Hotels and B&Bs near the London Airports
When you arrive in England, after flying from North America, you may want to spend your first couple of nights somewhere close to the airport so you don't have to a long drive on arrival.
Most flights going back to North America leave in the morning, so you may want to spend your last night near the airport.
There are lots of airport hotels to choose from, but you can find something more interesting in towns near the airport. Or you can stay in London.
Spending a few nights somewhere near the airport makes your travel easier and gives you the chance to explore a different area. We have linked to our affiliate Booking.com for England hotels.
There are four airports for London: Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted (more details below). See our London Airports Google Map.
Stay in London
London: Find Hotels in London
London is the obvious destination on arrival or before departure. All London airports have express trains to London. If staying in London on arrival, instead of picking up your rental car in London, take the train to Oxford and get your car there. Trains to Oxford run frequently from Paddington Station. If staying in London before departing, to avoid driving into London, you could drop your car off in a town with frequent direct trains to London (Oxford, Bath) or drop it off at Heathrow and take the Heathrow Express train to London.
Stay in Bath
Bath: Find Hotels in Bath
We like to spend a few nights in Bath when we arrive in England. We love Bath and it is close to the Cotswolds. We get a car service to meet us at the airport and drive us to Bath. You can also pickup your rental car at the airport and drive, or take public transportation to Bath (National Express bus or train). Bath is a good place to start your tour of the Cotswolds.
Driving times: Heathrow 1hr 45min, Gatwick 2hr 15min
Stay Near Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport, west of London (near the junction of the M25 ring road and the M4), is used by most major airlines.
Heathrow Airport: Find Hotels near Heathrow Airport
Windsor: Find Hotels in Windsor
The wonderful town of Windsor on the River Thames, home of the Royal family, is close to Heathrow and is a good place to stay when arriving or departing from Heathrow. It is a good sized town with lots of hotels, restaurants and shops.
Driving times: Heathrow 20min
Oxford: Find Hotels in Oxford
Oxford, a University town on the edge of the Cotswolds, on the River Thames, is close to Heathrow, Luton and Stansted. It is a great place to spend a few nights.
Driving times: Heathrow 1hr, Luton 1hr 10 min, Stansted 1hr 30min, Gatwick 1hr 26min
Salisbury: Find Hotels in Salisbury
We spent a week here on arrival and enjoyed having the time to explore this lovely town with its stunning cathedral, and the nearby area. It is near Stonehenge.
Driving times: Heathrow 1hr 30min, Gatwick 1hr 45min
Stay Near Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport, south of London (south of the M25 ring road), is used by most major airlines.
Gatwick Airport: Find Hotels near Gatwick Airport
The towns of Horley (to the north) and Crawley (to the south) are good places to stay near Gatwick. We spent our last night in a Country House on the edge of Horley and felt like we were in the peaceful countryside, but were only 10 minutes from the airport. We were able to do our check in, with luggage, the night before, to avoid the morning crowds.
Brighton: Find Hotels in Brighton
Brighton, south of Gatwick airport on the coast, is a good place to stay on arrival or before departing. It is a lively seaside town with lots of restaurants, shops and hotels. You can get a train from Gatwick to Brighton or do the short drive.
Driving times: Gatwick 40min
Stay Near Luton or Stansted Airport
Luton Airport (on the M1) and Stansted Airport (on the M11 to Cambridge) are both located north of London. Most major airlines use Heathrow and Gatwick, but many of the discount airlines (Ryanair, EasyJet) use Stansted and Luton.
Stansted Airport: Find Hotels near Stansted Airport
The business class airlines MaxJet and EOS used to fly from the US to Stansted, but both went out of business recently.
Luton Airport: Find Hotels near Luton Airport
The remaining business class airline, SilverJet, goes from the US to Luton.
Cambridge: Find Hotels in Cambridge
If you arrive or depart from Stansted or Luton, you could stay in nearby Cambridge, a charming University town with lots of hotels, restaurants and shops.
Driving times: Stansted 30min, Luton 1hr
Your budget and travel style dictates the type of hotel/B&B you are looking for. Prices are usually per room, per night and include all taxes, but always read the fine print in case the price per person, per night.
Check to see if breakfast is included and if it isn't, check the price per person (it can be shockingly high). Some places still offer the traditional English "fry up" (eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, and more fried things), but more places now have a continental style buffet. Check the details so you know what will be available and if it will be worth paying extra. Most market towns have tea rooms that serve a good and well priced breakfast.