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London to Gatwick . . .

I know that the express train leaves from Victoria Station and takes about 30 minutes. But details about how much time . . .
Our flight back to the US (in October) leaves Gatwick at 13:30. How early do we need to arrive at the airport? How long does it take to get on the train at Victoria? How often does that train run? (We have done Heathrow in the past, our first experience will be arrival at Gatwick, but we know nothing of security, airline staffing - we will be on Norwegian, or other issues when departing from Gatwick.) Thanks in advance for any illumination you may provide!

Posted by
1850 posts

For that flight I would want to be at Gatwick about three hours prior, so 10:30

Options for rail travel include the Gatwick Express.

https://www.gatwickexpress.com

Or regular train service from southern trains. You can check time and details at the link below. The regular trains have a few more stops but are a cheaper alternative if you pay with an Oyster card.

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk

I would be at Victoria station about 20 minutes prior to train time. Add more time if you need to purchase or retrieve your tickets.

Posted by
186 posts

Thanks! Exactly what I needed. And how does my "neighbor" (across the Bay in SF) have such good knowledge of Gatwick/London connections!?

Posted by
1850 posts

Happy to help out my fellow travelers!

I happen to like spending time in London as a stopover on my way to Europe. So I’ve been spending time there for several years. Many of my Easyjet flights are out of Gatwick. So I’ve gained some first hand knowledge. Additional info has been gleaned from many of the frequent UK folks who post here.

Posted by
3392 posts

Going to either Heathrow or Gatwick I always take the Express...it is fast, straightforward, and easy. I would aim to be at Gatwick no later than 10. Once you arrive at London Victoria you will be on the Express in 15 mins. or less - the train leaves frequently from the station. I fly Norwegian to and from London once or twice a year - great airline.

Posted by
186 posts

Thanks to you both. These forums are great for many reasons, but it is often the knowledge about little things . . . stuff that can ease your mind so that you can enjoy a trip . . . that fellow travelers share, that makes a place special. (Awkward, overly complex sentence but thanks.)

Posted by
1072 posts

" I always take the Express...it is fast, straightforward, and easy."

One of the most expensive train journeys in the world, unless you buy advance tickets but even then it's more expensive than the tube or train.

Posted by
15662 posts

It depends on a few factors......

Do you have checked luggage? If you do, this will add time.

Can you print your boarding pass before you get to the airport or check in online using the airline's app? If no, this will add time.

I do carry on only and print my boarding pass before getting to the airport. I have found Gatwick security fairly quick--except for the last two when the two teenagers working security had no idea what duct tape was.

With that in mind, I aim to arrive two hours before my flight. I usually have plenty of time to dawdle between exiting security and boarding.

The Gatwick Express takes 30 minutes. There is one every 15 minutes. It takes 30 minutes. Since this is your first time at Gatwick I'm going to suggest you shoot for the 10:30 train as this will give you some extra time.

Getting to the airport 3.5 hours before your flight is overkill.

Posted by
5380 posts

Are you actually staying in the Victoria area?

Posted by
5407 posts

With that in mind, I aim to arrive two hours before my flight. I usually have plenty of time to dawdle between exiting security and boarding.

You rebel! Airlines clearly state that long haul flights demand arrival at the airport three hours before departure. ; )

I can offer no advice about getting to Gatwick from London however it is a smaller and quieter airport than Heathrow so that does make things slightly easier.

Personally I find flying from T5 at Heathrow a breeze, it's never taken me more than 20 minutes to drop off bags and get through security and then find something to kill time. Gatwick is a bit different as it's an older terminal than T5 and things take a bit longer but with that being said, dropping bags off and clearing immigration is always a relatively quick process however I have no experience of Norwegian so I cannot say if there are any particular quirks with their drop off system. If you have baggage to check in you use the self service bag drop, it's very simple, you place your bags on the conveyor as you would at a traditional manned desk, input your details, a luggage sticker will be printed for you to attach to your bags and your boarding pass will be printed, you can then proceed to security. Again, at Gatwick security has always been quick and efficient. All in all, I can arrive at Gatwick as a family of four (including two uncooperative, easily distracted children), drop bags off at the self service kiosk and clear security easily within 30 minutes.

Posted by
214 posts

we head to Gatwick the evening before the flight, there is a very nicely priced Premier Inn right across the street from the Terminal which makes it super easy to get to your flight. If you are going to the other Terminal the train shuttle is across the street also and its about a 3 min ride on the train shuttle to the other Terminal. Gatwick is very easy to get in and out of.