The Gatwick Aviation Museum is not a must-do for people who are not very much into aviation. It’s not the type of museum with an exhibition easily accessible to you with shiny displays. People with aviation history background however will surely enjoy this collection of classic aircraft and memorabilia in the outskirts of Gatwick Airport. The place is run by Peter Vallance, a local businessman who started the collection as a hobby and has faced years of opposition from the local government. His energetic way and all the years of fighting have maintained the collection at the place for many years and the collection is now at least tolerated by the locals.
The collection consists of around 20 military aircraft, a huge collection of civil and military engines, several bits and pieces of different aircraft and a couple of rooms with airline memorabilia, all with a heavy focus on Britain. As a friend of civil aviation, the rooms with all the models with stories and items of defunct airlines were the most interesting for me. However, the collection of aircraft is excellent too. Although keeping the historic aircraft outside does not favour their conservation, Mr. Vallance and his team of volunteers have done a great job to keep this collection alive and even expanding it. Some aircraft are kept in a condition that even allows it to run the engines, including an Avro Shackleton and a Buccaneer.
The museum grounds were a former run-down chicken farm which was turned into a small business park later on. Almost all buildings still date from that time, making the museum look rather shabby. However, plans for permanent buildings for the exhibition and most of the aircraft are planned and subject to evaluation and permission. Check out their website for opening times as the museum is only open on Saturdays and a dozen of other days a year. As of 2012, entry is free, but a donation of 5 GBP (2,50 for children) is suggested.
The Premier Inn is situated about a 10 minute walk from the North Terminal at Gatwick Airport. Or...more
London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 2BH, United Kingdom
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
Buckingham Gate, London Gatwick Airport, RH6 0NT, United Kingdom
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
Just a little place to get coffee, juice, muffin or danish pastry etc in the North Terminal Departure Lounge. We had plenty of time for our flight to Dublin so we had a couple of Caffe lattes for 1.60GBP (each). It was far too bright and orange and shiny in there for so early in the morning - but I drank my coffee through half-closed sleepy eyes...more
465 Reviews and Opinions
I have been to gatwick 4 times and comparison with london heathrow the population of gatwick airport is scarce. I mean yes it can be overcrowded in the right concentrations of time but it is generally moveable and less stressful getting through crowds. Unlike heathrow where it can be like going through a maze to even reach the metal detectors, you...more
Gatwick has an interesting way of corraling folk before their flight leaves----there is a main waiting area with lots of monitors showing flights and the gates from which they are leaving---you have to wait here in this area until about 30-40 minutes before your flight is scheduled to leave, and then your gate number will pop up on the...more
Gatwick airport is large!! It has two terminals, north and south, connected by monorail, make sure you know which one you're flying from!!We were quite impressed with the efficiency, having only Manchester to compare it with. We were there three hours before our plane took off but even so, the queue at the check-in desks for Thomas Cook was...more
This is Harrods. They sell all kinds of things.
Just have a look round if you have time to spare.
What to buy: When I was there they were trying to flog fluffy teddybears to weary travelers... like they need something else to carry.
What to pay: More than you should.
Favorite thing: Give yourself plenty of time to check in at Gatwick airport, you normally have to check in 2 hours before your flight, and remember that some departure gates at Gatwick are quite a distance from the terminal, you could have a 20 min walk ahead of you so bare that in mind