Gatwick Airport is located only 5 kilometres north of Crawley, West Sussex, 47.5 kilometres south of Central London. Despite the long distance from Central London, it is known as London Gatwick, and is London's second largest international airport. Recorded as 'Gatwik' on the site of the airport as early as 1241, it was owned by the De Gatwick family before the site was converted to a racecourse. Only in 1930 did the space next to the racecourse become an airspace, which was named Gatwick Aerodome. Currently, the airport has two terminals, North and South, both of which are equipped with shops, restaurants, play areas, lounges and various religious rooms. Gatwick Airport sees more than 35 million passengers yearly, and its continual increase has been contributed by flights from emerging markets.
The airport's North and South Terminals are connected by a 1.21 kilometre elevated, two-way automated people mover track. Shuttle buses also plough between both terminals. Getting out of the airport can be done by taking the train, the bus or the taxi. Trains run from the airport to many cities and getting to Central London takes only 30 minutes via the non-stop Gatwick Express. Various bus services pass by Gatwick Airport to 400 different towns and cities - tickets can be purchased from the friendly service staff at the airport or online. Car rental booths are also available at the airport for those who wish to take to the wheel - don't forget to top up at the 24-hour filling stations at both terminals.
What to see and do
London, the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare and media. London contains four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and St Margaret's Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich. Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. Most of them can be enjoyed over a stroll along the River Thames -- just follow the flow of the river. Many of London’s attractions are free such as the British Museum, the National Gallery and National History Museum, although special exhibitions require tickets. If you are a culture buff, make sure you take in a play or a musical while in London. Fans of Harry Potter might want to join the Harry Potter Walking Tour which takes you to the locations used in the Harry Potter movies.
Short of time? Visit the nearest city, Crawley, an area that has been inhabited since the Stone Ages. The number of shops and large malls have been rising, making it a shopaholic’s delight. Notable retail outlets include Tesco, Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer, as well as the John Lewis department store.
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