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Heathrow or Gatwick or Stanstead?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Sloop John B, Mar 7, 2022.

  1. Sloop John B

    Sloop John B for more years than I care to remember

    We're flying form Dublin to London, staying in Central London.

    Are there any major differences in connections to central London from these 3 airports.

    Is there any one considered better than the others?

    Should I just go for the cheapest flights?


  2. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

    if you are staying at the Queens Gate, Heathrow or Gatwick.
    Sloop John B likes this.
  3. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    I would say go for the cheapest, though check that trains are running at your arrival time.

    If you're staying in West London Heathrow may be best.
  4. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    Stanstead is utterly grim and a lot further out than the other two. Avoid.
    LHR likely best.
    chiily, MJS and Snufkin like this.
  5. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    I would have thought Gatwick and Heathrow would be quite similar in terms of time to get to central London. Heathrow may be a bit closer, but the Gatwick express to Victoria station is frequent and under an hour. However there's no cheap way to get from Gatwick to central London, unlike Heathrow which has the tube (unless they've stopped that since I was last there) - it's worth pricing transport to central London and factoring that into the overall cost. (For example my Mum lives about 10 miles from Gatwick and I can catch a local bus for about £3 - whereas Heathrow involves National Express at £30-40 each way per person.)
  6. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Is this all there is?

    What about City Airport?
  7. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    "The terminal building was designed by Foster Associates with input from structural engineer Peter Rice,[5] and features a "floating" roof, supported by a space frame of inverted-pyramid roof trusses, creating the impression of a stylised swan in flight. The base of each truss structure is a "utility pillar", which provides indirect uplighting illumination and is the location for air-conditioning, water, telecommunications, and electrical outlets. The layout of the airport was originally designed to provide an unobstructed flow for passengers to arrive at the short-stay car park, move through the check-in hall, and go through security and on to the departure gates, all on the same level."

    If you like that sort of thing.

    It was also home to a B26 Marauder Wing in the Big War, and a repair centre for battle damaged B26s. I used to use one of the tech sites as a shortcut on the way to work, all gone now of course. My old mate Willy used to combine wheat where the new terminal is now.
  8. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    If the hotel is on the Piccadilly line then that’s a reason for choosing Heathrow. Otherwise my preference is Gatwick - but that may be because I know it better (it’s very convenient from my house.) I like the food in Jamie’s Pantry, and I like the little train that takes you between terminals. I don’t like the BR train station but I do like the long stay car park.

    The tube ride from Heathrow to central London is unbelievably boring, it takes for ever. Make sure you’ve got something to read.
  9. I love Stanstead because it’s usually quieter than the the other 2 and geographically better for me, which doesn’t answer the OP.

    As has already been said, base your choice on where you’re staying. I would say that the Piccadilly line, although boring, is very reliable, apart from the recent strikes.

    Cheers BB
  10. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Is this all there is?

    And you've strained your greens before you get onboard.
  11. PsB

    PsB Citizen of Nowhere™

    Whatever you do, avoid Stansted. Much further out from central London, chaotic, grim, car park is miles away...
    Gatwick is OK as long as you don't check luggage, with decent rail link. Heathrow is closest after City.
  12. Graham B

    Graham B pfm Member

    Stansted is closest to home for me but I would avoid it if flying in from Dublin - getting out of the airport and into central London will take longer than your flight.

    If you can get a flight to London city you’ll get to your hotel much faster and with less hassle, and depending on the approach you could get some spectacular views on the way in. It has a steep glide slope and short runway too which can be fun, if you like that kind of thing.
  13. Rodrat

    Rodrat pfm Member

    If you can, fly to Luton and then train into London. Bus service from the airport to the train station.
  14. BTC3

    BTC3 pfm Member

    Gatwick gets you into Victoria or City Thameslink or St Pancras; Heathrow gets you the Piccadilly line or Paddington with the Heathrow Express. So take your pick, as everyone else has said, based on where you are coming in from. City opens up the DLR or the river boats, or a taxi. For me, although a nonsense, City makes it feel like you've arrived in London are getting about town after you land. LHR and LGW can feel like they are miles away from everything, so the journey can be less interesting and feel longer. Stansted and Luton are both further way, grimmer, and can be total nightmares.
    All other things being equal, I'd opt for City. On your way back, it has the shortest timeframe and distance from check-in to gate. Fewer retail and eating/drinking options, but I regularly park my car 35mins before take-off and walk from the car to the terminal to security to the gate and onto the plane in what feels like one continuous walk, rather than the start/stop of other airports.
  15. narabdela

    narabdela who?

    Anywhere but Stansted. It’s a shithole, and a long way from London.
  16. Thorn

    Thorn pfm Member

    And I was born just a few miles away, so though there's not yet a blue plaque marking the spot, you can go and view my birthplace.
  17. Candylion

    Candylion pfm Member

    Heathrow . Tube line from airport to central London.
    Gatwick a right pain to travel to central London.
    Snufkin and Tony Lockhart like this.
  18. canonman

    canonman pfm Member

    Heathrow is my choice. You don't need to use the tube to get into town. Heathrow Express is more expensive but really quick. Elizabeth line too into Paddington and in about 30 years time it will be complete into the city..
    k90tour likes this.
  19. harmonica98

    harmonica98 pfm Member

    City is by far the best experience if there is a convenient flight. Stansted is only worth considering if the flights are uber cheap.
  20. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    Can you land an airliner there, though?

    And is it 'grim'?

    Actually I find all airports grim, whoever designed them, but Stansted's no worse than any others, and better than many.
    Brown Bottle likes this.

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