Address: Gatwick Airport, Crawley, West Sussex, RH6 0NP
IATA Code: LGW
Telephone number: +44 (0)844 335 1802
Gatwick is located 28 miles south of the centre of London. It is the second largest airport in the city and welcomes 34.2 million passengers a year.
It has one runway and 2 terminals (North and South Terminals) and has flights to hundreds of destinations worldwide.
If you’re meeting friends or family at the airport and need to leave your car for a few hours, you can use the short stay car parks, which are located right beside each of the terminals. Prices vary according to how long you stay, but, as a guide, it will cost £5.80 for 1 to 2 hours. If you are flying out of the airport and need to leave your car for more than a couple of days, you should use the long stay car parks. These are further away from the terminals.
At the South Terminal, you have 3 options. Long Stay South Terminal is a self-park car park, 4-5 minutes from the terminal via courtesy coach, which runs every 7-10 minutes. Long Stay Plus Gatwick is 10 minutes from the terminal by courtesy coach (they run every 10 minutes). You leave your car at reception and it is parked for you. Summer Special Parking Gatwick is, despite its name, open all year round for travellers departing from the South Terminal. Your car is parked for you and it is 10 minutes by bus to the terminal (the bus runs every 20 minutes). In order to get a quote and work out which would be best for you, you can use the Gatwick Airport website.
At the North Terminal, the nearest long stay car park is the Gatwick NCP Flightpath. It is a self-park facility and the terminal is about 10 minutes away by shuttle bus, which runs every 10 minutes.
For greater convenience you can book Gatwick Valet Parking, where you drop off your car on the forecourt at either of the terminals and it is brought back to you on your return.
The North Terminal has a selection of 10 restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs where you can buy food, anything from a sandwich to a Thai curry. There are 40 shops selling everything you could expect – clothes, beauty products, games and so on. There are 2 bureaux de changes – Moneycorp and Travelex. There are PCs with broadband internet connections both before and after security, and there are also wireless hotspots in the terminal. There is a multi-faith chapel on the ground floor, near international arrivals.
For those travelling with families, there is a Fun Zone with a soft play area, toys and games in the Servisair Wentworth Lounge, for which a charge applies. Most of the restaurants can provide a high chair, but Garfunkel’s would be a good choice as it offers a full children’s menu and an activity pack. Baby feeding and changing rooms are located at several areas throughout both terminals and are indicated by a bottle or babycare symbol.
The South Terminal has 15 eateries and 34 shops to choose from. Moneycorp and Travelex also offer currency exchange here. PCs and wireless hotspots are available as well. There is a multi-faith chapel on the Gatwick Village level, near Caffe Nero. You can keep the kids entertained in the Gatwick Family Lounge, which is located after security.
Disabled travellers should note that, for security reasons, the blue badge scheme operates in car parks only, and vehicles left unattended anywhere else will be towed away. There are disabled parking spaces in the short stay car parks. There are special assistance Help Phones where you can request assistance on arrival at Gatwick by car or public transport. There can be found on the forecourts of both terminals, at the short stay car parks and stations. There are also phones in the baggage reclaim halls and on routes through the terminals where there is a long distance to walk. Travel-care is a charity which provided advice to all passengers who may need extra help on their journey. You can find them in the Gatwick Village at the South Terminal.
Flights to and from Gatwick
About 90 airlines are based at Gatwick and they offer services to 13 domestic and 200 overseas destinations. The majority of flights are to European cities, but long haul trips make up about a quarter of the airport’s business. A whopping 84% of passengers who use the airport are travelling for leisure rather than business. The top international destinations are Malaga, Dublin, Faro, Orlando and Alicante, and the most popular destinations within the UK are Edinburgh, Glasgow and Jersey.
If your flight is at an awkward time and you need to book a hotel near Gatwick Airport, there are many options. If you want to be within walking distance of the check in desks, the Sofitel London Gatwick (****) is attached to the North Terminal and the Hilton London Gatwick (****) is attached to the South Terminal. In the South Terminal, you can also find the Yotel Gatwick Airport, which offers Japanese-style cabins of 7 metres square. These can be booked for a whole night or for a minimum of 4 hours if you just need a bit of a rest. Within a few minutes drive of the airport you can find most of the big chain brands and National Express runs a ‘hotel by bus’ shuttle transfer, which takes passengers to the Ibis, the Crowne Plaza, the Ramada and the Travelodge.
There are several companies offering car hire at Gatwick Airport, including Alamo, Avis, Europcar, Hertz and National. You can find their desks at the car rental offices near the entrances to each of the terminals. Alternatively, you can book in advance online and pick up your vehicle on the lower forecourt road of either terminal.
Transfers, Taxis and Trains
For those arriving at the airport by car, Gatwick is found at Junction 9 on the M23 or off the A23 London-Brighton road. If you are using satellite navigation, you should enter these postcodes:
South Terminal: RH6 0NP
North Terminal: RH6 0PJ
The airport is half an hour from central London by train, via the Gatwick Express which runs from Victoria Station every 15 minutes. A single fare is £16.90. The rail station is at the South Terminal, but the North Terminal is just a few minutes away by free transit train. There are also trains connecting the airport directly to other destinations.
There are bus and coach services linking Gatwick to 400 British towns and cities, including central London and Bristol. Most of them operate from the lower South Terminal Forecourt. There are also local buses which call at both of the terminals.
The airport’s official partner Checker Cars offers taxi services from the airport. You can order one from the offices in the arrivals area at the North Terminal and the entrance building of the South Terminal.