Personally I would opt to get to Stansted after arriving at LGW
, as roads between the airports are congested and prone to delays/roadworks and all other obstacles. At least if you are already at STN
and your flight departs at 12:00 midday, chances are you would have to check in by 10:00 so you could get up at a decent hour and have time for a leisurely breakfast before leaving the hotel for the airport. If you stayed near LGW
, you would have to start your journey to STN
no later than 07:00, maybe even 06:00 to allow for delays.
Getting between the airports is relatively easy. The simplest way would be to take a direct coach service. National Express runs a coach every hour between Gatwick and Stansted, with a journey time of approxiamately 2 hours 45 minutes. The last service of the day departs Gatwick at 22:00. By rail there would be two options. First, you could take any train to London Victoria. From Victoria you could take the tube (or taxi) to either Liverpool Street for the non-stop Stansted Express service, or to Tottenham Hale for the local service to Stansted. Total journey time on either would be approximately 2 hours 15 minutes.
Although there are hotels near STN
, the choice is not as wide as LGW
. The Radisson SAS is within the airport and only 2 minutes walk from the terminals. Rooms costs from GBP 95 to GBP 215 per night. Other hotels nearby are the Best Western Stansted Manor (approx 1 mile), Express by Holiday Inn (approx 5 miles), Hilton Stansted Airport (approx 10 miles), and Days Inn (about 8 miles I think). I believe that only the Hilton provides a courtesy bus to the airport, so any savings on rooms when compared with the Radisson would be absorbed by taxi fares.
Staying at hotels in Central London will probably not save you money, unless you take advantage of the early booking discounts. Avoid the easyhotel in Earls Court - most rooms are no bigger than a broom cupboard, all painted in ghastly orange, everything (including a remote control for the TV
) carries an optional supplement, and can end up costing as much as some central London hotels. In any event, Earls Court would be a bit off course.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."