getting from here to there

We love it when city attractions also happen to be completely functional.  And as one of the world’s most famous underground transportation systems, London’s “Tube” is bound to be on your list of things to experience while visiting.  Happily, if you’ve just landed at Heathrow, that “Underground” checkbox will get ticked a lot sooner than you might expect.  Tube service from Heathrow is truly your best way to reach Central London, and available in a duo of options that are bound to keep costs to a minimum, or at the very least, your headache.

Though Heathrow is the closest of four airports serving London, travel on the Piccadilly Line will still take about one hour from here to pretty much anywhere in London.  Still, at only about £4.00 (about $6.25 USD), the price is hard to beat.  (Set of Drifters tip:  You must first change your money over to British currency before buying your fare from electronic kiosks.  And you may want to consider an Oyster Card, particularly if you are staying in town for more than a couple days and plan on using the Underground often.  Though it costs an additional £3.00 upfront, the electronic Oyster Card offers you discounts on every trip thereafter, depending on peak hour status.)

Another option from Heathrow is the Express train to Paddington Station.  This trek will get you into Central London in only 15 minutes (!), though it sets you back a whopping £20.00 (about $30.50 USD), or £34.00 roundtrip ($52 USD).  Keep in mind, depending on your accommodation, you may still have to transfer to other points beyond Paddington.  Naturally, taxi cabs are always an option - though expect to pay at least  £40.00 one-way from Heathrow (about $61 USD) - a bit too steep for us!  We recommend saving your taxi cab experience for in-town treks.  London’s traditional “hackneys” are quite prevalent throughout Central London.  Look to make sure they have a yellow light on the top and do NOT accept rides from blokes in regular, unmarked cars.  (Our favored cab vendor is Addison Lee, with which we have rarely had a bad experience.)

If flying in or out of London from/ to other European destinations, there is a decent possibility that you’ll be using Gatwick (to the south), Luton (to the north) or Stansted (to the northeast).  Train connection is available to London from these airports via ThamesLink or National Rail; just make sure you plan your trip, and timing, well ahead.  London connection hubs include King’s Cross/ St. Pancras and Waterloo.  The former also allows access to the Eurostar, arguably one of the easiest ways to travel further afoot to Paris, Lille or Brussels.  (The trek to or from France’s “City of Lights” takes only about 2 ½ hours, and at a cost of only about $120 roundtrip!  Sounds good to us!)

Of course, no mention of London’s transportation can be made without a nod to its famous red Routemaster double-decker buses.  Though in recent decades, they seemed to be harder and harder to spot, a new fleet recently emerged just in time of the 2012 Summer Olympics.  Set of Drifters Doug certainly recommends at least one trip on these beauties.  Transport for London offers bus and tram service as part of the Oyster Card package, and you can check their website, or Twitter feed, for more information.  Set of Drifters video:  Check out our YouTube Channel for video featuring some of London's most popular transportation options!

London Underground (aka “The Tube”) - http://www.tfl.gov.uk/modalpages/2625.aspx

London Taxi History - http://www.lvta.co.uk/history.htm

Addison Lee Minicabs - http://www.addisonlee.com/

National Rail - http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/wat/details.html

ThamesLink - http://www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk/about

Eurostar - http://www.eurostar.com/

TfL Buses and Trams - http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14415.aspx