London: Getting to London - By Plane, Rail and Ship

Getting to London

Photo: ShutterStock
Before you begin to explore the city, you must first get here.

This section covers all your options on how to reach England’s capital.

Flying to London

As the UK is a fairly isolated island, most visitors who arrive in London do so by plane. The airports in London when combined make up the largest city airport system in the world, carrying the highest number of passengers. When flying into London, there are five main airports to consider.  These are listed in size, with the largest first.

Rail / Trains to London

You can also reach London by rail from across the country but also from all across Europe. Your options are:

Ferry Services to London

Ferry services are available into ports around the UK, with several locations a short drive from London. These ferries carry your vehicle, as well as passengers, between the UK and the rest of Europe. Many coach companies also use the Ferry services to access the UK on excursions between London and Continental Europe. You may also be arriving into a port where large cruise ships dock such as Portsmouth or Southampton.

Calais (France) to Dover (England) is the shortest ferry trip at just 90 minutes. Dunkirk (France) to Dover is another option – this trip is about 2 hours.

Ferries between France and Spain, arriving into the UK ports of Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth are also available. These are longer journeys ranging from 6 hours to an overnight trip with a sleeping cabin on-board. 

Finally, ferry crossings from Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Esbjerg (Denmark) are also available. Rotterdam is a 6-hour crossing, and Esbjerg is an 18-hour crossing.

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