Getting around London

Things to do in London | Getting around

Need to navigate your way around the big smoke? It may seem daunting at first but, with five main airports and an extensive network of travel options once you’re here, getting around London couldn’t be easier. No matter which one of our London hotels you’re staying in, you won’t be far from a Tube station or bus stop. Plus, if you get your hands on an Oyster card you won’t even have to buy a ticket each time you want to travel. Planning on sticking to the sights of central London? Walking between many of the major tourist attractions is an option, as is hopping on a Boris bike, available at docking stations around the city.

Airport transfers

Whether you’ve got to get to Gatwick or you’re hot-footing it to Heathrow, our handy airport guides will make your visit plain sailing. Just click on each one to find out all about airport transfers, and where to eat, drink and shop once you’ve made it through security.

Early flight? Remember that a stay in one of our airport hotels could let you roll out of bed and straight into departures.

Heathrow Airport
Out of the five main London airports, best known is Heathrow – it’s almost as iconic as Big Ben. Located 14 miles west of the city, London’s busiest airport buzzes at the same frenetic pace as the capital itself.

A whopping 75 million people use the airport a year, but friendly staff and great eating, drinking and shopping options will make your experience here much more enjoyable. Heathrow’s well connected to London and beyond, whether that’s by train, bus or car. Or just book into one of our hotels near Heathrow to take the stress out of your journey.

Gatwick Airport
Some 30 miles south of London, Gatwick is the UK’s second largest airport. But with only two terminals, it feels much more relaxed than its west London neighbour – and easier to get around. Rest assured though, Gatwick’s still packed with facilities and has its own station with trains that can get you straight to Victoria in 30 minutes. 

Stansted Airport
London’s third busiest airport is also its newest – Stansted was built in 1991. Situated in Essex, some 30 miles north-west of London, facilities here got a much-needed boost in 2008 with the addition of fab new shops and more comfortable waiting areas. Getting to Stansted by public transport is easy, with the Stansted Express getting you from Liverpool Street to the airport in about 50 minutes. Be warned though. Some early morning flights are nearly impossible to catch unless you sleep on the floor of departures the night before - or book into one of our hotels near Stansted, of course.

London City Airport
It may be small, but what London City Airport lacks in size, it more than makes up for in comfort and convenience. Only six miles from the City of London, it’s quick and easy to get to from the centre, and getting through immigration and security is a breeze, too. Our hotels near London City Airport make a great base for exploring the sights of East London - or picking up some bargains at the Westfield Stratford shopping centre.

Luton Airport
Some 25 miles north of the capital, Luton Airport has a reputation for not being quite as easy to get to as some of London’s other airports. But although you do have to take a shuttle bus from the main train station, you’ll be pleased to hear our Luton Airport hotel is practically on the terminal’s doorstep. Once you’re at the airport you’ll find some good facilities – the lounge even has its own spa and sleep pods.

Public transport

You’ve made it from the airport into London, but how are you going to get around town now you’re here? We’ve explored all your options, but if you’re planning to use the bus or Tube, buy an Oyster card. They cost a refundable £5 and you can get them from most Underground train stations, then you just top them up either online or at a ticket machine.

Hopping on a bus is a great way to explore the city and it’s cheap too, at a flat fare of £1.50 wherever you want to get to. Just remember though that you can't pay bus fares with cash - you’ll need to use contactless payment, in the form of a contactless credit or Oyster card. Then you can make unlimited bus journeys for free within one hour of touching in. Just remember to press the bell if you want to get off or there’s a danger the driver won’t stop.

Public transport

Mind the gap and stand on the right! With 11 lines criss-crossing the capital and a famously easy-to-read map, the London Underground is so easy to navigate that it’s tempting to jump on board even if you’re only going one stop. The only thing complicated is the fares. That’s because the Underground is divided into nine zone, with central London being zone 1. How much it costs depends on how far you travel, the time of day and how you pay. Luckily, by using Oyster or contactless, you don’t have to think about that - plus these are always the cheapest ways to pay.

You can hire bicycles in London to get around. Santander Cycles (more commonly known as Boris Bikes because Boris Johnson was London mayor when the scheme launched) has docking stations that can be found all over London. Paying  £2 gets you access for 24 hours, then it costs £2 for 30 minutes with the first 30 minutes free.

Train stations

Whether you’re coming to London from the North, South, East or West of the country, take the train and you’ll get your stay off to a great start. Check out our quick guide to the city’s rail links and begin planning your journey. Finish your day at any one of our London hotels and you’ll be guaranteed a great stay in the city.

