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Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

Ireland
Level Contributor
51 posts
69 reviews
40 helpful votes
Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

I am arriving into Gatwick next Thursday at 12.15 and then have a eurostar to Brussels booked for 15.04. I believe there is some regional train I can take that will bring me direct from Gatwick to St Pancras, is that right? Should I book it beforehand or can I pay on the train/station? Hopefully I should be able to make it on time

Yorkshire, United...
Level Contributor
1,955 posts
93 reviews
38 helpful votes
1. Re: Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

Assuming you have an Irish (EU) passport, you should be able to get through the airport relatively quickly. Assume 30 minutes, but could take an hour worst case.

You should definitely be able to make the 13:08 Thameslink train that goes directly to St Pancras, arriving 14:18. However that's just 10 to 15 minutes before Eurostar check-in closes, so is cutting it fine. If your incoming flight is late, or you do get held up at Gatwick immigration, you may not make it.

You may wish to jump on the first Southern train that comes to Victoria and change to the Victoria tube line to St Pancras, to get there earlier.

www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.

No advantage to pre-booking, just use a contactless bank card at the ticket gates to pay for the journey. You can't pay on board.

Why not just fly to Brussels and remove this risky connection from your trip?

Corringham, United...
Level Contributor
9,014 posts
131 reviews
78 helpful votes
2. Re: Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

Assuming your flight into Gatwick is on time then it should be ok.

Just go to the station at the South terminal and buy your tickets there.

Train goes to St Pancras from LGW

Ideally best to be 45 mins for check in at Eurostar.

Tight if you flight is delayed

London
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
25,134 posts
77 reviews
131 helpful votes
3. Re: Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

Thameslink goes to St Pancras. If you have contactless you can use that.

As for making it you'll need to be lucky. If your flight is late you might not.

Ireland
Level Contributor
51 posts
69 reviews
40 helpful votes
4. Re: Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

I have the eurostar booked already so booking a flight at this point isn't really an option for me. If I missed the train I'd probably just look for cheapest option to get me to brussels regardless, even bus and boat if it came to it.

Anyway I can't imagine it's going to take more than 2hrs to get to St Pancras unless disaster strikes. I had a look on the Thamelink website and there seems to be fairly regular trains going from Gatwick to London Victoria like you said so if it's a matter of waiting 20 minutes for the direct train then will just go to London Victoria. Do the thameslink train tickets cover you for travel on the tube as well?

Edited: 5:42 am, October 26, 2017
Yorkshire, United...
Level Contributor
1,955 posts
93 reviews
38 helpful votes
5. Re: Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

"Do the thameslink train tickets cover you for travel on the tube as well?"

If you buy a ticket to St Pancras that's routed 'any permitted' then yes it should. However using a contactless bank card means you don't actually buy a ticket. The correct fare for the whole journey is debited directly from your card account at the end of the day.

London, United...
Level Contributor
4,203 posts
75 reviews
45 helpful votes
6. Re: Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

The point you seem to be missing in your calculations is that Eurostar is not like a regular train where you can turn up minutes before the doors close and board with no problem. There is airport style security to go through as well as immigration (UK exit control and Schengen entry control in two separate steps). It is recommended to arrive at St Pancras 45 minutes before your Eurostar departs, but in a pinch 30 minutes is just about ok.

I would take the first London-bound train from Gatwick. If it goes to St Pancras, great. If Victoria, it's only 10 minutes on the Victoria line of the tube to Kings Cross St Pancras station from there.

paris london
Level Contributor
7,102 posts
6 reviews
15 helpful votes
7. Re: Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

You have left yourself with a very tight connection, so you need to take the trains that get you to St Pancras fastest. While there is a direct train from Gatwick to St Pancras, it is not necessarily the shortest journey nor the earliest arrival time. Eurostar advise you to check in 30 mins before departure, but I would want to arrive at the Eurostar terminal 1 hour before departure to be safe.

You will often get to St Pancras faster by taking the first available train to Victoria, then transferring to the tube to St Pancras. This may not be the cheapest or easiest route, but as you are on a very tight timetable, it would be worth the sacrifice.

This is due to the direct trains only running 2-3x per hour, whereas the Victoria trains run every 5-10 mins, and also that some of the direct trains make a lot of stops, which extends the journey time by 15 mins.

For example, if you get to Gatwick station at 12.45, you would arrive at St Pancras 30 mins earlier by taking the Victoria train rather than the direct train: …nationalrail.co.uk/service/…dep

I suggest you study the timetables carefully, and load the Trainline app so you can be aware of Gatwick departure times on the day (trains are often delayed, and it can pay to take a 'later' train if the 'earlier' one is delayed).

London
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
25,134 posts
77 reviews
131 helpful votes
8. Re: Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

Anyway I can't imagine it's going to take more than 2hrs to get to St Pancras unless disaster strikes.

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It isn't. The problem is what happens if your flight is late/delayed. Even an hour could derail your little plan; 2 and you're toast.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
35,879 posts
1 review
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9. Re: Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

If you do miss it then check out Megabus. Might even be worthwhile booking it now

Not even going to ask why you aren't flying from home direct

London
Destination Expert
for Thirassia, Fira
Level Contributor
17,979 posts
18 reviews
41 helpful votes
10. Re: Gatwick to St. Pancras, will I make it?

Anyway I can't imagine it's going to take more than 2hrs to get to St Pancras unless disaster strikes.

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Do you have to wait for checked luggage to come off the conveyor belt?

If you do, that is time you don't have. Travel hand luggage only.