The closest stations for Chelsea are Sloane Square, Knightsbridge, or Imperia Wharf on the overground, depending on where in Chelsea you are going to. This means you have several options when travelling from Gatwick into central London or Chelsea. Below are some tips for getting from Gatwick Airport to Chelsea in addition to costs and journey times.
Gatwick Express / Thameslink/Tube/Bus
The quickest and most affordable way to get to Chelsea from Gatwick is by starting with the Gatwick Express. From there you have a choice about grabbing the tube or the buses towards Chelsea.
To begin with, grab the Gatwick Express train from Gatwick Airport to London Victoria and stay on for 2 stops.
- Option 1: When you arrive at Victoria station, change platforms for the Circle (yellow) or District (green) Lines westbound. Stay on this tube train for 2 stops until you reach South Kensington then exit for Chelsea.
- Option 2: When you arrive at Victoria station, find and board the 211 bus at Stop G. Ride the bus for 9 stops before exiting at Sydney Street / Chelsea Old Town Hall at Stop KH for Chelsea.
- Option 3: Take the Thameslink train from Gatwick, note that both of these trains, Thameslink and Gatwick Express require different ticket types. With the Thameslink train, you get off at Blackfriars station and change for the District/Circle lines and get off at Sloane Street, South Kensington, depending on which station is closest to the final destination of your journey.
The Gatwick Express and Thameslink require different tickets which can be purchased in advance or from a ticket desk at the airport. In order to travel on the London Underground system as well as the bus system, you can use an Oyster Card, buy a paper underground ticket or travel pass or use a contactless payment card. If you use the last option, the system will simply calculate your fare and take the payment from your bank account at the end of the day. Note you can also download the London underground map here.
Coach / Bus
There are coach services operating from Gatwick Airport to London Victoria Coach Station. The National Express is the most popular, with tickets costing around £5-£7. From London Victoria Coach Station, there are a few red inner-city busses you can grab, all from Bus Stop V, including the 211, 11 or 170. For the 211, get off at Sydney Street Chelsea Old Town Hall (Stop KH). For the 11 get off at Chelsea Old Town Hall (Stop KC). Finally, for the 170 get off at the National Army Museum bus stop.
Black Cab / Uber
The black cab option from Gatwick to Chelsea takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes but can cost your around £146, depending on traffic levels and the time of day. Black cabs can be booked through the Gett app, but they are one of the least affordable transport options. In this case, Uber offers a more affordable alternative to the black cab, with prices around £70 for the same length trip.
While renting a car from Gatwick airport is absolutely an option, and the airport provides companies who offer car rental services, this option is largely inadvisable. Considering the cost of parking in central London and how difficult it can be to manoeuvre a car in the densely packed city, I would suggest public transport as the easier and more affordable option.