Situated a few minutes away from the South Bank, arrive at Waterloo station and you can start exploring the city straight away. From the London Eye to the Royal Festival Hall, a number of top attractions are within walking distance. The busiest station in London, Waterloo provides links to the South West and East of the country, as well as having great bus and tube options for getting around. We’ve got a range of hotels near Waterloo that are just a wheelie suitcase trundle away.

London train station

Over 81 million travellers pass through Victoria each year, making it one of London’s busiest stations. The gateway to the South, trains from Victoria take you to Kent, Surrey and Sussex, and drop you off at Gatwick Airport. Head to Victoria bus and underground stations for great links around the city. Or choose a hotel near Victoria because, with Buckingham Palace and Westminster close by, it makes a great base for enjoying all the city has to offer.

A popular station with commuters and visitors, Liverpool Street is in the heart of London’s business district. From Colchester to Cambridge, trains arrive at Liverpool Street from across the East of England. The station also has overground, underground and bus links to help you explore the rest of the city. Staying in our hotel near Liverpool Street means you’re well placed, whether you want to grab a bargain at Spitalfields market or check out the iconic Gherkin building.

With the city’s tallest building sitting right next to it, London Bridge station is hard to miss. Located on the south of the river, this station provides links to the South and South East and gives you easy access to attractions like The Shard, Tate Modern and the London Dungeon. Our hotel near London Bridge makes a great base. Want to see more of London? Head down to the underground or out to the bus station and start exploring.

The main gateway to the Midlands, the North, Wales and parts of Scotland, Euston has some of the busiest rail lines in Britain. As well as providing links to Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow, it’s also the proposed station for the new High Speed 2 route to Birmingham. With Regent’s Park and the British Museum in the area, both outdoorsy types and history buffs will find plenty to do. So why not book into a hotel near Euston and really take advantage of its location?

Sitting right on the edge of the river, Charing Cross offers quick access to plenty of London’s top entertainment hot spots. Step outside the station and you’re practically standing in Trafalgar Square, with the National Gallery a stroll away. Trains from Charing Cross will take you to South East London and Kent and having Embankment underground station nearby means it’s also easy to get around London. Need a hotel near Charing Cross? We have several, just a short walk away.

Famously the location where a cuddly children’s book character was found, trains from Paddington station may not take you to Peru but they can provide access to the South West and Wales, as well as out to Heathrow Airport. If you’re staying in one of our hotels near Paddington you can enjoy exploring the city by foot, you can head north to the canals of Little Venice or south to one of London’s largest green spaces, Hyde Park.

One of the busiest stations in the UK, King’s Cross provides services to the some of the country's biggest cities, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle and York. If you’re heading to London from the North East or Scotland, you’ll find lots to do if you’re booked into a hotel near King’s Cross. Bookworms can head to platform 9 ¾ for a bit of Harry Potter magic or find a quiet spot at the British Library.

If you’re arriving from the East, Stratford could be your destination. Located near the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with its VeloPark, Aquatics Centre and ArcelorMittal Orbit, sports fans and sightseers will find plenty to see and do here. Our hotels in Stratford let you explore the area, while Stratford station also has overground, underground, Dockland Light Railway and bus links to help you explore further afield in London.

With its Grade I-listed Victorian architecture, St. Pancras station provides a grand introduction to London. As well as offering routes to the South, the Midlands and the North East, the station is also the London terminus for the Eurostar. Staying in a hotel near St Pancras lets you explore the nearby sights, including the British Library and London Canal Museum, or jump on a tube or bus and head out into the city.

With over 100 trains passing through every hour, Clapham Junction is one of London's busiest transport hubs. From Basingstoke to Brighton, trains arrive at Clapham Junction from across the South and South West of England. If you want to head into the city centre from Clapham, jump on a train to Victoria or Waterloo, or take the underground or bus. Booking into a hotel near Clapham gives you easy access to the station, while letting you explore this lively area full of great bars, restaurants and shops.

Looking for a hotel in London?

Whether you're staying in the heart of London, perhaps near Buckingham Palace, the Tate Modern, or the Natural History Museum, we've got
a perfect hotel room for you. If you're looking for a weekend break, going to the football and want to stay in a Premier Inn near Wembley Stadium we've got you covered. And if you're flying in to London on business, we've convenient hotels right next to Heathrow and Gatwick Airport