Transit Options from Heathrow to Gatwick
Isn’t Heathrow your destination, but it is just a transit point? Do you have to reach Gatwick Airport for your onward flight? You’ll find various ways to travel from LHR to LGW. Black cabs and minicabs and Heathrow airport transfers are the most comfortable solutions for your journey, whereas car rentals guarantee an independent ride. Nevertheless, you may be traveling on a budget. If that is the case, you’ll have to pick between the various shuttle lines directly linking the two airports or opt for an indirect rail journey.
|Options||Price (£)||Price (€)||Price ($)||Duration|
Our Tip: Both Heathrow and Gatwick Airports are busy. In fact, they are the most occupied UK airports while being listed among the busiest in the world. Thus, apart from the ride’s duration, you should also take into account the time needed for the passport control, security check, check-in, etc. procedures.
Heathrow to Gatwick by Taxi
Heathrow airport taxis (black taxis and minicabs) are widely preferred by travelers wishing to travel comfortably and safely from LHR to Gatwick. So, what’s the difference between them?
Black cabs (or black taxis or hackney carriages) are purpose-built vehicles with large passenger compartments that are accessible and can accommodate up to 5 travelers. Black taxis can be reserved online or be caught from the airport’s taxi stands, lying opposite bus stop 12 in T2, next to bus stops 16-22 in T3, outside the Arrivals hall (on the Ground floor) of T4, and opposite bus stops 10-12 in T5. Unfortunately, during rush hours, you may have to wait for your cab. It is crucial to bear this in mind in case of an upcoming flight. Even though they are named “black”, they can be of any color. If you want to be sure about the legitimacy of your black cab, you should spot the “Taxi” light on its roof, the white license plate (you’ll find useful info written on it), and the yellow or green license sticker displayed on its windshields. Moreover, the taxi driver must bear a yellow or green badge.
On the other hand, minicabs can only be booked online in advance. They aren’t allowed to line up at the airport taxi stands. Thus, they pick up their passengers at the Short-term Parking Lot of their terminal (waiting time should be added to the final cost). Official minicabs display a Transport for London license disk on their windows, while their drivers wear a private hire ID.
Heathrow airport taxis offer reliable services, as all drivers have been background checked and pass through regular medical exams.
The fare of your ride from Heathrow to Gatwick will be approximately the same, no matter the type of taxi (black taxis or minicabs). Minicabs may be slightly cheaper. However, although minicabs offer fixed rates, black taxis are metered. As a matter of fact, their fares are calculated based on a really complicated charging system. You may be able to negotiate a set fare with your black taxi driver. Nevertheless, if the taximeter displays a lower price, that’s what you are going to pay.
The flag tariff (and the minimum fare) is 3.80£/4.40€/4.70$, while rides from airports are charged an extra Airport 3.60£/4.10€/4.40$ fee. Overall, the 40-50-minute ride costs around 80£/92.10€/98.90$. However, when roads are congested, both traveling time and the taxi tariff rise abruptly.
Heathrow to Gatwick by Shuttle/Bus
If you are looking for a low-cost, direct way to travel from LHR to LGW, bus rides will be your only option. As a matter of fact, Transport from London local buses don’t run to Gatwick. Still, many coach coaches provide straightforward routes to Gatwick Airport.
National Express has many available routes running from Heathrow Airport to Gatwick Airport (Shuttles 025, 200, 201, 205, 210). The National Express Coaches have designated luggage space, and leather seating and offer their passengers free Wi-Fi. They depart from Heathrow Central Bus Station and T5 Bus Station every 10-30 minutes around the clock. However, routes are scarcer during the night. The duration of the ride from LHR to LGW is 55-65 minutes, while ticket prices start from 20£/23.20€/24.90$.
Alternatively, Oxford Bus Company provides “the Airline”, a bus route running between the two London airports. Buses depart from Heathrow Central Bus Station and T5 Bus Station almost around the clock. Their frequency is hourly. Nevertheless, night routes are scarcer. The traveling time from Heathrow T5 Bus Station to Gatwick is around 70-90 minutes. The ticket price is 15£/17.40€/18.70$ for adults and 7.50£/8.70€/9.30$ for children.
