Heathrow or Gatwick?

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Woodtourer
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Joined: 23 Jan 2018, 1:51pm

Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby Woodtourer » 22 Jan 2020, 8:04pm

If one had to choose between the two airports to arrive at on an international flight. Which is preferable?
We will then go by bus to Portsmouth with bikes and gear.
Thanks!

Jdsk
Posts: 132
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby Jdsk » 22 Jan 2020, 8:23pm

Where are you coming from?
And have you done the research on buses... ?

Jonathan
Last edited by Jdsk on 22 Jan 2020, 10:02pm, edited 1 time in total.

iandriver
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Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby iandriver » 22 Jan 2020, 8:24pm

Heathrow can be a real pain depending on which terminal you land at. If the terminal is not one of the ones by your bus station, you need a train ride. The train ride is free, but you can't take trollies which can be a bit of a pain with a boxed bike and luggage.
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Woodtourer
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Joined: 23 Jan 2018, 1:51pm

Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby Woodtourer » 22 Jan 2020, 9:38pm

We did it from Heathrow in 2018. I recall if was a bit of a like from picking up our stuff to the bus. I left my wife and scoped out the "route" then can back and off we went!
National Express runs from both airports to Portsmouth and it would be 1 hour less on a bus. Just wondering how much less busy Gatwick is?

hufty
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Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby hufty » 22 Jan 2020, 10:00pm

Can you even take a bike on a National Express bus? I would have thought the obvious thing would be fly into Gatwick then hop on a train. If you landed at Heathrow you'd probably have to go in to London then back out again, or link together some bizarre series of connections to battle south.

I guess it also depends on whether the bikes will be rideable/wheelable or whether they will be in a box or similar.

[EDIT: "You may take your bicycle on your National Express journey, as long as it is designed to fold in half by means of a special link in the main frame and is carried in an appropriate padded bag or hard case, suitable for the purpose."] According to their website just now. Maybe you have folding bikes?
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matt_twam_asi
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Location: West Sussex

Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby matt_twam_asi » 22 Jan 2020, 10:04pm

Are you wedded to the National Express? Because there's also hourly direct trains from Gatwick Station to Portsmouth that are comparable in duration and price.

Woodtourer
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Joined: 23 Jan 2018, 1:51pm

Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby Woodtourer » 22 Jan 2020, 10:10pm

I did know about the train! In 2018 we flew into Heathrow and took a bus to Portsmouth. A train might be preferable!
Thanks!!

hamster
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Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby hamster » 23 Jan 2020, 8:21am

hufty wrote:Can you even take a bike on a National Express bus? I would have thought the obvious thing would be fly into Gatwick then hop on a train. If you landed at Heathrow you'd probably have to go in to London then back out again, or link together some bizarre series of connections to battle south.

I guess it also depends on whether the bikes will be rideable/wheelable or whether they will be in a box or similar.

[EDIT: "You may take your bicycle on your National Express journey, as long as it is designed to fold in half by means of a special link in the main frame and is carried in an appropriate padded bag or hard case, suitable for the purpose."] According to their website just now. Maybe you have folding bikes?


If you have just come off a flight then there will be no problem on the National Express bus; I've done it several times with a bike. Just don't unpack it! However my preference from Gatwick would indeed be the train. And Gatwick is generally easier than Heathrow - if nothing else the distances to haul stuff are shorter.

brynpoeth
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Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby brynpoeth » 23 Jan 2020, 8:34am

Might be worth looking at passages on freight ships, the Guardian reported on a trip from Hamburg to Canada, CO2 attributed: 5.3 Kg
Some of the vessels are so big that cycles are provided to get from A to B
One must be flexible mind, the vessel sailed three days EARLIER than planned :?
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PDQ Mobile
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Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 23 Jan 2020, 10:18am

Gatwick's rail links are better.
As has already been pointed out.

Such is the dire state of UK public transport planning that our largest abd busiest airport has no decent mainline connections -unless one travels into already massively congested Central London.

And they want a third runway!

Other European countries do it much better

mattheus
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Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby mattheus » 23 Jan 2020, 11:15am

PDQ Mobile wrote:Gatwick's rail links are better.
As has already been pointed out.

Such is the dire state of UK public transport planning that our largest abd busiest airport has no decent mainline connections -unless one travels into already massively congested Central London.


EDIT: I'm agreeing with you, PDQ! However:

I've found that if you can/must *ride* to/from Heathrow, the exit to the west is very civilised, and you can easily ride to stations such as Slough on (relatively) pleasant roads. Then you're on fast trains to the west (and SW, NW!).
Last edited by mattheus on 23 Jan 2020, 12:20pm, edited 1 time in total.

simonhill
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Location: Essex

Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby simonhill » 23 Jan 2020, 11:24am

Are you wanting to transport your bikes in boxes or as bikes?

I regularly fly into Gatwick with my bike. If you want to un-box it, there is plenty of space in the baggage collection hall, before Customs. I have done it many times and left my box there after notifying cleaning staff.

Wheeling your bike to the train station is easy. You may have to use the internal shuttle train depending on which terminal. Apart from that there are large lifts where needed.

If boxed, you can do it with a trolley as far as the station but then have to transport all gear to the platform.

Some (most?) trains allow bikes without booking, but you will want to check this. Presumably a large box doesn't need booking.

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 23 Jan 2020, 12:13pm

mattheus wrote:
PDQ Mobile wrote:Gatwick's rail links are better.
As has already been pointed out.

Such is the dire state of UK public transport planning that our largest abd busiest airport has no decent mainline connections -unless one travels into already massively congested Central London.


I've found that if you can/must *ride* to/from Heathrow, the exit to the west is very civilised, and you can easily ride to stations such as Slough on (relatively) pleasant roads. Then you're on fast trains to the west (and SW, NW!).

But not North!
Point is the busiest airport in the UK has no decent station with connections nationwide.

It's similar with the Channel Tunnel.
Us lot in the frozen (actually sunny!) North have to change in London. The one place we want to avoid.
Heathrow could have been part of a kind of ring hub transport structure. Spared central London a load of congestion that it didn't need or want.

But.... Our politicians are so thick and incapable regarding joined up thinking it has never happened. Just same old short termism - and waste.

Woodtourer
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Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby Woodtourer » 23 Jan 2020, 1:27pm

Thanks for your replies! But it appears I would have to pay a hefty fee to change our tickets. So we will do repeat what we did in 2018. Fly into Heathrow and use National Express to Portsmouth. Last time we had our bikes in plastic bags and it worked fine. This time we will use boxes.
We are flying Iceland Air and their bike box allowance is very generous!
Our Airbnb host will even pick us up at the bus station and store our boxes for our return!
So being from the US we will be able to get our "fix" of fish & chips!

st599_uk
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Re: Heathrow or Gatwick?

Postby st599_uk » 25 Jan 2020, 8:01am

How far in advance can you check in bags?

May be able to check the bike and luggage in, keeping only hand luggage for the hotel.
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