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Location

Queen Mary University of London

Mile End Road

London E1 4NS

Getting to London
Picture of a terminal at London Heathrow airport
London Underground roundel at Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3

With direct trains to mainland Europe and the world's busiest combined airport system, London is easy to reach from anywhere in the world. Below we outline some of your options, as well as how to travel from airports to the city:

01

Trains from mainland Europe

High-speed Eurostar trains connect London's St Pancras station directly with Paris, Brussels, Lille, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. You can also buy combined tickets to London from stations across mainland Europe by connecting to Eurostar at one of the aforementioned stations. St Pancras is located in central London. 

Picture of London St Pancras station

02

Heathrow Airport

Heathrow is London's busiest airport and all its terminals are directly connected to the London Underground network. Piccadilly line services provide the cheapest journey to central London, whereas Elizabeth line services provide a more expensive but faster and air-conditioned connection to the city. We don't recommend taking the Heathrow Express; it's expensive and not much quicker than the Elizabeth line.

As with all transport in London, simply pay with your contactless bank card or your mobile device at the fare gate, and remember to 'touch in' and 'touch out' at the start and end of your journey. 

A tip if you are taking the Elizabeth line from Terminal 5 - it is free to ride the Heathrow Express from Terminal 5 to 'Heathrow Central' (Terminals 2 & 3), where Elizabeth line services depart more frequently. If the express is the next train departing, take it one stop to 'Heathrow Central' and wait on the same platform for the next Elizabeth line train. 

Picture of check-in desks at London Heathrow airport

03

Gatwick Airport

Gatwick is London's second-busiest airport, and is connected to central London by trains on Britain's National Rail network. Trains depart from the station at the South Terminal, so passengers arriving at the North Terminal should take the free shuttle train to access the station.

Trains in Britain are operated by different companies, while information and fares are integrated. Southern trains depart the airport for London Victoria station, while Thameslink trains depart for London St Pancras, via London Bridge, London Blackfriars and Farringdon. We recommend using a journey planning app such as Citymapper to find the best central London station for your final destination. 

As with Heathrow, we recommend avoiding the Gatwick Express (bright red trains) as these are overpriced and not much quicker than Southern or Thameslink. While Gatwick is not in London, you can still use your contactless bank card or mobile device at the fare gates to pay your fare; you can even continue your journey onto the London Underground. Just don't forget to touch out of the gates at your destination so the system knows what fare to charge.

Picture of the railway station at London Gatwick airport

04

Stansted Airport

Stansted is London's third-busiest airport, and as with Gatwick, it is connected to central London by trains on Britain's National Rail network. Coaches (more comfortable buses) are also a good option here. 

Trains to London are run by one company, Stansted Express, and you must buy a ticket from a ticket machine, ticket office, or on your phone before passing through the fare gates to the train. We recommend using an app such as The Trainline to view times and buy tickets. All trains serve Tottenham Hale, for connections to the Victoria line, and London Liverpool Street station, which is located in central London.

Trains from Stansted can be expensive, though usually cheaper if booked in advance. For this reason, we also recommend taking a National Express coach from the airport, which serve multiple stops in central London and can often be cheaper (albeit slower) than the train. Check their website for routes and fares - as with Stansted Express trains, you'll get the cheapest fares by booking in advance.

Picture of an aircraft at London Stansted airport

05

Luton Airport

Luton airport is the final major airport serving London, and it is connected to central London by trains on Britain's National Rail network. Coaches (more comfortable buses) are also a good option here.

 

Trains in Britain are operated by different companies, while information and fares are integrated. You must buy a ticket from a ticket machine, ticket office, or on your phone before passing through the fare gates to the train. East Midlands Railway trains (branded at Luton Airport Express) depart the airport for London St Pancras Station, while Thameslink trains depart for London Bridge, via London St Pancras, Farringdon and London Blackfriars. We recommend using a journey planning app such as Citymapper to find the best central London station for your final destination, and using an app such as The Trainline to view times and buy tickets.

In order to take a train from Luton airport, you must first take the automated shuttle train (Luton DART) to Luton Airport Parkway station, where National Rail trains depart. When buying your ticket, be sure to select Luton Airport, rather than Airport Parkway, so that your DART fare is included. 

Another good option at Luton is travelling to central London on a National Express coach, which serve multiple stops in central London and can often be cheaper (albeit slower) than the train. Check their website for routes and fares - as with National Rail trains, you'll get the cheapest fares by booking in advance.

Picture of the terminal at London Luton airport
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