London is served by no less than 6 airports, which makes accessing all that the capital has to offer an easy process. Stansted Airport, found 40 miles to the northeast of London, serves more European routes than any other UK airport via airlines like easyJet and Ryanair, as well as domestic and global routes. It’s an extremely popular route for those wishing to visit London from Europe, especially via low-cost airlines, and that is backed up by regular transport links to and from the capital.
Your travel options
Stansted Airport has great rail and bus connections to central London, meaning you can be exploring the capital in under an hour. The Stansted Express serves Liverpool Street station and takes around 50 minutes. Most services, but not all, stop at Tottenham Hale too, providing access to the Victoria Line on the underground network. Several bus services run from the airport’s bus terminal to London’s main hubs including Kings Cross, Victoria, Paddington, Waterloo and Liverpool Street. From any of these locations, you have easy access to the capital’s wealth of attractions.
What you can do
Once you arrive in London having journeyed from Stansted Airport, the majority of the capital’s top attractions, museums and shops can be easily reached. Either top up an Oyster card, use a contactless payment card or purchase a travel card for London Underground at the main terminal stations to start exploring.
1. Tower Bridge
Be engrossed in the spectacular architecture and engineering of one of London’s most iconic sights – the incredible Tower Bridge. Enjoy stunning panoramic views from the walkways and step on the glass floor to gaze down on life in the capital below. A visit to the bridge can transport you back to the Victorian era, as you can gaze over the impressive engine rooms, beautifully maintained from a time when coal power helped to raise the bridge’s vast decks
2. Tate Modern and Tate Britain
The home of modern and contemporary art, the Tate Modern is crammed full of masterpieces from some of the world’s best known artists, as well as permanent and temporary exhibitions. Meanwhile, Tate Britain tells the story of British art from 1500 to the present day, and includes the Turner Collection and a specialist exhibition on Van Gogh and Britain which runs until mid-August 2019. Combined, the collection features more than 78,000 artworks by 4,000 artists from different artistic movements, styles and techniques.
3. Covent Garden and the London Transport Museum
Renowned for its beauty shops and high-end fashion, Covent Garden is also home to an abundance of award-winning restaurants and theatres. You’ll also find the London Transport Museum among the cobbled streets, which explores the key role that transport has played in shaping the London that we know today.
4. Tower of London
Visit the capital’s iconic Tower of London and take in 1,000 years of history at the World Heritage Site. Having served as a fortress, palace and infamous prison throughout its time, the Tower is still home to the Crown Jewels and remains steeped in tradition. Explore during a Yeoman Warder tour, meet the famed ravens and get hands-on in the armoury.
5. Brick Lane
Home to an array of authentic curry houses, as well as galleries, vintage clothing shops and stylish boutiques, Brick Lane is popular with people of all ages. The Old Truman Brewery hosts regular market sessions and festivals, where pop-up stalls sell everything from clothes and jewellery to handbags and art. The area is especially famous for its eclectic mix of eye-catching street art, which includes Banksy among its contributors.
6. ArcellorMital Orbit
Found in the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the ArcellorMital Orbit is the UK’s tallest sculpture and houses the world’s longest tunnel slide! Enjoy breath-taking views of the capital as you slide your way down 178 metres, taking in 12 twists and turns along the way, or just climb to the top to admire the scenery of the former Olympic site.
7. St Paul’s Cathedral
The dome of St Paul’s Cathedral forms a key part of London’s skyline and its upper galleries provide exceptional views of the capital. The masterpiece of Britain’s most famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren, the magnificent cathedral can be toured using multimedia guides or with an expert guide. To enjoy the scenery, climb 257 steps to the internal Whispering Gallery, before another 119 take you to the Stone Gallery and a further 152 to the Golden Gallery.
8. Nearer to the airport
See hundreds of historical aircraft and other aviation objects at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, just outside Cambridge or visit the House on the Hill Toy Museum, a collection of more than 70,000 toys and games from the last 200 years. It’s adjacent to the Mountfitchet Castle and Norman Village, an immersive open-air museum experience where you can see what life was like in a Norman Motte and Bailey castle.