Gatwick transfers to/from South East England

Public transport options Dover, Brighton, Ashford, Maidstone and Canterbury

Southern Train at Gatwick Airport

Southern Train at Gatwick Airport

Gatwick to/from Dover

For travellers connecting to a cruise ship or ferry at Dover, we have many dedicated pages laying out the public and private transport options available to and from Gatwick. Also see Transport options between Dover and Gatwick Airport

Bus, rail or private car/charter bus?

There is a choice of public transport options from Heathrow to Southern Eastern England including main towns Dover, Brighton, Ashford and Maidstone.


The key initial point to be made is that with the exception of Brighton, Eastbourne and Newhaven you will need to journey into central London first and make a connection there for another coach or train to complete your journey to the South East corner of England.

The broad choice for the traveller is between cheaper, less frequent and slower coaches, or the train options. The train station at Gatwick Airport is embedded within the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport. There are no shared van shuttle type operations.


By public transport rail has a much greater coverage of destinations than the coach services. Trains run to the region from Victoria, Charing Cross / London Bridge and St Pancras. The introduction of fast trains from St Pancras using the Channel Tunnel track to France has reduced substantially the travel time to towns like Ashford and Dover along this route.


Gatwick to the South East of England by train

For train services to South Eastern England town and cities you have three main approaches.

To Brighton, Eastbourne and Newhaven areas there are direct trains from Gatwick. Airport. For most other parts of South East England the most frequent and complete train service originate from Central London. Victoria, London Bridge and St Pancras are the key stations. There are train services from Gatwick to all of these three London stations.

You can avoid London all together by taking a train service from Redhill, a train station a few miles north of Gatwick Airport with frequent trains to Tunbridge Wells which has good connections to many of the towns in the South east corner. This route can involve two or three changes of train, but on some destinations will be cheaper than going via central London.


Gatwick Station

The station platforms are located directly below the airport’s South Terminal, and the ticket office is adjacent to that terminal’s concourse. There is free monorail service that operates every couple of minutes between the South and North Terminals at Gatwick.


Although there are three major train companies that use Gatwick, ticketing is integrated and there is one large ticket hall at passenger terminal level.

Map of Train Services Gatwick Airport - Southern England


Purchasing train tickets

As a general rule of thumb for journeys of around an hour or so there is no financial advantage in pre-purchasing, you may as well buy at the station on day of travel. For longer journeys, advance purchase fares offer great savings. Only on the main trunk routes are there reserved seats, most services you just grab the first available seat you like the look of.


The three types of tickets are broadly:

  • Advance Purchase: Buy in advance, sold in limited numbers and subject to availability. These tickets will have restrictions specified when purchasing.

  • Off Peak: Buy any time, travel off-peak. The definition of off peak can vary from ticket to ticket. These tickets may require you to travel at specific times of day, days of the week or on a specific route. Where there is more than one Off-Peak fare for a journey, the cheaper fare with more restrictions will be called Super Off-Peak.

  • Anytime: Buy any time, travel any time (the standard ticket). Anytime fares are fully flexible tickets, with no time restrictions on when you can travel.

Getting the cheapest fares

Advance purchase tickets on these longer distances on the other hand can be bargains. The cheap tickets are normally released 3 months prior to your departure date and the best deals often sell out quickly.


Now Trainline have released etickets together with mobile tickets options for purchasing from overseas are better than ever before. You can even book on behalf of someone else.


Trainline state that more fares are released on their app than are available at the ticket machine - you so you get more choice too!


Etickets are sent as a PDF attachment, and you have flexibility to use straight from your phone, or for reassurance, you can print off a hard copy.


Mobile tickets are available on iOS and android phones and you can use directly through the Trainline website or the Trainline app.


For overseas customers, tickets can also be sent to UK addresses by UK post and also internationally for a fee.


You can also order tickets online and pick up the tickets from machines at key mainline stations including Gatwick Airport.

At train stations there are manned ticket offices and also ticket machines. All major credit cards are taken as well as cash.


For fares and timetables use 'The Trainline' website where you can also order tickets for delivery to your home address.

