Gatwick Express

Feb 22nd, 2006, 10:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 87
Gatwick Express

I seem to remember buying tickets for round trip Gatwick Express in the past but don't remember where. Also, what is the price?
We have a free day and wd like to go to Stratford. Will tours be available from our hotel (Royal Horseguards), or should we take a train or bus?
We have done a lot of train travel but not much bus travel.
We are going early March.
Thanks -
institcher is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 11:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I'd advise buying singles on the day, at the station. There are always lots of seats available so this is not a problem, and it's only one or two GBP extra. Also, they are stopping this service at some point, so make sure your trip is within the cut off point.

As for Stratford, you mean Stratford-Upon-Avon - Stratford itself is a place in East London otherwise. I'm sure your hotel will be able to organise something, but then again, where are you staying?

I wasn't aware one could take the bus. Trains run regularly from Marylebone station to Statford-Upon-Avon, but I think you mean a coach trip, not a bus trip. In which case the hotel will probably be able to offer you something.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 11:54 PM
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If money's an issue, you can also take the Southern service from Victoria for several pounds less than the Gatwick Express; it takes maybe 15 minutes longer, because it stops at a few other places.
grsing is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:16 AM
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The current standard class return on the GEX is 25 Pounds; you can buy the tickets on line. Cheapest fare I could recently find on Southern Trains for the same journey was about 18 Pounds.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:26 AM
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You can buy return tickets on whichever carrier you choose at Gatwick airport. Go to the nationalrail site, pump in your details and press the "fares" button. You'll see a range of fares, with links to the conditions on each one. You're the best judge of whether the savings are worth it.

Practically all return tickets within the Greater London commuter area come without forcing you to take a specific train, though some fares are limited to certain times of the day. The Gatwick Express will be with us for a couple of years yet, and will continue to offer travellers worse value between Gatwick and the centre than Southern or Thameslink.

There are a couple of scheduled buses from London to Stratford (see the nationalexpress site), taking 3 hours and costing pretty much the same as the faster, more frequent, Chiltern trains. There's no return bus service enabling you to see an evening play at Stratford and get back to London the same day, and the scheduled bus route is far from scenic.

An organised tour (and your hotel will know far better than anyone on this board what they're offering) will be a great deal more expensive than the train. BUT, it might go the scenic route through the Cotswolds and stop off somewhere, and you might think this worth paying for. Practically the only thing worth stopping for on the train journey is the Hellfire Caves at High Wycombe, though many ticket deals won't let you break your journey.
CotswoldScouser is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 02:11 AM
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The Gatwick Express runs every fifteen minutes and seats cannot be booked, so there is no reason to buy a ticket in advance. The journey time is 30 minutes. Southern trains also run every fifteen minutes and take between 32 and 38 minutes, so the Gatwick Express saves five minutes on average.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 02:19 AM
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Gatwick Express is useful if

a) you are travelling with everything including the kitchen sink


b) you arrive at Gatwick during the morning rush hour


c) You need to get to a hotel near Victoria

For anything else you should FIRST consult the journeyplanner on as that will give you a route to the door of your hotel (assuming you know at least part of it's address)
alanRow is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:22 AM
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For my upcoming trip to London and Norwich I booked a return on the GEX for the simple reason that I will be getting on the train about 0900 and didn't want any hassles whatsoever with luggage stowage even though I am not bringing a "lot" of luggage.

I have been repeatedly advised that "Southern trains are just as good" and that "Southern trains are almost as fast" and that "Southern trains has plenty of luggage storage room" and on and on and on.

For an additional 7 Pounds I suppose I am really stupid and will burn in Fodorite "spend billions to save a dime" Hell.

Isn't it nice that nobody here, including me, can make you waste your money in a certain way???
Intrepid1 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 03:29 AM
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Posts: 19,881
Gatwick Express makes people think that there is only one train to London and that therefore they MUST go to Victoria before they can get anywhere else in London.

As a look at the Journeyplanner (both the TFL & Railtrack versions) there may be better & cheaper ways of getting to your destination
alanRow is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:28 AM
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Just returned from London Feb. 20th. we purchased tickets from gatwick to victoria on the southern line. It is 9 pounds, the train is great there is storage for luggage and it is almost as fast as gatwick express.

There were 2 in our party and a couple ahead of us in line. We talked to them and when we got to purchasing our tickets we purchased as a group. The special is 4 tickets for the price of one, so we actually spent 4.50 pounds a piece.
pjsparlor is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 06:10 AM
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the gatwick Express is supposedly the most profitable rail line, of all the various rail franchises, for some reason - business types i guess at least like the non-stop and usually less crowded trains to Gatwick. southern trains are almost as quick but stop a few times and could be more crowded. Gatwick Express will run at least until June 2007 after which it will probably continue non-stop from Gatwick to Victoria but originate in Brighton, being a stopping train until Gatwick and thus more crowded than now as it originates at the airport.
PalQ is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 10:24 PM
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Thanks to all for good advice. We are staying at Royal Horseguards - arriving Gatwick on a Sunday morning.
alanRow - thanks for websites.
m kingdom 2 - You were right that I meant Stratford-Upon-Avon, and I was thinking of a tour bus, which I think is called a coach there. Our hotel is the ROYAL HORSEGUARDS.
institcher is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 10:29 PM
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Sorry about the repetition on the posting just above.
institcher is offline  
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