Flight time from London
Touch down in Charleston, a pinnacle of historical charm. Fly direct to South Carolina with British Airways to explore this Atlantic beachside city. Taste the local seafood delights, wander through streets filled with multiple historic architectural styles and explore the marvellous marshlands nearby.
Soak up the best of South Carolina’s oldest and biggest city. Explore the cobblestone streets in South of Broad and the French Quarter and the cheerfully coloured Rainbow Row. Immerse yourself in the city’s diverse history and look out for the striking forts dotted throughout. See if you can spot wild dolphins from the harbour, then head to King Street for a spot of brunch and an afternoon of boutique shopping.
Chucktown is bursting with beaming locals and friendly people – you’ll see why once you arrive. The best way to get around the sights? Take a tour of the town, including The Four Corners of Law. Outside of the city, you can explore Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant, which operates one of the oldest working plantations in the USA. (It also features in the film The Notebook.) Book flights to Charleston with British Airways to visit a champion destination.
British Airways is currently the only airline offering flights direct from London to Charleston.
Flights to Charleston depart two days a week from London Heathrow (LHR). Fly direct and land around 8 hours later at Charleston International Airport (CHS) and start to enjoy the clement early fall weather (that’s Autumn to us Brits).
Our Charleston service runs once a day on Thursdays and Sundays from London Heathrow. Book now and enjoy an autumn getaway to this beautiful historic destination that’s still warm enough for the beach throughout September and October. You can choose to fly in economy (World Traveller), premium economy (World Traveller Plus) or business (Club World) – all three provide food, drinks, and British Airways’ high level of service.
British Airways flies direct from London Heathrow to Charleston International Airport twice a week.
Book flights now and explore this historic South Carolina city during the fall when temperatures remain warm enough for beach trips and al fresco dining. Voted the best city in the world 2016, Charleston thrives as a top travel destination – come and see it for yourself.
The flight from London Heathrow (LHR) to Charleston International Airport (CHS) takes eight hours. Touchdown to the South Carolina city, five hours behind London, on Eastern Standard Time. Try not to sleep too early. After you arrive, grab some grub – like barbecued bites with local ale – and see some of the city. Then, a good night’s sleep should set you up for the week.
Charleston International Airport (CHS) is just a 20-minute drive from the city centre. Hiring a car is a great way to reach your city hotel and beyond. See more of the sights and venture across to Mount Pleasant, cruise to Folly Beach or head to Sullivan’s Island. Fancy making a road trip through the south? Check out our Deep South road trip guide.
Alternatively, you can reach the downtown area on the downtown shuttle for $15 per person; they depart every 15 minutes. If you’d rather catch a cab straight to your hotel, expect to pay $15 minimum for a journey within 6 miles of the airport. If you need to travel further, taxis are metred at around $2.52 a mile. Be in the know – if there are three passengers or more, an additional $7 will be charged per passenger. It’s also good to know that most taxis and shuttles accept credit card payments, in case you haven’t taken out US dollars yet.
Make the most of our generous baggage allowance, so you can pack for any season on your trip to Charleston. If you’re travelling in economy (World Traveller) you can check in one 23kg bag. Baggage allowance for premium economy (World Traveller Plus) customers increases to two 23kg bags.
Business (Club World) travellers can take along two pieces of luggage weighing up to 32kg each. Customers with children can also take a collapsible pushchair and a car seat, ready for a road trip around the hot spots of the Deep South.
If you’re travelling on a British passport, there’s no need to get a visa in advance – but you do need to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before you travel. There is a $14 fee for registration and, once approved, your ESTA is valid for multiple journeys for two years or until your passport expires.
Which cabins can I book when I fly to Charleston?
Our economy World Traveller cabins are great value for those looking for cheap flights to CHS. You can select your seats in advance for an extra fee – the quieter seats are towards the front of the plane, while those directly above the wings reduce the intensity of turbulence. Alternatively, free seat selection is available 24 hours in advance when online check-in opens.
Premium economy World Traveller Plus gives you more legroom and a smaller, more private cabin.
*Free seat selection 24 hours in advance is not available if you are travelling on a hand baggage only (Basic) fare.
Travelling can be very tiring, but there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure you arrive feeling as well as possible.
Start feeling like a local – read our tips for visiting Charleston.
As in the rest of the USA, tipping is customary in Charleston. Heading out for a meal? Budget 15-20% tip on the bill, and in bars tip $1-2 per drink or 20% of your bar tab. At your hotel, you should tip room cleaners $1-5 a day. Doormen and porters should be tipped about $1-2 per bag if they help you with luggage. Taxi drivers will appreciate a 15% tip, too, particularly if they’ve helped with luggage.
Spring brings a bunch of blossoms to Charleston when the average temperature is 19°C. It’s a dazzling time of year to wander through the streets and parks. The heat rises to average highs of 30°C during the Southern summer – a great time of year to hit the beach for the breeze. Temperatures cool for a crisp autumn, when ambers and reds cover the city. If you travel during winter, you’ll want to pack extra layers and a warm coat, as cold mornings can drop to 4°C. However, it’s a pretty time of year to visit, since the city generally stays sunny.
There are plenty of free activities in the city. Make a quick step to the Charleston city market for a sample of the Old South and famous sweetgrass baskets. You can also peep at the glistening Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park. Join a free art walk to see the artistic side of the city or spend the day at Folly Beach and visit the pier. More iconic scenes can be found on the city’s southern tip by the Battery, Castle Pinckney, Fort Sumter and Cooper River mansions. The White Point Garden, with views of the harbour and Fort Sumter, is also worth a wander.
Choose the perfect hotel for your stay. The Belmond Charleston Place is an opulent five-star choice in a superb location. Unwind in the spa and pool after adventurous days. Boutique and beautiful, the Grand Bohemian Charleston, An Autograph Collection oozes with creative cool, in the city’s historic district. Or pick The Dewberry Charleston for a lavish sanctuary in the centre. Catch your breath at the rooftop terrace, with an outdoor yoga class alongside sweeping views of the city.
You’ve got to try some southern classics. Order a plate of cornbread, mac ‘n’ cheese and buttermilk fried chicken. Seafood fans should seek out plump shrimp on grits, juicy lobster rolls and hot crab cakes. If you seek raw seafood, you can slurp on fresh oysters. For a sophisticated weekend dining experience, go for Sunday brunch with a side of live jazz.
See the city by foot and catch a glimpse of the best city sights. From Rainbow Row and The Battery, to the Dock Street Theatre and Marion Square, there is so much to see. For thrill-seekers, Charleston is home to great ghost tours. Voted one the most historical haunted places in the USA, take a trip to the abandoned Old Charleston Jail or watch out for ghouls at The Pink House.