The Ultimate London Airport Guide for City Break Travellers

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If you’re heading to London for an incredible city break you’re sure to have plenty of activities planned for your days exploring the capital. But first you’ll need to navigate the airports and get to your hotel. If you’ve chosen one of our hotel packages London, picking the right airport could make your travelling experience smoother and set you up for an amazing trip.

Heathrow

As the largest of London’s airports and the busiest in Europe, Heathrow serves many international destinations. Every year more than 75 million people pass through its four busy terminals.

While it might be criticised for long wait times, Heathrow has excellent transport links. Located to the west of Central London, it’s connected to the UK’s motorway networks via the M4 and M25 and has a frequent train service that takes you right into the heart of London, as well as the option to travel by the iconic Tube system via the Piccadilly line.

All five of the terminals at Heathrow have an array of bars and restaurants for you to relax in and, of course, plenty of shops to browse. If you really want to indulge before your flight terminals two and three offer executive lounges, terminal four has a spa to help you unwind, and you can even find an art gallery in terminal five.

Gatwick

Located in West Sussex, Gatwick is the second biggest airport to serve London. While it might be smaller than Heathrow, it’s home to the busiest single runway in the world. Made up of two terminals, it’s an accessible airport that can get you into central London and exploring quickly. Served by its own train station, which connects to Victoria station, perfectly linked to the Tube and located in Zone 1, links to the M23, and a regular bus service, it’s simple to get from the airport to your hotel.

With a mixture of short-haul and long-haul flights, Gatwick is the go to choice for many travellers heading to London. Both the north and south terminals have plenty of choice when it comes to facilities too. When you need to escape the airport crowds, there are several lounges to choose from to sip a complimentary drink as you kick back and relax. You won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for food, with the options ranging from Weatherspoon’s to Caviar House & Prunier.

Luton

While Luton airport is located on the Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire border, it’s actually the third closest to the capital and offers great access to the centre of London. If you choose rail you can be at the central St Pancras station in just 22 minutes and if you’re driving, it’s just two miles from the nearest M1 junction.

The single terminal layout means that Luton is simple and easy to get around. Thanks to recent developments it’s still modern, with plenty of facilities on hand. The Aspire Executive lounge is perfect if you want a little upgrade and to give yourself a pre-flight treat – you can even use the SnoozePods to get a quick nap before your flight. Grab some food and a drink either before or after you’ve passed through security and shop as you kill time before your flight.

Stansted

London’s third biggest airport, Stanstead, primarily serves European destinations, making it an attractive airport for those looking for a short-haul flight and weekend break from the continent. Located in Essex, it can take a little longer to travel from the airport to central London. Hopping on the train means you can get to Liverpool Street in just over 45 minutes. The Stanstead Express will also take you right into the heart of the City of London.

The Escape Lounge at the airport does just as the name indicates, helps you escape the hustle and bustle of the terminal. There are plenty of shops to browse and places to grab a bite to eat too.

London City Airport

Located just four miles from Canary Wharf, London City Airport is ideal for business travellers. Today it’s mostly used for short-haul flights but there are a limited number of flights crossing the Atlantic.

Being a smaller airport, London City Airport doesn’t have the facilities that some of the other options have. However, there is both a First Class Lounge and a Business Lounge and places to eat. Plus, the Docklands Light Railway will transport you in minutes.

Placed right in the centre of the City of London, The Montcalm Royal London House is perfectly placed for not only sightseeing and experiencing the capital but making it simple to get to the airports too. With the Tube and Liverpool Street station just a stone’s throw away, you’ll have no trouble when it comes to getting out and about during your city break.

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