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Gatwick to Kings Cross st Pancras time

My plane arrives at Gatwick at 11:25 am. Can someone tell me how long will it take to get to King's Cross St Pancras to catch the Eurostar to Paris. If I purchase a ticket and don't make the departure time for the Eurostar, can I use the ticket for a later train?

Posted by
33294 posts

If I were doing it I would allow 90-120 minutes from touchdown (on time???) to passing through the frosted glass doors after Customs and joining the world at large again. Your time may be less, it may be considerably less, or it may be more. Who knows? It all depends. On - if your flight is the only one landing at the moment or are you one of several? On, how many staff working the queues at Border Control (Immigration)? On, is the family ahead of you in the queue a quick nod and stamp or do they need a few minutes longer? How long will it take to reclaim your bag?

Will your plane dock at a jetway without waiting or will you stop at a remote stand, have to walk down the stairs, and be bused to nearly the terminal where you walk across the tarmac to another set of stairs, this time going up? How long will it take you to walk the nearly one mile of walkways before the Border Control queue?

My figure is fairly much an average of how long it has taken me (and people I have collected) over the years. It is almost never less than 90 and often closer to 120.

Plus any time your plane is late, or minus any time your plane is early (who knows?).

Then 15 minutes getting to the train station (more if you need the automatic free shuttle between terminals). A bit more to buy or collect a ticket.

About an hour on the Thameslink train direct to St Pancras International. Go upstairs and down the main corridor and turn left into Eurostar departures.

You absolutely must be checked in (not in the queue to check in) 30 minutes prior to departure to clear security for you and your bags (the real deal, but no 3-1-1 bag and often shoes stay on but belts off) then Border Control x2 (British then French) then the short walk to the departure lounge. I always advise at least an hour prior to departure.

So I make that 2 hours plus a quarter plus 1 plus 1 for the tightest. Call it 4 and a half. Something like 4 pm.

The conditions on Eurostar tickets (from their own website):-

All our Standard and Standard Premier tickets are exchangeable before
departure. This is subject to availability and to paying any
difference in price with the available fare on the day of exchange,
plus a fixed fee of £30/€40 (in Standard) or £40/€50 (in Standard
Premier) per person per leg to be exchanged. You can exchange your
ticket within the same class or upgrade to Standard Premier but it
must be on the same route as the original journey booked. If the
available fare is less expensive than the original fare purchased, the
difference in price will not be reimbursed.

***All our BP fares are fully exchangeable and refundable before and up to 60 days after departure, with no fees and no difference in fare.

BP is Business Premier - the most expensive business fare.

Personally I wouldn't arrive from overseas at mid-day and try to get to Brussels or Paris on the same day, either flying or taking Eurostar.

If you read the conditions, if you miss the train you will be paying £30-£40 per ticket to change it PLUS paying the difference to a full-priced walk-up ticket. May as well just buy a full-priced ticket on the day, it would be cheaper.

Or you can have a night in London and catch an early train tomorrow which you can be positive you can make.

Or cool your heels for the afternoon and go in the early evening, but do you really want all that after an all night flight?

Posted by
6113 posts

Assuming your flight is on time, then you should be through Gatwick by say 12.30. You will then need to transfer to the railway station and wait for a train, assuming you have purchased your ticket in advance.

It is easier with luggage to take a through train to St Pancras (not Kings Cross), rather than using London Underground. Trains run approximately every 30 minutes and take between 53 minutes and 1 hour 10 minutes. So, you will be at St Pancras between 1.45 and 2.30 earliest.

It is advisable to be at St Pancras an hour before your Eurostar service for security purposes.

You can amend Eurostar bookings before the train that you have booked departs, subject to paying an amendment fee of £30-40, depending on which ticket you have purchased. This is subject to availability for the revised departure (trains and often full at peak times) and you paying any difference in the price of the fares. If your flight is say 5 hours late arriving, then you would have to amend the Eurostar booking before you left your home airport, as you would be too late to amend it upon arrival at Gatwick.

With a 11.25 Gatwick arrival, I wouldn't want a Eurostar train before 5 or 6pm to be sure of getting there. Better to book a direct flight to Paris or book a through ticket from your home airport to Paris so that if there are any delays, that this becomes the responsibility of your airline and not you personally.

The worst case scenario is that your inward flight gets delayed and you miss your Eurostar train on a busy travel day, so you may have to wait hours until seats are available or even the next day if busy and you pay the walk up price, which can be hundreds of pounds.