Last Night in London at Airport Hotel?

Old Feb 21st, 2006, 08:30 AM
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Last Night in London at Airport Hotel?

We will end our June visit to Europe with five nights in London. Our flight back to the States is at 10:00 a.m. How much of a problem will it be to get to Gatwick from South Kensington very early in the morning? Should we opt for a hotel near the airport for the last night? Any advice from the pros will be appreciated!
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 08:56 AM
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Very little problem. Tube or taxi to Victoria Station. Southern train or Gatwick Express to the airport. 30-40 minutes from Victoria to Gatwick. Southern train is cheaper, unless there are three or four people in your party. The express has an up-to-four-for-the-price-of-two special.
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 09:25 AM
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Adding to my previous note. If you have a lot of luggage, a taxi from your hotel to Victoria Station would be best. It would be a short ride and not very expensive. If you're traveling light, the bus might work as well--or better--than the tube depending upon how close your hotel is to a tube station or bus stop.
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 09:36 AM
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The few times we left via Gatwick we opted to spend the night before in a B&B in Horsley, the little town that abutts the airport. Always a pleasant, relaxing experience and the B&B owners will take you to the airport as part of the service.

It will probably be your least expensive option, as well.
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 10:19 AM
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I've taken 10am flights from LGW many times and I don't see that as terribly early. There's no reason to change hotels unless you really want the experience of staying outside London. As mentioned before, taxi to Victoria Station and take the train to the airport.
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 10:27 AM
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If your check in time is 1000 you can leave London Victoria on Mondays to Saturdays at 0917 on a train headed for Eastbourne and on Sundays at 0847 and can leave South Kensington by underground half an hour ahead of your time at Victoria. At South Kensington you drop two flights of stairs from street to platform, and at Victoria rise two flights. A taxi would be a slower journey. If the bus stop is near the hotel and if you have a ticket in advance then bus number C1 will take your bags and you to Victoria.
A pleasant alternative is to spend your last night in a small hotel near the sea and the station in Brighton. Trains leave Brighton at 0700 Sunday to Friday and at 0704 on Saturday and reach Gatwick at 0737. You could breakfast at Gatwick airport after you check in. There are no stairs at Brighton station, and Gatwick airport has lifts from platforms up to airport level. Brighton is a pleasant small city, full of character. You may well find a play or concert for your last evening. I agree that Horsely would offer a quieter evening.

Ben Haines, London
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 11:36 AM
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I read in London newspapers that the Gatwick Express (non-stop) was being shut down and will become normal commuter train with multiple stops. I do not recall when it is to happen however. Better double check to make sure you will have adequate time for the train in case it happens before June. Perhaps Ben knows the status?
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 12:26 PM
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There's another thread saying the Gatwick Express good until 7/2007. The other option, Southern train, only takes a few minutes longer.
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Old Feb 21st, 2006, 02:25 PM
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Thanks to all who offered options. It's great to know that we can stay in London if we choose or just as easily opt for a night out of the city.

MelJ, would you share the name of your B&B in Horsely? And Ben, do you have a charming hotel in Brighton to suggest?
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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The Old Ship Hotel is the oldest in Brighton, and is pleasant. Their page is www.paramount-hotels.co.uk/oldship

Ben Haines
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Old Mar 7th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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I assume the earlier poster was referring to the small town of Horley, much of which is only a couple of miles from the airport.

I stayed there once last month for an early flight from LGW.

There are lots of B&Bs in the road this place is on but I stayed in the Springwood Guesthouse (www.springwoodguesthouse.co.uk). The reason I picked this one was that they included parking (while I was away) and offer complimentary lifts to the airport. I'm sure they would pick you up from the railway station as well to take you to the guest house.

There are a few restaurants and pubs in Horley so it's easy to pass an evening there.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 07:50 AM
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The various websites for the Gatwick Express give no news of closure. In any case, I do not recommend that express, and prefer the normal Southern Rail trains. You pay a pound extra and travel five minutes extra. It is pleasant to buy your ticket in your seat, as you do on the Gatwick Express, but so long as you have some English bank notes you can buy the normal ticket fast at one of the ticket sales machines. If your hotel is in the West End you can make a same-platform change of train at London Bridge and end at Charing Cross station, smaller than Victoria and with a better taxi service. If the hotel is in Bloomsbury then a Thameslink service takes you from the airport in 40 minutes to Kings Cross Thameslink, where you can flag down a taxi for the last half mile.

Brighton is far nicer than Horley.

Ben Haines

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