Just 30 miles to the north of London is Luton airport, providing an abundance of short-haul routes to and from 70 destinations across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa with airlines including easyJet, Ryanair and Vueling. The airport is a quieter alternative to travelling into London Heathrow or London Gatwick, while travel into central London is a simple trip via a train or bus.
Your travel options
Frequent direct train services run from Luton Airport Parkway – a short shuttle bus journey from the airport terminal – to Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon and St Pancras International in the capital. A number of buses also run to locations across the capital, taking between 60 and 80 minutes depending on where you are travelling to.
What you can do
If you’re journeying into London having arrived at Luton Airport, discovering the capital’s vast entertainment and attraction offering is simple. With a travel card, Oyster card or contactless payment card, you can use the city’s public transport network to get wherever you need to go.
With its spectacular architecture and stunning historical collections, the British Museum provides a unique insight into history. Since being founded in 1753, its collection has expanded dramatically to take in millions of items, of which only a handful are displayed at any one time. Bask in the glory of the Great Court and its spectacular dome before exploring the 4 wings of the museum that house galleries with exhibits on Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, as well as Africa, the Middle East and Asia, among others.
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.
Stand shoulder to shoulder with the Royals, bask in the shadow of your favourite celebrities and immerse yourself in the Star Wars experience at Madame Tussauds London. With more than 250 lifelike wax figures of famous people from the world of sport, film, music and more, the attraction on Baker Street allows you to rub shoulders with the stars.
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 on a Yeoman Warder tour, meet the famed ravens and get hands-on in the armoury.
Views of London don’t get much better than from the top of the London Eye. The giant 135-metre-high cantilevered observation wheel is the largest of its type in the world and is an eye-catching part of the London skyline. In clear weather you can see more than 20 miles, meaning you can spot many of London’s famous sights.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you love wildlife, Woodside Animal Farm is a short distance from the airport and allows people of all ages to get hands-on with an array of different animals. If you intend to hire a car, both ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and Woburn Safari Park and Gardens can be reached from Luton Airport within 30 minutes. Both have safari tracks to explore by car, alongside numerous other species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. You could also hop on a bus to Watford Junction from the airport to discover the magical world of Harry Potter as part of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, which provides an in-depth look at how the wizarding films were made.