How long will it take me to get from Covent Garden to Heathrow Terminal 5 on a weekday evening?

I'm planning to take the Tube from Covent Garden to Paddington Station and Heathrow Express from there.

  • what time do you need to be at the check in desk? – Stuart Oct 28 '13 at 23:22
  • 18:40 I guess, my flight is at 19:40. – vartec Oct 28 '13 at 23:27
  • In that case i have nothing further to add. Had your flight been Later the likes of 21:40 then a cab may have actually been quickest. – Stuart Oct 29 '13 at 9:38

To find a specific answer, your best bet is to use the TFL Journey Planner. Tell it exactly when you want to leave, how fast your walk, if you want to minimise walking and/or changes (eg due to baggage), and it'll give you an answer

In general through, from Covent Garden to Heathrow, there are two options. One is slightly quicker, one is a lot cheaper.

Option one - board a Heathrow bound Piccadilly Line train. There's roughly one every 7 minutes for most of the day. Take that all the way to Heathrow, should take just under an hour (50-55 minutes once your onboard). Then, walk to your terminal, allow about 10 minutes. It's a zone 1 - zone 6 single, unless you have a travel card. Using an Oyster card, off-peak it's £3 for the journey.

Alternately, make your way to Paddington Station, then take the Heathrow Express. From Paddington there's 4 trains an hour, journey time of about 15 minutes to T1/T2/T3, 20 minutes to T5, absolute age to T4 because you have to change.... From Covent Garden to Paddington, there's two options. You can either take a Piccadilly Line train to Piccadilly Circus and change to Bakerloo line. Or, if you don't have too much luggage, enjoy a pleasant 10 minute walk from Covent Garden down to Charring Cross, then 10 minutes on the Bakerloo up to Paddington. I'd say that with changes and waits for trains, allow about 30-35 minutes either way from Covent Garden to being at the Heathrow Express platform in Paddington. As such, the Heathrow Express option isn't looking much quicker, but is looking about £20 more expensive!

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    Going all the way on the Picadilly Line may be faster once you factor in rush-hour. It's going to also depend on what type of luggage that Vartec has. – Josh B Oct 26 '13 at 17:54
  • I'll most likely have a small trolley bag (the size you can take as hand luggage). – vartec Oct 26 '13 at 19:14
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    If you're really trying to rush, with that little luggage do pic+bakerloo+hex, and walk fast and pay loads. Otherwise, take the Piccadilly Line, be prepared to stand the first 10 minutes, then sit down and read a book until the airport! – Gagravarr Oct 26 '13 at 22:28
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    Interesting, so to sum it up the difference: 47 minutes, 2 transfers for about £20 vs 55 minutes, 0 transfers for about £3. – vartec Nov 10 '13 at 13:17
  • @vartec From other parts of London the difference is less stark! Walking speed can make a difference though, as can your desire to sit down vs the business of the time of day – Gagravarr Nov 10 '13 at 15:35

I have an app called Tube Map on my phone and it says Covent Garden to Paddington is 19 minutes. Seven stops, two lines - Piccadilly line to Piccadilly Circus, change to Bakerloo Line to Paddington. It's about 6:40 pm in the UK now so if the app takes time of day into account, it's the right time. There appear to be trains on both lines about every 2 or 3 minutes at this time of day.

Allow ten minutes for getting from the tube to the Heathrow Express platform.

There's a train every 15 minutes, so worse case you would just miss one and wait 15 minutes for the next. The travel time is 15 minutes.

So all told: 59 minutes. Call it one hour. Then you have to get to your terminal from the Heathrow Express station, but that's a different question :-)

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    Most of the terminals are 5-10 minutes walk from the relevant LHR express station. However, Terminal 5 adds 4-5 mins on to the 15 minute figure you quoted, and Terminal 4 is even worse, as you have to change to another train at T1-3. So remember to factor that in. – Andrew Ferrier Oct 25 '13 at 17:50
  • Awesome answer and comment. It's actually bit longer then I've expected. – vartec Oct 25 '13 at 18:50
  • On a week-day evening you would have to factor in that it could still be rush-hour. Covent Garden is also has a lift / elevator that take at least five mins to get to the platform. I would add at least another 25 mins to Kate's answer. – Josh B Oct 26 '13 at 17:53

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