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I am trying to find a neat, tabular, or clear depiction of how much time and money you'll need to travel to London from one of its six airports (that is Gatwick, Luton, City, Heathrow, Southend, Stansted).

I need this for comparing total prices among flights to London.

There are similar questions on this site, but they only partially answer this question.

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From the airports to where exactly? London is very big, you could be living very close to Heathrow and far from another airport – Ulkoma Feb 12 at 18:34
I agree with Ulkoma - you need to be more specific. Even the "central" area would make a big difference - crossing it on the tube can take 30 mins at some times. For me, living relatively centrally (but on the east side), LCY is my nearest airport. If I lived next to Paddington, LHR would be a no-brainer. London is too large to give a general answer. – Andrew Ferrier Feb 12 at 20:13
@user568458 I was going to be traditional and use Charing Cross, and then realised I have never actually seen anyone say "I want to go to Charing Cross". Stations seemed more useful :-) – Andrew Feb 13 at 0:11
Why do people close questions as being unanswerable after they have brilliant answers like Andrew's proving beyond any doubt at all that they are answerable? Do people not read before voting here? I wanted to reward Andrew's great work with a bounty but no, apparently I'm imagining that excellent answer that answers the question perfectly. Let's see how many days it takes to reopen... :-( – user568458 Feb 13 at 9:08
You are so right about this @user568458. Indeed, Andrew's answer is so good that I don't care whether my question get's reopened or not. – Quora Feans Feb 13 at 14:08
up vote 32 down vote accepted

Let's assume that "London" is any major mainline station - they're all reasonably central and well-connected for onward journeys - and that you're only interested in rail not buses or taxis.

All but one (Luton) have a station connected directly to the airport, though getting out of the terminal and to the station is quicker for some than for others. I haven't counted travel time to get to the airport station for any of them except Luton.

All fares are single and assume no railcards, offers, etc. Unless clearly stated, no change of transport en route. Trains per hour are during the day on a weekday.


  • Gatwick Express to Victoria. 30 minutes. £19.90 single. Four trains per hour.
  • Local train to Victoria. 35-40 minutes. £15.40 single. Around five trains per hour.
  • Local train to London Bridge. 35-55 minutes. £9 single. Four trains per hour.
  • Local train to St. Pancras. 55-70 minutes. £10 single. Four trains per hour.

There are also direct rail connections to Bedford, Luton, St. Albans, Brighton, Eastbourne, & Portsmouth. Through train to Luton Airport Parkway.


  • Local train to St. Pancras. 25-45 minutes, plus 10 minute bus ride to the station from the airport. £14 single plus bus ticket (£2 single). About seven trains per hour (varies).

There are also direct rail connections to Leicester, Nottingham, Bedford, Luton, St. Albans, and even Brighton. Through train to Gatwick.


  • Docklands Light Railway. No direct connection to a mainline station but 20 minutes to Bank (equally central) or go to Canning Town and then change to the Jubilee Line to London Bridge (22m) or Waterloo (25m). Single fare is £4.90 cash, £3.30 Oyster (peak), £2.80 Oyster (off-peak). Frequent service.

If you are heading out of London to the east, you can also take the DLR to Stratford (for Essex) or Stratford International (for Kent)


  • Piccadilly Line tube to King's Cross. ~1 hour, or a little less to somewhere like Piccadilly Circus - this is one of the few to go across London so you can get off in the middle! Single fare is £6 cash, £5.10 Oyster (peak), £3.10 Oyster (off-peak). Six trains per hour (T4 & T5), or twelve trains per hour (T2/3)
  • Heathrow Connect to Paddington. 25-35 minutes, £10.20 single. Two trains per hour.
  • Heathrow Express to Paddington. 15-20 minutes (depending on terminal), £22 single. Four trains per hour.


  • Local train to Liverpool Street. ~55 minutes. £16.80 single (£15.80 off-peak). Three trains per hour, one per hour on Sundays.


  • Stansted Express to Liverpool Street. 45-55 minutes. £19 single. Four trains per hour.

Direct connections to Cambridge, Peterborough, Leicester, and (believe it or not) Birmingham.

City is of course the clear winner on both price and time, but some others are better than I expected...

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Despite the "International", there are actually no Eurostar services from Stratford International, so Kent, definitely, Continent, definitely not. But you can get to St Pancras in 7 minutes from there. – jcaron Feb 12 at 23:34
If using taxi or car, LCY is usually the clear winner as well (at least from Central or East London), as it can take as little as 30 mn when traffic is light (e.g. for an early morning flight), to which one must add the very, very short check-in-to-departure time. It is then followed by LHR (thanks to the M4), especially from central and West London. LGW is really a long way out, due to the absence of any motorway to/from central London, and the only decent option is really using the Gatwick Express. Never tried the others by taxi/car. – jcaron Feb 12 at 23:41
It would also probably help adding the frequency of trains to/from the different airports. Trains every 15 mins like LHR or LGW (or even more frequent if considering the Piccadilly line at LHR) are quite different from what you can expect at Southend... – jcaron Feb 12 at 23:42
Eurostar trains stop in St Pancras (obviously), Ebbsfleet International (don't ask) and Ashford International. Stratford International was intended to be a stop as well (hence the name), but Eurostar don't want to stop there (too close to St Pancras to be any use). It might change if/when HS1 and H2 get interconnected, if ever they start direct services from the continent to destination further North (as was initially planned with the stillborn "North of London" regional Eurostar services). – jcaron Feb 12 at 23:51
Heathrow Connect is due to be ended in May 2018 when Crossrail comes in. Adding this note in the hope that someone revises this answer then. – Richard Gadsden Feb 15 at 9:50

You can use a tool such as Google Maps to find the time it would take.

Google Maps is a free service that provides maps of everywhere on the planet and can compute directions including travel time between two points.

For instance,

There are option for public transport (called "transit") or driving (the latter will approximate a taxi journey).

I am not aware of a website that shows you a table of all airports at once to a single destination. However, your options are usually limited to only one or two airports anyway, depending on your budget, preferred carrier and origin.

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Do not forget to add for the time it takes to get out of the airport. Even the same airport can give two completely different times if there happens to be a back-up on some part of the system. – Willeke Feb 12 at 19:27
@Willeke Thank you, this is always someting that's overlooked. – Adam Elsodaney Feb 19 at 14:46

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