All of our tours start with a coach pick up from London Victoria Train Station and end with the coach dropping you off at Victoria too. You will however need to get yourself to Victoria so this page is here to help you do that.
Travelling to London from Overseas
Those travelling to London from outside of the UK will obviously need to arrange transport like flights. It is definitely worth shopping around for flights and not just going with the first carrier you find. Shopping around takes effort but it is well worth it and a saving here may mean that you can extend your holiday and take in a few more of England’s attractions.
You will need to search for flights to London Gatwick (LGW) or London Heathrow (LHR). Both have superb links to central London.
It may be advisable for you to fly into the UK the day before so that you can be sure to be at our meeting point on time and so that you are not overtired.
Please allow extra time in case of flight delays and allow time for travelling to the meeting place.
Both Gatwick and Heathrow airports have hotels. Click here to see a comprehensive list for hotels near Heathrow and click here for Gatwick. There are also “budget” Travelodge hotels at Heathrow and Gatwick – see www.travelodge.co.uk for details.
You may even want to fly in a few days early to see other attractions in the UK. London is full of museums, art galleries, shops and more, and the underground (the tube) makes it easy to get from place to place – see http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/standard-tube-map.pdf for a map of the underground.
Getting from Heathrow to Central London
Heathrow has excellent links to Central London. You can find out more at a very helpful website – www.londontoolkit.com/travel/heathrow.htm, but here are the main options:-
- London Underground (“The Tube”) -See www.londontoolkit.com/travel/lhr_underground.htm for details. The underground trains runs from Heathrow to Central London on the Picadilly Line. A Tube map can be found at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/standard-tube-map.pdf. Take the Picadilly Line to Hammersmith, get off the train, walk across the platform and take the eastbound District Line to Victoria.
- Bus – National Express run several coaches an hour from Heathrow bus station to Victoria Coach Station. The journey takes about an hour.
- The Heathrow Express Train – This special train service runs every 15 minutes and will take you from the airport to Paddington. www.heathrowexpress.comTo get to Victoria you can then take a black cab (London taxi) or take the underground – Bakerloo Line (Brown) to Oxford Circus and then the Victoria Line to Victoria, or the District and Circle line from Paddington to Victoria.
- Heathrow Connect Train – This train runs on the same track as the Heathrow Express but is not as frequent. It’s cheaper though. Find out more at www.heathrowconnect.com/.
- Hotel Shuttle Bus – The Dot2Dot shuttle bus service will transport you from Heathrow to any Central London hotel. See http://www.dot2.com/ for more information.
- Taxi – London taxis, black cabs, queue outside Heathrow’s terminals and you should not have any problem finding one. Fares are metred and will cost anything from £40-70 depending on where you are going. Black cabs are fully licensed and are a reliable and comfortable method of transport.
Getting from Gatwick to Central London
Gatwick also has great links to Central London and you can find out more about them at www.londontoolkit.com/travel/gatwick.htm. The main methods of transport from the airport to Central London are:-
- The Gatwick Express – This express train takes you from Gatwick directly to London Victoria. You can find out more at the Gatwick Express homepage www.gatwickexpress.com.
- The First Capital Connect Train – This is fast and is cheaper than the Gatwick Express. It stops at many stations in London and you can be at Victoria in about half an hour. See their timetable and journey planner page at www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/Main.php?sEvent=Timetables
- Normal train – These local trains take longer than the Gatwick Express but are cheaper. They run to London Victoria and other destinations in London. See www.southernrailway.com for information.
- National Express Coaches – Cheaper than the Gatwick Express but the journey time is much longer. See the National Express Coaches Gatwick page for information – http://www.nationalexpress.com/Airport/gatwick.cfm.
- Minibus shuttle – easyBus do transfers from Gatwick to West/Central London and you can find out more information at their website www.easybus.co.uk.
Travelling within the UK
If you are travelling within the UK, you may want to meet us at the accommodation rather than London Victoria. Please let us know if you intend to do this.
Travelling within Europe
Obviously it depends where you are coming from as to what method of transport suits you best – flights, ferry, Eurostar etc. I generally use Skyscanner to check out flights when I fly within Europe.
The Eurostar train connects London directly with Lille, Paris and Brussels, which then connect with many destinations in mainland Europe. The Eurostar website is http://www.eurostar.com.
The Eurotunnel also links the UK with mainland Europe – see www.eurotunnel.com.
If you want to travel by ferry, it will depend on your origin country as to what company to use and it will be best to do a google search.
Please make sure that you can get to London for the pick up time and that you have passports, visas (if required) etc. sorted out well in advance of your holiday. If you are arriving in the country on the day of the group meeting then please make sure you allow time to get through the airport and get to the meeting point in Central London, the airports are outside London.
Entry Requirements – If you are from the United States or Canada should not need a visa unless you are planning on extending your holiday and staying longer than 3 months. You will, however, need a passport that is valid for the entire length of your stay and you should hold an outward bound ticket or return ticket. The US Department of State have got a special page on the UK at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1052.html. European Union citizens will just require a valid passport.
Tour members coming from the United States, Australia or other far away places may want to come to the UK earlier than the start date. We can advise you on places to visit and landmarks to see while you are in the UK, to make the most of your holiday. Either contact me at email@example.com or once you have booked on the tour you will be able to ask questions on the private forum.
Accommodation in London
For those of you who want to spend a few days in London before the tour starts, www.booking.com is a great way to find a hotel because you can search by area or landmark. The site also has a full rundown on each hotel along with customer reviews and the prices.
Accommodation near Airports
If your flight arrives late at night you may want to spend a night near the airport. Again, www.booking.com comes in handy because you can enter your airport and it will tell you hotels in the area, how far they are from the airport and whether they have a shuttle or pick-up service from the airport.