If you’re ever making a connection flight in London, it’s highly possible that you’ll have to travel between Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
Situated the opposite sides of the city, these 2 giant hubs boast an array of international lights and airlines, but sadly do not have a distinct transport link that connects them directly.
Having recently had to transfer between these two airports way too many times (!), I’ve done the research and are now able to bring you all the info about the best ways to travel between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.
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The only direct route on public transport between Gatwick and Heathrow Airports is via coach.
National Express, the UK’s main coach company, makes the journey roughly every half an hour.
The journey takes about 40 minutes, but we would certainly allow at least an hour for traffic delays, more during peak times.
Tickets can be booked online through the National Express website and cost £25 one-way and £40 return when done so in advance.
Coaches depart and arrive outside the airport terminal, although there may be a slight walk depending on which terminal you are using.
This might mean carrying your luggage, so do bear this in mind if you are traveling with older people or children.
It also worth considering that National Express do have some baggage restrictions.
On the plus side, catching public transport is environmentally friendly and a very economical method if you are traveling solo.
This is the way I generally choose to get between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports because it’s hassle free.
It’s also good to know that your National Express ticket can be changed for an earlier bus, without incurring any further costs, if you select the right option when booking.
Otherwise, simply speak to a company representative at the National Express Desk within the Airport terminal and buy on the day.
Book your National Express Tickets easily online using Trainline – my one stop shop for train and coach travel in the UK.
A surprisingly economical method if there is a group of you travelling, taxis between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports aren’t as expensive as you might think.
It is possible to pick up a taxi at one of the airport ranks, but I really advise booking one in advance.
A typical journey between Gatwick and Heathrow will cost you around £50, which is a great price when you consider a coach is £25 per person.
As such, if you’ve got heavier luggage or are travelling as a group / family, catching a taxi is surprisingly one of the cheapest ways to travel between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.
Obviously it’s more environmentally friendly to catch public transport if you can, but a taxicab is great for security, peace of mind, as well as a bit of privacy if you’re travelling long haul or with older people who might need a bit more comfort.
#3 Train & Tube
Another public transport option, although sadly not a direct one, is the tube and train combination method.
This is a great one if you are looking to go into London itself between your connecting flights.
Heathrow is connected to the London Underground system via the Piccadilly Line, while the overground train network services Gatwick.
Both are covered by London’s public transport system (and oyster card / contactless payment options) and can, therefore, be navigated easily making it probably the cheapest overall way to travel between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.
On leaving either airport terminal, your best bet will be to buy a Day Travelcard for all zones, which will allow you to take as many tubes, trains and buses within the London area as you like, including those to or from both airports.
Alternatively use your tap on / tap off Oyster or Contactless Card and TFL will automatically deduct the correct fare from you depending on the journey you make.
At Heathrow, look for signs to the Underground, purchase your ticket / tap on there and then board the tube, which should only be running in one direction as Heathrow is the end of the line.
Store any luggage away as much as possible on the tube, because even if the carriage looks fairly empty it’s soon going to fill up once you get closer to central London!
Take the Piccadilly line to Green Park station, then change onto the Victoria Line Southbound for one stop before reaching Victoria station itself.
There is a conveniently situated left luggage depot at Victoria Station by platform 8.
Here you can leave any heavy bags or suitcases while you explore the city – see Left Luggage for more prices, details and advanced booking options.
To journey to or from Gatwick, an overground train connects the airport with Victoria Station, London Bridge, Balham or Croyden.
It is operated by South West Trains and can be booked through Trainline.
I would recommend this service over the Gatwick Express, which is a more expensive train and not included in the Travelcard / oyster / contactless scheme.
It’s also good to know that despite the price difference, the duration of the 2 train services only differs by about 10- 20 minutes.
Check out the Transport for London website for more details on all public transport in and around London.
So those are the cheapest ways to travel between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. Just remember to leave at least 3 hours to make the journey – more if you are travelling at peak hour or going into London itself.