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Being one of the biggest airports in the world, Gatwick history is actually fascinating an interesting one. It started in 1930 as a very small flying club for those who enjoyed aviation. Only four years later, it received a public license, allowing it to deal with commercial airlines. The airport snowballed from there, becoming ever larger and ever more important. In 1962, Gatwick had but one Terminal , which is now the South Terminal . However, two new piers were constructed in that year. This was due to the fact that a few years earlier, the government decided that Gatwick should be an alternative to Heathrow. This made Heathrow the first single facility airport in the world that was accessible via air, road and rail. 1965 saw the establishment of the British Airport Authority, which took on the ownership of the four major London airports (Gatwick, Heathrow, Prestwick and Stansted).
In 1986, however, the British Airports Authority dissolved. BAA took over and was privatised in 1987. By 1988, Her Majesty The Queen officially opened the North Terminal . By 1991, a second pier was opened at this Terminal . In 1994, the opening of Internationaldepartures lounges were developed at both Terminal s. This constituted an investment of Ã¯Â¿Â½30 million. The airport still went from strength to strength, with another 29.5 million extension being put into place in 2000, which offered additional shops, seating and restaurants in the South Terminal . The North Terminal followed suit in 2001, at a further investment of 35 million. May 2005 saw a truly amazing development, which was an air passenger bridge that crossed a live taxi way. This connects the eleven new pier served stands to the North Terminal . A Boeing 747 is able to pass underneath the bridge. By 2008, Gatwick celebrated its 50 year anniversary, but the same year saw an announcement by BAA that stated the airport was put up for sale. GIP bought the airport in October of 2009, for a price of 1.51 billion.
The weather of Gatwick can be very unpredictable, it can be same as that of London, but, summer may be the best time to visit Gatwick as it offers more tourists and many more attractions during that time. Perhaps, June ? end of August is recommended
Arrival to Gatwick
There are several modes of transportation to get into Gatwick such as coaches, taxis, hotel transfers, car rentals and plane. The major gate through which the tourists enter into England is Gatwick airport. It is the second largest airport of London and it is the 28th busiest airport of the world on the basis of passengers.
Tourists are also coming in Gatwick via Gatwick Express which is the fastest rail link between the airport and central London. Most of the traffic of passengers from London comes to Gatwickby this Gatwick Express. It is a nonstop train services and it can be also used to get around the city. The standard single ticket cost of Gatwick Express is Â£16.90 which shows that the ticket is quite expensive.
Gatwick is also connected to more than 400 UK towns and cities. Coaches from the nearby towns and cities come to Gatwick daily. Some direct services are provided from Gatwick to other destinations including Brighton, Oxford, central London, Birmingham, Heathrow, Bristol, Norwich and Cambridge. Regardless of the mode of transportation through which you enter intoGatwick, you should inform the tourist information office.
Tourist information office will provide you free map, information about the major attractions of the city and other free publications.
Gatwick is at a distance of 30 minutes from London therefore, Gatwick is enjoying highly developed transportation system and road network. One of the major modes of transportation in the city is Gatwick Express. It is the fastest rail link service between the London and Gatwick. The trains run to and from London after every 15 minutes.
The rates of Gatwick Express are higher therefore; many travelers are using other modes of conveyance in the city. Travelers are also using taxi services in Gatwick, which are provided by the airport official partner, Checker Cars. The payment of taxis can be made in cash or by credit card. There are booking offices of car from where the travelers can get the taxis.
The rates of Gatwick taxi services are usually higher therefore, major chunk of the local and foreign travelers are moving by local buses. Local buses are very cheap in Gatwick and there are four main local buses which are running to and from Gatwick. These services include Fastway 10, Fastway 20, Route 100 and Gatwick Direct 200. The fare of local buses is quite lower as compared to taxis and Gatwick Express however, buses are usually more noisy and crowded.
Gatwick is on the three airports servicing London. The other two are Heathrow and London Stansted. What many people don't know, is that Gatwick is more than just an airport, it is actually a town in its own right, just under 30 miles to the south of London. And, actually, it is a very nice place to be. Gatwick as a town is best known for its diamond stores, but there are many other things to see and do in an around Gatwick. Horley is the town that neighbours Gatwick itself.
There are a number of good pubs here, where you can enjoy traditional British pub meals, but there are also some good restaurants in terms of Indian, Italian, Chinese and Spanish restaurants. Brighton is a fantastic city located just half an hour away from Gatwick. Based on the sea side, it has some great beaches, fantastic restaurants, great shopping and ancient buildings. It is also known as the Gay Capital of the United Kingdom, which such shopping street as Camp Street being totally geared to the gay community.
