Stuck on a London layover at London’s Gatwick International Airport? Gatwick Airport is located roughly located 5 km (3.1 mi) from Crawley, West Sussex, and 45.7 km (28.4 mi) from downtown London. If you’re trying to determine whether you can leave the airport during your London layover, click here for useful tips.
If you’re stuck inside the Gatwick airport during your London layover, there’s plenty to do. To help you get situated, view the airport maps, delineated by terminal. The Gatwick airport offers shopping, restaurants and cafes, Internet access in the terminals, and check out the artistic sculptures by William Pye, in the lower departure lounge after security.
There are also a number of places where you can watch the planes taking off and landing on the runways. For good viewing, in the North Terminal, visit Costa (upper level), Red Lion Cafe Bar, Aqua Bar, Garfunkel’s, Starbucks and Lloyds No1. In the South Terminal, stop by The Bridge Bar or Frankie and Benny’s.
For a little rest and relaxation, London’s Gatwick Airport offers the Servisair Lounge (North Terminal) or Servisair Executive Lounge (South Terminal) which offer comfortable seating, drinks and snacks, and some business facilities.
If you’re looking to drop off your luggage while you explore London, Gatwick airport offers Left Luggage facilities in both the North and South Terminals: North Terminal departures near British Airways, 6am-10pm and South Terminal arrivals, open 24 hours. Rates are £5.50 per item, per day. You can visit the Excess Baggage Company’s North Terminal desk, open from 6am-10pm daily or, for the South Terminal, the 24hr desk located in arrivals, or call: 01293 502013 (North Terminal) or 01293 502014 (South Terminal) with additional questions.
If you arrive at night or are looking for a place to rest, the airport has a number of options including the Hilton London Gatwick located in the South Terminal with facilities including a business center, hair salon, Gym and fitness area, restaurants and bars. The Sofitel London Gatwick is located in the North Terminal, and YOTELs (mini hotel rooms) are located in the South Terminal and prices start at 25GBP for four hours. If you are looking for a London hotel, click here for a comprehensive list with varying price points, and for hotels specifically near the airport in Crawley, click here.
If you are planning on leaving the Gatwick airport during your London layover, there are a number of transportation options. The airport offers the Gatwick Express which will get you to London in 30 minutes (and runs every 15 minutes). There are also taxis in front of the airport, trains, and buses. The Gatwick airport website also offers late deals in London, here.
Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On A Gatwick Layover:
You can book a Layover Tour in London, that will pick you up straight from the airport and show you the city’s sites, and get you back to catch your connecting flight. In addition, there are dozens of London tours you can choose from including dinner and theater tickets, cultural and museum tours, landmarks, trips to Stonehenge and so much more!
The hop-on, hop-off bus gives a commentary of the sights as you pass them. Tickets can be purchased right on the bus or online. You can “hop on” at Paddington station, and “hop off” wherever you choose. It swings back around to Paddington, if that’s all the time you have, to get back to the airport.
Tower of London
At The Tower of London, you’ll find torture exhibits as well as the famous Crown Jewels which including 530 carat Star at the Jewel House. Beefeaters, who are the walking tour guides, lead the hour-long tours every hour until 3:30p.m.
Buckingham Palace, home to the British monarch, is another favorite sightseeing spot for those with only a short time in London. Victoria, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner are the closest Tube stations. Also, you can catch the changing of the guard, but should check ahead for the schedule as it does not happen every day.
Westminster Abbey and Big Ben
Exit the tube at the Westminster stop. You will first see Big Ben and further down the street Westminster Abbey, where Chaucer, Samuel Johnson, Tennyson, Browning, and Dickens are all buried here.
Cabinet War Rooms
Close to the Abby, you can see the actual underground bunker Winston Churchill used during World War II. Everything there from the wall maps, to Churchill’s cot are authentic.
The 900-year-old Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world.
Thorpe Park is London’s most popular attractions and theme parks. It opened as a water park in 1970 however more thrill rides were added later.
Have a suggestion for a London Gatwick layover? Leave a comment below!