Welcome to the last part of connectivity in the Heathrow area – as we look to go beyond London.
Now, this might shock a LOT of people: There is life beyond London, and many places to explore in the United Kingdom other than London.
And if you want to, you can with a little planning. If you can plan better, there maybe savings to be had – but always allow extra time when going from the Airport to your next destination.
If you’re accessing the South West of England and Wales, you have two options – either choose the RailAir Link which connects you to by coach Reading Station, then access the Great Western Railway, for access to Oxford, Bristol, Bath, Cardiff, Swansea and Plymouth and Penzance. Alternatively, you can backtrack to Paddington
If you’re heading to Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, consider heading to Feltham Railway station and connect where needed. You may find it’s easier to track back to London Waterloo and catch a fast train.
If you’re heading anywhere else, you will probably need to connect via Central London first using Heathrow Connect or TFL Rail.
From Paddington, you can connect using the Underground or Taxi to the major stations, including:
- Marleybone – The Chilterns, Oxford, Banbury, Leamington Spa, Warwick and Birmingham
- Euston – Milton Keynes, Northampton, Coventry, Birmingham, Crewe (for North Wales) Liverpool, Manchester, Carlisle, Holyhead and Glasgow. Sleeper services to Scotland also operate from here.
- St Pancras – Lille, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield (East Midlands), and High-Speed destinations in Kent
- Kings Cross – Peterborough, Cambridge, Doncaster, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh and, East of England Scotland. There are occasional services to Hogwarts via Platform 9 3/4.
- Liverpool Street – Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich (and East Anglia), Cambridge, Stanstead Airport
- Farringdon/City Thameslink – For Services north to Bedford, Luton Airport and South to Gatwick Airport and Brighton – and much more
- London Bridge/Charing Cross – For Ashford, Maidstone, and services in the South East of England
- Victoria – For Gatwick Airport, Brighton and services in the South of England
- Waterloo – For services to Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, and the South West of England
- Paddington – Reading, Oxford, Bristol, Bath, Plymouth, Penzance, Cardiff and Swansea. Sleeper services also depart from here to Cornwall.
Use National Rail Enquiries in the first instance to research where your’e going and prices, You may find the train operator on the route will offer better value tickets. Only use sites like The Train Line if you can’t find the cheapest ticket (as they do put a booking charge on every one).
Note that there are different types of tickets when travelling long distance:
- Anytime – Most expensive, most flexible fare – walk up fare
- Off-Peak – Allows you to travel outside the operators peak hour travel times. Note that most operators have their own definition of “off-peak”. This is a “Walk-up” fare
- Super Off-Peak – Limited avaliblity on some routes, outside major traffic hours. It’s a walk-up fare, but limited in hours
- Advance – akin to an airplane ticket, where a ticket is valid for a particular train or date only.
Note that there are variants (especially on shorter trips) and they all have terms and conditions attached. Check before you travel.
The Coach network out of Heathrow is dominated by National Express who operate coaches that connect the length and breadth of the country from the airport. As such, your best bet is to use the national express booking engine to help you decide where you go. You can pick up tickets on the day if needed, but better value fares can be had if you book in advance
Megabus operates services from Heathrow to Gatwick Airport, as well as the West of England and Wales. You will need to book in advance.
Oxford Bus operates The Airline service between Oxford and London Heathrow Central and Terminal 5.
Heathrow has some domestic capacity, offered by FlyBe and British Airways:
Domestic gates at Terminal 5
- Leeds-Bradford Airport
- Newcastle upon Tyne
Other options exist from Luton, Stanstead and Gatwick Airport. It goes without saying that you will need to leave any secure area and make your own way to these airports, and plan connecting times as appropriate.
If you are checked through to your final connection, follow the in-terminal connection signs. For those of you who are using separate tickets, you’ll need to pick up your baggage, exit the secure area and re-enter it with your new ticket.
Heathrow Airport is on the edge of the M25, which gives you access to most major points (providing you’re not stuck in traffic on the motorway – a regular occurrence at peak). All major car hire companies are represented at Heathrow Airport – so you should have no trouble finding a car to suit you
Please remember however:
- Drive on the left.
- The use of handheld devices whist driving (such as phones is limited. In other words, no texting whilst you drive. Ensure your car has a hands-free device, or other GPS device.
- You might want to familiarise yourself with the Highway code
- And please use indicators!
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