One of the best things about having a city which is so interconnected, busy and diverse, is that all sides are catered to by airports. Whether you are flying in from the South, West, East or North London there is an airport for you. What’s more, there are several that are easy to get to London from that stand outside the cities including Gatwick and Southampton. Mayne people fly into London every year, the city attracting over 16 million tourists a year. If you’re coming in to London from one of these airports and need to get to a central location like the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International Hotel then you can use this guide to traverse the complicated transport links of London and make it to your destination hassle and stress free.
Heathrow Airport has been in operation since 1929 when it was a small airfield and has since grown to become the third busiest airport in the world. Its development into a major airport began in the 1940’s when it was designed as a landing and take off area for military planes headed to and from the Far East. It now serves as London’s major international airport and serves hundreds of flights every day, including flights on British Airways, Qatar Airlines and Virgin Airlines. The airport is made up of five different terminals and is a located a few miles outside of London, in the West of the city in the area of Hounslow. Heathrow airport is served transport-wise via the Piccadilly line, which leads directly to the centre of London with many convenient stops along the way for those wanting to get to further out. There are also bus services and a tram service that links the five terminals. There is also a direct train from Paddington Station to Heathrow Airport which takes only 15 minutes so if you’re running late for a flight or a check in, you can be sure this service will save you more time than the more leisurely underground line. The Paddington Heathrow Direct train may be a better idea if you are travelling with a lot of luggage but if you are fairly baggage free and it’s not rush hour, which can get very stressful indeed, then using the Piccadilly line can save a considerable amount of money.
City Airport is located in the Borough of Newham and is roughly 7 miles east of the London city centre. The airport serves a variety of international destinations including New York, Amsterdam and many European and Western destinations. The airport was developed in the early 1980’s by the Dockland’s Development Corporation and now serves over 4 million passengers a year. The airport is was developed even further during the London 2012 Olympics so as to be able to handle the influx of tourists coming for the international sports event. 7 million was invested into the airport to improve its facilities and efficiency. In 2013 work started on a whopping 15 million investment programme which was used to refurbish the western pier, kitting them out with new departure gates and improved lounges. The international arrival halls and baggage handling areas were also redeveloped using this money. The airport is a mere half hour outside of the centre of London and is reachable via the Dockland Light Railway otherwise known as the DLR line. This possibly the cheapest option for travel into the centre of the city.
Gatwick airport is located half an hour outside of London in the nearby county of Sussex. The airport is an international airport that serves flights to many destinations including Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The airport is made up of two terminals, the North and South Terminals which serve various different airlines including EasyJet, British Airways and Ryanair. The airport was created in the 1920’s as an aerodrome and was developed into an area for commercial flights in the 1930’s. The airport has since been developed but is still a single runway airport. The airport itself serves over 43 million passengers a year and has 5 different shareholding companies. The Airport itself is reachable to London via the Gatwick express service or trains running from the South towards London from cities such as Brighton and Eastbourne. There is a Gatwick Express service for those who are in a rush and want to get to London Victoria as quickly as possible. London Victoria station itself runs on the Victoria lines, one of the more efficient and fast running tube lines in London and therefore people coming into Gatwick can get to different parts of the city very quickly indeed. Other stations that the Gatwick services reach are Kings Cross, Clapham Junction, East Croydon and London Bridge.
Luton Airport is located 29 miles outside of London in the county of Bedfordshire, to the North of the Capital. The airport serves flights to mostly European destinations and serves around 14 and a half million passengers each year. The plane lines Ryanair, Wizz Air and EasyJet have bases at Luton airport. To get to and from Luton from and to Central London you can take a 30 minute train to Kings Cross station. There are also coach options and a bus service. This however, can take up to 90 minutes so if you are in a rush to get your hotel or home then it may be a better idea to get the train to Kings Cross, from where you can find connecting Underground services.
Stansted Airport is located 30 miles East of London and is located in the county of Essex. The airport serves around 24.3 million passengers each year and is owned by the Manchester Airports Group and has been operating since the Second World War, when it was used as a military airfield. There are trains available that get to Liverpool Street Station in around 45 minutes whilst a longer bus journey is cheaper but takes longer to arrive in Central London.