Hever Castle is on the doorstep of Gatwick and is the castle in which one of Henry VIII's wives Anne Boleyn grew up. The castle is very impressive and has some stunning gardens, which are open t the public. The castle also hosts regular events for tourists all through the year. The gardens of the Nymans estate were known as the most beautiful gardens in the world during the 19th century. It is now in the hands of the National Trust and is still a truly awe inspiring location. The garden has intricate designs and such a variety of flora that you could get lost in them. Many find it hard to comprehend that an industrialised area so close to the city of London can harbour such natural beauty.
Top Attractions of Gatwick
Gatwick is the beautiful city located at a distance of few miles from the England. Therefore, there are many attractions which the travelers can enjoy in Gatwick. Some suggestions regarding the top attractions of Gatwick are mentioned here. The first top attraction in Gatwick is The Bluebell Railway which is the beautiful part of the city.
This railway with steam trains galore and has a lot to offer. Secondly attraction is the Wakehurst Place Gardens which are 500 acres from the conservation area. The travelers which are closer to nature find great exciting things in these gardens. Basically it is the home of rare and exotic plants in the city. You should also visit Lingfield Racecourse in Gatwick.
The best thing about this racecourse is that it offers all weather racing therefore, travelers coming to Gatwick visit this ground. For exploring the history of the city you should visit the Windsor Castle which is a beautiful fortress for over 900 years. This fortress was the residence to the Queen and a major attraction for the tourists.
If you are planning to visit Gatwick, you should not miss a visit to Legoland which is a miniature world. It features huge water rides, pavements cafes, vibrant nightlife and exciting rides.
If you want to spend some time away from Gatwick Airport while you wait for your connecting flight, you have a world of opportunities available to you. You could visit some fantastic gardens, the castle that was once home to the young Anne Boleyn, or go shopping for diamonds. However, most people that have some time to kill as they say, will travel on to either Brighton or London itself. Brighton is a fantastic city on the British coast, known for its eclectic and eccentric mix of people. It was a health spa in the Victorian era, when people believed that the sea air was good for health. Women and men alike would visit the beach dressed in long clothing, not actually exposing their bodies to any direct sun light, simply to expose their lungs to the air of the sea.
However, the British wouldn't be British if they didn't try to make some money out of this. Hence, it wasn't long before the Brighton pier was built, which still stands to this day. The pier would host entertainment such as freak shows and circuses, as well as musical bands. Brighton was particularly well known for its military brass bands. Nowadays, however, it is better known for its colourful gay scene, with entire streets dedicated to stores and bars catering to the LGBT community. London is, of course, known the world over. If you have the time to visit this city, you will never cease to be amazed at what is has to offer. From history to beautiful architecture, fantastic shopping and great eating and drinking, London truly is a city like no other. It is even possible to take a taxi tour of certain parts of London, which depart from Gatwick airport. The Harry Potter Tour is particularly popular presently, as it is affordable and reasonably short, but allows people to see all the parts of London that bear witness to Harry Potter.
Eating drinking Gatwick
Gatwick airport, being one of the largest airports in the United Kingdom, has fantastic facilities both before and after customs. This includes great eating opportunities, to suit every type of taste. Whether you want a quiet place to conduct business, or prefer to eat in a more family orientated location, you will be able to find the perfect place for you at Gatwick airport. Because there are so many restaurants, it would be almost impossible to write down the entire list here. However, as a guideline, the types of restaurants that are available are subdivided into the following categories:The names of these categories should help you get an idea of the different types of dinners that can be had at Gatwick Airport. For instance, family favourites include quick meals such as fish and chips or sausages and mash potato.
Dining in style, on the other hand, allows you to eat a la carte, picking from the types of meals you like and don't like. On the go is quick and simple, pre wrapped food such as sandwiches or burger. The healthier eating options are also fantastic for those people who are watching what they eat. And if you simply want a real British experience, the pubs and bars are a great place to be. Do watch your alcohol consumption of course. It goes without saying that all these bars and restaurants can also be visited for a simple cup of coffee, there is no need for you to eat if you are not hungry. However, with some of the country's most scrumptious restaurants having a franchise at Gatwick Airport, you may as well use the opportunity to get a good meal before you travel to the far corners of the world.
Gatwick is the second largest airport in the United Kingdom, after Heathrow. In terms of night-life on the airport itself, most people stick to the pubs and restaurants that can be found on the airport itself. However, if you do have the time to explore some of the fantastic night-life that is available in this area, you could opt to go either to Brighton or of course to London. Brighton has everything that anybody could want in terms of night-life. It has a fantastic club scene, with entire areas specifically dedicated to the gay community. All over Brighton, the music is lively and fun. It is a truly musical city, with history linking back to the Who and the Go!, as well as Team and the Kooks.
