As many seasoned travellers now know, when an airport is named after a city it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s very close to its namesake. London City is the nearest airport to the English capital and that is still 10 miles (16km) east of central London. The other London airports, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton are considerably further afield but there are ways to get there, even for flights leaving at an ungodly hour in the morning.
Direct tube travel into central London is only an option from London City and Heathrow airports. Luton, Stansted and Gatwick are not served by the London underground system.
From London City, take the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) from the aptly named zone 3 station ‘London City Airport’ to Bank station for connections to multiple underground lines or it’s three short stops to Canning Town station, an interchange to the Jubilee line. In the run up to the 2012 Olympic games many tube lines and stations are undergoing renovations and may be closed at the weekends so check ahead on the Transport for London website for updates.
Heathrow is connected to central London by the Piccadilly line. All 5 terminals are located in zone 6 and travel time to central London is around 45 minutes to an hour. Without an Oyster card, a one-way ticket is £4. It is definitely worth the investment as with it, the fare drops to £3.80 at peak times and to £2.20 at off-peak times and weekends. Oyster cards can be purchased upon arrival or online at the Visit London and Visit Britain DIrect websites.