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trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

London, Canada
Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

My daughter and I arrive at Gatwick Airport at 8:10 in the morning. I am trying to advance book a train from Gatwick to Cardiff. I have 2 questions that I hope you can help me with.

1. Approximately how long does it take to deplane, get luggage and go through customs? Trying to figure out earliest train to book.

2. What website should I use to book and pre-pay for the train? Is it truly less expensive to advance book.

Thanks so much for your help.

11 replies to this topic
Glasgow
Level Contributor
4,092 posts
13 reviews
1. Re: trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

Trains are operated by GWR.

https://www.gwr.com/

There can be a huge saving with Advance Purchase fares but remember the tickets are only good on the train you book.

Wiltshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Wiltshire
Level Contributor
11,289 posts
440 reviews
2. Re: trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

I certainly would not book Advance tickets before 1000hrs and preferably 1100hrs. OR forego the possibility of savings and just buy at walk up rates when timings become irrelevant?

London, United...
Level Contributor
650 posts
1 review
3. Re: trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

Check the fare types. Booking in advance will be much cheaper than buying on the day (at least for the leg from London to Cardiff), but the fare type called "Advance" commits you to a specific train, which would be a problem if there's any delay on your flight, or the train to London, or on the tube between Victoria and Paddington. Extra flexibility costs more, but the compromise between the Advance ticket and the fully flexible "Anytime" ticket is the "Off-peak", which is only available outside the busiest times. So when you're searching, check the details, and what you have to commit yourself to for a reduction.

Glasgow
Level Contributor
4,092 posts
13 reviews
4. Re: trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

Normal route will be via Reading not London.

CARDIFF U.K.
Destination Expert
for Gran Canaria, Alykes, Alykanas
Level Contributor
7,234 posts
64 reviews
5. Re: trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

Have you considered travel by coach, it is a great deal cheaper than by train using the Megabus service. No swapping and changing either, it's a point to point service. Details and fares over the coming days here :- https:/…

Guildford, United...
Level Contributor
2,949 posts
83 reviews
6. Re: trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

If you are returning by train then an offpeak return is often little more than a single. The normal route would involve a change in Reading and the trains from Gatwick to there are approximately hourly.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
72,657 posts
476 reviews
7. Re: trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

I second the advice to leave a big gap of at least 3 hours if booking an Advance ticket, or buy an off peak single or return on arrival

Ontario, Canada
3 posts
8. Re: trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

Can we buy bus tickets right at the airport, or on the bus? I've looked at the Gatwick airport maps, and I don't see a Megabus kiosk?

Guildford, United...
Level Contributor
2,949 posts
83 reviews
9. Re: trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

They only seem to allow booking on line, so no ticket office. .As the bus seems to go via Bristol and take getting on for 5 hours I would suggest taking the train which takes about 3 hours 25 minutes and will generally be more comfortable as well as more frequent.

Looking a few weeks away I can see single advance tickets on the 11.00 train for £31 each.

One change at Reading where there are plenty of escalators and lifts to get between the platforms.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
72,657 posts
476 reviews
10. Re: trying to book a train from gatwick to cardiff

Reading is an easy place to change these days. There is plenty of space, and lots of escalators/lifts which is a great help, especially with bags.

Nonetheless, I'd still check out National Express coaches to see how that compares.

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