How do you make use of your time whenever you are on a layover? Do you fret because of wasted hours? Do you become creative and make the best of it? In case you get on a layover at Gatwick International Airport located in London, know that you can actually consider this as an extension of your vacation. It would not hurt at all to include an itinerary for your layover because of the strategic location of the airport and the different facilities inside it.
The airport is situated at around 5 kilometers away from West Sussex and around 45 kilometers from London. There are actually different things to do inside the airport and at the surrounding places of the terminals. Just get the airport map and check out the available restaurants and cafés within the premises. You could also get into an artistic exploration inside the Gatwick Airport as you marvel at the sculptures created by William Pye. Below is our London Gatwick Airport layover guide.
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London Gatwick Airport Layover Guide (LGW)
Do you also know one of the most fascinating activities that airports could potentially offer their passengers? It is the opportunity of seeing the landing and taking off of airplanes. You could catch the best plane scenes at the Costa Coffee, Red Lion Café, Aqua Bar, Starbucks, and Garfunkel’s at the North Terminal. You could also get wonderful views at The Bridge Bar and Benny’s which are located at the South Terminal.
If the layover wouldn’t take too long, you could just opt to stay at the Servisair Lounge located at the North Terminal or at the Servisair Executive Lounge located at the South Terminal. These lounges offer great amenities for relaxation.
You won’t have to worry about your bags in case you decide on leaving the airport and going somewhere else. The airport has a Left Luggage Section in both terminals. It is through this facility that you can leave your luggage anytime from 6 in the morning until 10 in the evening. The prices are set per item, around 5.5 GBP for every luggage in 24 hours. To know more about the rules and other guidelines, you could inquire at the Excess Baggage Company desk or call their hotlines on 01293 502013 for the North Terminal and 01293 502014 for the South Terminal.
The airport also offers comfortable accommodations for passengers who would like to rest after a stressful journey. You could check out the Sofitel London Gatwick which is at the North Terminal or the YOTELs at the South Terminal. The rate for every 4 hours of stay is around 25 GBP at the least. The Hilton London Gatwick also offers other facilities for physical relaxation such as a fitness gym and a salon. You could also come here to get some refreshments, food, and drinks.
Leaving the airport is also easy because of the different modes of transportation available. You could get into the Gatwick Express which will bring you to the capital in half an hour. You could also opt to take other modes of transportation such as the bus, the train, and the taxi. You may check out the website of the airport in order to get the latest promotions on airport transfers.
London Layover Tours
If you want to maximize every second of your layover time, then you could decide on getting a layover tour from trusted providers. The companies that offer layover tours will assure you that you are picked up from the airport immediately upon arrival without any hassle on your part. They will also arrange everything in order for you to get back to the airport just in time for your connecting flight. Here are some of the best layover tours to choose from:
Sightseeing Bus Tour
If you want to familiarize yourself with the community of Paddington, then you could get on a hop-on and hop-off bus tour. Getting onto this bus will provide you with a brief guided tour of the different attractions and landmarks in the area. You could simply book a ticket online or purchase one at the Paddington station.
London Tower Tour
What an amazing way to make your layover meaningful by going to the renowned Tower of London! You shall not miss going to this site because it will bring you to a wonderful treasure chest of London’s past. Be amazed to see the Crown Jewels, the 530-carat Star located at the Jewel House, and even other good and bad memories of England’s history.
The Buckingham Palace Tour
Those who would like to be politically informed and culturally immersed with the English tradition usually goes to the Buckingham Palace. This is the actual site of England’s highly endeared monarchy. If you are lucky enough to arrive at the right time, then you will happily see the changing of guards at the palace. Schedules could change depending on circumstances. You could get through the Tube stations at the Green Park and Hyde Park to reach the Palace.
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The Westminster Abbey and the Big Ben Tours
When you get a chance to visit London during your layover, do not miss going to the historically significant site of Westminster Abbey. This is the actual location where notable personalities had been buried. Among the remains buried underneath are Samuel Johnson’s, Chaucer’s, and Browning’s, among others.
The Tour of the Cabinet War Rooms
After visiting the Westminster Abbey, you could head on directly to a nearby destination which is the Cabinet War Rooms. You will appreciate being in this place because it creates a feeling of being transported to World War II since it is the actual underground bunker where Winston Churchill devised England’s military plans.
The Windsor Castle Tour
Would you like to visit the largest inhabited castle on earth? Then you have to go to the Windsor Castle. This structure has been built nine centuries ago and is where The Queen actually resides.
The Thorpe Palace Tour
Experience fun and adventure as you visit the Thorpe Park in the center of England. Coming here with the family will surely make your layover less boring and extremely worthy of remembering.