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Gatwick is located 27 miles (43 km) south of the center of London. There are tourist board information desks in both terminals, located just past the passenger greeting area. Victoria Train Station also has a large London Tourist Board information center. The airport Web site is part of the BAA Web site with links to seven British airports. BAA is the British Airport Authority. Gatwick's site includes:
Taxis are available to London, but if you are going to the center the cost is high and you are at the mercy of the traffic. The fare will be about Ј70 ($115) Black Cab or Ј55 mini-cab. (By law, a Black Cab looks the part, plus can be flagged down on the streets; a mini-cab can't be flagged down.) Travel time from 40 to 90 minutes, depending on the traffic. An alternative is Gatwick Airport Cars. You can book one immediately at a stand just before you walk outside the terminal.
There are three choices for train travel, The Gatwick Express, regular trains to Victoria, and the Thameslink to other stations.
By far the best way into London is the Gatwick Express Train. British Rail operates the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station. The walk to the airport rail station in the south terminal is convenient. From the north terminal, take the free shuttle train to the south terminal which drops you off right by the airport rail station. Purchase tickets at the window for about Ј10 ($17) one-way, with a travel time of 30 minutes. A First Class ticket costs Ј16 ($26).
Depending on when you plan to return to Gatwick, you may be able to buy a cheap return ticketinquire at the ticket counter. The trains leave every 15 minutes from 6:50 A.M. to 8:50 P.M. and every 30 to 60 minutes during the night. There's plenty of luggage space and excellent seating room; the trains are quite comfortable, and most feature a trolley buffet service.
There is also regular British Rail service from Gatwick. The fare is a little less than the express, and the trip takes only about 5 minutes longer than the express. If you don't have too much luggage, this will work fine and save you some money.
Thameslink provides good rail service from the Gatwick station to the Blackfriars, Farringdon, and Kingscross stations in central London. Some trains stop at London Bridge and City Thameslink stations. Trains leave Gatwick from around 5:45 A.M. until midnight, with a travel time of 35 minutes. Purchase a ticket at one of the ticket windows before boarding. The one-way fare is about Ј10 ($17).There are direct trains to other cities in the southeast from Gatwick. Check the BritRail information office in the station.
Jetlink operates an express bus to Victoria Coach Station from Gatwick via Chessington and Wandsworth. The fare will be about Ј8 ($12) one-way and the trip is scheduled to be 60 minutes. The coach/bus station on the ground floor of the South Terminal provides service to many other towns and cities around the UK. The Airlinks coach also serves as a transfer between Gatwick and Stansted Airports (see below).
Jetlink operates an express bus between Stansted and Gatwick, with stops at Victoria Coach Station, Chessington and Wandsworth. Fare is Ј17 ($26). There are also frequent buses to the other airports. After leaving customs, follow the signs for these companies to their desks where you can buy tickets. You should allow at least 2-1/2 hours between flights if you're connecting to Heathrow, and up to 3-1/2 hours for a Stansted connection. The travel time to Heathrow is around 60 minutes, depending on the traffic, and about two hours to Stansted.
All major companies are represented at Gatwick. Follow the sign after customs to get to the rental car areas.
World Airport Information Main Page
Adapted from How to Get Out of the Airport