How to get to Gatwick Airport

Your holiday is booked, everything is sorted: passports, tickets, accommodation and even travel insurance, but have you stopped to think about how you are going to get to Gatwick Airport?

If Gatwick is your local airport, chances are you know where it is, and how to get there. But, if you usually fly from a different airport, it is worth spending time planning your journey to decide which method of transport you are going to use and then how you are going to get to Gatwick.

You’ll find Gatwick airport about 30 miles south of the centre of London and roughly 45 miles from Heathrow airport. Gatwick does have excellent road and rail connections and it was the first UK airport to combine air, rail and road transport services.

Driving to Gatwick
Gatwick airport is situated a short way off the M23, junction 9. If you intend to drive, plan your route using one of the many online route planners: Multimap, Google, the AA and even the RAC have journey planners.

It’s worth having a backup route too, or make sure you have a map or satNav, just in case there’s an accident and you need to divert. Always check for advanced warning of road works – the Highways Agency website is great for this.

If you’re going to drive, don’t forget about airport parking – there are plenty of options to choose from including on-site, off-site, meet and greet parking, or even Gatwick hotel parking at one of the many Gatwick hotels in the area.

Book your airport parking in advance as this can save you a significant amount of money and stress.

Checker Cars is the official taxi company at Gatwick Airport and operates a quoted fare system where you are quoted a fee at the time of booking and have the option of paying in advance or on the day – either at the desk or direct to your driver.

Checker Cars has their own booking offices in both the North and South Terminals.

If you choose to use your local taxi company for drop-off and pick-up you can, however, the drop-off and pick-up zones will not be located in the same area as the official taxi provider.

On the occasions that I’ve had to use taxis to and from the airport, I have found it more convenient to use Checker Cars to bring me back from the airport, and a local taxi company to take me to the airport – I’ve also found it slightly cheaper to use the local company.

If you plan to travel to Gatwick by coach there are direct services to Gatwick from Southend, Kent, London and Oxford plus services operating between Gatwick and Heathrow.

Airport by Coach, National Express, the Oxford Bus Company and easyBus are just some of the operators that offer regular coach services to Gatwick from more than 400 towns and cities in the UK.

Many of the companies take online bookings and allow you to print your own tickets, however, National Express also offers the option of having your tickets sent to your mobile, posted or picked up from a collection point.

Luggage restrictions do apply to coach travel so check luggage allowances before booking. For full details of services check with the individual coach companies.

Gatwick Station has a direct link to the South Terminal providing excellent train connections – a free shuttle bus service operates between the South and North Terminals until the monorail has be upgraded – expected May 2010.

Gatwick airport is only a 30 minute journey from London Victoria Station using the non-stop Gatwick Express, or 35 minutes from Victoria on the regular rail service.

Rail Services
Currently there are four rail operators serving Gatwick Airport: First Great Western, Southern, First Capital Connect, and Gatwick Express. With connecting services it is possible to get to Gatwick from almost anywhere in the UK.
For a map detailing the rail network check out the National Rail Enquiries website. Tickets can be bought online at various websites, or from your local station.

Gatwick Express

Gatwick Express trains operate a non-stop service to Gatwick every 15 minutes from London Victoria Station.
From Victoria Station, trains run between 03:30 and 00:30 daily, operating every 15 minutes between the hours of 05:00 and 23:45.

From Gatwick, trains operate between the hours of 04:35 and 01:35 – trains depart every 15 minutes between 05:50 and 00:35.

Journey times take 30 minutes and 35 on Sundays.

Metrobus offers bus services to Gatwick Airport. For details of the local services check here

Gatwick Airport offers dedicated motorbike parking bays where motorcyclists can park for free. Motorbikes must be parked in the dedicated bays and will be removed if parked in car parking bays.


  1. I whole heartedly agree with the back-up route concept for anyone driving to Gatwick. I’ve hit a solid wall of traffic the last two out times I’ve flown from Gatwick.
    It’s worth knowing the back roads as tehre are plenty of ways into Gatwick without risking the M25/M23 combo. I’ve become and expert on avoiding both.
    You can leave M25 at J9 and go back way through Dorking. A bit of a faff but infinately better than missing your flight 🙂

  2. Thanks for the tip Chris. It’s certainly worth knowing a few of the back routes, just in case.

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