I am travelling with my family for a holiday in England. I am looking at renting an apartment in Covent Garden. What would be the drive time to and from Heathrow airport?

  • 18
    Have you tried to use a navigation software? Google maps might be of good help. Or if you plan to use the subway, you can calculate the travel time on the London subway page.
    – Neusser
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 11:52
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    Be smart, take the Heathrow Express to Paddington and then hail a taxi from the cab ranks there. Arguably faster and you have a Zone 1 taxi fare rather than a Zone 5 taxi fare. (about a 50% reduction)
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 12:45
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    @GayotFow As others have pointed out, the Piccadilly line will likely be even faster (and much cheaper) here.
    – Muzer
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 12:55
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    To add to the answers suggesting "don't drive": Why are you thinking of hiring a car at all? Do you actually have a need for a car, or did you just assume that would be the natural thing to do? From Covent Garden, most of Central London is pretty walkable, and Tube + Bus are good too. Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 9:23
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is literally what Google/Bing/Apple maps is for. Any such question is too specific to the needs of the person asking it. Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 12:34

3 Answers 3


If you're planning to rent a car and drive to Covent Garden, one word of advice: DON'T. London traffic and parking charges (not to mention the Congestion Charge) are mental and no Londoner in their right mind would drive into the centre, let alone a tourist.

If you're getting a black cab (taxi), bear in mind it could be quicker than a Google estimate, as London cabs can use dedicated bus lanes and the drivers have years of experience. The time it will take will vary hugely depending on the time of day. Anything from 30 minutes in the middle of the night to 1.5 hours (and up) in the morning rush hour.

If you're going to get the Underground, that goes direct to Covent Garden (the Picadilly line). This would probably be the quickest option and since the line starts at Heathrow, you're guaranteed seats.

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    I second this. Driving in London is not a good idea
    – zeocrash
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 12:34
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    @anomuse Thanks, I've added a note about the congestion charge to my answer.
    – jacoman891
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 13:14
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    I recommend downloading the free app Citymapper, which shows all of the different options for navigating London and their relative prices. It aggregates and simplifies the public transportation options of London, which is invaluable for tourists!
    – timje
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 14:04
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    Yes! please do not drive if you can avoid it. Also please consider this advice when visiting any major city in the world. Your car will be an expensive anchor and when you are driving it, you will miss most of what you are driving past. You will also be a hazard to everyone else on the road.
    – Tony Adams
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 14:57
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    A thousand times this, driving in London sucks and will bankrupt you. You could hire a chauffeur-driven limo and still be better off than car hire + fuel + congestion charge + parking fees + time wasted finding parking + time wasted working out the one-way systems, roadworks and navigation...
    – John U
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 11:40

Google maps gives an estimate of one hour to drive from Heathrow to Covent Garden.

However - I would not recommend doing so. Driving in London is best avoided even if you're a local, and parking near Covent Garden, if you can find any, will be very expensive.

I'd recommend taking the Underground - there is a direct train from Heathrow to Covent Garden on the Picadilly line, taking around 50 minutes.


I live not far from Covent Garden, although a little further out, still in the City of Westminster. I go to Heathrow a few times a month, usually by tube but sometimes in the car. In my experience it is about an hour's drive, mostly because of congestion in the centre, but at certain times of the day it may take much longer, so it can be hard to plan how much time you need.

I'll contradict the other answers here and say that driving in London is not that difficult compared to most European capitals, at least in my view. But I would recommend you take a taxi or an uber instead of hiring a car. Parking in Westminster for non-residents is not easy to obtain, there is a fee to enter the centre of town, and the roads are fairly confusing. At a minimum you should arrange parking in advance if you really think you need a car.

I would also echo the advice to take the Tube if it's easy for you, but I'll add a bit of balance and say if you do have a lot of luggage or elderly people or young kids in tow, central London public transport is very busy, it can get very hot and extremely crowded, people can be very unforgiving at rush hour of confused people with large bags, and you may find sitting in the back of an uber is much less stressful and more civilised. I usually pay about £40 for an uber each way. If you're not a fan of uber, it is cheaper and more comfortable to book a car in advance (a "minicab") rather than try to hail one at arrivals.

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    I live in the UK (not London any more) and find it esasier to drive in than Paris or other major European cities. But that's all about familiarity. It's still not a nice city to drive in. Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 8:16

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