If you fly into London Gatwick Airport, you’ll find the journey to central Brighton quicker and easier than the journey to central London. Perhaps they should have called this airport Brighton Gatwick.
London Gatwick Airport
London Gatwick Airport (LGW; www.gatwickairport.com) is the nearest major international airport to Brighton. It’s roughly halfway between Brighton and London.
Distance: 28 miles
By taxi: 40–50 minutes, £35–40
By train: 25–40 minutes. Several direct departures an hour between Gatwick Airport and Brighton or Hove stations, from £5 one way in advance, £8 on the day.
By coach: Much slower and less frequent than the train. Typically 60 minutes, hourly departures. Around £8 one way.
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport (LHR; www.heathrowairport.com) is northwest of Brighton. By road, the journey is all motorway and fast dual carriageway. Unfortunately there’s no non-stop public transport service.
Distance: 65 miles
By taxi: 85-95 minutes; £80–90
By tube and train: Around two hours via central London. Several direct departures an hour between Heathrow Airport and Brighton or Hove stations, from £10 using cheapest advance off-peak fares. Standard fares cost considerably more, particularly if you travel into London by Heathrow Express rather than tube (saves 10–15 minutes).
By coach: Slower and less frequent than tube and train. Typically around two hours and ten minutes, including a stop (but no change) at Gatwick. Around £26 one way.
Southampton Airport (SOU; www.southamptonairport.com) is 67 miles west of Brighton. By road, the journey is all motorway and fast dual carriageway (M27, A27).
Distance: 67 miles
By taxi: 90-100 minutes; £100–110
By train: The fastest service (hourly) takes around two hours from Southampton Airport Parkway station with one change at Southampton Central. From around £15 one way.
By coach: Not recommended. Southampton Coach Station is 35-40 minutes away from the airport. There’s only one direct service a day from here, taking around 3 hours; there's also a route via Heathrow which is more frequent, but takes over 5 hours.
Shoreham Airport (ESH; www.shorehamairport.co.uk), seven miles west of Brighton, is used by private planes and helicopters. There used to be scheduled services to Shoreham from northern France and the Channel Islands, but none are operating at present.
Train and coach information
Trains: National Rail Enquiries www.nationalrail.co.uk
London Underground: www.tfl.gov.uk
Coaches: National Express www.nationalexpress.com