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Lgw or Stn?

Vancouver
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Lgw or Stn?

I have a flight leaving from LHR, and am planning on flying into London the day beforehand. I have 2 flight options, and can land at either LGW or STN. Of the 2, which would be the better choice in order to get to town and see some sights? We only have the 1 day in London, and as it will be after 2 and a half weeks of traveling around Italy, France and Spain, we'd like to make our last day as easy as possible. We don't have any specific plans in London for the day, just want to walk around and take in some sites, and perhaps some shopping. Would we be best staying the night somewhere in town, or closer to the LHR airport?

Borough Market
Flea & Street Markets
Camden Market
Flea & Street Markets
Covent Garden
Flea & Street Markets, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Hearts of London
Gift & Speciality Shops
London
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1. Re: Lgw or Stn?

Gatwick. And where you stay depends partly on what day/time your flight leaves but probably central London. Victorias a good area - easy from Gatwick and to Heathrow.

Edited: 20 July 2014, 19:26
Vancouver
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2. Re: Lgw or Stn?

Our flight would land at Gatwick at 11am, and leave Heathrow the next morning at 9:45am

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: Lgw or Stn?

Bella, which day and date(s) are we talking about here? There could be engineering works on the trains and tubes which we can find out if we know the date. Also depending on which day you're departing Heathrow may also affect a recommendation (the tube doesn't start until later on Sundays).

r c
Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Lgw or Stn?

Bella787,

i try to use LGW more since its a smaller airport and i can get to Victoria station using the Gatwick experss. many people dont like it since its expensive, but im not using it everyday so i can afford the one trip in or out.

The tube system is nice and efficient in london so getting around is nice. imo, walking to river from there isnt bad either and there is some shopping nearby too.

If it was me, id rather stay in London then at the airport, but if you have a really early flight out of LHR then it maybe better.

UK
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5. Re: Lgw or Stn?

I don't know why someone has stated so categorically that you should fly to Gatwick. Gatwick is 30-45 minutes from Central London, depending on what train you take (Gatwick Express vs local train). Stansted is 45 minutes from Central London. So I think you should go by what airport offers you better timings and/or a better price.

London, United...
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6. Re: Lgw or Stn?

The local (Southern) trains aren't 45 minutes from Gatwick, even the 3 stop trains are about 36 minutes. A fast train is 31, practically the same as the Express. GEX is a nice train but not really worth the extra £5.

I would say Gatwick, simply because you will get the train into Victoria which is more convenient (i.e. walkable) to the main tourist sites than arriving into Liverpool Street from Stansted. But since both rely on trains, I would check your dates and go with whichever one wasn't affected by any engineering works - particularly important if you're flying in on a Saturday or Sunday and have limited time.

As for where to stay, again this will depend on the specific day/date. If a Sunday, keep in mind that the tubes start later (assuming they're not affected by engineering, as already mentioned) so getting out to Heathrow might be a bit tight from central London. In which case, a Heathrow area hotel may make more sense.

Edited: 20 July 2014, 20:55
London, England
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7. Re: Lgw or Stn?

rc,

The reason people on here don't like the Gatwick Express isn't primarily the cost; it is that it arrives at Victoria all of 6 minutes faster than the Southern trains and unless you are travelling at the height of morning rush hour, there are plenty of seats and room for any reasonably sized bags on the ordinary trains. It isn't the cost itself, but the rip-off feeling of the word "express" in those circumstances.

Additionally, IMHO the area around Victoria station isn't necessarily the best place to stay in London being very touristy and fairly down market. If you are staying near Victoria Station, it is likely that spending money on the Gatwick "Express" is almost as silly as staying near Paddington (which is a similar rather down market area) and spending money on the Heathrow Express which is at least fast, but not convenient for any other area of London.

If you are staying further north than Victoria or in the Tower Hill area, the First Capital Connect (or Southern) trains to London Bridge or the First Capital Connect trains to Bedford which usually stop at Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon or St. Pancras could easily be more convenient as well as cheaper.

The Gatwick Express is value for money in very few circumstances. (Morning rush hour, 4 small children and stupid amounts of luggage - maybe?)

Edited: 20 July 2014, 21:10
London, United...
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8. Re: Lgw or Stn?

You'll also want to put your luggage somewhere I imagine, so a hotel at Heathrow would mean having to travel from Gatwick/Stanstead, to C London, to Heathrow, and then back to C. London, and then back to Heathrow all in one day.

Vancouver
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9. Re: Lgw or Stn?

Thanks for all your help! We would be coming in on Sunday September 7th, at approx. 11am via LGW or 1pm via STN, and then our flight departs at 9:45 the next morning. How can I check if there are any engineering works going on? We were leaning towards the LGW because we prefer the earlier flight time, and the the price difference is only a few dollars.

London
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10. Re: Lgw or Stn?

For Sun 7 Sep, there will be an almost normal train service from LGW. The only variation is that the FCC service will skip LondonBridge - but will still serve Blackfriars and St Pancras.