Can You Walk From Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 To Terminal 5?

If you have a connection between Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 3 (T3) and Terminal 5 (T5), you may be wondering if you can simply walk between the two rather than taking the free airport shuttle bus. With Terminals 3 and 5 located on opposite sides of the airport, it is quite a hike to walk the entire way while maneuvering your luggage.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Although it is possible to walk between T3 and T5, the journey takes at least 45-60 minutes and requires walking outdoors across airport roads. Therefore, it is highly recommended to take the free 5-10 minute shuttle bus connecting the two terminals.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide detailed directions for walking between Heathrow T3 and T5, look at the shuttle bus options, compare the pros and cons of walking vs taking the bus, examine the risks involved in walking, and offer tips from travelers for navigating between terminals.

Detailed Walking Directions between Terminals 3 & 5

Starting Point and Initial Path from T3

If you find yourself needing to make the journey from Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 on foot, rest assured that it is indeed possible. While it may not be the most common way to travel between terminals, walking can be a convenient and cost-effective option if you have the time and energy.

The distance between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 is approximately 2.2 miles, and the estimated walking time is around 45 minutes to an hour.

To start your journey, head towards the exit of Terminal 3 and follow the signs for the Heathrow Express train service. Once you reach the train station, take the stairs or the lift down to street level.

From there, you will need to cross a pedestrian bridge that connects Terminal 3 to the Central Terminal Area (CTA).

As you cross the pedestrian bridge, you’ll be able to enjoy panoramic views of the airport and its surroundings. Take a moment to appreciate the bustling atmosphere and the impressive sight of planes taking off and landing.

Once you reach the other side of the bridge, you’ll find yourself in the CTA, which is a central hub connecting all of Heathrow’s terminals.

Crossing Airport Roads to Get to T5

From the CTA, follow the signs for Terminal 5. You will need to navigate through the airport roads, so be sure to stay alert and follow the pedestrian pathways to ensure your safety. The airport roads can be quite busy with vehicular traffic, so exercise caution as you make your way to Terminal 5.

After crossing the airport roads, you will arrive at a roundabout. Take the second exit to continue towards Terminal 5. Follow the signs and keep walking until you reach the entrance of Terminal 5. Congratulations, you have successfully walked from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5!

It is worth noting that there are also other transportation options available for traveling between terminals at Heathrow Airport. The Heathrow Express train service and the free shuttle bus service called the Heathrow Connect are convenient alternatives if you prefer not to walk.

These options can save you time and effort, especially if you have heavy luggage or limited mobility.

For more detailed information and maps, you can visit the official Heathrow Airport website at They provide up-to-date information on all terminal transfers and transportation options within the airport.

Shuttle Bus Options for Traveling between T3 & T5

Free Shuttle Buses

If you need to travel between Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 and Terminal 5, there are several shuttle bus options available. One convenient and cost-effective option is the free shuttle buses provided by Heathrow Airport.

These buses run regularly and offer a hassle-free way to transfer between the two terminals.

The journey time between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 on the free shuttle buses is approximately 20 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. The buses are spacious and comfortable, ensuring a pleasant journey for passengers.

The free shuttle buses are a popular choice among travelers, as they provide a convenient and efficient means of transportation between the terminals. Passengers can easily catch the shuttle bus from designated pick-up points outside both Terminal 3 and Terminal 5.

For more information on the schedule and pick-up points of the free shuttle buses, you can visit the official Heathrow Airport website here.

Paid Alternatives

In addition to the free shuttle buses, there are also paid alternatives available for travelers who prefer a more direct and personalized transfer between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5.

One popular paid alternative is the Heathrow Express train service. This fast and efficient train service connects Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 in just 7 minutes, making it the fastest option for transferring between the two terminals.

Another option is to take a taxi or private transfer service. While this option may be more expensive than the shuttle buses or train service, it offers the convenience of door-to-door transportation and eliminates the need to carry heavy luggage on public transport.

It is important to note that the paid alternatives may be more suitable for travelers with tight schedules or those carrying a significant amount of luggage. However, for most travelers, the free shuttle buses provided by Heathrow Airport are a convenient and cost-effective option for traveling between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5.

Is it Better to Walk or Take the Shuttle Bus?

Time Comparison

When considering whether to walk or take the shuttle bus from Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 to Terminal 5, the time factor plays a crucial role. Walking between the terminals can be a viable option for travelers who have ample time and are looking for a bit of exercise.

