Airport Guide

Baggage trolleys are free here, and are available throughout both terminals.
There are no lockers, but you can store bags at the baggage storage facilities in both terminals. Gatwick has two terminals, North and South, that are connected via a free shuttle train accessible from the arrivals area of each terminal. Trains leave about every 3 minutes and the trip back and forth takes about 2 minutes. If you're connecting "airside" to an international flight, there's an inter terminal bus that leaves every 10-15 minutes from the Flight Connections area in each terminal. That ride will take about 5 minutes.

Take care of yourself

Eat: Landside in the South Terminal, try Garfunkel's restaurant or the Village Inn for table service, or La Brioche Dor in the food court for quiches and salads. Past security, try the Metro Caf, Est Est Est, or Harry Ramsdens for fish and chips. The Metro Caf Bar, Yates' Wine Lodge, and the Sports Bar also offer nice views of the airfield. In the North Terminal, you'll find the Dickens Inn before security, and the Caviar Seafood Bar, Chez Gerard, Garfunkel's, and The Red Lion pub after passing through security.

Food note

Best bet for a carry-on meal: Sandwiches from Upper Crust in the North or South terminals.
Best sinful snack: Chocolates from the Cadbury Shop in the South Terminal Shopping Village or ice cream from Ben & Jerry's in the Warner Bros. Store on the mezzanine level of the North Terminal departures area. Relax and refresh: Weather permitting, the Spectator's Gallery on the top floor of the South Terminal is a lovely place to relax and get out of the hustle and bustle. If you'd rather stay inside, the seating area in the South Terminal's Gatwick Village shopping area offers comfortable banks of chairs and great views of shoppers and travelers. You'll also find comfortable seating in the departure areas of each terminal.

For a change of scenery, head for the quiet lobby of either the Gatwick Hilton (accessible from the South Terminal) or Le Meridien (attached to the North Terminal). If it's complete solitude you need, both terminals hold chapels. The chapel in the North Terminal is on the arrivals concourse and in the South Terminal you'll find the chapel on the shopping level.

Need to freshen up? Gatwick offers free shower facilities on the departure level of the North Terminal and on the Gatwick Village level of the South Terminal. If you'd like soap and a towel, simply pick up the courtesy phone by the shower room door and someone will bring them over. There's a small charge for the soap and you'll be asked to leave a deposit for the towel.

For a bit of pampering, head to the Clarins Studio, post-security in the South Terminal. This salon offers 12 different beauty treatments for men and women, ranging from facials and eyebrow shaping to massages, makeovers, manicures, pedicures, and tanning. You can call ahead for an appointment at +011 01293-507249;

Services note

Walk-In Backrub offers backrubs and full-body Shiatsu treatments from their storefront in the South Terminal, located pre-security opposite the post office in the Gatwick Village shopping area. Gatwick provides several specially equipped rooms for feeding and changing babies. These rooms are noted by a bottle sign or a baby care symbol. You'll also finding changing facilities in bathrooms throughout the airport.
Le Meridien, a hotel attached to the North Terminal, offers access to their pool, shower, and health club facilities for a fee of about £7.50 (roughly US$11.75.) Both Le Meridien and the Gatwick Hilton Hotel (attached to the South Terminal) also have hair salons and offer a day rate for rooms.
Have an urge to smoke? Gatwick has designated smoking areas throughout the terminal.

Take care of business

The full-service Gatwick Conference and Business Center, in the South Terminal, offers meeting rooms, administrative support, workstations with data ports, flat-screen computers, and high-speed Internet access. Fees start at £20 per hour (about US$31) and include refreshments. Hours: 8:30 AM-5:30 PM, Monday-Friday; off-hours use is available upon request. To get there, take the South Terminal elevator next to the Boots and W H Smith store up to the seventh floor. Tel. +44 (0) 1293 555 777;

Business note

Internet access is available at the Internet Exchange, post-security in the North Terminal. There are also business centers located at the Hilton Hotel in the South Terminal and Le Meridien in the North Terminal. Twenty-four-hour currency exchange bureaus are located in both Gatwick terminals, before and after passport control. There are ATMs and stamp machines in both terminals and a full-service post office in the South Terminal Shopping Village, which also sells stationery and packing materials along with postal souvenirs and other philatelic items. British Airways, Delta, American, US Airways, Continental, and Virgin Atlantic are among the airlines offering lounges for their club members at Gatwick. Some clubs offer showers and other special amenities.

Explore the airport

Shop: You can spend hours just browsing at Gatwick, where the offerings range from socks and soccer souvenirs to watches and whiskies. Shopping areas are located before and after security in both terminals, but shops post-security offer both tax and duty free opportunities. Highlights in the South Terminal Gatwick Village shopping area (before security) include a Warner Bros. store, Monsoon (clothing for women and kids), a Post Office shop (collectible stamps and postal souvenirs), the Cadbury store (chocolates!), and several sports shops, where soccer fans can get souvenir shirts, balls, and other items emblazoned with the logo of Manchester United and other popular teams. Shops past security include the Caviar House, the Chocolate Box, Dixons (electronics), Harrods, Nike, Timberland, and a well-stocked World Duty Free.

Over in the North Terminal you'll find Nine West (shoes), Virgin Records, the Body Shop, Glorious Britain (souvenirs), and the Sock Shop before security. Post-security, you'll encounter the Caviar House, another branch of Harrods, the Pen Shop, Past Times (gifts representing various decades and centuries), the Scotch House (clothing and gifts), and the World of Whiskies.

Sightsee: On the deck of the Spectator's Gallery, on the top floor of the South Terminal, you can inspect the cockpit of a De Havilland Comet 2R, the world's first jetliner, and take a walk though the fuselage of a Super Dart Herald 200 series airplane. Lookout: You can get a nice view of the airport runways and layout by taking the two-minute train ride between the North and South terminals. Although there is a small admission fee to access the outdoor Spectator's Gallery, on the top floor of the South Terminal, this is where you can get great views of the airfield. If the weather isn't great, it may still be a good idea to head up here for the "Surround sound cinema," an eight-minute "ride" that portrays a day in the life of Gatwick Airport.

Play around: Kids will enjoy a visit to the outdoor Spectator Gallery (top floor, South Terminal), where they can watch the planes take off and land, inspect the cockpit of a De Havilland Comet 2R, board an airplane filled with educational exhibits, or experience a condensed "Day in the Life of Gatwick Airport." A small admission fee is charged for access to the gallery and the surround sound ride. There are video games and coin-operated kiddie rides sprinkled throughout the airport, and full-fledged game rooms (Game Grid and Serendipity Entertainment Center) are located before and after security in both terminals. If you have very young kids, there are play areas located in the North Terminal departure lounge and in the South Terminal Village, on the third floor.

More information

For more information about Gatwick Airport, call +011 01293-535353.A taxi ride into London will take about an hour and cost more than £50 or about US$78.
You'll spend significantly lessÑand get there faster if you take a train. Two trains (South Central or the Gatwick Express) travel from Gatwick (South Terminal) to London's Victoria Station in approximately 30 minutes. South Central costs £8.20 one-way (about US$13), while Gatwick Express tickets cost £11 (US$17).