Heathrow to Gatwick by Train/Subway
Despite being served by several rail lines (Elizabeth Line, Picadilly Line, Heathrow Express), LHR Airport isn’t directly connected to Gatwick Airport via train or subway. Thus, passengers opting for a rail ride from LHR to LGW have to take London Underground or airport trains to Victoria Station and hop on the trains to Gatwick. Still, even rail rides to Victoria Station require a charge of lines. Explicitly:
How to get from Heathrow Airport to Victoria Station
- Catch the Heathrow Express
The fast Heathrow Express leaves T2/T3 Train Station and T5 Rail Station, heading to Paddington Station. It runs every 15 minutes (every 30 minutes after 10:00 pm) from 05:20 am to midnight and needs just 15 minutes (21 minutes from T5) to get to its terminus.
From Paddington Station, passengers have to change to the London Underground (Circle Line) traveling to Victoria Station. The duration of the subway ride is 14 minutes.
- Catch the Elizabeth Line
Alternatively, you can take the slower yet more affordable Elizabeth Line to Bond Street Station. Elizabeth Line calls at the London Underground Station of T2 and T3 (from 05:21 am (05:54 am on Sundays) to 00:12 am) and at the T4 (from 05:30 am (06:03 on Sundays) to 11:47 pm) and T5 (from 05:15 am (05:49 am on Sundays) to 00:07 am) Rail Stations. It runs every 30 minutes from T4 and T5 and every 15 minutes from T2/T3. The duration of the rail ride to Bond Street is 31 minutes. Once reaching Bond Street, passengers can hop on the Victoria Line to Victoria Station. This last ride lasts 3 minutes.
- Catch the London Underground (Picadilly Line)
Your last option is the Picadilly Line to Hammersmith Station. London Underground runs from all terminals every 5-10 minutes. It needs half an hour to get to Hammersmith Station (3-5 minutes more from T5). Its itineraries differ depending on the time of the day. You can check the exact timetable below:
|Heathrow Terminal||Monday - Thursday||Friday||Saturday||Sunday|
|T2/T3||05:12 am - 11:45 pm||05:12 am - 03:07 am||03:17 am - 03:07 am||03:17 am - 11:20 pm|
|T4||05:02 am - 11:35 pm||05:02 am - 11:37 am||05:06 am - 11:38 am||05:42 am - 10:37 pm|
|T5||05:22 am - 11:42 pm||05:22 am - 03:04 am||03:14 am - 03:04 am||03:14 am - 11:25 pm|
From Hammersmith, you’ll take the District Line heading to Victoria. Your journey time to Victoria will be around 13 minutes.
How to get from Victoria Station to Gatwick Airport
Once reaching Victoria Station, you’ll have the following options for your ride to LGW:
- The Gatwick Express
The Gatwick Express runs directly from Victoria Station to Gatwick Train Station, lying in the South Terminal. The trains operate from 05:59 am to 10:59 pm on a 30-minute frequency. They need 29 minutes to get to Gatwick Airport.
- Southern Rail
Southern Rail makes intermediate stops between Victoria Station and Gatwick. That’s the reason why it is slightly more time-consuming and somewhat cheaper. It runs 24/7, almost every 5-10 minutes, and needs 32 minutes to reach LGW Airport.
Elizabeth Line + ThamesLink
Your last option for the ride from Heathrow to Gatwick Airport is to take the Elizabeth Line to Farringdon Station (36 minutes) and catch the ThamesLink to Gatwick Airport (another 40 minutes). Thus, your total ride will be 76 minutes, and your fare will be 19.90£/23.10€/24.80$ during off-peak hours and 28£/32.50€/34.90$ at other times.
Peak hours are from 06:30 am to 9:30 am and from 04:00 pm to 07:00 pm on weekdays.
How to Pay for your Rail Ride from Heathrow to Gatwick
You can pay for your Elizabeth Line ride with a paper ticket (slightly more expensive) from the airport ticket kiosks and machines, using an Oyster Card (a rechargeable smart card that can be topped with cash or Travelcards and used in all public transit modes). Oyster Cards cost 7£/8.10€/8.65$ and allow passengers to travel with the “pay as you go” system, which is paying for their rides until reaching the daily cap (calculated based on the traversed zones, the traveling time, etc.). From that moment on, they travel free of charge for the rest of the day. Up to 4 children per paying adult travel for free, and kids 11-15 are entitled to a discount. Alternatively, you can opt for a Visitor Oyster Card that must be purchased online from the VisitBritain Shop and delivered to your home address. It is priced at 5£/5.80€/6.20$ but can’t be loaded with Travelcards. Travelcards are also bought online, sent to the home address, and offer unlimited public rides for 1, 2, or 3 days. For your ride from LHR to LGW, you’ll have to buy the Travelcard for Zones 1-6 Heathrow and Gatwick are located in Zone 6), paying 15.20£/17.60€/18.80 (for a 24-hour Travelcard). Your last option is to use contactless payments.
