Travel from Heathrow to Chelmsford with public transport, using the train and tube

Changing from Tube to Rail at London Liverpool Street

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Public transport options - cheap and cheerful

Coming to London? Looking for a less expensive place to stay than pricey London? Want to be near the bicycle events in Hadleigh, Essex? Then Chelmsford, Essex is a perfect place to stay and here are instructions of how to travel with public transport from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Chelmsford, Essex. I live in Chelmsford and have made the below trip many times.

Your least expensive option is to take the Tube and regional train. If you buy your tickets in advace, a single will cost you £ 18.40. Check National Express for ticket prices, schedules and to purchase tickets in advance. Alternately, check out National Rail for tickets.

If you are looking for the least expensive option: do not take the Heathrow Express, be sure to get on the Tube instead at the airport.

1. From Heathrow go to 'The Tube' or the Underground station.

It is located on-site at the airport and there are signs to direct you there. It may be helpful to study the Tube map in advance. For general info about using the Tube, check out Transport for London's site.

2. Purchase your ticket if you have not already done so.

If you need to purchase at the airport you will need to type in the destination 'Chelmsford' to get your ticket.

3. Get on the Tube.

You will need to transfer from the Piccadilly Line (the dark blue line which goes from Heathrow) to London Liverpool Street (the Central Line, in red). It does not matter which route you take to London Liverpool Street, your ticket allows you travel/change at any stations. Two options:

  • If you are OK with stairs and carrying your luggage: From Heathrow Underground take the Piccadilly Line (Eastbound) to Holborn Underground Station. Change and take the Central Line (Eastbound, Platform 2) to Liverpool Street Underground Station.
  • If you want to avoid stairs/have lots of luggage: From Heathrow Underground take the Piccadilly Line (Eastbound) to Kings Cross St Pancras Underground Station. Change and take the Circle Line or the Hammersmith & City Line (Eastbound, Platform 2) to Liverpool Street Underground Station.

4.Transfer from the Tube to Rail network at London Liverpool Street.

Once at London Liverpool Street, exit the Tube area and enter the main hall. Next, search the large overhead board for the next train to Chelmsford, and for the track number. Purchase your ticket from the machines or the windows if you have not already done so via National Express or National Rail.

5. Exit the regional rail train at Chelmsford station.

The trip from Liverpool Street to Chelmsford should take between 37-45 minutes depending on the train.

Total travel time should be just under 2 hours. If you are travelling very early or late, if may take a little longer if you have wait time for the Tube/trains.

Some tips:

  • Beware of leaving Heathrow from 06.30-8.00 as it will put you into Central London during rush hour. Not an issue, but it may be difficult to navigate or to board busy Tubes with luggage.
  • Be sure to check the first/last trains on National Express, or to see if there are any railworks during your trip. Also useful to check the Tube site for any service updates or to see if any strikes are planned.

Any questions? Please ask.

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Train from London Liverpool Street arriving at Chelmsford Station
Train from London Liverpool Street arriving at Chelmsford Station | Source

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Comments 3 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Super guidelines for novices--thanks for posting this info on public transport from Heathrow to Chelmsford! Interesting to learn about even if not going to the Olympics. Voted up.


uk_american profile image

uk_american 4 years ago Author

Thank you for the kind words and encouragement.


confused 17 months ago

I cant seems to find a good place to buy a ticket, any recommendations ? Also is there a week long commuter pass from chelmsford to london?

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