≡ Menu

Gatwick Airport Transport

How to travel by public transport between central London and London Gatwick airport (LGW).

Gatwick airport is 28 miles (45km) south of London, in East Sussex. There are two coach services (we only recommend one) and three train services to the airport from central London.

London to Gatwick airport – quick summary

Scroll down for full details of each service.

Company Single Tickets Journey Time
National Express: A3 £6–£11 65–90 mins
Gatwick Express trains £17.80–£19.90 30 mins
Southern trains £8–£15.50 35–50 mins
Thameslink trains £8–£14 35–50 mins

 

National Express Coach to/from Gatwick airport

National Express, the UK’s main coach operator, runs regular coaches between Gatwick airport and central London. The coaches are full-size coaches and you are allowed to take two medium-sized suitcases, weighing up to 20kg each, plus one small piece of hand luggage per person for free.

Departure/arrival

  • Gatwick airport: Lower forecourt, South Terminal & the lower forecourt outside International Arrivals, North Terminal
  • Central London: Victoria Coach Station, Buckingham Palace Rd, SW1

Journey time & frequency

  • 65–90 minutes
  • Departures every 30 minutes during the day, hourly at night

Booking tickets

£6–£11 single. Book tickets online or buy them at Victoria Coach Station (there’s always a queue) or at Gatwick airport from the National Express ticket offices in International Arrivals, North Terminal and in Arrivals and the lower forecourt area in the South Terminal.

Tickets are cheaper if you book in advance online.




Trains to and from Gatwick Airport

Three train companies operate services between Gatwick airport and central London:

  • Southern
  • Thameslink
  • Gatwick Express

Southern train staff are on strike during December and January. Check here to see strike dates.

Christmas and New Year travel

If you are travelling between Gatwick airport and London over Christmas and New Year, please check the National Rail Enquiries website. No train services run on 25 December.

Pay as you go Oyster and contactless fares to/from Gatwick

You can now use a Pay as you go Oyster card or contactless card to pay for the journey to/from Gatwick by train.

The single fare is £8 off-peak or £14 peak.

The peak fare is charged for travel from London to Gatwick between 06.30am-9.30am and 4pm-6pm Monday-Friday.

The peak fare for travel from Gatwick to London (zone 1) is charged between 06.30am-9.30am Monday-Friday.

These are the fares if you travel with Southern or Thameslink to or from Victoria, London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink or St Pancras International stations. The Gatwick Express is £19.80, a 10p discount on their standard single fare.

Please note that the Pay as you go Oyster/contactless fare might not be the cheapest way to pay, especially if you travel at peak times. Train tickets bought on the day or booked in advance could be cheaper.

See the info under each train operator for the standard on-the-day fares.

Buying train tickets

If you don’t want to use an Oyster or contactless card, you can buy train tickets from any train station in London or from Gatwick airport station.

If you want to save a bit of money, book in advance using the Virgin Trains website to find cheaper ‘Advance’ single train tickets for Southern or Thameslink trains. They have a user-friendly website with no booking or credit card fees. Tickets can be collected for free from any train station ticket machine, or posted for a small fee.

Southern trains

Departure/arrival

  • Gatwick airport: Gatwick train station, South Terminal
  • Central London: Victoria or London Bridge train stations

Notes: Not all services to/from London Bridge station are direct. You may have to change at East Croydon.

Journey time & frequency

  • 35–50 minutes
  • Several trains per hour. Reduced service overnight

Tickets

The standard on-the-day single is £15.50 single from Victoria or £9.40 from London Bridge. Book in advance for cheaper fares.

Thameslink trains

Departure/arrival

  • Gatwick airport: Gatwick train station, South Terminal
  • Central London: London Bridge, City Thameslink, Blackfriars and St Pancras International train stations.

Journey time & frequency

  • 48 minutes to St Pancras International
  • Several trains per hour with a reduced service overnight

Tickets

The standard on-the-day single fares is £10.30 from London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink or St Pancras International. Book in advance for cheaper fares.

Gatwick Express trains

Gatwick Express

The Gatwick Express is a non-stop dedicated airport service. It’s more expensive than Thameslink or Southern and not that much quicker.

The only reason worth taking it is if you have a lot of luggage, as there’s plenty of space. We do mean a lot though — 5 large suitcases and a snowboard for example.

Departure/arrival

  • Gatwick airport: Gatwick airport train station, South Terminal
  • Central London: Platforms 13 & 14, Victoria train station

Journey time & frequency

  • Journey time – 30 minutes
  • Departures every 15 to 30 minutes during the day, from 03.30–00.32*

*There’s a revised timetable Monday-Friday until further notice

Tickets

Book online or buy tickets from the ticket offices at platform 13/14 or from the ticket office/machines at Gatwick train station. £19.90 single/£34.90 return (valid for 1 month).

Tickets booked online are cheaper — £17.80 single, or £31.10 return.

You can use a Pay as you go Oyster card or contactless card to pay on the day, but it’s only 10p cheaper — £19.80.

See also

Last updated: 1 December 2016