Please sign in to post.

London area airport to London city center

In August my wife and I will be flying (on a Sunday) from Dublin to London. Need to decide which airport to fly into. Gatwick, Luton or Stansted seem to be the most likely ones. Which one works best to get transport into London city? I know with each you can do it. But which one would be easiest. And what would be suggested bus or train? Thanks.

Posted by
5617 posts

Heathrow. Hour ride on the tube to Paddington station or 15 minutes via the pricey Heathrow Express train. Heathrow connect adds another 10 minutes but only a bit cheaper. Where is your accommodation?

Posted by
5617 posts

Then a ride into Paddington works. Can either do it cheaply or spend the money and do it quickly. All dependent on how you travel and your luggage situation. Each will require some train changes. Tube: Piccadilly to Green Park. Then Jubilee line (Grey) one stop to Bond Street. Change to Central line (Red) one stop to Marble Arch. Train: The Express or Connect will take you to Paddington station. Depending on the address of your accommodation you could walk or take the District (Green) or Circle (Yellow) tube to Nottinghill Gate, switch over to the Central line (Red) for 4 stops to Marble Arch. I'd take a look on Google Maps Satellite view to see where your accommodation is located and the closest Underground. You may also chose to take a taxi from Paddington to where you are staying. I'm sure others will chime in about buses.

Posted by
4521 posts

London City is another possibility.

Personal views:

Heathrow is good as you can travel to Marble Arch by underground or use the Heathrow Express and bus
City probably equally OK as it is one change at Bank or West Ham.
Stansted might be next as by train it is one change again at Liverpool Street, but it is far out so Gatwick might be quicker.
Luton probably bottom.

Rankings don't take cost or heavy luggage into account ....

Posted by
9110 posts

It does seem he would have mentioned Heathrow if it were in play.

Posted by
25594 posts

Don't forget that the OP asked about a Sunday. If 'twere me I'd see which Tube lines and which rail lines were operating that day - and then select an airport.

Posted by
60 posts

Don't quite have the lingo down, I guess as the poster, I'm the OP. Yes, I am looking at Ryan. The major airlines seem to be more expensive, but maybe the cost to travel in from the other airports neutralize the savings. We are staying at Victory Services Club (63-79 Seymour St). It's at the intersection of Seymour and Edgware Rd.

Posted by
25594 posts

Thanks for serving. Which branch were you in?

OP means "Original Poster", the person who posts the question. Sorry for the jargon.

Marble Arch is certainly the closest.

Be aware, be very aware, of all the traps associated with RyanAir, and all the hoops to jump through, to avoid loads of extra fees with flying RyanAir. Read everything very closely and if you have any doubts, ask here.

There are a few here who are strongly in favour of RyanAir.

Posted by
4521 posts

Sunday afternoon can be an expensive time for the Dublin - London route because of demand from weekly commuters, and weekend breaks etc.

Any of the airlines could turn out to be cheaper on a particular Sunday at a particular time, and there are 4 on this route, shortly to become 5.

Do factor in the cost from the airport and the time. Heathrow and City would be at least half the transport cost roughly than the others, and less time. You can reduce the cost by using budget buses, but increase the time further.

Checking up, there are services to yet another 'London' airport - Southend. Direct train to Liverpool Street.

Posted by
1063 posts

"Ps don't shorten street names eg " Seymour" it can cause some real confusion as so many places have very similar names or are named after other places."

I've always wondered why Americans do that and calling immigration "customs", perhaps someone can explain.

Posted by
60 posts

Thank you Nigel. I appreciate the "translation". I was in the Navy for 20 years. Relative to the airports and airlines, after doing my research, I concluded that flying one of the major airlines would be better since the baggage fees with Ryan were killers. So it's BA to Healthrow. Thank you all others. Now it's only a tube versus bus decision.

