Best Modes of Transfer from Heathrow to London

The term best way depends on a lot of factors because the best way for one person may not be the best option for another person. For example, commuting by taxi from Heathrow Airport may be convenient, comfortable and hassle-free for those who can afford it but it may not suit ordinary people who would prefer to take the Tube or the Overground train or even a coach. As such, the best way from Heathrow to London for each individual would be different depending on his needs and budget.

Best Way – Cost wise

If the cost of travel is your main concern then the best way would be to take the London Underground. However, if you have a lot of luggage, this option may be quite inconvenient as it would be difficult to negotiate stairs and escalators with the baggage. Moreover, it would also be inconvenient for you if the hotel that you have booked for your stay in London is located far from the Underground station or if it requires several changes of train to reach it.

Best Way – Time wise

If the time taken for reaching your hotel is of prime concern then the best way would certainly be to use the dedicated airport train, Heathrow Express to Paddington Station. This stress-free journey takes only 15 minutes and it runs every 15 minutes. This option may become inconvenient for those who are not staying in the Paddington, Bayswater and Marble Arch areas because you would still be far from Paddington Station and would probably need to take a cab from Paddington station if you have lot of baggage to reach your hotel. If your destination is in Kensington High Street, Earls Court Road or Gloucester Road area, a better and quicker option would be to use the Underground. Another drawback of the Heathrow Express is that it is fully priced and if you wish to take a cheaper option, you can take the Heathrow Connect that runs on the same route but it is cheaper although it is less frequent and slightly slower.

Gloucester Road and Earls Court areas are the areas of London that are most conveniently connected to Heathrow with Earls Court being the closest major hotel district. The direct Underground link takes about 35-40 minutes with the availability of trains being just 5 minutes. Moreover, the main road going to Heathrow passes through Earls Court.

Visitors to London will find that staying at the Montcalm Club will be very convenient because Paddington Station, which is the terminus of both the Heathrow Express and the Heathrow Connect trains, is located close by. These trains are the most convenient, quickest and also most comfortable transfer options available. The Heathrow Connect is a less frequent stopping train and is nearly half the price of the Heathrow Express which is non-stop.

Transfers By Road Based Transport

Airport buses used to operate once upon a time but these have been phased out because of the Heathrow Express train that offers faster journey time and is not affected by London’s traffic. However, National Express Coach service is still available for London Victoria. These coaches dominate long distance travel within the country. Heathrow is the last stop on many of these services and it is possible to buy a ticket between Heathrow Airport and the London terminus at Victoria and the cost of this ticket is just a little more than the cost of the Underground journey.

The coaches are very comfortable and they also have washrooms. They only operate from the Central Bus Station between Terminals 2 and 3.However, if you are using Terminals 4 or 5, you will have to avail of a free train service to the centre of the airport. The other problem is that their schedules are not optimised for London transfers and as such you may get 4 or 5 buses one after another and after that there may be a gap of an hour at one extreme.

Staying at a Shoreditch hotel is also a good option for a comfortable and economic stay in London.

Hotel Van Shuttle Services

Most hotels offer shuttle services to the airport but they cannot compete with the train and Underground services. However, these services do not last long because of high prices, slow speed of transfer and a high chance of traffic snarls leading to delays that is common to all road based transfers.

Black Cabs and Mini Cabs

London transfers from the airport are also available by the famous Black Cabs that are available from outside each terminal but they are the most expensive option. Private car services or Mini Cabs are however cheaper alternatives but they need to be booked in advance with the driver meeting you outside the customs and baggage hall and greeting you. However, the only problem is London’s traffic. Getting into London from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and on Sunday evenings becomes difficult, slow and unpredictable particularly if your destination is beyond the hotel districts of Kensington and Victoria.

It will be cheaper to hire a private car from Heathrow if there are more than two of you as compared to Heathrow Express to Paddington or a black cab to your hotel. If you are travelling in a group of ten or more, it would be better to hire a bus for a private transfer. It will also be more convenient.

If you are travelling heavy with more than one bag weighing 20 kgs, then you should not travel on the Underground as it will be inconvenient.

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