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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 several trains every hour to/from various stations in central London and a National Express coach to Victoria Coach station.

The train is faster and much more frequent than the coach. Southern and Thameslink trains are much cheaper than the Gatwick Express and only a few minutes slower.

London to Gatwick airport tickets – quick summary

Scroll down for full details of each service.

Service Tickets Time
National Express coach: A3  from £8 75–120 mins
Gatwick Express train £20.70 30 mins
Gatwick Express- Oyster/contactless £20.60 30 mins
Southern train – paper ticket £18.30* 35–50 mins
Thameslink train – paper ticket £12.90* 35–50 mins
Trains-Oyster/Contactless £9/£16.50a 35–50 mins

*Standard on the day paper ticket fare.
a:Off-peak and peak fares with Southern or Thameslink only . See below

Trains to and from Gatwick Airport

There are three train routes between Gatwick airport and central London,

Southern and Thameslink operate trains to Gatwick airport from various stations in central London.

The Gatwick Express is a non-stop train from Victoria station to the airport. It’s not that much quicker than the local trains and is more expensive.

  • Southern (from Victoria station)
  • Thameslink (from London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon or St Pancras International stations)
  • Gatwick Express (from Victoria station)

Pay as you go Oyster/contactless fares by train to/from Gatwick

You can use a Pay as you go Oyster card or a contactless payment to pay for the journey to/from Gatwick airport by train. Be careful to use the same card when you tap in and out of the barriers.

The single fare by train is £9 off-peak or £16.50 peak.

PAYG Peak train times from London to Gatwick airport

The peak fare is charged for travel between 06.30am-9.30am and 4pm-7pm Monday-Friday. Off-peak is charged at all other times.

PAYG Peak train times from Gatwick airport to London

The peak fare for travel is charged between 06.30am-9.30am Monday-Friday. Off-peak is charged at all other times.

These are the Pay as you go fares between a London train station and Gatwick Airport with Southern or Thameslink.

The Gatwick Express is £20.60 with a contactless/oyster card, 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, paper tickets could be cheaper especially if you are in a group of 3+, have a Railcard or book in advance (not recommended from the airport).

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

How to buy train tickets to/from Gatwick airport

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

If you want to save a bit of money, book online to find cheaper ‘Advance’ single train tickets for Southern or Thameslink trains. Advance tickets are booked for a certain time and are not refundable if you miss the train.

Tickets can be collected for free from the ticket machines at Gatwick Airport train station. To collect the tickets, you will need to bring the debit/credit card used to book the tickets.

Southern trains

Tickets

The standard on-the-day single is £18.30 adult single (£9.15 child single) from Victoria.

Discounts are available for railcard holders, and groups of 3+

Book in advance with Southern for cheaper fares (but you must travel at the exact time booked).

Departure/arrival

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

If you arrive at the North Terminal, there’s a free train transfer to the South Terminal for the train station.

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

Journey time & frequency

  • London Victoria – 34 minutes
  • London Bridge – 29-40 minutes
  • 24-hour service. Several trains per hour. Hourly overnight.

Use the National Rail journey planner to check exact times. Under ‘more options’, scroll down to ‘Choose operator’ and select Southern, then tick ‘Fastest trains only’.

Thameslink trains

Tickets

The standard on-the-day single fare is £12.50 (£6.25 child single) from London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink or St Pancras International.

Fares are cheaper on Saturdays & Sundays—Ask for a ‘super off-peak single’ £10.70 for adults (£5.35 child)

Departure/arrival

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

Journey time & frequency

Thameslink runs several trains per hour and an hourly service overnight

  • London Bridge – 28 minutes
  • Blackfriars – 35 minutes
  • Farringdon – 40 minutes
  • City Thameslink – 37 minutes
  • St Pancras International – 44 minutes

Use the National Rail journey planner to check exact times. Under ‘more options’, scroll down to ‘Choose operator’ and select Thameslink, then tick ‘Fastest trains only’.

Gatwick Express trains

Gatwick Express

The Gatwick Express is a non-stop train from Victoria station to Gatwick. It’s much more expensive than Thameslink or Southern but only about 5 minutes faster.

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.

It’s cheaper to travel by train with Thameslink or Southern.

Tickets

Book online or buy tickets from the ticket offices at platform 13/14 or from the ticket office/machines at Gatwick train station. £20.70 single, £41.40 return (valid for 1 month).

Tickets booked online are cheaper — £18.50 single or £36.80 return (valid for 1 month).

You can use a Pay as you go Oyster card or contactless card to pay on the day, but it’s only 10p cheaper — £20.60.

Departure/arrival

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

Journey time & frequency

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.

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
  • 24-hour service. Departures hourly during the day, reduced service at night.

Booking tickets

From £8 single. Book tickets online or buy them at Victoria Coach Station (open 08:30-19:30) 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.

We recommended booking in advance if you need to be at the airport for a very early flight or on train strike days.

Map of London to Gatwick departure points

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Last updated: 27 September 2022