Fear not UK travellers, here are some tips from guest poster Alberta Dawson on how to make the best of a Gatwick layover…
Having to endure a long layover in London isn’t so bad after all. There may come an unexpected moment when you find yourself stuck inside Gatwick Airport looking for things to do to pass time. Lucky for you, the world’s most active single-use runway, according to travel website Panethos, has some equally world-class facilities in store. You can even go for a short commute to visit a couple of nearby tourist attractions.
First off, it’s important to understand to the exact location of London Gatwick. Contrary to its name, this Crawley, West Sussex airport is set 45.7 kilometres or 28.4 miles from downtown London. Considering how far it is from the central hub, sightseeing or dining at some of the city’s best spots is close to impossible. However, you can still book a special London Layover Tour or hop on a tourist bus at Paddington station. The first picks you up straight from Gatwick and drives you to a dozen of the city’s top tourist destinations – back in time for your scheduled flight. On the other hand, the sightseeing bus offers an efficient way to take in the beauty of London, complete with commentary guides and friendly staff.
In terms of passenger traffic, Gatwick is the second busiest behind Heathrow. Having said that, various problems, ranging from finding suitable parking spaces to looking for things to do inside, arise on a daily basis. Airport management has invested millions to cover these somewhat minor snags. They welcomed the services of online companies, as well as established orderly parking provisions at both North and South Terminals.
Parking4Less even points out the award winning short stay car park is conveniently situated between the two terminals. Inside, Gatwick Airport has a plethora of shopping boutiques, cosy cafés, and full-service restaurants. There’s also Servisair Lounges at both North and South Terminals where you can relax, grab a bite, and even accomplish a little work. Furthermore, Gatwick offers plenty of places where you can aircraft spot. Amongst the best corners include North Terminal’s Red Lion Café Bar, Aqua Bar, and Costa, as well as South’s The Bridge Bar and Frankie and Benny’s. CNN can even teach you the basics of plane spotting.
Experiencing a prolonged layover at London Gatwick is not as rough as it sounds. With a positive and a well-informed mind, you can take advantage of every opportunity to get a taste of a rich European culture. You’ll also appreciate how Gatwick represents the city’s exemplary transportation sector. All in all, these contribute to the reasons why London is still one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
Other than being an avid traveller and a university researcher, Alberta Dawson is a lifelong supporter of women’s rights and environmental laws. She always finds time each trip to meet locals, seeing it as an opportunity to know more about their culture firsthand. A few of Allie’s future plans are to go back to Southeast Asia and conquer her fear of iguanas.