Gatwick Airport to London St Pancras train via London Bridge

Thameslink - alternative airport train into London than Gatwick Express & Southern trains into Victoria

Thameslink Gatwick Train Stations In Central London

Thameslink Gatwick Train Stations & Connections In Central London

There are three frequent train services into London from Gatwick Airport. The other two are the Gatwick Express and Southern trains which both terminate at London's Victoria Station.


Thameslink Trains London Victoria - Gatwick Service Key Points

  • Thameslink trains from Gatwick will bring you to other parts of Central London than the alternative Gatwick Express or Southern airport trains from Gatwick terminating at Victoria.

  • Key stations in Central London being St Pancras, Blackfriars, London Bridge and Farringdon all major London Underground interchanges.

  • Thameslink trains do not start at Gatwick and in peak commute hours may be full with standing room only when they get to Gatwick.

  • Thameslink train tickets purchased from the railways qualify for a 2 for 1 promotion to the London Eye, Tower of London etc...

  • As an alternative ticketing option Southern trains accept Oyster Cards which may be cheaper than railway issued tickets

St Pancras is also a major budget hotel area and is where the Eurostar trains to Paris depart from in London.

The area around London Bridge and the Tower of London is also growing in popularity with visitors as a place to set up base.

Logistics of using Thameslink Trains

At Gatwick Airport the train station is integrated into the South Terminal of the airport. From exiting customs into Gatwick Station is about 100 yards.


If you are flying into the North Terminal a free monorail link shuttles between the North and South terminals every few minutes and is free of charge. At the South Terminal its terminus is adjacent to the train station.

At Gatwick Airport station there are lifts and escalators down to the platforms. As no Thameslink train starts at Gatwick Airport, nearly all start from Brighton on the coast you will have to wait for the next train to London and check the departure boards for which of Gatwick's 5 platforms it will arrive on.

There are no seat reservations on any train from Gatwick. Your ticket is for the journey between Gatwick and London on a schedule of your choice. Ticket types are quite complex (see below) and any discounted tickets will probably have restrictions on the times of day you can use them.


At Gatwick when a train arrives you just a grab a seat that is available on a first come first serve basis. Luggage is limited to what you can carry, don't expect any assistance. There may be no dedicated luggage racks and only a small parcel shelf above the seats.


If you have luggage you may well be the last one aboard as many passengers will not have luggage and much of the train will already be occupied on arrival.


As Thameslink serves the business area of London, carriages are routinely very crowded at commute times. Travelling at 8am on a weekday morning is not a pleasant experience, especially on the back of a long flight. Typical journey times into London from Gatwick are 35-45 minutes.

Thameslink train frequency & timetables

Thameslink train services between Gatwick and London run around the clock. During much of the day there are up to four trains an hour.


Between London Victoria and Gatwick trains are scheduled to take 30-50 minutes depending on the London station.

For the full timetable on your dates and times click through on the “Trainline” banner further down the page.

Thameslink trains standard fares & timetables

Gatwick - London Transfers

You can buy tickets on the day at the ticket offices at both Gatwick and London railway stations. All major credit cards are taken. However if you buy online not only do you avoid any queues but you have a much. much better chance of getting one of the cheap fares.


If you live inside the UK you can have them sent to your home address, if you are overseas you can collect them from a dedicated machine at both Gatwick Station and many of the London Stations or have them sent to your home address (for a fee).

The standard types of tickets bought at Gatwick are detailed below. At weekends there is a good chance that an off-peak or super off-peak fare will be available to buy at Gatwick, during the week in all probability only the anytime fares.


  • 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. You can make the return journey within one month of the outward journey.

The Trainline - timetables and ticketing for UK railways

Online advance tickets

There are sometimes special promotional fares for advanced purchase. Offers are normally not made available until 3 months prior to travel and may be a on a first come, first served basis.


Often it is cheaper to buy two one-way advance purchase tickets than a standard return ticket.

For the full fares available on your dates and times click through on the “Trainline” banner further down the page.

Group discounts - Groupsave tickets save up to 25% for groups of 3 to 5

If you are a group of three to nine adults travelling, you can save up to 34% on the price of individual tickets. Railcards (see below) cannot get you any further discounts on GroupSave tickets.


