Gatwick...Taxi or Gatwick Express?

Old Apr 21st, 2003, 08:24 PM
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Gatwick...Taxi or Gatwick Express?

A friend of mine is staying at a hotel a couple of blocks from Victoria Station and is planning to take a cab from the airport. I think it's insane to hop a cab when there's an express train that takes you within two blocks of the hotel.

I've taken the Heathrow Express, but am unfamiliar with the Gatwick Express. How long is a taxi ride from Gatwick to central London and how long does it take? Cost?

Thanks,

Mitch
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Old Apr 21st, 2003, 08:33 PM
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While I've often explained that taking a private car service from Heathrow to central London (with two people) will beat doing the Heathrow express, I'm the first who would opt for the Gatwick Express to Victoria, especially when the hotel is near Victoria.
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Old Apr 21st, 2003, 08:45 PM
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A taxi from Gatwick Airport to London will be very expensive. Many people, not just economical people, take a taxi or tube at Victoria Station.

If you want to save money, you can take the local instead of Gatwick Express. It only takes a few minutes longer. If you arrive in the morning, you have to wait for your hotel room anyway so it is an easy way to save a few pounds.
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Old Apr 21st, 2003, 10:39 PM
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Perhaps your friend does not realize the Gatwick Express is sort of like RIGHT IN the airport terminal, and you don't have to go outside or even change levels, if I recall, to get the train. It is actually way easier than getting a taxi. You can even buy your ticket on board if you like. Nothing could be easier.
 
Old Apr 21st, 2003, 11:35 PM
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Not only would a taxi cost 3 or 4 times more than the train - it would also take at least 30% longer - and maybe twice as long. Gatwick is almost 30 miles from Victoria and the road traffic can be a horror.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 01:32 AM
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Gatwick to London trains take 30 minutes. The station is, if anything, easier to reach than taxi stands. Ticketing, train times and platform indicators are all very clearly signposted. See www.baa.co.uk for all the info on airports.

Your friend might be worried about finding the hotel once they reach Victoria, but if they have the address they can find and print out a map at www.multimap.com
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 05:47 AM
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I have to agree about taking the Gatwick Express. There is a ticket window at Gatwick and a ticket counter at Victoria dedicated solely for Gatwick Express ticket sales. The train at Gatwick is one level down which can be accessed by two lifts. One lift is only about 100 feet from where you have to drop off your baggage cart. The other lift is just off the check-in lobby. I think we were able to use the cart on that lift. At Victoria, the train arrives on street level. There are baggage carts at Victoria Station that operate like the shopping carts at Aldi's. You put in a one-pound coin to release the cart, but you get the coin back when you return the cart. There is a cart return area right at the taxi stand.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 06:40 AM
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How much is the Gatwick Express. We have a 7 hour layover at Gatwick and thought we might take the train to Victoria and explore a little bit of London. Is there a place at Gatwick we can store our carry-on bags?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 06:41 AM
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I agree with the others - Gatwick Express is definitely the way to go. If your friend is concerned about carrying/pulling luggage from Victoria Station to the hotel, a taxi just from the station to the hotel might be an option and would not cost much at all (although the taxi driver might think it a bit odd to be going such a short distance). Getting luggage on/off the train is pretty easy as well. If your friend happens upon an employee, they may even help. If the friend splurges for a first class ticket (which is somewhat silly, but is pretty economical as far as splurges go), an employee would almost definitely help out plus there would be a lot more room to move around in the train car.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 07:07 AM
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www.gatwickexpress.com or www.thetrainline.com for local trains
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 07:58 AM
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I just used Gatwick Express. SO easy and convenient! It costs around 11 and a half pounds. (You will have to do the $ conversion) If you want to get a taxi from Victoria station you will not have a problem getting one. This is a no-brainer!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 08:21 AM
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This is really not a multiple choice question. The Gatwick Express is very convenient. I used it a month ago to Victoria Station. As I recall the cost was 11 or 12 pounds. They run every 15 minutes I think, and you can purchase the needed ticket on board the train.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 09:30 AM
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A quick visit to London during your layover is certainly doable. You could also take a local train directly from Gatwick to Brighton (about 30 minutes) for a view of the coast and a taste of salt air.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 09:47 AM
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We are traveling to London via Gatwick on May 4 and are delighted with this thread. Learned everything we need to know about the Gatwick Express. We will also be staying at the Holiday Inn Victoria. What could be more convenient? Thank you all!
John
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 08:54 PM
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Thanks for the advice all. I'm going to pass this thread on to my friend.

You guys are great!
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