Are you a first-time visitor to London? Whether you are a student, professional or tourist visitor, London’s airports can be a daunting prospect. This is especially the case if you’re experiencing late night travel (or early morning) when public transport (tube/rail/buses) options are more limited.
Here is a rundown of your options for late night travel to (or from) the main London airports: Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted.
The National Express coach goes between London Victoria and Heathrow Airport at most hours, it departs from London until late at night (around 1am) and early in the morning (around 4am). The first departure from Heathrow is 4.20 am, taking around 45 mins, it could be a good option.
N9 night bus is another option to consider for even more affordable and flexible hours. With three departures per hour throughout the night, this can get you to or from Heathrow at any hour. The timing will vary from where you get on, it is potentially the longest of the three but very affordable! Just remember, payment must be either by oyster or a contactless payment card.
Night Tube, if you are looking to travel on a Friday or Saturday then 24-hour operation of the Jubilee line means you can get to or from Heathrow at any hour. Prices and durations will of course vary but the convenience is guaranteed!
The National Express coach departs to and from Victoria 24 hours a day, taking just over an hour, this could be your go to in the middle of the night.
ThamesLink is a great option should you be wanting to either get to or from London Gatwick airport outside of conventional public transport hours. The service takes from 30 minutes to just over one hour. Most importantly, it runs throughout the night!
Stanstead Express, the train goes to and from Tottenham Hale and Liverpool Street. It takes around 45 minutes, not quite 24 hours a day with the first train departing Liverpool Street at 3.40 am it could be a good option for getting to the airport in the early morning. However, the first train out of Stansted is 5.30 am. This means if your plane arrives very late at night/the early hours of the morning the Stanstead Express might not be the most convenient option.
National Express, running from various London terminals to and from Stansted at all hours of the day. The journey can be a little long at one 1 hour 40 from Victoria but should your arrival or departure time fall outside of conventional hours this service will get you there.
General Late Night Travel
For nighttime travel within London, whether you are getting a bus from Victoria coach station or looking to get to a transport hub for any other onward travel, there is always an option. London has an extensive night bus network. Take a look at TfL’s night bus map to check out your nearest stops. It also has an all-night underground service on multiple lines on Fridays and Saturdays.