Gatwick is located approximately 30 miles (48km) to the south of central London. London Gatwick (LGW) is the second largest airport in the UK after Heathrow. The two terminals, North and South, are linked by an efficient monorail service, with a journey time of two minutes.
Traveling by Train between Gatwick Airport and Central London
Gatwick Express is the quickest way into central London. The station is in the South Terminal and linked to other parts by escalators and lifts. Gatwick Express operates four trains per hour to and from London Victoria, journey time 30 minutes. There is no service between 00:32 and 03:30 from London and between 01:35 and 04:35 from Gatwick. Other rail operators run services through the night. Fares are from £17.80 single. Do note, you can no longer buy your ticket on the train but you can book online and use the self-service machines to print your ticket.
Since the start of 2016, you can also use contactless payment (by touching a bank card with the contactless payment symbol on the card reader) or Oyster card for pay as you go travel between Gatwick Airport and London on the Gatwick Express.
These 'pay as you go' options give you the most flexibility if you are in a rush as you don’t need to queue to buy a ticket. Do remember to touch your card (Oyster card or accepted bank card) on the yellow card reader at the start of your journey, and use the same card to touch out again at the end. You will automatically be charged the right fare for the journey you’ve made (deducted directly from your bank account or Osyter card pay as you go balance).
Do note, if you are making a return journey, it is cheaper to buy a paper return ticket online and then print it out at the self-service vending machines.
- Thameslink operates up to four trains per hour to and from four central London stations. Tickets cost from £15.50 and journey time is 30 minutes on average. An hourly service operates through the night. (Do note, First Capital Connect stopped operating on this route in 2014.)
- Southern also runs a rail service to London Bridge and Victoria, with four trains an hour. The journey to Victoria takes about 30 minutes and costs from £15.40 single.
Coach Services between Gatwick Airport and Central London
- National Express operates an hourly coach service to and from Victoria Coach Station. The fastest journey time is 1 hour and 20 minutes. Fares are from £8 single.
- easyBus operates from 03:00 to 23:25 and Gatwick (North and South Terminals) from 04:25 to 01:10. Journey time is from 65 minutes. Online fares are always better than paying the driver. Prices from £4.95 single (online price). Read my easyBus Review.
Private Shuttle between Gatwick Airport and Central London
There are a choice of private shuttle options. If you need a larger vehicle, to be able to carry 6-8 passengers, this larger vehicle airport shuttle option is best. If you need a standard-size vehicle airport shuttle this company can offer a 24 hour service. If you would like to arrive in style, there are executive private transfers available. And if you'd like a set-price shared transfer from the airport to your hotel that's available too. All can be booked through Viator.
Taxi between Gatwick Airport and Central London
You can usually find a queue of black cabs at both terminals. The fare is metered, but watch for extra charges such as late night or weekend journeys. Tipping is not compulsory, but 10% is considered the norm. Expect to pay at least £100 to get to Central London. Only use a reputable mini-cab and never use unauthorized drivers who offer their services at airports or stations.