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How to get from Heathrow Airport to London:
How you travel into London may well depend on where in London you are trying to get to.

Note: If you are travelling specifically to the Victoria area then consider the benefits between the tube (Heathrow express not used for this location) against the National Express service. The coach run is priced to match the tube for a single adult journey and so they both offer strong pluses and negatives for this run. For the tube to get to Victoria station requires changing trains at Hammersmith station onto the District line, a real hassle with luggage. Read the national express section below for more details.


Heathrow to Paddington Station

1: The Heathrow Express.
This is a non-stop train service between Heathrow Airport and Paddington Station (a distance of 17 miles, 27 km) and is owned and operated by BAA. Trains operate every 15 minutes from 5.07 until 23.47.
There is a £5 surcharge if you wait till you have actually bordered the train before buying a ticket compared to online and at a ticket machine. More expensive ticket options are for first class or in a quiet zone.
On arrival at Paddington in West London you will need to make further arrangements for completing your journey. Paddington is a busy mainline station where you can make the transfer onto the National Rail network or London underground tube system. There is also a busy Taxi Rank for continuing your journey by cab.
The journey time is 15 minutes from terminals 2 and 3 and 23 minutes from terminal 5. (does not stop at terminal 4, for this terminal change at the central area to the TFL Rail service, no extra fare involved
The cost one way is: £22 (online), £22 (ticket machine), £27 (on train)

2: TFL Rail service
This a new service which began in June 2005 using brand new electric trains. The difference is the TFL Rail service stops at stations along the route. These are Hayes, Southall, Hanwell, West Ealing, Ealing Broadway and finally stopping at Paddington Station.
Trains run from 5.30 till half past midnight at 30 minute intervals.
The journey time between Heathrow 2 and 3 and Paddington is 23 minutes. The TFL Rail service also stops at terminal 4 which takes around another 5 minutes journey time. For terminal 5 change over to the Heathrow Express at the central area (free for this connection).
Cost depends on which station you travel to and tickets range from £6.20 to £10.20 single (peak), £10.10 (off peak)

Click here for more about the Heathrow Express and TFL Railservices

Heathrow to Victoria Station

3: London Underground (tube)
The Piccadilly line links all terminals with West London, central London and North London. It also gives multiple options for transfers to other places in London using the tube system. The only line from Heathrow is the Piccadilly line which serves all terminals. This gives a straight journey into the following destinations:
Hammersmith, Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner, Leicester Square, Holborn, Russell Square, Kings Cross, Holloway and terminates at Cockfosters. However for other destinations such as Victoria you will need to make a switch (for Victoria you change at Hammersmith for the District line).
Journey into central parts of London (Leicester Square or Victoria) takes around 45-50 minutes
Cost is Cash: £6 per adult (£3 11-15 yrs), Contactless £5.10 peak, £3.10 off-peak per journey for a cash fare zones 1-6.

Read more about the tube system and fares
View Tube Map

Heathrow Airport to Kings Cross and St Pancras Stations

A good number of commuters will be looking to make straight transfers to these mainline railway stations. In practical terms they can be thought of as one single station, although actually separate entities they are located adjacent to each other with direct links between both stations for pedestrians. Kings Cross is a major connection point for services all over the UK (including all London airports except for Stansted) while St Pancras is the London Terminal for the London to Paris service known as the Eurostar. Additionally St Pancras runs the Javelin fast speed service to Stratford International Station which is a just a few hundred yards from the Olympic Stadium.
The cheapest way is using the tube from Heathrow Airport straight to Kings Cross and St Pancras. This is using the Piccadilly line and requires no changes on route.
Total time is between 57 minutes and 74 minutes allowing for a short walk from Kings Cross to St Pancras and extra time for terminals 4 and 5.
Cost is Cash: £6 per adult (£3 11-15 yrs), Contactless £5.10 peak, £3.10 off-peak per journey for a cash fare zones 1-6.

The fastest way to complete the journey from Heathrow to Kings Cross/St Pancras is using the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station. Then switching to the tube and the Hammersmith and City line to complete the transfer to Kings Cross/St Pancras.
Total journey time to Paddington station is between 15 and 23 minutes (terminal 4 requires a free transfer via the tune to Terminals 2 and 3.) It takes around 7 minutes to walk from the mainline part of Paddington. The tube to Kings Cross takes around 11 minutes. If you need to walk from Kings Cross to St Pancras add a another 6 minutes. This gives a total time of between 33 minutes and 47 minutes.
Cost is £22 (online), £22 (ticket machine), £27 (on train) for the Heathrow Express and £4.90 for the tube. Giving a total fare from £26.90. (using your Oyster for the tube reduces the tube fare to £2.40

