London is an eclectic blend of the Third and First Worlds, with upper, middle and lower class all co-existing with great flair! You will find the chauffeurs and beggars, the well-established with the hard-working class, all mixed in among the avant-garde. In the 19th century it was the center of a large and prosperous overseas empire, the largest and most influential city in the world! No longer among the world’s most populous cities, London is still among the world’s major financial and cultural capitals. Here are 5 major London Airports: London Heathrow Airport, London City Airport, London Gatwick Airport, London Luton Airport and London Stansted Airport.
London Airport Travel Guide
1. Heathrow Airport
Telephone (0) 870 000 0123
This is one of the major airports of the world. It has four terminals and is due to open a fifth shortly. It is 15 miles west of London and the code is LHR. To get from Heathrow to the centre you have many options – underground, coach, Express Train.
If going by tube, you may want to pick up at map when buying your ticket and think about buying a day ticket if you are going to be using public transport during the rest of the day. The Heathrow Express whizzes you into Paddington in 15 minutes (longer from Terminal 4) and leaves about every 15 minutes. Single fare is about £14 and return £26. There are also a number of coaches to central London. Taxis are plentiful and will cost you about £50-£60 plus there may be a Congestion charge of £5 depending on where your destination is.
2. London City Airport
Telephone (0) 207 646 0088
This airport is about 6 miles from the centre and is in Docklands. Code is LCY.
There’s an airport Green Shuttle bus which will bring you to Canning Town in five minutes for £3-4 single and you can then take the Jubilee Line or Docklands Light Railway to central London. Another way to do it to take the Blue Shuttle Bus for £4-5 for ten minutes to Canary Wharf and then link with the Jubilee Line or Docklands Light Railway (children £1). The Blue shuttle bus also goes to Liverpool Street Station – Bus Stop A and this takes about 30 minutes and costs £7-9 for adults and £2 for children.
3. London Gatwick Airport
Telephone (0) 870 000 2468
It is a bit further from the centre but an excellent rail service makes it feel closer, it is 28 miles to the south of London. The code is LGW. The Gatwick Express Train will get you to central London to Victoria Station in about 30 minutes and tickets are about £25 return. Trains go about every 15 minutes. There are also coaches to different parts of central London and info can be obtained in the Arrivals area and these also go to all parts of the UK. Taxis cost about £80 to central London plus there may be a Congestion charge of £5 depending on where your destination is.
4. London Luton Airport
Telephone (0) 158 240 5100
The code for this airport is LTN. It is 32 miles from the centre of London to the northeast – making it the most distant of the London Airports but it is very convenient for anywhere on the north side of London. Regular rail services take about 30-40 minutes to the centre of London by Thames Link to King Cross Stations. The station is a minute from the terminal and there are free shuttle buses to get you there. By coach, Easy Bus runs a nonstop minibus service to and from Baker Street for as little as £5 return – get it at Bay 4..
5. London Stansted Airport
Telephone (0)870 000 0303 Essex
Like Luton, Stansted is northeast of London and is a distance of 30 miles from the centre. The code for Stansted is STN. The Stansted Express departs every 15 or 30 minutes almost from inside the Airport and takes around 45 minutes to get to Liverpool Street with just one stop on the way at Tottenham Hale to link up with the London Underground. Tickets cost £24 return but check your airline may sell discount tickets at the time of checkin. Returning from Liverpool make sure and get an Express train to the airport as there are many local trains which will get you to the airport but stop at loads of stations on the way.