Gatwick airport is often overlooked when it comes to the array of airports available in London. However, I absolutely love Gatwick for so many different reasons, not just because Ryanair flies there from Dublin (£30 return, living the dream). Here’s my guide to Gatwick Airport and all my best tips and tricks for hassle-free transit/trip.
Tips For Travelling Through Gatwick Airport
Getting to and From Gatwick
Getting from Gatwick to the city centre and vice versa is no trouble at all with the train station attached to the South Terminal. You can walk straight from arrivals in the South Terminal to the train station in about 3 minutes. I recommend pre-booking your train tickets though as it’s much cheaper and the queue to collect tickets is normally much shorter than to buy new tickets. Usually I can get a direct train to London Bridge or Blackfriars for £10-12 depending on the day. There’s also a bus station (about a ten minute walk from the South Terminal via tunnels/hallways) that connects you with pretty much the entire country. The North Terminal is only a short (free) tram ride away the South Terminal. There’s also plenty of parking if you’re planning on driving and it’s much cheaper than Heathrow.
The Bathrooms at Gatwick
OH MY GOD. When you arrive in the South Terminal make a beeline for the bathrooms on the right just before you hit Boots and M&S. They are incredible! Basically each stall has its own sink, hand drier, and little storage area. They are HUGE. I’m 99.9% sure that some of them are bigger than most London apartments. I know it’s a little weird to be so impressed with a bathroom, but I have a tiny bladder so I always pay attention to them. Good job to whoever designed these!
Where to Stay at Gatwick Airport
Gatwick has a few great hotels within the airport at reasonable price points, but my favourite is definitely the Yotel in the South Terminal. You basically walk straight out of arrivals and there’s a lift on your left that brings you down to Yotel. It’s half Japanese pod hotel, half spaceship! The colour theme is white and purple and the lighting is soft and muted. Free Coffee, tea and bottled water is included in the room price and can be gotten from reception 24/7.
The shower head is rainfall (dream). The free wifi is great. Room service is available if you’re feeling lazy, though there are plenty of options to choose from in the terminal. The rooms are compact, but that matches the price point and there’s still plenty of room for a suitcase. I loved the TV, it’s in the wall at the foot of the bed so it makes it super cosy and enclosed. You can book rooms for just 4hrs if you have a transfer, or as long as you need. Standard cabins start from £37 per night.
Forgot Your Medication?
If you forget your medication, which A LOT of people when it comes to holiday, then stop into one of the MANY pharmacies dotted around Gatwick airport. The pharmacist will usually be happy to give you an emergency supply once your medication is nothing controlled (strong painkillers/antidepressants etc). They might need to contact your local pharmacy at home, but that shouldn’t be a problem for most people. It’s better to try and get an emergency supply than to go without your medication!
Eating in Gatwick
There are so many spots for food in Gatwick. I absolutely always grab a cheese and celery sandwich from M&S before I catch the train. If I arrive early for my flight I usually sit in Costa with an iced coffee and a cheese and tomato toastie (the best). If you want a more substantial meal there are places like Giraffe and Wetherspoons before security in the South Terminal, and Jamie’s before security in the North terminal. Nandos and Wagamamas and a couple of others are after security in the South Terminal and there’s WAY more choice after security in the North Terminal. Basically there’s no shortage of places to eat.
So there you have it, some of my top tips fro travelling to and through Gatwick airport.
What’s your favourite London airport? Do you have any Gatwick travel tips or tricks? Let me know!