There have been some incredibly important musical achievements in Brighton, including the very last concert Bing Crosby ever gave, as well as Abba winning the Eurovision Song Festival. The nightclubs in Brighton are said to be some of the best in the United Kingdom, and certainly on the South Coast. Did you know that Fatboy Slim resides in Brighton? It should be no surprise that if someone likes him chooses to live here, the place is going to be super cool. Whether you are interested in Latin beats, bubblegum dance or hard house, you will find it in Brighton. If you are still not convinced and would prefer to travel to London for a good night out, you will have plenty of choices there too. There are clubs, pubs and bars galore and you are sure to have a brilliant time. But Brighton simply offers that bit extra. Do remember that Brighton became famous in the Victorian Era, when the rich and wealthy would come to the town to enjoy military bands along the pier, along with other types of entertainment.
Many people have said that Gatwick is actually one of the best shopping centres in the world. Many think it is a shame that you have to go through customs just to get to some of the best shops, and it hence comes as no surprise that people who want to fly out of London for a holiday choose to leave from Gatwick just to get to the duty free shopping. There are actually so many shops across the two Terminal s that the list would be nearly endless. Generally, they are subdivided in the categories of fashion and accessories, beauty and perfume, technology and entertainment, food and wine, travel essentials and souvenirs, bureaux the change, children, duty free and books and magazines.
Disabled visitors Gatwick
Gatwick is one of the most important airports in the United Kingdom, with the longest runway. They service a tremendous amount of passengers every single day, many of whom have some form of disability. Gatwick airport is fully committed to equality and diversity and have all necessary arrangements in place to ensure those with limited mobility or other special needs are able to travel safely and comfortably. Gatwick takes full responsibility for travellers with reduced mobility whilst on airport grounds. Once within the aircraft, the airline takes over this responsibility. In order to ensure that facilities are available for you at the airport, Gatwick requests is passengers to make sure they have contacted their airline well in advance about their requirements. This is both for the outbound and inward journey, so that any help can be made ready in advance.
Gatwick also has a dedicated telephone line available for those with disabilities, to ensure they can pass on the necessary details and requests. This service can be reached on +44 (0)844 892 0322 by selecting option 2 on the automated system. Naturally, should you for whatever reason be unable to make these arrangements prior to your arrival at the airport, there are facilities in place to still provide you with assistance. There are different points on the airport, in the car parks and the forecourts and there are also dedicated assistance desk in the two Terminal s. Some of the special arrangements for passengers include assisted security lanes. These can be used regardless of age and nature of disability and are simply designed to give people an easier crossing through security. Guide dogs are permitted within the airport, but if they have to travel with a passenger, they have to be registered with the Pet Travel Scheme. Also, permission needs to be sought from the air line and the destination.
Accommodation in Gatwick
There are many hotels, apartments, hostels and private rooms available in Gatwick. Unlike other areas of London, accommodation is quite cheaper in Gatwick. One reason is that Gatwick city is located at some distance from the centre of the city therefore, hotels offers special discounts and off-price offers to the travelers.
The best hotel in Gatwick is Europa Gatwick Hotel which has been ideally designed for the business and leisure travelers. With highly decorated 211 bedrooms health leisure clubs and conference rooms, Europa Gatwick Hotel has become the choice of travelers.
Before choosing any hotel in Gatwick, you should consider the availability of restaurant, bar or dining facilities near the hotel. Tourists also prefer the Gatwick hotels as compared to other London hotels because Gatwick hotels are not only cheaper but they are also closer to the Gatwick airport. Therefore, traveling from airport to Gatwick becomes easier. You can also stay at Gatwick Lounge which is located in the ground of the Europa Hotel.
It has 32 bedrooms and they are available at very affordable rates. The guests staying at this lounge can also enjoy the facilities offered by Gatwick hotel. There are many other hotels which are located in the nearby towns.
The City of Gatwick
Gatwick airport is the second largest airport of London and the entire area which surrounds the Gatwick airport is known as Gatwick. This airport is very large thereby making Gatwick a small city in London. The city of Gatwick is 5 km (3.1 miles) north of central Crawley, West Sussex and 45.7 km (28.4 miles) south of London.
The airport of Gatwick is considered as the 28th busiest airport of the world based on traffic.The nearest towns of Gatwick are Horley and Crawley. The expansion of Gatwick took place in1980's and today there are two Terminal s of Gatwick including, the North Terminal and the South Terminal .
