Travelling to London

On this page we’ve included links to a number of major airlines, as well as Eurostar trains and Eurotunnel if you’re planning to arrive by car. With bookings still down on last year, there are some great reductions around at the moment, especially if you can be flexible about the date of travel to London.

Travelling around

Against the details of every shopping centre, market and hotel on the shopping map you’ll find the name of the nearest Tube, Docklands Light Railway or regular railway station.

Unless your hotel is a long way from London, the easiest way to travel is by London Underground. The system is extensive and the tube trains frequent, so you shouldn’t need a car. The cheapest and most practical way to pay is by Oyster Card. There is a small charge for the card itself, after which you add some credit (by card or cash) and then top up whenever you need to. Remember to touch in and touch out against the yellow disks at every entry and exit point, or you may have to pay a penalty fare.

"The trains are a bit cramped, but you can travel a long way", Christelle, south of France

Generally speaking, regular trains are less frequent than the tube and at the time of writing, most of them cannot accept Oyster cards.

While the system is normally reliable, the London Underground network is almost 150 years old and things can go spectacularly wrong. Like the little girl in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, "When she was bad, she was horrid". In other words, if you have a plane to catch or an urgent appointment with the summer sales, make sure you allow plenty of extra time.

If your accommodation is a long way out of London and you are travelling with at least one other person, regular train fares will be quite expensive (though there are discounted fares outside the rush hour). It might be cheaper to hire a car on the days you want to visit the capital. However, you will still need to find somewhere to park the car. As part of their attempts to attract visitors, some London shopping centres, such as Westfield, are offering a couple of hours of free parking. The large out-of-town centres, Brent Cross, Lakeside and Bluewater offer thousands of free parking spaces all day long.