Bus and Coaches

National Express
National Express run most of the coach services from Heathrow Airport. From terminals 2 and 3 make your way over the Central Bus Station to locate the stand for your required national express service. However for all services into London (they all terminate at Victoria coach station) you have to pickup the bus from the central coach station.  So for terminals 4 and 5 you have to make your way to the central area. From terminal 4 and 5 use either the free local bus routes or the free Heathrow express ride between terminals.
The cost of the journey for an adult under 60 is the same as the fare on the tube (Piccadilly line) . The benefit of taking the National express is a little more comfort (air-conditioned and some coaches have a WC), you luggage is stored for your journey and less crowding. Downside is longer journey times for some destinations and out of the way from terminals 4 and 5.
The journey into Victoria takes between 40 and 70 minutes
Cost is around £6.00

>>>Detailed Information for National Express London Routes
>>>National Express timetables

London Bus
Most buses will require a change for routes into central London. One useful bus route however that runs from the central bus station and goes all the way into central London and terminates at Aldwych (close to Covent Garden) is the night bus N9. This runs from 23.45 till 5.05 on Sundays and Mondays and 0.05 till 5.35 on all other days.
London buses do operate from the central bus station and some from terminal 4 and terminal 5. They are most practical for local transfers since further journeys will normally require one or more bus changes and its not exactly the fastest way to travel.
For taking the bus into central London you can for example:
Take the 111 to Hounslow Bus station. Switch to the 237 to Shepherds Bush. Switch to the 148 into Victoria.
Journey time around 150 minutes.
As above but use the 94 instead of the 148 which will take you to Marble Arch.
Journey time around 130 minutes.
>>> read more about London Bus fares

Routes from Heathrow:
105 to Greenford (24 hour service)
111 to Kingston via Hounslow (24 hr)
140 to Harrow Weald (24 hour service) (via Hayes)
285 to Kingston (24 hour service): This also is the Railair service from Heathrow to Feltham. More details on the 285 Railair here.
350 Terminal 5 to Hayes and Harlington Station
423 Terminal 5 to Hounslow Bus Station
435 from cargo area
441 to Staines - Englefield Green
482 Terminal to Terminal 4 then Southall Station
490 (from terminals 4 and 5 and Hattons Cross) to Richmond (from Hatton Cross tube)
555 to Sunbury Village - Walton-on-Thames
557 (from Hatton Cross and terminal 4 only) to Sunbury Village - Addlestone
A10 to Uxbridge
H25 from Hatton Cross to Hanworth
H26 from Hatton Cross to Feltham
N9 to Aldwych
U3 to Uxbridge
VT98 to Watford
X26 (from Hattons Cross and central bus station) to East Croydon (Metrobus service) via Feltham

view bus route map

There are several options if you are making the journey by road. If you are making the journey into central or East London then you will pickup the A4/M4/A4 Eastbound which goes through Hammersmith, Hyde Park Corner and up to Piccadilly Circus. If you are travelling to more Northern parts of Central Lo0ndon such as Paddington, Swiss Cootage or Kings Cross then you would be looking to make the journey via the A312 North and then the A40 East. The A40 goes all the way into Holborn. Once on the A40 you then have the option of taking the A406 North Circular Road which is an orbital dual carriageway around North London. This will be your option for places such as Wembley, Brent Cross and Hendon. You also have the option of leaving Heathrow and making your way straight onto the M25. This will be your choice if travelling to outer areas of London. For instance places like Romford or Ilford on the far East of London, Brentwood to the North or Croydon to the South.

All London Minicab companies are now licensed by the PCO. Prices vary considerably between companies and by the car type your require. Expect a standard car with normal luggage to cost around £40.

London Taxi (Black Cab)
All four terminals have an easy to find taxi rank outside the terminal building. Expect to pay around £65 into central London. However as charges calculate time taken in traffic this can vary considerably between peak and off-peak times.

view UK and London route planners.

Getting From Heathrow Airport to the Docklands/Canary Wharf/ExCel
Many visitors to the UK do not appreciate the distance between the Docklands and Heathrow. They are at opposite ends of the city, around 22 miles apart,  with no easy means of connection between the two. By road means going through the centre of London and in normal weekday traffic this could take anything from 75 minutes plus. If you wish to make the journey to the Docklands area by public transport then you are really looking to get onto the DLR system that serves the whole area. This means connecting at Bank station. From Heathrow you would take the Piccadilly line on the tube network into central London, transferring  at Gloucester road Station onto either the Circle Line or the District line and completing the Journey to Bank station. More practical options would be a pre-booked minicab for the whole journey, National Express Coach into Victoria Station and then transfer to a London Taxi for the rest of the journey or National express into Victoria and then transfer onto a National express Coach to Canary Wharf. The problem with using National Express and the DLR for the end part of the journey is that you are not going door to door.

Expect your journey by car/taxi/minicab to central London take 30-60 minutes.
To City of London expect your journey to take 40-90 minutes'
Expect your coach journey to central London airport to take 40-80 minutes.
The distance from Heathrow Airport to Central London is 13.8 miles/22.2 km to central London
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