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Arrival into London
by air will bring you into one of six airports which are designated as a London airport:
Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, London City and Southend airport. Only London City Airport and Heathrow are in actually in the political boundaries of London, with Heathrow right on the outskirts. Gatwick Airport, although the second busiest for London, is actually nearer to Brighton than Central London. However both Heathrow & Gatwick have fast & direct links to central London. Most long-haul travellers will arrive at Heathrow or Gatwick.
Worth considering, if you have the choice, are Stansted & Luton airports to the Northeast & North of London respectively. Both have internationally recognized budget airlines offering a cheaper alternative to Gatwick and Heathrow and offer flights to Europe, Near-Asia, North Africa, and Mediterranean and Atlantic Islands. London City airport offer a smaller, more corporate choice to European destinations.
You need to allow extra time to go through security and customs at all airports, given the security measures in place at the moment. There are often long queues at passport control, but once you have cleared this area, it is fairly easy and quick to reach the baggage hall. Most times it takes around 40-60 minutes to clear customs and collect luggage. This is the same for all airports, except London City Airport which can be slightly faster due to it small size and landing aircraft with smaller capacities.
Gatwick by Train/Railway.
Gatwick railway station is immediately adjacent to the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport. If leaving/arriving at the North Terminal take the free rail shuttle. Trains from Gatwick to London run to various London stations, including Victoria station via Clapham Junction, London Bridge and a cross London service to Bedford calling at Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon and St Pancras (among others).
Gatwick Road: Taxis, Private Hire(Minicabs) and Coaches.
The train is the fastest route to Central London. If considering a taxi, pre-booked minicab or coach into London, note that the road journey to central London can be slow, on a weekday morning rush-hour it can possibly take three times as long as the journey by train. However if you are going somewhere not conveniently closeby a mainline (overground) station, you may need to continue your journey by taxis or underground. This will obviously incur more time/effort.
Stansted by Train/Railway.
Stansted railway station is immediately below the terminal at Stansted and easily accessed. Stansted connects directly with London Liverpool Street to the East of London City, and other UK destinations.
Stansted by Road: Taxis, Private Hire(Minicabs) and Coaches.
Although the train is often considered the best & fastest route to Central London, a pre-booked minicab or taxi could also be considered as they go door to door and save loads of time and effort trying to work out interchanges and routes.
LUTON AIRPORT (LTN)
GENERAL TRANSPORT ADVICE...
Taxis & Private Transfer Safety Advice:
RENTAL CAR HIRE...
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