London TO Gatwick Help

Oct 16th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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London TO Gatwick Help

So I did a search on this board regarding Gatwick Airport transportation and I saw there was overwhelming advice to take the Gatwick Express to London but I would like input regarding our travel TO Gatwick.

There will be 2 adults and 2 teenagers (so 4 adult fares). Our flight is at 8am on a Sunday morning to Geneva. I would really like to use the car service Just Airports as it will cost us 42GBP and they will pick us up at the hotel. I think we will have to leave the hotel around 5am(???). Do you think there will be traffic on a Sunday morning at this time?

I priced the Gatwick Express and it will cost 63.6 GBP plus the cost to get to Victoria Station. The Southern train costs 20 GBP if I buy online as a group plus cost to get to Victoria. Also,if we use the Southern train I am worried we will need to be at Victoria stattion at 5am and I dont think the tube will run that early so we would probably need a cab to Victoria???

I think the car service is my best option???

Oh, should just say staying at an airport hotel the night before is not an option. Any suggestions here are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Traveln is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 08:24 AM
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There won't be much traffic on a Sunday early a.m.. But if you use a car service you will definitely have to leave the hotel before 0500. LGW is more than 30 miles south of London w/o any highspeed roads in between. So even in the early morning it will take more than an hour by car.

In your case I would either opt for the train - or I'd leave London Sat night and stay in a hotel at LGW. If you do stay at LGW - I'd take the cheaper Southern train. You can check out of your hotel and leave your bags there or take them to Victoria station and pick them up after a full day's sightseeing. It does cost £6 to check each bag at Victoria, so I'd personally leave them at the hotel.

You really don't get any benefit from staying in London that night and staying at LGW makes your Sunday morning so much easier
janisj is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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Any decent car service driving to Gatwick from central London will use the slightly roundabout route via the M25 that will get you to the airport in an hour easily.

On Sunday mornings, there'll be no traffic (though Livingston's foulup of the city's traffic lights means you'll be astounded how long you'll be waiting for lights to change even when there's no traffic). But early on peak Sunday mornings (like most of the summer), there's amazing congestion getting cars to the terminal buildings from the M23. North's much worse than South in this respect, but Gatwick is designed on the assumption passengers arrive by train.

So make sure you're packed, checked out and at the door with your bags at 0500.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 08:51 AM
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<<< I saw there was overwhelming advice to take the Gatwick Express to London >>>

IF you are travelling into London before 9:30am on a working day or out of London between 4:00pm & 7:00pm on a working day.

At other times the first question would be "where are you staying" as there are several ways to get between Central London & Gatwick that don't involve either the Gatwick Express or travelling through Victoria Station and which are generally easier & cheaper door to door

So "where are you staying"?
alanRow is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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By the way, for the avoidance of doubt:

I wouldn't dream of getting a train to Gatwick on a Sunday morning under your circumstances. Under practically any other, I wouldn't dream of going any way but by train. There are next to no circumstances that train would be the Gatwick Express.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Just for the record, the Gatwick Express has an up-to-4-for-the-price-of-2 special so your total fare would be £31.80. However, the Southern special is still cheaper.
TimS is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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We are staying at a hotel that is a 2 minute walk to the Paddington Main Line, the Sussex Gardens area.

Traveln is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 09:31 AM
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Well - that location is not very convenient to either Victoria, or to a the road route.

If it were me - I'd have a nice dinner in London, get a last view of some of the sites, pick up my luggage, take the tube to Victoria, take the Southern train to LGW and settle in at a hotel down there. But that is just me - I wouldn't want to be getting a family of 4 ready to go at 0430 . . . .
janisj is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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Regarding the 2 minute walking time to Paddington station and Sussex gardens.. Stayed at two different hotels in that are and I would guess the walk was more like 10 minutes, the plus side is you can take the side exit to Craven road/Praed street.
rogerdodger is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Staying at the airport is not an option. But thanks for everyones help.
Traveln is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 09:55 AM
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Sussex Gardens is extremely handy on a Sunday morning for the sensible route to Gatwick.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 11:56 AM
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I would go with the car service. You'll have to be up and about very early regardless of which mode of transport you choose, however, for convenience sake, a hired car makes more sense. It will eliminate a little of the agro of getting to Gatwick. You won't have to drag bags through the underground, or get a cab to Victoria....
jewela is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 09:56 PM
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You clearly travel frugally.

A number of airlines offer chauffeur pickup if you're travelling in premium class (or rather did when I used to use other people's money to fly). If they're going to Gatwick from west central London, they go out the A3, take a back double at Tolworth, then go the obvious M25/M23 route. Paddington's pretty convenient for this.

If they're going from east central London (like Islington or the City) they try to do that and you have to tell them they're barmy. You get them to go out to the Blackwall Tunnel, make their way to the M25 as if they were heading for the Channel Tunnel, then take the M25/M23.

What you must never do is follow the signs for Brighton in central London. But under certain circumstances, getting to or from Gatwick by road on these roundabout routes can be a lot less painful than getting a train. And, home to checkin desk, faster.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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I must admit I've never driven from west London to the south/LGW. Your out and around route makes sense. If I'm driving (or being driven) from near Paddington it is usually to the west like to LHR or on to Oxford or beyond.

My experience driving in south London broke me of that habit loooong ago.
janisj is offline  
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