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Heathrow Airport (LHR)

BEST WAY DOWNTOWN: High-speed train

Heathrow is located 16 miles (25 km) west of the center of London. There is a tourist board counter in the arrivals halls of all four terminals.

London's famous Black Cabs are available outside all terminals. If you have excess luggage, this is the way to go. The trip to central London will set you back about £35 ($58) and take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour depending on the traffic.

A less expensive option is a mini-cab. Mini-cabs are different than Black Cabs in that they cannot be flagged down on the street. To arrange for one, you might try calling information from the airport and asking for the number of a mini-cab company. They will cost you from £25 to £35.

The Heathrow Express train, completed in 1998, is a non-stop rail service between Heathrow Airport and Paddington Station. The trip lasts 15 minutes and leaves every 15 minutes from all Heathrow terminals and platforms 6 & 7 at Paddington. Passengers travelling to Paddington can connect to four underground lines as well as BritRail, the commuter rail service for points outside London.

Over 25 airlines offer check-in at Paddington Station. Conveniently, there is also full baggage check-in, allowing customers to check their bags to their flights before boarding the train. Fares are £12 each way for Express Class and £33 each way for First Class. Children ages 5-15 ride for free when accompanied by an adult.

Follow the signs to the Underground (usually called the "Tube") station that serves all 4 Heathrow terminals. This is the Piccadilly line to central London where you can transfer to other lines. You can use a baggage trolley for your luggage up to the entryway to the trains, but from there you will have to carry your bags. At peak times the trains run every 4 minutes, and every 10 minutes at other times. They operate from 6 A.M. to midnight and the trip takes 50-60 minutes.

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All the major car rental firms have counters at Heathrow Airport. If you plan to travel outside the downtown area, a rental car is highly recommended.

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