The walking distance between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 is approximately 2.3 miles, and it can take around 45-60 minutes to complete the journey on foot.

On the other hand, taking the shuttle bus is a quicker alternative. The Heathrow Express shuttle bus service operates between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5, and it takes around 25 minutes to travel between the two terminals. This option can be more convenient for those with limited time or heavy luggage.

Convenience and Accessibility Factors

When it comes to convenience and accessibility, both walking and taking the shuttle bus have their advantages and disadvantages. Walking allows travelers to explore the surroundings and enjoy the scenery, providing a more immersive experience.

However, it is important to consider factors such as weather conditions, physical fitness, and the amount of luggage one is carrying.

On the other hand, the shuttle bus provides a hassle-free and comfortable mode of transportation. It is easily accessible from both terminals and operates with regular frequency. The bus is equipped with facilities to accommodate passengers with disabilities and ample space for luggage.

Additionally, it eliminates the need to navigate unfamiliar routes or face potential delays due to traffic.

Cost Differences

When it comes to cost, walking from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 is undoubtedly the more economical option as it is free of charge. This can be a great choice for budget-conscious travelers or those who prefer to save on transportation expenses.

On the other hand, taking the shuttle bus comes with a cost. The current fare for the Heathrow Express shuttle bus is £5.50 for a one-way journey per adult. While this may seem like a small amount, it is important to consider the overall travel budget when deciding whether to opt for the shuttle bus or walk.

Risks of Walking Between Terminals

Safety Concerns with Crossing Roads

Walking between Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 may seem like a convenient and cost-effective option, especially if you have a layover or are trying to catch a connecting flight. However, there are several safety concerns that you should take into consideration before embarking on this journey.

One of the major safety concerns is the need to cross busy roads. The route between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 involves navigating through heavily trafficked areas, including major roads such as the A4 and the M25.

These roads are frequented by vehicles traveling at high speeds, making it potentially dangerous for pedestrians.

While there may be designated pedestrian crossings in place, it is important to remember that the priority is given to vehicular traffic. Pedestrians should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings at all times to avoid any accidents or mishaps.

Easy to Get Lost Without Proper Directions

Another significant risk associated with walking between terminals is the possibility of getting lost. Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, and it can be quite challenging to navigate through its vast premises without proper directions.

The airport provides various signage and wayfinding aids to guide passengers, but it is still easy to get confused, especially if you are not familiar with the layout of the airport. Additionally, the distance between Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 is considerable, and without clear directions, it is easy to take a wrong turn or end up in the wrong terminal.

It is advisable to rely on airport staff or use the shuttle service provided by Heathrow Airport to ensure a smooth and hassle-free transfer between terminals. These services are designed to cater to the needs of passengers and offer a safer and more efficient way to travel between terminals.

For more information on airport safety and directions, you can visit the official Heathrow Airport website.

Tips from Travelers for Navigating T3 to T5

Allow Plenty of Time

Navigating from Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 can be a bit of a trek, so it’s important to allocate enough time for the journey. Many travelers recommend allowing at least 60 minutes for the transfer, especially during peak travel times when the airport can be busy.

This will give you ample time to navigate through the airport and ensure that you don’t miss your connecting flight.

Use Indoor Walkways When Possible

One of the best tips from experienced travelers is to utilize the indoor walkways when making the journey from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5. These walkways are conveniently located and provide a faster route between the two terminals.

They are well signposted and offer a comfortable and hassle-free way to travel. By opting for the indoor walkways, you’ll avoid the need to go outside and potentially face inclement weather or additional security checks.

Have Backup Transfer Plans

While walking from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5 is an option, it’s always a good idea to have backup transfer plans in case of unforeseen circumstances. Many travelers recommend familiarizing yourself with the available transportation options, such as shuttle buses or the Heathrow Express train, which can provide a quicker alternative to walking.

Additionally, it’s worth checking the airport’s official website or contacting the airport staff for any updates or changes to the transfer process.


While it is certainly possible to walk between Heathrow Airport Terminals 3 and 5, the roughly 45 to 60 minute journey comes with significant downsides compared to the quick and easy free shuttle bus.

With safety risks, time requirements, and chances of getting lost, travelers are best served taking advantage of the regular shuttle buses linking these distant terminals across the sprawling airport.

By understanding the detailed walking directions and being aware of the shuttle alternatives, you can best decide if walking or riding is the right option based on your specific situation. Safe travels between Heathrow T3 and T5!

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