPV size private car with meet n greet at the airport is less than £70

      Heathrow Express cheapest fares are £5 (90 day advance purchase at weekends) to £27 bought on the day

      The train is clearly going to be a lot faster at that time mid-week and probably more comfortable

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