How to Travel Between London Heathrow Airport & London Gatwick Airport

For those unfamiliar with London, it can be easy to book flights that require a self transfer between these two airports and not realise how far apart they are from each other. Traveling between London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and London Gatwick Airport (LGW) can be straightforward with several transport options available to suit different budgets and time constraints.

National Express Coach

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes
Cost: Approximately £25-£30
National Express coaches run directly between London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport. Coaches depart from the central bus station at Heathrow and stop at all terminals at Gatwick. Tickets can be purchased online, at the airport, or on the bus (if space is available). This is a comfortable option with plenty of space for luggage and also the cheapest option. However, factor in traffic and check if you’ll be travelling during peak / rush hour. This journey can take a while by coach if you’re stuck in traffic. Check their official site to buy tickets and get more information.

Train (via London)

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
Cost: Approximately £30-£40
Getting the train between Heathrow and Gatwick is a little complex, but could be a good option if you’re travelling during peak times. You will need to take the Heathrow Express or TfL Rail from Heathrow to London Paddington. Once at London Paddington, you’ll need to get the London Underground (Circle or Hammersmith & City line) to London Victoria. The London Underground line you’ll need is Circle (yellow line) or Hammersmith & City Line (pink line). Once you arrive at London Victoria Underground, you will need to follow signs to the main train station, located directly next to it. From here, catch the Gatwick Express (quickest, most direct option but more expensive) or Southern Rail to Gatwick (longer as it stops at more stations but cheaper). This option might be harder to navigate, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the city, but would be quicker during rush hour.

Taxi or Private Transfer

Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes (depending on traffic)
Cost: Approximately £100-£150
Taxis and private transfers are the most direct but also the most expensive option. Licensed black cabs and private hire vehicles can be booked in advance. This option is ideal for those with a lot of luggage or those travelling in a group, where costs can be split.

Car Hire

Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes (depending on traffic)
Cost: Varies
Probably the least desirable, given logistics, but there’s an option to rent a car. Both airports have numerous car hire companies to choose from. This will give you the flexibility to travel at your own pace and provides convenience if you have a lot of luggage. However, you’ll need to factor in additional costs for fuel, insurance and possible congestion charges if driving through central London.

Uber or Ride-Sharing Services

Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes (depending on traffic)
Cost: Approximately £60-£80
Ride-sharing services, like Uber or Bolt, can be a convenient middle-ground between public transport and taxis. You can book a ride via the app and have the flexibility of door-to-door service without the high cost of a taxi. The downside of this is these ride-sharing services are typically not able to pick you up directly from arrivals at the airports, as this is reserved for black cabs and private taxi companies.

Tips for Traveling Between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports

Allow Extra Time: Traffic can be unpredictable, especially during peak hours, so allow as much time as ppossible for your journey.
Check Flight Connections: Ensure you have enough time between flights when booking connections between Heathrow and Gatwick.
Luggage Handling: If you have a lot of luggage, consider the comfort and convenience of your chosen mode of transport. For example, the option to go via two trains and the London Underground would be a difficult option if you had lots of heavy bags.
Advance Booking: For coaches, taxis, and private transfers, booking in advance can save time and sometimes money. National Express Coaches often fill up so don’t risk getting a ticket on the day and book ahead of time.

I hope this guide helps you choose the best way to travel between London Heathrow and Gatwick Airport, ensuring a smooth and stress-free journey. I’ve only had to do this journey once and I opted for the National Express Coach. This offered a cheaper option and was hassle free.

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