Institute of Astronomy

Travel to Cambridge

There are various options to arrive into Cambridge by air, train, or by road, depending on your travel route.

Arriving by Air

Cambridge is accessible from the various London area airports as listed below. Please Note: You are welcome to make your own arrangements to travel between the airport and Cambridge. However, we can also arrange for you to be received/dropped at the airport by pre-booked taxis. If you prefer this option, please send your arrival and departure times and airport name at your earliest convenience to Adeline Nicol

London Stansted Airport

This is the closest major airport, about 25 miles (40 minutes by car) from Cambridge. It is well served by airlines flying to European destinations. For flight information contact the BAA Stansted website or contact the airlines directly.

Cambridge is within easy reach by rail, coach or taxi. The railway station is part of the terminal. The services to Cambridge are operated by Central Trains and take about 30 minutes. The service operates seven days a week, the first train departing at 05:51 (Monday to Sunday). The last direct train to Cambridge departs at 21:18 Monday to Saturday and 22:40 on Sundays.

There is also a good coach service (JetLink lines 757 or 797) which departs at 40 past the hour every 2 hours. The journey takes about 50 minutes. Tickets can be purchased from the coach ticket desk in the arrivals area of the terminal, on the coach or from the National Express web site

London Heathrow Airport

Many airlines fly to London Heathrow. There is a direct coach service to Cambridge (JetLink 797) which operates every 2 hours at 20 minutes to the hour and the journey takes 2 hours 20 minutes. National Express web site. Another coach (JetLink 787) departs at 20 past every 2 hours but the journey takes 20 minutes longer than the 797 service.

A fast train service, the Heathrow Express, connects the airport with London Paddington station. From there use the Underground to connect with rail or coach services listed above to reach Cambridge. The Circle and Hammersmith and City Lines operate between Paddington and Kings Cross.

Underground Trains

We suggest you take the Piccadilly line from Heathrow Airport to Kings Cross. Change to the main line Kings Cross station, from which fast trains depart to Cambridge Rail.


Black cabs outside the airport can be three times the price of a pre-booked taxi.

London Gatwick Airport

This airport is located to the south of London.

The Thameslink service (operated by First Captial Connect) from Gatwick Airport to St Pancras  is the most efficient way to reach the King's Cross mainline station (which is situated adjacent to St Pancras) and take the fast trains to Cambridge. The Gatwick Airport rail station is accessible from the South Terminal.


We do not recommend travelling from Gatwick to Cambridge by coach. The journey takes about 4 hours.


Black cabs outside the airport can be three times the price of a pre-booked taxi.

Luton Airport

Some budget airlines (e.g. EasyJet) use Luton airport, which is about 35 miles from Cambridge. No intercontinental flights operate from Luton. Contact the Luton Airport web site for a list of operating companies.

There is no efficient train connection from Luton airport to Cambridge, but there is a coach service (JetLink 787) once every two hours, departing just outside the terminal building. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach Cambridge.


Black cabs outside the airport can be three times the price of a pre-booked taxi.

London City Airport

The City airport is located very close to the centre of London. It serves major european cities. See the London City Airport web site for details. There is a shuttle bus from the airport that connects with the London Underground network.


Black cabs outside the airport can be three times the price of a pre-booked taxi.

Arriving by Rail

General information about UK train services is available at the National Rail Enquiries website. In general, trains are quicker but more expensive than coaches.

Stagecoach Cambus runs services between Cambridge rail station and the city centre, or take a taxi from the queue just outside the station.

There are regular train connections to Cambridge from London. Trains depart from King's Cross or Liverpool Street stations in London. The journey time of the faster King's Cross trains (Cambridge Cruiser trains) is about 45 minutes, while the other trains are slower and take around 70 minutes, or longer.

Maps of the London underground are available on the TFL website.


London can be reached from Paris or Brussels by the Eurostar train which uses the channel tunnel. You will arrive atLondon St Pancras International station. King's Cross station is next to St Pancras, so walk to King's Cross and catch a train from there to Cambridge (timetables).

Arriving by Coach Bus

There are frequent coach connections from the centre of London to Cambridge. These depart from Victoria coach station (near Victoria railway station) and take about 2 hours (more in peak hours). Coach tickets can be bought from the driver. Please note that delays are common because of heavy traffic in and around London.

The Cambridge coach station is close to the city centre and there is an adjacent taxi rank.

Long-distance coach services are run by JetLink and NationalExpress. A combined timetable can be found at the National Express website. Stagecoach Cambus runs services in Cambridge and to/from nearby villages and towns.

The University has compiled further information on local bus travel.

Page last updated: 30 June 2016 at 00:11