As Britain’s busiest airport, many travellers take the train to Heathrow Airport for domestic and international flights. This is much faster than taking the London Underground or bus from the centre of London.

Situated on the outskirts of London, Heathrow Airport’s train stations have good train links from the centre. From there CambridgeCanterburyOxfordBrighton and other cities and towns of South East England are within easy reach. London Heathrow Airport has three train stations which give easy access to all four of Heathrow’s active terminals (Terminal 1 has closed). There’s no need to take further shuttle buses from the train stations. Direct trains connect Heathrow Airport train stations to London: the service is called the Heathrow Express. They run every 15 minutes, seven days a week. The Elizabeth line also connects central London to Heathrow Airport.

Read on to learn more about buying train tickets, timetables and possible connections.

Getting to Heathrow Airport by train

Trainline allows you to book cheap train tickets to London Heathrow Airport from anywhere in the UK. This eliminates the need for airport parking and taxis, meaning more spare cash for your holiday. For the cheapest tickets, it’s a good idea to book well in advance of your journey. National Railcards will save you a further 1/3 off an adult’s journey, with 60% off for kids.

Heathrow Express train to Heathrow Airport from London Paddington stops at all three Heathrow airport train stations and takes 15 to 21 minutes, depending on the destination terminal. Trains run every 15 minutes, seven days a week from around 05:00 (06:00 on Sundays) to 23:30. Children under 15 can travel on Heathrow Express for free. The Elizabeth line (previously known as Heathrow Connect or TfL Rail) also runs from London Paddington to all three terminal stations, stopping in West London stations along the way.

All trains first stop at Heathrow Terminals 1-2-3 station. From there, you may have to change trains to get to Heathrow Terminal 4 or Heathrow Terminal 5 stations. Trains between the terminals are free of charge. Note: you can’t use Oyster travel cards on trains when getting the train to Heathrow Airport. However, you can save on fares by booking in advance with Trainline.

London Paddington has excellent train links with the rest of London, with direct trains from Oxford, Cardiff, Bristol Temple Meads, Plymouth, Bath Spa and many other stations. You can reach London Paddington using the London Underground from other London train stations. This makes it accessible from major UK cities.

Useful travel tips

We want to make travel easier for you, which is why we’ve compiled a selection of useful travel tips to help you on your way.

Off-peak fares

Learn more about peak and off-peak fares, and how they can affect the cost of your journey.

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Seat reservations

Need information about seating? Read our guide to find out more about what's available.


Planning to travel Europe by train soon? Read our handy guide on how to save with an Interrail Pass.

Things to do at Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport is the UK’s busiest airport, servicing around 75 million passengers every year. All four active terminals, therefore, have plenty of places to eat, drink and shop.

For shoppers, there’s also plenty of stores, such as: WHSmith, Boots, Monsoon and many more. There’s also a duty-free store after security in all terminals, containing spirits, confectionery, souvenirs, and many other products. Every terminal has a Caffe Nero and Costa Coffee, alongside a selection of eateries and bars. 

For the four terminals, the check-in and departure gates are located as follows: 

  • Terminal 2: check-in on level five, departure gates on level four
  • Terminal 3: check-in and departure gates on level one
  • Terminal 4: check-in and departure gates on level two
  • Terminal 5: check-in on level three, departure gates on level two

If you’re planning a holiday in Europe, then why not take the train for a memorable experience? You can use Trainline to book cheap fares to major European cities such as ParisAmsterdamMadridBrusselsBarcelona and Rome.