Getting to Brighton
Getting to Brighton & Hove is easy! It's just under an hour by rail from London and only half an hour from London Gatwick Airport. The city is also served by a direct rail link from the Eurostar Service at St Pancras, as well as easily accessible from the major ports of Dover, Portsmouth, Southampton and the local port of Newhaven. National Express coaches also regularly service the city.
All the major London airports are within easy reach of Brighton. London Gatwick to Brighton, for example, is only a 30 minute journey by train. So getting to Brighton from anywhere in the world is surprisingly easy. Below we've listed details of all the major (and some minor) airports serving the region.
London Gatwick Airport
London Gatwick airport is approximately 30km north of the city & just 30 minutes away by train. Gatwick serves a huge array of national and international flights and has a south and a north terminal.
London Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest and most sophisticated airports in the world. Situated approximately 30km west of central London it is about a 90 minute journey from Brighton. The airport primarily serves long haul flights and serves most major carriers, including British Airways. The airport has 4 terminals. Terminals 1 and 3 are a short walk from each other, whilst terminals 4 and 5 are served by free trains and buses.
Stansted Airport is located 64km to the north-east of London. It is home to many of the UK's low-cost airlines and serves largely European and Mediterranean destinations.
Travelling by train is often the fastest way to get to Brighton from other UK destinations. It’s also a greener option than driving or flying. If you are travelling from Europe, the Eurostar train arrives from Europe at St Pancras, London, where there are direct train connections to Brighton.
Trains to Brighton from London and the South East
London is the hub of the UK’s rail network and it is easy to connect to a train to Brighton and the South Coast from the major London stations. The fastest direct travelling times from London to Brighton are:
- London Victoria – 52 minutes (direct)
- London Bridge – 58 minute (direct)
- London St Pancras – 1 hour 16 minutes (direct)
Rail services in the UK are operated by a number of private train operators. The key operators to Brighton are Southern and Thameslink. Trains arrive into Brighton mainline Station on Queens Road. Regular rail connections also serve Hove and take just a few minutes from Brighton.
Central Brighton is easily walkable (about 10 minutes) from Brighton station, but if you require a bus or taxi - these are both available at the front of the station.
Brighton is also very accessible by train from major towns along the South Coast and Kent.
Coaches are a cost effective way of travelling to Brighton from almost anywhere in the UK or Europe. They tend to take longer than train journeys of the equivalent route, but are generally clean and comfortable, with onboard toilet facilities.
National Express is the major coach operator serving Brighton.
Coach travel to Brighton from the London and South East Airports
Regular National Express coaches serve Brighton from the main London Airports of Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted. Coaches arrive at Pool Valley Coach Station, which is very central and just moments from the beach and Brighton Pier.
Guide direct travel times to Brighton by coach, from London Victoria and key London and South East airports, are listed below. Please note; these are only a guide and may vary depending on route and interchange times. Full information is available on the National Express website.
- London Victoria Coach Station to Brighton – 2 hours and 15 minutes
- Gatwick Airport to Brighton - 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the airport terminal you are departing from/travelling to.
- Heathrow Airport to Brighton – 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes depending on the airport terminal you are departing from/travelling to.
- Stansted Airport to Brighton – direct coaches run approximately every 2 hours and take around 4 hours.
- Luton Airport to Brighton – coaches from Luton to Brighton go via Heathrow and the fastest journey time is 3 hours and 45 minutes. It is much quicker to travel by train, as there are direct connections which take approximately 2 hours.
There are excellent public transport links into Brighton & Hove, but should you decide to drive to the city, the following information should help you plan your journey.
Driving to Brighton from London
Onward travel to Brighton is easy - London to Brighton is approximately 50 miles, with a journey time of about 90 minutes, depending on the traffic. Simply take the A23/M23 south until you reach Brighton.
Driving to Brighton from Kent and the South East
If you are travelling to Brighton from the East or West use the A27.
If you are travelling to the UK via ferry to Dover (approximately 2 hours) or Eurotunnel to Folkestone (approximately 1 hour 45 minutes) the quickest route is to:
- Follow signs to and join the M20 signposted to London
- Leave the M20 at junction 3, then join the M26 signposted Gatwick, Heathrow, M25
- Continue forward onto the M25 to Gatwick Airport
- Leave the M25 at junction 7, then keep left to join the M23 signposted Brighton
- Continue forward at junction 11 onto the A23.
For more detailed, or alternative routes to Brighton, visit the AA Route Planner website.