Travel to London

London is a large city served by six international passenger airports, one international high speed railway station and a number of large domestic railway stations. You may have a choice of ports of arrival, though the cost and duration of onwards travel to your hotel and the conference venue can vary considerably depending on where you arrive in London. London also has a complex public transportation and a wide array of options for onwards travel, which can be bewildering for new visitors. This page aims to help you make sense of this by means of an overview of all main ports of arrival as well as a list of options for onwards travel. Note that all recommended hotels are within walking distance of the conference venue.

London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

London Heathrow (LHR) is London's largest and busiest airport. It is located in West London, approximately 20 miles (32 km) from the conference venue. LHR consists of five terminals, numbered 1—5. Most major airlines with flights to London fly to London Heathrow, though few budget airlines do.

The most sensible options for travelling from London Heathrow to the conference venue or nearby hotels are listed below. Taxis from LHR to the centre of London are expensive, but very convenient during off-peak times. Beware that a taxi journey into central London can be very slow during rush hour. The Heathrow Express is a very comfortable and fast train service between the LHR terminals and London Paddington station. From there you can take either a taxi or the underground to your hotel. The cheapest option is to take the London underground from LHR to central London. Note that you may have to transfer depending on the location of your hotel.

Mode of travelAvailabilityDurationCost
Black cabAlways45 minutes (off peak) — 2 hours (rush hour)£46—£87
Prebooked executive carAlways45 minutes (off peak) — 2 hours (rush hour)from £55
Heathrow Express train + black cab from London Paddington station05:10—23:25 (23:58 from terminals 2 and 3)50 minutes£45—£50
Heathrow Express train + underground05:10—23:25 (23:58 from terminals 2 and 3)45 minutes£30
Underground05:02 — 23:35 (23:15 on Sundays), 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays1 hour, 5 minutes£3.10 (off peak), £5.10 (peak), £6 (cash)

There are no good bus services to the conference venue. The National Express coach service as expensive as the underground but only takes you as far as London Victoria station, from where you would need to transfer. A trip on local bus services takes over 2.5 hours and multiple transfers.

London Gatwick Airport (LGW)

London Gatwick (LGW) is London's second largest airport. It is located just South of London, approximately 28 miles (45 km) from the conference venue. LGW consists of two terminals: North Terminal and South Terminal. Many major airlines have flights to both Heathrow and Gatwick and a number of budget airlines have a significant presence there.

Although Gatwick is a smaller airport than Heathrow, it has fewer terminals and the Gatwick terminals are just as busy as those in Heathrow. As Gatwick is further away from the central London, onwards travel from Gatwick tends to take a bit longer and it is a bit more expensive. However, unlike Heathrow, Gatwick's train station is served by cross country railway lines, which makes it easy to connect to stations in South London's railway network.

Mode of travelAvailabilityDurationCost
Black cabAlways1 hour, 10 minutes (off peak) — 2 hours (rush hour)about £110
Prebooked executive carAlways1 hour, 10 minutes (off peak) — 2 hours (rush hour)from £73
Gatwick Express train + black cab from London Victoria station04:35—01:3555 minutes — 1 hour, 15 minutes (depending on traffic)£26—£57
Gatwick Express train + underground from London Victoria04:35—23:351 hour£20.20—£22.70
Thameslink train to London Blackfriars + local transportAlways, though services are infrequent at night1 hour, 15 minutes£10.40—£25.80 (Thameslink train ticket) + £2.40—£11 (local transport)
Thameslink train to London Blackfriars + walk to hotelAlways, though services are infrequent at night1 hour, 15 minutes£10.40—£25.80
easyBus coach to London WaterlooAlways, though services are less frequent at night + walk to your hotelfrom 1 hour, 20 minutesfrom £2

London City Airport (LCY)

London City (LCY) is a small airport just East of London's financial district. It is located less than 9 miles (14 km) from the conference venue. There are direct flights from 47 European cities to London City (as well as a business class only service from New York). Because LCY is a very small airport that caters largely for business travellers, arrivals and departures to/from LCY tend to be substantially faster than in London's other airports. The main transport options from LCY to the conference venue/nearby hotels are as follows:

Mode of travelAvailabilityDurationCost
Black cabAlways22—40 minutes£35—£40
Tram (DLR) and underground05:37 — 00:1740 minutes£2.80 (off-peak), £3.30 (peak), £4.90 (cash)

Stansted Airport (STN)

Stansted Airport (STN) is an international aiport located just over 41 miles (65km) North of the conference venue. It serves mostly European destinations, but also a number North African and North American destinations. It is used by many European budget airlines. While flights to Stansted may be more economical, onward travel into London is a little more expensive and less convenient. A black cab to the conference venue will cost over £100. Public transport is probably a more sensible option. If you are travelling with a budget airline and have a choice of London airports to arrive at, bear in mind that London Gatwick and Luton Airport have better connections to the conference venue.

Mode of travelAvailabilityDurationCost
Black cabAlways1—2 hoursfrom £110
Train and underground05:16 — 23:151 hour and 15 minutesfrom £18.50

Luton Airport (LTN)

Luton Airport (LTN) is a base of operation of budget airlines serving mostly European/Mediterranean destinations. It is located about 35 miles (56 km) North of the conference venue. Although this airport is also far away from central London, onward travel from Luton Airport to the conference centre is more convenient than from Stansted. From Luton Airport, you can take a free shuttle bus to the train station and, from there, the Thameslink train to London Blackfriars, near the conference venue. The train is available throughout the night, though services are infrequent between 23:30 and 5:00.

Mode of travelAvailabilityDurationCost
Black cabAlways1—2 hoursfrom £110
Train to London BlackfriarsAlways1 hour (shuttle & train) + onwards connection from London Blackfriarsfrom £14.20

Southend Airport (SEN)

Southend Airport (SEN) is a small airport serving only 16 destinations, mostly smaller airport and package holiday destinations. As with Stansted and Luton airports, taxis from this airport to the conference venue are very expensive. There is a train station at Southend Airport but a journey from Southend Airport Railway Station to London Blackfriars takes at least 1 hour and 40 minutes. To travel from Southend Airport to the conference venue, take the train to London Liverpool Station, the underground to Farringdon station and the train to London Blackfriars.

Mode of travelAvailabilityDurationCost
Black cabAlways1—2 hoursfrom £110
Train and underground04:05—23:05about 1 hour and 40 minutes + onward connection from London Blackfriars stationfrom £16.20

London St Pancras Int'l

London St. Pancras International is the train station that serves Eurostar high speed trains from Brussels, Calais, Lille and Paris. It is located 2 miles (just over 3 km) North of the conference venue.

Mode of travelAvailabilityDurationCost
Black cabAlways15—30 minutesfrom £12
Underground05:39—00:2410 minutes£2.40 (card), £4.90 (cash)