No question about it, London’s Kensington and Chelsea area is a fantastic part of town to make your base for a visit to the so-called Big Smoke but, should you be travelling from overseas, it’s important to factor in how you’re going to get to the district from one of the airports that serves the capital…
To and from Heathrow Airport
For those coming to accommodation in Chelsea London, you may like the idea of starting out how you mean to go on in this most salubrious of areas in the capital. To wit, the swiftest, most sophisticated and easiest way to get from London’s biggest airport, Heathrow, to the area is via the non-stop train service called Heathrow Express. It takes around 15 minutes from the ‘Heathrow Central’ station (and 21 minutes from the airport’s Terminal 5 stop) to the Paddington mainline station, located just a mile or so north of Kensington and Chelsea. From here, pop on the Circle Line to one of the following London Underground (LU) stops – Notting Hill Gate, High Street Kensington, Gloucester Road, South Kensington or Sloane Square.
Alternatively, you can save lots of dough by doing the journey entirely by Tube – although it’ll probably take you at least an hour. The Piccadilly Line serves all four of Heathrow’s Tube stops and, in Central London, serves the LU stations Earls Court, Gloucester Road, South Kensington and Knightsbridge. Or you might choose a coach service, which may well prove to be less cramped; operated by National Express, it’ll run you over to Earls Court in about 45 minutes.
Or, for sheer luxury, why not simply take a black cab? There’ll be one you can hail right outside the airport and the fare’ll likely cost around £50; be warned, though, the journey time’ll be at the mercy of road traffic.
To and from Gatwick Airport
Like travelling to and from Heathrow, for Gatwick your quickest option is the Gatwick Express train route, which deposits you to or from the airport via Victoria mainline train station (in about 30-35 minutes). From this station, you can descend into the Tube and, taking the Circle or District Line, arrive quickly at Sloane Square, South Kensington, Gloucester Road, Earls Court, High Street Kensington or Notting Hill Gate. However, a more cost-effective option to and from Gatwick is the Easybus minibus service, which drops on and off at West Brompton Tube station (not far at all from Earls Court, so just a short hop on the Tube away from the centre of Chelsea and boutique accommodation like the hotel San Domenico House).
To and from London Stansted Airport
Further away from the centre of the city than the other ‘London airports’ it may be, but the Essex-located Stansted remains a very busy and popular airport for the capital. And that means, irrespective of the distance, it’s just as well served by transport options. Again, the fastest means into and out of Central London is the ‘express’ train route – Stansted Express – which runs to the City of London’s Liverpool Street Station. From here, via the Tube, you can reach the Kensington and Chelsea-located LU stops that are Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park (Central Line) in 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can miss out Liverpool Street Station (which gets über-busy at ‘rush hour’) by getting off the Stansted Express at Tottenham Hale railway station and, here, getting on the LU’s Victoria Line for Green Park, then (changing here for the Piccadilly Line) going on to South Kensington, Gloucester Road or Earls Court. Easy-peasy.