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London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

Heathrow Airport (LHR) is one of the busiest airports in the world. It is the main airport for long-haul flights in and out of the UK and is often a stopover route to/from Europe. Being the busiest and largest, it has the best facilities of the airports in London, and is the only one with direct access to the London Underground, making it the cheapest airport to get to.

First flights are around 05:30 and last flights around 22:30 as there is a midnight curfew, so unless things are running really behind its unlikely you will land or leave in the middle of the night. However, for a flight around 6am you may have to either take a taxi in the early hours, or the last tube the night before and simply hang around till check in.

I rarely buy food at the airport (pack your own!) and there aren’t many good vegan options at Heathrow. M&S ready meals are a good bet and most you can even take on the plane.

Getting to and from Heathrow Airport:

By Tube:
London Underground is the cheapest option option for getting to and from Heathrow Airport. The Piccadilly line runs directly from Terminals 1-3, 4, 5 (3 separate stations) through Central London and up to North East London, and will cost you about £3-4 depending where you exit (Make sure you buy an Oyster Card first). It takes about 1hour to Piccadilly Circus, and trains run frequently from 05:00 ~ 23:30 Mon – Sat, and 06:00 – 22:30 Sun. In peak hour this could be a bit of a hassle for some, with packed trains and platforms should you need to change lines. But the line starts at Heathrow so you will have a seat, and you will probably need the tube to get to your final destination anyway.

By Heathrow Express:
This is the fastest, most comfortable, but more expensive, train service. Taking you between Paddington Station and Heathrow Terminals, trains run approx every 15min between 05:00 ~ 23:30 7days a week, and take just 15min non-stop. Paddington Station is on the Bakerloo, Hammersmith & City, Circle, and District lines so it is a great Tube interchange point. Tickets are £20 single or £34 return (valid 1 month). You can simply purchase at the station, or book online at heathrowexpress.com.

By Heathrow Connect:
This service lies somewhere between the above two options. Also between Heathrow and Paddington, taking approx. 28min and trains leaving every half-hour, 05:00 ~ 23:30, a one-way ticket will cost £9.50 (£19 return). Buy at the the station or heathrowconnect.com.

By Coach:
National Express Coaches run from Heathrow to various stops around London, approx 05:30 ~ 21:30, about £6 one way. A bus to Victoria Coach station will take around 45min if you’re lucky.

By Taxi:
Taxis are the most expensive option, but if you’re in a group or family or simply prefer taxi, it may be worth it. Try going through a mini cab agent, or taking a Black Cab to avoid any dodgy drivers. A fully metered ride in a Black Cab to Central London should cost around £60. A mini cab might be able to do it for around £35-40. Do NOT listen to touts who approach you about “cheap taxis”!

By Bus:
Unless you are staying somewhere near Heathrow, I would not recommend trying to use local bus directly from the airport.