Stansted Airport is one of London's many airport, but it's actually in Essex, just off junction 8 of the M11 motorway. It's a major hub for budget airlines, notably Ryanair and Easyjet, and there are also a lot of charter flights to holiday destinations. The airport just serves UK and European destinations at present - to go further afield you'll probably want to head to Heathow or Gatwick.
The airport has it's own railway station, just under the main terminal building, with a regular service into London Liverpool Street. There's also an airport bus station immediately outside, with connections to Heathrow and Gatwick (allow lots of time to connect to these airports). There's only one terminal at present, so it's a fairly easy airport to navigate. Don't let that lull you into a false sense of security when you arrive though - the budget airlines in particular are very tough at enforcing minimum check-in times.
a RANT against First in Essex
I had cause to use the 'First' bus services of Essex recently. Margaret Thatcher once said that if someone found themselves on a bus at the age of 30 then they would realise that they were something of a loser (I paraphrase slightly). Well I'm 40 and I can see her point.
My first gripe is the allocation of buses. Why do some routes that consist of roundabout routes through villages where hardly anyone lives get provided with large double deckers that can hardly fit through leafy lanes whilst routes that pass through built up areas have buses so small that it makes you think sardines have a good deal.
Next, I wish to pick issue with Chelmsford bus station. It used to consisit of a shed that reminded you of 'on the buses'. As one employee put it who I talked to said "aye it was a S**thole, but it was our S**thole". True, but at least it was homely and warm. The new station is bloody freezing. The architect had clearly never waited for a bus in his life. It may look nice on the plans but it is about as practical as a chocolate fireguard.
Finally, the silly information system delivers electronic information about when the next bus is due. It is totally useless. You might as well use an astronomer or tarot cards.
Flying to Essex?
The most convenient airport for visiting Essex, is London Heathrow, for the simple reason that the capitol has the best public transport system anywhere in Britain, so from this airport it is easy in order to reach the main terminals fro buses & trains...
Liverpool Street Station is the main rail terminus for reaching Essex, with departures hourly, meaning that you can travel as far as the coast, within 2 hours of arriving in the capitol...
Victoria Coach Station is where you need to go to catch the NATIONAL EXPRESS services fro Essex, though as the county is so close to the capitol, if you are not going that far, it might be possible to complete your journey using a public bus...
Essex has 2 airports;
Southend - choice of departures is limited to Eire, & a couple of western European destinations, though at least it does have established public transport links, which is more than can be said for...
Stansted - this is advertised as the main regional airport, but it is blighted by its rural location & non-existent public transport links within Essex - if you land there, you will probably have to catch a shuttle-bus into the capitol, then re-enter Essex via Liverpool Street (rail) - or Victoria (coach)
Such convoluted journeys will take several hours, much of it spent wasted in public transport waiting rooms, which just makes you wonder why airports are built in the middle of a rural nowhere...Related to:
- Road Trip
The train is the easiest way to get around to London, the airport or larger cities around. Traffic in this region is terrible as most people go to work in the big cities and you might even be late to catch your flight.
To come direct to Essex from abroad is easy and cheap by flying in one of the many budget airlines that fly to Stansted airport.
Plenty of airlines competing from different locations for ridicules price sometimes.
To get around the small towns and villages is easy with a car, but as I saw they all drive on the wrong side, I decided to use the local bus.
213 Eastern Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 3AD, United Kingdom
Good for: Solo
It was only due to local knowledge that we found this place, as most maps including Google, seem to...more
Main Road, Harwich, CO12 3PJ, United Kingdom
Good for: Solo
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