Heathrow Express train at paddington

Jetting off from one of London’s airports? Don’t splash your holiday cash on pricey airport parking and getting stuck in the car, our handy guide to London’s airport rail services will tell you all you need to know about taking the train.

Trains to London Heathrow Airport

 

1. How to get to Heathrow by train

Heathrow airport is easiest to reach from London Paddington station, which is well-connected to destinations in the West Country and across the capital.

 

Heathrow Express trains depart London Paddington every 15 minutes
Heathrow Express trains depart London Paddington every 15 minutes
  • Heathrow Express Trains from London Paddington to Heathrow Airport run every 15 minutes (Journey Time: 15 minutes, travels direct)
  • Heathrow Connect Trains from London Paddington to Heathrow Airport run every 30 minutes (Journey Time: 25 minutes, travels via Southall and Ealing)
    Travel tip – Heathrow connect trains are generally cheaper than Heathrow Express trains, but both have extra luggage racks to accommodate your baggage.
  • London Underground Piccadilly Line services run between all of the Heathrow airport terminals, and central London. The average journey time on trains to London is 55 minutes.
    Travel Tip – You can now collect tickets at Heathrow Airport’s train stations.

 

Heathrow Express and Connect trains are equipped with extra luggage racks
Heathrow Express and Connect trains are equipped with extra luggage racks

2. When you arrive at Heathrow

A Map of rail connections between Central London and London Heathrow Airport
A Map of rail connections between Central London and London Heathrow Airport. Image: Heathrow Airport

Trains to London Gatwick Airport

 

Gatwick stands out as one of London’s airports that is best connected by rail. Gatwick Airport station is easily reached by trains from London Victoria, as well as other locations around the south-east.

 

Gatwick Express trains operate between London Victoria station and Gatwick Airport every 15 minutes
Gatwick Express trains operate between London Victoria station and Gatwick Airport every 15 minutes. Image: Vera Blossom

1. How to get to Gatwick by train

  • Gatwick Express Trains from London Victoria to Gatwick Airport run every 15 minutes (Journey Time: 30 minutes, travels direct)
    Travel Tip – extra Baggage racks are available on Gatwick Express services.
  • Southern Trains from London Victoria to East Croydon, Southampton, Portsmouth and Brighton stop at Gatwick Airport station. (Journey Time from East Croydon to Gatwick: 25 minutes)
  • Thameslink services operate direct from London Bridge, St Pancras, and Bedford to Gatwick.
    Travel Tip – Thameslink services also connect passengers to London Luton Airport, making transferring between airports easier.
  • First Great Western services link Gatwick Airport to Redhill, Reading and Guildford.

 

Gatwick Airport train station is a few minutes walk from the South Terminal, and is equipped with extra large lifts to make it easier to carry your bags.
Gatwick Airport train station is a few minutes walk from the South Terminal, and is equipped with extra large lifts to make it easier to carry your bags.

2. When you arrive at Gatwick

 

Gatwick airport is well connected to major towns and cities in South East England. Image: The London Toolkit
Gatwick airport is well connected to major towns and cities in South East England. Image: The London Toolkit

Don’t miss your train on airport day!

Get live departure info and train times on the Trainline Mobile App.

 

Downloadthe Trainline app for live departures, ticket collection and journey planning

 

 

Trains to London City Airport

 

London City Airport, located in the heart of London’s Docklands is a popular hub with business travelers, offering fast flights to European City destinations from the heart of the city, but flights from London City now increasingly offer good deals for leisure travelers too.

 

The Docklands light railway provides the easiest service to London City Airport
The Docklands light railway provides the easiest service to/from London City Airport from Central London

1. How to get to City Airport by train

  • The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) connects London City Airport with Central London.
    Travel Tip – the DLR can get busy during peak times, and there isn’t any extra luggage space. Pack light where possible if flying from London City.
  • The airport has it’s own DLR station. You need to take a DLR train from Canning Town to Woolwich Arsenal.
  • The DLR can be accessed from Stratford International station, or by taking the London Underground Jubilee Line to Canning Town. Local bus services can also connect you from Central London’s rail terminus stations.
    Travel Tip – DLR trains are driverless. Pick a seat at the front of the train, put on your train driver’s hat and let your imagination run wild.

 

2. When you arrive at City Airport

The London City Airport Docklands Light Railway station exit leads directly into the airport’s tiny terminal, with it’s cafe’s and check in desks. be sure to look out the window during take-off for awesome views of the city of London.

 

Trains to London Stansted Airport

 

Stansted is one of London’s busiest airports, and sees lots of early morning flights to top destinations. Fortunately, the airport is well-connected by rail, making it perfect for catching an early morning flight.

 

The Stansted Express offers the fastest service between Stansted Airport and Central London. Image: Visit London
The Stansted Express offers the fastest service between Stansted Airport and Central London. Image: Visit London

1. How to get to Stansted Airport by train

  • Stansted Express Trains from London Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport run every 15 minutes (Journey Time: 47 minutes, stopping at Tottenham Hale) This is the fastest connection to Central London.
    Travel Tip – Avoid Central London by catching the Stansted Express at Tottenham Hale, which is also on the London Underground Victoria Line (36 mins from Stansted).
  • You can also take a train from Stratford to Tottenham Hale to connect to the Stansted Express.
  • CrossCountry operate trains from Stansted to Peterborough and the Midlands, where passengers can take onward connections to Leeds, Newcastle and Scotland.

2. When you arrive at Stansted

Stansted Airport train station is attached to the only terminal, which is used for both departures and arrivals. Be sure to snap an Instagram of the award-winning station roof, designed by architect Norman Foster. The terminal itself has been recently renovated and features a great selection of coffee bars and shops.

 

The route of the Stansted Express. Image: Stansted Express
The route of the Stansted Express. Image: Stansted Express

Trains to London Luton Airport

 

Luton is best connected to London and Brighton. The nearest station to Luton Airport is Luton Airport Parkway. London Luton Airport is the UK’s 5th largest passenger airport, and saw 10.4 million passengers through its gates in 2014.

 

A train service from London to Bedford calls at Luton Airport Parkway. Image: Wikipedia
A train service from London to Bedford calls at Luton Airport Parkway. Image: Wikipedia

1. How to get to Luton Airport by train

  • Thameslink operates direct services from Brighton and Bedford as well as several London stations including London Blackfriars, Farringdon and Kings Cross St Pancras, with an average journey time of around 40 minutes. (Fastest journey time: 45 minutes)
    Travel Tip – St Pancras has step-free access from Kings Cross, making this a convenient choice for rail passengers using the East Coast Mainline(which connects you to other destinations in the Midlands and North)
  • East Midlands trains services call at Luton Airport Parkway on its routes from London to Yorkshire. (Journey time from London is approx 25 mins)

2. When you arrive at Luton

Luton’s nearest station is Luton Airport Parkway, from where rail travelers can continue their journey on the shuttle bus service, this is free to rail ticket holders. (Journey time from Station to Airport: 10 minutes)

 

Thameslink operates services between Bedford and brighton via London that call at  Luton Airport Parkway.
Map of Thameslink connections to Luton Airport. Image: Thameslink

 

 

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