Posted by
4866 posts

If your luggage is light, and your fitness good, I consider Hyde Park Corner to Marble Arch just barely "walkable". (Opinion) And the Heathrow tube stops at Hyde Park Corner with no change. Google Maps will give you the mileage of that walk. Tube and Healthrow Express changes underground can be very long-distance, but at least they're on flat concrete, not cobbles or pavers! Because it's Sunday, your luggage shouldn't be hard to fit onto the tube cars. The LHR tube ride costs more until 9:30AM, but maybe not on Sunday. Unfortunately, Hyde Park Corner is tricky to find the several surface busses that go right to Marble Arch. We found the Underground sales booth at Heathrow to be staffed with friendly and helpful people.

Posted by
25594 posts

Hyde Park Corner to just beyond Marble Arch is a bit further than I would like to walk, really - and he said he was Navy, not a Commando or Marine...

There are plenty of buses on Park Lane connecting Marble Arch to Hyde Park Corner... my favourites are the 73, the 10 and the 2. They are 2, 10, 16, 36, 73, 74, 82, 137, 148, 414, and 436. Pretty much find a stop on or near the NW corner of the intersection and wait a couple or a few minutes.

There are no peak hour restrictions on the Tube on the weekends, just weekend closures.

Posted by
16852 posts

Thanks, all. To me, OP still rings the same bells as OAP - old age pensioner.

Posted by
206 posts

Hi Pat,

Take the Heathrow Connect for £10 each...it will take about 10/15 minutes longer than the Express, but gets you right into Paddington Station for half the price. If you haven't already bought your oyster cards, do it at Paddington. Come up the long ramp to Praed St and jump onto either the 7, 23, 36, or 436 bus and get off at Marble Arch. The VSC is on the northbound side of Edgware Road opposite and north of where you're getting off the bus. Look up - their sign is above street level.

Posted by
8293 posts

The OP has verified that he is flying Ryan Air and so Heathrow information is of no use.

Posted by
4521 posts

Further down Pat indicates a change of mind to fly BA to LHR.

Posted by
60 posts

Thanks all. Great suggestions. Good reading. Somewhat confused about the Oyster Card. Did I read that it's being phased out?

Posted by
4521 posts

I think Rick Steves refers to the phasing out of Oyster somewhere, but it is rather more of an evolution and the existing products will work for years yet.

Posted by
25594 posts

I have seen various mentions of this phasing out of Oyster a few times here on the helpline.

I am in London 4 or 5 days a week, and I "read" the Metro paper and the Evening Standard as they pass by me, and nowhere else have I seen any discussion about phasing out the Oyster.

Yes, there is more modern technology, and there need to be a few tweaks behind the scenes so that mainline trains can adopt a similar or the same system, and with the removal of cash fares on all buses and the start of credit card contactless technology, changes are certainly in the wind.

But I wouldn't worry a lot about arriving with an Oyster. They will work for quite a while yet, I'm sure.

Posted by
4521 posts

Death of existing Oyster cards may be Phase 5 of TfLs Future Ticketing Project. We aren't quite at Phase 2 yet.

The details in full from TfL:

Phase 1 – Acceptance of contactless payment cards to pay a single fare on all TfL buses was launched in December 2012.

Phase 2 – Launching in 2014, customers will be able to use a contactless payment card on all TfL modes – Tube, London Overground, Emirates Air Line, tram and DLR – with daily and weekly capping. We are continuing to investigate introducing contactless payment cards on our river services.

Phase 3 – Currently going through funding and detailed design will enable customers to purchase their season ticket online and associate it with their contactless payment card.

Phase 4 – Customers who do not wish to use (or do not have) a contactless payment card will have access to an improved smartcard system utilising all of the back office technology developed for Phases 1, 2 and 3 of FTP for travel on the TfL network. This phase will have significantly enhanced functionality especially around mobile and internet purchases. As of yet no decision on this new card has been made and potentially it could still be the existing Oyster card. This card will simply be used as a token with all of the balance held, and complex fares calculation taking place, in the back office.

Phase 5 – This phase is where the migration for customers on the current card centric technology to the back office based technology takes place. This relies on completion of earlier phases and specifically is dependent on the type of card that is chosen in phase 4. Work on feasibility will take place in the coming years.