You can use GroupSave normally only at at off-peak travel times. For the full fares available on your dates and times click through on the “Trainline” banner further down the page.

UK railcards - 33% discounts

If you are from the UK or you are a visitor planning on using the trains in the UK regularly then Railcards are worthwhile.


There are various railcards targeted at different markets, seniors, families, youth and just frequent travellers. The broad proposition is that you pay an annual fee which gives a typical discount of 33% on all fares including promotional fares.

Railcards - more information

Rail 2 for 1 sightseeing promotion

A worthwhile promotion is the railways 2 for 1 promotion. In summary with a return Southern ticket you qualify for the 2 for 1 sightseeing promotion. As its name suggests, one person pays admission, the other gets in free. Effectively half price.


The scheme is supported by many of the major London attractions as well as many you won't have heard of. Perennial supporters of the scheme have been the Tower of London.


Madame Tussauds, London Zoo, Kensington Palace, Churchill War Rooms and the London Dungeon. Others like the London Eye have drifted in and out of the scheme.

Rail 2 for 1 sightseeing promotion - more information

The Trainline - timetables and ticketing for UK railways

Using London Oyster Cards instead of train tickets between London & Gatwick

You can now use London's Oyster Cards and contactless payment options to pay for fares on the Gatwick Express, Southern trains and Thameslink trains between London and Gatwick Airport. However Travelcards are not valid.

On the Gatwick Express service Oyster is not a particularly attractive option (apart from convenience if you already have an Oyster or will use one within London). It is cheaper to buy tickets direct online from the Gatwick Express web site, (banner link above) than use Oyster.


On the Thameslink and Southern services the Oyster proposition is more compelling financially and may or may not be the best solution for you.

If you are visiting London it is highly likely you will acquire an Oyster as the means for paying for transport to get around London.


So it's a very good investment in time to familiarise yourself with it and how it works. We have a detailed guide to Oyster Cards and Visitor Oyster Cards at the page linked below.

Oyster Cards & Contactless Credit Cards details

Using Oyster & Visitor Oyster Cards to/from Gatwick - key facts:

If you are contemplating using Oyster from/to Gatwick, below are some key factors that are specific to using Oysters at Gatwick that go beyond fare comparisons.

Visitor Oyster Cards In London On-Line Shop
  • You can buy Visitor Oyster Cards in advance at the TFL online shop (see banner link) or from the Visitor Centre at Gatwick. You can buy standard Oyster cards from a machine at the railway station situated at the South Terminal.


  • There is no ticket machine at Gatwick enabling you to cancel your Oyster or Visitor Oyster and get refunded any cash left on the Oyster or your deposit on the standard Oyster. All the machines at Underground Stations in London have this capability including Victoria, London Bridge, Blackfriars and St Pancras.


  • Gatwick has no Oyster fare zone and specific fare cap, your Oyster is just debited for the fare between Gatwick and London.


  • If you interchange between the Gatwick Train journey and the London Underground / DLR networks you will have to pass through ticket barriers at the interchange rail station. As long as you make this change within 15-30 minutes the journey is counted as one. If you have a coffee, have a break for some reason and take longer you will charged for two individual journeys.


  • Travelling from Gatwick using Oyster Cards do not qualify for the rail 2 for 1 promotion, enabling 2 for 1 entry to attractions like the Tower of London, whereas purchasing train tickets would.

  • Unlike Oyster, the train companies offer short term promotional fares and group and family fares.


Standard Adult Fare*



Bus/Coach options

National Express Bus to Victoria



easyBus to West Brompton



Train options

Southern Train to Victoria (Train Ticket)



Southern Train to Victoria (Oyster)



Southern Train to Zone 1 (Oyster)



Thameslink Train to St Pancras (Train Ticket)



Thameslink Train to St Pancras (Oyster)



Gatwick Express Train (Ticket on day)



Gatwick Express Train (Advance online)



Gatwick Express Train (Oyster)



Gatwick Express Train (Web Duo online)



Shuttles & Private Cars/Coaches

Hotel Van Shuttle



Saloon/Sedan Car (2 People)



Small Bus (12 People)



* Standard adult ticket. Return leg within one month.

† Online only return ticket for 2 adults.

~ Cheapest Off Peak and Anytime fares
Off Peak at any time except journeys Monday to Friday from 0630 to 0930.

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