After an awesome but exhausting 8-day road trip around Ireland with Auto Europe Car Rentals I purposely booked a 12-hour Luton layover. Even though I could’ve booked a flight for the same price that would’ve meant sleeping in and a shorter connection I opted for the 8 AM flight out of Dublin with a London Luton layover. Why? I Love a good layover. I enjoy searching for what can be done in that bonus time and sharing it.
Here’s my 12-hour Luton layover itinerary, more than enough time to see a little London.
In This Post...
Ditch Those Bags
If you’re as daft as I am and checked a bag (I have seriously paid more for checked baggage than actual flights while in Europe) you’ll want to ditch it for this Luton layover itinerary. Thankfully the airport has a left luggage storage area. Located at the end of the departures terminal (same area as oversized bags) you can leave your luggage at 10 pounds per.
Note: I was able to strap my day pack to my suitcase and was only charged for one bag.
Getting to London for your Luton layover is easy.
A shuttle bus service operates to and from Luton Airport Parkway Station, this is normally a 10 minute trip from the airport terminal building. The service runs every ten minutes between 05:00 and midnight and also connects with all trains calling at Luton Airport Parkway overnight, please check train times for details.
Rail passengers will be able to purchase through tickets to London Luton Airport. Those passengers arriving at Luton Airport Parkway station without a through ticket to the Airport and who wish to use the shuttle bus will pay an Excess Charge of £1.60 each way if they arrive at the station by train.
Passengers arriving at the airport or at the station without purchasing a rail ticket will pay a bus fare of £2.00 single, £3.00 Standard Open Return (children aged 5 – 15 years pay half price), cash only, no credit/debit cards.
See all the Things
Once in London, Getting around on the Tube is a breeze. Purchase a day pass if you intend to see you a lot as we did. This included Abbey Road, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, and East London.
These are just a couple of London highlights you can tick off on a Luton layover. Seeing sites like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Shard, and the London Eye are more than doable with 12 hours in London.
Other must-see cultural attractions, which you might choose to do another day (due to being limited on time) include the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Barbican Centre, a hub for the arts that hosts concerts, theatre performances, and film screenings. For those looking for a unique experience, the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street offers visitors the chance to step back in time and immerse themselves in the world of the famous fictional detective.
Eat & Drink
For a late lunch on this Luton layover itinerary, we made our way to Brick Lane for some curry. There we were happy to stumble on the Old Spitalfields Market where it just happened to be London Cocktail Week. Lucky us.
Full up on curry and the best gin and tonic I’ve ever had, we called it on this Luton Layover. Note: Luton Airport Parkway AND Luton Station are different stops. The train we were on only stopped at Luton Station (one stop past Luton Parkway where the buses to the airport are.) This added another 15 minutes as we had to wait for a train to take us back a stop.
Luton Layover Itinerary Good to Know
Distance from London: ~55 KM
Travel Time: Allow for 1hr each way