Getting from Gatwick to Heathrow is a problem which is regularly on the lips of those who travel to the UK and use London as a transit point on to other countries, particularly in North America and Europe. Here are a few tips on how to do it.
Heathrow to Gatwick by Bus
The bus is the most direct way of connecting between the two airports. There’s the National Express Bus which is the only direct connection, it leaves up to 6 times an hour and takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to make the journey – it can take longer at busy times. It will cost you £19.50 per person each way. Tickets can be bought online, from the ticket desk at the airport or from the bus driver and the bus can be boarded at the bus stations at terminal 5, terminal 4 or the central bus station serving terminals 1 – 3.
Heathrow to Gatwick by Train
You can use the train to get between the two airports if you prefer, there’s no direct link, so if you don’t feel like the bus, there are two main options open to you:
1 change> Catch the Picadilly line tube from Heathrow to Kings Cross – St Panchras Station, from there walk to St Panchras International Station and catch the First Connect Thameslink train to Gatwick airport. You’ll need to buy two separate tickets, one for the tube (about £5) and another for the Thameslink (about £10). The journey will take you in the region of about 2 hours, add extra time for waiting and buying of tickets.
2 changes> Catch the Picadilly line tube from Heathrow to South Kensington Station, change to the district or circle lines towards Victoria Station. From here change to the Gatwick Express Train from the main train station. The journey will take you about 1 hour 30 minutes and you’ll need to buy two separate tickets, one for the tube (about £5) and one for the Gatwick Express (about £16).
Important visa requirements for South Africans
South Africans need a visa to transit the UK, except in the event they are travelling to the USA or Canada and do not leave the airport transit area. This means that if you purchase a ticket via London to either of those countries but you have to change airports, you will need a visa for the United Kingdom.