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Gatwick vs. Heathrow

Gatwick vs. Heathrow - feature photo

Many travelers planning a trip to London will have an important question to consider when booking their tickets – should I fly into Gatwick or Heathrow airport?

Of London’s 5 airports, Gatwick and Heathrow are the two largest and busiest, with thousands of passengers arriving and departing each day. Most international carriers and international flights to and from London operate out of these terminals. So which airport should you choose when you fly into or out of London?

If you have a choice of the two, there are a number of factors to consider. Here is some basic information on each airport to help you determine which airport is best suited to your holiday and travel needs.

Heathrow Airport

  • Heathrow is located 15 miles west of Central London, and is the world’s busiest international airport.
  • Two Piccadilly Line tube stations serve the airport – the underground tube is the cheapest way to get to or from all London airports.
  • Travelers can also choose from two train services – the Heathrow Connect and the Heathrow Express. There are also National Express buses to deliver passengers to and from London.
  • If you’d like to drive to the airport there is also a range of Heathrow airport parking options to choose from – long stay, short stay, business, valet as well as a number of pick up and drop off zones.

Gatwick airport

  • Gatwick is located 30 miles south of Central London, and is widely regarded as smaller and better organised than Heathrow.
  • An efficient monorail makes the 2-minute journey between the two terminals.
  • The Gatwick Express links the South Terminal with Victoria. It’s a non-stop 30 minute journey that runs every 15 minutes.
  • Southern Trains also run services to Victoria via East Croydon and Clapham Junction, leaving four times an hour.
  • easyBus is another transport option, offering low-cost frequent airport transfer service non-stop from London and Gatwick with prices from £2. Buses depart every 15 minutes at peak times and run throughout the day and night from both North and South terminals to Earls Court/West Brompton in central London.
  • If you want to drive to the airport, there are a number of Gatwick airport parking options to choose from – whether you need a short or longer term arrangements.

Frequent flyers are divided on their preference for Heathrow or Gatwick. For many, the advantage of choosing Heathrow is that you can buy a travel card at the airport to cover you for your entire London trip. For others, Gatwick’s smaller size and better organisation makes it easier to navigate. It often takes less time to clear customs at Gatwick than Heathrow, making it a quick and hassle-free airport experience.

If you’re flying into or out of London, consider which airport better suits you. Remember, if you are travelling through both terminals, Gatwick and Heathrow are 40 miles apart, so make sure you give yourself at least a 2 hour connection time to make the trip between the two.

What’s your preference? Gatwick or Heathrow?

There Are 5 Responses So Far. »

  1. I live in London but have family in Sweden so I travel from London airports very often I must say I prefer Heathrow so much more! I very often hear people saying that Heathrow is very unorganized and big but I find that Heathrow is very easily navigated and very organised where I on the other hand find Gatwick very difficult to find my way around and it is very poorly signposted. and as you write in your post. to be able to travel with the tube is a big plus for me anyway.

  2. Heathrow is much better it is better too get around. Everyone is friendly and Gatwick although it only has 2 terminals is not so easily too get around and is too small. Heathrow is always growing and you can find what you need quite easily.

  3. It is really informative and helpful blog and wonderful compares between the Heathrow and Gatwick Airport. However I never go to the Heathrow Airport but I was gone to London through Gatwick Airport many times and maximum time I book advance car parking space and hotel at Gatwick Airport through website like where lots of passengers are like to have their all types airport services like car parking and hotel booking. Also their security and parking system is very nice. Especially their meet and greet service is so impressive.

  4. I prefer Heathrow mainly because you can get the tube there. The last time I arrived at Gatwick I got the regular train to Victoria Station and it cost £15.

  5. Gatwick and Heathrow are the two most major and demanding airport where unlimited of passengers are arriving and leaving everyday. It’s really tough too choose any single of them. It’s depends on the passengers which can they choose.

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