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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 £19.90* 30 mins
Southern trains £16.20* 35–50 mins
Thameslink trains £10.70* 35–50 mins

*Standard on the day fares

Trains to and from Gatwick Airport

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

  • Southern
  • Thameslink
  • Gatwick Express

Your train journey could be affected by engineering work. Check before you travel or buy tickets. Avoid taking the train when there’s a rail replacement bus. It’s quicker to take a National Express coach instead

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 to/from a London train station and Gatwick airport is £8.30 off-peak or £15.10 peak.

The peak fare is charged for travel from London to Gatwick airport 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 or if you have a Rail Card. 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 online to find cheaper ‘Advance’ single train tickets for Southern or Thameslink trains.

Tickets can be collected for free from most train station ticket machines.

Southern trains


  • 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


The standard on-the-day single is £16.70 adult single (£8.35 child single) from Victoria.

Book in advance with Southern for cheaper fares.

Thameslink trains


  • 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


The standard on-the-day single fare is £12.10 (£6.05 child single) from London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink or St Pancras International.

Book in advance with Thameslink for cheaper fares.

Gatwick Express trains

Gatwick Express

The Gatwick Express is a non-stop 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, otherwise it’s a waste of money. Go with Thameslink or Southern instead.


  • 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 minutes during the day, 5am–10.30pm (from Victoria to Gatwick) or 5.50am-11.20pm (from Gatwick to Victoria)


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, £36.70 return (valid for 1 month).

Tickets booked online are cheaper — £17.80 single or £32.70 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.

National Express Coach to/from Gatwick airport

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


  • 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
  • 24-hour service. 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.

Map of London to Gatwick departure points

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Last updated: 2 January 2019