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Stansted airport is 62km north of London near Bishops Stortford. This makes getting to Stansted airport (STN) from London harder and more expensive than Heathrow. The 3rd biggest airport in the London area and 4th biggest in the UK, Stansted isn’t in the same league as Heathrow or Gatwick in the south. A more carbon-neutral and newer airport, Stansted caters for the low-cost carrier airlines and budget airlines and services mainly European destinations and other charter carriers. Rail, coach, taxi, and car/hire car are all options in getting to Stansted Airport from London itself. Check your options and find out how to book transport to Stansted Airport in our post.
Stansted Airport From London
How to get to Stansted airport from London? This post covers your options. If you have an early morning departure from Stansted it’s often better to book into an airport hotel at Stansted. Try the Holiday Inn Express at Stansted airport (click through to book), these are a good chain of airport hotels and provide breakfast and transfers to the airport itself from very early in the morning.
The shuttle bus from the Holiday Inn Express is a very good way to get to the airport and the ride is only about 5 mins. You can walk, we have walked it, but there is no need and it’s difficult to cross the many big roads and roundabouts between the Holiday Inn Express and Stansted Airport.
A continental breakfast is usually available from 4am, a hot breakfast from 6am. The food is good quality, we’ve used this chain recently and often. There is also a branch at London Heathrow that is actually connected to the terminal by a walkway. See that one here if you have a Stanstead to Heathrow connection.
Stansted airport does not have a London underground or tube connection, the airport is just over 60 Km (38 miles) north of the city.
Where is Stansted Airport on the map? We marked it for you right here.
Stanstead Airport By Train
Train connections are through the aptly named Stansted Express which leaves Liverpool street station in The City of London. This is the Financial district in the east of the city.
Running regularly and costing £19 one way or £32 return (at time of publication, please check) it is a direct route with wifi onboard as well as the usual food and drinks. It takes at least 50 minutes and can take over an hour.
If Liverpool street station is convenient for you then this would be your best option although as with most UK rail, not the cheapest option. The Stansted Express runs from early morning to late night it covers most arrivals/departures at the airport.
Stansted By Bus or Coach
The other popular way to get to Stansted is by bus/coach. Buses leave from the London Victoria area but as they head north have further pick-ups along the way, including Baker Street and Golders Green, these stops could save you coming into central London.
This option is much cheaper and if you’re really lucky you can purchase £10 one way journeys. If not they usually aren’t more than fifteen pounds. Numerous companies now run this service, including National Express at half-hour intervals during the day.
London Victoria bus (coach) station’s nearest tube station is Victoria station which is on the Victoria line and the District line and Circle line. This station a 300 metre walk from Victoria Coach Station which is where you’ll need to catch your coach to Stansted Airport. Always book these coach tickets in advance.
Stansted By Taxi or Mini Cab.
Getting a taxi/minicab or Uber to Stansted Airport from London is another option. If you have the Uber app on your phone, make sure you know how to use it and be ready with your credit card details installed. An Uber taxi is paid for via the app and you will not need cash. You don’t need cash if you choose to tip either, this is also electronic. Tipping is of course optional in the UK.
The cost of an Uber from Central London should be about 40 UK pounds. Beware additional drop off fees at London’s airports. We recently paid 80 Uk pounds from Stansted to London Heathrow. The drive time is about an hour, but road conditions and traffic can be unpredictable.
Getting a fixed rate will be best if you don’t want to catch a bus or train, particularly for small groups.
A London black cabs fare could be more than your plane ticket, stick to the cheaper minicabs. This isn’t the cheapest way to get to Stansted but will suit some people who are travelling together.
Stansted Airport Private Transfers
Numerous companies provide private transfers to London’s Stansted Airport. You can book a private one way transfer to Stansted Airport from Central London here.
Stanstead Airport By Car
Getting to Stansted by road isn’t as easy as for Gatwick and parking is less convenient and more expensive.
Of course, if you have a friend willing to drop you off, the drive (outside of London and outside peak hour) is quick enough. In regards to hire cars all the main agencies have offices at Stansted and you can both drop off and pick up. Just check those one way rental charges before you book.
If travelling by road to Stanstead, make sure you leave plenty of time especially over the weekend or peak hour, an unexpected accident could make you miss your flight.
To get to Stansted from London you will need to take the M11 motorway from east London. If you’re in south London it may be a good idea to use the M25 to join the M11 and central London traffic can be troublesome.
I first flew out of Stansted back in ’98 and it has certainly changed in that time. It’s a new airport and is pleasant enough to spend a few hours waiting for your flight. My wife flew out of Stansted recently and had nothing but good things to say, the whole check in, security and passports process flowed really well and there were plenty of food options and places with wifi to sit.