It’s so easy to take the train from London to Brighton that it’s no surprise that Londoners think nothing of just going to Brighton for the afternoon. The fastest services depart from London Victoria station. Between them Southern and Gatwick Express offer four trains each hour from Victoria (two per hour on Sundays), most taking under an hour for the 81-km journey to Brighton. There are additional services (operated by Thameslink) from other London stations, with direct trains to Brighton from St Pancras, Blackfriars and also from London Bridge (the latter only on weekdays).
This short journey takes in an exceptional stretch of countryside. The finest part of the journey is just beyond Gatwick Airport where the train cuts through the wooded hills of the Weald and crosses the Ouse Valley on a striking brick viaduct.
As ever in Britain, to get the cheapest fares you need to book well in advance and commit yourself to a specific train. Tickets for your journey from London to Brighton normally go on sale about three months prior to travel. You can set a booking alert here on Loco2 and we’ll let you know when tickets for your preferred travel date are available for purchase. It's worth noting that the cheapest fares on this route are always on trains operated by Southern from Victoria or by Thameslink from other London stations. There are no advance purchase bargain fares on trains running under the Gatwick Express brand.
London to Brighton
The fastest trains from London Victoria to Brighton are branded Gatwick Express and most of these make just one stop along the way – no surprise that the stop is at Gatwick Airport. Other trains from London Victoria station are run by Southern. Even with four stops along the way, these Southern services still reach Brighton within an hour. The route from Victoria weaves south through London suburbs to Croydon, then cuts through the North Downs in a tunnel. Beyond Gatwick, the train cruises through lovely Sussex countryside before tunnelling under the South Downs to reach Brighton.
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Image credits: © Phillip Gray