Gatwick Airport

5 Things We Love About London Gatwick Airport

Our ‘5 Things We Love About’ series highlighting features and amenities at airports around the world continues with London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW).

We have airport mascot Gary Gatwick to help highlight some of the amenities.


Most travelers only think of Heathrow Airport when they think of booking flights to London.

But getting to central London from Gatwick Airport is really quite easy. And fast.

Gatwick is about 30 miles south of central London and the non-stop Gatwick Express rail service makes the trip to London’s Victoria Station in just 30 minutes. And Victoria Station is very centrally located.

On the train, travelers will find free Wi-Fi, power sockets, and places to store suitcases.

There’s even a “Delay Repay” offer if you’re arrival is delayed by at least 15 minutes.    

 Thameslink trains also make the journey easy from Gatwick Airport to London Bridge and other destinations.


For quick naps or a freshen-ups once you land, the YotelAir London Gatwick Airport, located landside in the South Terminal, offers super-compact ‘cabins’ for stays as short as four hours.

Gatwick Airport also offers travelers the choice of staying overnight at the Sofitel London Gatwick or the Hilton London Gatwick, both owned by the Arora Group. We found rates at both hotels lower than at the corresponding properties at Heathrow.


The world’s first airport distillery is at Gatwick Airport.

You’ll find it tucked in the corner of the Nicholas Culpeper Pub & Dining venue, which is located pre-security in Gatwick’s North Terminal.

The distillery produces small batch, bespoke London Gatwick Airport Gin that is used in many of the specialty cocktails at the restaurant.

If the distiller is on site, you might get even get invited in for a tour and a taste.  


Juniper & Co, located post-security in the North Terminal, offera a menu featuring high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.

There’s a kid’s menu; a curated bar menu that includes a map showing how far away some the specialty gins, wines, beers, and juices are made; a breakfast menu; and an all-day menu with dishes using a wide range of locally-sourced ingredients.

Super fresh meals are made with salmon from H. Forman & Son (48 miles from Gatwick), Wells Farm bacon, sausages, and eggs (farmed 26 miles away), artisan bread freshly baked by Flour Station (60 miles from Gatwick), and a great cheese plate made with a great assortment of local cheeses.


For entertainment and engagement, Gatwick Airport has a mascot named Gary Gatwick.

A small version of the teddy bear mascot can be spotted out and about in the city, the region, and around the world. But in the airport, a full-size Gary Gatwick will often be found in the terminal and at special airport events.

Gary Gatwick’s Underground Adventure

The Stuck at the Airport adventure team traveled in and around London with Gatwick Airport’s mascot, Gary Gatwick, last week.

Our assignment: discover how easy it is to use Gatwick Airport as a base when visiting the region.

We traveled by train and underground to visit attractions in central London, the Brighton seaside, and the historic West Sussex towns of Arundel, and Amberly

Every stop was an educational adventure and Gary Gatwick was a perfect host and guide.

But one trip on the underground turned into a lesson about the kindness and professionalism of the people who work for Transport for London.

Because Gary Gatwick somehow got left behind at the Farringdon station.

It took about 10 stops to realize Gary Gatwick was missing.

We were, of course, horrified that he’d been left behind.

And we weren’t confident we’d be reunited.

He was traveling in our small blue backpack and, honestly, our experience with public transport in other cities led us to assume that the backpack would be taken by another passenger, thrown out, or, worse, treated as a suspicious, unattended package and blown up!

But none of that happened.

While helpful station attendants at another station made calls to the Farringdon station on our behalf to inquire about our lost item, our little backpack was found and turned in to the lost property office at the station.

This customer service supervisor recognized Gary Gatwick, took good care of him, and logged his visit into the records.

When we finally made our way back to the Farringdon station and asked to be directed to the supervisor’s office, everyone on duty knew just who we were.

“Oh, you’re the people looking for the bear! Go that way.”

We took a bit of ribbing, but once we signed for our lost property we were back on our way.

The London Underground, like most other public transit networks, is a sprawling system. And, clutching Gary Gatwick close so we didn’t lose him again, we thought we’d just melt back into the sea of passengers.

But when we got back to the station platform we encountered Kevin.

He’s the Transport for London employee who had found Gary Gatwick on the platform and he’s the one who made sure Gary was safe.

Kevin seemed genuinely glad to see us reunited with Gary Gatwick and we’ve declared him our hero!

Out & About in Arundel, England

Stuck at the Airport is out and about in the English countryside for a few days with Gary Gatwick, the mascot for London’s Gatwick Airport.

Arundel, in West Sussex, is an easy one-hour train ride from Gatwick Airport. The town looks like one of those storybook English towns we sometimes see on TV travel shows, castle and all.

Arundel offers charming B&Bs such as the House Arundel, as well as charming coffee shops, antique stores, and traditional English country pubs, such as the one we visited in The Swan Hotel.

Among the main attractions here are the Arundel Museum and the medieval Arundel Castle.

Collections at the Arundel Museum include pre-historic flint tools found in early settlements around the town, Roman floor tiles found at the site of a luxurious Roman villa, and the large WWII air raid siren that once sat on the roof of the Town Hall.

It’s a good idea to stop in at the museum to learn about the history of the town and get your bearings before heading up to the castle.

If you’re lucky, local history expert John Barkshire might be around to take you around the museum and point out his favorite objects. His family has been in Arundel since the early 1800s and we were honored to have him pose for a photo with Gary Gatwick while standing next to an exhibit about a rare illuminated church choir book from Arundel.

