It’s easy to get to and from many of the UK’s leading airports by train, find out here.
It’s easy to get to and from many of the UK’s leading airports by train. So leave the car at home, forget about parking charges, check in and take off. This pocket guide to rail connections from UK airports covers the majority of the main international gateways outside London.
No direct rail connections are available at East Midlands Airport, Glasgow International Airport or Edinburgh Airport, where local bus services operate instead.
The main station at Heathrow Airport - Heathrow Central - is served by two train services: Heathrow Express, a direct non-stop service between Heathrow Airport and London Paddington Station, and Heathrow Connect, a local service with more regular stops in west London en route to London Paddington.
The airport is also served by the London Underground Piccadilly Line, which has dedicated stations at Terminals 1 2 3, Terminal 4 and Terminal 5.
The main station at Gatwick Airport connects directly with the South Terminal and is served by a range of train operators including Gatwick Express, which runs non-stop services to and from London Victoria every 15 minutes. The journey takes roughly 30 minutes. First Great Western, Southern and First Capital Connect also operate services to and from Gatwick.
If you need to get to the North Terminal, you can catch a free shuttle service from the South Terminal.
The railway station at Stansted Airport is below the terminal building – and regular services link the airport with central and east London, eastern England and the Midlands. Stansted Express operates direct, express services to and from London Liverpool Street every 15 minutes. The journey takes an average of 46 minutes. National Express East Anglia and CrossCountry trains also operate services at Stansted Airport.
Although Luton Airport doesn’t have an on-site station, a shuttle bus operates to and from Luton Airport Parkway Station, just 5 minutes from the terminal. The service runs every ten minutes between 05:00 and midnight and also connects with trains overnight.
First Capital Connect operates a service between London and Luton Airport Parkway station in around 25 minutes. The service continues to Brighton (to the south of London) and Bedford (to the north of Luton). East Midlands Trains also operates services from Luton, and an express coach link connects Luton Airport with Milton Keynes station for Virgin Trains services.
Birmingham International Station serves the airport and NEC, and is connected to the terminal via a free Air-Rail Link monorail. Trains run regularly from Birmingham International to Birmingham New Street, and further afield on Virgin WestCoast, CrossCountry, London Midland and Arriva Trains Wales.
The Station, Manchester Airport’s own transport hub, offers fast and frequent train services from TransPennine Express and Northern Rail, linking the airport with over 100 destinations across the North of England and beyond.
Services operate round-the-clock.
Glasgow Prestwick is the only airport in Scotland served by its own railway station, which is linked to the terminal by a covered walkway. A regular service links the airport with Glasgow city centre every 30 minutes, with a journey time of 50 minutes. Services do not run 24 hours a day.
Southampton Airport has one of the fastest plane-to-train connections in Europe: it takes just 60 seconds to walk to the terminal from the airport station. South West Trains and CrossCountry both operate regular services to and from the airport.