All Oyster Cards much be touched in and out at the yellow card readers of the departure and destination stations. Moreover, you’ll have to touch in and out the same device for contactless payments. Otherwise, the “pay as you go” system doesn’t apply.
Tickets for Heathrow Express can be bought online and from the airport’s automatic machines and ticket counters. Moreover, contactless payments and Oyster Cards are also accepted, but the “pay as you go” system doesn’t apply. In any case, children up to 15 years travel out of charge.
The fares for the Picadilly Line can be paid via an Oyster Card (and a Visitor Oyster Card), or a Travelcard for Zones 1-6. Alternatively, you can use contactless payments or buy a slightly more expensive paper ticket.
Furthermore, tickets for the Gatwick Express, the Southern Line, and the ThamesLInk can be bought online (without any booking fees). On the other hand, they can be purchased from the stations’ ticket vendors and offices, while Oyster Cards and Travelcards (for Zones 1-6) are also accepted.
To Sum Up
The ride with the Heathrow Express and the London Underground to Victoria Station lasts 29 minutes and costs 27.70£/32.10€/34.40$, whereas the combination of Elizabeth Line and London Underground is priced at 13.30£/15.40€/16.50$. Their overall journey time is 34 minutes. On the other hand, if you use the London Underground to Victoria Station, you’ll pay 5.60£/6.50€/7$ and reach the station in 43 minutes.
The price for the ride with the Gatwick Express to Gatwick is around 19.50£/22.60€/24.20$, whereas Southern Line charges around 19£/22€/23.60$. Please note that all train companies offer not-to-be-missed deals and special-priced tickets. The duration of their journeys is 29 minutes and 32 minutes respectively.
Car Rental from Heathrow to Gatwick
If you want to schedule your transit from Heathrow Airport to Gatwick at your own pace, you should settle on a Heathrow airport car rental. Autonomous rental cars guarantee tailored rides as you can select the vehicle of your choice, choose any required add-ons, etc. In fact, early bookings not only offer low-cost prices but usually come with a wider variety of vehicle models and extra amenities. As far as the cost is concerned, the prices of car rentals at Heathrow Airport are competitive since various car rental companies are present at LHR.
The 42-mile/68km ride from Heathrow to Gatwick should last around 40-50 minutes. However, if you are traveling during peak hours, the road congestion will even double the duration of the ride. As soon as you reach Gatwick Airport, you’ll have to either drop off your London car rental or park it. LGW offers various parking facilities, from short-term to long-stay parking lots and from premium car parks to valet services. Thus, depending on your needs, budget, and departing terminal, you will easily choose the most cost-effective parking solution.
Heathrow Airport Transfers from LHR to LGW
The most convenient way to travel from Heathrow Airport to Gatwick Airport is to opt for a Heathrow airport transfer. In that way, you’ll have our driver waiting for you at the Arrivals hall, ready to assist you with your luggage and offer you a smooth ride to Gatwick, giving you handy tips and hints on the way. Even though Heathrow airport transfers are dependent on the traffic levels, they include zero waiting time at the airport and -of course- zero hassle. On the other hand, they are slightly pricier than airport taxis. Still, they will elevate your traveling experience and remove all stress from your in-between the two terminals transfer. What’s more, if you check the available options and contrast the provided services and fares, you’ll most likely come up with a value-for-money solution.
Is there a shuttle service between Heathrow and Gatwick?
Various National Express Lines, as well as a route provided by Oxford Bus Company (the Airlines), directly link the two airports. On the other hand, local buses don’t run from Heathrow to Gatwick.
How hard is it to transfer from Heathrow to Gatwick?
A taxi or a private airport transfer ride from LHR to LGW removes almost all the stress from the journey between the two airports. Aletrnatively, many coaches offer affordable and direct rides from Heathrow to Gatwick. Conversely, train and subway journeys require more than one change of lines adding a significant amount of time and hassle to the transit.
How long does the coach take from Heathrow to Gatwick?
The National Express Routes need around one hour to travel from LHR to Gatwick. On the other hand, the Airline (the route provided by Oxford Bus Company) reaches Gatwick Airport in about 70-90 minutes.