The Trainline - timetables and ticketing for UK railways


National Express Coaches - Gatwick to/from South Eastern England

For the sake of completeness we should include National Express. However, for the South Eastern corner of England most town and cities will require a coach into central London, Victoria Coach Station and then getting another Gatwick service out again.

The notable exception being the service down to Brighton which is very frequent.

Map of Bus Services Gatwick Airport - South Eastern England

National Express offer a variety of ticket options including the simple to use etickets. Most journeys will be far cheaper than train, especially if you get a return ticket. However frequencies are not as good and journey times are normally longer.

Cheapest promotional fares are available online in advance. Normally a return fare is much, much cheaper than two single fares. Tickets are etickets; visitors from overseas can pay by credit card and have their tickets delivered by email in a couple of minutes.


When you purchase a ticket for a National Express service it is for a single stated departure time. You do not get an individual seat number, but you are guaranteed a seat.


It is recommended booking a service at least 90 minutes after the scheduled arrival time of your flight. So what happens if your flight is late.


There is a range of ticket types available. Like airlines, the cheapest fares are no refund, no changes, you pay more for a fare that you can change schedule or get a refund if you change your mind.


National Express luggage allowance

National Express bus

Check luggage allowance in advance with National Express

You can carry two medium-sized suitcases - weighing up to 20kg (44 lbs) each - plus one small piece of hand luggage per person. Drivers loading the baggage do not weigh bags. Customers will be permitted to pool their individual allowances if they are travelling in a group or as a family, but they must be travelling on the same ticket.

Over this allowance and steep excess luggage charges kick in. Passengers within the luggage allowance get boarded first, those with excess luggage only get boarded if there is sufficient space left in the luggage hold, even if they have purchased a ticket.


North & South Terminals Gatwick Airport

All coaches that serve Gatwick Airport serve both North and South Terminals. At both terminals they have been given priority treatment and their boarding points are immediately outside the exit doors of both passenger terminals.

National Express Airport Coach Services

Private transfers from cars to large groups

We have options to cater for all party sizes. On transfers the amount of luggage can be as critical to the right selection of vehicle as number of passengers, so do pause to reflect on this aspect.


Saloon Cars / Sedans / Estates - for up to 5 passengers

Saloon/ Sedan car or MPV/Estate/Station Wagon size vehicle. Will take up to 5 full size adults and around 4 cases with some small hand luggage. Ideal for a family.

Interior Of Mini Bus

Air-conditioned & Roomy Small Buses

All driver waiting time and airport parking included in airport pick-ups - No extra charges if your flight is delayed!

Baby seats or child booster seats supplied on request and are of course free of charge.

At passenger terminals the driver will be waiting for you as you exit the customs and luggage retrieval channel to escort you to the waiting vehicle.


Small buses - 8 to 16 seats with room for lots of luggage

Air conditioned roomy small buses with 8, 12 or 16 seats and lots of luggage room for small groups. These buses are proper purpose built buses, not cramped converted vans.


These small buses are small enough to get in the car parks at airports, big enough to qualify to use the special bus lanes in Central London.


The buses can also carry outsize items, commonly wheelchairs, electric scooters, bicycles and surfboards.


Drivers meet and greet at airports, hotels and ports just like the cars.


Full size touring coaches for large groups

If you have a large group then that is not a problem either. The largest coaches are 50 seat coaches but we also have access to vehicles half that size.


With large groups if your average passenger is bringing more than one large case and a small item of hand luggage it might be the luggage capacity of the vehicle rather than the number of passengers that drives the correct size of vehicle required. The point being that estimating the amount of luggage you will be bringing is just as important as knowing how many people in your group.

With large groups just as small groups multi-drop and pick-ups from hotels is routine and if you require sightseeing we can arrange a guide whether it be an orientation tour of London or a niche interest of the group.


Putting your own groups together / sharing

We do not put groups together for the purpose of vehicle sharing. You are welcome to put your own group together. The key point with these charters is that the price is a flat rate for the vehicle, not per person. If somebody pulls out at the last moment the group are still liable for the full cost of the charter.

Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.