London Stansted is one of six main airports with the prefix “London,” the others being Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, London City Airport and Southend. Apart from London City Airport, all of them are located outside central London and a few can’t really be said to be in London at all. Stansted is one of these and is located north of the city, on the way to Cambridge. When planning on how to get there you have a few options – your best will depend on where you are staying, how much time you have, the convenience of the different stations and cost.
Drive. If driving from London, make your way to the M11, which leads northwards from the city. If you are coming from the west, east or south of the city, this will mean finding the M25 and proceeding northwards until junction 27. Then go north on the M11 until junction 8 when you must turn off and follow signs the short distance to the airport. If driving from Cambridge or elsewhere from the north or in East Anglia, join the M11, head south towards London and take junction 8a. Choose short, medium or long stay car parking, the drop off point or follow signs for car rental returns. If using satellite navigation, use the post code CM24 1RW.
Get a train. From London, take the Underground to Liverpool Street or Tottenham Hale stations and get on the Stansted Express, which takes 47 minutes or 36 minutes respectively and leaves every 15 minutes between around 4am and 11pm. The Express costs around £23 for a single. If travelling from the north and east, take a train from your local station to Audley End, Cambridge, Ely, Peterborough, Leicester or Birmingham – all of which run direct to Stansted.
Take a bus or coach. If travelling from London, take a bus from one of many providers from Liverpool Street, Stratford, Victoria or Baker Street from between £2 and £10. The journey takes anything from 40 minutes to an hour and a half. Alternatively, take a National Express coach from Thetford, Cambridge, Norwich, Oxford, Nottingham, Leicester, Luton, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Coventry, Heathrow, Gatwick, Brighton, Ipswich, Colchester, Hemel Hempstead or High Wycombe. Take a local bus from a wide number of towns and villages in East Anglia.
Take a taxi with three others from central London for around £100, but make sure you agree the price before setting off. If you are feeling brave you can cycle to the airport and there are free bike shelters available. You can also take some bikes on trains, buses and planes.
Work out your route and leave in plenty of time, especially if travelling at peak times.
Make sure you are aware of any industrial action that may effect public transport schedules.