Getting from Heathrow to the site

Caveat: We are not travel agents. We're just local residents who have been around the city and through the airports several times. We can give you our suggestions, but please confirm our advice with your travel expert.

IMPORTANT TIP: If you have mobility problems, ask your airline to arrange as much support as you need - a wheelchair, a golf-cart ride to the gate, a porter to push your luggage trolley, whatever. Make the most of their mobility support!

Heathrow's special needs page lists all the services available, and how to arrange for them.

Heathrow is the major international airport on the west side of London. Most flights from the US will land here.

Terminal 5 has just opened, and several of the long-haul flights operate out of this new facility.

Our event site is near the centre of the city, close to Bloomsbury.
The three Tube stops closest to the site are Goodge Street, Great Portland Street, and Warren Street.

So what's the best route from the airport to the site?

You have some options, depending on your mobility and your wallet. All the routes will be journeys of several stages, and will take about an hour, possibly more.

Cheap and cheerful, for people who can walk up to 15 mins comfortably:

  • From whichever terminal you land at, look for signs to 'Tube' or London Underground'.
  • Follow the signs to the nearest Heathrow Airport Tube station. There are now three of them, to serve the different terminals. However, the trains turn around at Heathrow, so at worst, you sit on the Tube for one extra stop before heading east into the city.
  • Take the Piccadilly line (ultramarine blue) to Leicester Square. Bring a book for this stretch of the Tube ride.
  • At Leicester Square, change to the Northern line (black) to Goodge Street.

From Goodge Street station, you're 10 minutes walk from the site. Take a look at the map (site circled) and where the Tube stations are.

For people willing to pay a bit more for a slightly shorter trip:

  • From Heathrow, look for signs for Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect trains. The Express is a non-stop to Paddington station, but costs the most, at about £1/minute of the trip. The Connect train is a stopping train, but ends up at Paddington station about 20 mins later. Personally, I'd vote for the Connect train!

From Paddington station, you have three choices:

  • Catch the Central Line (Yellow) to Great Portland Street, then walk or hire a cab from Great Portland Street. (The walk is listed as 14 minutes 'average' pace.) Take a look at the map (site circled) and where the Tube stations are. This route has stairs at both ends of the Tube.
  • Catch a 205 bus from outside Paddington station to Great Portland Street, then walk or hire a cab from Great Portland Street to the site. The bus for this route is a low-floor model that accommodates wheelchairs.
  • Catch a classic 'black' cab from Paddington. There's a taxi stand at one side of the station. Look for signs.

For people who want to avoid stairs (and can pay a bit more than the Tube fare):

  • From Heathrow, look for signs for Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect trains. The Express is a non-stop to Paddington station, but costs the most, at about £1/minute of the trip. The Connect train is a stopping train, but ends up at Paddington station about 20 mins later. Personally, I'd vote for the Connect train!

From Paddington station, you have two stair-free choices:

  • Catch a 205 bus from outside Paddington station to Great Portland Street, then walk or hire a cab from Great Portland Street to the site. The bus for this route is a low-floor model that accommodates wheelchairs.
  • Catch a classic 'black' cab from Paddington. There's a taxi stand at one side of the station. Look for signs.

For people who want to avoid all public transport completely:

You can catch a 'black' cab from Heathrow. However, the fare is likely to exceed £40, which is a big hit on the wallet.

Important note about fares on the Tube and buses

If possible, get an Oyster card (the electronic pass that allows you to 'pay as you go') at Heathrow. You can buy them from the automated machines, or from the ticket window.

Oyster is by far the cheapest and easiest way to get around London on public transport, saving you messing about with individual tickets, or worrying about what zone you're in, or handling cash fares (which have doubled, to encourage Oyster card use!).

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