Gatwick is very popular among the visitors because most of the Internationalvisitors enter into the city via Gatwick airport. Most of the InternationalFlights from the United States, Europe and Middle East land on this airport. Gatwick is easily accessible because it is just a few kilometers from London. Coaches run from Gatwick to London many times a day. In addition trains such as Gatwick express also travels to the centre of the city from Gatwick.
Useful Contact numbers
Gatwick is located closer to London; therefore, the emergency numbers of Gatwick are same to that of London. Gatwick is a peaceful city and you will find yourself very safe in the city. However, if you are planning to travel to Gatwick, then it is always best to get some useful numbers of the city with you. For your convenience, some useful numbers have been mentioned below:
Fire Department 999 or 112
Ambulance 999 or 112
City of London Information Centre +44 (0) 20 73321456
London Visitor Centre +44 (0) 20 79322000
Lost and Founds Office +44 (0) 20 79182000
Medical Express +44 (0) 20 74860516
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital +44 (0) 20 87468999
Emergency Dental Care +44 (0) 20 78373646
St Thomas Hospital +44 (0) 20 79289292
Gatwick Airport +44 (0) 870 00002468
Heathrow Airport +44 (0) 870 0000123
London Underground +44 (0) 20 72225600
Stansted Airport +44 (0) 870 0000303
Rail +44 (0) 845 7484950
Taxi +44 (0) 20 9414500
Buses +44 (0) 20 79184300
Travelex +44 (0) 20 74404000
American Express +44 (0) 20 74849600
Exchange International+44 (0) 20 76301107
Cheque point +44 (0) 20 77231005
Gatwick is the hub of festivals and events because of its location near the metropolitan city London. Gatwick festivals are those which are organized in London. Throughout the year many festivals are organized in the city.
The festivals start from the New Year's Day Parade in January. About 10,000 performers participate in this parade. InternationalMime Festival is also organized in January and it is an annual festival of contemporary visual theatre. Chinese New Year Festival is organized in February. In March Whisky Live London festival and St Patrick's Day Parade are organized. The major festivals in April include Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, Marathon, Golf Show and Horse Harness Parade.
Most of the festivals are organized in summers such as The Chelsea Flower Show, Dulwich Festival, InternationalFestival of Theatre, Spitalfields Festival, East Barnet Festival, Greenwich + Docklands Festival, Notting Hill Carnival and Coin Street Festival. The Film Festival is another major festival of the city. People from all over the world come to Gatwick to attend the film festival.
Some other festivals include Chelsea Crafts Fairâ€™s, Festival of Chamber Music, Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival, Guy Fawkes Night, London to Brighton Veteran Car Run and many others. You must confirm the dates of the festivals form the festival calendar before your arrival in Gatwick.
Museums & Monuments In Gatwick
Gatwick attracts the visitors because of the enriched history of the city and its nearby towns and the cities. There are many museums and monuments in the city which are providing great exploring opportunities to the visitors.
You should start your visits to museums from The British Museum. This museum has great cultural history and you will find the collections of crafts from Africa, Asia, Europe and America in this museum. Science museum is another renowned museum in the city which is famous because of its science collections.
You should not miss the visit to Victoria and Alberta Museum which tells the history of 3000 years old art. You will find huge collections of metalwork, glass and textiles in this museum. Natural History Museum also provides many interesting things to the travelers. For knowing about the Romans in the prehistoric times to present, you should visit museum of London.
This museum attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. For knowing about the various experiences from the First and Second World War, you should make a visit to Imperial War Museum. Finally you should go to Design Museum which organizes exhibitions on various themes and designs.
Kid's Amusements In Gatwick
Gatwick offers many attractions to the visitors which are equally enjoyed by the adults and kids. Just take the example of Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Gardens, where you will find the kids in abundance.
You can also take your kids to the London Dungeon in Tolley Street which features special performance, rides and many shows. The Merlin Entertainment London Eye is another extraordinary symbol of this city and you should take your kids there to show them the empire state. For enjoying the eating, drinking and other entertaining activities, kids can be taken to O2.
Sea Life Aquarium located in Westminster Bridge road draws the attention of kids because there are more than 350 species of fish in this aquarium. If you are planning to Gatwick in the coming vacations, you should take your kids to the Kidâ€™s Cookery school which teaches the children how to cook and eat healthy food. Kids also enjoy the activities organized by Brass rubbing centre which gives the opportunity to the visitors to make pictures with simple techniques.
All attractions in the city are also providing great opportunities and entertainment activities to kids therefore, for providing your kids a great chance of learning you must take them with you.