- WHERE TO STAY
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- CRUISE PORTS
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OK, let's get one thing out the way first, there is no universal “best way” to travel between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports for everyone.
But there is no doubt that there is one Heathrow-Gatwick transfer option that for the majority of travellers is the benchmark transfer option to compare all others against.
That option is the National Express bus service that runs up to 80 times a day between Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
Note - There is no Heathrow-Gatwick train service and there is no Heathrow-Gatwick shared van shuttle service.
Cheapest option for Heathrow - Gatwick transfers (allow lots of time!)
However on this page we do also offer private car, bus or coach transfers, whatever you party size, taking the stress out of your transfer, at up-front, clear rates.
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 slower.
The Heathrow - Gatwick Airport Bus is operated by National Express with comfortable coaches complete with on board washrooms. There are around 80 services a day in each direction so you certainly will not have long to wait for the next bus!
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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. If there are four or more of you travelling together the private car alternative, or for groups, a chartered bus will probably be cheaper.
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.
Please see banner above (National Express website) for full details of pricing for extra luggage.
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 these travellers sightseeing in London or perhaps Windsor is very much a viable proposition to explore.
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 6.30am and 10am traffic congestion is routine, expect delays of 15 minutes or more in the Gatwick-Heathrow direction.
Between 3.30pm and 7pm 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 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.
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 40.
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.
Heathrow taxi & group charter bus services more info and book
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:
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.
Travelling indirect between Heathrow & Gatwick
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.
Travelling indirect between Heathrow & Gatwick
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.
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.
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