Travel to London: Cheap trains, buses and flights

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Travelling to London

How to travel to London cheaply?

Flying to London

London Heathrow airport is located about 22km (14 miles) west of Central London. The Heathrow Express offers the fastest connection to London Paddington. The London Underground is also available from the airport, and the Piccadilly Line takes about 1 hour to get you to and from the city centre. National Express also has coaches departing from Heathrow Airport to London Victoria station in central London.

From Gatwick Airport the Gatwick Express train offers a direct service between to London Victoria. Thameslink and Southern also run regional train services to London Bridge, London Victoria and Clapham Junction. National Express offer a coach service from the airport to London Victoria that takes around 1.5 hours.

Stansted is located 48 km (30 miles) northeast of Central London in Essex. The Stansted Express offers the quickest journey to central London, calling at Stratford and Liverpool Street Station. National Express runs a coach service from Stansted to both Stratford and Liverpool Street Station as well.

Taking the train to London

London St Pancras International is home to train providers Eurostar, Southeastern, East Midlands Trains, Thameslink, and the London Underground. The station is served by London Underground trains at King’s Cross St. Pancras Station, which combines St Pancras with neighbouring station King’s Cross. A large number of London buses also stop outside the station.

London Euston serves as a central London hub with its connections by bus, coach, underground, overground and national rail services. The London Underground Circle Line, Hammersmith and City Line, Victoria Line, Metropolitan Line and both branches of the Northern Line (Charing Cross and Bank) stop at Euston station. The London Overground to Watford Junction also stops here.

Getting the bus to London

Main rail providers for Paddington station are First Great Western, Chiltern, Heathrow Express, and Heathrow Connect. Paddington is located in Zone 1 of London, making it very central and easy to get to. It is connected to the London Underground on the Bakerloo Line, Hammersmith & City Line, Circle Line and the District Line. Many bus routes also pass by the station.

The London Victoria Coach Station is the largest coach station in London and was opened near Victoria Station and Buckingham Palace in 1932. The station serves long distance coach journeys (both domestic and international). Major bus providers found at the station are National Express, Eurolines, Ecolines, iDBUS, Megabus, Evan Evans, David Urquhart, Interbus Kosice, Premium Tours, and Sindbad. The coach station is adjacent to Victoria Station and Victoria Bus Station (approximately 300 metres away), providing transport connections via London Buses, National Rail, and the London Underground Victoria Line, District Line and Circle Line.

When is the best time to visit London?

Top things to do in London

You could spend months in London and still not see everything there is to see. If you're a first-time visitor then make sure to see Buckingham Palace or check out some of London's best museums. If you're looking for something a little different head to one of the pie & mash shops in the east of the city for something a little more local. Here are some more great things to do in London during your visit:

Broadway Market, in London's east end, is the closest you're going to get to the traditional cockney wheeler and dealers of London! Although in recent years the hoards of hipsters have taken over, you'll still find stands that have been there since the 70s. It's also close to Regents canal which is great for a stroll in the sun and people watching.

Somerset House is a multi-purpose art gallery with everything from a posh restaurant to an outdoor cafe to a grand water fountain on the grounds. Aside from hosting some of the finest pieces of art in the UK, Somerset House also hosts numerous seasonal events including open air cinemas in the summer & an ice rink in the winter.

It may not be London's most beautiful park, but the atmosphere and surrounding areas of London Fields more than make up for this. London Fields is perfect for those who want a relaxing day with the family or a picnic with friends. It's also within the vicinity of loads of great old man pubs around Broadway Market.

Getting Around London

London has one of the oldest, most extensive and famous public transport systems in the world. Transport for London (TfL) oversees the London Underground, London Overground, London Buses, Dockland Light Rail, and London Rail. The network is an essential way to get around, there are 9 zones in total, with buses, tubes, overground, DLR and national rail services connecting the entire Greater London area.

Cycling is growing in popularity and while in London you will see hundreds of cyclists, but it still can be dangerous due to all the traffic. High visibility gear and wearing a helmet is always recommended.

Taxis are very common and are an iconic part of London. The infamous black cabs can be hailed if their light on top is light up. Black cabbies are some of the most knowledgeable when it comes to the streets of London, as they have to take a qualification exam about all the streets and routes across the capital in order to be licensed.

Walking is an essential and fun way to explore the capital, and there are many sidewalks and parks to walk through - but always be careful when crossing busy streets as crossing lights change quickly and most cars do not give pedestrians the right of way.

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