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My wife and I will be arriving in London via Heathrow Airport (LHR) and are staying at a hotel near King's Cross station. So, we were wondering what the best (which means fastest but also easiest when carrying two large pieces of luggage and two carry-ons) way to get from LHR to King's Cross?

I gather that, with only one changeover, we can take the Tube. However, in the interest of other passengers, we thought it would be best to take a taxi, or maybe a bus?

Thoughts?

29

As a Londoner who does that route a lot:

  • The easiest option is to take a taxi, which have plenty of room for luggage. However, it will be quite expensive, probably around £80.
  • The cheapest option (excluding buses, which would be ridiculously tedious) would be the tube, which will cost £5.50 per person each way - assuming you are paying cash (you can save money if you get an Oyster card (or use a contactless payment card), which drops the price to £3 or £5 depending on the time of day). Fortunately in your case you can take the Piccadilly line the whole way there. The tube is more cumbersome with luggage, but it's doable if you are on a budget. (check for engineering work changes)

A reasonable compromise for one person might be the Heathrow Express to Paddington, then a taxi to Kings' Cross, which is only a short journey. However, it's £34 return each, so you won't save much money over a taxi with two of you.

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    Since the OP is staying in London, they'd most likely want to get an Oyster card and top that up for the journey, which would reduce the Piccadilly line cost – Gagravarr Apr 29 '13 at 21:14
  • @Gagravarr, they might, it's true, good point. I've updated my answer. – Andrew Ferrier Apr 29 '13 at 21:55
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    Heathrow Connect to Paddington and then a taxi, maybe? It's only a few minutes slower than Heathrow Express and it's about half the price. – Richard Gadsden May 18 '16 at 20:00
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    2016 suggestion, use a contactless bank card. Those work like Oyster Cards, without having to buy them or having to top them up, so no money 'left' and no cost for the card (besides a possible replacement of own bank card.) – Willeke Oct 2 '16 at 9:24
  • You can also now use Apple Pay (and Android pay I assume) to pay. This can be a little slower as it scans your fingerprint etc, but you're likely to have your phone with you everywhere – Tim Jun 15 '17 at 6:25
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Honestly, the Piccadilly Line is what I'd do. I'm not sure how you feel you'll take two trains to get there tho - from Heathrow, depending on the terminal it's direct all the way to Kings Cross - 23-25 stops. (Takes about an hour). I've done this very trip myself.

In terms of luggage, that line is the arrivals line - people expect the luggage, and unless you're arriving at rush hour, you're going to have the train mostly empty until you reach the downtown. Getting on it WILL be empty, so you'll have time to adjust your bags and move them to the side to not bother others at all.

The station itself (Kings Cross) has had a lot of recent refurbishments, so there are more escalators and elevators than there used to be be. From there you can either walk, or grab a cab at that point, depending on where your accommodation is.

The tube is easy, fast (especially in traffic it can be faster) and cheap. Definitely the preferred option.

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    Having used the Piccadilly line from Heathrow quite often I agree. And most of the trains have more space for luggage than the average underground trains. – Willeke Apr 20 '15 at 12:28
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My son and I arrived at Heathrow in the morning hours for our very first time and everything was easy from the start. We had 2 large items of luggage plus 2 medium ones and 2 carry-ons, my son going to college.

We took the underground Piccadilly line to alight just one stop before King's Cross, which is Russell Square station. Less then an hour trip, we entered the empty train at Terminal 4 and smoothly alighted at the right station. We bought two single tickets. That's costly (£12 pounds) next time I would buy an Oyster card as advised here.

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    Welcome to TSE, thanks for your own experience answer. But next time I would look into using a contactless bank card rather than buying an Oyster Card for a short visit. – Willeke Oct 2 '16 at 9:26
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I've been experimenting with this and current operational conclusion is jump on the Piccadilly line straight to Heathrow. The Heathrow "express" is very good, but a long walk from departure to the termninals and a taxi or Tube from KC. By the time you've added up all the moving, I'm not sure it's an Express option after all.

  • I think this answer would be improved by including some numbers. How long does it take from the relevant Heathrow tube station to King's Cross on the Picadilly; how often are the trains? How does that compare to the individual journey times and frequency of taking the Express to Paddington, then taking the tube to King's Cross? – David Richerby Jun 12 '16 at 11:51
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I just travelled to London and here is my experience. At Heathrow Airport, in Terminal 2, go down to the Underground station and purchase a ticket at the machine; puchase the Travel ticket at a cost of 6 pounds per person.

You need to take the Picadilly line. This underground train has 25 to 26 stops, and takes about one hour before arriving at King's Cross. There's no need to change trains and it is very easy to take.

I hope this will help anyone who's going to travel from the airport to King's Cross.

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The easiest option is Taxi or pre-booking car. Or cheapest option is train. Which runs direct to Luton, Gatwick and Heathrow airports. Trains go every few minutes to and from Heathrow using the London Underground.

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    I am not at all confident that there is any direct train, or indeed any train at all, that runs from Heathrow to Luton airports. Could you perhaps give some pointers? – MadHatter supports Monica Feb 25 '16 at 7:21
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    @MadHatter is correct, there's no train direct. Hell, you still have to take a bus at the end once you reach the closest station! – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Feb 25 '16 at 7:33