London Gatwick, LGW
21 reviews from the community
Review of "London Gatwick, LGW"
Journalling more for myself than anything else now, so I don't expect reads or rates!
Gatwick Airport is one of the major UK airports and was the one we flew from for our honeymoon. Before flying to America, I would have been willing to say that most airports are pretty much the same…. Having flown to Newark a couple of years ago, I have been put right on that score.
Gatwick is 28 miles (45km) south of London, linked directly to the M23 at Junction 9 and to the A23 London-Brighton road. The M25 is a ten-minute drive away with connections to the UK's national road and motorway network. It is worth noting, if you are not already aware, that the M25 does have a nasty tendancy to jam up like a car park and so if you have a morning flight you either want to be there the night before or you want to leave yourself plenty of time. We opted for the former option and stayed in a local Premier Inn. There are plenty of cheap and cheerful hotels locally as well as distinctly more upper class ones if you’d prefer to splash some cash around. If you are driving in, there is car parking and for two weeks this would have cost us anywhere between £58 and £65… or £226 if we were idiotic enough to park in the short stay. As it was we cadged a lift off another kind Ciao member the afternoon before and stayed at a local hotel only five minutes or so from the airport.
The checking in and security processes were both relatively painless and stress free. Gatwick have fancy new technology for baggage checking in, and I managed to confuse the system twice, but other than me and my habit of destroying technology everything went very smoothly. We had paid an extra £5 a head to book a security slot and happily drank tea until that slot time materialised, at which point we all but whizzed through security with no issues at all. Scott’s iPad got pulled over and swabbed but that took all of thirty seconds and we were on our merry way.
Everything was clearly sign-posted and marked so we knew exactly where we were going and it all progressed logically so there was no confusion.
There are a wide variety of places to eat and drink within Gatwick both before and after the security gate, so you don’t have to worry about being stuck in a space with nothing except vending machines until you actually come to board the plane. We personally stopped off at the Wetherspoon…and I can say from personal experience that we had the most expensive Wetherspoon breakfast we have ever purchased along with a pint. It is a running tradition in my family that you have a pint at the airport regardless of time… it’s as though all those normal laws just cease to exist. Poof!Either way, it was coming up £30 for two drinks and two meals which is admittedly extortion, but they’ve got you over the barrel and they know it. Wetherspoons is still one of the cheaper establishments within the airport and you aren’t going to beat their pricing by much unless you eat and drink before entering the airport. Unfortunately the laws of physics still exist outside of the airport and beer at 8am is frowned upon.
However, as a brief run down of some of your options, you have Caffe Nero, Costa, Joe’s. Pret A Manger and Starbucks as coffee houses. You have armadillo which is a Santa Fe inspired food, the Caviar House and Prunier, Comptoir Libanais which is Middle East inspired food, Garfunkel’s, Giraffe and Wetherspoon’s as more standard fair… as well as the London Bar. Other specialist restaurants include Nando’s for Mexican, Jamie’s Italian and Wagamama’s for Japanese fair. I’d have been tempted by the Wagamama’s but it didn’t appeal to my new husband!
There is also a wide range of shops for you to spend your hard earned pennies at before you even reach your final destination. Some of them are general staples at airports like Boots and WHSmith along with duty free shops. Others are more specialist – and by natural extension, expensive – including Ted Baker, Victoria’s Secret, World of Whiskies, Jack Wills, Hour Passion, Harrods and Reiss. Either way, if you want to spend money you will certainly have the chance, but on the same hand if all you are looking for is some reading material for the plane then you will find that as well.
On the whole I was more than happy with our experience at Gatwick airport. The airport is never a place you would voluntarily spend three hours of your life if there wasn’t a rational purpose for it, and all of them come across as rather utilitarian to me. It does however serve its function admirably well, it is well laid out and makes sense in progression terms of knowing what you are doing and where you are going next. There is a wide range of food and drink on offer, and if you are paying through the nose well, you surely expected that at an airport anyway? The staff we came across were friendly and respectful, including the security staff.
If you are flying from Gatwick, don’t use British Airways. Apparently Heathrow has all the upgraded planes and Gatwick only has one. Chances are therefore you will be stuck on a twenty five year old plane with a crappy entertainment system and uncomfortable seating. You have been warned.
*This is of November 2017
Do I Recommend?
Yes, why not. Yes, we paid through the nose for a beer and a cider. We also paid through the nose for the breakfast. But we hadn’t anticipated anything else. Gatwick does its job admirably and left us with little if anything to complain about.
Product Information : London Gatwick, LGW
Manufacturer's product descriptionAirport
Listed on Ciao since: 25/06/2000