Arundel Castle

In a country that seems to be chock full of castles, the Arundel Castle stands out because it is so well-preserved and cared for. And because it is one of the longest inhabited castles in the United Kingdom.

First built at the end of the 11th century, it has been restored and rebuilt over the years and is currently the home to the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk and their children.

Before you visit, you can read all about the history of the castle here. When you do visit, be sure to wear sturdy shoes. That way you’ll be able to comfortably make your way through the hallways, bedrooms, staterooms, library, magnificent gardens, and up the narrow stone steps to the Keep. And there you’ll be rewarded with great views and, like Gary Gatwick, perhaps have an encounter with one of the knowledgable, in-character guides.

Visiting the Brighton seaside with Gary Gatwick

Stuck at The Airport is in England this week, touring with Gary Gatwick, the charming mascot of Gatwick Airport.

Gary has been taking us places that are surprisingly easy to get to from Gatwick Airport via the Gatwick Express and the Thameslink trains.

After a couple of days in London, we’ve got a day in Brighton, an iconic seaside town with a pebble beach, an amusement-filled pier, plenty of eclectic shops and restaurants, and some unusual museums.

And it turns out that this town that most Americans only know from movies such as Quadrophenia and The End of the Affair is just a half hour from Gatwick Airport by train.

We raced around town trying to see and experience everything on our list but, clearly, we’ll need to schedule a full week to come back to do it all.

Here’s a sampling of our adventures.

Brighton Palace Pier

Stretching out 1,722 feet, the Victorian-era Brighton Palace Pier has it all: ice cream and fish & chips; bars, arcade games galore, a fortune-teller, carousels, and other classic amusement park rides, including spinning teacups & the Helter Skelter slide ride.

Brighton Fishing Museum

Brighton was a “bustling little fishing village on [England’s] south coast which was transformed into a fashionable seaside resort,” Brighton’s Seafront Heritage Trust will tell you when you visit the Brighton Fishing Museum. Inside this free attraction are photographs, fishing community artifacts, marine memorabilia, art, and more.

The Royal Pavilion

A core, over-the-top attraction in Brighton, the Royal Pavilion was once a royal residence. Construction began in 1787 on this seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811, and King George IV in 1820. Over the years it has served other purposes, including a stint as a hospital during World War I, but now it has been restored to its original opulent glory.


Booth Museum of Natural History

It was a real treat to be able to visit the Booth Museum of Natural History, an eclectic Victorian-era museum filled with birds, butterflies, fossils, bones, and taxidermy animals.

The museum was founded in 1874 by naturalist and collector Edward Thomas Booth, who was keen on collecting British birds and displaying them in natural habitat settings. He ended up collecting everything from birds to bears and at his death had created more than 300 ‘dioramas’ for displays that reached from floor to ceiling.

The museum is still set up in that style and now is a repository for a collection of more than 525,000 insects, 50,000 minerals and rocks, 30,000 plants, and thousands of microscopic slides.

We read that the museum also has a ‘merman’ in its collection, but on arrival, we were told that the odd artifact is on a year-long loan to another museum. So we’ll have to come back!

Touring London with Gatwick Airport’s Mascot

Stuck at The Airport is spending a couple of days in London as a guest of Gatwick Airport,, the airport’s mascot, Gary Gatwick, and a growing list of new local friends, some of whom got us out of a sticky situation. (More on that soon…)

After landing at Gatwick Airport and making the 30-minute journey to London’s Victoria Station on the Gatwick Express we were able to take in some sights before jet lag set in.

The View from Above

With Gary Gatwick in tow, we did what a lot of locals and tourists were doing on a warm, sunny day: we rode the elevators to the top of the Shard building. It’s the tallest building in the United Kingdom and the view from the observation floors at the top is just unbeatable.

Bonus: visitors can purchase drinks and snacks up top, get selfies galore, engage in some people-watching, and enjoy the gelato and air conditioning.

The View from the Water

Once we saw the views of the river from above, we wanted to see it from the water level.

The View from the River 50-minute circular cruise on the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers made that easy.

With a smart and witty tour guide on the microphone, we cruised by many of London’s iconic landmarks, including The Shard, the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe theater, St Paul’s Cathedral, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, The London Eye, and the Tower of London.

We also sailed under the Tower Bridge, which just happened to be opening to make way for a larger boat as we approached.

At one point our tour guide asked for a show of hands from all the Americans on board. No one but me raised their hand. A quick “Do you call it ‘football’ or ‘soccer’?’ survey from our guide confirmed that this tour has become quite popular with locals.

The Superbloom at the Tower of London

Day 2 of our whirlwind London tour included a visit to the Tower of London, the urban castle that served as a secure fortress, royal palace, and infamous prison, and is now also home to the very closely guarded Crown Jewels.

Courtesy Historic Royal Places

Again, we found ourselves mingling with more locals than tourists when we headed to the Tower of London to see how the historic moat around the tower has been transformed by a flower display dubbed the ‘Superbloom,’ and planted to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

The flowers may die and fade and die back in the fall, a Superbloom volunteer told us. But he also assured us that the flowers should return each spring for at least the next four or five years.

Our tour in London also took us to the historic floating museum known as the HMS Belfast and on an unusual adventure on the underground. We’ll share details on both uniquely London experiences, and more, tomorrow.