Luton

Luton is a large town and local government district in the south-east of England, located 51 km (32 miles) north of London. It used to part of the county of Bedfordshire, but since 1997 it has been an administratively independent unitary authority. It remains part of Bedfordshire for ceremonial purposes. The town is known internationally primarily because of London Luton Airport, the home airport and headquarters of the low cost airline Easyjet.

Luton is a multicultural town with a population of towards 200,000. It was originally known as a center of the straw and hat making industry: hence "The Hatters", the nickname of Luton's football club. One or two hat making factories still exist in and around the Old Bedford Road area of the town. More recently, Luton was known as the home of Vauxhall cars and Whitbread brewing. Both are now shadows of their former selves.

Get in

By train

Luton has three railway stations, one in the town centre, one close to the airport and one towards the north of the town.

Luton Station is served by First Capital Connect and East Midland trains. From Luton, trains go north to Bedford, Kettering, Leicester, Loughborough and Nottingham. Southbound trains go to Luton Airport Parkway, St Albans, London, Gatwick Airport, Brighton, Wimbledon and Sutton.

The typical off peak service from this station is as follows:

First Capital Connect trains serve several stations in Central London, including Kings Cross Thameslink and Blackfriars

Luton Airport Parkway railway station opened in 1999 and is located south-east of Luton and west of the airport. A shuttle bus operates between the station and the airport, with a journey time of about ten minutes.

The station is located on the East Midland Line and is served by First Capital Connect and East Midland trains. From the station, you can travel north to Bedford, Kettering, Leicester, Loughborough and Derby. Passengers can also travel south to St Albans, London, Wimbledon, Sutton, London Gatwick Airport and Brighton. The typical off-peak service from this station is as follows:

By plane

Luton has an international airport; the London Luton Airport. Frequent flights from many European destination are available, notably from the low cost carrier EasyJet.

Car parks serving Luton Airport
Address On/Off Airport Distance / Transfer Time Security Park Mark
Award
Additional Information
Luton Airparks Grove Road, Slip End, Luton, LU1 4BZ Off 50 minutes Fully secured car park with fencing, floodlights, 24 hour patrols and CCTV Yes No trailers, mobile homes or caravans are permitted within the Short Stay Compound.
Luton Mid Stay Car Park London Luton Airport, Navigation House, Airport Way, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 9LY On N/A Secured by a high perimeter fence, is well floodlit and is protected by 24hr CCTV surveillance and manned patrols - No trailers, mobile homes or caravans are permitted within the Mid Stay Compound
Luton Short Stay Car Park London Luton Airport, Navigation House, Airport Way, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 9LY On N/A Secured by a high perimeter fence, is well floodlit and is protected by 24hr CCTV surveillance and manned patrols. - No trailers, mobile homes or caravans are permitted within the Short Stay Compound
Luton Priority Parking London Luton airport, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 9QT On Customer is met at terminal. No transfer required. Manned 24 hours a day and has CCTV, floodlighting and a high perimeter fence - Customer is met at the terminal upon departure and arrival.

By Car

Luton is easily accessible by car. Situated about 5 minutes from the M1 junctions 10 and 11, travelling from the south/London and the north respectively. The A505 provides a link via Hitchin to the A1(M), and the Cambridge/Hertfordshire area.

See

Luton Tourist Information Centre is in Luton Central Library, St. George's Square, Luton, Tel: +44 1582 401579

Do

Buy

Luton's Arndale centre was the largest indoor shopping centre in Europe when it was opened in 1971, and it includes a large indoor market.

Better (that is, more interesting) shopping is to be found in nearby towns: St Albans, Hitchin and Welwyn Garden City.

Eat

For a quick bite, walk through the Arndale (large shopping centre) and grab some ethnic specialties in the market, such as an Indian samosa or savoury African pancake. There are also franchises like Costa, Gregg's, and McDonald's. Aroma, the Asian restaurant in the Galaxy, offers an incredible (though pricey) buffet; for cheaper prices, go for lunch.

Drink

Sleep

Stay Safe

Generally, if you keep your wits about you, you should not run in to any great trouble. Do avoid travelling on your own between midnight and 4am, as drunk people are often looking for fights. If a drunk makes a gesture towards you it is best to ignore them and keep walking. If you have been on a night out it is safest to get a licensed taxi, of which there are plenty.

It is not advised to wear a Watford FC shirt in town, especially in evenings or on Saturdays. Despite lacking the great success and history of the Hatters, Watford are considered rivals of Luton Town FC, and Watford shirts are by no means inconspicuous (their team colour is bright yellow). Wearing a Watford shirt is unlikely to attract more than verbal abuse but could turn ugly if you are not careful. It is similarly not advised to wear a Millwall FC shirt in Luton.

Go next

Luton is very well placed for travelling to many other interesting places.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 06, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.