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I'm arriving on London Gatwick airport around 10 pm on a weekday, and would like to make it to central Cambridge the same night. How would I go about it? Apparently there are no direct buses or trains, so I'd have to change somewhere in London.

So, priority one is getting to Cambridge on the same day as conveniently as possible, but if there are several options with significant difference in price, cheapness would be a plus of course.

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    It might be worth considering going only as far as King's Cross, staying the night in a cheap hotel (that last time I did this I think I paid 20 GBP) and getting an early train in the morning. – Peter Taylor Sep 16 '11 at 6:20
  • A taxi is considered public transport by some people but is not cheap. Personally I would not try to do the impossible and except that a night in a hotel near Gatwick is needed. – Ian Ringrose Aug 16 '15 at 20:48
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The website I prefer for UK train timetables is traintimes.org.uk. One of it's handy features is being able to look up the last train of the day, for example the last train on a Tuesday from Gatwick to Cambridge.

As Roflcoptr pointed out, the last weekday train at the moment is the 22:35, which gets you into Cambridge at 01:22 (via a cross London transfer to Kings Cross). You might just be able to get away with the 22:50 from Gatwick, if you haven't got too much luggage. The 22:50 gets into London Victoria at 23:20, which gives you 40 minutes to get down to the tube, wait for a tube, travel 5 stops, and get up to the station. Fine if there are no problems and you're not too bad for luggage, but can't be guaranteed...

Otherwise, it's a National Express coach to London, then change onto a different National Express coach to Cambridge. The website for looking up times and prices is this one. Doesn't look good though, leaving Gatwick at 23:40 today won't get you to Cambridge until about 5am...

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    Thanks! Full disclosure: I already knew one good answer to this question, as I took such trip in 2009. The Gatwick - Victoria - King's Cross - Cambridge option worked for us then, and it seems the timetables haven't changed too much. Originally we thought we'd be able to take a Thameslink train directly from Gatwick to King's Cross, but those weren't available (at that hour?). – Jonik Sep 15 '11 at 21:56
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    Here's my short version of the key info: "First take a train from Gatwick to London which terminates at Victoria station. Next, hop on a Victoria line tube (light blue) for five stops, and get off at King's Cross. Walk from the tube to the adjoined national rail station for a train to Cambridge. You can buy a ticket from Gatwick that is valid all the way to Cambridge, including the tube trip." – Jonik Sep 15 '11 at 21:57
  • Btw, according to traintimes.org.uk, with the 22:35 train you'd change at Finsbury Park, not King's Cross. Are both routes possible or did you overlook that? In any case that bit could be clarified. – Jonik Sep 15 '11 at 22:07
  • I think you probably can't get the thameslink at the time of night. If you can change at Finsbury park then do, as it's an easier change, and the Victoria Line is pretty speedy. I've a feeling that not all of the Cambridge trains will stop there, but that late one does so you're ok – Gagravarr Sep 15 '11 at 22:11
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    There is now a 22:47 Thameslink, arriving 23:32 in St Pancras (low level) and transfer to King's Cross onto the 00:04 to Cambridge (which is the last train, arriving 01:25). – Richard Gadsden May 28 '14 at 18:06
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Since the earlier Answers were posted, direct trains between Gatwick and Cambridge (no changes, no going into London Underground) are now available. A quick look at the National Rail look-up site shows a dozen or more trains each day.

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    Hi, great concise answer. I would nitpick that "no going into London" is slightly misleading, as the Thameslink trains do go through, and spend quite a while (15 mins between London Bridge and St. Pancras International IIRC) in London zone 1. I have made an edit to reflect that, can you see if it is better? – B.Liu Jan 16 at 6:55
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Probably it depends if you arrive on a working day or on the weekend. But the site to check such stuff is http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.

It seems that you're a lucky and you can still make it to the train leaving at 22:35 from Gatwick Airport. Then it takes only 2:35 to travel to Cambridge.

Also the fare (28 pounds) seems reasonable for me, but I'm not very informed in British railway prices.

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