Flying to the UK (and reaching Oxford) from abroad

If you are flying to the UK from another country, you may want to arrive at London Heathrow airport, which is the closest to Oxford (45-50 minutes by coach). Depending on the air company of your choice, alternative airports are London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, London City and – in some cases – even Birmingham and Bristol.

London Heathrow airport

The Airline coach service runs from Heathrow airport Central Bus Station (Stand 15), close to Terminals 1, 2 and 3; and from Terminal 5 (Stand 10 at the Arrival concourse) (period return ticket £30).

If landing at Terminal 4, you will need to reach Terminal 5 by bus (482 or 490 from T4 Arrival concourse, travel time 10 minutes) or Central Bus Station at Terminals 1, 2 and 3 (via the Heathrow Express train, travel time 10 minutes).

The Airline coach runs every 20-30 mins from about 6am until 10pm, and every 1-2 hours through the night. It takes between 50 to 60 minutes (from Terminal 5) to reach Oxford (depending on traffic); a little longer from Central Bus Station (Terminals 1, 2 and 3). The route ends at the Coach Station in Oxford city centre; however, if you are alighting at Oxford Brookes University, you must get off much earlier – the driver calls all the stops in advance. Check The Airline website for fares, timetables, payment options (e.g. cash to driver, online booking).

London Gatwick airport

The Airline coach runs from South Terminal Lower Forecourt (Stands 1&2) and from North Terminal Lower Forecourt (Stands 4&5) at Gatwick airport (period return ticket £37).

It runs every hour from about 7am to 11pm, and every 2 hours through the night. It takes about 100 minutes to 2 and a half hours to reach Oxford, depending on traffic. Check The Airline website for fares, timetables, payment options (i.e. cash to driver, online booking).

London Luton and Stansted airports

The National Express 757 coach runs from Stansted and Luton airports approximately every 20-60 minutes depending on the time of day (return tickets from £24).

Please be aware that Stansted airport in particular is quite far from Oxford and travelling by coach from there can take you up to 4 and a half hours as it makes several stops along the way. Travel time from Luton is around 2 hours.

An alternative route – albeit one that requires changing various means of transportation – is to reach London via the Stansted Express train, alight at Liverpool Street Station, take the Tube (i.e. the London Underground), and then the Oxford Tube coach service operated by Stagecoach (from Marble Arch) to Oxford, or a train from Paddington Rail Station (see below). From Stansted you can also take the National Express A7 coach service to Victoria Station in London, and then the Oxford Tube coach service from there to Oxford (return ticket from £24). Without traffic, these combined routes may save you about one hour.

For more information on either service please visit:

Birmingham airport

Virgin trains to Oxford run from Birmingham International station (connected to the airport by the free Air-Rail Link) every 30 mins from about 7am to 11pm, and every two hours through the night. Travel time is about one hour. Return tickets cost around £40. For more information and timetables visit National Rail.

Taxis from airports

Taxis from all airports are available but tend to be very expensive and therefore we do not recommend them unless you have a specific requirement that makes it a better choice for you. Trips can normally be booked in advance and fares vary depending on the airport you land at, but normally range between £75 from Heathrow and £115 from Stansted. You should not accept a ride for anything more than that.

For contact details check individual airports’ websites or click here for Oxford-based taxi companies (note: some companies only operate within Oxford and surrounding areas so always check their websites in advance).

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