|Most popular in||December||High demand for flights, 1% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||January||Best time to find cheap flights, 3% potential price drop|
|Average price||C$ 661||Price for this month|
|Cheapest price||C$ 569||From Toronto to London|
C$ 695 - C$ 1211
9 - 23 °C
35 - 71 mm
When to fly to London
Summer is the most popular time to visit. The weather is generally good (apart from the odd rain shower) and the parks and gardens are in full bloom. Events, Wimbledon for example, and cultural festivals generally take place during this time too. Spring and fall are also good times to seek cheap flights to London, the days are still long and temperatures mild.
Winter bites in January and February. The weather is grey and cold. Despite this, it can still be a good time to search for London flights. Museums and galleries are less crowded and London can be very atmospheric in wintertime.
Millions of tourists take cheap flights to London each year. It’s a world city, a leading light where new fashion trends emerge, bands try out, and money men in the “City” wheel and deal. It’s also where street traders wheel and deal. London is renowned for its markets – from Columbia Road Flower Market to fashionable Portobello, foodie heaven Borough Market to funky Camden and, perhaps most famous of all, Covent Garden.
Its startlingly modern architecture stands beside medieval churches. Broad thoroughfares give way to dark alleys. The Thames sweeps through London, having carried kings and queens and exotic cargo from far-off lands in the past and, today, visitors seeing the sights on tourist boats.
The palaces of London – Buckingham, Kensington, Hampton Court and Kew – all in beautiful parkland settings, stand majestic, a far cry from the tower blocks of trendy Hoxton or reemerging (for the 2012 Olympics) East London.
The museums (mostly all with free admission), galleries stuffed with the best traditional and modern art, world-famous landmarks such as the London Eye, Big Ben and Houses of Parliament, and the vibrant street life all promise an unforgettable vacation.
Flights to London from cities in Canada range from about 6.5h-14h. If you’re departing from one of the international airports in the western provinces, such as from Toronto Pearson, you can expect your flight to be on the shorter end of the spectrum, while those flying out of Vancouver or Calgary can expect a lengthier flight. Flight times also depend on the time of year, if you’re making any stopovers and the length of each stopover.
You can book direct flights to London from various cities across Canada, which are serviced by several airlines. From Ottawa, there are about four direct flights to London available daily, while Toronto services about 50 direct flights to London each day. Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal all offer more than one dozen direct flights to London daily. When looking for direct flights to London, consider your departure city as well as the airlines that provide direct London flights, namely Air Canada, WestJet, and British Airways.
When you’re flying into London from Canada, you’ll alight in one of two of its international airports – Heathrow or Gatwick. Heathrow is closer to London city centre at about 25 km southwest of the city, while Gatwick is about 82.5km south of London. Both airports offer efficient and affordable means of reaching London city centre.
You can take high-speed rails from either airport to a couple of London’s major tube stations. Heathrow Express departs from the airport every 15 minutes and takes just 15 minutes to arrive at Paddington Station. It will cost you about C$40 for peak and off-peak express journeys per adult. Gatwick Express departs every 15 minutes from the airport to Victoria Station, with a journey time of half an hour. It costs about C$30 for a single, standard ticket.
Taxis are also available outside the terminals of both airports. From Heathrow, the cost is about C$73-114, and it will take about one hour. From Gatwick, the distance means it will cost significantly more and take longer. Both airports also offer coach rides, while Heathrow is also connected to London via the underground system, for a more affordable solution that will take you via the Piccadilly Line in about an hour, for only a few dollars.
If you love history, you’ll love London. Visit the Tower of London and explore its medieval dungeons and glimpse the stunning crown jewels. Royal watchers must stop by Buckingham Palace to view a changing of the guards’ ceremony. Nature lovers will be thrilled by London’s vast green spaces – Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Regents Park, Hampstead Heath, and Kew Gardens are all easily accessible and sure to inspire tranquility.
Canadian citizens do need a valid passport to enter the UK, although you do need a visa if you’re staying for under 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
While London gets its fair share of grey skies, it rains less in the South East than it does in the rest of Great Britain. Spring weather (March to May) can be unpredictable with sun, rain and cloud. Average temperatures hover between 11 and 15 degrees (51-59 degrees Fahrenheit). Summers (June to August) are warm with average temperatures of about 20 degrees (68F) that can sometimes soar to 37 degrees (98F). Fall (September to November) weather is like spring weather, unpredictable. Winters (December to February) are generally mild if damp. Snow and freezing temperatures are rare in London.
Don’t worry about getting around town after your cheap flight to London. There are tons of options, the best being the Tube. London’s underground system is the fastest and easiest way to get around. Like subways in many large cities, the underground is packed during rush hour, so avoid it.
London’s iconic double-decker red buses are slower, but they can be found everywhere and won’t be as crowded. Look into getting an Oyster card or Travelcard for travelling on London’s public transportation systems – it will save you money. You can find them at tube stops or newsagents.
Black cabs are everywhere and very comfortable, but very expensive. Minicabs are a cheaper taxi option, but you have to order them ahead of time. Watch out for illegal minicabs that troll the theatres and nightspots. They might seem like the only late-night option, but single women or those unfamiliar with the area should and find a different way to stay safe.
London is a big city, but many of the tourist attractions are within walking distance or along the river Thames. Take advantage of a sunny day by walking or taking a riverboat. Driving is not recommended, as parking is near impossible to find and a Congestion Charge will cost you extra when driving into the city’s centre Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm. Rent a car only if you’d like to head out into the country. You will need to be over 25 and have a license and a credit card.
For more information you can visit www.tfl.gov.uk.