London Toolkit (Spanish Pages)

The Best Heathrow - Gatwick Airport Transfer

Make an informed decision on your best way whether you want the cheapest, fastest, long layover sightseeing ...


London Airport Transfers

Author: Bob Handford


OK, lets get one thing out the way first, there is no universal “best way” between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports for everyone. But there is no doubt that there is one option that for the majority of travellers is the benchmark transfer option to compare all others against when travelling between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. That option is the National Express bus service.

Note - there is no Heathrow - Gatwick train service.

Note - there is no Heathrow - Gatwick shared van shuttle style service.

National Express Bus Between London Heathrow & Gatwick Airport

The National Express Heathrow - Gatwick bus service is the only direct public transport between the two airports. The only alternative direct option is to take a taxi or a private car service.

Although the bus service is the only direct public transport between Heathrow and Gatwick airports it is not the cheapest. Perhaps surprisingly it is much cheaper to travel with National Express buying individual tickets on their Heathrow - London Victoria Bus and Gatwick - London Victoria Bus services. Although much cheaper, this option is much, much slower.

The Heathrow - Gatwick Airport Bus is operated by National Express with comfortable coaches complete with on board washrooms. There are around 100 services a day in each direction so you certainly will not have long to wait for the next bus!

National Express Heathrow - Gatwick Bus - Full details, timetables, ticketing

Reasons Why You Might Look At Alternatives To The Bus

Price - The standard fare between Heathrow and Gatwick is relatively high. As said before it is much cheaper to travel via Central London, although much slower and much more stressful. If cost is the major factor in your purchasing decision you might want to consider the indirect option if you have the time to do so.

The cheapest option is written at the bottom of this page.

Best Way From Heathrow To London
London Heathrow - Gatwick Airport To Airport Bus

If there are four or more of you travelling together the private car alternative, or for groups, a chartered bus may start to look competitive on cost.


Luggage - National Express are the UK's national inter-city coach network. Luggage allowances are geared towards this, largely British market. The luggage allowance is up to two bags neither of which should weigh more than 20kg (44 lbs) and one item of hand luggage which means a small item like a handbag or a laptop that will fit on a parcel shelf or on your lap. This luggage allowance may well be less than your flight allowance.

The drivers who load your luggage do not weigh the luggage or get out a measuring device, but if you are over this limit excess luggage penalties are triggered and are not cheap.


Long Layover Between Flights - You should allow at least 4 hours between flights. Most people want to travel between the airports as quick as possible but for others who have a much longer gap between flights or are staying at an airport hotel overnight minimising the time spent in and around the airport has its attractions.

For such people sightseeing in London or perhaps Windsor is very a much a viable proposition to explore.

We have a section near the bottom of the page looking at making your layover more interesting and something to look forward to, rather than dread.

Time To Transfer Between Heathrow & Gatwick Plus Traffic Congestion Delays

Heathrow and Gatwick airports are interconnected by two connecting motorways/freeways. Both the National Express and private vehicles will run non-stop between both airports, (the National Express buses do not stop at airport hotels at either airport, just the airport passenger terminals).

The route of about 45 miles between Heathrow and Gatwick is along heavily congested motorway/freeway.

Mondays to Fridays between 06:30 and 10:00 traffic congestion is routine, expect delays of 15 minutes or more in the Gatwick - Heathrow direction.

Between 15:30 and 19:00 the delays are in the Heathrow-Gatwick direction where there is again routine severe congestion.

There is also congestion around Heathrow Airport Sunday afternoons and evenings.


As a crude guide it will normally take you 45 to 75 minutes from landing to going through customs and collecting your luggage.

The road journey between Heathrow and Gatwick with no traffic delays is around 50-60 minutes

For the bus you will also have to allow time for getting to the bus departure point and waiting for the next bus, say 15-30 minutes.

If you are using Terminals 1,2 or 3 at Heathrow the bus will also make stops at Terminals 4 and/or 5 perhaps adding as much as another 20-30 minutes.

Private Cars For Airport Transfers

Private Cars & Charter Buses

A private car will be the fastest way of transferring between Heathrow and Gatwick Airport.

If your party is four people or more chartering your own vehicle is going be competitively priced against the bus service. Whether you are a group of four or forty.

The driver will meet and greet you as you exit the customs area and escort you to the waiting vehicle, this can take 10 minutes or so.

If you have outsize luggage then a private vehicle will also be the appropriate transport.

Cars are available at the airport but are much more expensive than booking in advance. It is illegal for anyone to tout for business when you arrive, if you are approached, firmly reject the proposition.


Private Airport Car Transfers

Time To Kill At The Airport or Long Layovers - Visiting Windsor or London is Viable

If you have a late flight, a long gap between flights or have to check out of your hotel by late morning then you have time to kill.

Viable options are:

Transfer indirect via Central London & Sightsee - there are very good transport connections between both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports and Central London. There are left luggage facilities at most of the main railway stations in London and at Victoria Coach Station.

Logistics of travelling indirect between Heathrow & Gatwick


Overnight in Central London Not At The Airports - the fast dedicated airport trains take 15-20 minutes between Heathrow and London Paddington and 30 minutes between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria. These transfer times are as fast or faster than most of the airport hotels transfer buses at either airport. The few hotels that are attached to a passenger terminal are expensive.

Logistics of travelling indirect between Heathrow & Gatwick


Heathrow Stopover at Windsor

Windsor As An Alternative To London - Windsor is just 15 minutes drive from Heathrow Airport and there is a public bus taking 50 minutes from Terminal 5.

We have an agreement with two local taxi and bus operators who will transfer your party to Windsor from either Heathrow or Gatwick and store your luggage for you while you are there.

There is a flat fee no matter how long you stay in Windsor. Legoland theme park is also at Windsor. You stipulate the time that you want collecting from Windsor and taken to the airport or even a hotel.

Windsor Stopover / Late Flight Solution - More Details

Cheapest Transport Heathrow - Gatwick Airport

The cheapest way to travel between Gatwick and Heathrow Airports is by London Underground and bus. Expect a travel time of around 3 hours or more and being required to drag luggage up escalators and stairs and travel in crowded train carriages.

Going in the Heathrow to Gatwick direction you would get the London Underground from Heathrow to either Victoria or Fulham Broadway.

You then get either the National Express London Victoria to Gatwick Airport bus or the easyBus Fulham Broadway - Gatwick bus.


London Toolkit Social Media Banner London Toolkit Facebook Fan Page London Toolkit on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2014
Travellers Toolkits Ltd All Rights Reserved