Thameslink to Gatwick: Navigating London’s Airport Transit

by joeheg

In the US, public transit from the airport to the city usually offers limited options, but in London, there are many choices available. Unlike the usual “cheapest” or “fastest” options, London’s “Express” trains may not always be the quickest choice because they only stop at one station. The speed of your journey depends on how convenient that station is to your destination.

I was flying back home with Norse Atlantic from Gatwick Airport. Although the Gatwick Express is the fastest train from London, it departs from Victoria Station. Since I was staying at Russell Square, getting to Victoria Station would have required me to take several stops and change trains on the Underground. Taking the tube to Kings Cross was much simpler for me. where I could catch a Thameslink train, so that’s what I did.

Thameslink from St. Pancras to Gatwick

If you’re arriving from the Underground or from the front of the station, the entrance to the ThamesLink trains is quite a walk through the mall. I remembered this from the last time we traveled to Gatwick.

While there were ticket kiosks to the left of the entrance, the train employee at the gates said I could tap to pay and enter the station. I wasn’t sure of the exact fare, but traveling in the late morning on a weekday isn’t usually the peak fare time. I ended up paying $16.34 for the ride, taking into account the exchange rate.

a train in a station

During the day, trains from St. Pancras to Gatwick leave approximately every 15 minutes. In addition to St. Pancras, the Thameslink stops in London at these stations:

  • Farringdon
  • City Thameslink
  • London Blackfriars
  • London Bridge

This is why taking the Thameslink instead of the Gatwick Express may be more convenient. However, additional stops do make for a longer trip. My trip from St. Pancras to Gatwick Airport took around 1 hour.

a sign on a train

As I said, I was traveling at a non-peak time on a Weekday so the train wasn’t crowded. The Thameslink trains do have places to put your suitcases and I used that for my larger bag, I kept my rollaboard and my backpack with me, as I had plenty of space.

a seat on a train

Final Thought

In my experience, the choice between taking the Gatwick Express or the Thameslink largely depends on your location within London. If you are closer to Victoria Station or the southern part of London, the Gatwick Express may be a convenient option for you. On the other hand, if you are located nearer to the City of London or the northern part of the city, the Thameslink provides a reliable and efficient means of reaching the airport. Both options offer comfortable and efficient transportation to Gatwick Airport.

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